Dec 31, 2012

INTERVIEW: A Cosmic Interlude with CARAVAN OF WHORES ...

Caravan of Whores brings heavy combination of doom’n’stoner straight from Oxfordshire, check both of their Eps “A Cosmic Interlude” and “Road to Kurti” – yes, it’s a smuggling, but it would be a real crime to miss such a good catch. So play few songs onto their bandcamp as you read this interview with Pete, the man who plays bass and sings in the band.

Salute Pete! How are you mate? What did happen with the band after release of your second Ep “Road to Kurti” in august 2012?

Not a lot really, Kurti got great reviews by the online webzines, which is always nice, but in reality nothing really happened. Jamie started his 2nd year at Uni, which stemmed our gigging as its a very intensive course, we actually turned down a few bloody good London shows as we just couldn’t afford to get to them. It’s been tough. The Metal Hammer cover mount in the summer did fuck all for us, which was a bit of a disappointment, but then, we didn’t want that song on it as its the least representative of us, the lads don’t like playing 'NOW' as it harks back to a time before them, I wrote that in 2002 I think! But we didn’t have a choice of the track choice and as it was free so, nothing ventured nothing gained, ah well!

You released your first Ep “A Cosmic Interlude” via Kerosene Records and “Road to Kurti” has been released by the band, though you have pretty strong stuff. Why didn’t you find a label for this time?

Ah, Interlude was also self released, the whole kerosene thing was a joke and a steep learning curve, a testament to my naivety. It didn’t/hasn’t put us off being on a label and we have/are trying still., but, there’s a lot of bands out there chasing the same thing. We are still hopeful that someone somewhere can hear the potential we have and would like to sign us, just waiting for that person to make the connection.

Damn, I see that things are difficult to make Caravan goes further on full speed; does it mean that band is in a state of stagnation now? How does it manifest it’s activity nowadays?

It’s a labour of love, we are all into this 110% .Jonny and me travel to Brighton as often as we can to rehearse the set, we use the Uni holidays for working on new material when Jamie comes back to Oxfordshire, its difficult but we make it work as best we can. We try not to write any more material than we can knock into good enough shape for others to hear or nothing ever gets consolidated, we are just finishing 3 more songs which we will creep into the set and will be the basis of the next E.P. at a point in the future to be recorded.

What are songs from “Road to Kurti” about? Are their subjects close to reality or is it only your imagination?

My lyrics come from reality, I can’t write rock'n'roll ditties about cars, women, 
nk, war/violence glorification. We all have a story and most are similar I like to keep it real.
“Drug Queen” is about the culture of drugs from my long experience, I am 47 and have seen a lot of bad things and experienced such highs and lows in every respect, I tried to capture this as an observation which can be read as it fits the listener
“Mister Bendy Man” is about the leeches and assholes that I have come across and is aimed at someone I knew, we all know one, they get in your life and take everything if you let them, everyone comes across these fools.
“Your God Is Dead”, ha, I have no time for religion anyway, its a sign of the weakness of mankind [I didn’t say humanity as I haven’t witnessed much of that lately].This song however was written after watching a religious debate between all the different superstitious factions, where all I witnessed was intolerance, hate, arrogance and everything that is wrong with this world .This is about all your gods, not any one, all of them. People are sheep, a bewildered herd, being shepherded by the greed of a few. WAKE UP.
“Waiting”, I think waiting speaks for itself, we can all wait till it’s too late, be brave, have a go, its better to try and fail than not bother at all, but oddly for me, this is a song of hope.

Caravan of Whores’ songs are solid and heavy, yet they have that cosmic psychedelic vibe that I have to ask - do you compose them under influence of some natural or supernatural substances?

We like a smoke, I make no bones about that, but we are also passionate about our music which is the most important factor, the songs just come out this way, Jonny is a space rocker, Jamie is a jam man and into more ethereal sounds, I bring the dirt, the sound is deffo a culmination of all these factors, you can tell when bands all have the same influence because invariably they will sound like that.

Caravan of Whores - "Now"

Don’t you ever think to stop take any substances? I guess that such things leave their trace on people anyway – as alcohol for example, man I just was enduring a most terrible hangover this morning that’s why I’m asking.

Yup, horses for courses, some of have dabbled much further than most, but are strong enough to know when to stop. I had a spiralling drink problem that ended in alcoholism, took me 22 years to figure that out, I have been dry for over 5 years now with the support from my wife Jane, best thing I ever did as thats when I was able to throw myself into music as a way of healing myself, I like to think it has worked. A lot of my lyrics still reflect the times and feelings of self loathing, despair etc due to the alcohol and to the reasons behind the alcoholism now I can be honest to myself about it. I am sure I am not the only one who has been through this.

What are main features of your music? What do you value in it the most?

I would like to think originality, we can and do cross boundaries and I like to think that we are all happy with what we perform without any personal compromise so far.

Would you like to do any experiments with Caravan of Whores sound in a future? Would you like to make it heavier or add there some space or psychedelic rock vibe?

We write songs as opposed to a piece of music with the lyrics as a secondary and our sound will constantly evolve, we try not to make any 2 songs sound the same and have dropped plenty because of this, also it depends on the song, if we need to tap into different sounds to make a song work then we will do. We will not just stay with one sound I am sure and like to experiment, however, we intend staying a 3 piece and will not write what we could never do justice to live, as essentially, we are a live band and do not believe in playing safe and sticking to a specific sound because its expected or easy, which is probably why people don’t understand us so much as say a Down/Electric Wizard sounding band, where listeners almost know what’s coming next.

Man, you’re from Oxfordshire, it’s a land with long and glorious history, do you feel it? And look – do you feel a kind of responsibility as you represent your land with Caravan of Whores to world’s underground community?


How do you like an idea of Russian Heavy Metal Guide with that video contest between Caravan of Whore and Turbowolf?

The Russians have great taste obviously.

I know that collaboration between bands sometimes help to find the way to labels and listeners, do you have such brothers at arms who can support your show or maybe to do a split-album in a future?

No-one springs to mind, we are friendly with a lot of bands that we have shared stages with, however, we are a bit isolated and not really in a position to offer anyone a split and have certainly never had much in the way of interest in the respect of a split from anyone, probably as we aren’t current on the scene as it is or maybe people are a bit scared of us as we are a bit rough round the edges, poor by UK standards and a bit to honest for most to handle.

Man, I just have to ask you about band’s name – how did you figure it out?

Watching the late Heath Ledger version of the 4 feathers, I heard our name and that was it, we lifted that onto the front of Kurti so we wouldn’t get asked the next question.

Do you ever deal with prostitutes? I guess that it’s not the best variant because of insanitary, I never deal with it but my mate did...

We deal with a different kind of prostitute than those in the sex industry, we still seem to get fucked though, go figure. The world is being prostituted and we are all guilty.

What is your maximum task for the band, what would you like to achieve in 2013?

Easy, to make a living from this, We have so much more to offer but are constrained by day jobs, we have got this far on determination, unfortunately that can only get you so far. We will try to keep moving forward, writing rehearsing gigging when we can and afford to, you know, when we get a show we have to train Jamie back before we put diesel in to get to show, we spent more than we had in 2012, 2013 is going to be tighter financially for everyone, not just us. It’s a sign of the times and has to be rolled with. We just want to get noticed, get some bigger shows and keep the Caravan Of Whores moving forward.

Okay, the only thing I can help you is wishing you a good luck on your way! Thanks for the interview Pete, I hope that it’ll help a bit it Caravan of Whores!

Interview By Aleks


NEWS: Texas Doom-Metal Veterans LAS CRUCES To Enter Studio For New Full-Length Album In 2013 ...

Texas doom-metal veterans Las Cruces are currently writing new material and preparing to enter the studio for their 2013 as-yet-untitled fourth full-length album. The album will be a follow up to 2010's "Dusk" released worldwide via Brainticket Records. The band will also re-release their entire catalogue to include a vinyl edition of 1998's "Ringmaster", initially released via Brainticket Records.

In other news, Las Cruces will now be managed by Leigh Olson Management and Media Relations who is the wife and personal manager of Jeff "Oly" Olson, original drummer of doom-metal legends Trouble. Moreover, Las Cruces is currently entertaining new record labels as well as scheduling a summer 2013 U.S. tour. Tour dates will be announced soon.   

Guitarist George Trevino founded Las Cruces back in 1994 in San Antonio, Texas and has since made his mark across The Lone Star State and the American doom-metal scene. It's no wonder why Daniel Bukszpan, author of "The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal", acknowledges Las Cruces as "one of the genre's leading proponents." 

Las Cruces' current lineup is as follows:

George Trevino - Guitar
Mando Tovar - Guitar
Jimmy Bell - Bass
Paul DeLeon - Drums/Vocals

Source: Leigh Olsen Management.

Dec 30, 2012

Meth Drinker vs. Open Tomb - "Split" ...

