Thursday 29 June 2023

High Desert Queen & Blue Heron - Turned To Stone Chapter 8: The Wake (Album Review)

Release Date: May 20th 2023. Record Label: Ripple Music. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Turned To Stone Chapter 8: The Wake: Tracklisting

High Desert Queen - Black Moon

High Desert Queen - Drift Into The Sun

HIgh Desert Queen - Roll The Dice

Blue Heron - Able Baker

Blue Heron - Day Of The Comet

Blue Heron - Superposition


Turned To Stone Chapter 8: The Wake is the new split album being released on Ripple Music but this time featuring Stoner Metallers High Desert Queen and Blue Heron with both bands offering around fifteen minutes of new music. There's something for everyone here if you've never heard of these two great bands. 

High Desert Queen play a more aggressive style of music compared to their celebrated debut album though fans of that album will still be superbly entertained with the three tracks contained here with Black Moon and Roll The Dice being the standout moments of their side of this split release. Heavy Psychedelic guitars with a twinge of Thrash and Doom being the most heaviest aspects of the track. Ryan's vocals are undeniable and passionate as ever with his vocals taking a more heartfelt Classic Rock approach on Black Moon. 

High Desert Queen's batch of songs are always melodic and highly atmospheric but I admired their style they adopted on the second track Drift Into The Sun. As the song opts for an Alt Rock and Spaced Out feeling with twinges of haunting Post-Rock/Blues Rock sounds appearing. There's also excellent backup vocals from Morgan who continues that cool style on the final song of Roll The Dice. That song also has some killer Thin Lizzy inspired classic guitar action that allow High Desert Queen to end their set with style and conviction.

Blue Heron offers a more Fuzzed Up and metallic blend of Doom/Stoner grooves across three tracks called: Able Baker, Day Of The Comet and Superposition. Taking the similar sounds where their acclaimed debut album ended, Blue Heron went straight for Stoner Metal overdrive with their style of music. Opening song Able Baker takes a more Fuzzier approach with a mixture of clean/harsh vocals telling an intriguing story with the bombastic and slightly sludgy grooves written for this track. Perhaps a more ferocious style of music compared to High Desert Queen but the contrast works superbly well. Fans of KYUSS, Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu should check out this song for the action alone.

The other two tracks of Day Of The Comet and Superposition feel like they could have come from their debut album with similar melodies and vocal structures contained throughout both tracks. Though, there is a subtle Grungier attitude appearing on Day Of The Comet with the band's heaviest and most interesting creative sounds heard on this track alone. The gruff based vocals have a slight Blues Rock twang but all add up to a HARD ROCKING great time with Blue Heron going into Stoner Metal guitars excess on the later stages of Day Of The Comet. This part can be quite flashy in places but it's hard not to be impressed by it all.

Blue Heron continues that style of music with Superposition but with a slightly more relaxed atmosphere being used to deliver the melodic sounds.

Turned To Stone Chapter 8: The Wake is another stellar chapter within this groundbreaking and acclaimed series from Ripple Music. With this being a Ripple Music release, you know this oozes QUALITY throughout. Everything sounds superb and you can understand why this release is building up such a great BUZZ within the underground Stoner Metal scene. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo.

Turned To Stone Chapter 8: The Wake is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music.

Blue Heron Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

High Desert Queen Links:

Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram