Nov 19, 2014

Doomology Vol. 3 - Silberbart ...

For this edition of Doomology we have a band from the annals of Krautrock. A very heavy and mind destroying band who went by the name of Silberbart. Silver beard being the meaning of that name. They formed sometime in 1970/1971 in the town of Varel, which is located in Lower Saxony, Germany. The idea for the band came about after guitarist Hans Joachim “Hajo” Teschner’s previous group, The Tonics, had disbanded. He was interested in playing more interesting and improvisational music rather than the commercial, beat pop of The Tonics. The original lineup of Silberbart consisted of Hans singing and guitaring, Werner Klug as the bassist, and Gerd Baker on the drums. However Gerd was soon replaced by Peter Behrens who was considered the best drummer in the area. As it is with many of these groups starting out, their song repertoire featured covers from the a lot usual suspects (i.e Zeppelin, Hendrix, Grand Funk, Cream, Deep Purple, etc). The band managed to get weekly gigs at a Kurhaus (a German spa or health resort of some sort) which enjoyed somewhat of a cult status. They also gave concerts in other venues in the surrounding area but rarely ventured away from home. As money was tight and gigs provided minimal income to work with, they had no manager and were forced to organize everything themselves. The band did hook up with a manager at one point, but after their second gig with him he “mysteriously” disappeared; conveniently with all the cash receipts.

During their existence they opened up for many popular bands at the time such as Eloy and Frumpy. However after Silberbart’s usually ferocious and devastating performances the headlining bands would often sound like “well-behaved high school bands” in comparison. The group only managed to record a single LP during their career. 4 Times Sound Razing was recorded between April and May of 1971 on a cheap 4 track recording system originally intended for voice recordings. The four songs were performed as if they were playing live and the LP was only meant to be a demo; but for whatever reason it was released as an album. Although well received, the album was probably way too out there for the record label to consider letting the band record a second (this was the same label Teschner’s previous group had been with so there was quite a musical contrast). Unfortunately the band’s financial situation never really improved, even after the release of the album. And although popular in Varel, they were barely known outside their hometown. None of the members had any permanent jobs either so the only source of income was through gigs. Because of the difficulty of the situation they decided to call it quits at the end of 1972. All three band members moved onto various other careers and prospects; some musical, some non-musical. Bassist Werner Klug is employed as a trucker and still plays with various rock and blues bands. Peter Behrens went on to play with the German synth pop group, Trio. And guitarist/vocalist Hans Joachim Teschner completed his music studies and has taught at several different music schools in Germany. In addition he is involved in many different writing projects as well as operating a bass guitar with a jazz trio.

The album these guys made is an absolute mind-fuck and then some. Four songs of total madness as well as the heaviness to back it up. You’ll read lots of Blue Cheer and Guru Guru comparisons and that gives you a bit of an idea of what you’re about to hear. Even so, these guys are totally unique and sound like no one else out there. The first song is by far the most accessible and sober song of the bunch. It definitely has the heaviness in spades, but things aren’t too out of control yet. However get ready to take the plunge into complete psychosis for track number two, Brain Brain. It begins soft and dreamlike but the trip soon takes a turn for the worse and you will find yourself searching for a nearby straight razor to remove the beetles from under your skin. You’re brain brain will definitely go bye bye soon. But wait, you’re not finished yet, there’s still more horror up ahead. Track three isn’t quite as insane as the previous song, but it’s still extremely heavy and takes you ever closer to complete mental breakdown. The first half of the song consists of badass, catchy guitar and bass interwoven with some fun soloing and trippy effects.

But second half is all brutal, lysergic jamming. It entertains, horrifies, and confuses. And it eventually carries you into the final phase of the journey entitled Head Tear Of The Drunken Sun; 12 more minutes of total insanity. Who the hell knows where they came up with the title, but it’s another solid track and is possibly my favourite from the album. Like the third song it begins with some heavy and catchy guitar and bass and for the second half goes for total experimentation and mind fuckery. And then the trip is over. Your sanity is now cured and your mind can see. The title, 4 Times Sound Razing, basically says it all; your brain will be razed four times during course of listening to this. There aren’t many albums out there this mind bending. Not to mention how heavy it is as well. A definite treat for fans of experimental, adventurous, Krautrock mixed with Sabbath/Cheer/Pentagram heaviness.


Another band that could have and should have been. They were definitely ‘out there’ (like really fucking far out there). And it’s such a shame they only have four actual recorded songs to their name. But the quality over quantity expression definitely applies here. And I can just imagine what kind of brain damage you would have been able to cause by dropping some acid and seeing them live. Unfortunately this is impossible until time travel is invented, so for now I recommend you go out and listen to their sole album and enter a psychedelic coma.

Recommended tracks:

-All of them (this album needs to be experienced as a whole)

Words: Brian

Nov 14, 2014

NEWS: PENTAGRAM - 'All Your Sins' Double-Disc DVD Coming In February ...

U.S. doom metal legends PENTAGRAM will release an extensive double-disc DVD collection, titled "All Your Sins", in February 2015 via Peaceville. The set features over six hours of numerous electrifying concerts spanning three decades — all straight from the band's collection.

