Oct 29, 2009

Ichabod And Their Musical Adventure Into 2010

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You have read the CD review ( well i hope you have, its right below this interview ) now read the interview. The band have recorded the new album "2012" which is has to be one of the must have CD's released this year and are hopefully embark on some touring to spread the word. Their unique blend of musical styles is a musical adventure to listen to and one that can leave you begging for more. You must check out the new album, here is the interview with Dave.

1. Greetings, How has life been treating the band lately ?

Great! Thanks for asking...We're all busy with our jobs, but we all have our health and are able to work out life's inevitable frustrations through our music. It's cathartic like that.

2. One thing a lot of people wouldn't know is the band has been together for 10 years. Can you give the readers a little history of the band ?

Oh boy...Um, I (Dave) started the band as a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes sort of thing. A group I was in had just disbanded, so I took the songs I had written for that project and started Ichabod. Just before I had joined that project, Ken and I had been discussing getting back into "heavy" bands (he was doing nothing and I had been in a shoegazer/psych band for a long time) because we had both grown up playing in bands in the Boston metal/punk/hardcore scene. Therefore, it was only natural that I get Ken on board once Ichabod started to get off the ground. We went through a couple of lineup changes in the early days, but the current lineup has been together (Ken, myself, Phil & Greg) for about 8 of the 10 years, so it's been pretty cohesive.

3. The band has a very eclectic sound, covering a wide range of influences but how would you describe the bands sound ?

Jeez...we get lumped into the stoner/doom category mostly, but I think that's primarily because people don't know where else to put us. Our sound is as equally influenced by hardcore, metal, spacerock, classic rock, shoegazer pop, deep psychedelic, punk/crust, improvisational, and ethnic/ambient music as it is by stoner/doom stuff. I usually tell people that once you boil away all of the adjectives with preconceived notions attached to them, we're just a rock band in the end.

4. How has things changed for the band musically over all these years and has your attitude changed much towards the scene in that time ?

We've definitely progressed a lot as musicians, and I believe our songwriting is getting better all the time. It's also of note that when you play with the same dudes long enough, you develop an almost "psychic" bond where you know exactly where each other are going. It makes for lovely improv jams. As far as attitude towards the scene...what scene? I'll leave it at this; at least locally in Boston, there's "flavor of the month" shit that gets the big audiences, and then there are bands who've been chugging along for years whose existence people have ended up taking for granted. But don't take this as an indictment of hipsters or an indication of any bitterness on our part...it's just the business of music, and we're not in it for the business but rather for the art. Hopefully that doesn't make us sound pretentious, because we're not. We just love creating what we do.

5. I was excited to see you have done a version of "Pink Floyd's The Nile Song". How did the idea for that come about ?

We all love Floyd and figured we could "Ichabodize" that song easier than most of their material, because it's already more edgy/heavy than a lot of their other stuff.

6. I will ask you some questions about the new album in a minute but what is your opinion on the older albums when you hear them now ?

I love 'em. Each of us has a different perspective on this though...some members like the old stuff more than others. In general, it gets easier to appreciate a recording once you've been removed from it for a while. It ages like wine. When you're in the studio and have played and listened to the same tunes a gazillion times, you hear every minute flaw. Said flaws are amplified in your psyche a thousand fold because of the sheer number of times you've reviewed 'em, and you simply cannot stand to listen for a while. You walk away and come back to it months later when the metaphorical swelling has gone down, and that's when you begin to see the merit in what you've laid down.

7. The new album is going to called "2012". What is your thoughts on the prediction that the world will end very soon ?

No one knows for sure what will happen or when "the end" will actually occur, or if it will. The Mayans didn't, the Christians don't, nor do the Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, etc. So Ichabod certainly doesn't lay claim to knowing the
trajectory or time table of the Apocalypse. What we do know however, is that if we humans continue living with blatant disregard of nature, fellow man, and a sense of personal spiritual well-being, we are indeed doomed. Whether it's vehicle will be disease, pestilence, war, cosmic cataclysm, etc., or a combination thereof, karma will indeed be a bitch.

8. So would you describe the album as a concept album or is there a theme that runs throughout the songs ?

Ichabod has always been the "In Search Of" of bands. Our lyrical content and art/musical direction have always leaned toward having to do with metaphysical, occult, spiritual, paranormal, philosophical and personal growth themes. This album is the pinnacle of that; we cover UFO's, Yetis, the Ascended Masters, Jadoo, Mayan Prophecy, etc. It is a loose tribute to John Keel, who recently died. Readers, check out his books, especially "Jadoo"...I've come to think of our playing together as ritual of sorts, the creation of true magick.

9. Can you tell us anymore about the upcoming Ichabod project "Merrimack" ? That sounds like it could be a killer project !

Merrimack will be our "Tab" or "Jerusalem"...it's a long, long song, although it can be split into separate "movements" live. It's a very proggish opus that hearkens back to stuff like Uriah Heep and early Deep Purple, ala "Book of Taliesin". Lyrically Ken has set it up so that the use of local historical lore and imagery is metaphorical for universal life themes. Musically, it is a sonic representation of the physical characteristics of a river (rapids, calms, etc.)...

10. Back to the new album "2012", would you mind telling us about some of the songs and the recording process you went through to get these tracks together ?

We tracked everything with Devin Charette at Mad Oak studios in Boston, Craig and Tim from Roadsaw's joint. Then we did additional mixing in Salem MA at God City, which is Kurt from Converge's studio.

11. Do you want to let everyone know how to get the new album ?

I'm not absolutely certain as to who all of the distributors will be at this point, but CD Baby, Amazon, and Itunes are safe bets. Rootsucker Records' website has a purchase option as well.

12. What is on the calendar for live shows, i read you plan on doing as many as possible. Any US tours planned ?

We have several New England/Eastern Seaboard gigs planned, but we hope to get on the road again by Summer at the latest. We've all expressed an extreme desire to go to Europe, so that's where we're hoping to appear. The deep South is another area we plan to appear soon, with any luck.

13. Do you ever think about how long the band will stay together or do you pretty much take it one week at a time ?

Never plan anything too far in advance, because that's when you end up feeling let down when fate steps in. We are best of friends enjoying each others company and making music together. Those are things we hope remain constant, even if the form of doing so takes on different shapes over time.

14. Well i hope everyone takes notice of this band and the new album, i feel you have flown under the radar for too many people out there which is a real shame being the band is so good. Any last words for the readers ?

Thank you so much! I'd like anyone reading this to just trust us as your sonic shamans who can lead you through your anthropogenic journey like no others!


Oct 27, 2009

Ichabod - 2012

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Its been some four years since this album but the wait has been worth it as "Ichabod" has come up with a album that could be regarded as a classic in years to come. I will be honest and say I haven't listened to the band for a long time so this album came as a big surprise to me because the band has really shifted gears with this release recorded at "Mad Oak Studios" by "Devin Charlette". The band still the Stoner/Psyche grooves but they also have added a lot more Progressive Rock to their sound creating something that is far more complex than what I was expecting. The opener "Sleeping Giants" starts things rolling with a Psychedelic trip of a song complete with samples from war movies and a voice over part which sets up the concept of the album. I wouldn't describe the album as being a "concept album" but there is a common theme that seems to predict the end of the world. Its a bit apocalyptic in parts and most of it shines with un-relenting intensity especially in songs like the title track which seems to be the most worked on song on the CD but its interesting that the track that follows it "2012 Outro" is longer than the "2012" track itself. "2012 Outro" is a long collage of drones, chanting and other atmospheric noises and while its a intriguing listening experience, its also the hardest track to sit through. "Giving Up The Ghost" is one of the strongest tracks here and one of the more straight-forward songs on the album, the riff is pure Sabbath but done in such a way that I doubt if many people will hear or care about the connection. One of the standout features of the album is "Greg Dellaria on the bass guitar adding so much needed thickness to the sound. His bass lines are always moving and combine that with "Dave Iverson" on guitar it makes a warm, rich sound that compliments the song structures perfectly. The vocals of "Ken Mackay" also have real texture and warmth and sometimes sounds a little like the great vocal sound of "Alice In Chains" Layne Staley. He also the some great range to his voice and that is highlighted in their version of Pink Floyd's "The Nile Song" which is simply breathtaking. The overall sound is one of intense heaviness but sometimes the production doesn't quite cut it like in "Gentlemen of the Choir" which features some flute playing but unfortunately it gets a little buried under the wall of sound. This is only a minor hiccup however as everything else is almost perfection except for the "2012 Outro" which may be a little long for some people. This is a album that will be a welcome surprise to a lot of people and will create a lot of new fans for the band,this is a stimulating piece of work that is heavy, somewhat complex in parts but also extremely listenable. One of the must have albums of the year. 9/10


