Thursday, 26 November 2020

An Interview With Creston Spiers


I'm quite honoured to interview today's guest - Creston Spiers. Creston was the lead guitarist/vocalist for Legendary Sludge Rockers - HARVEY MILK. I was a later starter to discovering HARVEY MILK but I became an instant fan of the and bought all their studio output and wished I had the chance to see the band in action.

Creston is about to release his brilliant new album - Brown Dwarf - which will be released on 4th December 2020 .

I was quite pleased when Creston agreed to do this interview where we discuss the making of the album and the future of HARVEY MILK.

Hi Creston. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

I'm doing well today. I have a few hours of tutoring scheduled for later. that's how I make ends meet these days. my wife and I just moved back into our home in Athens and we're happy about that.

How you coping with the crazy stuff going on in the world. Are you quite daunted or excited about releasing your new album Brown Dwarf.

I wish I could say I was coping well with the crazy stuff going on in the world but my patrons could tell you otherwise. truth is I haven't written a note of new music since the lockdown began except one 3-minute instrumental that just came out. I'm hoping that's going to change once I set up my new music room here in Athens.

I am very excited about Brown Dwarf being released on vinyl. I hope that Jem and the others is at We empty rooms records have a successful release. I'm also excited that people will get a chance to have a product they can hold in their hands and put on their shelves. that's something that I've not really been able to offer through patreon, so I'm very thankful to my patrons for making this music possible and to Jem for allowing it to be released in physical form

We are here to talk about your new solo album – Brown Dwarf. And what an album that is. What can people expect from that record. As it’s quite different to your last album.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that by my last album you mean MMXVII, the first vinyl release from we empty rooms. The last album, MMXVII, had much more of an anthology/eclectic feel to it. there were two orchestral pieces, a country tune, straight up pop tune, as well as heavier things. I think Brown Dwarf as a record hangs together better. there is a theme and a feel and a sound to the record. I also think the actual collection of tunes is the strongest I've ever produced.

All this music, by the way, was originally recorded and released on my patreon page. They weren't recorded as records per se, at a single recording session. they were recorded one at a time over a number of months to meet the obligation I made to my patrons, who pay me a subscription fee for my new music.


Did you record this album during lockdown or was it recorded earlier than that.

Before. Actually, this record is different than the others in that these songs were recorded pretty much in sequence, over a number of months in 2018. This vinyl release will be the first time this music has been available to anyone but my patreon subscribers.

Was this an easy or hard album for you to write and record for compared to your debut album.

I would say that this record was easy to record. the songs came out quickly and smoothly right in a row. I have no explanation for that. I've been lucky. The three and a half years since I started my patreon page has been a very creative and prolific time for me (up until recently). my deal with my patrons is one new piece of music a month in exchange for their $3/month subscription, and I'm happy to say, so far, that I've been able to surpass that by a wide margin. Six new, full-length, professionally mastered LPs have been released on my page, as well as various cuts that have not been mastered or anthologized.

I love the many different styles of music you’ve included on this album. It has pretty much for everyone. Heavy riffs, Weird noises and fantastic quirky ideas from the start. You recorded and performed by yourself. Was that the idea to record the album entirely by yourself.

Yeah the stuff I do on patreon is pretty much done all by me. I play all the instruments, write all the music, blah blah. There have been a few guest appearances. Stefanija Giric, a patron, played some beautiful violin on “37 Fine Lines,” the first song of my new record, The Goodbye Waltz. me and Stevie teamed up for a while and I he appears on a few of the songs on the patreon page. speaking of Steven Tanner, of course

I love the “lo-fi” sound of your solo records. Makes the record more real. How would you describe your solo albums in your own words.

I would say that the new music, at least the rock music, on patreon (there’s a lot of orchestral music, too) would actually fall right in the middle between the Pleaser style Harvey Milk and the slow and heavy Harvey Milk. literally if you could put them on a number line the new music would be like right in the middle it's very song-oriented, 70’s- style rock, with hooks, but slower and heavier. I think Harvey Milk fans would really like it. I don't think it's quite as challenging as Harvey Milk’s music: no one's going to think you're cool for listening to it.

But I think the tunes are up to scratch and the performances are at least fresh And the Lo-Fi quality that you're talkin about, although it's not necessarily intentional, I certainly haven't spent a whole lot of time trying to produce refined recordings! I mean there's so much beauty and magic in “Come On In My Kitchen,” and what, that was recorded on like a tin can on a spring, right? so I guess it is true that I'm not overly concerned with High Fidelity in my recordings, but they aren't demos either. I take my time to get good sounds, good balance, and of course Kyle does a wonderful job mastering them and making them sound like real records!

Why did you call the album Brown Dwarf. Any particular meaning.

I should tell you that Brown Dwarf is not just the name of the record, but also the name of the project or band, so to speak, although I’m the only one who appears on the recordings. I do have a real live band: Andy Pope on bass and backing vocals, and Brandon McDearis on drums, both friends of mine and local Athens musicians. we've been practicing and working out the songs from patreon, especially the ones on brown dwarf. we've gotten pretty good. the songs stand up pretty well with a three piece

I like the name I guess for the same reasons I liked Harvey Milk. it's a real thing - I mean brown dwarf is an astronomical term for a type of star - but it also has kind of a funny sound to it as if you could be talking about an African-American little person. so I just thought it had a ring to it was kind of funny.


What influenced you when writing and recording the album. It has the perfect mixture of upbeat and slightly gloomy based songs.

Mostly I was just trying to write catchy tunes that had interesting changes in them. I only had one rule: don't be afraid of pretty! I guess I was just trying to write new classic rock

If the pandemic ever gets under control, will you be making touring plans for the record. Or is that too early to tell.

I would say that playing live is not really a priority for me. I definitely enjoy playing with Andy and Brandon and we will play live if the opportunity presents itself, but it's okay with me if it doesn't

What comes first for you when recording new music. Lyrics or Music.

I have to admit that my process for writing has changed a lot. I guess because I've been trying to set up a sort of “factory.” really I didn't realize how difficult it would be to put out new music every month! So what I do is start with the drums, and I'll basically make up a song on the drums. Then I get a good structure going and layer-by-layer put a harmonic progression and melody on. then always, always the lyrics are the very last thing. I hate writing lyrics. it's always a struggle. every once in awhile a song like “Now, Come Blue Skies” off the new record, will come right out immediately like in one sitting. but that's definitely the exception to the rule.

As I mentioned earlier I've had I guess what you would call writer's block since the whole pandemic scare began in late March. I'm hoping to break that soon. I've got a brand new computer, a brand new music room and hopefully a lot of brand new ideas coming! so to all my patrons out there: you know how I feel about you. I’m just hoping to send you some good stuff soon

I became of aware your music obviously through HARVEY MILK but I was a late follower to the band. I only became aware of you back in 2008 when I listened to Life…. The Best Game In Town. Instantly fell in love with that album and the other albums you’ve released with Harvey Milk. I read on Wikipedia recently that you see this as the band’s worst album. Is that true. Or is it bullshit on Wikipedia’s part. If it is true. Why do you think that of the album. As it got some major praise from fans and critics alike.

No I absolutely think that's our worst record. my wife says I'm biased against it because it was a dark time for me, but I don't: we didn't have the songs going in. It was the first and only time we'd ever decided to record a record without having anything to record! and as far as I'm concerned the tunes are just not up to Snuff. there's too much filler and not enough original material to justify a long playing release, to me. I think Special Wishes is our best record. I think they're all pretty good. Life is the only one I think, of the six that we produced, that just doesn't make the grade

What is he current status with Harvey Milk. Are you guys still touring. Any plans for a new album in the future.

No I don't think Harvey Milk will play together again. we all still get along great and we're all still friends but it's just not even on the table I don't think anyone has any real interest

Looking back with your time with HARVEY MILK, is there anything that you would change with the band.

I wouldn't sweat so much

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans.

you bet:

Distrust the government.
Avoid mass media.
Fight the lies.
Always love never fear.

Words by Steve Howe and Creston Spiers

Thanks to Jem at WeEmptyRooms for arranging this interview and for Creston Spiers for taking the time out to do this.

Brown Dwarf will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Creston Spiers and WeEmptyRooms for the Rest Of The World form December 4th 2020.

Links

Patreon | BandCamp

Creston Spiers - Brown Dwarf (Album Review)

Date Released: 4th December 2020. Label: Creston Spiers / WeEmptyRooms. Format: DD/Vinyl

Brown Giant - Tracklisting


These Eyes Are Crying

Snake On Grass

Cut Back Off The Lights

I’ll Do Anything You Want Me To

If I Can Dream

We Win

There’s A Hole In The Bucket List And I’m On Fire

Of The Bees

Life Is Mine

Springtime Bye


Review


Brown Dwarf is the 2nd full length solo album from Creston Spiers better known for his work with legendary Sludge Rockers - Harvey Milk. Harvey Milk were known for their loud, abrasive, experimental and downright catchy style of music that fused different sounds such as Grunge, Sludge, Noise Rock, Doom and Stoner Metal This saw the band release a wide range of different and acclaimed albums throughout their recording career.


Brown Dwarf sees Creston Spiers play to his musical and creative strengths whilst still offering a similar outlook heard within Harvey Milk but this allows Creston to try his hand at different things such as Americana and Southern Rock with even a pop sensibility being heard on the album. Though, Brown Dwarf does have its fair share of heavier moments and becomes an even better record because of this.


The album is quite lo-fi with Creston recording and playing everything by himself though the album is mastered by his old friend and Harvey Milk member Kyle Spence. The production of the record does have a true “Punk Rock” spirit and attitude which it oozes from the start. The songs are a wild bunch of different songs with the majority of them sounding very different each other. Parts Americana, Country Rock, Psych Rock and Sludge Rock being the main sounds contained on the record.


Brown Dwarf is a mixture of downbeat and upbeat messages but it’s all undeniably fun with the opening songs of These Eyes Are Crying, Snake On Grass and Cut Back Off THe Lights setting the scene for a highly unusual record with Creston in commanding form with the superb vocals he lays down on the record. The instrumental work is fantastic and instantly draws you in with Creston having a warm and dominant presence with whatever style of music he puts his mind to.


Later songs such as: If I Can Dream, We Win, Of The Bees and Springtime Bye is where I enjoyed the album most. As the music is quite heartfelt, delightfully heavy with the dark Americana and Pop inspired sounds having quite a potent effect against Creston’s sublime vocals. 


If you’ve heard Creston’s acclaimed debut solo album MMXVII then you will hear a different kind of album from Creston and it’s good to see he’s prepared to release something different and not rest on his laurels.


Brown Dwarf is one of the best solo records I’ve heard this year if not the best. As it’s a thrilling and highly original piece of work that can be quite demanding to listen to but one that will leave a huge smile on your face.


