Monday, 25 January 2021

Evert Snyman - Hot Mess (Album Review)

Release date: January 22nd 2021. Label: Mongrel Records. Format: DD

Hot Mess – Tracklisting

1.The End Of Time 03:12 
2.Debilitate Me 03:32 
3.Dumb and Dead 02:09 
4.Cleaner Than God 04:24 
5.Hot Mess 03:22 
6.Maybe Never 03:58 
7.I Live the Lie 02:31 
8.If Eyes Could Kill 05:02 
9.Operation Human Shield 03:10 
10.Consummate 04:25 
11.Burn 04:29 


Evert Snyman : Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Piano, Wurlitzer, Synthesizer, Drums and Percussion 
Wessel Möller : Wurlitzer on The End of Time 
Stiaan Du Preez : Lead Guitar on Dumb and Dead 
Tim Edwards : Percussion Loops on Cleaner than God and Drums on Burn 
Roan Muntingh : Guitar solo on I Live the Lie 


Hot Mess is the new album from South African Multi-Instrumentalist – Evert Snyman – who also happens to be a member of South African Stoner/Grunge Rock Outlaws – Ruff Majik. Evert plays a different style of music to Ruff Majik on this album but has managed to take Ruff Majik’s wild and vivid creative charm with him to produce a spellbinding effort that’s quite off-beat from start to finish. 

If you’re a fan of Here Lies Man then this Hot Mess follows a similar approach with Evert playing a mix of Alternative Rock, Desert Rock, Psych Rock and a vintage QOTSA Rock Swagger on the earlier stages of the record with The End Of Time, Debilitate Me and Dumb and Dead setting the scene for Evert showing a keen ear for addictive lyrics, vocals and melodic hard rock. 

The album also allows Evert to play a more mellow style of Rock Music and this offers the perfect balance to the more heavier compositions held on the record. Every plays almost everything on this record though he does has help with various guest musicians on other songs which allows even those guest musicians to have a chance to shine as well. 

Hot Mess is a rebellious album that pays homage to 90s Desert/Stoner Rock with a slight 2000’s indie rock feel. I can hear influences from THE HIVES as well especially when the Punk Rock guitars appear. Though it’s all very much Evert’s own style of music where he impresses on the majority of the 11 tracks that appear on the album. 

The production is handled by Every himself and he’s a wonderful producer. He proved this on the last Ruff Majik record which I believed he produced and mixed as well. I could be wrong on the producing part. Evert’s eye to fine detail on the entire production and recording is a major highlight and everything sounds superb. The overall sound is LOUD and VIBRANT with the record sounding first rate from start to finish. 

The 2nd half of the album is perhaps the best part of the album with songs such as I Live The Lie, If Eyes Could Kill, Operation Human Shield, Consummate and Burn being the containing the most intriguing ideas no the album. It maybe slightly too long but at least Evert will keep you entertained for the majority of the album and make you wonder where will this crazy album take you next. 

Overall, Hot Mess is a proper balls-to-the-wall HEAVY RAWK album and showcases one of the most creative musicians from the South African Stoner Rock scene. 

Words by Steve Howe

You can buy Hot Mess from the following link


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Sunday, 24 January 2021

SUNNATA - Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth (Album Review)

Release date: February 26th 2021. Label: Self Released. Format: DD/CD/Vinyl

Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth – Tracklisting

2.God Emperor of Dune
3.A Million Lives
4.Black Serpent
5.Völva (The Seeress)
6.Way Out


While still listening to a ton of music over the last year I haven't written a review on quite a while. Thanks to Steve for bringing me back in. I decided to dive in head first with the thunderous new album by Sunnata. Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth is the Polish doom bringers 4th full length and delves deep into themes of religious fanaticism and crushing grooves. The band's sound is described as doom with touches of grunge and psychedelia. The description is amazingly accurate. The six tracks on the record are brimming with heavy guitars, driving bass, monstrous drumming and ominous vocals delivered in harsh screams and tight harmonies.

The record opens with the killer track Crows. A slow, heavy bass groove and eerie Mark Lanegan like vocals bring you in before exploding with Mastodon sounding power and harmonies. The quiet to loud grunge inspired dynamic is superb.

The sprawling God Emperor of Doom follows and entrances the listener for nearly 9 minutes of slow, dreamy dark psychedelia.

A Million Lives shows the band picking up the tempo and shifting it into quite a few different gears that deliver harsh screams and middle eastern sounding chants.

The spectacular Black Serpent keeps the tempo moving. Echoey, reverb heavy guitars and harmonies veer into screams and chants then into a slick QOTSA like breakdown. Another stellar moment.

Volva (The Seeress) slows things down again for a bit with a slow, heavy bass groove and angular guitars with dark, hypnotic vocals that erupt into a killer chorus equal parts Mastodon and Alice in Chains.

The record closes with the ominous sound of Way Out. Heavily effected vocals give way to reverb heavy guitars and a driving western drumbeat. The changes and feel of the track leave the listener as if they are looking into a dark sky and are unsure what they are seeing or would even want to see.

Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth was my first experience with this amazing band. Sunnata has definitely got a strong understanding and love for the Doom sound and I will most definitely be visiting their back catalogue and looking forward to the dark future with what they concoct moving on. This is a great record, you will need to check out!

Words by - Todd S - Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Thanks to Lisa at Hold Tight PR for the promo.

Burning In Heaven, Melting On Earth will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via SUNNATA from February 26th 2021.


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Pine Ridge - Can't Deny (Album Review)

Release date: December 18th 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Can’t Deny – Tracklisting

1.So 01:20
2.Can't Deny 04:34
3.Someone In Your Head 04:04
4.We Come Around 04:42
5.Wayfaring Stranger 05:32
6.Genesis 04:41
7.Runaway 03:57
8.Sons Of Nothing 06:09
9.Those Days 04:37


Can’t Deny is new full length album from Russian Psych Blues/Classic Rockers Pine Ridge and it’s an album that focuses solely on the 70s Hard Rock scene. There are some Stoner and Doom based elements within the album but mostly Pine Ridge concentrate mostly on the Blues Rock side of life. The album is quite upbeat and is a more straight-forward album compared the to recent albums I’ve heard from the Russian Hard Rock scene and that’s a good thing. As Pine Ridge don’t experiment or play about with their music and focus solely on delivering a superbly engaging album which is packed full of great songs from start to finish.

The songs are quite varied and draw the listener in with top-notch musicianship that flirts between Heavy Blues Rock and Neo-Psychedelia vibes with passionate loud grooves that are quite catchy at the same time. The vocals are good and have an earthly organic feel to them and match the easy-going warm atmosphere the music generates within each of the 8 songs contained on the album.

Standout songs include: Can’t Deny, Someone In Your Head, Wayfaring Stranger, Sons Of Nothing and These Days. Pine Ridge are perhaps the most confident on these tracks with a 70s Cocky Swagger leading the way. Intimate Psych Rock grooves and a knowing “Seen It All Before” Blues Rock attitude.

My favourite part of the album is when the cool sounding Pianos or Organs bring a doomier atmosphere to the party before the heavy blues/stoner guitars bring a more Hard Rock sensibility to the album. That happens constantly on this album and allows the band to show listeners what top-notch musicians they actually are. 

Can’t Deny is a great album and shows why Pine Ride are a welcome addition to the Blues based Stoner Rock scene. Pine Ridge would like to convert you to their way of Heavy Organic and Addictive Blues/Stoner Rock.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


Saturday, 23 January 2021

e.t.c. - e​.​t​.​c (Edición 10 años) (Album Review)

Release date: December 21st 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

e​.​t​.​c (Edición 10 años) – Tracklisting

1.A Comenzar 03:36
2.Sed 03:40
3.A Veces 03:32
4.Ayer 03:15
5.Bad Girl 03:52
6.María 05:42
7.Más Allá 04:47
8.Quién Es El Que Miente 04:46
9.No Soy Igual Que Tú 04:07
10.Revoluxión 02:36
11.Aquí Estoy 06:34
12.Sistema 06:00
13.Tuntún 05:43
14.Need to be Lonely 02:59
15.Inside You (Demo) 03:14
16.Dóde Estás (Demo) 02:20
17.Sistema (Mezcla 2020) 06:03
18.Aquí Estoy (Mezcla 2020) 06:29
19.Sed (Concierto de Lanzamiento) 04:16
20.Revoluxión (Concierto con Bush & STP en Lima) 03:01
21.Más Allá (Emil Toledo & Juan Nolag Remix) 07:06


e.t.c is a Grunge/Alternative Rock Band from Peru who ave just the 10th Anniversary Edition of their self-titled debut album. The album and band itself are primarily influenced by bands such as Deftones, Nirvana and a few other bands from the 90s Grunge Scene. The band add a modern Alternative Rock flavour and I can hear the Deftones influence shining throughout the majority of the songs on their debut record.

It’s by no means perfect but if you grew up in the 90s and worshipped the legendary Grunge Scene then e.t.c. are doing a lot of things right with this release. This is my first exposure to the band and there are some great tunes to lose yourself in with A Comenzar, Sed, Ayer, Maria, Revoluxion and Tuntún.

The vocals have a rough and ready appeal to them which matches the Grunge aesthetic superbly well. The album itself is 14 tracks long with the band adding 7 bonus tracks from that are a mixture of Demo and Live tracks. So this is quite the complete package for e.t.c. to release.

One of the more exciting parts about e.t.c. is when they venture into other areas of music such as Progressive Rock. This shows the band are not afraid to broaden their own musical horizons and you can hear bands diverse as TOOL filtering into the band’s overall sound.

e​.​t​.​c (Edición 10 años) is a welcome change from the usual Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal bands I normally review and let myself remember the good old days when I worshipped the Grunge Scene back in my younger days.

So if you’re an Alternative Rock/Grunge fan then this album is the ideal release for you and you can also discover a fantastic band from the South American Hard Rock/Grunge scene.

Words by Steve Howe


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Tigers On Opium - 503​.​420​.​6669​.​vol one (EP Review)

Release date: January 22nd 2021. Label: Forbidden Place Records. Format: DD/Cassette Tape.

503​.​420​.​6669​.​vol one – Tracklisting

1.We're at Meow Meow 00:32
2.Hash 05:33
3.I May Sound Like A Drunk... But I Feel Like A Matador 03:15
4.Icarus 03:04
5.When I Go 01:57
6.Dark Electric 04:00
7.Tantos Años Juntos 02:56 


503​.​420​.​6669​.​vol one is the latest release from Electro-Punk Tinged Stoner Rock misfits – Tigers On Opium and it’s quite easily their boldest and exciting release to date. The record only last 21 minutes but the band make every second count with their blend of Psych Rock, Doom Rock, Desert Rock and rebellious Stoner Rock grooves.

They sound quite different to the release Dark Electric I reviewed a short while ago. You can still here elements of Uncle Acid classic Doom Rock soundscapes but this has been injected with a more darker elements of Desert/Stoner Rock. The EP allows Tigers On Opium to show a real experimental flair to their sound. Songs such as Hash, I May Sound Like A Drunk... But I Feel Like A Matador, Icarus and Dark Electric are the real standouts here. As the songs are more vibrant and have weird psychedelic Stoner Rock flavour to them compared to the other shorter songs on the album.

Tigers On Opium don’t stick to one style of music throughout this release as the band play fast and loose with Stoner Rock conventions and play what sounds mostly good to them. You want fast-paced PUNK ROCK, Dark Twisted Pop, Doom Rock, Desert Rock and Psych Rock all held in the confinements of Stoner Rock then 503​.​420​.​6669​.​vol one is the answer you’re looking for.

The EP does sadly run out of steam with the last song Tantos Años Juntos. As even though it’s a superbly played and much tender song. It’s just not as fun as what came before it. Though, it’s good to see Tigers On Opium trying a different approach with their music.

If you miss the early days of QOTSA when they were a true force to be reckoned with then Tigers On Opium have that same drive and energy. I’m hoping there’s a full length album in the near future basically just to see what crazy ideas and grooves the band can come up with on a much longer record.

Awesome stuff...

Words by Steve Howe

503​.​420​.​6669​.​vol one is available to buy now on Cassette Tape/DD via Forbidden Place Records.


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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Black Magic Tree - Through The Grapevine (Album Review) And Album Premiere of THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE

Release Date: 22nd January 2021. Record Label: Karma Conspiracy Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Through The Grapevine - Tracklisting

Mandala Lady

Spider's Web
Long Night
Inner Rest


Alessandro Monte - Vocals
Christian Reuter - Guitars
Max-Milan Bergrath - Guitars
Michael Hupp - Drums
Nils Geisser - Bass


Black Magic Tree are a German Psychedelic Blues/Stoner Rock Band and is their debut full length album - Through The Grapevine. The band show cool confidence and an almighty Stoner Rock swagger that embraces the wild and crazy times of 70s Blues Rock and Psychedelic Rock. The album only runs for 31 minutes or so but this is quite a straightforward record with a wide assortment of different grooves and riffs. 

Black Magic Tree also has that feel-good vibe amongst the vocals and lyrics on this album with the band taking inspiration from Led Zepplin but more emphasis on Soulful Blues Rock moments leading the way. 

Opening song - Mandala Lady - is quite an upbeat and exciting song to open the album with it’s healthy dash of Blues driven Stoner Rock. The overall feel and flow of the album is 60s/70s Classic Hard Rock with some excellent almost modern guitars adding real weight to the volume of the album. If you dig early Kadavar then Black Magic Tree play a similar style of music.

Second song - Beethoven - is more of a modern and almost party atmosphere with addictive vocals allowing Black Magic Tree to move further into their Stoner Rock persona. Though the song becomes slightly doomier as a result. The classic rock guitars give the song a sense of fun which will leave you with a warm FUZZY feeling inside.

Third song - Spiders Web - is more low-key with an almost laid-back solitary feel with the hazy slow-paced guitars but it soon speeds up to be one of the best tracks on the album. Black Magic Tree offers a vivid mix of Blues Rock, Psych Rock and a more organic Stoner Rock atmosphere. I can hear elements of Northern Ireland Blues/Hard Rockers - The Answer - on this track but the added bonus of Doom Rock guitars towards the end are a welcome surprise.

Black Magic Tree went slightly more progressive with the next 2 songs Domo and Long Night with almost 11 minutes allowing the band aiming for a slightly darker vibe and succeeding especially on Domo. The riffs on Long Night are perhaps the best part of the album but Domo does have better vocals and lyrical content. The band keeps going for that vintage Doom Rock element and it’s an exciting part of the album.

The final two songs - Inner Rest and Flower - sees Black Magic Tree return to the albums earlier Psychedelic Blues/Stoner Rock sounds and play a collection of great sounds that moves effortlessly between Classic Rock and flat-out modern Stoner Rock.

Through The Grapevine is a well-produced record that covers the different eras of Classic Rock and Stoner Rock with superb effort and ultimately leaves the listener wanting more. This is a precise and exciting record for the band to release. I would have liked a longer record but that doesn’t stop this being a top-notch record for people to take notice of.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Karma Conspiracy Records and Black Magic Tree, you can hear the album in full with this exclusive album premiere:

Through The Grapevine is available to buy now on DD/Vinyl via Karma Conspiracy Records.


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MONSTROID - Set 2 Burnt Sky (Album Review) And Exclusive Album Premiere of SET 2: BURNT SKY

Release date: January 22nd 2021. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Set 2: Burnt Sky – Tracklisting

1.Hyper Fuzz
2.Take Me
3.Shadow Beast
4.Fall In Line
5.Navigator 2
6.Black River
7.Dust From Bones
8.No Glory
9.Burnt Sky

Artists on the album:

Lead Guitar and Lead Vocals: Wayne Hendrikz
Bass and Backing Vocals: Larry Leyden
Drums and Percussion: Steven Jacobson
Rhythm Guitars, Percussion and Backing Vocals: Andrew Pullen

Additional Artists on the album:

George van der Spuy on keys (Taxi Violence): Take Me
Matthew Pullen (Rooikat) on Backing Vocals: Shadow Beast


South African Stoner Rock scene is starting to come on leaps and bounds over the last few years with bands such as Ruff Majik making a name for themselves. Time to add another cool band to the mix with MONSTROID. The band play a heavy and stylish mix of Desert Rock, Fuzz Rock and Stoner Metal with a more Sci-fi based twist.

With inspiration from bands such as KYUSS, FU MANCHU, Karma To Burn and Monster Magnet, MONSTROID are firmly in the driving seat forging out their own career and psychedelic heavy sound. Their new album – Set 2: Burnt Sky – whilst nothing groundbreaking does see the band playing heavier and fuzzier sounds compared to their world famous musical peers.

Set 2: Burnt Sky contains 9 songs and runs for 46 minutes and the listener is treated to wild mix of 90s Desert Rock, Fuzz Rock and Stoner Metal with a soaring Psychedelic Spaced Out vibe. The vocals are constantly engaging from Wayne on Lead Vocals with Larry and Andrew providing excellent backing vocals throughout the album.

There is an addictive Alt Rock flow to this album and MONSTROID write spiky and rebellious lyrics with a certain Dave Wnydorf flavour to them especially on the earlier stages of the album impressing the most with songs such as: Take Me, Shadow Beast and Fall in Line.

MONSTROID play a classic and vintage style of Stoner Rock/Metal that we all know and love but this is still an exciting and jam-packed album to listen to with the band trying different things. They’ve added Keyboards on the standout track – Take Me. It’s quite boisterous and rebellious within the strands of Stoner Rock/Metal.

Things can be quite experimental in places but it’s a good mix and a great Desert, Fuzz or Stoner based groove is never too far behind. Add lively production vibes and Set 2: Burnt Sky is a great album for MONSTROID to fully get noticed within the global Desert/Stoner Metal community.

Other cool songs to check out are: Navigator 2, Black River and Dust From Bones.

This is quite the action-packed Stoner Metal package with the band impressing from start to finish. So get on board with the MONSTROID train. As these guys mean SERIOUS BUSINESS.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

You can hear the album exclusively with this cool album premiere thanks to the cool folks at Plug Music Agency.

