Monday 27 February 2023

Dead Shrine - The Eightfold Path (Album Review)

Release Date: February 24th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD

The Eightfold Path: Tracklisting

The Formless Soul

Kingdom Come

As Pharaohs Rise


Rainbow Child

Through The Constellations

The Blackest Sun

Incantations Call


Craig Williamson - Everything


Heavy Psych Stoner Rock One-Man Band Dead Shrine aims high with their debut album The Eightfold Path. An Acid Rock drenched style of Psychedelic WEEDIAN and DOOMED OUT flavours. This is the new project from Craig Williamson of Datura and Arc Of Ascent fame who has been widely praised within the Stoner Rock/Metal Community for his stellar work with both projects.

Dead Shrine takes a similar approach as those bands but with a more Freaky Psychedelic sound. Craig adds Warped Desert Rock grooves with a classic Doom Rock approach. Imagine if Black Sabbath were a bit more freakier with a sideline of KYUSS  based Stoner Metal sounds. There's an aggressive Classic Hard Rock flow heard within the production values of the album.

Craig also shows his love and appreciation for bands such as The Doors and Pink Floyd within the more classic psychedelic parts of the album that make an appearance early on within the sublime opening songs of The Formless Soul and Kingdom Come. 

The music moves onto more gloomier passages that match the rough and ready vibes of Craig's vocals that do have a twinge of the legendary Californian Desert Rock scene to them. The music is catchy with Punk Based Aesthetics bringing 1960's Psychedelics and 1970's Proto-Doom influences into the overall mix. When you add the Space Rock attitude to Kingdom Come then Craig is really in his element here.

Things become Sludgier and Fuzzier on the third track As Pharaohs Rise. This song has a more Punk environment to it whilst retaining a Psychedelic Stoner/Doom edge to it. Dead Shrine starts to bring wavy Spaced Out Extended jams into the mix which gives the guitars a more central sound to the album. The thumping rhythm section is perhaps the standout part of the track. As they're mostly in the background but make their presence known. 

Fourth song Enshrined offers a more Progressive feeling with the screeching guitars and plenty of guitar reverb being played that elevates the AMPLIFIER WORSHIP style of music to higher levels of distorted volumes. This track does feel like a love letter to bands such as KYUSS and FU MANCHU or perhaps the Californian Desert/Stoner Rock scene itself. The music is vibrant and loaded with PISSED OFF energy. The swirling Space Rock and Ambient sounds allows Craig to become more progressive whilst still retaining a more confident WEEDIAN swagger.

Songs such as Rainbow Child and Through The Constellations become more Blues Rock based with a free-flowing Doomed Out attitude being the main order of business for this part of the album.

Craig embraces his inner SHAMAN on the final two songs of The Blackest Sun and Incantations Call that perhaps remain the best part of the album. You can hear influences such as SLEEP becoming known though the album remains its own thing. A loud and buoyant vocal performance from Craig gets his creative message across though it's the SHAMAN style vocals on Incantations Call that impresses the most. 

The Eightfold Path is an sublime album packed full of attitude and first rate grooves from start to finish. Yeah, the whole feel of the album can be rough and ready in places but that's one of the album's main strengths. This album sounds REAL and has a sense of genuine warmth even if it is made of multiple strong strands of WEEDIAN flavours.

This is an absolute gem of an album and could only come from the Doom/Stoner Metal Underground Scene.

Add this to your record collection now. It's seriously that great.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Dead Shrine for the promo.

The Eightfold Path is available to buy on CD/DD now.


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TANKZILLA Premiere New Song And Video For LUCIFER Due For Release on Heavy Psych Sounds on May 19th 2023

Stoner Rockers TANKZILLA are releasing their self-titled album on May 19th via Heavy Psych Sounds and you can hear this kick-ass track LUCIFER from their upcoming release.

Band Bio

Satan fucked a Panzer and the offshoot is TankZilla. Or so it seems. Well this what really happened in the Eindhoven grit: after Peter Pan Speedrock went tits up singer and guitar player Peter van Elderen hooked up with former Wolfskop drummer Marcin Hurkmans. 