PENTAGRAM, the highly influential American heavy metal/doom act fronted by mastermind Bobby Liebling, formed in the early 1970s, though their debut album — now known as "Relentless" — didn't see a release until 1985. Through four decades of adversity and triumph, PENTAGRAM has become a legendary international act and have firmly stamped their name in the heavy metal history books.

This first-ever official PENTAGRAM video collection, "All Your Sins" recovers, repairs and resurrects the earliest known footage of these doomed metal pioneers and more. It contains two DVDs packed with priceless archive footage, as well as recent shows, "All Your Sins - Video Vault". This definitive collection features numerous historical shows, including a charged performance in 1985 at the legendary CBGB club in New York City, with a mass of classic renditions from the band's catalogue finally gathered together for a live journey spanning over 30 years.

Although always a cult act with a strong and dedicated worldwide fanbase, PENTAGRAM has enjoyed a recent surge in interest due in part to the fly-on-the-wall 2011 documentary "Last Days Here" following the life, trials & tribulations of Bobby Liebling. The film gained international recognition; travelling the worldwide film festival circuit where it won several awards including "Best Music Documentary" at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

In a recent interview with Esquire magazine, BLACK SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne said that he saw the "Last Days Here" documentary, calling it a "very, very sad story, because [Bobby is] a guy... He's the only child of his elderly mom and dad and he lives in a crack-smoking, heroin-using world. And why that guy is still alive is beyond me. I mean, I've been there, done it, and by the grace of God, I got out of it. But, you know, I hope the guy doesn't die."

Ozzy added: "I hope he has [cleaned up] because that video was like a good reason not to get stoned. And you know, for what it's worth: That could have been me. That could have been any number of people. That's why I say to myself every day, 'God, you're fucking lucky, Ozzy!'"

Source: Blabbermouth

Nov 13, 2014

NEWS: SAINT VITUS Singer WINO Deported From Norway For Possession Of Illegal Substances ...

Doom metal legends SAINT VITUS have released the following statement:
"SAINT VITUS would like to regretfully inform all of our European fans that our lead vocalist Wino was detained by the Norwegian police and immigrations officers for possession of illegal substances since Sunday, November 9th. As of 4 p.m. yesterday evening (November 11th), we were informed by his Norwegian defense attorney that he would more than likely be released that same day and be able to continue the remaining dates of our European tour. This morning we received notification that Wino was being deported today back to the U.S. with no hope to remain in Scandinavia or anywhere in the EU.

"Our sincere apologies to all of our fans, the promoters, booking agents and especially our Norwegian fans and promoter for the cancelled show. We will still deliver the HEAVY sound to all of our friends in Europe and it is our hope that everyone will understand our position to go forward with the remaining dates without Wino. [guitarist] David Chandler and [drummer] Henry Vasquez, along with a few surprise guests, will take over vocal duties and this will be a rare opportunity to see VITUS with main songwriter David Chandler vocalizing his tormented tales of pain, heartache and DOOM.

"We hope to still see all of you on our remaining dates.

Nov 10, 2014

Moss - Spectral Visions EP ...

H.P. Lovecraft's fiction and poetry has, since his death, proven to be a deep cultural well for artists to draw inspiration from. The efforts have not been entirely successful. Just as the author's fans have yet to see a faithful, big-budget representation of his vision translated to the screen, many metal bands have struggled to invoke the understated cosmic dread hanging over his best work. Moss, thankfully, avoids the obvious and ham-fisted in their attempts to approximate that dread on their Spectral Visions EP.

By any measure, this is uncompromising fare, but expertly delivered. Working without a bass guitarist hasn't impeded this English unit from filling "Carmilla (Marcilla)" with a thunderous foundation. The guitars and drumming never completely coalesce around a sharply defined riff. Not all is chaos however. While the song never attempts obeying strict rules of song craft, it has a clear, if flexible, structure. The guitars and drums alike drop strains of color into the mix through creative fills, extended sustain, and an array of string bends. The clean vocals possess a slightly shrill, maniacal edge appropriate for the song's taut, understated lyrics.

The title track, "Spectral Visions", has a much more clearly defined riff than the first track and a stronger cinematic presentation. It is easy to admire their focus - many young bands overload compositions believing more is more, but the best bands, regardless of genre, are rigorous self-editors who pare tracks down to whatever strengthens a song and delivers it with maximum immediacy. Moss escapes the mishmash of dross and excellence weighing down many promising outfits by embracing this principle. The lyrics veer more into well-worn cliché than the opening song, but capably conjure the aforementioned cosmic dread the band aims for.

This is promising group that will likely grow and refine their approach in short order, though these songs solidify a template going forward from here. Highly recommended.

Moss @ Facebook

Words: J. Hillenburg

NEWS: BILLY ANDERSON to Mix and Master DOOMRAISER's New Album! ...

DOOMRAISER are proud to announce that, over with the recordings and finishing on the new album, mixing & mastering will be handled by his Majesty of the Low Frequencies BILLY ANDERSON (Neurosis, Cathedral, Orange Goblin, Sleep, Mr. Bungle, Melvins, Brutal Truth, among others).