Oct 25, 2009

Futility - S/T

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Futility are another real good band hailing from Canberra, Australia and it adds more proof to the fact that Australia is becoming one of the leading countries for Metal, not only Doom but all genres of Heavy Rock and Metal. Futility are a blend of Gothic Doom, Funeral Doom and Death Metal and while I think the band is capable of even better, this is a pretty solid effort. Anybody who knows anything about Australia knows Canberra is a pretty boring city most of the time so making Doom Metal music must seem like the obvious music genre to play, no offense to anyone who happens to live there. The six tracks on the album all have solid riffing, a solid bass sound, big drums and deathly vocals that are growled in a Death Metal style. The band is not doing anything different or ground-breaking but they leave their own mark on the Gothic Doom genre which has the tendency to all sound the same for the most part. All the songs has powerful arrangements that flow and progress smoothly while remaining crushing and there is some intricate sections which give the songs a wide range of emotions. The intro to "My Sickness" gets the headbanging grooves going in fine style and its not too long when the band shifts into pure darkness mode with their obvious "Katatonia" influence shining through. They even do a cover of that bands "Murder" and while I am not much of a fan of "Katatonia", they do a great version here. They are a band where comparisons become obvious pretty quickly, "Novembers Doom", "My Dying Bride" and "Swallow The Sun" are just some names that come to mind but "Futility" do have enough of their own sound to make them unique enough to warrant repeated spins. Highlights are "Saline Oasis" and "Nothing" which sees the band reaching their stride with some great writing and musicianship, its these songs that best show the emotional style of Doom that they are trying to put across. The production of the album is pretty good for a independent release and while the songs are a little generic in places ( the vocals being the main offender here ), it is one of the better Gothic Doom releases I have heard in the past year. 8/10


Oct 24, 2009

Cathedral - The Ethereal Mirror/Statik Majik EP Reissue

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Another re-issue from Cathedral which I bought for the DVD which turned out to be a bit of a disappointment but more about that later. This one is the second album "The Ethereal Mirror" which is comes with a extra 35 minutes of music in the form of the "Statik Majik EP" and a bonus DVD. No need to go into song descriptions, most people will already know this album backwards. It was a real change for the band after the Doom-Fest which was their first album "Forest of Equilibrium". While their is still plenty of Doomy passages, the sound of the band changed dramatically. The vocal work of Lee Dorrian dropped the growling, moaning style and the guitar sound was pushed higher in the mix. While it was less Doomy, they became more polished, precise and focused. Since its release in 1993 it has become wildly recognized as one of the best albums from the band along with the first album and "The Garden Of Uneartly Delights" but that really comes down to personal preference. I rate "Endtyme" as being just as good as those albums with "Carnival Bizarre" coming in right behind them in terms of solid, no filler product. The EP "Statik Majik" is also one of their best ever recordings and you get that as a bonus here but its strangely missing the track "Midnight Mountain".If you already have all these recordings, the only real incentive to buy this re-issue is the DVD here named "Ethereal Reflections". Is it worth it you asked, well not really as it is pretty boring even for a dedicated Cathedral fan like myself. The motionless camera work doesn't help and if you have seen the DVD that came with the "Forest Of Equilibrium" then this just more of the same except talking about a different album this time. There is some questions fielded by cover artist Dave Patchett but that is the only real interesting moment on the DVD. The DVD is also dead basic, you can't even skip bits as it only has a "play all" function on the menu. The other negative thing about this re-issue is the way it is packaged. The "Statik Majik" EP is simply glued to the back of the CD case, I didn't even attempt to removed it as I didn't want to tear the CD sleeve. Why they choose to do this is just a mystery and it gives the package a cheap look about it. These type of re-issues are really only of interest to new fans or people wanting to check the band out for the first time. If you are one of these people, then this is great value as you get over 2 hours of CD/DVD for a bargain price. The album itself is of course essential and I will listen to it forever, for me its a timeless piece of work but the packaging and the less than entertaining DVD documentary spoils what could have been something really unique. If you still never bothered to seek this album out, then this re-issue would be the way to go. 9.5/10

Oct 23, 2009

Arkham Witch - Demo 2009

This is another one of those mystery CD's that was sent to me recently but what the hell, there was no artwork and not even a sender's address. If you are out there reading this, send me a message so can i thank you for this cool demo and make arrangements to get the artwork so i can post it here. This band and demo is the work of Simon Strange from The Lamp Of Thoth and there is some things in common with his usual band but this is a much more Traditional Heavy Metal concept. There is still some Doom elements but this band is more along the lines of early 80's British Metal and 70's Hard rock all combined with a theme from Lovecraft stories. Out of all the tracks on here, there is really only two that don't work for me. "The Kraken"reading of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s work and "Hyades" that has a change in guitar sound that kind of sounds like something you would find at a toy shop. Its a plodding slow track which doesn't seem to serve any function apart from trying to sound heavy which its not for the most part. The rest of the demo though is brilliant, the opener gets the fun started with a tale based on "Dreams in the Witch House" story. "Let England Prevail" is up next and is a metal thumper, its a mid-paced classic sounding metal tune that has a infectious groove about it. Third Track and my personal favorite is "Suicide 75" which has a similar sound to proto-metal bands of the mid 70's like Sir Lord Baltimore to name just one. Extremely catchy and while its the heaviest track on here, it is still the best to my ears. "Legions Of The Deep" is the other standout track here, this is a classic metal track in the vein of Priest, Maiden and Manilla Road. Every time you play this track you will hear a different old band in the sound, it verges on early thrash metal with its chugging riff. This is a great demo apart from the last song which is a misstep, it doesn't help when the song seems to go on forever but i am sure some people out there will love it. I couldn't rate this as high as "The Lamp Of Thoth's" current level of greatness but it is still a great metal demo and worth seeking out. 8/10

Oct 22, 2009

Tosca - Brewing Up Storms

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The two woman Sludge/Doom/Noise assault known as "Tosca" are from Canada and already building a fan base if the messages i have been receiving are anything to go by. The Tosca track posted on the Doom Metal Alliance site has been one of the most played tracks in DMA history so that shows DMA supporters must have good taste. "Tosca" are primarily a Sludge/Doom band but at the same time don't sound like anybody else. Check out their Myspace page, they have some killer tunes. Thanks to Therese for this interview.

1. Thanks for the interview opportunity, why don't we start with giving the readers a history lesson on the the two members of the band ?

History lesson? Hmm, let's see. In 700 AD Stef was a Celtic war priestess leading savage axe-wielding hordes into battle against the Roman invaders, and in roughly 1500 I was a southeast Asian jungle witch doctor brewing up storms to sink the Spanish galleons. We met in 2002, became instant best friends, and have played in several projects together ever since, touring Canada a number of times and just generally destroying public property.

2. You also come from another band "Killbourne" which musically speaking is very different from "Tosca" so how did the idea for creating Sludge/Doom Noise Rock come about ?

We both have pretty broad tastes (for instance, her background is jazz, mine's classical). But we've wanted to do "crushing down tempo" for ages, and of all the sub-sub-subgenres of rock music, this is closest to my heart. Most of the modern heavy music that I find the most intelligent, creative, and inspired tends to fall under the sludgedoomnoise umbrella.

3. You both a eclectic range of influences but is there one or two bands you listen for inspiration ?

Lots of old Neurosis. We are both big Isis fans, and about four years ago I saw another Canadian band called KEN mode that more or less redefined modern heavy for me.