Words by Steve Howe


Thanks to Jem at We Empty Rooms for the promo. Brown Dwarf will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Creston Spiers and WeEmptyRooms for the Rest Of The World form December 4th 2020.


Links


Patreon | BandCamp


Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Starmonger - Revelations (Album Review)


Release Date: 27th November 2020. Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD

Revelations - Tracklisting

Rise Of The Fishlords
The Last Man
Rust To Dust
Blindfold
Lethe
Drafter
Dark And Gloomy
Tell Me
Wanderer

Members:

Steve : vocals, bass, synths
Arthur : guitars, mix
Seb : drums & videos

Review:

You can always rely on the French Psych Stoner Rock scene to provide a band that releases a quality sounding debut album packed full of weird and wonderful ideas that leave little to the imagination and Starmonger are that band. Their debut full length album Revelations is a groove-laden affair with elements of Fuzz Rock, Doom Rock Space Rock and a healthy dose of Progressive themes that all build up to a superbly executed record that does almost everything right.

Revelations may have sounds and grooves you’ve heard elsewhere but there is a huge likeable factor with Starmonger and their delivery of riffs brings back memories of bands such as The Sword, KYUSS, Black Sabbath, Mastodon and Mars Red Sky. The lyrics are quite “out-there” throughout but the music and outstanding vocals makes everything work. The progresive elements of the album is what make this a genuinely exciting and beautifully heavy record.

The opening songs Rise Of The Fishlords and The Last Man show that Starmonger have a keen eye for more fantastical Psych Stoner Rock/Metal especially with the ideas and lyrics contained on both songs. It also helps that the band has a great sense of humour with the band not taking themselves too seriously. Both songs are helped along by a thumping bass line from Steve who also provides Vocals and Synth duties.

The 3rd song Rust To Dust is where I was fully sold with this band and their cool style of Progressive Stoner Rock/Metal becoming more serious and allowing the band to start playing their own style of music on their own terms. These guys take no prisoners with their fast-paced blend of Hard Rock and Classic Rock with some top-notch guitar riff wizardry being one of the best parts of the song and entire album.

Revelations does offer a more gloomier outlook on the 2nd part of the album with Starmonger becoming more Progressive and Doom Metal orientated that you wouldn’t expect. I even noticed some Mastodon-esque guitar riff worship but still allowing Starmonger to add their own Parisian charm to the overall sound of the album.

The album can be downright “funky” in places with Starmonger adding a “Funk Rock” effect on different stages of the album. The album sounds very raw from start to finish but it’s still bolstered by fantastic audio qualities that makes it more of a real record.

Starmonger have steadily been releasing quality releases over the last few years and it’s all been building upto the main event of this stunning debut album. Revelations is no doubt sure to make an impression with the Stoner Rock/Metal community. As this is an album that has something for everyone to admire and enjoy.

My final thoughts on Revelations that Starmonger have aimed and delivered big for this release and it’s a superbly entertaining and adventurous album that will no doubt allow Starmonger hopefully make a bigger name for themselves within the scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Starmonger for the promo. Revelations will be available to buy on CD/DD from November 27th 2020.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Monday, 23 November 2020

Sludge Heavy Weights IO Sign To Argonauta Records!


Rome- based Sludge heavy weights, IO, have announced their signing with powerhouse label Argonauta Records, who will release the band’s debut album in the Spring of 2021.

The trio’s music is basically inspired by the burning, volcanic and foggy lands of IO, the Jupiter's moon; their long, slow, and heavy as fire compositions could be indeed characterized by a dense atmosphere of sulfur while lava flows turn into magma lakes. IO‘s hazy yet poundering sounds, pure fuzz and sludgy heaviness, is taking its listener on a cosmic trip into volcanic space dimensions.

IO, who was formed in 2015, shared several stages with acts alike Monkey3, OTUS and many more, until they gained the attention by one of Italy’s leading heavy music underground labels Argonauta Records.

"We are very excited to join forces with Argonauta Records for the release of our first full length album." IO comments. "We are really proud of this volcanic doomed work, which took some time to be completed during this pandemic, and we just can't wait to bring you this caliginous overflow, we expect all the muddy sounds' lovers to ride it loudly!"

IO’s debut will be seeing the light of day in the Spring 2021, with many more details and album tunes to follow in the months ahead.

For More Info Visit:

www.facebook.com/IOsludge
www.argonautarecords.com
www.facebook.com/argonautarecords

IO is:

Valeria – Drums
Fabio – Guitar / Vocals
Stefano – Bass

Saturday, 21 November 2020

FARER - Moned (Album Review)

 

Release date: November 20th 2020. Label: Tartarus Records (Tape) / Aesthetic Death (CD) Format: Cassette/DD/CD

Moned – Tracklisting

1.Phanes 13:07
2.Asulon 14:18 
3.Moros 12:09
4.Elpis 13:03


Review

Moned is the new album from Dutch Doom/Noise/Sludge Metal specialists – Farer – and it’s a bleak and uncompromising vision of heavy progressive distorted grooves and harsh growls throughout it’s almost 53 minute running time. Farer used to be known as MENHIR before changing their name back in 2019.

I didn’t know what to expect with Farer and I was quite surprised how they use their “Noise” based element of their overall sound to perhaps be the most threatening part of the entire the record. The pitch-black progressive Doom/Sludge Metal vibes only add extra weight to what Farer are trying to accomplish on this album. Moned is parts Blackened Sludge, Post-Black Metal and a healthy nightmarish dose of Industrial Metal with the vocals having a “seizure” like effect.

