Wednesday 31 May 2023

BONGZILLA - Dab City (Album Review)

Release Date: June 02nd 2023. Record Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Dab City: Tracklisting

Dab City

King Of Weed

Cannonbongs (the ballad of Burnt Reynolds as lamented by Gentleman Dixie Dave Collins)


Hippie Stick

Diamonds And Flower

American Pot


Legendary Doom/Stoner Metallers BONGZILLA return with their new album Dab City and it's everything you wanted from an album about the mighty WEED. The band opted for a back to basics approach for this album compared to the 2021 effort WEEDSCONSCIN. This album is less Spaced Out and Psychedelic than that great album with the band returning to their earlier sound. There's still many moments of LOW & SLOW based Psychedelic energy on the record but mostly it's BONGZILLA playing a more aggressive style of FUZZED UP Reefer Based Madness which comes into play throughout the epic opening title track.

Dab City offers almost twelve minutes of a more Punk based and raw-sounding musical opus from the band. The lyrics and vocals offer a more edgy performance with subtle hits of dark comedic humour. The grooves are once again powered by SEEDY and DOWN TUNED themes with a slight Progressive feel on the longer extended and drawn out jams. BONGZILLA add traces of Distorted Psychedelic sounds that have a sense of DARK PARANOIA to them. The music is widely distorted which is a big essence to BONGZILLA's overall sound which makes it one of the perfect tracks about WEEDIAN culture and the raw surroundings that live within this track. 

The sounds are constantly harsh and unpredictable with BONGZILLA playing wicked sounding jams that are quite melodic in places. Dab City runs around fifty five minutes in length and continues playing their bombastic and hedonistic style of WEEDIAN metal with areas of distortion creeping in on the second song King Of Weed.

King Of Weed has a more structured approach to the opening track with the band adding eerie moments of Psych Metal and becoming more interested in playing bass-heavy Sludge grooves. The song is slower with BONGZILLA taking a dramatic pause to allow the listener to soak up the aggressive and violent nature of the lyrics and vocals delivery used for this track. However, this is still an addictive song that the band have conjured up here. 

Third track Cannonbongs (the ballad of Burnt Reynolds as lamented by Gentleman Dixie Dave Collins) needs to be one  of the best sounding tracks on the album with a title like that. And you know what, it is. As BONGZILLA adds classic sounding soundbytes to the mix. The subtle sludgy themes allows the band to play a slower style of music that has a more AMPLIFIER based presence. The song runs past the thirteen minutes mark and the music is mostly of the LOW & SLOW variety and could be considered as an ANTHEM for the WEEDIAN Generation. As the track has a massive "CALL TO ARMS" or "UPRISING" vibe to it. BONGZILLA experimented with their music more here with different musical styles beginning to appear especially with the fantastic drumming and subtle changes to the Psychedelic flow of the album.

Fourth song C.A.R.T.S is the more straight forward track on the album with BONGZILLA playing a classical style of Doom/Stoner Metal but with that slightly rebellious and outlaw feeling appearing within the sound of the guitars and killer vocals yet again. The song has a superb "Stop/Start" approach within the heavy grooves being played throughout the track.

Fifth Song Hippie Stick opens with a KILLER opening soundbyte which draws up the feeling of the whole album before BONGZILLA get straight down to business into playing more WEEDIAN and DOWN-TUNED fuzzy carnage. The song feels like it could have easily come from the Weedsconsin recording sessions. As that has a similar sound to that great album. However, this track also allows the band to offer the album a more exciting creative narrative with its multi-layered approach with the lyrics that ultimately has a Socially Aware Conscience to them.

The final two tracks of "Diamonds And Flower" and American Pot turn the American Dream on its head with its smoke-fuelled commentary on modern day life. This part of the album is perhaps the most cynical sounding of the album. However, BONGZILLA pull this all off with their legendary WEEDIAN charm and finely tuned powerful riffs which drift further into the LOW & SLOW abyss.

Dab City is quite thought provoking and brutally honest in places. However, there's a huge amount of fun to be had with this great album as BONGZILLA have created a high amount of FIRST RATE grooves throughout the album.

This album will no doubt become a firm favourite with BONGZILLA's established fan-base and also within the Doom/Stoner Metal community. Dab City is also one of their best albums they've released to date and may ultimately be my favourite album of theirs yet. That's how great this album is.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo.

Dab City will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from Friday June 02nd 2023.


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MARAGDA Premiere New Song And Video For EVIL SEED From Upcoming New EP

One year after the release of their self-titled debut album and just before heading to their first ever European tour, the psychedelic rock band Maragda decided to record a live session to capture their most direct sound and all the energy that the band had been offering on those live shows in early days.

The result is a live EP containing two brand new songs in which the trio formed by Guillem (guitars, vocals), Xavi (drums, vocals) and Marçal (bass, vocals) shows us two different visions of what they understand by psychedelia. Whilst in "The Reckless" they mix elements of garage rock and heavy psych to tell the story of a perturbated individual who could be any of us; in "Evil Seed" they change to modern psychedelia with a more classic riff to speak about someone who turns into a dead tree after eating a seed.

The live sessions 'The Reckless / Evil Seed' was recorded at Cal Gravat, in an outdoor environtment, on 6th November 2022 by Martí and Marc G. (video) Marçal S. and Joan R. (audio); then mixed and mastered by Marçal Itarte. It's coming out on 2nd June on both video and a limited edition of 300 seven inches vinyl records through the collaboration of Spanish indie labels Spinda Records and Nafra Records

You can view the new video for EVIL SEED below

Artwork by Xavi Pasqual


The Reckless
Evil Seed


Maragda (album, 2021)
The New World (single, 2022)
The Reckless / Evil Seed (EP, 2023)

MARAGDA online: Bandcamp | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Thanks to Spinda Records for all of the info. 

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Saint Karloff - Paleolithic War Crimes (Album Review)

Release Date: June 02nd 2023. Record Label: Majestic Mountain Records / Evil Noise Recordings. Formats: Cassette/CD/DD/Vinyl

Paleolithic War Crimes: Tracklisting

Psychedelic Man

Blood Meridian

Among Stone Columns

Bone Cave Escape

Nothing To Come

Death Don't Have No Mercy

Supralux Voyager


Mads Melvold - Vocals/Strings/Keys

Adam Suleiman - Drums/Percussion


Paleolithic War Crimes is the new album from underground Doom/Stoner Rock Heroes Saint Karloff and it's the first album since the passing of their much missed and highly regarded bassist Ole Sletner who sadly passed away in 2021. Ole was a founding member of the band and his memory is honoured on this album with Ole's brother Elvind Sletner writing the lyrics for the album. 

Saint Karloff continue with the fine grooves heard on their last album with a more confident style of Seventies Doom Metal and Swirling Psych Rock which gives the band a modern clearer sound with the heavy FUZZED OUT beats merging into a Freakier style of Spaced Out Doom/Stoner Rock. You can feel this new creative approach within the WEEDIAN and TRIPPY boundaries of the excellent opening song Psychedelic Men. Inspired by the wave of Seventies Doom Metal bands such as Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus but with a more Progressive feel.  The vocals and lyrics are top-tier with Saint Karloff having demented fun along the way. 

Second song Blood Meridian is another KICK-ASS Doom/Stoner Rock anthem where the instrumental work leads the way for the first minute or so before Mads Melvold atmospheric classic vocals appear. Taking a Spaced Out sound that would make KADAVAR proud. Saint Karloff ease their Stoner themes into the Vintage Doom/Space Rock stylings that can be wonderfully LOUD, AGGRESSIVE and CATCHY at the same time. The Psychedelic and Cosmic leanings of the track allows Saint Karloff to play more Blues Rock based extended instrumental jams with a cool sideline in moments of blissful Psychedelic Freakouts.

Third song Among Stone Columns is a subdued Post-Doom/Post-Rock instrumental song which is quite reflective and perhaps meant as a fitting tribute to Ole. As the song has a wonderfully peaceful sound that offers moments of remembrance and clarity with the semi-acoustic nature of the track. One of the standout moments musically speaking with Saint Karloff playing a different style of music to engage you more on a spiritual level.

Fourth song Bone Cave Escape throws Saint Karloff back front and centre into the Doom/Stoner Rock stratosphere with the music being more fast-paced but with a Classic Hard Rock and Garage Rock edge. The sound ultimately remains WEEDIAN based but the stunning rebellious vocals from Mads Melvold have quite a soulful 1960's edge to them. Shades of The Who and Led Zepp appear on this track with Saint Karloff paying homage to the Classic Hard Rock era with moments of Heavy Stoner Rock beats being wholly melodic from start to finish.

The final three tracks of Nothing To Come, Death Don't Have No Mercy and Supralux Voyager allows Saint Karloff  to embrace styles of Prog Rock, Acoustic Rock and Folk Rock on this part of the album especially on Nothing To Come. Fans of Jethro Tull and Deep Purple will no doubt love Nothing To Come with the different musical styles, vocal harmonies and guitar sounds that appear on this track. 

Death Don't Have No Mercy and Spuralux Voyager allows Saint Karloff to return to their boisterous and highly energetic form of Psych/Doom/Stoner Rock grooves with a more ferocious drive to the music which is another winning style for the band to impress their fanbase with.

Aided by first rate production values, Paleolithic War Crimes is a fitting and loving tribute to Ole Sletner and allows Saint Karloff to release one of their most engaging,technically impressive and brilliantly entertaining albums to date. 

Paleolithic War Crimes is another must have release from Saint Karloff who are fast becoming one of the most essential acts from the Underground Doom/Stoner Rock scenes.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Sheltered Life PR and Majestic Mountain Records for the promo.

Paleolithic War Crimes will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Majestic Mountain Records and Cassette via Evil Noise Recordings from Friday June 02nd 2023.


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Introduce Yourselves: Hex Engine

What is the name of your band?

Hex Engine

What is the genre of music that you play?

Stoner Rock & Hard Rock

Can you give a brief history of the band of how it came together and where it is today?

The band emerged from drummer Bob Maloskey’s obsession with driving, percussive patterns. He wanted to build a group focused on hard grooves that can expand, vary, and turn on a dime. More clearly, he needed to play angry heavy music to avoid going completely crazy. Rhythm section came together first with Christian Johnson on bass. Next, vocalist Ron Atom joined the crew after meeting them at a local dive. He brought in guitar wizard Drew Campbell, and rest was history. The band’s recorded its self-titled demo in 2020, and feverishly wrote of full album throughout the pandemic.

The band’s full length debut, Other People, comes out on all platforms on June 9.

What can people expect from your music?

Crazy riffs, big guitar solos, powerful vocals, and a full maniac live show! A little Clutch, a splash of vocal acrobatics, and just hint o’ prog.

What is the best release that folks should check out from your band?

Check out our latest single, Parasites:

Where can people find you on Social Media?

Hex Engine is a 4-piece original stoner rock/hard rock band from Philly. The group’s blend of riff driven grooves and clean-to-scream vocals are perfect fit for fans of Monster Magnet, Clutch, and All Them Witches. The band’s full-length debut, “Other People,” is a meditation on the bubbling paranoia and repressed anger underpinning everyday interactions. Hex Engine is best enjoyed live; the band has proudly shared the stage with such hard, thrash, and stoner rock mainstays as Thunderbird Divine, the Stone Eye, High Leaf, Cobra Whip, and Double Planet.

The band’s full-length debut, “Other People,” releases on all platforms on June 9.

Album Credits:

Hex Engine is:

Bob Maloskey, Drums
Drew Campbell, Guitar & Backing Vocals
Christian Johnson, Bass
Ron Atom, Vocals

Keyboards on Excuses, Excuses and Deja Sku by Joe Kenney

All songs written, produced, and performed by Hex Engine
All lyrics written by Ron Atom
Recorded at The Dark Church, Royersford, PA and The Engine Room, Exton, PA
Recorded, Engineered, and Mixed by Drew Campbell
Mastered by Stephen Burdick

Saturday 27 May 2023

An Interview With Psych Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers HIBERNAUT

Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers Hibernaut released their debut album in May 2023. I was instantly blown away by their heavy blend of Progressive Sounds that harks back to the classic days of High On Fire, Mastodon and SLEEP but with perhaps with that classic UNDERGROUND style of Aggression and SONIC based Doom/Fuzz grooves.