4. What is life like in "Alberta" for a band like yourselves ?

Touring in Canada poses a lot of really interesting challenges. In the States, major urban centers are 2, 3 hours apart. Here, they're often 8, 10, 12 hours apart. What this basically means is, if you don't really, really like road trips, you shouldn't tour Canada! But as with any residents of a cold and unforgiving land, we consider it a test of strength and fortitude! Okay, sorry, I'm getting all black metal up in here, I'll stop.

5. What is in the works for future recordings ? It would be cool if you can get a full length album out sometime soon.

Our debut full length will be recorded in the New Year and released by spring/early summer, hopefully! We are currently talking to an engineer whose work I'm a huge fan of, we're awfully excited.

6. OK, this is a bit of a sexist question but there has been a massive increase in the amount of female's playing Doom and Sludge which i think is great by the way but what is your favorite women in the scene ?

That's not a sexist question. A sexist question would be "What's your cup size?" Ahem, anyway... Gallhammer's lo-fi brutality rocks my world, and their ability to meld a number of extreme genres. I quite like Laura's guitar work in Kylesa, and Julie Christmas (from Made out of Babies, Battle of Mice etc) is one of the raddest vocalists out there regardless of gender or genre.

7. I read in your blog that you will never get a bass player. What is the reason for the band making that decision ?

Because we'd rather only have to split the beer tickets two ways rather than three. Just kidding, we're actually not entirely closed to the idea. We have great playing and writing chemistry between the two of us, and we've been friends for so long, it's hard to imagine finding a third person we'd gel with. But if the perfect person came around, we might give it a shot. In the meantime however I prefer replacing humans with giant amplifiers, noisy pedals, and dysfunctional computers.

8. What has been the reaction to your demo so far ?

I am thrilled and very grateful that we have had so much enthusiasm and support. OMG THX GUISE!

9. You plan on doing some shows, will that still be the two of you or are thinking about bringing in a extra member ?

Well, so far we've been a two piece live. Again, we'll play this shit by ear.

10. What styles of music did you listen to while growing up and what attracted you to the heavy music scene ?

I think I was born loving chaotic, harsh, dark, noisy sounds. As soon as I was exposed to it as a kid, I gloomed onto it instantly; "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath" was the record that ruined my budding show-choir career at age 14. From there, I was like any good junkie, constantly needing more and more intense highs. I grew up in the 90s and while I listened to all the classic metal, it was always the unclassifiable stuff I loved the most, the extremely heavy and weird shit on the periphery of the grunge and alternative scene.

11. The heavy music scene in Canada seems to be growing judging by the amount of demos i have been hearing from there lately. Is there any bands from your area people should check out ?

Yes! From Manitoba, check KEN mode, Velodrome, Prague, L'Viv... from B.C. check out Damages and of course Bison who are blowing up in a big way... from our own hometown of Calgary check out Monkey, Baikal, Cold Craving... from Saskatchewan check out Lavagoat and Molten Lava (two Lava names, who'd have thunk it?) from Ontario, Buried Inside and 50watthead. Canada is full of awesome!!!

12. Thanks again for the chance to do this interview. Any last words for the readers ?

Ok we all know that the digital age has gimped record sales... the best way to counteract this is GO SEE LIVE SHOWS! As awesome as records are, nothing can quite take the place of live music! Keep them heads banging!


Oct 21, 2009

Abstract Spirit - Liquid Dimensions Change / Tragedy And Weeds

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I got both these albums from "Abstract Spirit" the same day so rather than split the reviews up i thought it would put both of them in the one review because they are both great doses of Funeral Doom. The band is from Russia and while the country is not really force in the Metal scene, the Doom bands from there all seem to be real good. "Abstract Spirit" have been together since 2006 and are on the "Solitude Productions" label which has become a extremely accomplished record label with bands on their roster like the mighty "Heavy Lord". The label seems to focus mostly on the Funeral Doom genre and "Abstract Spirit" must be one of the best bands doing it. "Liquid Dimensions Change" came out in last year and its a slow, moody, atmospheric album in a similar vein to bands like early "Cathedral" and "Winter". The songs are slow, i mean real slow and take a long long time to develop and build which may turn some people off the album but its worth sitting through for the pure darkness factor. The album has only 6 songs that stretch the album out to over 60 minutes but its a long harrowing process to get to the end of the album in one sitting. The vocals kill, low deep grunting is the style on show here and it fits in well with the low-end crunch of the guitar work. This is a delightfully depressive album but with the movements being so slow to develop, it may push some listeners to thoughts of suicide. 7/10

The new album however “Tragedy And Weeds” shows some real progression and a change into more high quality production and more focused song construction. The material is still total Funeral Doom but sounds more mature and the songs sound more well thought out and arranged. Like "Liquid Dimensions Change", there is another 6 songs of depressive melodies, bleak atmosphere all played slow with the guttural growling vocals still there in check. They use the sound of sound of wind instruments to create a even more "Funeral Like Feeling" and while the style hasn't changed much, there is certainly more to this album compared with their previous effort. This music often promotes feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness which is the whole point behind "Funeral Doom" and this band creates the mood for those emotions very well indeed. No track stands out anymore than any other, they all reek of the same sounds and quality but "Tragedy And Weeds" beats ""Liquid Dimensions Change" hands down in my opinion. Perfect music for your next day of heavy rain and howling winds. 9/10


Oct 20, 2009

Dopefight - Demo 2009

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Jeez this demo from UK's "Dopefight" sure packs the proverbial punch, Bass dominated riffing with such a low tone it is almost sickening in its bellowing, guttural approach. The band main inspiration is the mighty THC so the comparison to "Bongzilla, Sleep and other Stoner/Doom bud worshipers will come as obvious but in amongst those grooves there is a good dose of "Iron Monkey" and "Grief" sounding tortured Doom. The band has a odd but amusing interest with the evil one himself "Satan" but i get the impression they are taking the piss with it. Either way its very entertaining in a perverse kind of way. The sonic bass tones, crashing drums and guttural vocals combine for a sound that is generic but at the same time hard to dismiss for sheer bombastic qualities. There is some weird, distorted vocal sounds which sets them apart from a lot of other bands but being the demo is so short, it is hard to judge if this sound would be so effective if it was spread over a full length album. This is the type of band that will blow your head off and make your stomach churn all at the same time. I am a lover of bass sounds so i ate this baby up and smoked up big time the times i have gave this a spin. It has great production and cool artwork but its a real short teaser of what the future may have in-store for this band. I can't wait for a full length album, it could be one of the all time great Stoner/Doom albums if the time is right and the weed is good. Smoke it. 9/10


Let The Night Roar - S/T

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"Let The Night Roar" is a Atlanta power trio that is fronted by ex Malevoloent Creation/Leviathan guitarist Jeff Juszkiewicz. First thing to hit your eardrums is the obvious similarity to "High On Fire", even the vocals sound for the most part sound like "Matt Pike" but the band has it's own identity in the fact they have a more solid metallic crunch than Pike & Co. The metallic crunch comes in old-school sounds made famous by bands like "Celtic Frost, Kreator and Venom" but they put their own stamp on the songs, blending Metal, Stoner, Sludge, Doom and elements of Punk into one seamless package. There is no shortage of fuzzy guitar riffs, solid drumming and high energy driving heaviness. The band come up with some huge riffs, check out the one that kicks off the band's theme song "Let The Night Roar" for a example of sonic metallic bliss, another killer opens the album in "All Costs".
The songs are concise, nothing is spared and no time is wasted because their is a certain urgency to the playing. Recorded by Jeff Bako, the production is solid and loud enough to crack skulls but its a little short on songs so the desire to hear a lot more from this band is already there for me.This band has a sound that could appeal to a wide range of heavy music fans from Doomsters, Stoner Rockers to old school thrash metal fans even. Good to see they have this released on a label like Meteor City and i hope they do a decent job getting their name out so people can listen to this but i have a feeling we will be hearing a lot more from this band. Sonically impressive stuff, check it out. 9/10

Band's MySpace

Doom Metal Alliance Sampler Volume 8

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1. Spider Kitten - Burdened ( roll on )
2.Tosca - Venison
3.W.T.T.A - Up Above
4.Trilogy - Chaos
5.Cultura Tres - Crosses And Lines
6.Volksmerink - Flame And Kerosene
7.Hiam - Her Initium At Moriturus
8.Serpent Rise - Travellin Free
9.Wight - While Im Digging My Grave

File is split into two parts, part two contains artwork, track and band info.

