Saturday, 30 November 2013

Another Interview with SLOWJOINT!!!!

Today's guests on Sludgelord have been on the blog no less than 3 times before. Mainly with 2 reviews and a previous interview that you can read here.

But now they are back for an entirely new interview. A reward for me reviewing their excellent début album that will be released next year. I may have to review the album again as I was giving a promo copy to review. It had no album cover or no album title.

But SLOWJOINT still impressed me with their amazing almost finished album. As I said the following about their upcoming new album:

"Slowjoint have delivered an excellent debut album that should win them a few fans within the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene in 2014. The album is the cure to those post-winter blues and Slowjoint are the Doctors of Sludge advising you to take your medicine. It is an order you cannot ignore…" 

So let see what these crazy weed induced Sludge Rockers have to say to me when I interview them again..

You can read the first interview here.

Q1 – Hi Guys. How's things with you today. Thanks for doing this.

You're very velcome. We're doing alright. It's sunday, the sun is shining and I just got home from a few beers in the woods.

Q2 – So what has been happening with you guys since I last interviewed you 6 months ago.

Well, we played our first festival gig this summer. It was fucking awesome! They treated us with beer and booze and the show went damn well!  And of course we've been working on the album. Mainly by scratching our ass and coming up with weird song titles.

Q3 – Congrats on your new almost finished album. As you know I loved it. I will dig it even more when it's released. Mainly with album title and album cover. HA HA. Can you tell our readers what to expect from it.

Haha, we're not the fastest dicks in the sauna, but we get things done. The album is filled with fuzz and dirty noice. If you're into that you might dig it. Don't expect any new side of the genre. This is simple weed driven sludge as we like it.

Q4 – So what is the album about. Any specific meaning or is it just a strong collection of stunning brutal riffs.

It's the words and thoughts of a not working, working man. I just scream angry stuff that pisses me off, and mix it up with some humor and a little bit of weed. Not much. Just a little.. I don't really think there is any special meaning in what we do. It's just fun doing it.

Q5 – Was it an easy or hard album to record for.

The studio was booked 4 months before we actually went there. I thought that we had plenty of time, and I already had three or four songs ready for it. All of a sudden, recording was close and I still needed to write the rest of the songs. We got the last three songs down two days before deadline. But I guess that's just how we work. We're not super experienced studio musicians, so it was like letting three monkeys lose in a box with some shitty instruments and hoping to catch the best take before we ruined it. It went pretty well though. We had some trouble here and there, mainly because we get weirdly nervous as soon as the recording button is red. But that being said, we had a good time recording it. And I think that Christian (CBStudios) did a really great job, making the songs sound natural and raw.  

Q6 – What influenced you when writing the album. Any specific band, musician, time or place help channel your creative process.

I don't know what I'm doing man. I'm not sure I'm that creative after all, haha. But i guess I'm influenced by a lot of different music, but with sludge as the main priority. 

Q7 – You have some pretty cool song titles on the album which shows your great sense of humor. Is humor a big aspect for your music. Though the music is bleak and brutal at times. 

Our humor is actually pretty bad dude. You're just wrongly miss led by our stunning looks.. I think it's important to have a bit of humor in everything you do. Life feeds you shit every now and then. It's your job to spice it up, so it don't taste that bad..

Q8 – What is the music scene currently like in Denmark. Are you getting more gigs or have you been too busy recording the new album.

We're slowly gaining some interest in the band. It's not that we can play anywhere we want, but we're doing alright. We're planning some shows around Denmark in January, and we've been given the chance to do a warm up gig for an old legendary danish metal band in April. We love playing live so hopefully there's gonna be more of it!

Q9 – The new album is coming out soon on Vinyl. How did that come about and who is releasing it. 

Yeah we cant wait to get it out there! The plan is to release it ourselves, unless someone else want's to pay for it. 

Q10 - Any different editions of the album such as different colours. Or is it being released as a normal edition.

I actually don't know yet. But I'm pretty sure that there's gonna be a special edition on green casettes. The cover is being hand painted by an old school mate, and we're pretty excited to see how it's gonna end up.

Q11 – Are you all fans of the Vinyl Format. As it's seeing a surge in popularity within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal Scene.

Vinyl just presents music in a better way! I've been listening to vinyl for 3 years or so, and it's a dream come true to make one ourselves. Also the cover art is much better represented in a bigger format. I think it's because music has become so easy for everyone to listen to on the internet. So when people actually buy a record they want that extra thing to it. And vinyl really sounds better, looks better and even smells better than a cd or an mp3 file.

Q12 – If there is anything you could change within the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal scene what would it be.

I love everything about it. So no, not really. I just hope that it stays underground, even though it's getting more popular these days.

Q13 – What are your views of the crowd funding scene currently going on with bands and artists asking fans to fund their latest release or project. My own view it's cool for upcoming bands and unsigned bands. But I saw a crowd funding project for William “FUCKING” Shatner to fund some watches he represents.

For Fucks Sake – Captain “Fucking” Kirk is now getting in on the act. Isn't he a multi millionaire. OOPS – I digress. Are you a fan of that and would Slowjoint ever go down that route.

I don't think you'll see us asking for money that way. If you need money for a record, do some shows, sell some shirts, albums or whatever. Everything has it's time. But what the hell do I know? We've been lucky to be able to do what we do. Somehow we always get by. Maybe it's because we don't expect a lot of it. As I've said before, we're doing it for the fun of it. It's the most natural way to us.

Q14 – Have you received more coverage within the Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal community since we last featured you on the blog. Though I have a feeling that is going to change in the next 12 months for you.

Well, I hope you're right! The more people get to know our music, the bigger the chances are for us to get more shows. And that's what it's all about. You sure did your job to get the word around. Much appreciated. But we're not quite sure if you got the same album that we send you. haha. Let's hope that people don't realize how bad our music really is.

Q15 – So when your not making sweet violent riffs with Slowjoint. What is there to do in Denmark to pass the time. How do you relax. Or what would you recommend me to do if I ever visited your great country.

Well I live in the south of Denmark in the country. There's not much to do here, so I play a lot of music. Right now I'm learning to play the banjo and I already got my own little side project going, that I'm recording on my old casette player. Some kind of depressed drunken blues. It sounds terrible! Hopefully the casette player burns down, so nobody never will have to listen to it. If you ever come to Denmark you should catch us here in south Jutland and we'll have a beer and shoot some slingshots. That's actually pretty fun and totally underrated. I once shot two birds with a slingshot and some marbles. Not in one shot though. Or wait. Let's say I shot two birds with one bullet, haha

Q16 – Do you have any plans to tour overseas within the next couple of years. If so what would be your ideal destination to play a gig at.

We would like to tour outside of Denmark, whenever we figure out how to do so. Festival gigs or small bar jobs. We like it all, as long as we get to play really loud! And our very own Roskilde Festival would be a fucking blast to play at. But that's just dreaming I guess. 

Q17 – Finally, Do you have anything to say to your fans.

Seriously, stop listening to that shit.. and grow a beard!

Well Slowjoint, thanks for doing this interview. Been great catching up with you crazy dudes once again. If you want another album review with the finished article. You know where I am.

Sure thing Steve! We'll get back to you soon.

Thanks to the band for talking to me again. Always great chatting to this great band. These guys will be one of the main bands to look out for in 2014. Slowjoint are going places.

Check the Band from Links Below


WARD - S/T Album Review

 WARD LP cover art
Ward are a Finnish Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal band from Finland

The band members are:

J. Vastinesluoma
M. Saastamoinen
T. Lepistö
J. Pitkänen
A. Murtonen

Upon first listening to the self-titled EP soon to be released by Finland doom outfit, Ward, my belief that some albums give you no choice but to listen to them in another dimension, being neither here nor there, was solidified with greatest absolution. This four track album will transport from your living room to a brutal sea of sludge at once solemn and vehement.

Anonymous Caller opens the album with delicate fuzz and hints of bass, building anticipation for the inevitable eruption of slow-heavy that any lover of doom will find irresistible. After lying in the wake of a behemoth of sound for almost five minutes, we are briefly caressed by a melodic, instrumental passage eluding to elements of post-metal to be heard throughout the album. Guitars, drums, and vocals then pick up quite a bit from the original pace for a final blast before the second epic track begins.

In Denial is quite the suitable name for a track with a harrowing, orchestral introduction nearly three minutes in length. By this time, one becomes well aware, and pleased, that Ward has mastered the art of weaving in and out of heaviness and softness while managing to encompass one unfaltering mood perfectly on each facet. Rhythmic elements of the first track are then revisited with solid vocals and a few catchy new riffs thrown in before ending in a subdued fashion, familiar to its beginning.

Riisutto jumps right in without relent, carrying on much of the same sound from previous tracks. Five minutes in, just when I began to fear that such a promising album might become redundant, a sludge battle cry if I ever heard one sends forth an avalanche of riffs and the album takes on a new, more intricate texture from here on out; this includes a blackened variation in the vocals in the last two minutes of the song, which I welcomed with my skull-ridden arms wide open.

Self Made Hell is what I would consider the monumental track of the album. An absolute culmination of the goodness we have thus far been spoon-fed piece by piece. After opening with a soft guitar solo, a mountain of epic doom rises as high as the tempestuous sky I see now outside my window. I couldn't imagine a day more drearily perfect for reviewing such a fine specimen as this. Self Made Hell takes a new direction than the previous tracks, putting the emphasis on the vocals throughout its entirety; they take on a new clarity and you can truly feel the bleak emotion, which has been simmering throughout, now boil over into the darkest crevices of the mind.

I am completely satisfied right now; crushed beneath this small but mighty boulder of sludgy post-metal-tinted doom.

Throughout the entirety of their album Ward holds nothing back but somehow still continues to give more with each passing minute. They build on song structure by introducing subtle new elements in each track, creating an album that is flowing and cohesive; consistent yet never redundant, grim, beautiful, and heavy as the devil's balls.

Though I do often while listening to an album appreciate being clobbered for over an hour with a relentless hammer of doom, I also enjoy being cradled with some atmospheric misanthropy and desolation in between and this album gives me approximately thirty-six minutes of just that combination. The sludge-ridden and at times blackened vocals are clear and almighty throughout, taking their turn to convey a certain sepulchral emotion. At choice moments, when the lyrical themes are quite apparent, they will not only force you to abandon all hope but will leave your innards shuddering. I hope you don't like a dash of sugar in your coffee or a glimmer of hope in your riffs of ruination because Ward's cup o’ joe is served only one way, and that way is fucking black.

Drink up. You won't regret it.

Ward's self-titled EP will be released December 15th, 2013.

In the meantime, you may listen to the epic fourth track, Self Made Hell, on their bandcamp:

For fans of: Isis, Neurosis, Intronaut, Callisto

Written by Heather Stubbs

RABBITS - Live Love

Live Love cover art

Rabbits is a self proclaimed Punk-Sludge-Thrash-Trash Metal Band from Portland, Oregon, USA

The members are: Sethro, KG, Booze

Rabbits have become a firm favourite of ours here at Sludgelord HQ. Their blend of Punk, Sludge and Thrash Metal riffs have seen them won praise from fans and critics alike.

Rabbits have released a string of well received EPs and Albums. We reviewed their last one here and Aaron interviewed them back in Oct 2012.

So yeah we are big fans of the Rabbits crew. So when they release a new record of any kind we always check it out. Well Rabbits have released a new album on their BandCamp page called Live Love.

Live Love is 3 separate live Rabbits shows with the band on fine violent sludge-tastic form through out. This is what Rabbits say about the shows:

"The "Live Love" series from RABBITS is a selection of recorded live shows from throughout our history. Each track is a complete show. Some EQ and compression/limiting applied, but minimal editing: little fuss, lots of nuts. These high-quality digital files may reveal limitations in the sound, recording, and/or performance--likely all three. It's almost like being there, and maybe you were.
Set lists are included in the individual track info. Many thanks due to the fans, promoters, hosts, and sound people."

What you get is 3 fantastic separate shows running for about 102 mins altogether. Hear this band in all their audio glory. A brutal and unflinching assault that shows you why Rabbits are such a brilliant band not to be fucked with.

It's available now on Buy Now Download on BandCamp.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Check The Band From Links Below.


Voidward - Knives EP

knives EP cover art

Voidward is a solo metal project from Durham, NC, USA

Voidward is the work of one highly talented individual - Greg Sheriff - who plays everything on the awesome Voidward debut EP - Knives.

His bio should tell you all you need to know and what to expect on Knives EP.

"Voidward is Greg Sheriff. Taking inspiration from the many consistently great North Carolina bands like US Christmas, Horseback and Make, Greg is looking to further expand and blur the lines of what metal is and can be - while still retaining and revelling in its core elements. Voidward is a completely DIY project in all aspects from writing to playing and recording. 

To paraphrase Steinbeck, 'Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man...And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. 

This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for it is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system.' Other friends and musicians will fill out the live portion, with their influences making Voidward grow and evolve continuously from release to release."

Well since Greg has listed MAKE as one his influences I had to check him out. MAKE are one of my fave Sludge/Post-Metal bands of recent years. All I can say is Knives is fucking epic. It's a seamless mix of Rock, Sludge, Black Metal and Post-Metal that had me coming back for more.

Knives is a 3 song and 28 minute blast of superb extreme metal riffs. It's a deeply emotional ride into the darkness of the human spirit. Greg has brilliantly captured the dark moments that Sludge, Black Metal and Post-Metal are known for.

Greg's sound is highly addictive and one that will last long in the memory. Check out the amazing opening track - The Plowman - which shows you what Voidward is all about. Sprawling dark psych Sludge/Post-Metal riffs mixed with a dangerous Black Metal vibe lurking in the shadows. A great introduction for this EP to start with.

2nd track - There Are Stars In All Wolves' Eyes - adds a more rock orientated sound before adding cold as steel Black Metal vocals that will speak volumes to long time Bathory fans. This is what Ghost BC should of sounded like. Dark, Brutal and filled with epic riffs to rock out to.

3rd Track - To Scatter One's Own - is the final piece in this weird and wonderful psych based jigsaw puzzle that is Knives. Greg returns to his heavier metal roots that he laid down on The Plowman but adding a harsher Psych Rock edge with blistering Ambient based noises and vocals to scare the hell out of you.

Knives is fucking superb. Greg has worked wonders here. His style of music is one I want to hear more of. Knives is awesome.

You can download this for free from BandCamp now. If you want something different to check out then I can't recommend this highly enough.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Check Voidward from links below


FRAUD - Forms Unknown

Forms Unknown cover art

Fraud is a Grind/Death Metal Band from Philadelphia, USA

The members are:

Josh Mahesh (Heikousen) - Guitars
Jesse Beahler (Jungle Rot, Rings of Saturn, Antikythera, Nightfire) - Drums
Vocals: Mitchell Luna (Maruta)
Mike 'Gunface' McKenzie (The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Unraveller)
Mike Hrubovcak (Azure Emote, Vile, Monstrosity)
James Dorton (Black Crown Initiate, Antikythera, Blood of Abel, Hunter's Ground, Nightfire)
Joe Boccuto (Antikythera, BottomFeeder)
Mark Devito (Bottlebreaker, Socks the Destroyer)
Bass - Kevin Elliot (Antikythera), Dave Ehrlich (Cadaveric Spasm), Steven Dever (Heikousen)

Fraud is a fucking brutal and brilliant Grind/Death Metal Band who you seriously all need to check out now. OK - this release maybe for the more extreme metal fan but I fucking loved every brutal minute of this hate-filled 18 minute assault on the senses.

The BandCamp description will tell you all you need to know about their excellent new record - Forms Unknown

A mashup of 10 technical death metal & grind tracks, clocking in at under 18 minutes! Featuring members of Rings of Saturn, The Red Chord, Maruta, Monstrosity, East of the Wall, Heikousen, & More!

Check the awesome line-up involved with this record. Some of the best extreme metal bands around all combining their creative forces to give you nightmares for life. This is the essential Death Metal/Grind Metal release of 2013.

Forms Unknown will leave you in such a state of shock that you may need therapy sessions to get over the audio assault these sonic terrorists put you through. 10 tracks that feature some of the heaviest. loudest, brutal and insane riffs I have had the pleasure to hear this year.

Fave tracks to check out. ALL OF THEM!!!!

The instrumental work is brilliant through out. It will leave you on the edge of your seat. You want something unsettling to fuck up your entire world. Well this is the album for you.

You can download this now on Buy Now Download on BandCamp - if you're feeling brave enough.

Fucking Awesome!!!

Check The Band From Links Below:


CASTLES - Fiction or Truth? - Album Review

Fiction or Truth? cover art

Castles is an Noise Rock/Punk/Stoner Metal Band from Belgium

The members are:

Bertrand Bourguignon – Drums
Jérôme Considérant – Electric bass guitar
Edward Godby – Electric guitar and non-electric voice

Castles are a band who made one hell of an impression with me when they released their 2012 debut album - You, The Organ Grinder

You, The Organ Grinder style of Noise Rock, Post-Punk, Hardcore and Stoner Metal had it's fair share of excellent rifs to check out. It's an album I still listen to on a regular basis.

Castles have returned back bigger and better than ever with their brilliant new 2nd album - Fiction or Truth? - A 11 track and 31 minute blast of highly infectious riffs that will speak volumes to everyone that listens to it.

If you're a fan of Torche then your going to love this. Believe me this album is fucking amazing. First track - Palm Reader - shows what Castles is all about. Huge brutal riffs and vocals to match that pack an emotional punch that is very hard to pull off but Castles do this with style and originality.

Castles are highly talented band and prove that You, The Organ Grinder wasn't a one off. Fiction or Truth? is a stunning collection of finely tuned rock tracks with enough power to knock you the fuck out. Castles songs are mainly under the 3:30 minute mark. There are no flashy epic riffs anywhere. Just good old fashioned punk based Noise Rock/Stoner Metal riffs that will leave you breathless on every song.

Just listen to the finely tuned riffs of Palm Reader, Long Distance Runner, Untame and the excellent beautifully played title track - Fiction or Truth? - Castles do show a tender caring rock vibe on some of their songs but wait until their more dangerous and heavier metal edge shows up to crank up the tension. It proves that Castles have a dangerous wild side lurking amongst the more tender moments on the album. It's on these dangerous riffs where the album truly explodes into life and becomes better for it.

Want more evidence how great this album is. Any why Castles deserve your attention. Well they have managed to get Kurt Ballou to Mix and Record their album. Plus Brad Boatwright mastered the album. So apart from the album being amazing. It fucking sounds amazing too.

Fiction or Truth? has it all. Emotionally charged lyrics, brilliant riffs and a band at the top of their game. Fiction or Truth? is superb.

You need this album in your life!!! - Which is good as Castles have this album available on Buy Now Download on Bandcamp until 01/01/2014. So please don't pass this amazing album buy. You will only regret it.

Brilliant and Highly Recommended.

Fiction or Truth? is available on Vinyl from here. Remember people - this album is only available for Free/Buy Now Download until Jan 1st 2014.

Check The Band From Links Below

Drone Hunter - S/T Album Review

Drone Hunter cover art

Drone Hunter is an Instrumental Sludge/Stoner Metal Band from Varaždin, Croatia

The members are:

Rus - drums
Klen - bass
Fitz - guitar

Fuck yeah!!! - Here is a band that will knock you the fuck out from the very first riff. Ladies and Gentlemen - May I present - Drone Hunter. A fucking awesome instrumental riff power trio that will speak volume to fans of bands such as Karma To Burn and Sardonis.

Drone Hunter's debut S/T album is one wild ride from start to finish full of superb riffs packed full of groove to stand out from the crowd. This 42 minute album can rival anything that Karma To Burn have produced over the last 5 years or so. That's how great this album is.

First Track - Aguamala - is a 7:15 minute blast of finely tuned riffs which packs an almighty punch. Drone Hunter lay down some heavy riffs here that will speak volume to you. It's cool that Drone Hunter have a raw sound to them. This is proper Instrumental Sludge/Stoner Metal music the way it's meant to be played. Loud, Mean, Raw and straight from the heart.

Drone Hunter have said the following about their music.

"The debut full length album by Croatian instrumental riff worshipers Drone Hunter. The idea was to create a heavy, distorted but above all catchy and groovy record that would capture the essence of what this band is all about - riffing and grooving. Without vocals. This piece is a sonic journey of the minds and hearts of three guys with a thing for simplicity and minimalism. The band feels that they have achieved their mission which was to make sure that the stuff you hear on the CD is the same thing you hear at their shows, without overproducing and 'surgically' polishing the sound. No effects pedals were used on this album on neither guitar or bass. The sounds are pure amps and instruments. It's dirty, raw and noisy, just the way the band likes it."

And that's the best description of the album. What you hear is what you get. A constant barrage of amazing riffs to impress you with. These guys are insanely fast when they want to be. Check out excellent 2nd track - Blood Island - which has some of the fastest Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs I have heard this year.

I could go through every song and tell you which songs to check out. But believe me you need to hear this album for yourselves. As Drone Hunter fucking rule. End Of. No question. Their debut album is a powerhouse of Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs for you to worship at.

The band are supremely talented and prove this time and time again on the album. The album is one wild ride in the realm of Instrumental Rock that will have you hooked from start to finish. Drone Hunter have created a fantastic sounding album that had me coming back for more. All of the tracks are great as each other. Though Drone Hunter deserve credit for some of the song titles they have chosen - Twisted Horse Boogie, Blacksmith's Revenge On Machines, The Crow's Final Scream.

Some of the titles may sound strange and slightly humorous but make no mistake when Drone Hunter make it count where it matters. And this is in the music. This album is pure genius. I loved every minute of it. I have a sneaky feeling that we will be hearing a lot more from Drone Hunter over the next few years or so.

A brilliant album. End Of.

