Saturday 30 December 2023

Peacepipe - Peacepipe (EP Review)


Release Date: 29th December 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Peacepipe - Peacepipe  Tracklisting

1.Peacepipe 03:50

2.Zero 03:45

3.The Nine Circles of Hash 03:22

4.Grasslands 03:05

5.Hellephant 03:53

6.Bongdozer 06:22


Californian Doom/Stoner Metallers Peacepipe are WEEDIAN through and through which they prove on their stellar self-titled debut EP.  The band even has a song named Peacepipe within the EP which opens up the record that shows you the style of music that the band play throughout. If you’re a fan of bands of EYEHATEGOD, Bongzilla and Weedeater then Peacepipe are here to entertain you with their down-tuned grooves and harsh vocals with a powerful BASS sound allowing the band to play some DANK and heavy FUZZED UP sounds.

There’s a small essence of the legendary Californian Stoner Metal sound appearing within Peacepipe’s music but they offset this with their bleak style of DIRGE ridden Sludge Metal attitude which becomes ever more present on tracks such as Zero and The Nine Circles Of Hash. There’s a sublime sense of irony and jet black humour appearing within the song titles and lyrics Peacepipe has written for this EP. 

However, the music is the real star here with Peacepipe playing a thrilling style of LOW & SLOW grooves with a meaty FUZZ ROCK sound being played at a cool slow-to-mid pace which allows the band to play moments of Classic Stoner Rock with The Nine Circles Of Hash. Peacepipe are a wicked Power-Trio in their own right and it feels like the guys have been around for years and this is their umpteenth release instead of their debut EP.

The second half of the EP is even better than the first half with the band playing a heavier and doomed out style of music with that kick-ass rhythm section allowing the guitars to play a more threatening style of Sludgy guitars on tracks such as Grasslands and Bongdozer. 

Peacepipe’s debut EP is a superbly entertaining release which has impressive production values allowing Peacepipe to play their drug fuelled sounds to an appreciative audience within the underground scene. These guys have real potential and perhaps be considered one of the bands to look out for in the near future.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe 


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Engraver - Rituals (Album Review)

Release Date: 29th December 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Rituals -  Tracklisting

1.Intro 01:34

2.WitchHouse pt.1 10:06

3.Interlude 01:32

4.The Rat King 05:48

5.WitchHouse pt.2 05:51

6.Stoned To The Bone 07:52

7.Reveal Yourself 06:37

8.Sub-Sky Berry 05:56


Polish Doom/Stoner Metallers Engraver debut album Ritual is one full of Psychedelic grooves which is powered by moody Fuzz Rock and Psychedelic Rock atmospherics with the band using similar creative techniques as fellow Polish Doomsters DOPELORD. Engraver’s music is perhaps more LOW & SLOW with a focus on chants and trance based rituals. The vocals are quite shamanic based with a gloomy perspective which have a certain Occult Doom Metal attitude to them.

Engraver play aggressive and very powerful sounding grooves with traces of bleak sounding Desert Rock, Occult Rock and Alt Metal which can be quite boisterous and chaotic at times which comes through the epic second track WitchHouse pt.1. The song is quite deceiving with it’s style of Shamanic Progressive Rock which soon settles down into a more WEEDIAN classic sound with that trippy CHANT based creative attitude weaving moments of Post-Doom/Post-Stoner sounds with the spirit of THE DOORS appearing on certain stages of the track.

The album does have a couple short tracks at the beginning with Intro and Interlude which allows Engraver to lay down the subtle sounds for the whole album to follow. Third track Interlude sees violent and harsh vocals appear which gives the album a more uncomfortable flow compared to the previous track.

Fourth song The Rat King allows Engraver to play a more bombastic style of Doom Metal with moments of Thrash Metal and classic Heavy Metal which draws into the realm of heavier bands from outside the Doom/Stoner Metal world. The song sometimes cannot decide what it wants to be but that’s one of the main strengths of the track as Engraver focuses on playing some of the heaviest and filthiest grooves on the entire album with a subtle Psychedelic Doom Metal influence ruling the roost.

Fifth song WitchHouse pt.2 has an operatic or theatrical style of Doom/Stoner Metal playing a wicked style of LOW & SLOW with shrieking growls and clean vocals working effortlessly together for a demonic style which Engraver are slowly becoming ever so comfortable in delivering with absolute menace and demented relish. The song is quite melodic but becomes more exciting with its FUZZY and SLUDGE based groove starts to become ever more present. This is perhaps the standout track on the album with Engraver writing classic sounding Doom Metal lyrics which tells a captivating story.