Dma Vol.8 Part One.rar
Dma Vol.8 Part Two.rar

Oct 19, 2009

Coffinworm - Great Bringer Of Night Demo 2009

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Coffinworm from Indianapolis, Indiana have made this demo, 'Great Bringer of Night' available and its well worth tracking down if you like blackened sludge that is as dirty sounding as possible. This band plunges to new depths of sonic excesses for a Sludge/Black Doom band, Recorded at the Basement Rage Studio in Indianapolis by Bob Fouts who with the band have managed a sound that has just the right amount of guttural depth, piecing feedback sounds and ominous heaviness. All of the three tracks emit a slight Black Metal darkness combined with swaggering sludge filled Doom riffs and they have the demented growling to complete the effect. Drums pound like demonic cannons and the low guitar and bass tones churn and twist their way through every tune on here. First impression is they are a sicker version of "Eyehategod" but after repeated spins, a more Black Metal edge becomes apparent especially in the onslaught filled drum work. There is some deathly time changes here and there that are subtle but effective. "High on the Reek of Your Burning Remains" stands out as being a highlight but all 3 tracks exhibit the same kind of sonic depravity, crusty, swampy and haunting tales of hate filled Doom. Mostly slow to mid tempo riffing but with some faster breaks especially in "High on the Reek of Your Burning Remains" that crushes the braincells. From all reports the band is working on a debut full length which should be out in 2010 on Profound Lore Records. Till then you can pulverize your brain with this 3 tracker. 9/10


Gallery - Demo 2009

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Gallery are a Sludge/Crust Metal band from Los Angeles and crusty is the best way to describe how they do things. Throaty yells,screaming,tortured vocals and filthy bombastic riffs are here in abundance. Songs are mostly of the mid-tempo variety and have that patented Black Sabbath style guitar attack while keeping the intensity level at a high. This is a great sounding demo, raw but heavy guitars and pounding drums with crashing cymbals. Take a listen to tracks like "Soulkrusher" and "House Of Cards" for evidence of some high energy Sludge, there is a certain urgency in their playing. As well as the tracks i have already mentioned, "War Drums" is another track to take note of along with the instrumental "Know No Wrong" which is actually my favorite track on the demo. This is a real neck snapping exercise in Sludge Metal chaos and the spoken word samples and incredibly well placed. The song has a swaggering groove that doesn't let up throughout its almost 7 minute running time. I think it should be pointed out that this demo is up for free download from their Myspace page and it needs to be downloaded and played at loud volumes on your home stereo to fully appreciate how heavy the band really is. The songs lose a lot of their power played from the Myspace site but burn this on a CD and crank it up. This is one of the best free demo's on offer going around at the moment and even if it wasn't a freebie, i would recommend you seek this one out. Its 28 minutes, no weak tracks and contains some real intense Sludgy Metal played with some real power and passion. The artwork is also great, made by the bass player from the band and the download also comes with the lyrics which are dark and pessimistic which just adds to the intensity of the tunes. Check it out, you wont be disappointed. 9/10


Oct 18, 2009

Blue Aside - Demo

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Blue Aside have a two track demo available for free download so you have no excuse's to check this one out. The band plays a brand of Psychedelic Doom meets Progressive Stoner Rock and they have more than enough musical ability to stand out amongst other bands in the field of this heavy music. The original element of the band is in the vocals that have a other-worldly quality that can only be described as trippy. "The Traveller Of Time And Space" sounds like a fuzz rock version of "Hawkwind" in many ways but with enough originality in the sound to make it sound unique. The production is a bit on the lo-fi end of the spectrum but this just adds to the cosmic feel of the songs. "Otis Sun" starts off with a heavy riff before moving into a 70's Space Rock style of playing. Very Pink Floydish in the way its executed, melodic with a dramatic feel. In terms of Doom, they have a "Sons Of Otis" way of riffing but once again played with a 70's feel. The guitar soars over the top of the sound with some "David Gilmour" inspired bluesy lead work, in fact "Otis Sun" reminds me a little of the "Pink Floyd" track "Echoes" in the way it builds and builds. This is a great demo but only two tracks long so it just leaves you wanting to hear a lot more. This is 70's Classic Rock, Stoner Rock with elements of Doom all rolled into one nifty little package. I cant wait to see where the band goes from here, there has been a trend building recently of bands like "Ancestors" that combine Doom/Stoner groove with a 70's Rock feel and i think "Blue Aside" could be another one that will make waves very soon. Head to their site for the free download of the demo, a bit short to fully judge the band but well worth a listen. 9/10


Downtrodden - Dark September

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Downtrodden from Canada new album "Dark September" is one massive slab of Sludge and Doom. Listening to this album makes me think they maybe the best Sludge band ever to come out of Canada, yes they are that good. Let's start with the obvious, they are very much in the mold of Sludge Gods "Crowbar" even right down to the vocal work. This is not a bad thing at all to me, "Crowbar" are one of my favorite bands of all time. There no weak links here, "Take A Shot" is one of the strongest moments on the disc. The riff's are the key to their songs and the riff in this track slays, there is even some feeling to the heaviness. Its not just heaviness for the sake of being heavy, they create some real intensity to their method of Sludge and Doom. The guitar is immensely thick and full and the drum sound is especially huge. Take the track "Father" for a good example, again the riff rules everything. It sways with a kind of slowed down Black Label Society groove only much heavier, a lot has to be said about the solid guitar work of the two guitarist's from this band. They have talent to spare for creating some great Sludge riffage. Its not what you would called original but who the hell cares with tunes that are as a punishing as these monsters."Tragedy" is another killer track, the way the riffing compliments the throaty bellowing of the vocals creates the feeling of pure anguish. Downtrodden have managed to make a "textbook sludge album" so forget about the "Crowbar" reference and just dig it. This album is a keeper, check it out. 9.5/10


Oct 16, 2009

Rise - Seer ( free download )

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Rise are a 2 man band consisting of Gunter Rivera on guitar,bass,drums and keyboards and Jurgen Rivera on vocals. They have a album up on Pure Volume for free download and you will find the link at the bottom of this review. Not the easiest band to review as they mixed everything from Progressive Rock,Psych,Psychedelic,Stoner to classic 70's Hard Rock and Metal.On the album you will find no filler as its all good material but i will mention a few highlights."Dogs" is one of those tracks that has the Classic Rock tag written all over it,sliding guitar riffs,pounding drums and even dog howls to complete the atmosphere. Like all songs on here, its beautifully constructed and played but it also totally rocks. The guitar work is a feature on this track along with every track really, it moves and swings with a 70's groove that is very accessible but still not too commercial. Title track "Seer" has a early 70's Psych groove with a vocal sound that wouldn't sound out of place on a James Gang record. "Sun" is a acoustic driven song, kind of bluesy but short and sweet."Desert" starts off with a kick ass riff and has a sound that reminds you of something and yet sounds like nothing you have ever heard before. That is the beauty of these songs, you feel like you have heard this before somewhere but try and think of something to compare it to and it leaves you confused and lost. While "Desert" starts off in a traditional rocking manner, it has a acoustic outro that really deserves to go on much longer. "Earth X" is another keeper, it gets on its way with some epic Pink Floydish riffing and retains a certain ambiance right to the end of the song. If there is a band that would benefit from longer songs its this one, most of the tracks seems to finish without completing their journey. Hardly a big deal i know but i would have like the tracks to be longer as some of it has a feeling of being a little underdone in places. Things get a bit Psychedelic on "Artfarm" with its ambient intro before moving into a real moody section, sad desperation is the feeling i got while listening to this. Its mellow but a real dramatic piece of music. On "Blind" things get a bit Progressive and they make full use of all their instrumental prowess creating a sound that is full and once again dramatic.The other big standout track is "King", more of a traditional Hard Rock but with a killer guitar line that has a immediate hook to it. I must point out for my readers that this is not Doom Metal and its not really Stoner Rock even though they have some of those elements but its a style of groove based 70's Rock that us Stoner types can appreciate. By the sound of things a lot of work has gone into these songs with the amount of instrumentation that goes on within the tracks. Nicely produced with every instrumental clear and strong in the mix. At times the vocals sound a little buried but the dude's voice is real powerful so that makes up for it. Surprising something like this is made available for free but i am not complaining. This is quality old-school rock that should find a audience within the Stoner/Psych crowd, grab a download and check it out. 9/10