More news on the album will be announced soon.

Follow the DOOM:
Official Website

Posted By Ed and Savannah

Nov 6, 2014

Doomology Vol. 2 - Pax ...

Pax (which is the Latin word for peace and was apparently chosen because it was easy to remember and phonetically simple) was formed in 1970 by guitarist Enrique “Pico” Ego Aguirre. Enrique’s previous band, Los Shain’s, had just released their final album, Los Nuevos Shain’s. It featured covers by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Blind Faith, Cream, and even a very early cover of Black Sabbath’s Wicked World.

Influenced by many of the heavy hitting guitarists of the day such as Blackmore, Beck, Page, Hendrix, Clapton, Iommi, and Carlos Santana, Enrique wanted to explore much heavier musical directions than he had been doing with Los Shain’s. He recruited the charismatic Miguel Fiores to handle the percussion side of things, Mark Aguilar, a multi-instrumentalist originally from the US, for bass and acoustic guitar playing and a bit of the piano, and Jaime “Pacho” Orue Moreno, brother of the famous Peruvian pop singer Gustavo “Hit” Moreno, as the group’s lead vocalist.

Aguirre himself would perform rhythm, lead, and additional acoustic guitar playing for the group. Gerardo Manuel Rojas, who sang in Los Shains, would also make a guest appearance on the song Mr. Skin, which was recorded as a single with the track Exorcism. This line-up of the band performed between 1970 and 1972 and released only one album; as well as three 45’s. Their sole LP, May God And Your Will Land You And Your Soul Miles Away From Evil, was released in October of 1970 and contained eight tracks ranging from Sabbath inspired doom to Jimi Hendrix styled psych to mellow Zeppelin-like acoustic tunes. The band also recorded a handful singles to accompany the LP. These can be found as bonus tracks if you purchase the CD reissue of MGAYWLYAYSMAFE (lol). They all also appear on the compilation album, Dark Rose. However the compilation CD is missing three of the tracks from the original record so you’d be better off trying to track down the release containing the full album with the seven bonus tracks included.

After Peru experienced a military coup in 1968, Pax and other Peruvian rock bands found it very difficult to record or perform as the new dictatorship had basically abolished rock music in the country. The cover for their record was in fact made to contain a subliminal message against this corrupt government. But thanks to the difficulties this caused for the band, Pax decided to disband in 1975. However this was only temporary as Enrique would revive the band with different members in the 1980’s and once again in the 00’s. The focus remained the same however; to keep heavy metal alive and flowing in Peru.

Although not quite a masterpiece, Pax’s one and only album is still an entertaining slice of 70’s stoner rock fun. The opener is one of the highlights from the album and gets things started very nicely. It’s also one the heaviest tunes found on the disc. Following this things start to mellow out for a while; a bit too much for me in all honesty. As fun and as catchy as Rock An’ Ball and Green Paper are, they just don’t hit hard enough. Especially when paired against such a strong first track. Things pick up again for Sittin’ On My Head though. It has some fun Hendrix-y guitar and is a good jam overall. But it still doesn't quite pack the same punch the first song has. Next up we have Deep Death. Starts out as a pretty mellow, psychedelic jam, but soon unfolds into another one of the heavier songs on the album (with a title like Deep Death there’d be no excuse not to go all out with the heaviness for this one). It isn't overly destructive the entire time, but there are parts that are pure doom all the way. For Cecilia slows things down once again unfortunately. And once again the song isn't a total train-wreck but there is a definite longing for the Iommi worship found on A Storyless Junkie (the first track) or Deep Death.

Thankfully it returns with a god damn vengeance for song number 7. Don’t be turned off by the title, Pig Pen Boogie is easily the heaviest and most memorable song found on this record. For this track turning the volume up past 11 is a must and it alone makes the album worth your hard earned cash. It even has some cowbell in it and that’s fucking metal and a half. Finally to close the album we have a short, goofy, joke-type song thrown in just for good measure. It starts out fun and upbeat, but ends with some unsettling, totally off the wall, maniacal doll cackling. Interesting to say the least. Overall this album is quite a good listen and although fairly mellow at times (not necessarily a bad thing) there are enough moments of heaviness sprinkled throughout to keep the momentum going. Now if you’re fortunate enough to get your hands on the bonus tracks they’re also quite worthwhile. Firefly will probably have the most appeal, but all seven have merits. There are a couple good covers of Smoke On The Water and Radar Love and Exorcism is definitely very fun and groovy. Another interesting tidbit is apparently Dark Rose was the first recorded funk song to come from Peru.

Along with the Tarkus, these guys were easily among the heaviest groups Peru had to offer in the 70’s. No they didn't choose to demolish everything in sight with each song, but when they wanted to they sure as shit did. They’re influence is still felt in Peru and if you’re a fan of stoned out, heavy rock from the 70’s then do not pass this band by.

Recommended tracks:
-A Storyless Junkie
-Deep Death
-Pig Pen Boogie
-Firefly (bonus track)

Words: Brian

Nov 5, 2014

HEADS UP: Occultation Will Haunt You With Silence In The Ancestral House ...