Thanks to Warren at Plug Music Agency for everything. 

Set 2: Burning Sky will be available to buy on DD from Friday January 22nd 2021.


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Wednesday, 20 January 2021


"From The Graveyard" is the second full length of the Occult Doom band "1782". In this album there is a leap in quality as the production is much better than the previous releases. Eight tracks and 43 minutes of pure dark Doom, with slow and powerful riffs, and heavy and massive drumming.

After the recording of "Doom Sessions Vol.2", the band immediately enters the studio and records the heaviest tracks they have done so far, and they have done it while maintaining that catchy state they have always had. Here too there are featurings, Nico Sechi on organ (Hammond in "1782" and "Celestial Voices" in the debut album) and Alfredo Carboni's Synth.

As in the eponymous debut album, the artwork was done by the mighty SSCVLT.
"From The Graveyard" was recorded, mixed and mastered in November 2020 by Alfredo Carboni at "RKS Studios" in Ossi, Sardinia (Italy).

You can hear the awesome and creepy new song - PRIESTESS OF DEATH

1782 say this about the new song: "Accabadora" is a figure really existed in Sardinia. She was a woman dressed in black who put an end to people's suffering. The last testimony of her intervention dates back to 1952. She wandered around the village at night in search of open doors, if she found one it meant that inside that house a life was about to extinguish. She had her wooden hammer and with it, giving a strong blow to the back of the head, she put an end to the person's suffering. She was also called the "Priestess of Death". This song wants to convey the sensations that could be felt while waiting for this woman, anxiety, torment and perhaps peace. 

From The Graveyard will be released on 26th March 2021 via Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

European Pre-Orders Can Be Bought Here:
USA Pre-Orders Can Be Bought Here:


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Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for all of the details.

Monday, 18 January 2021

YAWNING SONS (w/ Yawning Man and Sons Of Alpha Centauri members) to release new album 'Sky Island' on March 26th via Ripple Music

YAWNING SONS, the transatlantic collaboration between instrumental desert legends Yawning Man and UK trance rock cultists Sons of Alpha Centauri, share the details and artwork for their upcoming sophomore album 'Sky Island', to be released on March 26th and available to preorder today through Ripple Music. Stream first single "Shadows and Echoes" exclusively on Brooklyn Vegan!

For 'Sky Island', the original YAWNING SONS line up that delivered the 'Ceremony to the Sunset' debut in 2009 returned, once again including exclusive performances from Mario Lalli, Scott Reeder and Wendy Rae Fowler. However, this desert rock heritage line up now includes highly respected desert rock stalwart Dandy Brown (Hermano, Orquesta del Desierto), also joining the band by performing on several tracks.

New single "Shadows and Echoes" is a golden ticket to the Yawning Sons sound, with Wendy Rae Fowler's compelling vocals softly gliding atop Gary Arce and Marlon King's reverb-laden riffs and the sky-gazing drive of Nick Hannon on bass and Kyle Hanson on drums.

Stream new single "Shadows and Echoes" on Brooklyn Vegan

Bassist Nick Hannon about "Shadows and Echoes": "The music of Shadows and Echoes and the mesmerising vocal performance from Wendy captures the pure essence of what we feel Yawning Sons is about. When we hit the studio together we wanted to ensure that our concepts remained true and the way Gary and Marlon play off each other is completely unique and organic. This track is open and direct!"

Mastered by John McBain (Desert Sessions, Monster Magnet), 'Sky Island' will see a March 26th release through Ripple Music and can be preordered now in the following formats:

- LTD edition vinyl (white and sea blue color with green splatter)
- Black vinyl
- Limited edition digipack CD
- Digital

YAWNING SONS New album 'Sky Island'. 

Out March 26th on Ripple Music: European preorder - US preorder

"Look at that moon: we're really in the desert now." — Gary Arce, Desert Sky Studios 2018.

And with those words, the recording session of the second YAWNING SONS album concluded. Recorded live in the deepest part of Joshua Tree, 'Sky Island' reinforces Yawning Sons as a collaborative phenomenon firmly adjoining desert rock heritage with progressive instrumentation.

Before they gathered in Joshua Tree, the YAWNING SONS story started in 2008 when, during the pre-production of their then second album, Sons of Alpha Centauri invited Gary Arce from Yawning Man over to the UK to work with them to develop and record some of the material. From the very first initial session, it was evident that something unique and special had been born. Drenched in reverb and swirling in ambience, the band YAWNING SONS had taken flight. The band, a portmanteau of the two respective collaborative bands, was joined by fellow Yawning Man founder Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson, Desert Sessions), Scott Reeder (Kyuss, The Obsessed) and Wendy Rae Fowler (Queens of the Stone Age, earthlings?) on vocals. Their debut album 'Ceremony to the Sunset' was released in 2009 to near universal critical acclaim, and within five years was re-released on vinyl, heralded as a "desert classic" and Yawning Sons had progressed to cult status.

In 2020, the band joined the respected ranks of leading Californian independent powerhouse Ripple Music for the release of their sophomore studio album 'Sky Island', to be issued on March 26th, 2021.


Gary Arce — guitars
Marlon King — guitars/vocals
Nick Hannon — bass
Stevie B — drums
Kyle Hanson — drums
Blake — effects

'Sky Island' vocalists: 

Marlon King on "Adrenaline Rush"
Dandy Brown on "Low in the Valley", "Gravity Underwater"
Mario Lalli on "Cigarette Footsteps"
Wendy Rae Fowler on "Shadows and Echoes"
Scott Reeder on "Digital Spirit"

RIPPLE MUSIC LINKS: Website ⎪ Facebook ⎪ Bandcamp ⎪ Instagram ⎪ Youtube

YAWNING SONS LINKS: Website ⎪ Facebook ⎪ Bandcamp

Sunday, 17 January 2021

SHEPHERD - First Hand (EP Review)

Release Date: November 20th 2020. Record Label: Destruent Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

First Hand - Tracklisting

Sea Cave
The West


Holden Sims (bass/vocals)
Austin Garrett (guitar/vocals)
Nate Bilodeau (drums)


First Hand is the debut EP from Doom/Stoner Rock Trio SHEPHERD who hail from Denver, Colorado. This band plays music inspired by Torche, Deftones and Mastodon where their riffs even manages to cover the world of Prog Rock and even Grunge for a highly interesting and multi-varied sound.

The EP runs for around 28 minutes and Shepherd show a lot of depth to their music and reminds me mostly of Torche and Mastodon especially on the excellent opening song Sea Cave which plays at an intelligent fast pace with progressive guitars that offer a slight Alternative Metal approach. The music is quite loud and with the band being very approachable despite the heavy grizzled and almost growl based vocals appearing.

Second song - Chariot - is a more Stoner Metal tinged affair with the Doom Metal grooves coming on very strong and the bands showing an early-era Mastodon rhythm to their vocals and the content of the lyrics. Though, Shepherd keeps things on track with their own great style of identity and grizzled psychedelic moments making this one of the standout parts of the record. The band effortlessly moves from Progressive Sludge vibes to a cool addictive Doom Metal flavour that shows their true creative power.

Third song - Wendigo - is a more straightforward affair with the band channelling their inner 
Deftones/Mastodon spirit and playing a fantastic mix of Alternative Rock, Doom Metal and Stoner Metal riffs with a delicious almost “POP” sensibility.

The second half of the EP carries on with Shepherd playing more intelligent riff-driven music across 3 tracks where we see an almost Post-Doom/Post-Stoner sensibility leading the way especially on the songs Persephone and The West.

First Hand sounds excellent from start to finish and has a similar flow and feel to some of the legendary Doom/Stoner Metal albums that Relapse Records were known for back in the day.

Shepherd are another wonderful and from the Denver, Colorado scene to check out. There’s a ton of great ideas bursting out from this record that make Shepherd a band to look out for in the future. I await their next release with huge anticipation.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

First Hand is available to buy on DD/Vinyl now via Destruent Records


Saturday, 16 January 2021

ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL – ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL (Album Review)

Release date: February 05th 2021. Label: SOZA / COLLECTIF 5024. Format: Cassette/DD

ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL – ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL – Tracklisting

The Songbird


ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL is a collaborative album featuring two of France’s most promising Doom/Sludge Metal bands GREYFELL and Endless Floods creating a beautifully made and equally emotional album. The album runs for 46 minutes spread across 4 songs with the record being a stunning journey of Post-Rock, Post-Metal, Sludge Metal, Doom Metal and is held together by hypnotic Psychedelic waves of Progressive Rock/Metal.

Both bands collaborated on all 4 songs for this album. This album is a work of genius with it’s different styles of music and how it embraces the LIGHT and DARK philosophy of Doom/Sludge Metal with uplifting musical passages and bleak down-tempo grooves that are spliced throughout the album.

Opening song – L’Armure – is more of an Ambient Doom style of music with the Post-Metal and Cinematic grooves being played quite slowly at first before exploding into a HEAVY WALL OF NOISE with superb vocals that have an uplifting feel to them. The Psychedelic Doomgaze fully takes over around the half-way mark and ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL becomes a more emotionally involved album with intense riffs and soaring vocal melodies leading the way. There is a very subtle Stoner Metal riff being played in the background but this still primarily a wild ride of Ambient Doom/Progressive Sludge sounds.

Second song – Carré – is a more experimental Drone/Doom based song running slightly less at over 4 minutes. The song is full of sonic glitches against a psychedelic backdrop with various soundbytes being merged into an almost nightmarish vision. The song has some brief vocal chants that elevate the song to a more gloomier level.

Third song – Metal – is where the album leaves the uplifting parts behind and becomes a much bleaker album with the heavier parts of the album starting with this track. The music feels quite remorseful with the Post-Rock/Post-Metal atmosphere leading the record further down the Doom/Sludge Metal rabbit-hole. This is offset by some wonderful vocal harmonies yet again and you can feel a “Type-O Negative” influence being added here with the vocals and lyrics painting a more realistic style of music.

Fourth song – The Songbird – runs for almost 17 minutes and is perhaps the most “Doom Metal” offering on the record. As ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL goes for the jugular here with it’s progressive mix of Doom, Sludge, Post-Metal and Psychedelic weirdness. It’s quite a cold and emotionally distant song to begin with and it doesn’t fully get going until around the 3rd minute when a top-notch Drone riff appears out of nowhere followed by almost angelic vocals. The orchestral and instrumental parts of this song is nothing short of magnificent.

ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL is a bold, unique and sombre listening experience which is helped along by outstanding production values. This is one of the best, if not the best collaborative album I’ve heard in years.

ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL is a phenomenal record and deserves a place in anyone’s record collection. I wouldn’t be surprised if this album ends up on a few “Albums Of The Year” list towards the end of the year. It’s already gained a spot on mine.

Awesome stuff….

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo. ÂGE ⱡ TOTAL will be available to buy on Cassette/DD via SOZA / COLLECTIF 5024 from February 5th 2020.


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Thursday, 14 January 2021

BREATH - Primeval Transmissions (Album Review)

Release Date: 5th February 2021. Record Label: Desert Records. Format. CD/DD

Primeval Transmissions - Tracklisting

Battle For Harmonic Balance / Halls Of Amenti
Evocation (Reprise)

Band Members

Steven O’Kelly - Bass Guitars, Vocals
Ian Caton - Drums, Auxiliary Percussion


BREATH are a Drone/Doom Metal Duo who specialize in playing Meditative Doom Metal. This allows the band to play music that is more on the slow side of Drone/Doom Metal for their debut full length album - Primeval Transmissions. The band play a more reflective and spiritual style of Metal where the band play epic long slow notes that builds up at cool heavy rhythm.

Partially influenced by OM and SLEEP, there are deep similarities with BREATH and the music they create on this record. However, the Drone based quality of their sound allows BREATH to dictate their own creative visions with plenty of powerful Doom, Drone and Stoner Metal grooves a huge reliance of Psychedelic weirdness.

These guys are primarily a Drum and Bass duo. Though, that doesn’t mean there are no riffs. Far from it. You’ll be surprised by the high amount of addictive riffs on the album despite starting really slow.

The album contains 5 songs but it feels like one extended song split into individual chapters and it’s a good setup for this album. You experience many different sides to BREATH especially on the opening song - Evocation. BREATH play a simple style of down-tuned Drone based Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal with Sabbath levels of slow-paced heaviness. The chant-like vocals and deeply hallucogenic lyrics all play into the Meditative State Of Mind that BREATH plays with complete conviction.

Second song - Dwarka - carries on the slow-pounding and brooding style of bass-heavy Drone/Doom Metal which can be quite solitary in places and BREATH have a lot of time to play as the song runs for over 14 minutes. The song is one of the standout pieces on the album with BREATH playing a wide variety of different styles of music. The second half of the song is quite bleak in places with weird Psychedelic noises drifting between the vocals and BASS HEAVY RIFFAGE and highly intelligent drumming leading the way.

Third song - Observer - allows BREATH the opportunity to play a more conventional style of Doom/Stoner Metal song whilst offering that Meditative Doom experience the band have built this album around. The music and creative choices are less flamboyant but still an exciting mix of the different state of minds or grooves BREATH contain through their Progressive ideas and sounds. The band is joined by Portland Doom Metal Royalty - Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain) on guitars and he brings a more modern sound to this song with his impressive guitar solos being the best part of the song.

The final two songs Battle For Harmonic Balance / Halls Of Amenti and Evocation (reprise) sees BREATH carry on playing their wild and vivid style of Meditative Doom with splashes of Progressive Rock and Stoner Metal that wouldn’t go amiss from a YOB or Eagle Twin album whilst retaining their own style and identity. You are treated to 18 minutes of music that is less frantic than the other songs but still showcasing a great band playing to their creative strengths and leaving you wanting more. Though the last song is a slightly different version to the opening track but different to stand on its own convictions.

The production side of the album even has Rob Wrong pulling engineering, recording and mixed duties with the legendary Tad Doyle mastering the album. So even with the album sounding quite solitary, this is still a superbly made album which will give your mental wellbeing a much needed Meditative Doom Metal boost.

I absolutely adore this album and I was not disappointed. If you’re a fan of SLEEP, OM and YOB then BREATH is the perfect band for you to embrace and became a fan of. Primeval Transmissions is a thrilling, deeply spiritual and epic sounding album that should be an essential part of your record collection.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Desert Records for the promo. Primeval Transmissions will be available to buy on CD/DD via Desert Records from February 05th 2021.


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Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Exclusive Premiere Of WALL Debut Self Titled EP

Release date: January 15th 2021. Label: APF Records. Format: CD/DD

WALL – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Wrath Of The Serpent
2.Sonic Mass
5.Electric Funeral


Ryan Cole - Guitar & Bass
Elliot Cole - Drums & Percussion

Vocals on Electric Funeral by Dave Oglesby

The Lowdown

WALL is the new band from Ryan and Elliot Cole, better known as members of UK Sludge/Stoner Metal Royalty – Desert Storm. This project came was conceived during COVID-19 Lockdown and the guys trying to find a way of stopping the boredom setting in and having a musical output for their creative endeavours. So WALL was born.

You can read my review here.

The band will be releasing their self-titled debut EP this Friday via APF Records.

You can hear the EP in FULL thanks to APF Records and this exclusive premiere.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to APF Records for the promo. Wall Self-Titled EP will be available to buy on DD via APF Records from Jan 15th 2021.


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Weird Tales - Y'all Motherfuckers Forgot 'Bout Good Ol' Son of a Bitchin' Blues (EP Review)

Release date: January 15th 2021. Label: Interstellar Smoke Records. Format: CD/DD

Y'all Motherfuckers Forgot 'Bout Good Ol' Son of a Bitchin' Blues – Tracklisting

1.Got the Blues for Murder Only 
2.Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues
3.Too Fucking Cold, Too Fucking Dark
4.Take Sick and Die


Dima - Guitar and Lead Vocal
Kriss - Bass and Vocal
Matt - Drums and Vocal


Y'all Motherfuckers Forgot 'Bout Good Ol' Son of a Bitchin' Blues is the new EP from Polish Doom/Stoner Rockers – Weird Tales – and the guys are paying homage to the Godfathers of Blues Music with their own interpretation of songs by Lonnie Johnson, Skip James, Blind WIllie Johnson and Muddy Waters.

Blues Music played an important part for the evolution of Rock Music and within the Doom, Sludge and Stoner Meal scene. Weird Tales are paying respects to these legendary musicians with their own take on some of their most well known songs. The thing is with this EP everything is open to interpretation and Weird Tales create a more filthier, heavier and DOOMIER style of covers you would initially expect.

Some fans of these songs will recognise some parts and not recognise others but it’s good to see a band like Weird Tales trying something different on each of the 4 snogs chosen here. The EP definitely still remains in the BLUES ROCK department but weighed down by a Doom/Stoner Metal backdrop of heavy grooves and aggressive vocals.

The opening song Got The Blues For Murder Only and Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues are my favourite parts of the EP. The songs are played for LOUD and VIOLENT KICKS with the twisted guitars leading the BLUES ROCK charge to fast-paced fashion within the opening song.

Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues is quite slow-paced at first before Weird Tales bring a spectacular blend of Blues Rock, Doom and Stoner Metal but topped off with a manic Sludgy groove that elevates everything to a heavier volume of noise. The guitars are down-tuned in places and some notes have a DRONE based quality to them.

Too Fucking Cold, Too Fucking Dark” and “Take Sick And Die” are good covers but lack the creative spark the opening two tracks have but Weird Tales put everything into this release and none so more on these two track with epic riffs that could easily pass off Weird Tales very own if you’ve haven’t heard these songs before.

Y'all Motherfuckers Forgot 'Bout Good Ol' Son of a Bitchin' Blues is a frantic and hugely entertaining release and one that takes the right creative chances to standout from the recent run of Covers based records that have been released recently.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Y'all Motherfuckers Forgot 'Bout Good Ol' Son of a Bitchin' Blues is available to buy on CD/DD from January 15th 2021 via Interstellar Smoke Records.

Thanks to Carcosa PR and Infecting Cell PR for the promo.


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Tuesday, 12 January 2021

KOMATSU - Rose Of Jericho (Album Review)

Release date: February 05th 2021. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Rose Of Jericho – Tracklisting

1. Stare Into The Dawn
2. Solitary Cage
3. The Suit
4. Blood Moon
5. Son of Sam
6. Rose of Jericho
7. Blackbird
8. Call Of The Wolves
9. Om


Mo Truijens – Lead singer, guitar
Mathijs Bodt – Guitar, backing vocals
Martijn Mansvelders – Bass guitar, backing vocals
Jos Roosen – Drums


Dutch Stoner Metal masters KOMATSU return with their 4th album – Rose Of Jericho – and it’s a very cool album to fully experience when the band are in full flight. KOMATSU have always had a knack at writing superbly structured songs that have the right balance of HEAVY and MELLOW grooves that play across the whole Sludge/Stoner Metal backdrop.

Rose Of Jericho allows KOMATSU to be more melodic than they’ve ever been before but the band never forgot to bring a heavy thunderous confidence when the album becomes more gloomier and quite progressive as a result. Matching TORCHE-esque melodies and later-era Mastodon/Baroness Progressive Sludge sounds have never sounded so good and quite damn original as well.

Opening song – Stare Into The Dawn – has a Faith No More style riff to start the song with before moving into KOMATSU’s trademark direct grooves. The Psychedelic moments move the song into into a more uplifting environment before a downbeat Sludgy vibe keeps everything real and grounded. The vocals from Mo are present and confident as ever.

Second song – Solitary Cage – is a more subtle Blues based offering but still retaining the catchy Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs we fully expect from KOMATSU. The song has echoes of the 90s Grunge scene especially when the whole song becomes more emotionally involved and that’s also down to the world-weary lyrics the band have written for this song and the whole album.

It’s not all about bleak things on this record as KOMATSU have demonstrated on previous releases they bring an element of FUN to their music.

Third song – The Suit – could have easily came from their acclaimed last album A New Horizon with the mix of Psychedelic Rock and Spaced Out Heavy Vibes. The song is fast-paced and is one of the standout songs on the record. The song does have a slight Post-Stoner element when the quiet parts appear and everything is played at a less threatening pace.

KOMATSU aim big for the rest of the album with an avalanche of soaring melodies, guitar solos and even more impressive vocals allowing the listener to forget all about the modern world for the remainder of the album.

Fourth Song – Blood Moon and Fifth Song – Son Of Sam – are my favourite parts of the album as KOMATSU adapt a more FUNKY and DOOM based outlook and have a devilish time playing some finely played Doom Metal riffs. Son Of Sam has a slight CHURCH OF MISERY flow to it all but you can’t help but singing along to the fantastic lyrics contained on the song.

The second half of the album perhaps contains some of the heaviest moments on the whole record but KOMATSU never rest on their laurels. As they try different things and it’s good to hear and most importantly feel the end results on such a thrilling and superbly put together album.

KOMATSU have signed to Heavy Psych Sounds for this release after leaving their original label Argonauta Records (another fantastic Italian Record Label) and Heavy Psych Sounds are one of the premier underground labels for bands to align themselves to. So you know that Rose Of Jericho will sound great from start to finish. Credit also has to goto Peter van Elderen who recorded and mixed the album with Pieter Kloos handling mastering duties.

Rose Of Jericho is another exceptional release from KOMATSU and perhaps the most complete album they’ve released to date.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo. Rose Of Jericho will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from February 5th 2020.


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Monday, 11 January 2021

Clouds Taste Satanic - The Satanic Singles Series – Volume 3 (Single Review)

Release date: January 8th 2021. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Satanic Singles Series Volume 3 – Tracklisting

1.Cecilia Ann/Rock Music 05:12
2.Blew 03:53


Clouds Taste Satanic are back with Volume 3 of The Satanic Singles Series. This time the band are covering the following songs and they’ve picked up some real classics this time.

The Pixies – Cecilia Ann and Rock Music.
Nirvana – Blew

Lets get down to business with Cecilia Ann and Rock Music. This is an excellent cover from CTS and they play another winning blend of Instrumental Doom/Stoner Metal that is quite louder and more aggressive compared to the original with the added bonus of Rock Music being one of the best PIXIES covers I've heard in a long time. The cover is direct and the doom riffs are quite potent and this is a different beast compared to the original.

Blew is another interesting cover from CTS and I expected the guys to cover one of Nirvana’s more well-known hits but this is perhaps the best cover on the The Satanic Singles Series so far. The heavy BASS guitar undeniably makes itself known before the heavy drums and guitars appear and the song moves at it’s own delirious and addictive pace. The song is slightly longer than the original which allows CTS to play a more doomier and down-turned version but you can still tell what the song actually is.

This is another great release from Clouds Taste Satanic. We only have one more release left and as always it will be good to know what songs will the guys be playing next.

Words by Steve Howe


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Burning Sister - S/T (EP Review)

Release date: December 09th 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD 

Burning Sister – S/T – Tracklisting

1.Path Destroyer 06:28
2.Lord of Nothing 04:39
3.Maelstrom 04:26
4.Burning Sister 06:26
5.Oblivinaut 06:11


Steve - Bass/vox
Drake - Guitars
Alison - Drums


Burning Sister are a self-proclaimed “MILE HIGH DOWNER ROCK” band from Denver, Colorado. An area which has provided ourselves with many cool bands of late. This band focus primarily on 70s based Doom/Stoner Rock with elements of Psychedelic Rock and Acid Rock allowing the band to switch between classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal vibes within their superb debut EP.

The self-titled EP has quite a rebellious feel to it all with the Power Trio perhaps influenced by the shadows of Black Sabbath and Fu Manchu but with a slightly darker Stoner methodology within the Doomier aspects of the EP. The 5 songs on offer here build up from an almost murky backdrop to an almost Spacier style of attitude which you can hear from the excellent opening song – Path Destroyer.

Path Destroyer opens the EP superbly well with the loud aggressive riffs coming to an absolute stop towards the end and Burning Sister play a more sombre style Post-Doom/Stoner Metal before switching back to a gloomier outlook. Steve’s vocals feel rooted in 70s Doom Rock/Metal with the music being played for a tougher modern aesthetic. Overall, it’s a good mix and it’s helped along by the excellent production values whilst remaining quite vintage in parts.

Second song – Lord Of Nothing – is a rough and ready offering with the band playing a song perhaps reminding myself of Saint Vitus and The Obsessed with the PUNK ROCK aspects coming on very strong with the Doom/Stoner Metal riffs being slightly more restrained. The vocals are quite bold and should maybe have done with more volume in the mix. Another superb song for Burning Sister to impress the listener with.

The next 3 songs on the EP is the strongest parts of the entire record with Burning Sister being more adventurous with the music, lyrics and kick-ass vocals from Steve yet again. Drake on Guitars and Alison on drums impress the most on Malestrom and Burning Sister having a more grizzled and threatening sound. The EP sees Burning Sister flirt with the different styles of Doom/Stoner Rock and offer a more entertaining style of music that you initially expect.

The EP is quite dark, gloomy and very bleak which is what you should expect from a band creating “MILE HIGH DOWNER ROCK”.

You do get your monies worth with this record as the band offer 28 minutes of sublime Doom/Stoner Metal to get fully involved with. Burning Sister feel like they’re holding back on this release and we won’t see the “REAL” Burning Sister until a few more releases or perhaps even on a full length album.

This is a superb release to own and shows that Burning Sister have huge potential. Keep an eye on this band….

Words by Steve Howe


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Saturday, 9 January 2021

IKITAN - Twenty-Twenty (EP Review)

Release date: November 20th 2020. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Twenty-Twenty – Tracklisting

1."Twenty-Twenty" 20:20


Luca Nash Nasciuti: guitar and effects
Frik Et: bass and effects
Enrico Meloni: drums and cowbell


Twenty-Twenty is the debut release from Italian Psych Progressive Post-Stoners – IKITAN. The singular song runs exactly for 20:20 minutes and is boosted by the band playing an intelligent style of Stoner Rock that moves into other areas of heavy music such Prog Rock, Post-Rock, Psych Rock Grunge and even a dash of adventurous Cinematic based vibes as well.

The song is neatly structured into small chapters where IKITAN play different styles of music and remind myself of YAWNING MAN when the band switch to the heavier style of Desert/Post-Rock interludes before moving back into familiar Heavy Rock territory.

There are lot of different musical flavours held on this single track EP to hold even the most jaded of music fan’s attention and that’s down to the fantastic instrumental work going on between all 3 members. Any release that includes the mighty “COWBELL” amongst the instruments being used is always worth a listen.

I do hear shades of Pelican and Russian Circles on the later stages of the record and it would be cool to see where IKITAN go on future releases. This is an excellent sounding record despite being recorded during COVID-19 Lockdown. There are some exciting styles of Stoner Rock grooves that have allows IKITAN to become more confident with their musical surroundings.

Twenty-Twenty is a superbly entertaining record that you should all check out now.

Words by Steve Howe


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Friday, 8 January 2021

The Brothers Keg - Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg (Album Review)


Release Date: 11th September 2020. Record Label: APF Records. Formats: Cassette/CD/DD

Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg - Tracklisting

1 Moorsmen

2 From The Records Of Arthur Shnee

3 No Earthly Form

4 The Ice Melteth

5 Introducing The Brothers Keg

6 Brahman

7 The Army Of The Thirsty Blade Approaches

8 Castle Keg

9 Epilogue

Band Members:

Tom Hobson – guitars, vocals, synth

Paul Rosser – bass guitar

Tom Fyfe – drums, percussion


This London trio of bards are unearthing their debut album, 'Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg' and it is full of amazing tales about some brothers called Keg. A natural progression from the 2017 demo with the same name, the loud sonic and psychedelic approach they go for on the full-length is akin to fellow Londoners, Spirits Of The Earth, but with a heavier rifforama-filled attack amidst the wonderful trippiness. Formed by the rhythm section from the excellent Stubb, Tom Hobson and Tom Fyfe, but with Hobson switching from bass guitar to guitar, vocals and synth while Fyfe still bashes the skins. Paul Rosser fills out the ranks on bass guitar.

Opening up this expansive and highly interesting collection of tales of the brothers Keg with ‘Moorsmen’ and it couldn’t begin better. After an introductive narrative, this 9 minute-plus blockbuster starts off in mid-tempo before moving perfectly back and forth in pace. After a brief interlude, ‘From The Records Of Arthur Shnee’, the wonderfully trippy, spaced-out and lead-heavy ‘No Earthly Form’ takes over. Building from the ground up it keeps a slower pace throughout but weaves beautifully between serene parts and skull crushing segments. ‘The Ice Melteth’ holds on to the mellow trippiness while the band is aided by Wendy Brown. Her spoken parts reminds me of Julie Covington, as the parsons wife, in Jeff Wayne’s ‘War Of The Worlds’. Wonderful! ‘Introducing The Brothers Keg’ follows in the footsteps of ‘The Ice Melteth’ musically. Mellow, laidback with a fantastic solo leading the way for most of the song. With about a minute and a half left, the band kick into higher gear as they simply annihilates everything in their way.

These guys know how to use narrations in their songs to the fullest effect. At almost 13 minutes, ‘Brahman’ the initial part of this composition is ritualistic, meditative and hypnotic, all thanks to the narration on offer backed by minimalistic music. After a couple of minutes they up the ante somewhat, pace-wise, but still keep it slow and trippy, kind of like Sleep or Om. Bone-crushing and amazing! ‘The Army of The Thirsty Blade Approaches’ is a short interlude with a call to arms which leads into ‘Castle Keg’. Still at a slower pace this one is moving somewhat faster and rocks, as the band lets it all hang down. The aptly titled ‘Epilogue’ closes out this fantastic debut. An eerie, solitary acoustic guitar backs the narrator with a slight wind and some howling in the background which turns out perfectly.

So, what else can be said about The Brothers Keg? Well, ‘Folklore, Myths And Legends Of The Brothers Keg’ couldn’t be a better full-length debut for these guys. Well-crafted, well played and so unrestrained and free-flowing, which in combination with their heaviness, the music is simply brilliant!

Words by Håkan Nyman


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