PureVolume™ | We're Listening To You
RISE (official) on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

Oct 14, 2009

Raving Season - The Brightness Of My Disaster

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Raving Season from Italy play a mixture of Doom/Death and Gothic Metal with a Progressive Rock edge with two female vocalists. There is Judith who has the clean more melodic voice while Federica handles the more extreme growling type vocal parts. I normally find it hard to get into bands like this but i found this CD (which is classed as a EP despite its 35 minute running time) to be quite a enjoyable listen. The band has a pretty heavy sound but also includes acoustic parts and keyboards. The album starts with a acoustic/keyboard intro piece before leading into the first real track which is clearly Gothic Metal. The contrast between the two different vocal styles blend surprisingly well and the instrumentation is very progressive but also has a epic doom atmosphere.The song is quite a journey at over 10 minutes and while the track is well put together, i feel the guitars lack a bit of crunch. "The Sterile Caress Of Violence" starts off in a more Black Metal direction with a growling vocal attack and with many style changes within the one track. This track seems to be the most old-school on the EP bringing back memories of bands like "Nightwish". Its another long track but well constructed and arranged so it doesn't drag on too much, this is maybe the pick of the album. "Shield Cage" continues in a similar direction but at this stage the vocals might be become a bit grating if you are not into this style. This song like the others is pretty complex but interesting enough to keep you attention. The guitar work is solid throughout without stealing the show, just heavy enough to fill out the songs, the vocals being the way they are tend to me the main focal point of the band.Maybe a little too much at times but you can be the judge of that. The EP ends with a beautiful melancholic piano piece called "My Funeral" which is haunting and brings the disc to a close in a powerful yet mellow way. The drum sound on this EP i found to be a little frustrating as the sound seems to be a little uneven at times but the rest of the mix sounds great.Not much to criticize about it musically, they are all very good at what they do but how you hear this EP will for the most part come down to the vocals. If you are a fan of Gothic styled Death Doom with female vocals then you will eat this up, if not you may find it a little annoying.I am somewhere in the middle, musically i found it to be a good, slightly complex but enjoyable Death Doom EP but the Gothic edge threw me off at times. I would still highly recommend you check this out if this is a style you like and if you are new to the genre then you could do much worse than this. 7/10


Oct 13, 2009

Sinister Realm - S/T

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Sinister Realm started as a project band by ex-Pale Divine bass player John Gaffney and also Darin McClosky also from Pale Divine but with the addition of Alex Kristof on vocals and guitar duo John Kanter and Keith Patrick, they have now become a full working band. They have already released a great demo but now have been signed up by Shadow Kingdom Records who are fast becoming one of the best labels around at the moment. The standard of bands on the label is stunning.Musically the band walks the fine line between old school Doom Metal and Traditional Heavy Metal with plenty of majestic epic-ness thrown in for good measure. Kicking the album off with “(The Oracle) Into the Depths of Hell” is just perfect with great melody and some great guitar work. Like most of the songs on here, they are composed to build and build till the fitting epic conclusion. Guitar sound is soaring throughout the album along with the low-end bass sound that is real punishing. The vocals are also strong and powerful with lyrics that are menacing. The solo work is also majestic but also played with a sense of class and precision, this album is full of finely balanced songs that don't go overboard in any one department.“Machine God” is a great example of how a fairly simple riff idea can turn into a masterpiece, the melodies within the track are instantly memorable. “March of The Damned” is another Doom Metal classic, lumbering once again into epic Doom greatness. “Message From Beyond” has some vocal work along with a acoustic section right before some wicked guitar solo work weaves its way into the song. There is times when classic Candlemass meets Deep Purple comes to mind, i don't if anyone else will hear this but there is a certain finesse to the playing on here that is very 70's guitar god inspired. “ Mongol Horde” is another strong track and once again epic in terms of feel and how the song is executed and you cant go wrong with “The Circle is Broken” that closes the album in a similar but inspiring Doom Metal fashion. This is one of the strongest debut releases of the year and one that should make the band a instant hit for Doom Metal fans but also lovers of Traditional Metal who want something with a bit more depth than the usual Metal fare. The playing is solid but the strong point is the songwriting which is has a timeless quality to it, after just one listen i already knew that this is a album i will listen to over and over.Even the weakest tunes on here are still good while the best tracks are breathtaking quality Doom meets Classic Metal. 9/10


Oct 12, 2009

Children Of Doom - Ride-Over the Green Valley Demo

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Children Of Doom sound a little inexperienced on this demo but that also means that have room to grow, that points to a really exciting future in the world of Doom because this is a great demo. It has a couple of flaws, the sound is not great as i had to really crank up the stereo to get a good fix on the music. The first thing you will noticed is the guitar work which has a St.Vitus meets The Obsessed vibe about it and then its the vocals. Is this dude Glenn Danzig or what, that is not a complaint by the way but he is the first singer you will think of when you hear this dude. The band has a distinctly 80's feel to them and the songs are extremely well played, the lyrics are also really good. Songs about alcohol and chicks has always worked for me but there is more to them than just that. Musically they play for the most part "text book doom" with no real surprises but they have a obvious love for Traditional Doom Metal and that comes out in the songs. Sometimes you can just tell when a band is genuine about what they do and Children Of Doom are one of those bands.The band is suppose to be doing a split 7" with The Bottle Doom Lazy Band and that sounds like a good combination to me. In the meantime you have this 4 tracker to keep you going, pay special attention to "Hell's On Wheels" and "Hangover" which are both fine tracks of Doom. Worth keeping a eye on this band when a full length album finally surfaces. 8/10


Silver Devil - Demo 2009

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Yet another band from Sweden and simply one of the best demo's i have ever heard. The band is Silver Devil, a 5 piece Stoner/Fuzz band that might lack some originality and they do sound like something from 10 years ago but they make for that by delivering 5 tracks of some awe-inspiring rock. The demo starts off with "Follow Me Down" and within seconds you get blown away with its overdriven guitar sound and psychedelic grooves.The obvious comparison is Truckfighters or classic Fu Manchu but Silver Devil might be cranking the fuzz attitude up a notch higher. "Deceitful" continues in the same vein with more great riffs and by the time you reached the third track "In Space" the riffing has you hooked. I wish more bands in this genre was up to this standard. The last two tracks "Demons" and "Pesadilla" push the band in a slightly more space rock direction with the last track being one of the strongest tracks on this demo.While other so called Stoner/Fuzz Rock bands seem to be losing their potency of late, its cool to see there is bands like this to fill the void.The band has energy to spare and has so many hooky riffs, it is hard not to love this demo. The sound is awesome for a demo and of course they will be called a "copy cat band" in some music circles but who really cares. This rocks, check them out.9.5/10

Silver Devil [STUDIO] on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

Oct 11, 2009

Argus - S/T

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Argus are a band that gets lumped in with the Doom Metal scene but they are a band that has so much going on as far as influences are concerned. There is the odd Candlemass, Trouble and Sabbath worshiping moment but there is also a nod towards bands like Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy. I would compare them to Pale Divine but they also have a Solitude Aeturnus type of sound in some of thier tracks. Check out "Devils Devils" for one hell of a catchy tune with some great twin guitar riffing, chunky grooves and some solid solo work. Ex -Penance frontman Butch Balich handles the vocals and does a commanding job and other band members are equally up to the task. The guitar duo of Jason Mucio and Erik Johnson do a remarkable job, hardly what you would call ground-breaking but very tight and with a certain amount of class. Tracks like “Bending Time” show off their skills with some impressive guitar chops and the rhythm section of Kevin Latchaw and bassist Andy Ramage add some real solid metallic backbone. At times a couple of songs sound a little messy like in "From Darkness Light" where the arrangement of riffs seems to get a little lost at times but complaints like that are rare on this album. “Eternity (Beyond, Part I)” has a real 70's hard rock feel that is like a long lost Thin Lizzy gone Doom track and on “The Damnation of John Faustus” they give birth to a Doom monster of a track. The powerful production on this album really helps a track like this along and pushes the tune to its full potential. The song is a jaw-dropping slow to mid-tempo Doom track with riffs and rhythm that totally slay's the listener, this gets my vote as the best track on the album. “The Outsider” is about as solid as a hammering 10 minute Doom track can get and on “The Effigy is Real” the band really stretch out instrumentally. “None Shall Know The Hour” is another highlight with another killer twin guitar riff and a solo section in the middle of the song that is as close to perfection as you will hear anywhere. While this a great album, there is still room for improvement which is kind of scary considering how good this album is. The main faults is in some of the songwriting which at times sound like a mish mash of riffs rather than a cohesive piece of work but when it works it is awe-inspiring. The artwork on the album is stunning and like previously mentioned, the production is amazing. 8.5/10