Their debut album Ingress is currently kicking up a big fuss with the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal Underground scene and it's not hard to see why. The album showcases everything we LOVE and KNOW from the scene whilst forging their own creative path along the way.

I caught up with Hibernaut recently to discuss their musical past, present and future with this great interview. 

You can read my review here of Ingress or you can read my good pal Frazer's excellent review over at Desert Psychlist for a more in-depth analysis.

You can also check out the fantastic review from the awesome site Clean And Sober Stoner

Hi there. Thanks for doing the interview. How are things with you today?

Hi Steve, we’re excited to do this! And we’re stoked people are digging’ Ingress since its release so things are great!

For folks not in the know, can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today.

I started feeling the creative itch and was having fun riffing out on guitar, a change from playing bass with all my previous bands, also writing lyrics and doing my best with vocals, that was a first for me as well.  I was doing demos of songs and I showed them to Zach and asked him to lay down drums. 

We played for years together in Dwellers, Subrosa, and a few other bands so it came together quick. We decided to make a band out of it and brought Josh in on bass. Something was missing and we knew our buddy Joey, also of Dwellers and Iota, would bring the heat, in the form of blistering leads of course. Now we’ve got our second album demoed and are ready to start recording it.

How would you describe your own sound. Well apart from it's LOUD and PROGRESSIVE as hell.

Heavy is the go to for me. Sometimes thunderous and driving, at others slow and plodding with a sense of serpentine, writhing psych. A fevered dream enshrouded in loathing and disgust.

Why did you call yourselves HIbernaut.

Hibernaut is meant in some ways to describe a somnambulistic state. Is the reality we think we know nothing but a waking dream? Is anything real, beyond the world we create in our own minds? Are we dimensional orbiters and the grave is nothing but a portal to another plane? I sure don’t know but I like to imagine such nonsense.

You released your new album Ingress recently. What can people expect to hear from this album?

74 minutes of horror themed stories intertwined with psychological/philosophical musings and a visceral sonic assault?!

The album's had a great response from the Underground scene. Has this surprised you the way folks have taken to your album.

Yes it has and it’s really fulfilling. I feel making music is a compulsion, we do it because we have no choice and when it connects with people it becomes a galaxy, no matter how small, that we as a band and as listeners alike occupy. It’s awesome to be part of something bigger than yourself.

What bands and artists influenced you when recording this album?

Probably everything I’ve ever heard in my life but I’m sure the heavy rotation of all things Matt Pike (High on Fire, Kalas, Sleep, Pike vs the Automaton) played a huge role. Warhorse, Celtic Frost, Saint Vitus, Uriah Heap, Dystopia, Buzzov-en, Goatsnake, Lord Dying, the list could go on for days.

Was this a hard album to write and record for.

Not at all because I enjoyed the process so much! Writing songs and lyrics are incredibly time consuming for me but its meditation, a hyper focused state that is simultaneously vague and unfocused, just waiting for the music and the lyrics to reveal themselves. Working songs out together as a band and recording is a whole other level of enjoyment, once again being part of something bigger than yourself.

What is the creative process or setup within the band? Do you all write the music together or do certain people within the band do that?

It starts with me standing in front of my amp, full volume of course, riffing until I hear something that grabs me. The song starts to write itself from there. Then I start to demo it on computer, partly so I don’t forget it, and show it to the guys once I’ve worked out my parts, the structure and vocals/lyrics. We start jamming it and they all write their parts in the process. It is always incredible to me what we create together and how the song comes to life with our combined influence.

How did you get involved with music? Was it a particular album, group or artist that made you want to write and play your own music?

Josh, bass, showed me bands like Rage Against the Machine and Tool in the mid 90’s when I was 10 or 11 years old and that progressed, or regressed, to punk which got me going. The first band I started, I was banging on drums, played a cover of Fix Me by Black Flag and I think that’s as far as we got. A couple years later my pal Jake gave me Punk Uprisings Vol 2, a compilation with 39 bands and among those was Buzzov-en with their song Plow, it blew my mind man.

What formats is the album being released upon. Any plans for physical media in the future.

We will press it to vinyl and have CDs and Tapes made. We actually have the layouts done and a vinyl master ready to be sent to the plant so its just a matter time.

I see Jordan Barlow designed the artwork for this release. Jordan's a great artist who has designed a lot of great artwork for bands such as 1349, Goatwhore, High On Fire, Pike VS The Automaton and Saint Vitus amongst others. How did you hook up with Jordan.

He is a great artist and has been a pleasure to work with and get to know! The weird part is I didn’t know who he was when I asked him to do our artwork even though I have three of the aforementioned records in my collection. Bad on me for not taking the time to look into artists of album covers that I find inspiring. 

I saw a private commission he posted on Instagram and knew immediately I wanted to work with him, it was the style and subject matter I had envisioned. So I sent him a message and then started to look into some of his other works and boy was I surprised when I realized who he was. Luckily for us he was into doing the art!

Did you let Jordan have free reign when designing the artwork or did you provide some of your own ideas for the album cover. Awesome artwork as well.

I started by sending him the music and lyrics, then he asked if we had any ideas before he started so I sent him a rough sketch with a couple notes scribbled on it. He took it from there and created a piece that encompasses the spirit of the album with his attention to detail and inclusion of underlying themes within the lyrics. I can’t wait to get the record pressed so people can see the artwork in its entirety, the gate fold is awesome! The artwork added another dimension to the album and is now a part of it, so for the third time, greater than the sum of its parts.

What is the current state of the local Metal scene with Salt Lake City, Utah, Do you get the chance to perform gigs on a regular basis and do you have a local scene that you're actively involved with?

It’s thriving, there are so many good bands and people in the scene here! We even have us a heavy metal bar called Ace’s High! There has been a great punk/metal scene along with Doom and Stoner Rock as long as I can remember and nothing has changed other than our faces get older and new ones emerge. We have the opportunity to play shows but our focus has been writing and recording.

Will you be performing any gigs to promote this album locally or further afield!

Once we get the second album laid down we will be out there wherever and whenever we can. We hope its soon!

If you're planning a tour what can people expect from the LIVE version of HIBERNAUT.

Loudness! Just expect to have a good time with us!

Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom for your new and potential fans out there?

Listen to the album loud so you can feel it! Maximum volume yields maximum result as Southern Lord would say.

Words by Steve Howe and HIBERNAUT


De Forbandede - Menneske (Album Review)

Release Date: May 26th 2023. Record Label: Some Studio. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Menneske: Tracklisting

1.Horisontens Tomhed 04:16

2.Stemmer I Disen 05:11

3.Brænd Mig Nu 03:38

4.Omvendt Tyngdekraft 03:02

5.Odyssé 06:09

6.Vinger 03:11

7.Dolker Dig I Ryggen 03:17

8.Stjernetåger 02:59

9.Sort Inferno 04:37

10.Eva 07:57

11.Djevel 02:30

12.Ugudelig Og Vidunderlig 03:11

13.Husk Du Skal Dø 03:59

14.Harmageddons Vej 04:29

15.Næb 07:26

16.De Grådiges Kor 02:56

17.Sølvhorn 04:13

18.Jorden Ved Hvem Jeg Er 03:54

19.Menneske 07:45


Peter - Vox/Guitar

Nicolei - Bass

Ricky - Drums

Michael - Organ


Menneske is the new double album from Psych Stoner Rockers De Forbandede who offer nineteen tracks that expands the Psych Stoner Rock spectrum. With the band adapting their music to encompass styles of Garage Rock, Space Rock and Hard Rock. There’s a subtle Experimental sound that shows De Forbandede have a more adventurous sound compared to other Heavy Psychedelic bands within the European Stoner Scene.