As soon as these music junkies started jamming they got on like a house on fire. It felt as if their motor skills were connected like a motherfucker with a brother from another mother. This two-headed creature wrecks like a tank and packs Godzilla-sized riffs and beats. In the same vein as Repomen Peter's short-lived but heavier-than-thou Roadburn alumni the tarmac grooves are scorching. TankZilla goes full-tilt boogie.

More Information

As we write this, it's hard to realize the long road we’ve traveled to get to this debut full length.

We started rehearsals 5 years ago with absolutely no ambitions. We were without bands at the time, both cranking amps and slaying drums at the local rehearsal space, so it felt only natural to jam together. Nobody could have guessed what was about to happen, ‘cause after we decided to join forces, all hell broke loose. People were storming the rehearsal room triggered by the massive wall of sound and were shocked to discover it was just the two of us who were responsible.

While shows were growing at a fast rate, we started fine tuning the ’TankZilla sound’. It's still hard to describe, but the term ‘stoner blues swamp boogie’ got most of it covered.

Not long after, we were invited to perform at the almighty Roadburn festival where we released our first 7 inch.

Fast forwarding through the pandemic, we finished writing a dozen songs, eleven of which we captured on our first ‘serious’ recording.

And here you have it. Recorded in Belgium, no Dutch beers involved, no fillers, no fancy stuff. Just the result of true & pure rock’n’roll style recording sessions.

We are very proud to present to you our first full length. Put it on and crank the shit up ‘cause this one goes to eleven!


All songs written by Peter van Elderen & Marcin Hurkmans.
This album was recorded live at the Ultra Elektric Studio's from the 1st till the 3th of July 2022.

Recorded by Alessio Di Turi and assisted by Cedric Maes, no Dutch beers were involved at any time during the session!

Vocals recorded and album mixed at Anker Studio (studio Iglesias) by Bootleg Recordings aka Peter van Elderen.

Mastered in the Void by Pieter Kloos, and published by NFL / BMG Rights Management.

The album will be available to Pre-Order from Heavy Psych Sounds.


Thanks to Purple Sage PR for all of the promo details.

Sunday 26 February 2023

Emperors Lair - Dare Mighty Things

Release Date: February 14th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD

Dare Mighty Things: Tracklisting

1.House of the Righteous 06:47

2.Gravity 08:46

3.Kronos 09:17

4.The Mind's Eye 12:07

5.Deimos 03:24

6.The Elephant 06:30

7.Dare Mighty Things 10:42


Luis - Guitar

Djast - Bass

Simon - Drums & Samples

Sebastian - Vocals


Dare Mighty Things is the new album from Psych Doom/Stoner Metallers Emperors Lair and it’s quite a slow paced journey with a big FUZZ ROCK attitude to match the sludgy Psychedelic sounds the band use to propel their Progressive vibes to the next exciting moment. There’s also elements of Spaced Out Rock with an AMPLIFIER based adventure contained with the majority of the songs. Taking cues from bands such as Black Sabbath, KYUSS, MONOLORD and SLEEP but with a cool style of their own. 

Emperors Lair brings a gloom laden atmosphere with classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal vocals on the stunning opening track House Of The Righteous. Extended Psychedelic grooves work really well within this song that can be quite Groove based in places. The song echoes with delicate FUZZ energy even when played at a slow to mid pace. There’s even a LOW & SLOW approach to the riffs when mixed with the Ambient driven synths that appear on this track.

Second song Gravity is another FUZZ based driven number with a down-tuned BASS heavy sound leading the way. The music is a super fresh mix of classic Doom Metal and modern day Stoner Metal. The lyrics are perhaps more fantastical but the vocal delivery used here gives Emperors Lair extra weight in the heaviness department. The music is quite Progressively Psychedelic with the down and dirty FUZZ ROCK grooves. The later stages of the track is a sweet mix of Post-Doom and Post-Stoner moments that have a more melodic feel to them before Emperors Lair goes all out for a fantastic Hard Rock finish.

