Saturday 16 October 2021

High Desert Queen - Secrets Of The Black Moon (Album Review)

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

Secrets Of The Black Moon - Tracklisting

1.Heads Will Roll 04:32

2.The Mountain Vs. The Quake 04:36

3.As We Roam 05:16

4.Did She? 03:44

5.The Rise 01:48

6.Skyscraper 05:36

7.The Wheel 06:02

8.Bury The Queen 08:16


Ryan Garney – Vocals, Guitar

Rusty Miller – Lead Guitar

Matt Metzger – Bass Guitar

Phil Hook – Drums


Secrets Of The Black Moon is the debut album from Cosmic Doom/Stoner Rockers High Desert Queen where they fuse the sounds of the Desert and bring a Doom Metal heaviness to the party with an almost Progressive Cosmic mix that acts as the glue to hold everything together. With the band taking influence from bands such as KYUSS, Elder, Foo Fighters and Lowrider. Throw a rebellious early-QOTSA sound and you have an album that’s creatively strong throughout with lyrics, vocals and grooves.

The record does live deep within the 90s Desert/Stoner Rock sound but High Desert Queen are clever to bring the sound right upto the modern day with Psychedelic Space/Cosmic Rock vibes that brings an extra layer of heaviness to the album. The instrumental work is excellent with each band member bringing their own ideas and individual talents to the party.

The first few songs - Heads Will Roll, The Mountain vs The Quake and As We Roam is perhaps the strongest opening to an album I’ve heard in a long while. With heavy grooves that merge Desert/Stoner Rock grooves and the lyrics having a Foo Fighters upbeat quality to them even with the band falling under “DOES THIS DOOM” category and ultimately succeeding. The music moves or shall I say drifts from one psychedelic trip to the next with The Mountain vs The Quake being one of the standout songs on the record.

High Desert Queen are from Texas and you can easily compare them to fellow Texas riff-slingers WO FAT and Mothership. There’s a lot of similarities between all 3 bands and I can see why Ripple Music signed them to their ever increasing roster.

Secrets Of The Black Moon is a trip into the finer details of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock and the othe songs on the album allow the band to create even more stunning progressive based grooves with the record remaining diverse and heavy.

Other songs to check out are: Did She?, Skyscraper and Bury The Queen.

The main highlight of this album is how it reminds you of other bands you’ve grown up with but High Desert Queen still sounds so damn hip, fresh and original. The album is wonderfully classic hard rock without actually being classic hard rock. I know that’s hard to understand and it’s perhaps best to listen to the album to fully understand.

Secrets Of The Black Moon is aided by excellent recording and production values and I know I sound like a broken record but you expect this from a Ripple Music release. KUDOS must also goto Mr Blasko of Ripple Music for spotting this band and signing them to the label. 

High Desert Queen have released an adventurous, rich and diverse album that is ready to take you on a Psychedelic Head-Trip into the realm of Doom/Stoner Rock with multiple visits fully guaranteed.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. 

You can buy Secrets Of The Black Moon on CD/Vinyl from Ripple Music links below