Argus (debut CD available NOW !) on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

Fu Manchu - Signs of Infinite Power

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Fu Manchu are back with album number 11 for them and if you are like me wanting a return to the glory days like "King Of The Road" and "In Search Of " you maybe disappointed but this is still another good release just the same. One thing i feel has been lacking from Fu Manchu in recent years is the lack of hooky riffs like they used to have on the older albums. This album suffers from the same problem, while there is all the classic trademarks, big riffs, attitude and the fuzz sound it lacks any instant classic tunes. Negatives aside the album has got some kick ass moments, "Bionic Astronautics" kicks things off in typical Fu Manchu style, signature heavy fuzz riffs are there but also a slightly different approach to their songwriting. In fact this whole album sounds like they are trying real hard to do something different while still retaining the classic sound the band has. For the most part is works, "Webfoot Witch Hat", "One Step Too Far" and the title track are all great tracks with the band running at full steam. Its on tracks like "Against the Ground" where the band seems to be in cruise control, not that its a bad track its just not a tune that will have you reaching for the repeat button. "Gargantuan March" has a decent riff but once again has no lasting effect on me, "Eyes x 10" is one of the highlights on the album with a great riff and feel. One of the outstanding things about the album though is the drums, they sound loud and heavy as hell. There is not much to say about a album like this, if you are already familiar with Fu Manchu you will know what to expect, if not this album is as good as anything they have released since the "King Of The Road" days but much better than "Start The Machine" but not as good as "We Must Obey". I am a long time fan of the band since first hearing them back in the mid 90's but i feel the best days are now behind them, this a very listenable album but lacks the powerful hooks that made the early albums so special. Having said all that the band still rules in a live setting and these songs should sound more powerful on stage and it will be interesting to see which songs make to their live set. It is great that the band shows no signs of slowing down and this album will sit comfortably with their other albums but i can't see it being regarded as a Stoner/Fuzz Rock classic, just a album that continues the tradition of "So Cal Fuzz Rock" that Fu Manchu has so much to do with creating. The album should be available to all within a couple of weeks. 7/10

Oct 8, 2009

Culted - S/T

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From the first time i heard this, it immediately hit me that this is a album that might spark some debate among the Doom scene and i will tell you why. The music on this "Culted" can easily be viewed as a work of genius by one section of the Doom community while others will ultimately find it overblown or too minimalist in places to have any lasting memory. To back my theory up, i have already heard both points of view from several close Doom friends on mine. I tend to lean towards the former, not a easy listening experience by any stretch of the imagination but for me this is a work of art that could have been done in today's digital age. The reason is this album and i hope i am right about this was made by sending musical idea's back and forth between Sweden and Canada via email.
To most people this would cause a total lack of chemistry between musicians but here they have actually pulled it off pretty well. The six tracks on here are cold, bleak and almost mechanical slabs of Doom done in a kind of simplistic, minimalist way using noise elements and tribal percussive ideas. The ambient/noise elements are all tastefully done however and there is enough contrasting moods to keep it interesting. On "Tyrant Cold" the focus is on a mood piece rather than crushing riffs while "Social Control" takes on a more energetic Doom approach. The tribal sounding percussion comes to the party on "Gunburn" creating a other worldly atmosphere and on "Place Of Skulls" they get about as cold and depressing as you can get. For the most part this comes off to me as sounding like a Psychedelic version of "Khanate" but they may be even more innovative and in some aspects more extreme. The vocals are especially cold, they sound like they were recorded in a dark grave or something with a feel that sounds distant from the rest of the music. You can hear the pain in Daniel Jansson’s vocals which makes it hauntingly beautiful but some people just won't get that experience from the album at all. While i write this review i can't help think its really a waste of time because you will have to judge this one for yourself, like i mentioned at the start of my review its has already creating mix feelings around my group of friends. This is one of the most unique and highly potent albums ever released on Relapse Records, hear it for yourself and don't listen to me on this one. The weak point about this album is the production which sounds weak but when you consider how this album was made, its to be expected. I have to take a point off for the low production values and another point off for some sections of tracks which just don't cut it for me but it deserves every bit of a 8/10. Some truly unique blackened Doom.

Culted on MySpace

Relapse Records

Oct 7, 2009

Ponamero Sundown - Stonerized

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Ponamero Sundown, would you believe another awesome band from Sweden ! This bands debut album plays almost like a tribute to everything Stoner Rock has gave us over the last 15 years. Within the album's grooves you can hear traces of Kyuss, Spiritual Beggars, Dozer, Truckfighters, Fu Manchu, Color Haze, The Awesome Machine and early Nebula. So as you can worked out by now, there is not much in the way of originality here but they still dish up some major fuzz rock music and are really pretty diverse within the Stoner Rock genre considering the amount of ground they cover on this disc. The band has a obvious mid 90's sound while the production is beefed up into modern day standards. The tracks on all reek of different influence's , "Live The Lie" sounds a little like mid era "Kyuss", "Doctor Of Evil" sounds like classic "Dozer" and you can pick out influences on every other track on here. This would be unfair for me to do though because this band do what they do so well that if i make comparisons to other bands with every track if would sound like they are just pure copy cats and that they are not ! “Alcoholic Deathride” is one track that they seem to have their own thing going, this is the opening track on the CD and it kicks some serious butt. Even more so is the aggressive “Double You” which has so much angry Stoner groove, you just want to crank this mutha up to 11. "Hell Bent" and ''Curtain Call" are great tracks full of some powerful Stoner riffs but the later sounds has a section that sounds like a clear rip off of something. Maybe someone out there can tell me what it is, it has been driving me nuts thinking about it. Instrumentally the band know their stuff, great guitar work played with real passion and energy. The vocals are just right for the tunes, well balanced in the mix but nothing to get too excited about. They do the job well however and the the overall mood of the CD is one of driving in your hotted up car, even hotter chick beside you with beer and weed to share. The instrumental title track is a surprise here, it finishes the album in a softer fashion. Weird way to finish the album, i think it would have been more effective in the middle just to serve as some sort of interlude. If you fell in love with Stoner Rock in the early to mid 90's like i did, you will eat this up. However if you are looking for something unique or original within the context of a Stoner/Fuzz/Desert Rock band you might this a little too much on the familiar side of things. What they do have going for them is some killer catchy riffs and just enough diversity to make you want to listen right to the end. A couple of interesting points, this album got to number 2 on the Swedish hard rock chart and cracked the top 30 on the mainstream chart. I guess that shows you much more the Swedes love their hard rock compared to the USA. This is only their debut album so maybe they are just testing out their Stoner craft, the next album could be truly amazing. 8/10