The album runs about fifty seven minutes in length and Emperors Lair does include some interesting soundbytes into their songs and use of Science Fiction folklore into the whole flow of the story for the album. However, the album has a warm organic feeling that sees the band write some top-notch lyrics on songs such as Kronos, The Mind’s Eye and Dare Mighty Things.

The later stages of the album do veer into more Psychedelic and Fantastical based narratives which suit the WEEDIAN and PROGRESSIVE themes of the album.

My favourite tracks for myself are Kronos, Deimos and Dare Mighty Things which allows Emperors Lair to create some highly original grooves of their own. The album is warm and engaging throughout with top-notch production values allowing Emperors Lair to show a more adventurous spirit that I didn’t initially expect.

Dare Mighty Things knows what it needs to be and this allows the ban to play to their creative strengths’ with some bone-crunching DOOMY and SLUDGY riffs that will keep listeners coming back for more repeated listens for a long time to come. 

Emperors Lair have offered a bold vision with this release and could see the guys become more well known within the Doom/Stoner Metal Community. The FUZZ is strong with this release and allows Dare Mighty Things to be an outstanding release.

Words by Steve Howe


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ABANAMAT - Self-Titled (Album Review)

Release Date: February 17th 2023. Record Label: Interstellar Smoke Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

ABANAMAT - S/T: Tracklisting

1.Djinn 06:16

2.Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom 05:50

3.Voidgazer 08:24

4.Flying Fish 05:39

5.Amdest 06:30 video

6.Night Walk 09:06


Tyler Pesek - drums

Majd Alkillane - bass

Dima Zangiev - guitar

Max Goetsch - guitar/vocals


ABANAMAT debut self-titled album is made up of Eastern Trippy Sounds and reaches the vast vortex of the Psychedelic Stoner Rock underground scene. Happily drawing influences from Seventies Prog Rock movement to the classic early days of Stoner Rock/Metal for a release that’s brimming full of fantastic Proggy Psychedelics with a twinge of Doom Rock. 

Opening song Djinn is quite an adventurous sound packed with melodic Eastern fused guitars and extended jams that feels inspired by bands such as Earthless, Nebula, Black Sabbath and even bands from the Space Rock world. There’s a cool aggressive slant to ABANAMAT delivery with their music and the swirls of Space Rock add an extra layer of SPICE especially when the music becomes heavier towards the later stages of the song

Second track Thunderbolt Of Flaming Wisdom continues with the Prog Rock and Psych Rock flourishes for a more classic style of Heavy Psychedelic journey. The music is more calmer but still with bouts of pure RAWK aggression when the time calls for it. The band offer another instrumental track which is full of trippy extended jams and intelligent drumming leading the way. The song is quite JAZZY in places where the band play highly melodic strands of Eastern based music. The song effortlessly moves to a Psychedelic Doom environment with the guitars offering a more “Post-Whatever” feeling and sound to the album. 

Third song Voidgazer sees the band open with a more reflective and laid back style of music with that Seventies Prog Rock sound leading the more creative atmosphere of the album. ABANAMAT wisely adds vocals for a personal track where the song easily has a more “Dreamlike” quality that’s reminiscent of Pink Floyd and perhaps Jethro Tull. The added use of warped Psychedelics and perhaps even the use of synths (I could be wrong on that one) brings a more “PROTO METAL” feeling to the album. When the different duelling guitars appear then the band opt for a CLASSIC TWIN GUITAR sound that works superbly well for the album.

The second half of the album is perhaps more DOOM based with a heavier style of music being the main creative choice for ABANAMAT to weave their magical and trippy EASTERN based sounds upon the listener. 

Standout tracks on this part of the album are: Flying Fish and Night Walk. 

ABANAMAT offers a gloriously hip and classical sounding album that brings some first rate modern based production values that allows this album to move at it’s own highly energetic and original rhythm. This album should gain ABANAMAT a huge following within the Psych Stoner Rock/Meta. Underground scene.

