Tuesday, 31 May 2022
Release Date: June 03rd 2022. Record Label: Pale Wizard Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
The Sceptred Veil - Tracklisting
You've Stolen The Words
King Beyond The Gates
Show Don't Tell
Avalon Part 1
Avalon Part 2
Dan Flitcroft - Vocals
Mark Sayer - Guitars
Darren Ashman - Drums
Jim Camp - Bass
The Sceptred Veil is the new full length album from UK Stoner Metallers Sergeant Thunderhoof who have been building up a more Progressive Rock/Metal presence over their last few releases. This album sees "The Hoof" live upto their true creative potential with an album that blends 70s Prog Rock imagery with modern day Stoner Metal flair and flamboyance that does see the band over-indulge with their heavy proggy grooves on this album. That's no complaint all with Sergeant Thunderhoof playing some mighty fine heavy grooves and lyrics that could even make Boss Keloid envy with jealousy in places.
The album is quite adapt at switching musical sounds which you can here from the stunning opening track "You've Stolen The Words". A song that has classic "The Hoof" feel but with a world-weary and true-to-life attitude. The song has many different waves of Psych Stoner Rock/Metal with a haunting gloomy ambient score towards the end of the song. However, it's when the band switch to a more "Post-Doom" based sound where you can feel and hear the true difference from the band even moving into YOB-esque sonic style passages.
Second song Devil's Daughter is a more direct song with band diving right into the action with Classic Hard Rock melodies and soaring vocals from Dan. The guitars from Mark are quite precise with a psychedelic riff being played for extended periods of time. The song has a simple structure but one that boasts a mighty Progressive flow which moves into heavier areas of Psych Stoner Rock. Parts 90's Alt Rock and Classic Hard Rock energy for a song that still remains thoroughly modern. Add cool sounding distorted Psychedelic guitars and another virtuoso vocal performance near the end of the song and Sergeant Thunderhoof play one of the standout tracks on the album.
Sergeant Thunderhoof do go all out on this album with the album running past the sixty six minutes mark and they add a more "theatrical" atmosphere to the album which comes into focus on the excellent third song Absolute Blue. A song that once again combines pitch perfect melodies, vocals and the socially aware lyrics that sees the songwriting come on leaps and bounds since their 2014 celebrated debut release.
The band take a diverse range of musical influences and sounds on this release with shades of 70's UK Prog Rock and 80's Classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal without you fully realizing this. The band do venture into what I personally call the "Post-Whatever" element of the Doom/Stoner Rock underground on the majority of the album. Absolute Blue, Foreigner, Woman Call and the amazing two-part powerhouse tracks Avalon Part 1 and Avalon Part 2.
Though, "The Hoof" do have some fun with the catchy and groove-laiden track "Show Don't Tell". A song that is unashamedly classic hard rock and heavy metal with a touch of seedy glamour whilst retaining The Hoof's definitive sound.
The final two songs (Avalon Part 1 and Avalon Part 2) are the best parts of the album and perhaps the finest songs that "The Hoof" have written to date. With the songs moving between elements of Classic Hard Rock, Stoner Metal and Psych Rock and Prog Metal, that can be quite emotionally draining in places but one that offers parts of almost uplifting "Post-Rock" or "Post-Stoner" grooves that will last long in the memory.
The Sceptred Veil is a CLASSIC album in every sense of the word which is helped along by first rate production values. This album sees Sergeant Thunderhoof the top of their game and perhaps even go further into the mainstream.
On this form, Sergeant Thunderhoof may have just released my favourite ALBUM OF THE YEAR so far.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Jade at Memphia Music PR & Management for the promo.
The Sceptred Veil will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Pale Wizard Records from June 03rd 2022.
Saturday, 28 May 2022
Release Date: May 20th 2022. Record Label: Kozmik Artifactz. Format: DD/Vinyl
Visions - Tracklisting
1.Crimson Earth 05:52
2.Born Of Electricity 04:30
3.Fly With Me 05:16
4.The Fog 03:22
5.Soul On Fire 06:09
6.Captive By Your Choices 05:30
7.Earth Meets The Sun 01:57
8.Travel The Universe 05:11
Jake Lewis - Vocals, Guitars, Keys and Drums
Freddy Allen - Bass
Visions is the new album from Texas Psych Stoner Rockers Gypsybyrd and it sees multi-instrumentalist and Gypsybyrd creative force Jake Lewis return with a more foreboding Doomed Out sound compared to their celebrated debut album Eye Of The Sun. Jake is joined once again by Sun Of Grey’s Freddy Allen on Bass Duties and he knows a thing or two about out Spaced Out Heavy Psychedelic sounds.
This album manages to convey the classic retro feel of their debut album but with a heavier Spacier element leading the way. Perhaps finding the right balance of modern day distorted Doom/Stoner Amplifier based grooves and the almost leaning “Uncle Acid” and “Black Sabbath” classic Doom Rock which is ultimately the “glue” that holds everything together.
Opening song Crimson Earth is a 70's Retro sounding Spaced Out Stoner Rock song with a modern day Doom Rock/Metal sound that fits in superbly well with the gloomy Blues based atmospherics. The song is quite solitary in places but picks up when the heavy guitars and thumping bass vibes appear. An aggressive Psych Rock underscore allows Jake’s vocals to be quite adventurous and even forceful at times for one of the standout tracks on the album.
Second song Born Of Electricity is a slightly tinged 70’s Occult Rock song with a free-flowing Psych Blues Rock environment branching off into Synth driven Ambient Rock. Unapologetically OTT but done with a killer Stoner Rock drive that has a wonderfully eccentric Organ/Synth sound that makes this song perhaps one of the hippest and freshest things I’ve heard in quite some time from the Retro/Classic Rock scene. I loved the use of Psychedelic based synths and heavy gloomy guitars that allows Gypsybyrd to thrive in both the classic and modern day eras of Stoner Rock. Jake’s vocals has that “Uncle Acid” sound to it yet again but delivered in his own great way for a song that’s daring and thrilling in equal measure.
Third song Fly With Me is another slice of Retro based Stoner Rock heaven with Sabbath-esque grooves and killer 60’s sounding vocals with that modern day sounding bass guitar by Freddy keeping things set into today’s era of Hard Rock. Quite slow paced in places but there’s a lot going on with this song and you may need the extra time to soak everything in.
Gypsybyrd keep moving along with their Psychedelic/Space Rock Adventure for the remainder of the album with the band moving from one trippy psychedelic environment to the next. The use of different sounds and synths allows Gypsybyrd to break new musical ground here compared to their debut album. The album can be more eccentric on the later stages of the album but everything has a sense of purpose especially on songs such as The Fog, Soul On Fire and Travel The Universe.
Gypsybyrd have delivered the goods yet again with a record that allows the band to further expand their sound for the better.
Visions is a wonderfully adventurous and mind-expanding album with the band honing their Psychedelic/Spaced Out “VISION” to another level of Doom/Stoner Rock Excellence. This is an album that has it all. Fantastic production values, superb instrumental work and a stellar vocal performance that ultimately leaves you fully satisfied but dare I say also leaving you wanting to hear more.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Kozmik Artifactz for the promo.
Visions is available to buy digitally now and will be available to buy on Vinyl from July 22nd 2022 via Kozmik Artifactz.
Release Date: May 27th 2022. Record Label: Mandrone Records. Format: DD/Vinyl
The Hum Of The Machine - Tracklisting
1.A Chance To Win The Orb 06:23
2.Starlight Portal Show 05:26
3.Robots For War 04:57
4.A Broken Time Machine 03:18
5.The Electric Game 05:15
6.The Future Of The Past 05:18
7.Transmission's On 07:16
8.The General Magnetic and The Spanish Wormhole 05:03
9.I Feel The Comfort (The Hum Of The Machine) 05:01
The Hum Of The Machine is the new album from UK based, Psych/Stoner Rockers Gramma Vedetta. The album is a concept album of sorts fused with the power of Science Fiction and Fantastical ideas that allow the band to build a wonderfully creative and powerful folklore narrative of their own. The music is a lean, mean and muscular style of Psych Stoner Metal that will appeal to fans of Nebula, Monster Magnet, Black Sabbath and Black Rainbows.
The band have gone down the progressive route for this album but the music is all done in the best possible Stoner Metal way with cool flourishes of Psych Rock and Spaced Out Rock. The album has a powerful “retro” vibe without being described as “retro rock” or “classic rock”.
There is a powerful selection of standout tracks such as: A Chance To Win The Orb, Straight Portal Show, Robots For War, The Electric Game, Transmission’s On and I Feel The Comfort (The Hum Of The Machine) that show how Gramma Vedetta explore many different areas of modern day Psych/Stoner Metal that’s breathtakingly original in places. Especially when strands of Ambient Rock and Post-Rock appear that can be buried under heavy amounts of Stoner based grooves.
Throw in a few “doom & gloom” based elements and the album has many similarities to the classic 80's Animated Science Fiction movie “Heavy Metal”. The album takes a similar structure to that film with separate stories showing the wilder side of Stoner Rock/Metal.
The instrumental work resides mostly in modern day sounds but Gramma Vedetta are quite adept at playing 70s' Classic Hard Rock/Heavy Rock on certain parts of the album. The vocals are varied and there are multiple different styles on the album. All brilliantly sung from start to finish with the fantastical OTT lyrics allowing Gramma Vedetta to be one of the more creative bands within the underground scene.
The production is excellent with everything sounding first rate from start to finish. This allows The Hum Of The Machine to be Gramma Vedetta's most complete record to date.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to C Squared for the promo.
The Hum Of The Machine Work will be available to buy now on DD/Vinyl via Mandrone Records.
Friday, 27 May 2022
Our name is void.
What is the genre of music that you play?
We are a Stoner/Doom Duo from Berlin.
Can you give a brief history of the band of how it came together and where it is today?
We met in 2019 and started to jam, which was instant fun - so we started writing songs, played a few gigs and took some lockdown time to produce our debut album DIY, which we released on Bandcamp and streaming platforms 04/2022.
We are an instrumental duo, playing drums and a slightly modded guitar, trying to achieve a huge and heavy wall of sound nobody would expect.
Prepare yourselves for a trip of high pressure stoner rock, bluesy melodies and psychedelic vibes on our way along the rumbling, slow but unstoppable wheels of doom, inevitably crunching the sands and stones ahead of us.
You can find our debut album on Bandcamp and all those streaming services out there.
Where can people find you on Social Media?
Basalt Shrine Release Details Of Upcoming Debut Album And Release New Video For IN THE DIRT'S EMBRACE
Bobby Legaspi - Guitars, Vocals (Malicious Birth, Surrogate Prey);
Ronaldo Vivo, Jr. - Drums (The Insektlife Cycle, Dagtum, ABANGLUPA, Imperial Airwaves);
Rallye Ryan Ibanez - Bass, Vocals (Surrogate Prey);
Ronnel Vivo - Guitars (The Insektlife Cycle, Dagtum, Abanglupa, Imperial Airwaves, Kahugyaw).
Wednesday, 25 May 2022
Release Date: June 03rd 2022. Record Label: Pelagic Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
Shadow Work - Tracklisting
Path To R
Dance Of Skulls
Psych Doom/Stoner Metallers Druids return with their fourth new album Shadow Work and it's perhaps the famed band's strongest material to date. Shadow Work sees Druids bring a huge "world building" level of creative storytelling to their music. The music is supremely progressive that fans of Baroness and Mastodon will love with the deeply rooted WEEDIAN influence of sounds of the mighty SLEEP but still allowing Druids to write highly original music of their own.
The album is way more progressive compared to the last few Druids releases. The album has a sonic feel with the music allowing the band to explore their Psychedelic and Space Rock musical identity to a grander scale. With a flowing Ambient Post-Rock narrative being heard from the excellent opening song Aether which blends Drone Vocal textures and gloomy musical passages building up to a heavier style of Psych Doom/Stoner Metal.
Second song Path To R is where Druids bring their new creative vision to the masses with distorted Ambient sounds and swirling Psych Space Rock riffs slowly building upto a mass of different noises. The thumping bass being played in the background is the main driving force in this song with the song moving into other areas of warped Psychedelia grooves. The clean vocals have a "Crack The Skye" feel to them with even similar lyrics as well. However, everything still feels mightily original. When the heavier sludgy grooves appear then Druids feel one of the most wildly inventive bands I've heard in quite some time. The Prog Rock/Metal guitar solos move between the classic heyday of "Relapse Records Metal '' but with a modern flow allowing the band to play/write some of the best music to date.
Third song Ide's Koan is an epic track running past the eight minutes mark with Druids once again playing a masterclass of Psych Doom/Stoner Metal that moves between the areas of Ambient based Psych/Cosmic Rock. The song has a wonderfully understated Space Rock score that allows the song to grow naturally. The song has a true "storyteller" vibe that's mainly down to the wonderfully emotive lyrics that accompany the song. The vocals have some epic "head-banging" moments of their own towards the later stages of the song. The music has that diverse "Black Sabbath" amplifier riff worship sound but merged with that Psych/Prog Metal goodness that Druids have been excelling at since their debut release.
Druids keep moving along with the Psychedelic themes of the music for the rest of the album but still allowing themselves to play different styles of music that we haven't heard from them before. Shadow Work is most definitely Druids most "complete" album to date. The lyrics can be quite bleak in places but it allows Shadow Work to have a more humane and organic sound compared to their previous releases.
Standout songs include: Hide, Dance Of Skulls, Othenian Blood and Cloak-Nior Bloom
You will be surprised at how many times you will be singing aloud or shouting out LOUD with Druids on this release which I did regularly especially on songs such as Hide, Dance Of Skulls and Othenian Blood. Though if you want to lose yourself in the great progressive riffs the album has, then that's fine too. Druids have you fully covered on that score as well.
The album allows Druids to cement their reputation as one of the most essential bands within the Sludge/Stoner Metal underground scene and maybe allow them the opportunity to move that little bit closer into the mainstream.
Shadow Work is a masterclass of modern day Psych Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Chris at Pelagic Records for the promo.
Shadow Work will be available to buy on CD/DD/VInyl via Pelagic Records from the links below on June 03rd 2022.
Tuesday, 24 May 2022
Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.
Thank you, yourself man! I’m all good, we just had a little band-BBQ, a little pre-release release party, if you will, with the families. So I’m super stoked over here!
We’re here to talk about your thrilling new album III. What can people expect from this album.
You can expect “II” with extra everything. If you dig what we’ve done so far, you’re gonna love this one. It’s a natural evolution of our sound and “III” really takes it to the next level.
I love the whole concept of this album about a “Star Trek” like story but set within WEEDIAN set grooves. How did you come up with this cool and crazy story.
I don’t really remember how it came to be, exactly, but when me and Erik (Palm, guitars) were starting this thing we were writing riffs and songs and thinking about what we wanted to do with everything, and we were talking about bands and albums that we love and we both gravitated towards more complex bands and concept albums and we were like ”what if we did a concept album?” And that’s where it spiraled out of control from, ha ha ha.
What shows or movies influenced you when coming up with this story.
The most important influences for this story/concept is the works of HP Lovecraft and the Planet Of The Apes-movies. It’s all based in this, weird time travelling, cosmic horror type deal. A lot of Jules Verne in there, also.
Any bands or artists helped you as well along the way.
Mastodon, for sure. Without “Crack The Skye”, 10,000 Years, as either band or concept, probably wouldn’t exist. And, of course, High On Fire, sound wise and for the band name itself. That’s probably the two most important influences, besides the obvious Black Sabbath and Kyuss, without whom none of us would be here.
This is meant to be the final chapter in the “Albatross” trilogy of releases which started all the way back in 2020 with your self-titled debut EP release. Are you sad or happy or this part of your musical journey is coming to an end.
Me, personally, as the lyricist, I’m pretty happy about it. I mean, it’s been a super interesting and exciting world to explore, but the more we’ve been doing it, the more I’ve felt a bit trapped in it, in the lyrical world and in the themes that’s available. So it’s gonna feel good to stretch my wings a bit more and explore some new stuff in the upcoming material. And no, it doesn’t feel sad at all. We always envisioned it as a trilogy and it was always gonna have an end.
What does this mean for the future of “10,000 Years”. Will you be expanding the adventures of the Albatross Crew or will you be focusing upon new stories.
No, the Albatross-trilogy is done. That story is finished. It ends with “To Suns Beyond” and it’s left to your imagination what happens, or doesn’t happen, next.
The new material we’re doing now, after “III”, is also conceptual in its soul. The music itself is very much a continuation of where we’re at now after “III”. We feel that we’ve hit a real sweet spot, musically, with this mix of stoner rock, heavy-ass thrash and expansive, almost, post-metal type stuff. So we’re working from there and seeing where it leads us.
You've recorded your last two albums both during the Pandemic. What were the most challenging times you experienced because of this. And perhaps some of the most rewarding times as well.
In all honesty, it wasn’t all that challenging. Sweden didn’t lock down as much or as hard as the rets of Europe or the world, so we could pretty much continue as usual, band-wise. Sure, things were not as they used to be, but that was more in the personal- and work life. We didn’t have curfews or stuff like that, so we could rehearse as much, or as little, as we wanted, pretty much. And the studio we’ve used is a tiny one, out in the country, so there was never anyone there except us and Tomas (Skogsberg, producer/mixer/all around amazing guy/drinking partner).
It’s good to see III has the same release strategy as your last album. Via different labels and physical formats. How has that strategy benefited the band overall.
It was never really a strategy. We released the first record, the self-titled one, on our own through BandCamp and Spotify and pressed a limited CD-edition through my super tiny DIY-label Death Valley Records, and didn’t really think much of it. And then it kinda took off, people were diggin’ it and it was so unexpected.
We really, truly didn’t see that coming. At all. And then Olde Magick Records and The Cosmic Peddler approached us about doing a vinyl release of that first record, and we did. And then when we did the second record we shopped around a bit and Jack and his Interstellar Smoke Records were super stoked to do the album and we went with them with the disclaimer that we would do CD on our own.
On top of that Olde Magick asked if they could do a tape, and then we were off. It just spiraled from there with different labels and editions and shit, ha ha ha.
Was writing and recording this album harder or earlier compared to your last album.
No, not really. We’ve always been continually writing stuff ever since we started the band. The recordings has just been intermissions, really. We’ve never stopped writing, it’s just been a neverending process, and still is, as we’re busy writing stuff for the next album besides putting together a new live set.
With things slowly going back to normality. How you are coping with everything going around you.
Like I said earlier, we haven’t really had a problem with the way the world’s worked in the last two years, so we haven’t really had a problem with it going back to what we tend to consider normal.
Are you playing more gigs now and will you be touring “III” extensively over the next few months.
Sure, the pandemic has hindered all of us from playing live. But that’s never been our singular goal, or purpose. We love playing live, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not singularly why we do what we do.
We will not be touring this album, like we haven’t been touring any previous record or as we won’t be touring any coming record. We love what we do, we love playing live, but we’re just not in that place of our lives to be able to go touring for weeks on end and not loose anything on the home end.
We do gigs more for our own pleasure, for the fucking hell of it, than for the exposure or the “fame”. Quality over quantity. We’ve got kids and serious jobs and shit, we cant go AWOL for months at a time. But if a cool fucking show pops up and people want some 10,000 Years, we’re there, for sure.
Thank you so much man! So happy to hear that, because we think so too. All the artwork’s been insane, but he knocked it well and truly out of the park with this one.
We’ve always had a lot of input into the artwork. We’ve always had a clear vision of hat we’ve wanted for the different records. For this particular one we had an idea of a spaceship exiting a dying planet and unknowingly into a much worse future. We were thinking a spaceship flying up from earth into a black space but in the blackness there was a faded, distant skull of a pike, the Green King in our mythology. And that’s what I tried to relay to Fran, and he fucking ran with it and kicked everything in everything's ass while giving it his own spin and surprising us at every turn.
Yeah. Oh, man. Fran’s been a beast through these three records.
Yeah, he’s been truly amazing. An integral part of the Albatross-trilogy, for sure.
You’re music has gone down a storm with the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal Community. Has this surprised you over the last two years. Did you expect to get such a great response your music currently has.
Ha ha, no. It’s been an insane surprise. From the beginning we just wanted to play some cool riffs, have some beers and rock out. And that’s what we did. That anyone besides ourselves would dig it was so far out of our collective minds that we didn’t even consider it. And now, here we are with orders shipping all over the world. It just blows my mind every single day. This little, weird sci-fi band that’s just doing our own thing for the fucking fun and pleasure of it, and now people in Hong Kong and on Greenland are diggin’ our stuff?
That so far beyond comprehension I don’t even know what to say..
We’re 6 months into 2022, what have been your favourite albums you’ve heard this year regardless of any genre.
Oh, shit. This’s been an insane year so far. Being a new dad I’ve mostly been blasting classic AM-rock like Journey, Boston and REO Speedwagon. But out of the new stuff I’ve been getting into I’ve gotta recommend Absent In Body, Valley Of The Sun, Cult Of Luna, Steak, Hazemaze, Devil Master, The Mountain King and Geezer.
Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom to your fanbase.
Nothing besides: you do you man, but a woman's body is her own, leave it the fuck alone thank you very much.
And thank you Steve for your everlasting support of the heavy underground. Without people like you, the scene would shrivel and die.