Every now and again I search for new music just for the chance of hearing something I haven’t heard before. Sometimes this experiment is awful ending with a hurried press of the stop button (icon usually these days) but I can’t help it when I have a thirst for something new I have to try and quench it. In an attempt to play it safe I went straight to the bandcamp page of Profound Lore Records. They seem to always have impeccable taste when it comes to doom or doom-ish bands so I was fairly confident I could easily find something to appease my nagging need for something new, something doomy yet something unlike every other band out there. This is how I discovered Occultation.

Silence In The Ancestral House was released by Profound Lore Records on October 14th and I find myself hard pressed to describe their sound adequately. The comparisons on their bandcamp page itself while accurate to a degree really tell you nothing of how they actually sound as I can’t think of a single band I can point to and say, “Occultation sounds like insert band name here.” The description from Profound Lore of “a wicked mix of classic Mercyful Fate, Death SS, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure.” tells you what? Yeah, basically nothing. What I can tell you is that Occultation play hauntingly creepy, eerie music that would fit perfectly into some John Carpenter horror film setting the mood for terrible things to unfold before your eyes. Silence In The Ancestral House is one you truly need to hear and judge for yourself as it mixes elements of black and doom metal into an end product that is as progressive as it is experimental. Also of note, it was produced, mixed and recorded by Converge’s Kurt Ballou who has come to be one of the premiere producers in all of metal. I’ve never been a fan of Converge, they’re just not my flavor, but I am a huge fan of Kurt Ballou in the production booth. Some producers have a way of bringing out the best sound a band has to offer and Ballou has proven to be one of those and this album is no exception.

Aptly titled Intro begins with bells chiming in a mockery of a children’s nursery rhyme setting the eerie mood that Occultation maintains through the following eight tracks. The haunting vocals break in with “The Ancestral House is quiet…” and the foreboding eerie tone is set for all that is to come. Intro breaks right into a faster yet still haunting The First of the Last with the metal quotient turned up while maintaining the haunting tone started on the first track. I can’t help thinking of my favorite King Diamond album, Them, as Silence in the Ancestral House seems to weave its own horror story minus King Diamond’s high-shrieking falsetto. The vocals blend perfectly with the music as if being sung from beyond the grave beckoning you in further like sirens luring you onto the rocks. In this case you happily crash on the rocks begging only to be able to do it again.

Laughter in the Halls of Madness sets out another deceivingly fast pace with VB’s haunting voice continuing to, all pun intended, drive you mad (all three band members use only their initials rather than names). Occultation sound familiar though it is impossible to pinpoint from exactly where as the entire thing is one creepy delight after another. They sound like a creepy metal soundtrack to a Munsters movie which is meant as a giant compliment. ‘Madness fades to All Hallows Fire which continues this multi-layered trip through the labyrinth of the apparently haunted Ancestral House. You can only smile that the “Silence” part of the title doesn’t come into play because this is just a pleasure to hear. Through the first four tracks it is deceptively heavy with so much going on musically that you not only want but need several listens to attempt taking it all in.

The halfway point of the album, The Place Behind The Sky, comes in with a marching riff overlaid with a trippy guitar part that keeps your ears fully enthralled for more. The vocals fit perfectly in their dreamy “called out from beyond” style smartly set slightly back in the mix by producer guru Ballou to make them sound even more haunting which is reminiscent of what Tool does in mixing their albums. The vocals seem to flow out of the music rather than being front and center with the music merely a backdrop to them. It doesn’t fit every bands’ style but is absolutely perfect for Occultation as it is for Tool.

The Dream Tide begins making you think it’s going to be a scorching rocker which it is in its way. The rhythm section marches on with the vocal cadence following suit. This may just be the highlight song of the album serving its purpose well as it only makes you want to hear more. It has a sing along feel and I can’t help but bob my head to the rhythm as I’m totally sold on the album’s awesomeness at this point and just enjoying myself. The Dream Tide breaks on the shore of the short interlude of Intermission which connects back to Intro, feeling like a creepy yet beautiful version of a children’s nursery rhyme.

The final two tracks bring the album to a close in epic doom style. Forever Hereafter mixes some familiar Black Sabbath riffage in without ripping off the heavy metal forefathers. The vocals are pushed a little forward in the mix for a slightly more powerful edge though still sounding like a spirit calling out to you from the back of the graveyard or “to the great beyond” as the lyrics so nicely suggest. Forever Hereafter takes you on a sonic journey that you don’t want to end though it eventually fades to the closing epic title track, Silence In The Ancestral House. A soft guitar riff accompanies an almost acapella vocal line serving as the intro before the drums pound in and the guitars burst forth with fervor. The song speeds up and slows down at will keeping it interesting to the bitter end.

 Silence In The Ancestral House seems like a slow burn on the first listen but with repeated spins you start to understand just how heavy it is similar to the aforementioned Tool. Occultation may sound nothing like Tool but with Ballou behind the boards he definitely mixed it like a Tool album. Every instrument sounds crisp and sharp and the vocals hang back just enough in the mix to compliment and give the impression they are truly being called out from the back of the graveyard. My first impression of the album was a subtle 3.5 out of five but repeated listens crank it up to easily a 4 and perhaps higher after yet a few more spins. It is definitely one you can say has no equal out there. Occultation don’t sound like any other band I can think of so on the originality front Silence in the Ancestral House screams out a pure 5.

Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

Bandcamp: HERE
Facebook: HERE
ReverbNation: HERE

Nov 4, 2014

NEWS: GALE - Debut From Arizona Sludge/Doom Metal Faction Out Now ...

Another new name surges forth from Arizona's flourishing sludge/doom scene in the form of GALE, as the outfit self-releases their debut recordings, Vol. 1.

The moniker references the massive desert winds, a trait which the band attempts to exemplify with similarly devastating results through their exceptionally loud craft, the band even playing at full live volume at practice where the drums are amplified, as they also do live. Formed in the sunbaked soil of Phoenix, the very new quartet, GALE razes all in their path with a very promising, killer brew of modernized, organic sludge/doom metal. As per the band: "We play loud as fuck. This is rock n roll; it should be loud and dangerous."

Burning with twenty-six minutes of material, GALE's debut recordings have been independently released by the band in recent days as Vol. 1, the record recorded in nearly one take by Jalipaz Nelson at Audioconfusion in Mesa, Arizona. While not a concept record, the album and its lyrical basis primarily deals with existentialism and the darkness that can be revealed upon self-analysis. With a brutalizing tone sure to intoxicate fans of statemates Godhunter, Sorxe, Methra and the like, the ultra-amplified output of GALE here alludes to the works of Yob, Melvins, Crowbar, Neurosis and Sleep, yet only in theory and not simply regurgitated. The band performs their engulfing craft with each member of the four-piece lineup contributing a different style of vocals in addition to their respective instruments.

With the hopes all reaching as many diehard fans of doom, sludge and all open-minded forms of extreme music, GALE has self-released Vol 1. as a name-your-price digital download. Stream, purchase and spread the destruction from THIS LOCATION.

GALE will forge a physical version of Vol. 1 in the pending months, and the band has already begun the planning stages on additional new material which will see release through several new works throughout 2015. Additionally, GALE will perform their next live set this Saturday, November 8th in Mesa, joining the massive lineup including Column III, Funerary, Godhunter, Today Is The Day and Eyehategod. Additional live incursions will be continually announced through the coming months.

GALE Live:
11/08/2014 Club Red Theaters - Mesa AZ w/ Eyehategod, Today Is The Day, Godhunter, Funerary, Column III

For review copies of Vol.1I and coverage of GALE contact

Official Website

Nov 3, 2014

NEWS: Funeral doom masters SKEPTICISM present a new SVART album, to be recorded live ...

The legendary Skepticism are preparing to record their new album, Ordeal. Instead of usual working methods, the band has chosen a different approach. The recording will happen in front of a live audience on January 24th at Klubi in Turku, Finland, and the event will also be captured on film.

The concert is the first time any of the songs on Ordeal will be heard in public. According to Skepticism, the new songs are emotion-laden, crushing, and yet beautiful, more than ever before. Visitors to the historical recording event will also receive a repro of the band’s first 7” EP, originally released in 1992. This 7” will not be available to the public. Tickets for the concert can be purchased HERE.

Ordeal will be released in May 2015. The album will be available as a CD/DVD bundle and also as a LP/DVD set. The album will be released by the Finnish label Svart Records, known for their championing of the local metal underground and high-quality vinyl reissues.

Skepticism was formed in 1991. The band has been often stated as one of the pioneers and founding fathers of the funeral doom metal genre.Ordeal is their fifth full-length album.

Official Website

Nov 2, 2014

UNSILENCE – A Fire On The Sea ...

A Fire On The Sea. The evocative title and the glowing colour in the mysterious, ancient-looking cover art emanate an irresistible appeal and set the proper mood for enjoying the new album by the long-lived British doom act Unsilence. Over the many years of its existence, since 1993, Unsilence’s doom has always proven to be a powerful blend of heavy metal where riffs and chanting are allied for narrating the visionary, intimate and emotional poetry contained in the lyrics.

In the imagery and in the themes of the band, there is no space for anything devilish or creepy, no pale drug-addicts dressed in black and violet cloaks rolling over mossy tombstones and no dragons or clanging swords populate the doom ballads of this band from Lancashire.

Unsilence’s own doom is a unique blend of traditional doom à-la-Candlemass and epic, proggy heavy metal with a particular mood often bearing the dark or emotional flavor of traditional, (Celtic?) folk ballads.  Album A Fire On The Sea comes about five years after Unsilence’s long awaited debut ful-length album, Under A Torn Sky.

That album was the fruit of the tormented, and often unlucky, story of the band and of a substantial sequence of fine Eps and demos (dating back from the early 90s to early 2000s) that the band started sharing via Bandcamp recently.