Definitely check this great album out when you have the chance. As it comes highly recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to ABANAMAT for the promo.

The album is available buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Interstellar Smoke Records


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Saturday 25 February 2023

Machiavellian Art - Indoctrination Sounds (Album Review)

Release Date: February 24th 2023. Record Label: Riot Season Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Indoctrination Sounds: Tracklisting

1.Serotonin Problem 05:22

2.Faceless Voices 03:16

3.Indoctrination Sounds 02:48

4.Revolution 03:46

5.Let Down 02:38

6.Watch Them Crawl 02:12 video

7.Digbeth B5 05:17

8.Neanderthal (Bonus Track) 02:55

9.Death in Paradise (Bonus Track) 04:16

10.Thought Abduction (Bonus Track) 02:37

11.Serotonin Problem (Bonus Track) 02:04

12.Verbal Lobotomy (Bonus Track) 02:42

13.Perhaps A Lunatic Was Simply A Minority Of One (Bonus Track) 03:16


Amy Murphy - Bass Guitar

Benjamin Thomas - Vocals and Saxophone

Joe Parkes - Guitar and Noise

John Andrews - Guitar and Vocals

Sam Hunt - Drums


Indoctrination Sounds is the new album from Doom/Noise/Hardcore Punk/Shoegaze collective Machiavellian Art and it’s weird as hell. There’s a manic sense of fun to be had with this album with the band even bringing a Saxophone into the mix. I’m not the biggest fan of the Saxophone being played on Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums but I was surprised how much I enjoyed Benjamin’s performance here. 

The album is a mixture of different sounds from the Doom Metal, Noise Rock and Punk Rock scenes but with a demented shoegaze effect leading the way. The instrumental work is frantic and built upon layers of stylish Noise Rock beats and freakish Psychedelic glitches with a gloomy afterthought which you can hear to great effect on the excellent two opening song of Serotonin Problem 

There’s a MELVINS and BORIS influence heard within the HEAVIER sludgy sounds when the band on this track decide to play standard grooves but don’t expect that to happen all the time. As the band primarily use AMPLIFIER DISTORTION and DRONE based freaky notes for this track.

The Hardcore Punk element does come on strong on the next two tracks Faceless Voices and Indoctrination Sounds as well but also a lovely Psychedelic Rock beat appears within the crazy Noise Rock carnage that’s primarily the forefront of this track. Benjamin’s vocals are not what you expect but he puts in a great vocal performance here on both tracks. There’s huge amounts of DOOMED OUT SONIC EXPERIMENTATION here which may get too tiresome for some listeners.

The rest of Indoctrination Sounds follows that same creative path with the band becoming more Noise Rock focused on the later stages of the album. The album remains constantly gloomy and experimental with some sublime extended grooves along the way if slightly on the warped experimental side. 

Standout tracks include: Revolution, Watch Them Crawl and Digbeth B5.

The band have added their 2019 debut release as bonus tracks. They’re not as good as the main album but there’s real cool sounding moments on these tracks. They just don’t have that great creative spark as the main part of the album.

Machiavellian Art is perhaps better suited to the more experienced Experimental/Avant-Garde music fan. As there’s a ton of crazed grooves and trippy sounds going on with this album. I can see why Riot Season Records released this album. As it’s a marriage made in musical heaven. You want a weird and dangerous album with a lot to say then Indoctrination Sounds is that album. 

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Riot Season Records for the promo.

Indoctrination Sounds is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Riot Season Records



Friday 24 February 2023

Eye Of Aquila - Diviniis Requiem (Album Review)

Release Date: March 17th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

Diviniis Requiem: Tracklisting

Diviniis Requiem







Matt Snyder - Vocals

Nicole Ridge - Guitars

Bruce Fowler - Bass

Joey Neves - Drums


Diviniis Requiem is the debut full length album from Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metallers Eye Of Aquila. The band also play sounds that are from the 90's era of Grunge and Sludge Rock/Metal with a trippy Spaced Out groove. There's a deep love for bands such as Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, KYUSS, Black Sabbath, Mastodon and even A Perfect Circle with Eye Of Aquilia making music that's essentially of their own design and creation.