Engraver continues with their demented vision for the final three tracks of the album with Stoned To The Bone, Reveal Yourself and Sub-Sky Berry living upto the WEEDIAN influence of the Doom/Stoner Metal scene. Engraver offer the most melodic sounds on this part of the album but with that gloomy and threatening style of twisted Doom/Stoner Metal slowly moving closely to the world of the OCCULT. Stoned To The Bone and Sub-Sky Berry are the other standout tracks of the album which allows Engraver to play an interesting sound of their own making. The vocals impress yet again which moves from shamanic chants, clean vocals and harsh growls with relevant ease. 

Rituals has classic sounding production values which allows the album to sound like it came from the classic heyday of Doom/Stoner Metal whilst having a modern atmosphere contained throughout. Engraver have delivered a delicious and aggressive record that should see the band acquire a loyal following within the Doom/Stoner Metal underground scene.

Fantastic stuff. End Of.

Words by Steve Howe 


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Thursday 28 December 2023

Aaron Wall From Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers RED BEARD WALL - Favourite Albums Of 2023

I've been a huge fan of Aaron Wall from Texas Doom/Sludge/Stoner Heavy Hitters RED BEARD WALL and I wanted to see what albums he enjoyed the most in 2023. And Aaron's choices don't disappoint which covers a whole lot of different sounds and genres.

See what Aaron has chosen below:

Jesus Piece - ...So Unknown 

Death Goals - A Garden Of Dead Flowers

Baroness - Stone

100 Gecs - 10,000 Gecs


SCARAB - Seeking Chaos And Revenge After Betrayal

Zulu - A New Tomorrow

Bog Monkey - Hollow

Will Haven - VII

Harms Way - Common Suffering


We Are Space Horses - Apologia (Album Review)

Release Date: 29th December 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Apologia - Tracklisting

To Let Go...Absolutely

Absolutely Haunted


God Is A Ghost


Stale Skies

Justification To Build A Monument


Kevn Vanderhoof - Guitar/Vocals/Synths

Gabbi Vanderhoof - Bass

Eric Hochwald - Drums/Cello


We Are Space Horses are a Psych/Doom/Stoner Rock band with moments of majestic Prog Rock sounds. The band describe their music as "If Pink Floyd was influenced by TOOL and not the other way round". That's a very cool description of their debut album Apologia which also sees the band play a similar style of Psychedelic Stoner Rock grooves to bands such as ELDER, King Buffalo, Mars Red Sky and All Them Witches. The Prog Rock element of their music is perhaps the true building blocks of how the band play their interplanetary style of Sci-fi themes with lead vocalist Kevin Vanderhoof performing soulful and melodic vocals.

Apologia is told across seven tracks totalling nearly forty minutes in length. There's a wonderful Shoegaze or Doomgaze style of music being played on the more subdued and heaviest moments of the album. The lyrics are quite surreal which can be quite outlandish which gives We Are Space Horses a subtle Space Rock attitude to their music which you can hear upon the albums opening tracks of To Let Go...Absolutely and Haunt. With a free-flowing Indie Rock or Alt Rock drive appearing within the album, We Are Space Horses can be very hard to classify and play outside the genre conventions of Stoner Rock. 

Apologia can be quite aggressive with its thumping rhythm section with bassist Gabbi Vanderhoof and drummer Eric Hochwald providing the creative muscle for We Are Space Horses to play their mind-expanding grooves. Kevin also performs guitar duties and there's a Post-Rock/Post-Metal swagger to his guitar playing which can be quite trippy in places especially within the standout tracks of God Is A Ghost, Ketoacidosis and Justification To Build A Monument. Shades of bands such as Godspeed You Black Emperor and HUM can easily be distinguished within the Prog Rock surroundings of the whole album.

We Are Space Horses can be quite Ambient aware with their music when Apologia takes the listener on a more sonic based journey on the later stages of the album. The band covers a lot of creative ground across multiple and different areas of music which has a classic 1990's atmosphere merged with the modern day Psychedelic vision which is becoming more and more popular within today's Stoner Rock/Metal scene.

Apologia is an unflinching and deeply emotional record that will surprise you with the creative direction that We Are Space Horses take with the whole album. The record has quite a fearless attitude which is even more captivating by the first-rate instrumental melodies and ambient themes that leave you wanting to hear more.

I'm hoping We Are Space Horses builds up a solid fan base within the Psych Stoner Rock Underground scene with Apologia. As this is a sublime release which has a haunting Art-Rock sound from start to finish which still offers endless amounts of superbly played Heavy Stoner Rock grooves.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe 

Thanks to We Are Space Horses for the promo.

Apologia will be available to buy digitally from December 29th 2023.


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Friday 22 December 2023

Yersin - The Scythe Is Remorseless (Album Review)

Release Date: 10th January 2024. Record Label: Trepanation Recordings. Formats: Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl

The Scythe Is Remorseful - Tracklisting









The Scythe Is Remorseless is the second full album from Sludge/Grind/Crust/Doom/Death Metallers Yersin and it’s quite a brutally aware assault on the senses with Yersin playing a pummelling blend of Psychedelic sounds and bone-crunching Death grooves. The music is aggressive and violently pissed off from the start with Yersin playing a no-holds barred style of Grindcore/Sludge Metal fused with Death/Doom Metal imagery with that classic Blackened Crust flavour showing small elements of Hardcore Punk.

Yersin are from Sunderland located in the North East Of England which is quite close to my hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne. I’ve known about Yersin for quite some time and I was a fan of their 2020 debut release but The Scythe Is Remorseless is on another level. As Yersin play fast and loose with the rules of Extreme Metal and start playing their blend of highly original Grindcore grooves with that powerfully potent Doom/Sludge Metal element being heard on the early stages of the album on tracks such as: Triumphant, Mouths Like Open Graves and The Scythe Is Remorseless.

The music can be quite hard to adapt at first with the ferocious anger coming from Yersin which sees the band being influenced by heavy hitters such as Napalm Death, Fuck The Fact, THOU and Agoraphobic Nosebleed whilst offering some subtle flashes of delivering subtle and menacing moments of Doom/Sludge Metal riffs amongst the Death/Crust/Grind carnage that Yersin mostly create and play with demonic relish throughout the album.

The instrumental work is nothing short of breathtaking in places especially with massive amounts of thrash beats and grindcore blast beasts. Usually I struggle with Grindcore vocals the best of times but I have to say I fully understood lead vocalist Chris' outstanding vocals. Even when they moved into more extreme levels of harsh grunts and growls. The lyrics came perfectly clear to myself and I do struggle with vocals from the Extreme Metal world. 

Yersin plays some of the filthiest, heaviest and brutal EXTREME guitar sounds I’ve heard quite some time especially on tracks such as The Scythe Is Remorseless, Lust For Crust and Doom. The album is quite brisk running under twenty five minutes in length but that’s part of the course for an album such as this. Yersin doesn't waste a second in playing an album that will no doubt cater more to the masses of the Extreme Metal Underground scene than the normal Doom/Sludge Metal crowd I normally cater for.

However, it’s always good every now and then to leave your comfort zone and experience something that leaves you uncomfortable which is what The Scythe Is Remorseless. Yersin delve into the darkest depths of the Extreme Heavy Metal scene with elements of 1980’s Black Metal and 1990’s Grindcore allowing the record to transform into something unexpected and that’s an intelligent release that oozes violent charm and charisma throughout. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Yersin for the promo.

The Scythe Is Remorseless will be available to buy on CD/DD/Cassette/Vinyl via Trepanation Recordings from January 10th 2024.


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Outlaws Of The Sun - Top 50 Albums Of The Year For 2023

Here it is folks. My favourite Top 50 Albums Of The Year For 2023.

I want to thank you all for reading the blog on a daily basis and letting me air my views on releases within the world of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal.

Huge Thanks to Frazer Jones at Desert Psychlist for his never-ending support and words of encouragement. Matthew Thomas for having my back throughout the year.

Same goes to Gizmo, Edd JR Saylor, Todd Stealey, Håkan Nyman, Marty Harvey, Steve Rodger, Mel Lie, James Marshall and Bill Goodman for their support as well.

I must also give a shout out to the Bands, Labels and PR Reps who helped me be aware of albums or bands that I may have missed.

Check my list out for the best sounds I've heard all year.

Everyone have a wonderful Festive Season and A Happy New Year.