As reported in my interview to band’s founder Kieron Tuohey (HERE), after starting as a doom-death band with growled vocals (like in the 1994 demo), Unsilence rapidly adopted clean and intensely melodic vocal style with the first singer Andrew Hodson (already in their 1996 demo). Hence back in the 90s Unsilence actively contributed to building up that intensely “introspective” stream of the British heavy doom scene together with like-minded Warning (then into doom/slow-core band 40 Watt Sun). Both bands were interconnected as members of both Unsilence and Warning also entered the melodic doom band The River. The line-up of Unsilence’s new album saw the core members Kieron Tuohey (guitar) and James Kilmurray (vocals/guitar) plus the periodical involvement of former drummer Jonathon Gibbs (also in The River) and the addition of bassist James Moffatt (also in The Human Condition).

A Fire On The Sea was released by the independent Polish label Nine Records during July 2014. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at Full Stack Studio, Great Harwood, Lancashire by Matt Richardson fronting the sludge metal band Bastard Of The Skies. The recording studio is popular among many UK doom bands and was an excellent choice for getting the desired levels of heaviness and depth of sound. The new album comprises seven tracks for over 45 minutes. Six out of seven songs last over 6 minutes but these numbers won’t mean much while you’ll find yourself spinning the album in a loop, captured by the strength of the riffs, the unique passionate melody and the haunting atmospheres in these incredibly rich and well-crafted ballads. The whole album relies on a smart dynamic songwriting where slower and faster, mid-tempo-paced parts continuously and smoothly alternate, and well-trained musicianship is combined with great inspiration.

 While promoting the upcoming album the band had chosen imposing A Thousand Seasons as a teaser track. This one is probably the most mournful song of the album, the only one dominated by a slow-paced rhythm and a markedly funereal mood. In the other long tracks the pace is generally faster. Frequent insertion of tight riff charges and the consequent periodical excursions into pure “f***ing” heavy epic metal to headbang to would probably relieve the tragic tension created by the leading doom tunes and James Kilmurray’s achingly passionate vocals. For example, the opening track The Doorway is no less than a killer slab of flamboyant heavy metal driven by a surprising combination of riffs and masterful interaction between the two guitar players. Breaking Away is another spectacular heavy doom ballad lead by a galloping rhythm and by a melody often reminding of traditional popular chants. Here and elsewhere in the album James’ particular voice, more powerful than ever before, is occasionally backed by Kieron’s in some short, charming choirs.

The soft noise of the sea waves and the slowly growing sound of downtuned guitars introduce the title track, an emotional yet martial folkish doom ballad, where the contrast between the aggressive sound of guitars and drums and the searing melody in James’ chanting is quite sharp and haunting.  After the funeral mood of A Thousand Seasons, the track On Wild Fields (the longest one) is probably the most difficult one to pigeonhole for me as to the style. It’s a mid-tempo, highly melodic, epic metal ballad yet quite melancholic where vocals are varied: distant, reverbered choirs often interact with James’ singing. The shortest track, Old Tides (2:47) is a magnificent, delicate acoustic dark folk gem, an intimate interval before the final wave of solemn epic doomy riffs in Unchained.

You may love their style or hate it, but Unsilence are unique and they are original. They crafted and moulded their style over almost two decades but they remained faithful to their “old school” roots, as their consistent production can testify.  Album A Fire On The Sea is surely the result of such development but, for me, it is primarily a magnificent slab of metal, one of the best and most original albums of this year.

You can stream Unsilence’s new album on the band’s own Bandcamp page, where you can also get basically hold of all the previous releases.  But for supporting this great band and buying the digital or CD versions of the album you have to go to the label’s Bandcamp page.

Words: Marilena Moroni

Official Website

1. The Doorway (06:25)
2. Breaking Away (06:55)
3. A Fire on the Sea (07:02)
4. A Thousand Seasons (06:49)
5. On Wild Fields (08:26)
6. Old Tides (02:50)
7. Unchained (06:56)

Past Lives: Pentagram w/ Radio Moscow, Bang!, Kings Destroy Johnny Brenda's All Hallow's Eve '14, Philly ...

You know it's a beautiful Halloween day when you wake up with a slight buzzing in between your ears from a Pentagram gig the night before.  A stellar lineup saw all four bands at an engaging point in their careers, and though I've seen each of these bands before; twice in Pentagram and Kings Destroys' case, it was well worth it to have caught them this round.

Kings Destroy opened, and having just caught them in August opening for Blackfinger, I had a basic idea of what to expect.  A right good doomy thrashing was enjoyed by all.  The vocalist has that demented Bobby Liebling thing going on in his voice, where Bobby breaks it out occasionally, Kings Destroy use it to their full advantage.  I am definitely waiting on the next record.

Next, Bang! came back to JB's, albeit minus the back up singer and the old drummer.  This did quite a few things to their sound.  They concentrated a lot more on riffy material, possibly due to their odd opening slot.  The back up singer proved wholly unnecessary, Frank hitting all those notes just by himself.  The sound was rawer, more streamlined, and had a new energry.  The drummer in April had this terrible dry 80's sound to his kit for my money, but last night the guy was deep, 70's groove, tom tom tom tomming all over the place, fills galore, and frankly making me wish my CD's sounded like that.  He's brought an entire new sound to this band, and they sound great as this trio.  There were glorious, ancient coiled guitar cords everywhere, and damn did they sound perfect.

