Friday 1 January 2021

Miss Lava - Doom Machine (Album Review)

Release date: January 15th 2021. Label: Small Stone Recordings / Kozmik Artifactz. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Doom Machine – Tracklisting

1.Fourth Dimension
2.In the Mire 
4.Brotherhood of Eternal Love
5.Sleepy Warm
6.The Great Divide
8.The Fall
10.The Oracle
12.Doom Machine
13.God Feeds the Swine (Bonus track)
14.Feel Surreal (Bonus track)
15.Red Atlantis (Bonus track)


Johnny Lee: vocals
J. Garcia: drums
K. Raffah: guitars
Ricardo Ferreira: bass and vocals


Doom Machine is the 4th album from perhaps Portugal’s finest Stoner Rock Band Miss Lava. This album sees the band play a more emotional style of music than they’ve ever released. The band went through some emotional heartbreak and experiences recording this album which is explained below.

"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," states singer and lyricist Johnny Lee.

It is the band’s densest sonic output, emotionally reeling from the tragic death of guitarist K. Raffah’s baby son and from all the other members’ children born during the creative process.

"'Doom Machine' is a very emotional experience for us... [my son] was only here for a month and a half, but his light was very bright. When we listen to the record, it’s impossible not to hear my son’s energy on many moments. We feel his presence every time,” shares K. Raffah.

The results on Doom Machine can be quite intense in places with the bands trademark Fuzz/Stoner Rock Grooves having more emotional weight to them though the album is still packed full of their fantastic riffs..

Opening song – Fourth Dimension – is classic Miss Lava through and through with the band playing a vibrant style of Fuzz Rock, Psych Rock, Stoner Rock and such as the album title suggests a little twinge of Doom Rock shining through. The vocals and music are upbeat but the lyrics are quite dark compared to the usual style of music Miss Lava are known for.

Second song – In The Mire – is a turbo-charged Psychedelic Stoner Rock affair with the band playing a classic 90s style of Stoner Rock/Metal with that twinge of “Doom” based sound allowing the band playing a heavier style of music on the 2nd half of the song. The lyrics once again are hard-hitting but fit superbly well with the music the band have written here. Fans of KYUSS and FU MANCHU will get a real kick out of this song but with the band laying down their own style of Stoner Rock dominance.

Third song – Magma – is a 70 second instrumental song which is superbly played and offers more of the same bombastic sounds that appeared on the first two opening songs but with a more convincing Psychedelic groove being the main highlight of the song.

Fourth song – Brotherhood Of Eternal Love – is a more experimental affair with Miss Lava adding an almost Drone based quality to the album. The song has quite a Shamanic vibe to it especially with the vocals and guitars that have a drifting in and drifting out presence to them. This is one of the more Progressive songs on the record and it’s perhaps the most mature song that the band have written to date. The song is perhaps my favourite song on the record. As Miss Lava are trying something different and they succeed on all levels here.

Miss Lava have written 15 songs for this album and that’s a lot of songs to get through but Miss Lava have written an emotionally real album that remains grounded in reality. The album also has heart and spirit and that’s down mainly to the fantastic lyrics the band have written for Doom Machine.

Other standout songs on the album include: Sleepy Warm, The Great Divide, The Fall, Doom Machine and Feel Surreal.

Doom Machine is a thrilling and exciting album that I didn’t expect from Miss Lava. They have released something different whilst still remaining true to the sound they created with their earlier albums. This is the type of Stoner Rock/Metal album that becomes a better album with each subsequent listen. As you will notice things that you may have missed the first couple of times when listening to the record.

Miss Lava are already quite well known and well respected within the Stoner Rock/Metal community but Doom Machine is the type of album that could move them onto the next level once COVID-19 situation is fully under control.

Yeah, this album made a mighty impression of myself and if this was released in 2020 then this album would have easily made my Best Albums of 2020. It’s that good. Doom Machine is the first essential Stoner Metal release of 2021.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Miss Lava and Earsplit PR for the promo. Doom Machine will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Small Stone Recordings and Kozmik Artifactz from January 15th 2021.


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