Oct 6, 2009

Castero - Sounds Like A Plan

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Castero from Ireland have one real groovy stomping sludgy release here, take a listen to the track "Die With Me" with one hell of a infectious riff and groove. The vocal lines have a sing-along quality and the crunching guitar and throbbing bass make a hybrid of sounds that doesn't fit in any one particular genre. I can't really work out if this band is Sludge, Stoner, Metal or some kind of Punk/Metal crossover. They have the punch of a Metal band but there is a strong Classic rock feel to the songs as well. The six tracks here are all good and all have a infectious groove that will get inside you and while they lack some of the heaviness of some other bands, they make up for it with sheer good time appeal. They are not original but really don't sound like anyone else, maybe its the vocal delivery that sets them apart which makes them a little unique. The real strong point here is the guitar crunch, like a Southern Sludge Rock version of Metallica or something similar. One track that stands out is "Wasted Man", again a good groove is maintained throughout the entire song and is catchy as hell. " Worlds Subside" is the one of the heaviest tracks with a killer riff and a great bass interlude 2 minutes into the track, once again a kick ass groove is written all over the track. If there is a weak point it might be the vocals which lack conviction at times but its a minor detail overall. The riffs are the key to this band and they have them in spades, i would have liked the songs to to be a little longer though. Some tracks have a abrupt ending just as you are getting right into it which is a pity because the tracks themselves are pretty damn good. I believe the band is working on a full length and i will be looking forward to hearing it because they have already shown great improvement since their earlier demo work. 8/10

CASTERO (New Track up) on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

Oct 4, 2009

Beware Of The Goat

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Big thanks goes out to Derek Edward Kellington for this interview with Canadian Psychedelic rockers "Lavagoat". A great band and if the two songs on their Myspace are anything to go by, i want to hear a lot more. Check them out by clicking the links in the interview.

When did the band start?
July 2007
Its not often you come across a band like this around here. What drew the band to this sound?
The sound resulted from wanting to get together drink beers, have smoke and Jam. And to have a more relaxed feel and just write, and whatever happens, happens.Just get loaded and play!
Have you had the opportunity to play many shows as of yet and how has the reaction been locally?
We have played Several Local shows and some out of town shows so far and the reception has been amazing, Unexpected and positive. with Lots of beer and Headbanging.
I see you are booking a tour for November. How is this coming along so far?
We are planning to leave Saskatchewan for a Select few dates to test the waters out West and maybe dip into the east. Keep checkin the Myspace to details on that.
How many songs are in your set?
Depends how long the set is. It changes for the situation.But in the entire repertoire we would have to declare there are over a thousand songs.
Are there any plans on hitting the studio to record an album?
Yes there are future plans to hit the studio again and complete an Entire album. No news as of yet on the Release date. But there is an EP in the works and also 2 Versions of a 3 song Demo that is Available now.
The two tracks on your myspace have different vocal sty-lings. Are the vocal duties shared?
Yes the Vocal duties are Share between Guitar and Bass player.
Does the whole band work the songs out together, or is someone in the band more involved in the writing?
Individuals bring Ideas to the table for everyone to work on it collectively.
I read the influences on your myspace. Are there any stand out influences to speak of that you feel help mold your sound?
Not specifically a band, just music in general, and continuing to draw influence from everywhere.
Were not trying to sound like this or that, its just what we have always done, and its the natural result of years of playing together as friends.
Are there any other projects the members are involved with?
Beyond the Ninth Wave(sean-Bass)
& many more


Any last words?

Grifter - The Simplicity of the Riff Is Key EP

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UK Riff Kings Grifter return with another EP of no bull, straight ahead bar-room 70's style jamming riff tunes. Simplistic to a degree but a wonderfully refreshing take on classic 70's Southern /Stoner Hard Rock, the title of this EP tells the story really. There is only 4 songs, nothing fancy just hit you in the gut rock and roll. The sound on this one seems a little more polished compared to their previous EP "High Unholy Mighty Rollin" but in a way it has made their sound even more straight to the point. There is big intro's or ending of songs, each track gets moving from the very first note. There is something about the sound that could only come from a British band, the vibe and energy reminds me of some classic UK bands from the past. The only modern band that comes close might be the amazing "Josiah" who also have that classic UK pub sound but Grifter don't need such comparisons. From the opening track "The Voices" you get a good dose of old fashioned groovy rock complete with a unforgettable chorus that will get you singing along especially if you are having a few beers while you are listening. If there is ever a band that makes you want to booze it up, it is this one. "Blind Rat Swarm" is a little more straight ahead with plenty of guitar crunch and pounding drums. There is a bit of a "ZZ Top" vibe within this tune and while this is a more traditional effort, it remains a favorite song of mine on this EP. "Pendulum" continues the groove based rock, another cool tune with a killer bass line. Ollie's vocals are particularly strong and these songs are perfect for his singing style, i know he has been compared to the dude from "Clutch" but i don't hear that much. The final track brings things back to a more straight forward style with more crunchy guitar and then its over. At under 20 minutes, its a short but ever so sweet kick ass pub rock release that should please both fans of 70's Hard Rock and modern Stoner rock people who still like good old fashioned beer drinking riff rock. This band might get words thrown at them like "generic" and "predictable" but this is only one blueprint for this style and Grifter know it backwards. This EP not only rocks but its also a lot of fun to listen to but bring the beer. 9/10

Grifter on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

HEDRA - 3 Inch DIY Doom

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The above poster pretty much describes this band, "Sludge Filled Mass Of Raw Doom". The 3" CD, yeah its tiny and i must admit i haven't seen too many of those. The CD dishes up 2 tracks of unrelenting Doom, dirty and raw to the extreme. The first track "Dirtsea" has a repetitive slow grinding riff, pulsating along for about 4 minutes before taking the tempo up a notch with a killer groove before slowing down once again. The vocals are screaming, horror filled tortured yells which compliments the monstrous riffing. There is even some great soloing with even a hint of melody which adds some real color to the track. " Below the Graves" is the other track, once again it is about as doom as you can get. Slow but also with a sense of demented groove, once again the vocal work is sick and twisted. There is a lot of bands that do this stuff but this one of the better ones of the new league of Sludge Doom bands that have that sick vocal sound. "Below The Graves" is similar to the first track in the way it has a great tempo change to build up the tension. Being only a 2 tracker, this only a teaser for the future. I can't wait to see where this band doe's next, i have a feeling this band will finish up being on a lot of play-list's within a few month's if these 2 monster tracks are anything to go by. Check them out, this is some killer Doom. 9/10

Hedra on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

Arise Within - The Season Of The Locust

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Arise Within from Oakland are one of those bands that first listen reek of classic rock greatness. Songs like " When Life Has Begun" has all those qualities that classic rock of the 70's had, strong melodies, shredding solo's, powerful vocals and a solid building arrangement to pushes the song to dramatic heights. They have a obvious love for the Sabbath riff but there is also other bands like Nazareth that spring to mind when hearing this band but they also manage to keep a original vibe to the tracks. They are big fans of the big riff and there is many to get excited about on this album, "We Can Be Saved" is another one of these tracks, the solo in the track rips and shreds but its all held together by some real strong melodies. I would say that is the bands strong suit, solid riffing and memorable vocal arrangements. "The Wrath" has a "Black Label Society" buzz about it, even the guitar sound has a "Zakk Wylde" groove to it but the band is not ripping these artists, they are taking them somewhere else. One of the best tracks has to be "Reborn", complete with a sledgehammer riff and "Paul Hill's" powerful but effortless vocal approach. Paul Hill also handles the vocals and while there is nothing original about his technique, he has one of those voices that stick in your head days after listening to the tunes. The drumming and bass work is solid, not mind blowing but just right for carrying and driving the songs home. "One More Time" is another solid number, good old-school headbanging stuff that you don't hear too much of anymore. "Lost In A Daze" is more Ozzy/Sabbath worship with another grinding riff, fans of bands like Sheavy will love this. The sound on the album is top-notch, extremely well balanced with every instrumental at just the right levels." In My Heart " is another good example of there solid song-writing, with a cool old school rock swagger and a solid hook. The truth is there is no weak tracks on here, no filler just one solid album of 70's worshiping melodic riff rocking. The only negative thing i can come up with is that some of the tracks seems a little short and underdone, but that has a lot to do with the fact a good riff deserves to keep on going as long as possible. Some tracks seem to stop a little bit early for me but that is a minor thing overall. My conclusion is this one solid effort from a band that really should have some sort of mainstream success, after all they are better than most of the bands in the mainstream riding the 70's retro rock wave. You can check it out here - Amazon.com: The Season Of The Locust: Arise Within: MP3 Downloads but there is also free downloads of the album up for grabs but i encourage you to check the band's Myspace page,message them and show some support.This is pretty cool old school stuff. 9/10

Arise Within on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Downloads

Oct 1, 2009

Ryan Gives Us Words Of Wisdom On Radio , Books And Sludge.

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Ryan plays in Hyperion Blast, has his own radio show on Brutal Existence Radio called "The Dirt Nap" and also has a book out. A very busy dude by the sounds of things and also extremely talented. Hyperion Blast are a killer Sludge band, The Dirt Nap is one of the best Internet Shows going and his writings are very interesting. Hope you enjoy this interview and tune in to the Dirt Nap, also support Hyperion Blast and buy their albums. Make sure you check out his book too. Read on.

1.Thanks Ryan for the chance to do this interview.Now of course i know all about you but maybe you should give people a quick life history.

Hmmm, well I play in a band called Hyperion Blast. I also do a radio show on Brutal Existence Radio called The Dirt Nap. It air’s Sundays at 4 pm til 8 pm. I like to also write and just finished my first book which is called “Words of Comfort From the Other Side of the Insane Asylum”. It is all done and I am super happy with the content in it. Aside from that I’m as boring as the rest of people. I have 2 dogs, a cat, some fish, a mouse, rabbits and a snake. I like Coors Light, Jager and coffee. Buffalo rules and sucks all at the same time.

2.How and why did you get involved with Brutal Existence Radio ?

Through Hyperion Blast I had talked to a few of the guys and sent them tracks. I started putting the station on when I got home from work and listening in here and there as I was doing shit around the house. Eventually I found out there were looking for Dj’s and I messaged Fowler. Gave him the idea for the show and all that and he was into it.

3.Tell us a bit about the show and the genres of music you play.

I play a little of everything. Mainly doom and sludge stuff but some death, black metal, indie…man everything goes. Plus I bitch a lot and run on and on.

4.Is there any bands that are constant regulars on the show or do you try and mix it up every week ?

I play a lot of Cavity and Weedeater. They are 2 mainstays. I usually try to run a nice mix of bands and genres. Lately Disappear and Doomriders. For the most part I try to make it diverse and listenable to people while still being able to rock out and enjoy the show myself.

5.If the show was sending out a message to people,what would that message be ?

That there is a ton of music out there that nobody has really heard. I get new stuff all the time and am like “damn, this fucking rules.” Uncle Bill and Forged in Flame are some of the bands that I came across here and blow my fucking mind. Sucks more people don’t hear them but I do my best to get new bands in peoples ears. I love Torche and Eyehategod but really everyone has heard that. There are a ton of bands out there that are just as good (or better) that just don’t have the right people in them and so on. I still play the more popular doom stuff but I try to get new bands on the air.

6.How important is Internet Radio to the Doom/Stoner/Sludge scene at the moment ?

Very. Mainstream FM radio sucks. They play the same garbage nonstop. Problem is that it is accessible. There really is no place for doom or any other REAL extreme metal. XM has metal stations but they classify Killswitch Engage as extreme. I found a ton of bands through internet radio and I would have to assume that there are more like that out there. If you play anything extreme and want it heard by people who are gonna dig it then internet radio is a great place for you. I think it’s helped bands a ton get heard. Along with other internet based stuff. You almost don’t ever need to leave your bedroom to promote your band anymore. Hmmmm, I like that idea. Haha

7.Its very hard to attract listeners to a Internet Radio Show being there is so much of it these days but i think BER stands out compared to a lot of other stations.What is the strength of BER as you see it ?

Solid DJ’s. They know their metal and have banter to boot sometimes. It runs 24 hours a day pretty much and the people behind the scenes like Fowler and Mark are always busting their asses to help out and promote the shows. No ego’s. Just solid people doing shit they love.

8.You been doing a lot of writing,can you give us a run-down on all your writing projects ?

As for the book that I just finished. It is called Words of Wisdom from the Other Side of the Insane Asylum. It’s poems, rants and ramblings that probably border on insanity. I actually have a new one I am working on now. Hopefully I end up as happy with the finished product or happier with the new one as I was the old one.

9.What has the reaction been like to your books and have you sold many ?

Due to the fact that I am broke I only made like 30 of the first press I did. They are all gone. I recently put it up on lulu.com, which is a place you can self-publish a book store ready book. Nothing yet there but as of this interview I just finished that up. Through all sales of it the money goes straight to cover the cost and print more copies. I literally see nothing as far as profit on the ones I made which I am OK with. The reaction has been great. People say it’s deep and dark shit. As long as someone takes something from it then I am happy. I had one person actually tell me certain poems kinda hit them on a personal level. That is pretty rad.

10.What inspires you to write these works ?

Rough days that turn into downright bad times. I usually write when shit ain’t going good to keep myself from doing harm to me and others maybe. It’s a great vent. I’ve been through some shit and hopefully some of what I have to say rings a bell and maybe gives someone a new outlook on things. The first book was all poems and so on about my life and the world around me as I see it. The new one is more essays on my personal search for a better me. Some of it comes across as selfish I must admit but I have always believed that if you don’t watch out for yourself and understand what makes you tick then you are useless to the rest of the world.

11.Have you got a long term goal as where to take your writings like book deals etc ?

As long as I can get them out there then I am fine with it. I don’t need to make any money off of it. It is a hobby and also something I love to do. Whether people read it or not I will write it. Figure there may be people out there interested enough to want a copy. Mainly I like to think that something I say might reach someone on an emotional level. If I can do that then that’s better than any money or fame and all that shit.

12.Do you writings ever inspire your music or do the two ever become combined into song ideas ?

Absolutely. Most lyrics for HB start out as brainstorm sessions. I write a whole bunch of stuff down and then take the idea and make a song of it. In the book there are actually a few poems that are HB lyrics and others that are the foundation of some of the lyrics. No matter what I am doing, be it writing songs, poems or anything else, I take all the personal shit that builds up and write it down. Most of the stuff is probably pretty dark and makes me out to be a super miserable person. Well, I’m actually a pretty happy person but when the shit storms hit I get an itch to write it all down.

13.Can you give the readers some info on how to get hold of your work ?

A few ways right now. They can visit www.stores.lul.com/insanescribblings. The first book is there now to order. It is available as a “book store ready” paperback. People can also order it as a PDF file for download. They can visit www.myspace.com/insanescribblings as well for info on the book and future writings.

14.I guess you should also tell the readers when they can tune in to the radio show.

To check out the show you can tune to Brutal Existence Radio on Sundays from 4 to 8 PM east coast time. The station more or less runs all day and is loaded with awesome shows. If ya wanna see my play lists or find anything out about the show you can visit The Dirt Nap (B.E.R.) | MySpace

15.Do you get much time to tune in to the other shows on BER and what is your favorites ?

Whenever I am doing shit around the house I tune in. I love The Steaming Pile. Probably my favorite show. Heathen throws in good music and makes me chuckle here and there. Crestfallen is amazing too. I don’t think there are really any shows I don’t like. There are a few I thought I might not like and after listening to them thought they were amazing.

16.There is a lot of great personality's on BER,that must make it so much easier ?

Hell yeah. Never met any of them in person but from what I gather they are awesome people. We cover for each other and shit like that. We help promote each others shows. There’s no shitty feelings among anyone that I am aware of.

17.What is your plans for the next 6 months as far as writing,Radio and of course Music.

Well HB is doing a full length in November that will be on Leaf Lust Records. Stoked on that. As far as the radio show I just wanna keep adding songs to the lists and growing the show and BER as a whole. For the writing piece I just wanna get this book into as many peoples hands as I can. Hopefully the new book will be finished soon and I can get that out there.

18.Cheers for the interview,any last thoughts ?

There are a ton of good bands and people out there that sometimes you may need to dig a bit for. A lot of the shit you might find by accident or by just giving something new a chance might surprise the hell out of you. I remember getting a myspace request from Uncle Bill when I first made the HB page. Since then they are a regular listen for me. I might never have found them if it hadn’t been by accident or chance. A lot of people work their nuts off, not just the ones with the big names, big labels and big bucks. Go check out something new. You will be stunned at all the awesome shit out there.

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