The 4 songs on offer last over 12 to 14 minutes each with each song having a diverse range of sounds. I can hear difference influences from the Extreme Metal spectrum but Farer make sure this is their own bleak and FUCKED-UP world coming to life. If you dig bands such as Godflesh, Neurosis and ISIS (The Band) then you know the journey this album will take you upon.

Farer add a lot of different ambient and industrial noises that reminds me of the early days of Nine Inch Nails especially on the excellent opening song – Phanes. There is an extended “Noise” rock sample that lasts a few moments before Farer switch gears and play a harsh blend of Doom, Sludge Metal that will keep the “Extreme Metal” fans happy and maybe piss-off the more “Casual” listener.

There’s a lot to take in with this album. As it’s one of the most uncompromising and disturbing albums I’ve heard this year. I did struggle at first with the vocals and what was being sung and screamed at. After a few attempts I started to understood more and the messages the album contains with each individual song.

The other 3 songs carry on the same bleak visions and musical passages the opening song projected and Farer only become more confident with their unsettling and violent riffs slowly becoming even hypnotic in places especially on the superb 3rd song – Moros.

The album has been mastered by the legendary James Plotkin who knows a thing or two about making a truly heavy record and that what Farer have delivered with this album. This a brutally heavy and devastating album that packs an emotional punch. Well, if you have the stomach for it all.

Monad was a welcome distraction to the usual and perhaps uplifting “Stoner Rock/Metal” albums I’ve been reviewing recently and it was a good excuse to get myself out of my “comfort zone” and I thank Farer for that experience.

Overall, Monad is an epic and intelligent sounding album that will appeal more to the “Extreme” Metal fan. Though, I would implore everyone to check this great album out. As you will richly rewarded with a more bleaker style of music.

Excellent and Highly Recommended. 

Words by Steve Howe

You can buy the album from links below

Tape (via Tartarus Records) - bit.ly/FarerBuyTape
CD (via Aesthetic Death) - bit.ly/FarerBuyCD


Links:

Thursday, 19 November 2020

THAMMUZ - Into The Great Unknown (Album Review)


Date Released: 18th November 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Into The Great Unknown - Tracklisting

Intro
Speed Machine
Into The Great Unknown
Memoirs
Slow
Good Behaviour
Thammuz
Absolution
Fake It
Wizard Sleeve

Review

Into The Great Unknown is the debut full length album from Dutch Psych Stoner Rockers THAMMUZ and it’s an album that sees the band bring a more gloomier approach to the Desert/Stoner Rock scene. With the band taking the familiar sounds and grooves made famous by Kyuss, Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet with an almost doom based atmosphere appearing on different parts of the album.

This is a deeply engaging and adventurous album with THAMMUZ relying heavily on the world of Psychedelic Rock to get their hard-hitting grooves across. The early songs such as Speed Machine, Into The Great Unknown and Memoirs are fast-paced with a Punk based energy with the free-flowing 90s Stoner Rock/Metal riffs superbly played and being quite direct. The vocals are good and what you expect for a cool sounding album such as this. The lyrics are excellent with THAMMUZ delivering their Stoner Rock credentials with true conviction.

The band aren’t afraid to change into a more darker type of Stoner Metal band that you initially expect especially on the creepy Memoirs which has a “Church Of Misery” influence to it all. You know when you hear the song for yourself, One of the best songs on the album being purely instrumental with a deeply disturbing confessional track. All I’m saying.

Into The Great Unknown returns the stylish realm of Hard Rock and Stoner Metal with a combination of slowly played riffs with a nice alternative feel on the track - “Slow”. THAMMUZ take their time on this song playing a Post-Stoner style of music before upping the ante and playing a heavier blend of Psych Stoner Rock/Metal.

The 2nd half of the album carries on the action-packed blend of high voltage sounds and if you’re in the mood for old-school riffs back from the mainstay of 90s Desert/Stoner Rock then THAMMUZ will have you firmly rooted to the spot with crisp sounding production bring a fine level of heaviness to the mix and flow of the album.

Standout songs on the 2nd half include: Good Behaviour, THAMMUZ and Wizard Sleeve.

Into The Great Unknown is a record that feels like THAMMUZ 3rd or 4th album instead of their debut. As it shows a band with big, bright and wonderfully bold ideas that you rarely hear on a debut album. So, Yeah. I dig this album a lot and I feel that the Stoner Rock community within time will enjoy the absolute hell out of this too.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to THAMMUZ for the promo. Into The Great Unknown is available to buy Digitally now.

Links

Facebook | BandCamp

South African powerhouse Ruff Majik have shared the lyric video for Gregory.

South African powerhouse Ruff Majik have shared the lyric video for Gregory.


Taken from the band’s latest full length album The Devils Cattle, the track is a fuzzed-out bass driven sonic dirge about addiction as vocalist and guitarist Johni Holiday explains, "This one is about a good friend and his struggle with addiction. People can fill in the blanks if they want to, or just ignore the lyrics and enjoy the bass line."

The Devils Cattle has garnered widespread global attention with media praising the release:

“The South African fuzz merchants return with another amphetamine-fuelled joy-ride through the dive bars and dark alleys of their psychic landscape” Metal Hammer

“Ruff Majik don’t hold back in The Devil’s Cattle and the result is an album of controlled chaos that never ceases to surprise." Texx and The City

“This is a band at the top of their game and you never get the same album twice from Ruff Majik. I can’t wait to see what the guys come up with next.” Outlaws of The Sun

“It is astonishing to think their first EP only came out five years ago.” The Obelisk

“Catchier, Crazier, Groovier, Heavier, Ruff Majik is unstoppable, for our greatest pleasure!” More Fuzz



The Devils Cattle is out now on Mongrel Records, available on 140g vinyl (single gatefold with splattered coloured vinyl and a pull out A2 poster) and Digipak CD via Just Direct (South Africa) and Black Farm Records (Europe / North America)

Buy // Stream The Devils Cattle

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Tony Reed & Sergeant Thunderhoof team up to pay tribute to the music of Kate Bush.


December 4th 2020 sees the first in a new series of releases from Pale Wizard Records entitled: ‘Beyond the Pale: Volume One’. The concept for this exciting venture is to pay homage to classic artists in a contemporary style using often unexpected musicians.

For this first chapter in the series, we are delighted to present to you a transatlantic meeting between two heavyweights of the fuzz/desert/stoner/psychedelic/heavy rock community as they re-imagine two of Kate Bush’s most iconic tracks.

First up, the UK’s Sergeant Thunderhoof deliver a stunning and brooding version of 1985’s
‘Cloudbusting’ from the best selling album ‘Hounds of Love’. Recorded during lockdown, this track sees the band pushing their musical boundaries whilst retaining their signature heavy groove. 


From the soaring, reverb laden vocals to the heavy slabs of guitar and fuzzy bass, this song exemplifies The Hoof’s fascination with incorporating pop sensibilities with the darker tones of their previous material.

“Having the opportunity to take on this legendary piece of music has been both delightful and challenging. What started out as something that was just an idea niggling away soon seemed to take on a life of its own, particularly once Tony was added to the mix. To see the project come to life has been incredibly rewarding. Cloudbusting always takes me back to my childhood as my Dad had the VHS and I always found it intriguing.” – Dan Flitcroft (Sergeant Thunderhoof).

Taking on the challenge of completing the B-Side for this project is the multi-instrumentalist Tony Reed, most commonly known as guitarist and vocalist for US heavy rock titans Mos Generator. Choosing to take on the complex and avant-garde song ‘Sat in Your Lap’ from Kate’s 1982 LP ‘The Dreaming’. This song showcases Tony’s distinct musicality and deep understanding of melody and structure.

“The Dreaming, my favourite album of hers and an album I consider having one of the best
productions of all time. To cover any song off that record would be a challenge. I like challenges. I think I chose “Sat In Your Lap” because I like the rhythm and the placement of the vocals. I couldn’t visualize what my version would sound like when I started deconstructing her musical and vocal arrangements, but I knew that I would keep the drum parts as true to the original as I could.” – Tony Reed.

Release Info:

‘Beyond the Pale: Volume One’ is released on December 4th 2020 through Pale Wizard Records on digital and limited edition 12” Vinyl.

Links:

PALE WIZARD RECORDS:


SERGEANT THUNDERHOOF:


TONY REED:


THE VINYL

Available in three different colour variants. Pre-order now at: https://palewizard.bigcartel.com/

Enigma Experience - Question Mark (Album Review)


Release Date: 13th November 2020. Label: Fuzzorama Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Question Mark - Tracklisting

1. Realityline 10:55
2. Lonewolf 04:05
3. Mighty Mind 04:08
4. Corruption 07:47
5. Equilibrium 03:57
6. In My Mind My Secret Place 06:48
7. The Z 02:48
8. The Zone 07:05

Members

Niklas “Mr.Dango” Källgren
Oscar “Pezo” Johansson
Maurice “Mr Adams” Adams

Review

Enigma Experience is the new band featuring Mr Dango from legendary Swedish Fuzz/Desert/Stoner Rockers - Truckfighters. Mr Dango teams up with former Truckfighters / Witchcraft drummer Oscar “Pezo” Johansson and Maurice Adams from Breed and former Motorfinger on vocals.

Question Mark is their debut album and sees Mr Dango joining his world famous and fast-paced delicious Fuzz/Stoner Rock grooves with the dark and vivid imagery of the Grunge Scene with bands such as Soundgarden and Alice In Chains being a deep influence on the entire album. This allows the album to achieve the perfect balance of sounds that ruled the roost in the 1990’s and merged with the killer modern day Desert Rock, Fuzz and Stoner Rock grooves. 

The album is fast-paced from start to finish with Enigma Experience living up to their name wiith their winning blend of different sounds whilst retaining a familiar vibe and flow which should keep listeners entertained and intrigued throughout the album. The different vocal harmonies and performances from Mr Dango and Mr Adams are bang on point and compliment each other really well especially on the later stages of the album.

The music is perhaps the strongest part of the album with the multitude of different rifffs the band play on the album. One moment you’re treated to a grungy atmosphere and the next the band move bang up to the modern day and play some epic riffs you would expect on a Truckfighters album. The lyrics are quite dark in places and are vastly different ot the other bands the members have been or currently part of.

The early songs of Realityline, Lonewolf and Mighty Mind show that Enigma Experience have a rebellious streak running through their veins but there is still an addictive sense of fun that you cannot ignore especially when the heavier FUZZIER vibes fully take over.

This album could have easily ended up as a solo project for Mr Dango as he produced, mixed, mastered and engineered the album. However, by the end of the record you feel that everyone has played an equal part in performing on this record and allow you to feel that Enigma Experience is worth taking and respecting on their own convictions.

Question Mark is expertly produced and played by everyone involved with the second half of the album perhaps being the more well-rounded part of the album especially with songs such as: Corruption, In My Mind My Secret Place and The Zone leading the way.