Thanks to the band for sending me a copy to review. Drone Hunter S/T Album is available to buy now from BandCamp.

Check The Band From Links Below


Storm King - Everything That's Meaningful In Your Life Will Be Destroyed - Review

Everything That's Meaningful In Your Life Will Be Destroyed cover art

Storm King are a Progressive Death & Thrashtastic Doom- core band from Pittsburgh, PA, USA

The members are:

Scott Massie - Vocals
Andy Kichi - Lead & Rythm Guitars
Adam Weston - Rythm & Lead Guitars, Vocals
Mark Bogacki - Bass, Backing Vocals
Tom D'Andrea - Drums

Storm King are a strange beast indeed. Parts Thrash, Death, Doom, Hardcore and elements of Sludge metal combining for a blast of heavy as fuck riffs. Their new album - Everything That's Meaningful In Your Life Will Be Destroyed - could make you loving this band from the start or hating them with a passion as their sound goes into so many different directions it's easy to lose track of it all.

Well for me - I think the album is a fucking awesome ride from start to finish. First track - Bad Love Clusterfuck - is an almost 3 minute hardcore-doom-thrash moshpit anthem in the making. Fast and furious from the word go. It perfectly embraces that manic energy of this great band. Though there is a lot more to the bands sound which I will discuss later. But this song perfectly captures the insane frenzied riffs that await you for much of the album.

Scott's vocals are sung at a 100mph which is almost hard to keep up with him. On this form I would love to see him perform live on stage. Mainly to see if he actually is that highly energetic in real life as well on the album.

2nd track - No Way Out - carries on the manic energy of Bad Love Clusterfuck with the band adding lots of Thrash based riffs for you to head-bang to. Damn this track makes you miss the 80s where Thrash ruled the fucking roost!!!.

Now this is where Storm King take their music into a different direction. As we have the first of two 8 minute plus Progressive Thrash/Doom/Death Metal tracks. 3rd track - Napalm - will make you feel at war with everyone and everything around you. As Storm King leave no stone unturned in playing some blazing Death/Doom/Thrash style riffs that have been sliced and diced into something dangerous and highly original. This is definitely the album's finest track. It will have you on the edge of your seat. Trust me!!!

Up next Storm King take on almighty classic of Alternative Metal. Faith No More's - Surprise! You're Dead. It's cool to see a band trying something different with a cover and Storm King add some serious Thrash/Groove Metal riffs to stamp their own authority on a classic song.

The band continue their all out assualt on the senses with more sublime progressive style riffs coming at your from all directions. Death, Thrash, Doom, Sludge and Hardcore combine for some serious kick-ass head-banging riffs. Check out Backfill, Rebellion for more evidence of Storm King's intent to knock you the fuck out!!!

The band have another excellent 8 minute plus epic up their sleeves - Adrift - that shows a truly talented band Storm King actually are. Intense riffs matched against some epic drumming that left me wanting more. Another excellent track to check out from these riff-slaying masters.

Everything That's Meaningful In Your Life Will Be Destroyed is an excellent action packed album that will have you coming back for more. It's an album that becomes better with each and every listen.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Thanks to the band and Jason Cantu for sending me a promo. Much appreciated guys. Everything That's Meaningful In Your Life Will Be Destroyed is now available to buy on BandCamp now.

Check The Band From Links Below.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Artillery - Legions (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 26/11/2013
Label : Metal Blade Records

Legions, album track listing :

1). Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh) 06:06
2). God Feather 05:13
3). Legions 04:38
4). Wardrum Heartbeat 05:53
5). Global Flatline 06:57
6). Dies Irae 04:54
7). Anno Requiem 04:14
8). Enslaved to the Nether 05:28
9). Doctor Evil 05:53
10). Ethos of Wrath 06:06

Bio :

Artillery was formed in Copenhagen in 1982, and released their debut album "Fear of Tomorrow" in 1985 and the follow-up, "Terror Squad," in 1987. Afterwards, the band saw a turbulent time with line-up changes, but by 1990 the band released the much acclaimed "By Inheritance" record. Artillery released their final effort with singer Flemming Rønsdorf in 1999 called "B.A.C.K."

Fast forward to 2007: the band reformed with singer Søren Adamsen and released "When Death Comes "in 2009 and was followed by "My Blood" in 2011. The year 2012 saw a change in line-up, when founding member and drummer Carsten Nielsen decided to leave, shortly followed by singer Søren Adamsen.

Two new member where recruited in late 2012 with Josua Madsen being the new drummer and Michael Bastholm Dahl the new singer. The band headed off to Miami to perform at the Barge to Hell metal cruise. Work on new material was already underway and after a successful European tour in May 2013, the band entered Medley Studios with acclaimed producer Søren Andersen at the mixing board.

With the new album recorded in June 2013, the band stands strong and ready to unleash their metal upon the world. A US tour is booked, as well as a South American tour, so the future looks bright and big plans have been made. Artillery is coming your way and ready to embark on a new chapter

The Band  :

Michael Bastholm Dahl |Vocals
Michael Stützer | Guitars
Morten Stützer | Guitars
Peter Thorslund | Bass
Josua Madsen | Drums

Review :

Danish thrashers Artillery have been around as long as I can remember (on and off, that is) and even worked with Flemming Rasmussen back in the day, but I could not have claimed to be particularly familiar with their work. Until hearing this album, that is...

Chill My Bones (Burn My Flesh) opens with a rather Eastern sounding intro that soon gives way to old school thrash with soaring vocals. The production is spot on (the bass drums really sound like bass drums) and the whole effect is one of proper thrash- you know, like Overkill or Testament; the good stuff.