2012 has been a great year indeed in the world underground metal panorama for innumerable reasons, many of which are declinated in the numerous lists of “best of” posted in blogs and webzines and/or in the yearly additions to our personal collection of tunes. For those who dig incredibly heavy, punishing and filthy music, well, 2012 has been a fruitful year for three additional reasons, both coming form New Zealand: the rise of Open Tomb, the reissue of Meth Drinker’s 2011 self-titled debut LP  (see my review HERE) by the Danish label Raw Birth Records and, last but absolutely not least, the making of new stuff by mighty Meth Drinker, notably with said Open Tomb.

And if a rain of meteorites won’t fulfill in 2013 what Maya promised for 2012, Meth Drinker will do their best when they shall invade Europe for their first crushing tour during next May 2013. Year 2013 will also see, hopefully, a new split involving Meth Drinker with Moloch and the announced second round in the reissue of Meth Drinker’s album on Raw Birth Records as the first press went rapidly sold out. The split between Meth Drinker and Open Tomb has been co-released as limited edition LP a few months ago by Always Never Fun & United Blasphemy Tapes. The New Zealand underground label Always Never Fun is the mother label for Meth Drinker, as it is run by affiliates of the band and, together with blog Drug Violence, is deeply connected to the magmatic underground metal and punk scene down there. United Blasphemy Tapes is the label managed by Open Tomb guys. So basically a diy production, done masterfully. One of the 250 LPs arrived from New Zealand to my mailbox in Italy. The postage fares are punishing, unfortunately, but it was worth the effort. With Meth Drinker and Open Tomb we are dealing with sludge/doom metal of the filthiest and most punishing and suffering brand: slow, raw, dark, suffocating, crushingly heavy and sewage dirty, deadly toxic music which leaves scars both in your skin and in your eyes and soul.

As to the latter effect, Meth Drinker’s videos are by now well known for their shocking and “not for the squeamish” character, even if the band do not indulge in gore. They just have to take inspiration from human frailty (baleful effects from drug slavery, illness, mental diseases) and human “pride” (war). So the patchwork-styled cover art of the new split is achingly revolting and macabre, almost hinting more to a league of goregrind bands than to a bunch of ultra-slow and ultra-heavy sludge-doom metallers. But, well, also bands like Corrupted used shocking macabre photos instead of wizards or goats on their cover art. Before starting with the split I would like to say a few words about Open Tomb, as it is more than due and as the band shares a few features with fellows Meth Drinker. The band guys in this trio from Hamilton, Northern Island, come from past experiences in doom, death and black metal as well as in grindcore and hardcore crust-punk, e.g., like in their previous “fast and ugly” grind-punk project Gawj. What an extreme change …! Open Tomb had been launched by the monster 2011 New Zealand compilation LP "Welcome to the Arse-End of the World" released by Always Never Fun Records and hosting single “Damned to Forgive”. The guys (i.e. Dane on drums and vocals, Sean on guitars and vocals, and Tonamu on bass) eventually infected the world with their crushing self-titled EP recorded in 2011 and fully spread around via Bandcamp in mid 2012. I happened to read somewhere in the web that Open Tomb involved a new second guitarist, Kurt Silva, in the split with Meth Drinker. Since early December 2012 two brand new tracks are out in tape format for the New Zealand underground label Zero Style and can be streamed on Bandcamp.

So the split here is opened by two tracks by Open Tomb, i.e “Off with His Hands” and “Hostile Womb”,  followed by three tracks by Meth Drinker, i.e. “Dehumanize”, “From Beyond” and “731”. The latter is the soundtrack to the latest Meth Drinker’s video. The bands share genres, attitudes and features but obviously have their own style. They duly show “two faces of revolting sludge”, two personal ways of making that “obnoxious” kind of sludge-doom metal, as brightly and essentially depicted by webzine Six Noises: i.e., not the one singing about “ whiskey sippin,’ thunderclouds-a-gathering, sweaty clubs and down-home big fat riffs”, but the one conjuring up images of “broken glass, rubbish-strewn wastelands, dirty needles, infected leg sores, rotting teeth and very unhealthy co-dependent relationships”. To do so both bands adopt extreme slowness and pitch-black, suffocating atmospheres, tortured vocals and totally unpolished ultra-heavy sounds from deeply downtuned guitars/bass and funereal, plodding drumming.

Open Tomb’s style in their two long suites is particularly raw and to-the-bone crusty funeral doom. Ultra-slow riffing possesses a haunting, somehow ritual and primitive character as found in Finnish Horse Latitudes or in UK Conan. Atmospheres are dark although, incredibly, glimpses of Sabbathian groove are still to be caught in those sinister and unmistakable seismic vibrations of the riffs. Scary double vocals bring about loads of sonic torture and filth while finding their way though the suffocating heaviness of the composition. As expected from the background of the band, crust accelerations are occasionally attempted that wake you up from the toxic hypnosis but give you a feeling of vertigo, as if you wake up from your chemical unconsciousness and find yourself with your feet on a ledge. Meth Drinker follow with their breathtaking glacier-like heaviness. Of the three tracks included in the split, only one is rather long (slightly over 7 minutes). In any case they guys always unfold their impressively rich sound ranging from stripped-down, numbing noisy drone to funeral doom/sludge to furious and dissonant crusty accelerations and death metal riff surges to echoes of almost epic, Sabbathian doom. Just majestic.  Guitars are growling like thunders and vocals (dual vocals here as well) are hardly human. The second and the third tracks host samples of spoken parts and excepts from movies carrying highly disturbing moans and yelps. The third, longest track, 731, the one of the new video, is stunning as it develops as a galloping march of giants via an impressive cyclic riff pattern. Bass and the backing percussions are just seismic and the whole thing will swallow you like a vortex of viscous molten lava.

If you are unable to stay away from sick, slow and raw heaviness like in Grief, Corrupted, Noothgrush, Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Dystopia, Thou, Hell, Moloch, etc., you have to possess this item. I don’t need to add much else apart from the fact that MORE IS NEEDED FROM THESE TWO BANDS! And for those who will be at reach during May 2013, go and catch these devastating Kiwi sludge-doom monsters when they will invade Europe together with Graves At Sea.
Take note -  Tour period:
6th – 18th May – Graves at Sea (us) / Meth Drinker (nz)
18th- 25th May - Meth Drinker (nz) / Dead Instrument (dk)

More information at Killtown Bookings ( HERE )

Words by Marilena Moroni

Open Tomb | Bandcamp
Open Tomb | Zero Fucking Style Blogspot
Meth Drinker | Bandcamp
Meth Drinker | Facebook
Open Tomb vs Meth Drinker @ Always Never Fun Records

Video: Meth Drinker - 731

DSW - "Dust Storm Warning" ...

DSW come from the sunny, coastal town of Lecce in the deep Italian South,  but they dream of the deep American desert. And they love heavy music. They are: Stefano "Wolf" Lombardi on vocals, Marco Papadia on guitar, Stephen Butelli on bass guitar and Fabio Zullino on drums. DSW is a rather young band. Their early performances during 2010 culminated in the making of the appreciated debut EP “Dawn Storm Watchers” (2011). The entrance of singer Stefano "Wolf" Lombardi lead to a stabilized line-up that immediately worked on the debut full-length album, “Dust Storm Warning” out during 2012. The album is the first release of the new, independent Italian heavy psych rock label Acid Cosmonaut Records. Dust Storm Warning is out as digital as well as “solid” format on the label’s Bandcamp page and is distributed also via mighty Ozium Records. They play classic stoner-desert rock variably mixed with retro prog/psychedelic and space metal as well as grunge greatly indebted to a list of bands that the quartet don’t try to hide, so big is their love for the Masters. And, well, deep passion added to technics is what makes Dust Storm Warning a truly enjoyable experience, a trip into sounds that many of us dig, as well as an almost one hour-long escape into a relieving imaginary desert landscapes. Unless you are not are not actually already into that scene, backing in the sun and with dusty boots in some desert around the world …

Rock as an escape, yes. It worked many times and still works, and not only for four young guys living in (Southern) Italy in a difficult period. In DSW rock is boiling hot and working well for several reasons: the many fat, juicy riffs coming from Marco Papadia’s and Stephen Butelli’s distorted guitars booming and howling around, from Wolf’s amazing vocal performances, from the many shades and changing moods in DSW’s music, for the ability of religiously quoting the Masters and yet building up a fresh and intriguing album able to grab the attention of the listener for quite a substantial time span. Dust Storm Warning includes 11 tracks organized as a more or less regular oscillation between the faster and anyway heavily rocking tunes of broad Kyussian imprint and atmospheric tracks or intervals where moods are described either via evoking grunge melancholy (Mad Season came to my mind …) or via retro-sounding prog psychedelic and space rock.  Kyuss does not exhaust the range of sources of inspiration or what you can pick out from the tunes. DSW’s heavy rocking sound shares features, for example, also with QOTSA and Monster Magnet’s dynamics, Nebula’s and 500 Ft. Of Pipe’s trippy drug rock, bearded metal groove à-la-Alabama Thunderpussy/Orange Goblin/Red Fang, as well as some great acid and hard bluesy vibes as in Clutch, Fatso Jetson and/or the wonderful Josiah. For example feel those vibes in the doped track 666.1.333, after the starting cough and laugh over what must have been a faaaaat joint indeed!