So overall, Question Mark is a mighty fine record with a ton of great ideas that will appeal to fans across the Hard Rock/Metal scene. 

Great stuff.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Fuzzorama Records for the promo. Question Mark is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Fuzzorama Records now.

Links:

Official | Facebook | BandCamp

Monday, 16 November 2020

MISS LAVA: Lisbon Heavy Rock Unit To Release New Album Doom Machine And Release New Video For "Fourth Dimension"

MISS LAVA: Lisbon Heavy Rock Unit To Release Doom Machine This January Via Small Stone / Kozmik Artifactz; “Fourth Dimension” Video Now Playing + Preorders Available


Lisbon’s premier heavy rockers MISS LAVA will release their long-awaited new full-length, Doom Machine, this January via Small stone.

The perfect soundtrack for the post-lockdown world, the band’s fourth album and follow-up to 2017’s Dominant Rush EP stands as their densest output to date doused in kaleidoscopic riff explorations and hypnotic interludes; a multi-textured sonic journey that’s at once deep, heavy, mesmerizing, and cathartic. Captured live at Generator Music Studios in Sintra, Portugal by Miguel “Veg” Marques, the record carries with it the warmth and soul of a band full of fresh vigor and perhaps the demons of these tumultuous times.

The record is loosely focused on the tragic death of guitarist K. Raffah’s baby son and the other members’ children born during the creative process. "Doom Machine is a very emotional experience for us...,” Raffah shares. “[My son] was only here for a month and a half, but his light was very bright. We feel his presence every time.”. Thematically, vocalist Johnny Lee adds, “This album reflects on how each one of us can breed and unleash our own self-destructive force, assembled to be part of a giant ‘Doom Machine.’”

In advance of the record’s release, today the band is pleased to unveil a video for first single, “Fourth Dimension,” noting, “this is a riff raff explosion that urges people to get out of the cave allegory they live in.”

Directed by José Dinis, via MISS LAVA’s “Fourth Dimension” at THIS LOCATION or below:



Doom Machine will be released on CD and digitally via Small Stone with Kozmik Artifactz handling a limited vinyl edition. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION 

Doom Machine Track Listing:

1. Fourth Dimension
2. In The Mire
3. Magma
4. Brotherhood Of Eternal Love
5. Sleepy Warm
6. The Great Divide
7. Karma
8. The Fall
9. Alpha
10. The Oracle
11. Terra
12. Doom Machine
13. God Feeds The Swine *
14. Feel Surreal *
15. Red Atlantis *

** Bonus tracks on CD and digital only 

Doom Machine is the successor to MISS LAVA’s Dominant Rush EP (2017), Sonic Debris (2016), Red Supergiant (2013), and Blues For The Dangerous Miles (2009) – named by Loud Magazine as one of the Top 5 Portuguese Albums Of The Year – as well as a limited edition self-titled blood red vinyl EP (2008). MISS LAVA has brought their explosive presence to stages in the UK, Spain and Germany and played slots at festivals like Stoned From The Underground (Germany), Stonefest (Spain) as well as Super Bock Super Rock, Rock In Rio Lisboa (Vodafone Stage), Reverence Valada, Vagos Open Air, Barroselas Metal Fest and Faro Bike Meeting in their home country. 

In addition to having traveled to play an exclusive one-off at the legendary Whisky a Go-Go in Los Angeles, the band has shared stages with Queens Of The Stone Age, Graveyard, Ufomammut, Greenleaf, W.A.S.P., Kyuss Lives!, Fu Manchu, Valient Thorr, Entombed, Truckfighters, and many more. The band hopes to return to stages in 2021 to showcase that audio crush that is Doom Machine.

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Stone Machine Electric - The Inexplicable Vibrations Of Frequencies Within The Cosmic Netherworld (Album Review)


Date Released: December 04th 2020. Label: Desert Records. Format: CD/DD

The Inexplicable Vibrations Of Frequencies Within The Cosmic Netherworld - Tracklisting

1. Journey on the Nile
2. At Crystal Lake...
3. Free Thought


Band Members

Kitchens - Druns
Dub - Guitars

Review

Stone Machine Electric return with their new full length album The Inexplicable Vibrations Of Frequencies Within The Cosmic Netherworld. That’s perhaps the most creative and craziest album title of the year so far. Though, it gives you a good indication where the Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal Duo are going with their 4th album and it’s a heavy and hazy progressive journey in the Psyche of Spaced Out Doom/Stoner Rock.

Kitchens and Dub aim high with this release as the album takes a surreal journey with the 3 songs on the album. You get 3 new tracks from the band with the 3rd song - Free Thought - being recorded live earlier this year.

Opening song - Journey On The Nile - sees the band channel their inner Hawkwind, OM and Sleep with a deep progressive Pink Floyd influence leading the way. The song lasts for 20 minutes and offers the perfect balance of meditative Drone sounds before the band throw caution to the wind and play a heavier and almost apocalyptic style of Doom/Stoner Metal. The band still play a more calmer style of music whilst retaining their heavy groove. This is a Progressive Doom/Stoner Metal song of the highest order and easily ranks as some of the best work the band have released to date.

The interplay between Kitchens and Dub is pure poetry at times with the Drums and Guitars operating in a more exciting blend of almost “Jazz” based ideas throughout the album.

