Sunday 31 October 2021

Plaindrifter - Echo Therapy (Album Review)

Release Date: October 24th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: Cassette/DD/Vinyl

Echo Therapy - Tracklisting

1.M.N.S.N. 05:37

2.New World 07:46

3.Proto Surfer Boy 08:13

4.Prisma 12:10

5.Digital Dreamcatcher 08:49


Nils ‘Schnils’ Stecker

Marcel 'Uwe' Kloß

André 'Andi' Tinibel


Plaindrifter debut album Echo Therapy is a mixture of Prog Rock, Desert Rock, Stoner Rock and Psych Rock with the album offering the perfect balance of Weedpecker and ELDER trippy Psychedelic Rock with the Desert/Fuzz Rock brilliance of the mighty Truckfighters. THe album has a heavy Prog Rock presence but mostly the Psychedelic Stoner Rock grooves is what make this truly standout.

THe swirling Psychedelic almost veer into Space Rock surrounding before Plaindrifter pull the atmosphere to a more worldly Desert Rock platform. The songs are all beautifully written with crisp vocals that give the songs a more emotional connection.

Opening song M.N.S.N. feels like the best song that Weedpecker have never written but with a more Spaced Out Desert Rock sound allowing Plaindrifter to be judged by their own creative merits. There’s a lot of heavy Prog Rock/Fuzz Rock moments that keep everything flowing with a very cool and warm attitude that makes you feel closer to the music.

The album continues with the hybrid Fuzz/Desert/Stoner Rock sound with Plaindrifter bringing a more cinematic style of Prog Rock that you can easily compare to King Buffalo at times especially on songs such as New World and Proto Surfer Boy. 

The standout tracks on the album are Proto Surer Boy, Prisma and Digital Dreamcatcher which make up the final three songs on the record. This is where Plaindrifter made me a fan of their creative vision they have captured for this album. Heavy Psychedelic Stoner Rock that has an adventurous sense of wonder. Add the Prog Rock tendencies that the album is fully built upon then you have a superbly wise and brilliantly entertaining debut album.

The instrumental work is varied and interesting from start to finish that offers the right balance for fans of the Psych Rock, Desert Rock and Stoner Rock scenes to warmly embrace. Production values are first rate with the band being allowed every opportunity to play some dynamite music along the way. 

These guys maybe “undiscovered” now but they have every possibility to make a huge name for themselves if they continue to make great records such as this in the future.

Echo Therapy is music for the mind, body and soul. Check out now.

Words by Steve Howe

Echo Therapy is available to buy now digitally. Cassette Tape will be released soon with Vinyl Release following in April 2022.


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Saturday 30 October 2021

CALLUS - A Breath Of Flesh Air (Album Review)

Release Date: October 29th 2021. Record Label: Trepanation Recordings. Format: CD/DD/Cassette

A Breath Of Flesh Air - Tracklisting

1.Molar Crown 05:49

2.Ka-tet 03:54 video

3.Cinderstella 03:02

4.Sorrow's Bane 02:28

5.Toadfish 03:10

6.Fatberg 10:07

7.Sludge Guzzler 02:11


UK Doom/Stoner/Sludge Thrashers CALLUS are back with their 2nd album A Breath Of Flesh Air with a brutally entertaining slice of modern Heavy Metal spiked with violent attitude to match. An interesting combination of Doom, Sludge and Stoner elements but all wrapped in a Thrash Metal environment. This reminds me of Metallica playing Stoner Metal but with harsh vocals.

The album runs for 30 minutes and the songs have a slight Punk vibe especially the shorter songs such as Ka-tet, Cinderstella, Sorrow’s Bane and Sludge Guzzler but I’m getting away ahead of myself with the album opening up with the excellent almost six minute track Molar Crown. This is a great song to start the album with as CALLUS bring a heavy onslaught of lean, mean and very slick modern  vibe with the Thrash Metal sound allowing CALLUS to bring a more extreme sound to the usual Doom/Stoner Metal sound.

There is a high amount of technical ability to CALLUS music especially when they switch genres round at the drop of a hat and I loved the slightly warped attitude on Ka-tet. The guitar solos are plentiful on this record and CALLUS don’t skimp on that part of the album. The record has a wonderful free-flowing attitude where the songs all superbly lead into each other. 

Add the excellent production values from CONAN legend and all round Production Genius that is Chris Fielding then you know the record sounds awesome from start to finish. The music is crisp with the whole sound of the album being wonderfully modern.

The songwriting is another impressive feat from CALLUS where it holds your attention especially on the later stages of the album. 

A Breath Of Flesh Air is exactly that. It’s good to hear a band that gets back to basics and leaves the progressive theatrics behind and just aim for “PURE FUCKING METAL” even with this album containing the 10 minute epic Fatberg which is no doubt the standout song on the album.

Yeah, I absolutely adore this record. The album has the right mix of throwback Heavy Metal vibes with the modern Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal grooves leaving you wanting more. Shame it only lasts 30 minutes as I wanted to experience more of what CALLUS had to day. Maybe on future releases they could aim for something longer. Anyway, this is a must have record that will keep fans across the whole Hard Rock/Heavy Metal community entertained for many months to come.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to CALLUS for the promo.

A Breath Of Flesh Air is available to buy now on CD/DD/Cassette Tape via Trepanation Recordings.


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Thursday 28 October 2021

Maragda - S/T (Album Review)

Release Date: October 15th 2021. Record Label: Various. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Maragda - S/T - Tracklisting

1.The Core as the Whole 05:11

2.The Calling 05:34

3.Hermit 03:49

4.Orb of Delusion 04:12

5.Crystal Passage 03:18

6.Beyond the Ruins 04:02

7.The Blue Ceiling 04:40


Marçal Itarte: bass, vocals

Guilem Tora: guitar

Xavi Pasqual: drums


Maragda are a Spanish Psych/Space/Stoner Rock Band who focus on the teachings that bands such as YES, Rush and ELDER have played over the years. Their debut self-titled album is primarily an exercise in first class Psych Stoner Rock but the band show their appreciation for other sounds such as Prog Rock, 70’s Hard Rock, Fuzz Rock and even Folkier elements for this album.

The album is quite experimental with it’s deft touches of Heavy Psych/Space Rock passages and Folk based moments. Sometimes All Them Witches' majestic storytelling comes into play and even some of that band’s passionate musical style of play. Opening song The Core As The Whole is quite different from the Stoner Rock standard sound with the band playing different styles of music and none of them becoming the dominant force. The folk vibes and heavier space rock themes are the best part of the song and gives you a great glimpse on what to expect for the rest of the album.

The record can be quite jazzy and way out there which you’ll hear on the second track The Calling. Sometimes it feels like it's a different band compared to the first song. This song does have a thrilling fast-paced narrative with great vocals to match. The grooves are plentiful but can feel overpowering at times especially with the many different styles of music on offer here. It’s still an exciting blend but will take multiple listens to get fully on board with.

The album is a concept album which is explained further below:

“This record tells the story of Maragda, a civilization that took refuge underground after the Great Disaster. Many years have passed now, and the memory of a life on the surface has completely faded. People live under the oppression of a totalitarian government, The Core, when suddenly a strange voice speaks inside their minds. After this call, a group of rebels launches an expedition through The Unknown, willing to discover the secrets of Maragda”

Despite the subject matter listed above this album does have a cool feel good factor that is very hard to ignore. The other songs on the album sees Maragda go through their love of Heavy Rock Music over the last 50 years. The album is highly adventurous and the experimental style of Psych Rock when fused with the album's manic Prog Rock energy is where Maragda really starts to impress the most. Wait until you the glorious synths that appear on the 2nd half of the album. One of the standout parts of the album especially on Beyond The Ruins matched with stunning Stoner Rock/Metal riffs.

Overall this is a quality record from start to finish that’s backed up by daring production values that allows the band to strive for their full creative vision whilst still offering a high amount of great grooves for the listener to lose themselves in.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Necio Records for the promo.

Maragda's debut album is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from the links below.

Necio Records

Spinda Records

Nafra Records


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Wednesday 27 October 2021

Doomsday Profit - In Idle Orbit (EP Review)

Release Date: November 12th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Cassette

In Idle Orbit - Tracklisting

1.Crown of Flies

2.Scryers of the Smoke


4.Consume the Remains 04:29

5.Destroy the Myths

6.Bring Out Your Dead


Bryan Reed - guitar & vocals

Kevin See - lead guitar

Ryan Sweeney - bass

Tradd Yancey - drums & percussion


Psych Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal quartet Doomsday Profit make an almighty racket on their debut EP In Idle Orbit. Running past the 35 minutes mark, Doomsday Profit channel the heavy aggression of bands such as CONAN, Bongzilla and seedy lyrical outlook such as Church Of Misery. Maybe not about serial killers but a similar feeling with the bleak tone of lyrical content. Throw in a major Psychedelic curve ball along the way and Doomsday Profit are a band to get truly excited about.

The six songs on the EP are varied and sees Doomsday Profit stretch the whole divide of the Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal genres with a punishing array of aggressive grooves and tone. The EP sees the band play a different style of sounds such as slow-paced, fast-paced, aggressive and non-aggressive based music. The band classify this release as an EP when it could be their debut album. As they cover a lot of ground with punishing LOW & SLOW atmospheric grooves on the opening two songs: Crown Of Flies and Scryers Of The Smoke.

The distorted heavy psychedelic vibes spliced throughout both songs made me take notice as this is stuff you’re meant to hear from bands such as EARTHLESS not a Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal band such as this. This part of the EP reminds me of UFOMAMMUT when the band really start to come into their own sound especially when the heavy guitars begin to drift off into sonic territory.

There is a dirty Blues Rock/Metal element lurking amongst the majority of the songs and it allows Doomsday Profit to have a more volatile edge with distorted guitars, harsh aggressive vocals and intelligent drumming leading upto the EP’s finest moments on songs such as Cestoda, Consume The Remains and Destroy The Myths.

The final song “Bring Out Your Dead'' may put some people off at first as it’s an instrumental Drone/Doom/Sludge Metal song that feels like it’s the least “interesting” song on the album. However, look behind the surface and you’re treated to a first class exercise in Drone/Doom Metal riff worship that compare to the mighty BONG with a little bit of SUNN 0))) for good measure.

In Idle Orbit is a superb debut release from Doomsday Profit and they truly live upto the “DOOM” part of their name. “DOES THIS DOOM” always seems to be the most popular question around within the Doom Metal Scene and this most definitely does with a HELL FUCKING YEAH IT DOES!!!

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Doomsday Profit for the promo. 

In Idle Orbit will be available to buy on CD/DD/Cassette from November 12th 2021.


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Tuesday 26 October 2021

Spacelord - False Dawn (Album Review)

Release Date: November 05th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

False Dawn  - Tracklisting

1.Enemy Lines 04:02 

2.Broken Teeth Ritual 05:49

3.How the Devil Got Into You 03:19

4.Breakers 05:54

5.Crypt Ghost 5:28

6.All Night Drive 07:52

7.M-60 07:19

8.Starswan 04:17


Vocals, guitar: Ed Grabianowski 

Guitars, Bass and Drum Conjuring: Rich Root


New York Psychedelic Stoner Rockers Spacelord third album False Dawn isn’t what you expect from the band with the album being more of a Blues Rock offering compared to their previous two based heavy Stoner Rock offerings. Spacelord have included Blues Rock sounds on their previous releases but it was more in the background where it’s the main focus on False Dawn. However, there are still a lot of cool Heavy Psychedelic Stoner Rock and Spaced Out interludes to keep everyone happy.

Spacelord still brings a wild 70s Hard Rock attitude on this album with False Dawn being a bold enough album to include elements from the 90s Grunge, Desert Rock and Stoner Rock scenes. With the band drawing upon their love for bands such as Black Sabbath, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Led Zeppelin for this album. 

There is a confident Black Sabbath/Led Zeppelin swagger within the excellent opening tracks Enemy Lines and Broken Teeth Ritual with vocals from the Chris Cornell school of Grunge/Hard Rock. The tracks veer from Psych Stoner Rock to a grungier style of Blues Rock and Space Rock meeting in-between. I swear I can hear Black Sabbath classic song IRON MAN within Broken Teeth Ritual or certain elements of the song. Everything comes it’s own thing with a heavy Progressive Rock sound that’s mostly bound down to Spacelord’s creative way of Blues Rock thinking.

I’m not going in-depth with the songs like I normally do as Spacelord dictate a wild ride on this release that will instantly draw you in. If you wanted an album that brings the sounds from the bands mentioned earlier in this review then False Dawn is your album. Though I will point out my favourite songs on the album are: Broken Teeth Ritual, How The Devil Got Into You, Crypt Ghost, All Night Drive and M-60 with Spacelord playing their heaviest Blues based Stoner Rock grooves here.

If you’re a fan of the Hard Rock scene from 1970 upto the late 90s then Spacelord have captured that scene of Hard Rock on False Dawn. The record is unashamedly classic hard rock and Spacelord offers no apologies for this. The production is superbly handled by Spacelord’s very own Rich Root with the album being quite fresh from start to finish. The instrumental work is wonderful with Rich and Ed superbly paying homage to their musical heroes whilst showing what formidable musicians they are in their own right. 

False Dawn is a first-rate record and you should all get on this while you can.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Spacelord for the promo. False Dawn will be available to buy on CD/DD from November 5th 2021.


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Monday 25 October 2021

JOINTHUGGER - Surrounded By Vultures (Album Review)

Release Date: October 31st 2021. Record Label: Majestic Mountain Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Surrounded By Vultures  - Tracklisting

1.In Dire Need Of Fire Ch. 2


3.Empty Space

4.Delysid Rex

5.The Calm


Heavy Psych Doom/Stoner Rockers JOINTHUGGER have come storming back with their 2nd album Surrounded By Vultures. A more expansive sound compared to their previous releases with the band focusing more upon sonic exploration that evokes memories of SLEEP and MONOLORD. Maybe not as distorted as two bands but JOINTHUGGER still manages to play a more daring style of Progressive based Doom/Stoner Metal that soon goes into the 70’s Doom Rock and modern day Psychedelic territories.

Opening song In One Need Of Fire Ch. 2 is an instrumental heavy take on modern day Psych Doom/Stoner Rock with heavy flashy guitars with a little sense of distortion and sludgy grooves. The song feels like it has a beginning, middle and end with JOINTHUGGER bringing some wild ideas to the party. There is also a YOB quality and feel to the heavier Psychedelic parts but this is mostly JOINTHUGGER playing a thrilling sound that becomes quite FREAKY and OUT THERE towards the end of the song.

Second song Midnight is the longest track on the album, lasting nearly 10:30 minutes. It’s a sprawling piece of Psychedelic Doom Metal with the Stoner Rock influence dialled back a bit and the band sound more dangerous on this track with a Sabbathian and Uncle Acid influence being calmly added to the more sombre moments. The song does take time for JOINTHUGGER to fully come into their own sound but when everything hits just right this becomes one of the best songs on the record. Excellent and different vocal styles bring a flash of 60s and 70s classic hard rock that actually works with the modern day Sludgy elements that’s bursting to come out to play from the backdrop that’s holding everything together.

The album takes more creative spins and turns for the better on third track Empty Space with JOINTHUGGER changing musical direction yet again with the heavy Stoner based guitars dictating the action with the band delivering  a great style of both Classic and Modern based Psychedelic sounds. JOINTHUGGER have played this style to great effect on their previous releases but it’s with this song where everything feels right and the band feel like a more powerful creative unit.

The final two songs Delysid Rex and The Calm offer seventeen minutes of Psychedelic and Trippy vibes, perhaps becoming one the best things that JOINTHUGGER actually adds to their overall sound. 

Everything feels self contained on this release with each song having a different story to tell each other.  Fantastic lyrics really add to the experience of Surrounded By Vultures by bringing a cool Spooky and Occult Rock feeling to the album. Though the standout part is the instrumental work with JOINTHUGGER proving to be one of the best upcoming Doom/Stoner Metal bands from the Norwegian Scene. They have a great outlook of blending Classic Heavy Rock grooves with the more threatening modern day riffs that’s littered throughout this record.

Surrounded By Vultures is a delicious, adventurous and dark slice of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Majestic Mountain Records and Sheltered Life PR for the promo.

Surrounded By Vultures will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Majestic Mountain Records from October 31st 2021.


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Sunday 24 October 2021

Void Emperor - S/T (Album Review)

Release Date: October 21st 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Void Emperor - S/T  - Tracklisting

1.In Shadow 11:52

2.The Cimmerian 06:08

3.Hog Slaughter 06:40

4.Orgy of the Cannibal Demigods 08:40

5.The Zong Massacre 09:38


Dezmōdeus - vocals

Jason - guitar

Shroomer Khan - bass

Chris - drums


Void Emperor's debut self-titled album caught me by surprise when I found this album on BandCamp. I only listened to the first song and I was hooked by their blend of modern based Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal grooves. The whole and tone of the album is quite eerie and has almost a classical Doom Metal feel to them especially with Dezmōdeus demonic and OTT vocals that are a joy to behold.

The music is a mixture of long drawn out sludgy progressive parts with the Doom/Stoner Metal sounds fully lodged into the background. The music is low and slow for the most part on the opening song In Shadow. Void Emperor lives upto the demonic billing seen on the excellent album cover.

The album runs for almost 44 minutes but it feels longer and that’s a good thing. As Void Emperor, use every precious second wisely by playing music that’s always varied, challenging and interesting but one that is also superbly entertaining. 

Void Emperor do channel their inner Black Sabbath on this release but one that is more heavier and can I say “VIOLENT” in certain places of the album. 

Other great songs on the album are: The Cimmerian, Orgy Of The Cannibal Demigods and The Zong Massacre. Perhaps where Void Emperor go full out crazy with their own unique creative style that even manages to bring a twisted “FUZZ” sound to the album especially on The Cimmerian. Obviously Void Emperor are going for the more “Fantastical” vibe with their lyrics and allows this to have a sense of wicked and devilish fun. However, there is serous intent with Void Emperor with the “low and slow” grooves that mature into Heavy Psychedelic/Prog Metal riff wizardry with the band showing what fantastic musicians they are.

This allows Void Emperor's debut release to be an adventurous, thrilling and highly original slice of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal that is helped along by fantastic production values. The record sounds excellent from start to finish with a claustrophobic sound that brings a fresh Doom Metal approach on the heaviest parts of the album.

Give these guys and this album a chance. As you will be surprised by what you find here. 

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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Saturday 23 October 2021

Spider Kitten - Major Label Debut (Album Review)


Release Date: November 12th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Major Label Debut  - Tracklisting

1.A Problematic Favourite 02:36

2.The Art Of Sleeping


4.Hearts & Mindworms

5.Self Care (Makes Me Wanna Die)


7.Sandbagged (Whoa, Yeah!)

8.Over The Edge


Chi Lameo - vox, guitars

Chris West - bass, vox, guitars

Jeesus Jones - drums, bass, vox


What a way for Spider Kitten to celebrate their 20th Anniversary as a band by releasing one their best releases to date with Major Label Debut. With the band drawing upon bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, TAD and the Sub Pop Records roster. The band have written a serious album that does touch upon Mental Health Trauma though the grooves are varied especially when Spider Kitten brings a heavy Sludge/Stoner Rock shine to the album.

There’s only 8 songs on the record and they’re quite short compared to Spider Kitten standards. So the guys have gone for a direct style of Grunge/Stoner Rock with even the vocals getting a grungy makeover with shades of Chris Cornell and Layne Staley being heard. The music is frantically heavy with the first few songs A Problematic Favourite, The Art Of Sleeping, Maladjusted and Hearts & Mindworms  being perhaps the standout songs of the record with the deep Soundgarden/AIC influence but told within Spider Kitten unique way of twisted storytelling. 

There’s a heavy Punk Rock aesthetic with this album and Spider Kitten drift away from the Grunge world to the more Punk based Alternative Sound for the remainder of the album onwards from Self Care (Makes Me Wanna Die). I will admit it does slow down the exciting atmosphere of the album just a little bit but it’s good seeing Spider Kitten bringing a more experimental sound for this part of the record. Though this part of the album moves into fast based Punk-Rock/Alternative Rock territory, the band still manage to find the time to bring that earlier Grunge based sound on the final stages of the album.

The instrumental work is excellent and makes you take notice of things currently being played around you. There is a lot of cool musical creativity on this album with Spider Kitten touching upon a hard subject such as Mental Health. I’m thankful that Spider Kitten has tackled the subject in a superbly entertaining manner.

Major Label Debut is a welcome return to form for Spider Kitten and ranks as one of their best releases to date. This record will no doubt impress their already established fanbase and maybe entice a few more followers to the Spider Kitten cause.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Spider Kitten for the promo. 

Major Label Debut will be available to buy on CD/DD from November 12th 2021


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