The album is highly melodic with regular outbursts of catchy aggressive sounds that move into Doom Rock areas with a flashy Progressive Rock sound which you can hear on the first few tracks of the album:  Horisontens Tomhed,  Stemmer I Disen and Brænd Mig Nu. The music is quite intricate and very multi-layered with the guitars having a delicate and volatile FUZZ sound. The vocals are quite rebellious from lead vocalist Peter. 

The eerie Post-Rock and Space Rock themed atmospherics brilliantly come into play on stunning second track Stemmer I Disen which has more of a “Heavy Metal” mentality with the band playing a harsher style of music. 

Menneske runs for an epic 78 minutes runtime which could be too daunting for some but De Forbandede sticks to their guns for the more outlandish themes and ideas that appear on the album. The album is shaped up by 70’s Prog Rock, 80’s Classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal and 90’s Stoner Rock with moments of flashy 1980’s Hard Rock excess which the band put to great use by playing epic guitar solos along the way.

I’m not going to review every song on the album as it’s a mammoth album to go through but there’s a ton of great songs I couldn’t get enough of such as: Brænd Mig Nu, Omvendt Tyngdekraft, Odyssé, Eva, Næb and Menneske. These are the songs with the most passionate sounds and vocals which struck a chord with me personally. Obviously this will be different for everyone though at least De Forbandede should have all tastes covered for the Stoner Rock Underground Scene for the mammoth run time of the album.

Menneske is highly original in places which sees De Forbandede play fast and loose with the rules of Heavy Psych and Stoner Rock. With a Space Rock attitude allowing the band to explore HEAVIER and FUZZIER areas on the both the middle and later stages of the album. There’s a sense of depth and perception to De Forbandede overall sound which can be harsh and melodic in equal measure.

The production values are “OFF THE CHART” with the amount of different styles that De Forbandede employ for this album. Sure, it may run out of steam a few minutes before the gloriously epic final song Menneske, which pulls everything back together for one final round of glorious OTT Psych Stoner Rock that packs a mighty punch.

Overall, Menneske is a vibrant and forward thinking album with a few flaws but still offers brilliant entertainment from start to finish.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Audible Music for the promo.


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Friday 26 May 2023

Sphaèros Premieres New Song And Video For Œil’ From Upcoming New Album POSSESSION

After spending thirty years as a multimedia artist experimenting in sculpture, retinal visualization, travel, and poetry, Aqua Nebula Oscillator founder David Sphaèros has channelled his creative energies into music once again for the protean monster; Possession.

When forming the beloved Parisian psych rock cellar-dwellers ANQ in 1999, Sphaèros pulled inspiration from several dimensions. Voodoo, horror, underground literature, early cult cinema and even painters like Jérôme Bosch and Salvador Dali. Chartering more than his fair share of ships across many a sea of creative existence, in 2005 he eventually settled underground. Literally, beneath the capital, establishing a cosmic haven of crypts and sixteenth century caverns to house his art, sculptures, mystic paraphernalia, photos, and videos.


Due for release on the legendary New York label Tee Pee Records this June, Possession is the aural embodiment of those three years spent inside that inner world, living an almost monastic life to find the very essence of creation, and to openly share a vision of both magic and reality as without any concession.


“For Possession, I’ve created seven music pieces and seven films, born from spheres, without a preconceived form, created spontaneously like automatic writing, to let the spirits speak,” explains Sphaèros. “This work is made up of a superposition of successive layers of sound, visions, poetry, and colours. When linked together, these elements create a unique living kaleidoscopic universe that blends seeing, hearing, and spiritual thinking into the Beyond and its parallel worlds.”


Track Listing


1. Lucifero [Listen]

2. Possession [Listen]

3. Sorcière [Listen]

4. Vibration

5. Void

6. Œil’

7. Ange De Lumière


Artist: Sphaèros
Album: Possession
Record Label: Tee Pee Records

Formats: Digital
Release Date: 23/06/2023




Sphaèros on Instagram –

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You can hear the exciting new single Œil from the excellent upcoming new album below.