Second song - At Crystal Lake - sees the band step away from the heavier sounds for the first half of the song and remain in more Post-Rock territory with a mellow style of Doom and Stoner Rock. I will admit I was expecting something heavier with this song but the more I listened to this song, the more I admired the styles of music the band offers on this song. The song lasts for 15 minutes and the band include many different themes yet again with a song that never gives up in bringing superb sounding Progressive and Psychedelic grooves that the band are known for. This song is perhaps best described as Ambient Stoner Rock with the heavy riffs appearing at different stages of the song.

Third song - Free Thought - is a live track recorded earlier this year lasting another 9 minutes and it shows the band in all their live technicolour glory. This song carries on the same feels heard in the other two songs but with a more experimental and stripped back approach. This was a great decision to include a live performance of this song. As it brings you closer to the band that you would initially expect.

With these guys being natives of Texas then it wouldn’t be a true Stone Machine Electric record without the genius of Kent Stump (WO FAT) being part of the recording process and it’s good to see Kent has helped to master and record this album. With Josh Block helping on the epic 1st song from his famous Niles City Sound music studio. So this album offers some of the best Doom/Stoner Rock that Texas has to offer and shows there’s a close burgeoning community over there.

Stone Machine Electric have delivered an out-of-this-world Doom/Stoner Rock extravaganza and will no doubt have their fair share of critical plaudits coming their way. This is a must have album to own especially if you’re a dedicated follower of the band and the Doom/Stoner Rock community.

Words By Steve Howe

Thanks to Desert Records and Stone Machine Electric for the promo.

The Inexplicable Vibrations Of Frequencies Within The Cosmic Netherworld will be available to buy on CD/DD via Desert Records from December 04th 2020.

Links:


Saturday, 14 November 2020

Robustfellow Prods Release PYRAWEED New Album 420 on CD and Cassette Tape

 

Robustfellow Prods have recently released the CD and Cassette Tape Versions of Doom/Stoner Metallers PYRAWEED thrilling new album 420 which was originally released on 20th April 2020. 

I missed reviewing this WEEDIAN based bad-boy and it's what you would want and expect from an album influenced by the whole WEEDIAN Doom/Stoner Metal scene. Loads Of Riffs, Distorted Grooves all powered by the mighty WEED. 

PYRAWEED have been doing their thing since 2015 and has seen the band release an impressive discography with 5 full length albums and 2 live albums within that period. It's seen the band gather a dedicated loyal following within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community and it's not hard to see why.

420 is their most impressive release to date with a diverse range of ideas blazing throughout the entire album with songs such as Acid Flood, Tuesdead and Illegal Song being the main highlights of the album.

PYRAWEED worship at the Riff Altar of BLACK SABBATH and SLEEP. 


So it's good to see Robustfellow Prods releasing a different variety of physical products from the album such as CD's and Cassette Tapes from their BandCamp Page

You should all check out PYRAWEED brilliant new cover of The Who classic song - BORIS THE SPIDER.


PYRAWEED Links


Dixie Goat - There's No Light Without Darkness (Album Review)


Release date: November 06th 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

There’s No Light Without Darkness – Tracklisting

1.There's No Light Without Darkness 04:44
2.Dancin' On Your Grave 02:56
3.Two Faces 05:35
4.Widow's Tear 04:39
5.Green Karma 03:02 
6.Zuma 02:09
7.Supershit 02:35
8.From One Hell To Another 06:04


Members

Nikk: Vocals, Guitars
KF: Bass
Seb: Drums


Review

There’s No Light Without Darkness is the new album from Doom/Stoner Rockers Dixie Goat. Dixie Goat are a band from the South American scene and one that is being compared to Corrosion Of Conformity for this album and I can see why. This album shares a lot of themes, ideas and sounds from the legendary band but still allowing Dixie Goat to bring their own stamp of authority to the scene.

The album isn’t what I call original but there is lot of thrilling heavy sounds that march on the right side of menacing Doom/Stoner riffs with electrifying vocals to match. The album is quite short running at around 30 minutes. Though there is still a lot go through with Dixie Goat adding a NOLA atmospheric style of sound from start to finish.

The songs are all great and each allow the ban to wear their musical influences on their sleeve with a dark mythology written around the lyrics especially on the opening few songs of – There’s No Light Without Darkness, Dancin’ On Your Grave and Two Faces.

Dixie Goat settle down into a fast pace from these opening songs and I can’t help be impressed by the thumping bass playing of KF who puts in a rough and tough performance that allow Dixie Goat’s heavy grooves come to life. Though, Nikk and Seb provide epic support on Guitars/Vocals and Drums respectively.

There are some elements of Psych Rock and Grunge Rock hidden behind the dark grooves on this album and it was a welcome addition to Dixie Goat’s overall sound. The band have managed to get Grunge Pioneer & Producer Jack Endino to master this album and it’s a marriage made in heaven or perfect match made in hell.

Dixie Goat new album is a welcome addition to the Doom/Stoner Metal world and will take your mind away from the crazy shit going on in the world with it’s cinematic blend of exciting sounds that make you want to hear this album over and over again.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Friday, 13 November 2020

South African Desert Rock four-piece Monstroid reveal video for new single Shadow Beast

South African desert rock four-piece Monstroid reveal video for new single Shadow Beast


Monstroid is the passion project of 4 friends from Cape Town, born out of a deeply shared appreciation for writing, making, and sharing tectonic plate-shifting music. From the rumbling depths emerges a melodic molten soundscape. From the skies a flaming fireball of fuzz. Monstroid resides where these forces collide. For lovers of growling guitars, distorted groove laden bass, melodic vocals and exploding drums of thunder.