Vocals need a special mention in this band: Wolf is a great singer indeed. He has an impressive tonal range, with a powerful gritty deep voice à-la-Clutch when he roars as well as a way charming soft tone in the introspective, grungy parts where Wolf’s voice may recall Eddie Vedder’s but not quite. You may think another singer is involved. The atmospheric, slow parts are mostly instrumental and built up either as separated jam sessions or as introduction to longer tracks. There the band’s guys pay their homage especially to Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, krautrock and several other great space-psych-prog rock bands of the past and, why not, modern bands as well.  I must say I prefer when these soft, psyched-out instrumental jamming parts smoothly merge into the heavy rock rhythms instead of being too long and indulging into melancholy while going nowhere as in the suite Dune. Well, just my opinion. I loved the hard’n’heavy rock shots like Outrun, but I also appreciated those tracks when the different stylistic features of this band interact. For me this band is particularly made for heavy rock and the fine spacey psych digressions work well in creating expectation for the riff explosion to come, like the soft rumble of a storm which is still far away. Also, one can’t stay without hearing that awesome voice and those howling guitars too long, eh eh …
And I have the feeling that more stormy, dusty, boiling hot rock will come from DSW soon soon!

Words by Marilena Moroni

Acid Cosmonaut Records
Acid Cosmonaut Records | Blogspot


Dec 29, 2012

VIDEO: FRAILTY - The Cemetery Of Colossus (LIVE) ...

From the band ..... "We are proud to present the live video of The Cemetery of Colossus from our 2012 album Melpomene. It was filmed on 05.10.2012. at Melna- Piektdiena club, Riga, Latvia. We wish you all Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year! See you all in 2013! Doom on!"

MY DYING BRIDE: Quality Fan-Filmed Video Footage Of EINDHOVEN METAL MEETING Performance ...

Quality fan-filmed video footage of MY DYING BRIDE's December 15, 2012 performance at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting in Eindhoven, Holland can be seen below.

MY DYING BRIDE's new album, "A Map Of All Our Failures", was released on October 15 in Europe and October 16 in the U.S. via Peaceville Records on CD, double vinyl and special-edition CD+DVD. The effort was recorded and mixed at Futureworks Studios in Manchester, England with the band's longtime production partner Rob "Mags" Magoolagan at the helm.

According to a press release, "a step up from 2009's 'For Lies I Sire' — which set and subsequently met new heights of expectation placed upon the legendary Yorkshire doom troupe — 'A Map Of All Our Failures' is a further voyage into the darkest depths of humanity, religion, folklore, love and death. MY DYING BRIDE's distinctively sumptuous dual-guitar melodies effortlessly flood into juggernaut doom metal riffs, with the vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe weaving a rich tapestry of tragic tales into the accompanying soundscapes. 'A Map Of All Our Failures' is perhaps best and most effectively summarized by guitarist Andrew Craighan, who describes the album as 'a controlled demolition of all your hopes.'"

"A Map Of All Our Failures" track listing:

01. Kneel Till Doomsday
02. The Poorest Waltz
03. A Tapestry Scorned
04. Like A Perpetual Funeral
05. A Map Of All Our Failures
06. Hail Odysseus
07. Within The Presence Of Absence
08. Abandoned As Christ

MY DYING BRIDE recently launched a mini-site  for "A Map Of All Our Failures", featuring album info, audio, video, downloads and more.

Source: Blabbermouth

Dec 22, 2012


Fan-filmed video footage of KRUX — the Swedish band featuring CANDLEMASS bassist Leif Edling, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN singer Mats Levén, ex-ENTOMBED drummer Peter Stjärnvind, guitarist Jörgen Sandström (also in THE PROJECT HATE, ex-ENTOMBED/GRAVE), OPETH/ex-ARCH ENEMY guitarist Fredrik Åkesson and keyboardist Carl Westholm — performing on December 15, 2012 at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting in Eindhoven, Holland can be seen below.

KRUX's third album, "III - He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars", was released last year via Mascot Records/GMR Music Group.

In an interview with Queens Of Steel, Sandström stated about "III - He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars", "We didnt wanna repeat ourselves from the previous albums even though it sounds like KRUX. Also, it has been some years since we recorded the last album and our mindset is different at this moment and time... although our minds are always set towards the heavy side of metal when it comes to creating KRUX material."

When asked if KRUX has incorporated new influences into its sound on the new album, Sandström said, "I guess when being overall music lovers there are new influences coming in from everywhere, be it rock or metal in any form (doom, black, death, etc.). I can definitely hear some influences from bands that Leif has mentioned over the years… HAWKWIND, early MANOWAR, JUDAS PRIEST, etc."

NEWS: ELDER: Live On Valley Homegrown 2010; Video To Stream & Free MP3 Download ...

Professionally filmed video footage of ELDER‘s August 9th, 2010 performance at Valley Homegrown, Pioneer Valley live music television can be seen below. Download the mp3s of the live show ,HERE  courtesy of Rich Aftersabbath.
ELDER is the definition of a work in progress, as the group continues to meld the familiar sounds of Sleep‘s colossal riffage with their ever-evolving vision of soaring melodies and sonic soundscapes. Listeners will find themselves locked into the trio’s lengthy epics, which toe the line between the chasms of classic stoner metal and mindblowing psychedelia.

Since the release of 2010?s Dead Roots Stirring, their second full-length record for MeteorCity Records, Elder has continued to push their sound in more dynamic and inspiring directions, while still holding true to their original methodology: all heavy, no filler.

ELDER has been confirmed for  Roadburn Festival 2013 on Saturday, April 20th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.


Photo Credit: Constant Decay

Burning Saviours – "Förbannelsen 7” Series" ...

Though the ‘Förbannelsen 7” Series’ kicked off in 2011, the circle has finally been completed with three of the four discs being released over a span of several months in 2012. The mark III incarnation of Burning Saviours has shed the ill-conceived, hippy-dippy inclinations of ‘Nymphs & Weavers’ in favor of a darker, doomier approach that rivals the band’s excellent self-titled debut and the arguably greater follow-up, ‘Hundus’. The departure of vocalist/guitarist Andrei Amartinesei following the ‘Hundus’ full-length and subsequent single, ‘The Giant’, seemed to cripple the band beyond repair. The following third full-length, ‘Nymphs & Weavers’, was an odd misstep that featured uninspired songwriting and the vocals of Fredrik Andersson who paled in comparison to Amartinesei despite Andersson being a capable vocalist. The death knell had seemingly signaled the demise of Sweden’s Burning Saviours.

After a two year slumber the band arose from the grave in 2010 with the addition of guitarist Jonas Hartikainen and original guitarist Mikael Monks assuming vocal duties. The end result is quite different from the sound established on the band’s earlier recordings, but no less compelling. Burning Saviours still occupies that realm of warm, retro-inspired hard rock that is currently being mined by numerous bands—particularly by bands from Sweden—but they are exploring a sound more congruent with the proto-doom pioneers of the 70’s. The ‘Förbannelsen 7” Series’ is darker both musically and, most notably, lyrically from the band’s self-titled debut and follow-up, ‘Hundus’. Mikael Monks has done an effective job of taking the reins and sliding into the role of front man. His voice may not be as distinctive or expressive as former vocalist Amartinesei, but he is able to belt out catchy vocal melodies that really complement the doomier direction the band has taken. 

The 70’s influences of the collection are difficult to miss and the eight tracks effortlessly combine moments of hard rock, soulful breakdowns, Thin Lizzy inspired dueling guitars, and straight-up, unabashed doom riffs. The first single, ‘Förbannelsen’, kicks off with an upbeat title track sung in Swedish. Burning Saviours have returned. The guitar tones are warmer and richer than anything the band has recorded to this point and really illustrates that Burning Saviours aren’t merely interested in repeating the sound of their earlier recordings. “Midnight”, the B-side to “Förbannelsen”, is a more somber tune due to its slower pace and soulful lead guitar playing courtesy of Hartikainen. “Midnight” also features Monks singing in English, a trend that will continue through six of the seven remaining tracks. The second single, ‘The Offering’, begins with an ominous guitar intro reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s self-titled song from their debut before catapulting into one of the strongest, nod-inducing riffs to be found in the series. “The Offering” is easily one of the standout tracks of the collection. “Spirit of the Woods” is a barn burning, blues inspired rocker that has more in common with most of the other Swedish exports.

The third 7”, ‘The Nightmare’, finds the band in more soulful territory, both musically and vocally. Monks really pushes himself vocally on the title track as he simultaneously laments and curses a figure from the past who haunts his dreams. While the bulk of the song has a bluesy, downtrodden feel, it does launch into moments of blistering guitar playing that brings to mind Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson in their prime. “Doomus Maximus”, another stand-out track, returns to the 70’s inspired proto-doom sound that this incarnation of Burning Saviours plays so well. Like the A-side to this single, “Doomus Maximus” has its soulful moments that appear midway through the song. The final single, ‘Hon Dansade med Döden’ kicks off with “I am Lucifer” which continues Burning Saviours’ journey into darker lyrical content by seemingly finding inspiration in Milton’s Paradise Lost. “Hon Dansade med Döden”, a proto-metal burner, appropriately bookends the 7” series by being sung exclusively in Swedish. While the end track isn’t as initially gratifying as the series opener, “Förbannelsen”, it is far from weak.

The reformation of Burning Saviours and the ensuing release of the ‘Förbannelsen 7” Series’ has signaled the band’s return to form, albeit with a slightly different approach. While Burning Saviours has always been rooted in vintage sounding doom, the mark III incarnation seems to be delving deeper into the abyss. For those who were turned off by the band’s lamentable third release, ‘Nymphs & Weavers’, the ‘Förbannelsen 7” Series’ offers redemption in a big way. Hopefully the band will continue to follow their current trajectory and produce a full-length in 2013 that is just as good, if not better than this collection of singles. Highly recommended for fans of their earlier work, vintage sounding metal in all of its forms, and doom.

Words: Steve Miller


Dec 20, 2012

El Gran Temor - "Jugando Con La Muerte" ...

Recently, I have often encountered good psychedelic / stoner / doom teams from South America from widely known Reino Ermitano, Don Juan Matus and El Hijo de La Aurora to less popular At Devil Dirt and Kayros or ultimately disbanded power-trio Tlon. But the South American scene is not confined to these bands, so today, I invite you to meet with another representative of the Chilean Scene - it's El Gran Temor, let us welcome them.

Unfortunately, the band is now in limbo, because some participants leave the crew in 2010 after several concerts in support of the newly released album "Jugando Con La Muerte" ("Playing With The Death"), and there’s only one man left, a core of El Grand Temor – it’s founder Jorge Luis Paillao, which however is not sitting on its hands and start to write new stuff and gain new musicians to El Gran Temor.

Songs which were included in the "Jugando Con La Muerte" were indeed composed by Paillao during the period from 2005 to 2009, and the album was recorded in one session in the studio of Pablo Navarrete, bassist of Chilean stoner / metal team Hielo Negro (year of foundation - 1996), and Pablo is obviously not newbie to this, so he brought the stuff to a decent world standards, and this is known to be an important factor contributing to digest this album well.

So what is in our menu today? There’s "electric blues rock" as Jorge names it, the
core of which is actually a solid stoner and proto doom riffs with branded psychedelic sound of the 70th. That is interesting – the sound of El Gran Temor isn’t limited with vague and overloaded riffs or acid arrangement, although the first and second ones turn equally convincing. Jorge - as guitarist and author of all the music – names a lot of veterans of rock scene as his teachers; and there’re not only the pillars of modern stoner, doom rock or gurus like Jimi Hendrix, here he also mentions bossa nova musicians (a mix of Brazilian music and cool jazz), and the original Latin music artists such as Joao Gilberto, Argentinian rocker Luis Spinetta,
Chilean Folk/Rock singer Eduardo "Gato" Alquinta, blues guitarist Pappo of Pappo's Blues and poet and singer Victor Jara. It's too difficult, right? Okay then just believe me that the album featured eight quiet diverse tracks, which absorbed spirit of psychedelic rock from 70th and drive of a good, heavy stoner, keep it in mind until you put your arms upon "Jugando Con La Muerte".

The first song "Infortunio" just attracts attention with successful combination of the elements of mentioned before genres, and one of it’s features is also first-class clear vocal lines. All texts on this album is into Spanish and I always appreciate bands which vocalists sing in their native language, in the case of El Gran Temor this choice is doubly justified – vocals sound really good and it’s performance in the Spanish sound very attractive. The album's lyrics is a kind of diary, revealing the different manifestations of the "joys and sorrows" of human life. The bluesy track "Jugando Con La Muerte" was inspired by the famous “gothic” TV-serial of 70th "Dark Shadows" as loudly "La Niebla" is dedicated to author’s hometown - Temuco. Homesickness has resulted in a heavy track with frequently changing tempo and overloaded leading motive. "Estrella" ("Star") is a kind of tribute to old hard rock band Grand Funk Railroad and along to one girl from the south of Chile; obviously Jorge associated good memories with that and another because the track sounds bright, emotional and positive, and such experience is highly intensive due to the song’s fruitiness and lighter and faster pace than other songs have. I would put astonishing romantic song "Noctambula” in one line with "Estrella" for there’s a shock lead stoner-theme and a fantastic space rock passage that ends powerful, memorable chorus. I’ve mentioned bossa nova influences among the main ones, and it can be heard in a lengthy blues instrumentals "Solitaria" ("Solitude"). Advanced psychedelic trip "Alturas" sounds on the eve of the last song album "El Tiuke", it’s fighting spirit is explained because the song was written in
support of the Mapuche, "people of the land", the only tribe in South America, which was not conquer nor by Incas or Spanish. So do not be surprised when you hear tribal drums in the second half of the song - it is a tribute to ancestors.

El Gran Temor phenomenon is hardly unique to the South American stoner scene, but the songs of "Jugando Con La Muerte" absorbed well both so called "local color" and the influence of "Western" culture. The result has been the material of which the musicians themselves are very well said that: "We play music that could not be written in Chile in the 70's" Why not ... Less attempts to expose these songs dry analysis, in the end, I want to draw your attention to the fact that the album has some really cool songs that can give odds to more famous bands, but in the end you can define it by yourself. And I hope that in the near future, Jorge finally will pick a new crew and new songs for El Gran Temor, but for now he gor plans to release Material on vinyl, maybe an old tune with a bonus track, or another full length, so stay tuned! This band is worth of attention.

Big Cartel

Words: Aleks

Dec 19, 2012

Dali's Llama - "Autumn Woods" ...

Underrated and incredibly consistent, Dali's Llama have put out a dozen or so releases in a dozen or so years that have never been anything less than excellent. Whenever I sit down to listen to this band I can't help but think about the hey-day of the Mans Ruin record label and the birth and peak of the stoner-rock movement. It was a time when you could close your eyes and blindly pick out an album from your local music store's stoner section (if they had one) and you would be satisfied every-time. It was a magical time, a time when band after band would emerged seemingly out of nowhere and with a killer album recorded and released. Maybe we were just lucky and maybe we were just spoiled at the time but the stoner/desert rock scene back then was amazingly solid and nothing like the patchy stoner scene that exists today.

When you first hear this band, you think Fu Manchu, Dozer, and of course Kyuss and just like those bands at their peak, this band never releases inconsistent albums. 'Autumn Woods' is a no-holds barred start to finish riff-a-thon that avoids following any one formula and yet this is one of the freshest sounding stoner-rock/metal albums released all year. Their official website describes this album as ....."Heavy Metallic Punk Rock on the Doom and Roll. The 10th Dali's Llama album Autumn Woods blends punk aggression and energy with metal doom heaviness. Produced by the legendary Scott Reeder (bass player - Kyuss, The Obsessed) and mastered by JJ Golden (mastering - OFF!, The Sword). This cd has a similar vibe to Danzig, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Witch, Zeke, The Damned and Killing Joke". As accurate as that is, they actually sell themselves a little short with that description. One song on this album ('Blowholes and Fur') has a distinct Deep Purple flavor for example but that is only one small piece to the puzzle.

It could be argued that the best stoner/desert rock had a punky quality and after all, the original stoner bands all had one foot in the punk rock scene of the 90's and Dali's Llama do have the metallic-punk meets stoner/garage rock thing perfected in every possible way. However the band isn't your typical stoner-metal act as this has more nods to the 70's hard rock scene than it does 90's desert rock. There is a quality to the songwriting and musicianship that is usually only ever heard from 70's bands which puts this head and shoulders above most other similar bands. I almost feel like song-titles and a track by track review is almost pointless with a band like this. They rarely produce anything that could be classed as "filler" but I will name a few highlights.

The opening 'Bad Dreams' sounds like Motorhead after too many bongs but it kicks total ass. Original band member Zach is again in top form, playing like a demon and with a voice to match. 'Goatface' is next and is one the albums more "retro-rock" sounding tracks with great infectious grooves. 'Nostalgia' makes the marrying of punk-like energy and stoner blues seem effortless while the almost 10 minute marathon which is the title track is simply a orgasmic romp of traditional doom and bluesy 70's proto-metal and is possibly the darkest, doomiest track the band has ever recorded. The albums most sabbathian moment quite appropriately comes in a tune called 'The Gods' which is more than a fitting title for this riff-fest of a tune. Elsewhere the songs range from stoner blues to doom to bludgeoning punk-metal and there is not a nano-second wasted.

After so many years together and with so much music recorded already, it is remarkable that Dali's Llama have still yet to make a wrong turn in their recording career. There is NO other stoner-ish band band with this much consistently good music under their belts. Even so-called gods Kyuss had some iffy moments just 3 albums into their career while Fu Manchu were making some questionable musical decisions a decade or more ago (and still are in my opinion). Dali's Llama continue to satisfy all these years later and now I have read somewhere that someone is making a documentary about them and about time. There are not many other bands within the stoner-rock scene that deserves a film made about them like the Llama do. The band will continue to carry on under-appreciated which is the only tragedy to speak of here. The album is a near perfect example of how to make passionate hard rock music without following a specific formula but without avoiding what makes heavy music so great as in great riffs, vocals and melodies. 'Autumn Woods' is no better or no worse than anything else they have released, in other is excellent...check it out....9.5/10.

Words: Ed & Sally

Dali’s Llama | Facebook
Dali’s Llama Records

Dragged into Sunlight - "Widowmaker" ...

Dragged Into Sunlight is not content to stay locked in a comfortable groove. Nothing about this mysterious English band is comfortable. Their last effort "Hatred for Mankind" was a volcanic eruption of ferociously extreme music merging death, black and doom metal into a musical holocaust. It was going to be very tough to surpass that record in terms of  rage, so "Widowmaker" doesn't really try.

This is one of the bleakest and most challenging albums that's ever crossed my path. The amount of despair that this inflicts is pretty much beyond words and a good deal of the album doesn't even fall under the "metal" banner at all. I cannot say that it is leaves more of a mark on me than "Hatred For Mankind"...but it does leave a mark. A sullen bruise instead of a bleeding gash, let's say.

The 40 minute effort is divided into three nameless movements. The biggest challenge almost every listener will have is making it past the first 15 minutes. That movement is downbeat and suicidally depressing more than anything I've heard. It's not metal at all, but a somber, gloomy funeral march built upon a piano foundation that keeps increasing in decrepitude. It reached a point where I finally started getting bored and then another point beyond that where it was almost too much to take. I understand the process of tension in music, but this pushes it past the breaking point, as you keep waiting for the ferocious monster we heard on "Hatred for Mankind" to emerge. It does, but you have to force yourself past this wall of gloom to reach it.

It's almost a relief when filthy, roaring guitar explodes in the second movement. But here also there's a change. "Widowmaker" is much more of a pure sludge record in this second part, with only occasional bursts of high speed. It is punishing filth in the vein of Eyehategod and Iron Monkey. Lots of brutal riffs here, but some are quite catchy and there's none of the total cacophony the band has indulged in previously. The second movement is the most "orthodox" part of the record, but still very suffocating and oppressive.

That feeling continues in the third and final movement, with monolithic doom riffing, hate-filled screams and roars and some fast thrashing. But then it becomes more angular and spiky and unorthodox. There's a drop down in a more melodic but still bleak soundscape until the album builds back up to its final movement, where I can compare the music to a rusted iron tower collapsing slowly into rubble. The end.

Not too many will be able to endure this colossus of crushing despair. The opening movement will really test your will. But for those who can take the journey, "Widowmaker" offers brutality of a more emotional kind. This is a very intriguing second release from Dragged Into Sunlight.

Words: Dr. Mality

Official Website

Dec 18, 2012

NEWS: RWAKE Announce Year-End Shows ...

Arkansas’ backwoods doomsayers RWAKE have announced a series of year-end shows to close out 2012. The festivities will commence December 19 in the band’s hometown of Little Rock. The band will then hit Nashville on December 28 and wrap up with a special show in Atlanta with Neurosis, Primate and US Christmas on December 29.

RWAKE recently premiered their disturbingly controversial new video for “It Was Beautiful, But Now It’s Sour” via Noisey at this LOCATION. The 12-minute short film, directed by Danish horror aficionado Casper Haugegaard, features devastating slow motion close-ups of actual pig fetuses being absolutely annihilated by a variety of implements.

RWAKE released Rest, their first album in over four years, last year to immense critical acclaim. The harrowingly beautiful progressive/doom/sludge masterpiece is currently available for streaming HERE.

RWAKE Tour Dates:

12/19/2012 White Water Tavern - Little Rock, AR w/ Sound of the Mountain, Peckerwolf
12/28/2012 Exit In - Nashville, TN w/ Forest of Tygers, Hellbender
12/29/2012 The Masquerade (upstairs) - Atlanta, GA w/ Neurosis, US Christmas, Primate [Tickets]

“...ingenious, forward-thinking metal.” -- Pitchfork

"Uncompromising and true, the band led by vocalist CT...have never wavered from their goal: exacting sonic hell on the listener." -- Metal Army America

“It’s profoundly ugly music capable of great catharsis and, therefore, great beauty." -- Austin American Statesman

“...dementedly brilliant.” -- Rock Sound

“The most dangerous thing to come out of Arkansas since Bill Clinton's libido" – Terrorizer

Relapse | Official Website
Rwake | Facebook

NEWS: CATHEDRAL: 'The Last Spire' Album Details Revealed ...

British doom legends CATHEDRAL are putting the finishing touches on what will be their last-ever album. Produced by Lee Dorrian and Garry Jennings, with assistance from Jaime Gomez Arellano, "The Last Spire" is scheduled for an April 20013 release via Rise Above Records.

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. Entrance To Hell
02. Pallbearer
03. Cathedral Of The Damned
04. Tower Of Silence
05. Infestation Of Grey Death
06. An Observation
07. This Body, Thy Tomb

Non-album track "Vengeance Of The Blind Dead will appear as a flexi disc on the front cover of Decibel magazine in their March issue (on sale February 7). The band also recently shot a promotional video for the track "Tower Of Silence", which will be available to view some time in January. A photo from the shoot can be seen below. The song will appear on an exclusive Rise Above Records CD sampler to be given away with Classic Rock magazine towards the end of the same month.

In related news, SEPTIC TANK, a band featuring CATHEDRAL members Scott Carlson, Garry Jennings and Lee Dorrian, will make its live debut at The Garage, Highbury & Islington on Friday, May 3. They will be openning for Carlson's legendary institution of grind, REPULSION, which will be performing its first U.K. headlining show. Special guests are NECROPHAGIA.

SEPTIC TANK will release a very limited vinyl-only EP titled "The Slaughter" via Japan's MCR Records to coincide with the show. They will have a limited number of colour copies on sale exclusively at the event.

"The Slaughter" track listing:

Side A

01. Fatal Eclipse
02. Forest of Bones

Side B

01. Gotesque Cavalry of Mankind
02. The Slaughter

Influences for SEPTIC TANK range from CRUCIFIX to SEIGE to SLAUGHTER (Canada).

Source: Blabbermouth.

Dec 17, 2012

NEWS: WINDHAND To Release Second Album On Burning World Records In 2013 ...

Burning World Records is proud to present another signing for the new year. Virginia based WINDHAND are joining ranks with Conan, Slomatics, Black Magician and Lustmord among others. Commented label head honcho Jurgen about the release “Why we signed them? Just read some quotes below from reviews for their first album, then listen to it on Bandcamp ( and tell us what is not to like. The album is scheduled for a June 2013 release so you’ll have to wait a while before it’s out but we heard through the grapevine there will be some other WINDHAND releases to keep you warm till the summer.

For those not in the know about the band, who share a bass player with the mighty Cough, read the excerpts below: ‘In the awesome graveyard of doom, another epic corpse has risen to bring the universe a new sound of black magic! They go by the name of WINDHAND. Every motherfucking thing about this album is straight Ultramatic Doomtastic – not one feeble or weak song in the bunch. WINDHAND’s songs are like watching a mystic candle, when the dancing flame has you under its’ spell, then you put some of the hot wax on your finger so you can be at one with the flame. This band’s slow, groovy bass lines are on fire, and trust me, you will not mind if they burn you just a little. ’ (CVLT Nation)

‘But what really makes Windhand stand out is singer Dorthia’s vocals which float omnipresently over the primal, molten riffing below her like a toxic vapour. On first listen I thought the singer was a man with a Perry Farrrell/Ozzy Osbourne-by-way-of-Mike Scheidt style delivery but further spins revealed the inherent and unique femininity in Dorthia’s warm voice. Even more impressive are her vocal melodies which are memorable and instantly familiar, particularly on “Heap Wolves” where the vocals weave in and out of the riffs in the way that Layne Staley worked his way around Alice in Chains’ twisted melodies.’ (The Sleeping Shaman).

Source: The Sleeping Shaman

Delicious Eclecticism - Interview with Bill from EGGNOGG ...

Hi Bill! It’s a fact that Eggnogg is well-known band in States and Europe, but our goal to spread a Word even further! For we spread a Gospel of Doom as far as we can reach! You play loud psychedelic doom metal for about 4 years as Eggnogg, but as I know you played in another band before it. What is your musical background?

We had a band throughout high school named GonZo, which we renamed Eggnogg just before the release of our debut album “The Three.” GonZo was conceived out of a mutual admiration for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. Our songs were typically mid-tempo riff rock with bluesy, space-rock lyrics. From the beginning though, we found ourselves delving into territory that lay far beyond the confines of 60s and 70s rock ‘n roll. We wrote a song called The Hive early on, which stood out as being quite a bit heavier than the rest of our songs. The Hive became a staple of our live shows, and it was an exciting new direction to take the music. We became more concerned with creating music that was new, personal, and valuable to us, and less concerned with playing in the style of our heroes from back in the golden days of rock music.

How does the band change through the years? Can you say that you really develop as composer, as a poet and just as person?

To me, it is more a matter of “development” than “change.” We’re putting out a lot of music that sounds different, but with each release, we’re getting around to expressing things that have been long planned, instead of consciously trying to change what we’re doing. So in the new songs, we’re developing ideas and influences that we’ve always had, to make them fit in the context of everything we’ve previously released. The songs that make it onto our albums are always years in the making---we let the ideas sit, to see what else may come along that fits. For example, the opening track on our upcoming LP, Rituals in Transfigured Time, was being written long before we even recorded the Moments in Vacuum album---I only got around to finalizing all the parts these past few months, and now we’re in the mixing process. We know we have a new album written when we’ve gathered a list of songs that flow together satisfactorily. If we come up with a new song that stands out too much from the others, we put it on the backburner, and sometimes rework it, until we have some other songs to complement it. In this way, our albums are not necessarily concept albums, but they are certainly more than just a haphazard collection of songs. We organize our track listings with regard to themes, and I’m never shy to dig far into the past to round out an album. It’s easier to speak about the creative process than about my individual development as a person. I can say with confidence, though, that I still strive to improve as a songwriter, musician, and as a person, and that likewise Eggnogg’s music will continue to reach new heights.

Man. Look, you live in Brooklyn, New-York, but art-works of Eggnogg mostly consists of some farmer’s stuff: there were a bull (“The Three” album), a goat (“Nogg” album) and now you got a goose (“Louis” Ep). Do you have a country-side background? What do these images symbolize?

I lived in the decrepit neighborhood of Corn Hill in the city of Utica, New York, until the age of two. After this, I lived out in the farm country of Marshall, New York for a big portion of my childhood. My childhood memories are of the country, cows, hayfields, etc., and not the concrete landscape where I was born and where I currently live. I never gave much thought to the overarching animal symbolism in our album art, but it certainly is influenced in part by where we grew up. But the bull upon the cover of “The Three” is, for me, a reference to the Sinai story, and its significance in the modern day. Justin has explained to me that the “goat” he drew for the Nogg EP cover is a markhor (he hasn’t divulged to me its significance). The cover of the Louis EP calls to mind the old West. An interpretation could be that the bird, a part of nature, is being disrupted by the introduction of railroads and industry, while the kneeling man is both mourning the change, and perpetrating it.

Your last Ep “Louis” includes songs from 2006 or 2007, how much did you change in these songs before go and record it in a studio?

The songs Baras Mogg and The Onceler were ones we had played back in 2006. Very little was changed concerning the arrangements, but our individual musicianship was tighter and more refined by the time of the “Louis” recordings. That’s not to say the songs didn’t sound good back in 2006, but there are things you can learn only through years of playing. My voice is a little deeper than it was six years ago (likely from years of shouting over heavy riffs), and my overall singing abilities have greatly improved. I’ve got more soul, and I’ve done much to “find my voice” since the earliest days of the band. The Squid/Fandangler was another song we had played back in the day, but for “Louis” we added quite a bit, and rearranged some of the riffs. Vermicious Knidds was a completely new composition in 2012.

Who are those guys behind Palaver Records? It seems that they produce only Eggnogg’s albums, it’s suspicious… Did you threaten them?

Palaver Records is an independent label based in Nashville, Tennessee. Located where they are, they’ve put out more country-oriented music. A lot of the stuff takes inspiration from classic rock though, particularly the band Buffalo Clover.

The main and latest news from Eggnogg is your desire to release your third full-length album “You’re All Invited” as vinyl edition, why did you decide that it’s a right time for such release?

It has always been my dream to put our music out on vinyl. A lot of people have contacted us trying to get our music on vinyl. It’s time to satisfy these fans, as well as ourselves.

And what’s about new songs which will be included into “You’re All Invited”? Track-list consists only of three songs… Are they really so long?

Well, The Rituals is around 22 minutes, but it’s more like seven different songs that flow together nicely. This song will have it all, from crushing doom to creepy psychedelia, and everything in between. The song Meshes of the Afternoon is quite long as well, but we’ve always had long songs on our albums. The final track Egg Nogg is more typical Eggnogg length, and we’ve decided to include a fourth track, entitled 100,000 B.C., which will be comparatively brief---three to four minutes in length. So everything we do will be represented on this new album---from the drawn-out epics to the shorter, straight-ahead heavy rock sound.

Bill, I’ve heard that you have your own solo-project, what are main differences between it and Eggnogg? What is it’s state now?

I put out an album entitled “Phillip’s Head” last March, as Bill o’Sullivan. The album is just me playing acoustic guitars and singing, so the instrumentation is the most obvious difference from Eggnogg. On top of that, I wrote every piece of music on the album, which makes it different from Eggnogg, because Eggnogg is more of a musical songwriting collaboration between Justin Karol and I. While there are certain Eggnogg songs where Justin writes all the music, or I write all the music, Eggnogg at its best has always been a combination of our best ideas.  The solo releases are an outlet for the music I write that doesn’t exactly fit with what Eggnogg is doing at the time. It simply wouldn’t make sense for a lot of the songs on “Phillip’s Head” to be on an Eggnogg album. But I’ve been writing and performing my own stuff since before Eggnogg had even released any music, and it is necessary for me to express these other aspects of my songwriting. I write all kinds of different things, and some of them can easily be reconciled with Eggnogg’s style, and some cannot. I figure anyone who can appreciate my singing and lyricism in Eggnogg would also enjoy my solo work, because they come from the same creative place. Right now, I’m working on doing another solo album, this time adding other instruments like drums and keyboards, and probably some electric guitar. “Phillip’s Head” was very stripped down, but I plan on doing this next album the justice of a full band.

Interview By Aleks

Official Website

Dec 16, 2012

Sardonis / Eternal Elysium - "Ascending Circulation" Split EP ...

Here we have a great EP from two of my favorite bands, Sardonis and the criminally underrated Eternal Elysium. There are 2 versions of this EP and this review is based on the CD version which is fine by me because it contains a extra track from Sardonis titled 'To The Barn' that also featured on another split they did with Holland's Tank86. Anybody that has heard the song will tell you it is a steamroller of a track, a whirlwind of heaviness that runs right over the top of the listener senses but it has been released before so maybe you are more interested in hearing their other track 'Ascending.' Here we have one of the bands most epic tracks at over 9 minutes in length. It kicks off with a slow atmospheric intro before the main riff comes in and destroys everything in its path. The track builds, slows down and then builds again before hitting the gas for a punishing conclusion to the track. The track has sometimes subtle but interesting added elements like keys but at the end of the day, it does what this band does best and that is knocks you to the floor with pulverizing, energetic riffing. Never has a two-piece band sounded so lethal.

Eternal Elysium are a band that always seems to sneak releases out without little fanfare. This split is a good example of that but they also recently released a new EP titled 'High Flyer' which is up to the usual Eternal Elysium high standard, in other words..........exceptional. This band from Japan have been called "the heaviest band in the world" which is a little off the mark. Let's face it there are heavier bands out there but they certainly push the "heavy" to a level most other bands don't even come close to. 'Unbound (Kai Hoh)' is the first of their songs for this split and as usual it is a eccentric blend of different styles. It is pure stoner doom but with sax and that is not a misprint, I typed sax not sex. 'Circulation (Jun Kan)' is another great track which features one of the bands most bluesy riffs ever before leaping into a strong groove and heavy psychedelic vibes.

Another bonus track for the CD version is '"The Spiral Conclusion' which some readers may have heard from the vinyl version of the 'Searching Low and High' album that was released in 2011. This split is more of what is to be expected from both bands but you wouldn't want it any other way with these two combos. Both bands deliver the goods with Eternal Elysium proving once and for all they are one of the most consistently good bands in stoner doom history while Sardonis prove once again they are the real deal and that a 2 man band can just as brutal as your typical 3, 4, or 5 man band line-up. In a word..........ESSENTIAL. ......9.5/10.

Both bands recently did a tour together. Here is two lengthy videos of both bands sets from one of those shows....enjoy.

Sardonis | Official
Eternal Elysium | Official

Mos Generator – "Nomads" ...

The cover art is so tricky, with that menacing black crow leaning on that cemeterial stone cross in a blood-red twilight sky. You read the name of the band and you think “oh, they too went into doom!”. But no, they didn’t. US Mos Generator trio, i.e. Tony Reed on guitars/vocals (plus keyboards), Scooter Haslip on bass and Shawn Johnson on drums, came back with a load of their “hybrid” classic rock vibes during the twilight of this year. Nomads is the Mos Generator’s much awaited new album, out via Ripple Music, the hard rocking US label that cured Mos Generator’s 10th Anniversary Edition last year(HERE) as well as the latest releases of one of the other bands involving Tony Reed, Stone Axe (HERE)

Hence, in spite of the doomy-gloomy cover, munchies in Nomads are made of that creative blend of by now classic styles in heavy music for which Mos Generator are known and appreciated.
Nomads is distilled deeply groove-laden, distorted rock finely conjugated in its heavier as well as lighter, passionate melodic shades. The nine tracks of the album will involve you for about 40 relaxing minutes. Tempos may vary and riffs do dominate but in a whole Nomads is a calming album where you are being made slow down and enjoy tunes like wine tasting.  In almost every track and, anyway, throughout the album, sounds shift between heavily rocking or even metal riff charges and meditative to trippy moods introduced by somber interludes. Tony Reed’s great gritty vocal style is surely made for hard rock. However vocal parts are always able to adapt to the changing mood and contribute vivid passion to melody.  Mos Generator’s style here is probably more classic and more hybrid than ever.

With the powerful opener Cosmic Ark the band pay their tribute to stoner masters and cool down by inserting some great retro heavy blues jamming. Torches is slow classic rock. Echoes of the musicians’ militant past into grunge are caught particularly in the intense tracks Lonely One Kenobi and Can’t Get Where I Belong. These and the other tracks are lead by a perfect balance of tension and soulful melodies where blues and vintage rock riffs inspired by Thin Lizzy or Led Zeppelin are added as well. Riffs and melodies may also be thoroughly sabbathian, like in Step Up, the most doomy track of the album. There distortion and the tone of the guitar sound probably more severe than elsewhere in the album, but introspection instead of morbid feelings are evoked by the slow and sinister plodding rhythm. Classic retro heavy metal is particularly hommaged by tracks Solar Angels (Judas Priest cover from one of the minor releases of these heavy metal fathers, album Point of Entry) and  For Your Blood, although in this album riffs often remind of heavy metal from the glorious decades. Track For Your Blood in particular is badass and is there for headbanging with its infectious speed and distortion. The short track Nomads is a moody acoustic interlude sandwiched between Can’t Get Where I Belong and the final epic, 7 minutes-long epic ballad This Is The Gift Of Nature. The band left a jewel for closing the album. This final track is the re-recorded version of the one originally included in the vinyl edition of the 2007 album Songs For Future Gods. The ballad is cross-genres and is graced by great riffs and a central interlude with some truly seducing Hendrixian, retro-heavy blues jamming.
So Nomads is 40 minutes of thunderously relaxing rock, balanced and charming mix of energy and melody, just  perfect for conveying some warmth in these foggy and snowy winter days. Or else, if you are amidst summer heat, Mos Generator’s new tunes will sound like a balming shade. Mos Generator are eclectic classic rockers who apparently do not like to crystallize their music according to a rigid standard. On the contrary they apparently like to explore the gifts of forty years of heavy music in freedom. With such attitude they still have a lot to say …

Nomads is out on Ripple Music. It is also available through Nail Distribution in North America, Code 7 in the UK, and Clearspot International throughout Europe.

Words: Marilena Moroni

Ripple Music

Dec 15, 2012

Escape to the Doomland - Interview with EVOKE THY LORDS ...

Evoke Thy Lords was born in amidst of Siberia as they gathered ten years ago under an old banner of Russian Doom/Death Metal. The band is known for their appearance in three Doom-Art.Ru Compilations. Moreover, you may listen to their release, Escape to the Dreamlands, or split EP Twofaced with Lefthander’s project Riders on the Bones. If Evoke Thy Lords had worked further in the field of Doom/Death Metal, this interview wouldn’t have happened. But their music has changed greatly. Now the band may be fairly proud of their nontrivial, smart and heavy Sludge Doom with some Death Doom Metal impact, but the main features are the renewed, progressive sound and the remaining flute. Unfortunately, only one new track is available on the Evoke Thy Lords band camp page yet you won’t waste your time if you listen to it! Is it the breakthrough? I guess, at least, it has good chances to win the audience. Alexey Kozlov (vocal, bass) is our guest today so I give him a word.

Hi Alex. What’s new in the life of the band and its musicians? How is it going?

Hi! We’ve just finished our new record Drunken Tales; it’s the main event in our band life, I think. As for musicians, everything is going its course; most of us have settled down and started a family.

Your band exists since 2002 but the first album Escape to the Dreamlands was released only in 2008. If I’m not mistaken, the CD has brought together all the band’s Death/Doom stuff recorded by that time. But you seem to be not very happy with this release. That stuff was too overstayed and irrelevant to you at that moment, wasn't it?

You got the point. Our debut recording process was too long. By the moment of Escape…’s release, we had completely finished the stuff for Twofaced and, I think, even for Cause Follows Effect. Finally, when the album was out, we completely turned away from the sound represented on the record; our key points and musical values had changed. At that moment, we started to realize what we wanted from our music.

How did the ‘enlightenment’ happen? Did the idea 'damn, everyone plays Death/Doom here' come to all band members simultaneously or anyone tried to stand against the changes?

It was not so radical. We simply came to the idea that we needed to keep moving. We didn’t intend to choose specific musical framework. Deep down, everybody thought that playing as we have been doing was not interesting for us at all.

 For a long time Evoke Thy Lords was a part of the Russian Doom-scene, which in the world of music community, was considered as purely oriented to Doom/Death at that time. Indeed, at the beginning of 2000’s that genre just appeared in our country and very few bands played that kind of music. Why do you think it happened and how much the scene has changed since then?

It’s, basically, clear why it has happened:  for the same reason as why only few people in our country understood what the traditional Doom Metal genre actually was. Anyway, I think the scene has changed a lot. On the one hand, a lot of Doom/Death bands are now out of sight, and on the other hand, there appeared some new bands playing Traditional Doom, Stoner and Sludge Doom. As for me, the current situation is much better than before.

Why do you think, with such strong and mass wish to play Death/Doom, there is no new My Dying Bride or Mourning Beloveth?

Maybe because there are no new Peaceville Records. I don’t hold these bands as some pillars or mastodons of the genre, and I have come across some very interesting bands in our country. Perhaps, the main challenge that those bands are facing is their further existence and progress after their first albums and the first few years of their work. But I find it difficult to provide a universal explanation.

Are those bands that you started with alive? As far as I know, very few of Doom-Art.Ru compilations participants are active, most of them have disappeared.

You know, we really are quite distant from this scene, so it's hard to comment. Yes, I’ve heard almost nothing about the bands from any of these compilations. And vice versa, if you ask this question to any of these bands about us, I think, the answer will be the same.

Your last official release called Twofaced came out three years ago; it was a split-album with the Voronezh Lefthander’s project Riders on the Bones. There, the band's sound had already changed. It had become more aggressive and, at the same time, it was clear that Evoke Thy Lords followed the early Amorphis, and it was expressed not only with the cover of Black Winter Day. What do you think about this stuff today?

I like it better than our first release. We had much less problems recording this EP as compared to our debut; the main reason why I can take it adequately. My point is: that the more you stick with the material, the worse you hear the music taking it to pieces. This EP for us is a kind of farewell to the past. It includes all the unreleased stuff that had been composed before we changed our sound. In fact, by that time, we had already written some groovy themes and started playing in lower tune, which we eventually used for the recording Twofaced, the guitars there were lower than in the Escape .... This stuff is not close to us today, but I think we’ve done a good job.

What do you think of Lefthander work? He appears to be a rather interesting phenomenon of Russian underground stage. Although he regularly produces lots of inventive ideas, I’m not sure if his projects are popular.

I’m not well informed about his other projects and I can’t tell much about his popularity, as well. When we were looking for another project for our split album, Riders on the Bones seemed to be a good choice. In my opinion, Twofaced came out as a solid match both in music and visual appearance.

And how did you promote your band? Evoke Thy Lords is from Novosibirsk. How do you get to your audience? Do you use only the Internet or maybe mail?

Our main problem is that we release our records with a considerable delay. Therefore, it’s hard to talk about any promotion strategy. For example, how can we position our band as Sludge Doom band when, at the same time, we release the records in a completely different genre? I’m not sure if this situation is unique, but it’s not typical. As a result, the labels distribute our records in their own way. People digitize our records and upload them to the Internet, such a word-of-mouth marketing. Of course, we have made some obvious steps, for example, we have created the site and some other profiles on the Internet, but mostly, our audience finds us on their own . Moreover, we’re biased against spam and other methods of aggressive marketing. All in all, the things are the way they should be.

The latest records of Evoke Thy Lords (represented, for example, with the song on the last Doom-Art compilation) make a good impression with multiversity and substantiality. Now it's powerful groovy Sludge Doom with elements of Psychedelic and Progressive Rock. You managed to keep the flute which sounds particularly smooth in the systematic chaos of growl and guitars. How have you come to such a combination of genres?

Thank you for such a response. We have the flute in our music from the very beginning, and it has come through all our changes along with other instruments. We didn’t plan such a mixture of genres in advance; it was an evolution. When, after first two releases, we decided to step off the road and make something new, we were not sure what we would get as an outcome.

Ok, but why did you keep the flute? It’s a great finding, although, such an instrument seems to be hardly compatible with the Sludge music.

We were not aimed particularly at Sludge music. We composed the new pieces for all our instruments at once. That's why the flute didn't fall out of the sound.

Did your lyrics change simultaneously with genre?

Yes, of course. But the reason may be not the change of the genre itself, rather the personality development; the main idea evolves with each album. Actually, we have some recordings between Twofaced and Drunken Tales. We are still working on it, although the pieces have been composed and recorded earlier. There was the most radical change in our lyrics. If you look for the parallels in literature, they will be moving from Lovecraft ideas to Ray Bradbury and Philip Dick. Drunken Tales are mostly instrumental work. The role of the vocal has changed as well, as its standing in our music. Here we don’t express any literary ideas but mostly everyday life experience. Such a midlife crisis of the common man in meditative way.

The new material hasn’t been released yet. What are your plans? Are there any interesting labels? How soon are you going to release the album?

The plans are to publish it. There are some labels that are interested. Right now we are discussing some details. I can't definitely tell you the date, it depends on the label. I just hope that the release is not too far off.

Then, I wish you good luck to make all your plans come true. I hope when the new album comes out, it will be a timely one, both for you and for your audience. Take care!

Thank you for the questions and your interest in our band. Listen to our new stuff while our music hasn’t changed again.

Interview By Aleks

Official Website

Dec 13, 2012

NEWS: UNIDA To Headline Desertfest and a Special Appearance by BONGRIPPER ...

You certainly didn’t see that coming did you!! Well, it’s true. Not only have DesertFest already reunited both the mighty Dozer and Lowrider for 2013, but we are now proud to announce that desert rock royalty UNIDA are Camden-bound this coming April to headline Desertfest 2013.

I’m sure you all already know the story, but that isn’t going to stop it being told over again… Upon the dissolution of Kyuss and Slo Burn, the voice of the Californian sands John Garcia (vocals) hooked up with Dave Dinsmore (bass), Arthur Seay (guitar) and Miguel Cancino (drums) to add their biker punk-metal rhythms to his unmistakable, paint-stripping bluesy grooves behind the mic. Despite huge early promise, a glorious debut album in 1999’s ‘Coping with the Urban Coyote’, a storming split with Swedes Dozer and a follow-up record due with American Recordings in 2001, the band stalled and sank back behind the cacti’ shadows. The long-awaited second album, reportedly entitled ‘The Great Divide’, was never released; Dinsmore left the band to be replaced initially by Scott Reeder and then later Eddie Plascencia whilst Garcia concentrated more exclusively on his new band Hermano and some solo work. Unida was certainly left in-need-a’ something… until now!

Back to blow us all away with the likes of ‘Wet Pussycat’, ‘Human Tornado’ and ‘Black Woman’ plus a whole lot more, this is one pick-up truck full of hulking riffs, fuzzed up overdrive and classic vocal majestics that you simply can’t afford to miss. Get ready to cope with the triumphant return of the urban coyotes themselves at DesertFest 2013!

Desertfest 2013 takes place between 26th – 28th April 2013 over 4 venues in Camden, London and tickets are available at

Chicago’s Bongripper play their own unique brand of steam-rolling stoner doom. They specialize in extended instrumental trips that investigate the far-reaches of gut-wrenching heaviness. Post-rock fans should take note, they also know the importance of using melody and atmosphere to bring their records into a cohesive whole.

Since 2005 they have been building a steady reputation with five albums to date, their most notorious being ‘Heroin’ which was released in very limited quantities and came with a heroin kit, complete with a lighter, rubber band, and spoon.

They have supported masters of menace such as EyeHateGod and Cough. On-stage they are something to behold, heads-down with the volume at 11, the ebb and flow of their soundscapes conjures up scenes of destruction, desolation and absolution.

This is a rare chance to see a band that do not play live often, especially outside of the US, so count yourselves lucky for this for great opportunity laid-on by Desertfest 2013!

Source: The Sleeping Shaman
Desert Fest | Offical Website

NEWS: The Devil’s Blood To Perform Two Rituals at Roadburn 2013: Exclusive Acoustic Performance & Full Electric Ritual ...

To celebrate the band’s first ever live ritual at Roadburn 2008, and their much acclaimed performance at the 2009 festival, we’re are blessed to announce the return of the cult that is The Devil’s Blood for, not one, but two shows at Roadburn Festival 2013.

On Saturday, April 20th, The Devil’s Blood will perform their occult ceremonies acoustically for the first time ever at Het Patronaat, while their fully-fledged, subversive, Pagan jams will reach new heights (or should we say dark depths!?) at the traditional Afterburner event on Sunday April 21st at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.

Over the past five years, The Devil’s Blood have not only gained a huge cult following, the band have also been at the forefront of the burgeoning Occult Rock scene by setting a new standard for unearthing the roots of proto-metal as laid down by their unholy forefathers, Black Widow and Coven. The Devil’s Blood‘s creative range includes a visionary blend of dusty psych-garage-rock, ’60s psychedelica, acid-folk-rock and even horror soul, underpinned by beguiling triple guitar harmonies and dripping with obsessively detailed Satanic ritual.

The head-spinning diversity of The Devil’s Blood cult (and occult) has been captured on the Come Reap EP, The Time of No Time Evermore and 2011?s stunning The Thousandfold Epicentre, all of which offer up a golden balance between the band’s forceful danger, but also a sublime, demonic melancholy that guides its audience toward the left hand path.

The Sleeping Shaman

In Aevum Agere - "The Shadow Tower" ...

For those mourning the supposed demise of Candlemass and bemoaning the inactivity of Solitude Aeturnus, the arrival of Italy's In Aevum Agere from out of nowhere will be a blessed relief. Here, at last, is a true doom metal album...not angry swamp sludge, not groovy stoner rock, not more 70's retro-occult nonsense, but a monolith of pure DOOM carved from the same stone used to fashion the giants mentioned above.

"The Shadow Tower" is Candlemass/Solitude style doom of such purity it will make your eyes water. Sure, it slavishly follows the templates of those two bands, but the execution is mind-bogglingly brilliant and I dare say I even prefer this to "Psalms for the Dead", the "last" Candlemass album. In Aevum Agere is the surprising brainchild of one Bruno Masulli, who is also responsible for the rather excellent Italian thrash band Annihilationmancer, along with some others. Bruno must really worship the doom masters of old, because right from the first doleful notes of "Umbra Vitae", we get plodding, melodic riffs that will send chills up the spine of anybody who loved "Nightfall" and "Ancient Dreams".  Bruno's vocals evoke memories of the first Candlemass singer Johan Langqvist but there are also some great solemn Gregorian style chants on "Domino" and "Il Poema Illusorio" that add to the great medieval feeling. On the restrained and gloomy ballad "Silent", he even recalls early Geoff Tate. This man is a serious talent, both vocally and on the frets.

The album shows a little bit of driving aggression in places, particularly on the last two cuts "Ire of Solitude" and "Son of Unknown", merging a bit of slower thrash chug with the slow, probing riffs. Tunes like "Leave Me Alone", "The Last Farewell" and "Act of Faith" are just fucking brilliant, utterly lacking originality but showing total mastery of a style of music that is teetering on the edge of the abyss. The production does the songs full justice and really, this is one of the best pure doom records of the year, if not THE best. Only its excessive length counts against it, making it somewhat of an exhaustive experience.

I expect to hear a Candlemass knock-off band when I first heard In Aevum Agrere, but what I didn't expect was to hear Candlemass' true heir and replacement make themselves known!

Words: Dr. Mality ( Wormwood Chronicles )

Official Website
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