God Feather summons similar melody and fury. The vocals are stellar- clear and distinct, proper old school metal- and they lift the release even higher than the other quality musical elements would indicate. Michael Bastholm Dahl does a sterling job. The Stutzer brothers deliver fast paced riffing and work together very well indeed, following in the tradition of great metal brother pairings (Young, Hoffman, Bjorler, Coyle and so on). The title track, Legions, is a true riff-fest and features plenty of mid paced stomp to go with some very nimble higher speed passages.

Wardrum Heartbeat delivers more of the same- high quality thrash that is hard as nails with a distinctive old school/NWOBHM aspect brought about by the vocals. Good passages of solos segue into great passages of riffs and so on. The ingredients that make this type of metal successful are easy to pinpoint but hard to actually come up with: great riffs and a high standard of musicianship.

With Global Flatline comes the half way mark of this excellent release. An atmospheric intro slows the pace down and allows the listener a little respite. The production utilises clean guitar (electro acoustic?) to good effect and Dahl goes for some real histrionics on this most old school of old school tracks. Things, naturally, pick up after a few minutes and the band run riot over the remainder of the playing time. Guitars shred, drums thrash and all is returned to very real thrash tempo. A very Maiden section is thrown in for good measure and the band gallops for the finish line. Heavy metal heaven is right here. 

Dies Irae has a military feel to the drum intro that gives way to a groove allowing the band to use dynamics and up the tempo when needed. Anno Requiem has an excellent intro and a very strong main riff. Josua Madsen excels himself behind the kit on this one- his performance on the whole album is very strong and he brings a resolutely real and energetic feel to proceedings. The bass of Peter Thorslund anchors the sound well, allowing for Madsen's more flashy moments by holding the rhythm down expertly.

Enslaved to the Nether has a clean intro with wailing lead overlaid and again drops the tempo for a ballad type feel- once more, not something that you encounter too much on thrash albums these days. It offers variety to the release and also makes it feel authentic; Artillery are one of the oldest European (Scandinavian!) thrash bands and thus do not need to pander to what critics think should be on a thrash album as they have earned their place at the table.

Doctor Evil gets the album back to thrashing ways with a half stepping riff giving way to a nifty melodic riff that brings classic Maiden to mind (the vocals hit a very Bruce-esque register). The tempos are played around with and keep things interesting as the melody nestles against much harder thrash sections. Ethos of Wrath then closes the album very strongly with over six minutes of the highest quality thrash metal.

Overall, this is a very strong record and another fine offering from both the band and Metal Blade. If you like your thrash metal with traditional vocals and a very old school ethos then this is the album for you. Armed and dangerous!

Words by : Richard Maw

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Theologian - Some Things Have To Be Endured (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released :  18/10/2013
Label : Crucial Blast

 Some Things Have To Be Endured, album track listing :

1). Black Coven Myopia 04:32
2).The Conjoined Deviant Procession 05:13
3). Gore Stained Ramparts 08:32
4). Grand Guignol 04:04
5). Like Love, Only Real 05:38
6). The Conjoned Deviant Procession 04:49
7). Welcome To The Golden Age of Beggars 06:18
8). Writing Corpus Landscape 08:05

Bio :

The latest offering from THEOLOGIAN -- a.k.a. Leech, also the mastermind behind the renowned power electronics/death industrial outfit Navicon Torture Technologies -- Some Things Have To Be Endured features eight new tracks of punishing black industrial, apocalyptic darkwave frequencies, and nerve-rending electronic deathscapes. The album is a collection of collaborations between THEOLOGIAN and a lineup of female vocalists/artists from both within the industrial / noise / dark ambient / coldwave realm and beyond, with contributions from Rachael Kozak (Hecate), Kristen MacArthur (Sewer Goddess), Rachel Maloney (Tonikom), Nikki Telladictorian (Prometheus Burning), Patricia Benitez (Fetish Drone), Gillian Leigh Bowling (Teloahqaal), Christiana Key (Delphic Oracle), Joan Hacker (Factoria), Shari Vari (Void Vision), and professional opera singer Melissa C. Kelly. The tracks shift from grinding industrial dread to ethereal coldwave beauty, blasts of rumbling blackened synthcrush met with washes of haunting electronic melody, while always remaining rooted in THEOLOGIAN's bleak, jet-black industrial sound. Co-produced with Derek Rush/Dream Into Dust and mastered by James Plotkin, Some Things Have To Be Endured contains some of the most moving and dramatic music to emerge from THEOLOGIAN's black sonic abyss, and the album comes adorned with striking photography by Ione Rucquoi that makes this one of the more visually arresting releases in the outfit’s growing catalog

Review :

Theologian play dark industrial ambient noise, the likes of which has probably never been witnessed before. To listen to 'Some Things Have To be Endured' is like staring into the abyss, and trying desperately not to make eye contact with what stares back at you. Masterminded by NY based noizenik Leech and uniquely featuring a slew of guest female vocalists, the record is seeing a release via the experimental Crucial Blast label in an unholy union that is sure to reap rewards.

'Black Cavern Myopia' commences with Sunn o))) style depth and discordance, before a nauseating industrial beat springs forth to dominate. Throughout the track it's never in danger of becoming overbearing on misplaced, it lurks in the shadows with pure menace, perfectly poised. This is true dark ambiance, ushered forth from a long night of the soul. The vocals of Rachael Kozak are haunting and sensual, and will frankly creep you out. She sounds like she was either drugged or possessed or a combination of both during the recording process. Brilliant.