“It’s been one hell of a journey since our last album. The world has changed in so many ways, but one thing that remained was our love for making music. We have been busy making music videos, lockdown videos, playthroughs and putting the final touches on our second studio album.” – Andrew Pullen, guitars. 


During the final phase of the album completion, the band were invited to feature on Mongrel Records' FANGS Volume 2, a compilation of killer heavy music from the African continent. They humbly accepted and submitted Shadow Beast for an exclusive early release. The band are excited to share the epic video the track today.

“The childhoods of all four Monstroid members were filled with movies, TV and music from the 80's, which inspires many of the themes and content of the music. Shadow Beast is no exception, with Conan The Destroyer's battle with Toth-Amon being the inspiration behind the track (and the video).” - Monstroid


Shadow Beast is taken from their upcoming album Set 2: Burnt Sky set for release on the 22nd January 2021. Pre-save and pre-orders start on the 18th December 2020.

Shadow Beast is available on all digital platforms including Bandcamp | Spotify | Deezer  | Apple Music

Website

Multi-instrumentalist Evert Snyman releases new single Operation Human Shield

Multi-instrumentalist Evert Snyman releases new single Operation Human Shield along with studio performance video. 


One rarely encounters that unique sound that draws you in and alerts your senses…that rare quality in a musician that forces you to listen more closely and pay attention. South African musician and producer Evert Snyman is exactly that – a talented songwriter and performer who has enthralled many an audience with his galvanic melodies, poetic, yet straightforward lyrics and hypnotic rhythms. Based in Johannesburg, Evert has launched and collaborated on various projects, cementing himself as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, the most notorious of these being alternative rock bands, Pink Noise and Pollinator. Recording and producing all his own music at his studio in Auckland Park, he quickly become renowned on the local scene as the go to rock producer, working with bands like Caution Boy, Mad God and Ruff Majik, whose ranks he recently joined as a full time member.

What sets Evert apart from other musicians is the raw honesty of his music. He is a fearless and unabated songwriter and lyricist, speaking to emotions we often keep hidden - even from ourselves. Evert’s powerful vocals range from angst-ridden screams to crystal clear melodies that cut through intense rock guitars, drums, and keys. Today sees the of Operation Human Shield, the first single from his forthcoming second solo album Hot Mess, set for release on the 22nd January 2021 via Mongrel Records. 


“Initially I just wanted to make a song in 6/8 timing with Jazzy drumbeat and piano. I don't know what some my songs are about until long after I've written them, but I think it's safe to say the lockdown had a fair bit of influence on this one.” He comments.


Operation Human Shield is available now on all digital platforms https://orcd.co/operationhumanshield / Bandcamp

Links:

Facebook

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Sun Crow - Quest For Oblivion (Album Review)


Release Date: November 11th 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Quest For Oblivion - Tracklisting

Collapse
Black It Out
End Over End
Fell Across The Sky
Fear
Nothing Behind
Hypersonic
Titans

Members

Ben Nechanicky (gtr)
Brian Steel (bass)
Keith Hastreiter (drum)
Todd Lucas (vox)

Review

Quest For Oblivion is the debut full length album from Seattle based Doom/Stoner Rockers Sun Crow and it’s an album that takes Seattle’s rich and iconic Grunge History and moulds it with a dark gloomy claustrophobic sense of style. The band take the style of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden and run with a despairing Black Sabbath sonic take on all things Doom Metal. Though, Sun Crow take a more Progressive Rock/Metal journey with the majority of the songs lasting between 9 to 11 minutes in length.

Opening song - Collapse - is quite daring in all the right places with the band operating at their own speed with different elements of Doom/Stoner Metal leading the way. The vocals are an interesting choice with a mixture of Clean and Harsh Growls that fit firmly more in the Doom/Sludge Metal camp with a touch of Psychedelic Weirdness giving a more surreal and trippy effect that is superbly heavy on different parts of the song.

Second song - Black It Out - starts very slowly with Sun Crow in no rush to pick up the pace with an interesting style of Distorted grooves and slowly played grooves. It’s still quite heavy with a more “Drone” based quality to it all. A few moments into the song and Sun Crow start playing faster and tighter riffs that soon bring a Black Sabbath flow to the album and it’s a welcome sound still retaining Sun Crow’s vision for the majority of the epic 10 minute plus running time.

There is a lot to take in with Quest For Oblivion. As it runs for around 70 minutes and the majority of that time is taken up by Sun Crow showing how good they are at writing bleak progressive sounds trapped within the Grunge, Doom and Stoner Metal world. The album's best moments are when the Psychedelic moments appear and when Sun Crow slows things right down and let their creative ideas breathe naturally.

Sun Crow finest moments on this album perhaps on the later stages with songs such as Fear, Nothing Behind, Hypersonic and Titans. As the music is more focused here and the more interesting and heaviest riffs appear on the final two songs of Hypersonic and Titans.

You can hear shades of early era Monster  Magnet on this record on the final few songs. So be prepared for when the album takes upon a more Space Rock flavour that the legendary band made famous back in the day. 

The instrumental work is fantastic with heavy guitars and intelligent drumming leading the way. Everything all leads up to an album that is perfectly executed in the riffs and volume department. Maybe, 70 minutes is slightly too long for some but I can’t suggest which songs should have been left off the album. As everything feels naturally in it’s correct place.

If you’re in the mood for a slightly darker and epic style of Grunge, Doom and Stoner Metal then this is the album for you. Sun Crow have delivered a monolithic monster with this album. The album is loud, mean and aggressive with enough attitude to have listeners nodding in agreement.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe