Sunday 15 May 2022

Blue Heron - Ephemeral (Album Review)

Release Date: May 27th 2022. Record Label: Seeing Red Records / Kozmik Artifactz. Format: DD/Vinyl

Ephemeral - Tracklisting



3.Push the Sky 

4.Infiniton Field

5.The Buck

6.Black Blood of the Earth 

7.Where One Went Together



Mike Chavez - Guitar

Ricardo Sanchez - Drums

Steve Schmidlapp - Bass

Jadd Shickler - Vocals


Ephemeral is the debut album from Desert/Stoner Metallers Blue Heron and is made up of highly talented individuals from the Albuquerque, New Mexico underground scene. Their debut album is an edgy take on the standard themes of Desert/Stoner Rock with extra Sludge/Doom Metal grit with a Blues Rock and Punk Rock flow allowing Blue Heron to stand on their own creative merits.

The album has a gritty attitude to it all which you can hear on the excellent opening song Futurola which fuses the legendary sounds of the Californian desert which give us bands such as KYUSS, Fu Manchu and Yawning Man with a Sludgy distorted attitude that brings out the more streetwise attitude from Blue Heron. A solemn Blues Rock vibe allows lead vocalist Jadd Shickler to stick his Punk-ish based vocals to good use with dark tales of the desert which lives in both the classic days of 90’s Desert/Stoner Rock and the more modern day based Sludge/Doom sounds that surround the later stages of the song.

Second song Sayonara sees Blue Heron go all in with a more Progressive and Psychedelic on the distorted Sludge/Stoner based flow that leads the way with this song. A haunting Desert/Drone attitude allows the band to play a solitary style of music with Jadd’s vocals slowly taking their time to bring their message to the Stoner Rock/Metal masses with a BLUES ROCK twinge being slightly deceptive in places. The music is the main draw here as it slowly moves into different areas of WEEDIAN attitude but that Progressive flair brings a delicate balance of FUZZ based gloomy elements to the album you wouldn’t quite expect.

The rest of the album sees the band return to a less progressive structure seen within Sayanora but still playing a dynamically powerful Psychedelic sound that showcases everything we love so well from the underground Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal scenes. Heavy FUZZY and DISTORTED grooves that have the power to last an age and perhaps show the next generation of music fans who wonderfully exciting Sludge/Stoner Metal can actually be.

You can hear this on great songs such as: Push The Sky, The Buck, Black Blood Of The Earth and Salvage.

These are the other songs on the album where Blue Heron impresses the most with the band switching musical styles with carefree attitudes and a knowing authority of the music they actually play on this album. The music does pay homage to the heavy hitters of the scene such KYUSS, Fu Manchu and Black Sabbath but also newer bands such as Lowrider, Truckfighters and Big Business.

However, Blue Heron proves on Ephemeral that they’re in the driving seat for this release and you’ll be blown away by the amazing instrumental work that Mike Chavez, Ricardo Sanchez and Steve Schmidlapp lay down for this album. With Jadd Shickler stellar vocals holding everything together. 

Jadd also runs famed indie record labels Magnetic Eye Records and Blues Funeral Records and knows a thing or two about the underground scene. Hell, the whole band does. So the quality of this band was never in doubt.

It’s good to see Seeing Red Records and Kozmik Artifactz releasing this album themselves jointly and not Jadd’s famed own record labels. Two amazing underground labels that do stellar work within the scene. 

Anyway, maybe I have waxed too lyrical and perhaps slightly “romantic” about this album. That I offer no apologies.

This is a type of record why I love the Stoner Metal scene so much. As it fuses the classic sounds of the 90s Desert/Stoner Metal scene whilst still bringing elements from today’s vibrant Psychedelic/Progressive based sound that is becoming the norm for bands and albums such as this. 

Ephemeral is a darker style of WEEDIAN based musical therapy that we need for today’s fucked up world we currently live in and I loved every delicious FUZZED up part of this album with a passion. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Seeing Red Records and Red Lead PR for the promo

Ephemeral will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from the links below on May 27th 2022.

Kozmik Artifactz

Seeing Red Records


Facebook | BandCamp