Friday 23 September 2022

TONS - Hashension (Album Review)

Date Released: October 07th 2022. Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Hashension: Tracklisting

1. Dope Dealer Scum 

2. A Hash Day's Night

3. Slowly We Pot

4. Hempathy For the Devil

5. Ummagummo

6. Hashended


Slowninja -  Vocals, bass, synths

Little Stevie - Guitar

Gl├╝ten Freidrich - Guitar

Vito Power - Drums


TONS are slowly becoming one of Italy’s premier underground Sludge/Stoner Metal bands with their latest and perhaps greatest release Hashesnion. Coming off their celebrated split release with WEEDIAN METAL icons Bongzilla, TONS have delivered a more far out there album with the band’s trademark jet black humour still intact.

The music is still of the LOW & SLOW variety with TONS dealing in their WEEDIAN blend of down-tuned Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves with harsh vocals to match. The atmosphere is perhaps more volatile PUNK based and there is still a bleak vibe being played around you.Seedy soundscapes and smoky WEEDIAN flavours that the band have picked up from touring and performing with other legendary bands such as Bongzilla, Unsane and Napalm Death over the last thirteen years of their career.

Opening song Dope Dealer Scum has that Church Of Misery unsettling vibe but with TONS opting for a more sludgier style of Stoner Metal with twisted elements of WEED based Psychedelic Rock/Metal. The song is purely instrumental and it’s one of the gloomiest tracks on the album. Quite unnerving in places especially towards the end of the song even despite the presence of melodic grooves appearing.

Second song A Hash Day’s Night is not anything remotely sounding like The Beatles. This is TONS play a turbo-charged style of Sludge/Stoner Metal with an extreme vocal presence with the harsh based growls that veer almost into Death Metal style but still falling into the side of WEEDIAN Metal. The music is fast and outbursts of frantic aggressive energy with the down-tuned guitars having a more violent presence that can be quite hard to listen to at first. However, the band’s spiky and fantastic self aware lyrics leave you wanting to hear more.

Third song Slowly We Pot showcases another wild down-tuned ride into TONS dark world. Psychedelic guitars and sounds collide superbly well against the harsh vocals yet again. The humour is pitch-black yet again with the band taking a more Doom Metal presence on these tracks. TONS do play a less threatening style of extended guitar riffs which I couldn’t help myself rock out to. The drumming is first rate that allows the music to grow and breathe naturally despite the harsh soundscapes being played everywhere. 

Fourth song Hempathy For The Devil opens with a cool WEEDIAN HEALTH WARNING which only adds to the band’s self aware and brilliant humour for this song. Perhaps the song that is most inspired by Church Of Misery and Bongzilla but still allowing TONS to deliver their own blend of devilish entertainment. The music is standard Stoner Metal fare but the down-tuned aggressive tempo allows the instrumental moments to fully shine. The vocals and lyrics are my favourite parts of the album. Yeah, the song is demonic but at least TONS are having fun with the WEEDIAN genre and perhaps turning the scene on its head. The instrumental work is first rate yet again.

The final two songs Ummagummo and Hashended allows TONS to end this album in highly convincing fashion with more down-tuned and REEFER based sadistic madness with gloomier Psychedelic elements on the closing stages of the album with TONS almost moving into the Post-Whatever genre when the heavy instrumental parts appear before returning to their normal style of music that closes the album superbly well.

Hashension is TONS finest album to date and no doubt this album will make a mighty impression with the WEEDIAN/Sludge/Stoner Metal underground scene for many years to come.

This is one of the most brilliantly entertaining albums of the year and that’s why this record is an Album Of The Year contender.

TONS and Heavy Psych Sounds have done it again….

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo.

Hashension will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from September 30th 2022.


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