Radio Moscow were my highlight for the evening.  I've only seen them once, a couple years ago opening for Graveyard somewhere in NYC.  Graveyard slayed their set, and Radio Moscow, with a VERY fresh rhythm section, didn't seem to gel.  Last night though, with a new drummer and bassist, they were shit hot white boy blues for what felt like 3 minutes after it ended.  I loved the inclusion of vocals, and the songs were catchy as all get out.  Very fast, blues rock riffs gave way to emotive, piercing, lightning quick solo sections, where the bassist really shone, keeping the riff together under all that extremely pleasurably as far as I'm concerned.  I'll have to pick up an album.  Can't believe I slept on this band!  Learn from this mistake.

 Ah, Bobby fucking Liebling and Pentagram.  There's nothing in this world quite like it.  From what I recall, a setlist out of order looked like this: review your choices, be forewarned, forever my queen, all your sins, relentless, evil seed, broken vows, vampyre love, the new track, a couple off Last Rites, and the Animals' cover of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. 

Something like that.  Bobby sounded alive and undead all at once.  These guys are firing on all cylinders.  The new drummer is perfect, and Victor and his nephew on bass are locked in.  The 70's stuff sounded better than the first Griffin reunion dates, though Matt Goldsborough still has that edge for me. 

The 80's material was where it was proverbially at, unholy and catchy all at the same time, those are strong, American doom metal classics.  All Your Sins especially had me headbanging like a schoolgirl.

Extra special thanks to Bobby for signing an autograph for me.  Wicked!  Great to shake his hand again.  Cheers as well to Paul Rote and friend, Pellet (again! thank you!), JJ over at the The Obelisk, and Frank/Bang! for the sage advice at the end of the night.  It was most useful.

Treat or trick, play a lick, make it sick....

Words: SabbathJeff

Oct 31, 2014

Sludgebucket – Cockroach Season ...

I’ve had the opportunity to listen to Oakland, CA trio Sludgebucket’s latest release Cockroach Season a few times now as I’ve been working and writing away the last several afternoons and finally I find myself with a little bit of time to tell you about it.

Don’t be fooled by the band’s name as the trio led by Kelly Ross Waldrip has much more to offer than sludge mixing numerous styles into their sound from folk to doom to psychedelic making their brand of sludge a little different than what you normally think of when seeing that word.

When I see the word sludge I generally think of two things NOLA and a fuzzed out, down tuned sound, however, Sludgebucket doesn’t not hail from the south and puts their sludgy mix together a little differently. Cockroach Season begins with the instrumental title track which has some elements of folk to it making it a nice warm up for what is to come. Sludgebucket’s latest release Cockroach Season a few times now as I’ve been working and writing away the last several afternoons and finally I find myself with a little bit of time to tell you about it.

Don’t be fooled by the band’s name as the trio led by Kelly Ross Waldrip has much more to offer than sludge mixing numerous styles into their sound from folk to doom to psychedelic making their brand of sludge a little different than what you normally think of when seeing that word.

When I see the word sludge I generally think of two things NOLA and a fuzzed out, down tuned sound, however, Sludgebucket doesn’t not hail from the south and puts their sludgy mix together a little differently. Cockroach Season begins with the instrumental title track which has some elements of folk to it making it a nice warm up for what is to come.

The second track, Vulture’s Feast, is a plodding number showing off some of the doom roots of the band. Waldrip’s voice starts off like a demon crying out from down below before breaking into a little cleaner style later in the track. It has the fuzziness that sludge is known for but is definitely different than anything you’ll hear coming out of classic NOLA sludge bands or sludge bands in general.
Red Underneath keeps your ears interested with alternating blistering downtuned sludge with a simple plucked guitar chord.

The contrast makes it an interesting listen also showing some of the band’s psychedelic influence as the keyboards kick in about half way through the track. An interesting listen for sure. The track fades out bringing in a spoken word type opening to East Wind Locust. The keyboard work is provided by Jim Juhn who also acted as engineer for the album. Dueling guitar and bass lines from guitarist Brad Reisinger and vocalist/bassist Waldrip keep the song interesting and fun to listen to.

Penniless Blues contrary to its name isn’t really a blues song to my ear but is a nice interlude instrumental seguing into the final third of the album. 110 Degrees is a stoner type psychedelic song that makes you want to drop a tab or roll one up to bask in the sun with though hopefully it isn’t a 110 degrees when you do. I couldn’t help bobbing my head and smiling to this track, it just makes you feel good all over. I would say Unwind is the sludgiest tune on the album but it mixes in a psychedelia feel as well as a little stoner rock so that it isn’t a typical sludge song either. The track doesn’t set a blistering pace but methodically gets you shaking your head with a heavy feel though it isn’t the heaviest track in the world. That brings us to the album closer, Introspection, which is a quick bass solo by the backbone of Sludgebucket, Kelly Ross Waldrip. To be honest I’ve always been partial to good bass solos so all I can really say about the closer, Introspection, is Mr. Waldrip it was too short! Its excellent then it ends just leaving me hanging man!

In the end the best thing I can say about Cockroach Season is that it could have used a couple more tracks but that really isn’t a bad thing. On a scale of 1-5 I’d put Cockroach Season in at a comfortable 3 to 3.5 and that isn’t bad at all. The band seems to have a solid lineup now with guitarist Brad Reisinger, drummer Marc Kaufman and vocalist/bassist/founder Kelly Waldrip who are currently working on new material as Cockroach Season is a bit of a mash up with the current band lineup and previous lineups. I have no doubt that what Sludgebucket puts out next, if nothing else, will be interesting to listen to. This isn’t typical sludge and that is a good thing.

The Links:
Sludgebucket Official Website : HERE
Bandcamp : HERE
Facebook : HERE
Twitter: HERE

Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

Godchilla – Cosmatos ...

Why is it when I hear some new good doom it never fails to come from a band that lives in some icy tundra isolated from the world where it’s damn freezing cold? I find it odd that when I hear doom I want to lay in the sun letting the rays beat down on me as the riffs beat my brain into submission when the people making the music seem to be somewhere the sun rarely shines.

Such is the case with Godchilla who are one rare breed of band, not only do they hail from frigid Iceland where not even exploding volcanoes bring warmth but they also combine something with their doom I don’t think anyone has done before, surf music. Yes, that isn’t a misspelling Godchilla combine surf tunes with their doom leaving the listener to bang their head screaming WHY!?! and wondering how guys from Iceland got into surf music.

As odd as that coupling seems to be don’t fret because somehow they make it work beautifully. One of my favorite metal writer’s “Grim” Kim Kelly described them as “gonzo surf sludge” which I can’t really argue with only being able to add that it is “awesome gonzo surf sludge”.

I think I’ve already made it clear that I thoroughly enjoy Godchilla’s debut album Cosmatos so let me step you through it with a few quick thoughts. Cosmatos starts off with an instrumental track that sounds like it was plucked straight out of the bayou of Louisiana with the appropriate title of Back Home (In My Hut In The Swamp). I’ve heard less of a southern sound come from southern bands so already Godchilla had me intrigued.

The southern swagger ends with a voice booming from your speakers, “Concentrate”, and I don’t mind if I do! Track two, Montag the Magnificent, takes the southern flair of the opener breaking it into a blistering sludge track that again sounds like it could have made by any of the best NOLA bands doing it today. Its downtuned and fuzzy and all around just rocks. I’m hooked and we’ve barely begun.

The title track, Cosmatos, begins and you know you’re in for a fun filled ride into doom. The Sabbath-esque riff that begins the track blends one of those surfer tune like riffs in without overdoing it. It’s actually very subtle drifting back to the heavier Sabbath riff and back and forth as if warning you of what may lie ahead without beating you over the head with it which the sole lyric spells out for you very simply, “Out in the desert alone/not prepared for what’s to come.” Well played sirs, well played!

Track four, Kickin’ It To The Curb, begins (you’re half way through) with a riff reminding me of Suicidal Tendencies as it adds a little funk, again hinting at some of the that surf influence they foretold of in Cosmatos. It’s still pretty subtle bordering on the funk side of things but it’s there mixed in perfectly. The upbeat tune leads into the doomy bleakness of Millheimafasi (roughly translated by Google translate as Between Home Phase). The lyrics follow the mood of the music beginning with the verse, “Now it’s time for us to go/descend into the moss and snow/you are me and I am you/when we join the earth anew” that’s right we’ll all be together in death becoming the dirt others walk on. As a writer I’m impressed with the expression of so much yet said so simply.
The next track, Sörfað Fyrir Satan (Surfing For Satan), is described by the band as a surf song written by Satan himself. They begin it with an excerpt of the classic Mickey Rourke/Robert DeNiro film Angel Heart which happens to be one of my all time favorites. This is a full on surf song with some elements of doom and sludge added in but you should be picturing Satan hanging ten looking completely out of place on a surf board in the bright sunshine riding a giant wave. If you’re not into surf music you won’t like this instrumental track but I have to admit it’s so damn different that it’s fun to listen to.

The second to last track, Hovering Castle, Purple Sky, starts with a trippy surfer-esque riff with almost an oriental feel. The surfer riff is slowed down so that it isn’t overbearing as the full on surfer assault of the previous track. Like previous doomier track, Cosmatos, the lyrics are brief and poignant closer to psychedelia than doom but no less awesome for that fact. Then we come to the epic eleven and a half minute closer, Close To The Beyond/Hypnopolis, Again this track like Cosmatos has very sparse lyrics though they are sung hauntingly as if coming from beyond the grave or at the very least beyond this world. Three short lines and the rest is just a trippy doom laden ride to the end. “Az Amal Hum/I am your son/desert sun” are the entirety of the lyrics repeated complimenting the epic doom track perfectly.

I’ve listened to the entire album a few times now and I’m absolutely loving it. Admittedly I’m a sucker for good doom that isn’t the average fair. My favorite track is probably the album closer but there really isn’t a bad song in the mix on Cosmatos. On the ol’ 1-5 scale this one is a solid 4 for me. You should definitely check it out and I look forward to what the youngsters from Iceland do going forward. They could end up being something very special indeed.

The Links:
Bandcamp: HERE
Facebook: HERE

Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

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