'Gore-Stained Ramparts' is more uneasy listening, but in a gradual sense. It begins in an inoffensive enough manner, but the increase in tension suggests that testing times lay ahead. And sure enough the clangs of machinery from the seventh circle of hell start to weed their way into the score and the effort starts to sound like a passage from the book of Job. This is suffering in a magnificent manner, the feeling of panic is so tangible and escalating that I actually began to experience anxiety. And if music can start to affect a listener in such a physical way? Well, that's true power right there folks. It never gets seriously loud, and it doesn't need to force it's will upon you. Scary stuff.

'The Conjoined Deviant Procession' features a steady hiss as if something is only half tuned in, and an unsteady beat in the background that could be a health hazard. All the while twinned with more unearthly female vocals, this time provided by Christiana Key of Delphic Oracle. I imagine that being in a sensory deprivation tank for too long could lead to hallucinations that this song could successfully soundtrack. Bleak in every sense of the word, you'll feel heavily medicated with no escape before this composition is through with you.

Not for the faint of heart or expectant mothers, 'Some Things Have To Be Endured' is just what it's title suggests, an exercise in endurance. It will however reward that endurance and repeated plays with an increasingly fantastic record that must have been hell to conceive, and just as difficult to physically create. But what a creation, one of stunning malevolence and bitter beauty.

Listen to Theologian - It should scare the shit out of you. If it doesn't, you're a stronger person than I.

Words by :  Matt Fitton

You can buy it here 

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Vulture Industries - The Tower (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 27/9/2013
Label : Season of Mist

 The Tower, album track listing :

1. The Tower 06:29
2. Divine – Appalling 05:54
3. The Hound 09:47
4. Blood on the Trail 05:35
5. The Dead Won't Mind 03:18
6. A Knife between Us 06:34
7. The Pulse of Bliss 05:49
8. Sleepwalkers 05:37
9. Lost among Liars 05:28
10. Blood Don't Eliogabalus (bonus track) 08:16

Bio :

The Norwegian coastal city of Bergen is famous for its vibrant Rock and Metal scene. Surrounded by fjords and mountains, this beautiful but rain ridden place would be associated with Black Metal by most people, yet VULTURE INDUSTRIES are of a very different breed. "The Tower" explores dark musical vistas with a unique mixture of progressive, experimental, industrial, doom, extreme and even symphonic elements. This amalgamate of styles may conveniently be dubbed Avant-Garde Metal, which can be further explained by drawing possible comparisons with FAITH NO MORE, MR. BUNGLE, ARCTURUS, DEVIN TOWNSEND, VED BUENS ENDE and THE CULT. Starting out as DEAD ROSE GARDEN in 1993, they changed members and consequently the band’s name to VULTURE INDUSTRIES in 2003. Now the band consists of current and former members of SULPHUR, BLACK HOLE GENERATOR, MALICE IN WONDERLAND and SYRACH. After two demos "The Sleeper" (2003) and "The Enemy Within" (2004), which captured attention in progressive circles, the EP "The Benevolent Pawn" (2005) was the first official release. It was followed by two full-length albums, namely "The Dystopia Journals" (2007) and "The Malefactor's Bloody Register" (2010). Both releases gained high critical acclaim and praise from the fans alike. With ARCTURUS in hibernation, VULTURE INDUSTRIES easily claimed the throne of Norwegian dark progressive Metal. Now the band from Bergen takes another step in their steadily climbing career. "The Tower" was recorded at the Conclave & Earshot Studios in Bergen (ENSLAVED, AUDREY HORNE, HELHEIM, TAAKE) and produced by frontman Bjørnar E. Nilsen. The mixing was excellently handled by ENSLAVED keyboarder Herbrand Larsen and the album was mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (OPETH, KATATONIA, DEVIN TOWNSEND, IHSAHN). "The Tower" is yours to climb

The Band  :

Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen| Vocals, keys and improvised percussion
Øvyind Madsen | Guitars & backing vocals
Eivind Huse | Guitars & backing vocals
Kyrre Teigen | Bass & backing vocals
Tor Helge Gjengeda | Drums & backing vocals

Review :

Now three albums in, Norway's Vulture Industries continue to offer up unique music. That they hail from Bergen and don't play black metal surprised me (naive, perhaps) but the sound they do offer is very unpredictable. A very dark Faith No More/Mr. Bungle with elements of Paradise Lost Sisters of Mercy thrown in?

The title track is up first and combines Paradise Lost-ish melodies with pounding double bass drums and distinctive vocals that are rather gothic in tone. It is bleak stuff with a melding of sounds and genres; progressive post rock, gothic metal and black metal are all present. Divine-Appalling offers an almost sea shanty-esque opening riff before stepping up into a creepy higher tempo. The guitars weave together impressively and the double bass drums are again gainfully employed before a rather Sabbathian interlude.

The sound is truly hard to categorise as it uses so many different elements and at the same time; there are not “post rock passages” followed by “doom passages” and so on. Instead the music shifts along offering the listener flashes of the component parts. The Hound starts slowly and maintains a distinctly mournful and doomy feel for its nine minutes plus. The sound becomes ever more dreamy and lilting through the middle section with, again, good use of guitars and keys. Blood on the Trail rolls out in triplet formation as a very solid metal track, but then breaks down to bass and drums and a sort of industrial feel. Overall, the track has a rather Germanic feel- no bad thing- and is not as straightforward as it first sounds. Great drumming on this one, too.

The Dead Wont Mind marks the half way point of the album with an opening that would not be out of place on a Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds records. The vocals gate distinctly Cave-esque on this one as the song overall acts as a bridge to the latter half of the album. A Knife Between Us opens starkly with distant guitar and vocals before the vocals and then instrumentation are brought forward in the mix and the band whips up a storm of darkness and excellent riffs. Dynamics are utilised effectively and the vocal performance of Bjørnar Erevik Nilsen is stellar. The Pulse of Bliss is more metallic and seemingly direct but offers twists and turns over the course of the near six minutes. The lyrics are again both coherent and of high quality with some neat phrases used that will certainly stick in your head (and that you might steal as song titles for your doom band- “Blood on The Stone” anyone?).

Sleepwalkers starts as creepily as you might expect. As the track goes on “fog thickens over a shrouded mind” and an exercise in paranoia is very deftly acted out. The penultimate Lost Among Liars shifts gears again with a snare rhythm and simple bass line leading the way for atmospheric effects and keys to compliment snaky guitar licks and quality vocals. The quality of the mix is highlighted too, with acoustic guitars audible way back in the speakers to give brightness to the track as it builds. The closing eight minutes plus of Blood Don't Eliogabalas has enough running time to spread its wings and takes in jarring riffs, double bass drums, some almost BM style riffing, keyboard atmospherics and good production. In short, the track serves as a kind of summing up of what went before it, thus working perfectly as an album closer. It is imaginative, hard to pigeonhole and predict and highly engaging for the listener because of this.

I would not hesitate to recommend this album to anyone interested in anything from Nick Cave to Enslaved and anything in between.

Words by : Richard Maw

You can buy it here

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Miss Lava - Red Supergiant (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 23/7/2013
Label : Small Stones Recordings

Red Supergiant, album track listing :

1). Desert Mind 04:05
2). Lay Down 03:33
3). Feel My Grace 03:15
4). Ride 04:11
5). Crawl 03:32
6). Hole To China 04:50
7). Catch The Fire 03:24
8). Murder Of Crows 03:45
9). Motel Neon 03:45
10). Yesterday's Gone 04:24
11). Red Supergiant 03:55

Bio :

2013 looks to be the year in which the country of Portugal will finally score a significant footprint on the global stoner rock map, thanks to Lisbon's self-described “authentic rock’n'roll disaster band”…

…Miss Lava to you.

Not that the quartet comprised of vocalist Johnny Lee, guitarist K. Raffah, bassist S. Rebelo and drummer J. Garcia, was born just yesterday.

In fact, Miss Lava has been snapping guitar strings, bashing drum skins, and tearing shins across the floorboards of European stages for half a decade already; having inaugurated their recording endeavors with a self-titled, blood-red vinyl EP in 2008, and quickly followed with their debut full-length album, Blues for the Dangerous Miles, towards the end of 2009.

These precocious portents of pulverizing power – fueled by more mega-riffs than Portugal had spawned since at least the inquisition – quickly gained Miss Lava domestic recognition via Loud Magazine, which named …Dangerous Miles one of the year’s top 5 Portuguese records, backed up by its readers, who also voted them one of the country’s top 5 bands.

2010 also witnessed the group’s first international forays via two UK tours, which were followed in August of 2011 with a show at Los Angeles’ historic Whisky a Go Go, and, in late 2012, the announcement of a globe-spanning deal with Detroit’s Small Stone Records that will see the release of Miss Lava’s sophomore album, Red Supergiant, in March 2013.
The Band :

Johnny Lee | Vocals
J. Garcia | Drums
K. Raffah | Guitars
S. Rebelo | Bass

Review :

From the outset, this band is definitely out to rock you brain and mind with fully fledged Stoner grooves. ‘Desert Mind’ kicks off with a classic stoner riff that gets your feet stompin’ in no time. The vocals are killer throughout. There’s a clever rhythm change in the bridge that lets the listener know that these guys aren’t just trying to rehash the tried and tested formula, but shake it to its core. ‘Lay Down’ follows this with a similar vibe until the bluesy middle section, before pummelling once more with those big riffs. ‘Feel My Grace’ starts with a very cool groovy riff that sounds like it would be an immediate crowd pleaser in a live setting. Johnny Lee’s vocals are once again very complimentary to the groove laden music underneath.

‘Ride’ picks up the tempo with a flat out riff assault before easing up dynamically in the verse. The chorus is full of energy which again sounds like it would slay live. K. Raffah’s guitar tone is spot on for this brand of stoner rock, which culminates in a tasty lead break near the song’s end.

By track five, it’s clear that Miss Lava is all about bringing the big riff vibe. ‘Crawl’ is another excellent song that is full of energy. There are some tasteful dynamic breaks which allow the bass some breathing space. But it is ‘Hole to China’ where the bass breaks free more so, permitting some more psychedelic guitar textures to be explored, whilst retaining the bluesy stoner atmosphere. The song is a beast which unfurls its claws as it goes on.

The song writing on ‘Catch The Fire’, ‘Murder Of Crows’, and ‘Motel Neon’ follows Miss Lava’s high standards, as any fan of the genre would find heaps of inspiration here. The drumming throughout the whole album is great; pounding away, keeping those rock solid grooves grounded. The album’s penultimate track is ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ which has an uplifting ambiance, at the same time as being crushingly heavy. The song culminates in a fully-fledged riff fest. The title track ‘Red Supergiant’ closes the album perfectly, slowing down the riff roller-coaster to discover more psychedelic tones, relaxing the listener after the riff induced hysteria that preceded it. A perfect end to a thoroughly enjoyable album!

Please check out this band, highly recommended for fans of the Stoner Rock genre!

Words by : James Thorne

You can buy it here

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