Opening song Diviniis Requiem has a harsh environment for the band to bring their dark Psychedelic sounds to the narrative and structure that the album wisely follows. There's a sense of bleak and scorched Desert Rock movements within the entire song. This allows Eye of Aquila to explore heavier and distorted areas of Doom/Stoner Metal, The grunge aspect has a certain Alice In Chains feel with the lyrics and the catchy aggressive vocals have a sense of realism to them. The music is melodic, trippy and has many different levels of WEEDIAN  flavour with an AMPLIFIER delivery being applied to the later stages of the song. There's some wonderfully Prog Doom/Stoner guitar solos along the way that will instantly catch your attention.

Second song Compulsion sees Eye Of Aquiia continue their "SONIC" based mission with a thumping Rhythm Section laying down impressive heavy ideas for lead guitarist Nicole to fully expand their "WALL OF SOUND" atmosphere to greater heights with epic Psychedelic grooves that have a free flowing attitude to them. Matt impresses yet again with his Grungy inspired vocals that have a sense of optimism and adventure to them even through the more bleak aspects of the song. The album does a "Post-Whatever" and "Shoegaze" aspect that fully comes to life on this track alone. The legendary sound of the Californian Desert/Stoner Rock scene is injected with a sense of bleak nihilism with the lyrics the band have written for this track and this makes up for being my favourite track on the album.

Third song Silos opts for a more Psychedelic and Sonic based rhythm with a more Doom Metal orientated sound that has echoes of Rage Against The Machine on the early stages of the song. Matt's vocals have a more "PROTEST" feel to them but when the emotionally charged moments appear then Matt switches to a more subdued style which works brilliantly well. The rest of the band focus upon creating a "LESS IS MORE" approach that remains powerful and allows Eye Of Aquila to march on confidently with their focused Doom/Stoner Metal sound with perhaps a Sludge Metal swagger starting to appear. The second half of the song features some of the best SONIC and PSYCH grooves on the album with perhaps an extended progressive feel starting to be known.

With the groundwork laid down on the first half, Eye Of Aquila becomes bolder with the main creative lyrical themes of the album. The music is more Psychedelic and Grunge driven but still allows the band to explore the other WEEDIAN aspects of their sound.

The songs Tetragrammaton, Animals and Staring are equally as good as the first half with Tetragrammaton being another one of the standout tracks. Expect more wonderful free-flowing Psychedelic/Grungy guitars with moody Doom/Stoner Metal atmospherics bringing loud outbursts of aggressive grooves that leave you wanting more.

This album is boosted by excellent production values that helps Eye Of Aquila deliver a brilliant and thought provoking album that will surprise a lot of folks within the Underground scene especially with its use of different aggressive slabs of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal whilst still offering a more humane feeling along the way.

Diviniis Requiem is an essential release and has the hallmarks to end up becoming one of the best albums of the year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to the band for the promo.

Diviniis Requiem will be available to buy on DD from March 17th 2023


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Stoner Rockers HIGH LEAF Return With New Lineup And First Upcoming First Shows Of 2023

After a short winter hibernation, Philadelphia Stoner Rock quartet HIGH LEAF (All Caps) has shaken off the frost to announce their NEW 2023 lineup and first shows of the year. You can also be on the lookout for information regarding the band's debut album and single coming in the next few weeks!


Patrick Fiore - Lead Guitar
Corey Presner - Vocals/Guitar
Brian Schmidt - Bass
Dean Welsh - Drums

You can catch the band live at:

04/30/2023 @ The Union Firehouse- Mt. Holly, NJ with Sleep Signals, Silvertung, Sick Century
06/22/2023 @ The Maryland Doom Fest- Fredrick, Maryland

Follow the band at:

Black Helium - UM (Album Review)

Release Date: March 03rd 2023. Record Label: Riot Season Records. Formats: CD/DD/VInyl

Um: Tracklisting

Another Heaven

I Saw God

Dungeon Head

Summer Of Hair

The Keys To Red Skeleton's House (I Open The Door)


Stuart Gray - Guitar/Vocals

Beck Harvey - Bass/Vocals

Diogo Gomes (Drums)


Psych Stoner Rockers Black Helium with their third full length album Um and it sees this hugely talented Power Trio venture into darker areas of Space Rock, Sludge Rock and a healthy dose of Drone Rock. The music continues Black Helium's love affair with extended Psychedelic passages and Spaced Out vortexes which all manifest into Extended Freaky Guitar Jamming sessions and jazzy drumming throughout the album.

Opening song Another Heaven is full of glitches, Ambient Noises and Krautrock Sonic sounds with Black Helium creating Psych Stoner Rock jams around this weird and wonderful sound. Inspired by the freakedelic Psych/Space Rock Movement from the 1960's and 1970s with a thrilling modern day Drone/Sludge Rock undergroove appearing. The vocals have a Drone/Space Rock feel to them with effective lyrics setting up an almost trans-dimensional feel. The song truly comes its own original "thing" when Black Helium move to a heavier and muscular style of Sludgy based sound with small flashes of Sonic Experimentation.

Second song I Saw God goes full-on Psychedelic Paranoia with bold creative statements happening with the lyrics. The song feels it was written to be thought-provoking in places with the song touching upon individuals being in personal contact with the almighty himself through the power of LSD. Though, I could be reading too much into the lyrical content despite my atheist beliefs. The music however is structured beautifully with Black Helium blending melodic grooves with a free-flowing Krautrock/Stoner hybrid sound that once again has a Jazzy and Classic Psych Rock flow to it all. Flirting between hopeful 1960's Psych/Power-Pop grooves and the darker WEEDIAN sounds that remain quietly confident in the background when Black Helium need to call upon a heavier style of music. 

Third song Dungeon Head is more of an experimental interlude with solitary drums and lush moments of gloomy Psychedelic sounds. More Ambient driven but still an interesting style of music with the vocals being quite solitary and distinctive. Black Helium use the two and half minutes run time to their advantage and bring a more emotional style of "Weirdo Rock" to a satisfactory conclusion.

Fourth song Summer Of Hair is another slice of fantastical Psych/Stoner/Krautrock exploration into the darker depths of the music levels they create and play here. More Drone based with Electronica beats working surprisingly well. This song is perhaps the most "riff-centric" out of the whole album and perhaps with the fastest creative flow. As Black Helium slowly built up their ARSENAL of different Psych/Space Rock sounds for a more aggressive style of music that easily encompasses the last 40 years of the UK Hard Rock scene to the band's creative advantage. 

Firth song The Keys To Red Skeleton's House (I Open The Door) is a mind-expanding fifteen minutes plus epic where Black Helium include everything but the kitchen sink for this album. It's easily their most ambitious track yet with the band fully getting into the Prog Rock world. Black Helium play strands of Psych Rock and Stoner Rock with the swirling Space Rock rhythms allowing Black Helium to generate a more Doom based feeling to the album. There's a lot to take in with this song but it remains the album's standout track and perhaps the best song the band have written to date. The song's best moments are the sullen Ambient Noises and the laid-back sounds turning into heavier slabs of Hard Rock/Metal. The song also features great vocal performances from both Beck and Stuart with a thunderous drumming performance courtesy of Diogo.

Um is quite a different record from Black Helium and feels tonally different from their previous releases. With first rate production values, Black Helium have offered the Stoner Rock world their best and perhaps craziest release to date. This allows Black Helium to be one of the best Psychedelic Rock bands the UK underground scene has to offer. It's great to see Black Helium teaming up with Riot Season Records once again. 

Um is a huge sounding album and Black Helium deserves to gain a wider audience with this album. Simply unmissable entertainment from start to finish.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Black Helium and Riot Season Records for the promo.

UM will be available to buy on CD/DD/VInyl via Riot Season Records from March 03rd 2023


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