1. DOMKRAFT - Sonic Moons

2. SLOMATICS - Strontium Fields


3. Green Lung - This Heathen Land

4. BEASTWARS - Tyranny Of Distance

5. MODDER - The Great Liberation Through Hearing

6. Acid King - Beyond Vision

7. DOZER - Drifting In The Endless Void

8. Ritual King - The Infinite Mirror

9. Howling Giant - Glass Future

10. Bongzilla - Dab City

11. Mountain Of Misery - In Roundness

12. Restless Spirit - Afterimage

13. Black Rainbows - Superskull

14. Foo Fighters - But Here We Are

15. Looprider - Metamorphose

16. Morag Tong - Grieve

17. Clouds Taste Satanic - Tales Of Demonic Possession

18. Mutoid Man - Mutants

19. Borracho - Blurring The Lines Of Reality

20. Church Of Misery - Born Under A Mad Sign

21. Kvelertak - Endling

22. Mars Red Sky - Dawn Of The Dusk

23. High Priest - Invocation

24. Orphans Of Doom - Realms

25. Acid Magus - Hope Is Heavy

26. KIND - Close Encounters

27. L'IRA DEL BACCANO - Cosmic Evoked Potentials

28. Fire Down Below - Low Desert Surf Club

29. Wizard Tattoo - Fables Of The Damned

30. Demons Of Noon - Death Machine

31. Almost Honest - The Hex Of Penn's Woods

32. Psychic Trash - Psychic Trash

33. Hippie Death Cult - Helichrysum

34. Yawning Man - Long Walk Of The Navajo

35. Yawning Balch - Volume Two

36. Yawning Balch - Volume One

37. Deathchant - Thrones

38. The Moth - Frost

39. Demons My Friends - Demons Seem To Gather

40. Moon Coven - Sun King

41. Sonic Moon - Return Without Any Memory

42. Auralayer - Thousand Petals

43. Lamassu - Into The Empty

44. Slung From Under A Tree - Voyage Into Cosmos

45. Swan Valley Heights - Terminal Forest

46. Håndgemeng - Ultraritual

47. Sandrider - Enveletration

48. Dust Prophet - One Last Look Upon The Sky

49. Signo Rojo - There Was A Hole Here

50. Merlock - Onward Strides Colossus

Exclusive Premiere Of New Split Single Featuring DEAD + Defektro / Skullfork

Djaara Country, Castlemaine, Australian DIY heavy duo DEAD preview the first split singles from their ambitious “pop” record, Burn Us Clean throughout December, 2023.

Along with the 9 original A-Side tracks, DEAD have enlisted a plethora of their favourite bands to record B-sides for the project. The result is a compilation of raw and exciting sounds from across the extreme music world.

DEAD are releasing the first three singles and their B-sides throughout December in digital and physical form, featuring Norway’s MoE, Gay Witch Abortion from Minnesota and tracks from Japan’s Defektro and brutal locals Skullfork.

Each 7” is released in an edition of 150 with sleeves hand printed the band. A box set version featuring all nine singles in an edition of 50 has already sold out. Dead will release a second, more modest box set for those who missed out. All singles will be available in digital format.

When it comes to the Burn Us Clean project, the band explain that “like most things DEAD does it started with “Hey wouldn’t it be fun if…” And for us “fun” usually means biting off more than we can chew and pissing off someone in the process.”

We’ve never been a radio band but insist our songs are full of melody – not our fault people are too lazy to find it. So, after recording Raving Drooling (our version of a metal album) we decided to write a pop record; a whole album of singles that could, in theory, be played on the radio.

But how do you make a simple idea like that overly complicated? What if we released each single as a split 7”? And made a box set version as well? Sounds suitably stupid.

But hang on why is this only coming out now? Well…we started this record pre pandemic, with much hope in our hearts. We worked again with Toshi Kasai to track it and laughed till it hurt. And then everything went dark. We couldn’t do what we loved most, we lost people dear to us. And all of a sudden pop songs didn’t feel right. We released a noise record, a live album and the long form instrumental The Laughing Shadow.

And now Burn Us Clean; A series of nine singles that is also an album and also a showcase of some of our very favourite bands active right now. An embracing of the short attention span that permeates our music culture more and more every day. Yes we can write singles!”

Information about the first 3 B-Side Bands:

Vol I - MoE (Norway):

We’ve had the privilege of touring with MoE across continents. They are simply one of the most phenomenally heavy live bands you’ll ever see. A relentless work ethic, an insatiable desire for capsaicin and a refusal to land inside any genre.

Vol II - Gay Witch Abortion (USA):

We met these delightful fellas on our first US tour and they instantly became the most played band in the tour van. Their musicianship is awe inspiring and they write damn good tunes to boot. We just love what they do and how they go about doing it.

Vol III - Defektro and Skullfork (Japan/Aus):

Defektro makes noise music in a way that is absolutely unique to him. Builds his own instruments and pedals and plays with fire on stage; literally, not metaphorically.

Skullfork is unlike any other band we’ve ever come across. The world is better for having their music in it. Sam (Guitarist of Duckeye) somehow steers this unruly ship and we’re so grateful that he does.

DEAD BURN US CLEAN SPLIT 1 with MoE and SPLIT II with Gay Witch Abortion are both out now via BandCamp

You can now listen to the next exciting chapter from DEAD with Defektro / Skullfork performing their own intense blend of Hardcore/Punk/Metal Grooves with a FUCKED UP sense of aggressive and ferociousness that will leave you breathless.

Thanks to Hearts & Minds Agency & We Empty Rooms for all of the details.