Thanks to Sheltered Life PR for all of the details. 

Thursday 25 May 2023

Megatheria - Gateway (Album Review)

Release Date: May 26th 2023. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/DD

Gateway: Tracklisting


Glass Mantis





Gateway is the debut album from Instrumental Post-Metal outfit Megatheria. The band fuses aggressive and progressive leaning slabs of Instrumental Post-Metal that draws upon the greats of the scene such as ISIS, Russian Circles, Pelican and BOSSK. I would say Megatheria play a similar style of music to Pelican mostly but allow themselves to add a more Psychedelic and Spacier sound on their debut album.

The album contains five tracks with Megatheria playing an almost different style of Post-Metal for each of the individual tracks which does contain some moments of Ambient Post-Rock in places. There's an Atmospheric Sludge groove that allows Megatheria to become heavier and more distinctive within the early stages of the album especially on the excellent opening song Gateway.

Gateway offers a diverse style of subtle Psychedelic themes which merge into a classic style of Post-Metal with the band having an ISIS (The Band) creative narrative even without any vocals appearing. The sound is quite harsh in tone but also very melodic in the more heavier parts of the track. The instrumental work is impressive and makes for essential listening when Megatheria's tone becomes more abstract that offers a swirling AMBIENT based sound.

Second song Glass Mantis opens with a beautifully played 70's sounding Prog Rock guitar that merges into a more alternative Post-Rock flavour. Subtle hints of Psychedelic Rock and Doom Rock combine for an engaging and highly melodic style that have a certain Russian Circles charm to them. The atmosphere is quite brooding and unforgiving when Megatheria return to their heavier ways. The album needs that change of creative direction to allow Megatheria to prove their Post-Metal credentials. Though, the sludgy undergrooves are wonderfully pulled back and unleashed when the Post-Rock themes have built up a steady rhythm for the band to expertly demolish on the later stages of the track. There's also a lush sounding Post-Stoner effect that appears within this song which Megatheria only use when they absolutely need to.

Third song Bathysphere continues the QUIET vs LOUD dynamic of the previous song but brings a Distorted atmosphere to the party which can be quite DRONE based. However, Megatheria opt to deliver their Sludge/Post-Metal grooves with more aggression and precision for some of the catchiest and heaviest parts of the album. Maybe not as progressive as the other tracks on the album but one with the best riffs on show. The moments of Distorted Feedback and Guitar Reverb can be uncompromising at times but remains an essential part of the album.

Fourth song Hibernation is the standout track on the album with Megatheria offering a song that runs past the ten minutes mark. Subtle flashes of Psych Rock, Post-Rock and Stoner Rock lead the way for the first few moments with hints of Doom, Sludge and Post-Metal being kept wisely in the background. A haunting style of Ambient sounds offers a more Spaced Out feeling. The heavier Post-Metal grooves take up a big chunk of time for this track and become the most exciting parts of the album. The track can be very multi-layered with the different movements Megatheria lay down for this track alone. I also admire the slower delivery that the band plays on this song. As it allows the listener to be drawn into the whole creative environment that Gateway offers from start to finish.

Final song Memorial allows the band to close the album off in style with their highly anthemic sounds which draws upon the classic era of Post-Metal when Pelican and Russian Circles were making themselves known. The music is more direct and engaging here with Megatheria leaving the Post-Rock sounds behind for a truly exciting finish. The mood is more Sludge based with even subtle hints of Mastodon appearing. 

Gateway is a richly observed and complex sounding album full of outstanding production values that throws a light to the classic "HEY-DAY" of Post-Metal. Megatheria also explore and introduce Modern Day themes which ultimately build up to a more refreshing and highly original style to make themselves known with. 

This is a stunning and wholly brilliant album that fans of  Post-Metal should fully get behind. Megatheria has the talent and vision to go a long way within the Underground Post-Metal Scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Megatheria for the promo.

Gateway will be available to buy on CD/DD from Friday May 26th 2023.


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