Album Review – Rhino “The Law of Purity”

RHINO

The Law Of Purity – CD / DD

Argonauta Records – Release date: Feb 13th, 2017

 

Catania, Italy is home to this five-man doom/stoner metal machine who’s latest release “The Law Of Purity” is set to be unleashed this February worldwide; let me help get you ready for this one…

Starting out in 2012 when Frank The Door (Marco-bass) and Red Frank (Seby-rhythm guitar) shared a passion for stoner-rock citing bands like BLACK SABBATH and KYUSS as favorites and influences. Lord J. Frank (Alfredo-drums) and Frank Sinutre (Francesco-lead guitar/vocals) completed the line up with that familiar recipe of old style whiskey, enough bass-fuzz to pull the hair off of your cat, quick shifting tempos and the aggro-gruff vocals that all lend to their psych-stoner spirited compositions. RHINO did their time playing biker festivals and the club/bar circuits tallying up a fan-base that pushed them along, allowing them to hone their craft to a razor sharp level. When asked to describe themselves, the response was “You in the desert, dust in your eyes and lovely mirages.” You could almost hear the Bongwater bubbling with that answer. Releasing their first 4-track EP in 2013, they kept hammering away and in late 2015 based in what I could glean, they cemented the five piece arrangement with the departure of Frank Sinutre, replacing him with Frank Real Tube (Luca-lead guitar) and Frank The Doc (Niko-lead vocal). The end result is PURE Sicilian stoner/hard rock as this release will demonstrate.

 

Pro band shot

 

Lead-off single and title track ‘Law Of Purity’ begins with a pulsing back noise littered with birdsong that suddenly become the sound of tape running backward, high-speed until the guitar line begins, complete with muted cymbal tapping and then 30 seconds in, the rest of the band kick in as Niko’s voice rips your eardrums open with his growling delivery. Proving their might from the onset, it is obvious that RHINO is ready to dominate as the track rolls through with their signature pounding fuzzed out bass, time-shifts from hell and guitars working in perfect tandem letting the tale of this “New Messiah” unfold. The same guitar tone takes you into ‘Bursting Out’ as seamlessly as sugar folding into coffee, leveling out into a slow gallop as Niko starts out, “Sometimes, I feel…” leading you along this tale of “something hidden”, wondering what lies behind the “sleepless”…

‘Grey’ opens with two measures of measured snare and cymbal before the spaced out guitars take your arm and push you along this faster paced tempo taking you over through the twists and turns of time-shifts and bass runs quick enough to get you dizzy before the psych-solo rips into your brain at the midpoint, cascading through your bloodstream until Niko’s voice comes back, relaying the remainder of this tale to your waiting brain until it fades to silence.

‘Nuclear Space’ starts out with this funky bass line that goes on for about two and a half measures until the rest of the band comes in full-force, distortion boxes screaming all around. Fulfilling the need to give their take on what lies behind our very own atmosphere, this track is like the proverbial train dragging you along until the track just stops cold. Enter immediately ‘Eat My Dust’, a slower romp as unrelenting as ever in all it’s distorted majesty, VERY reminiscent of WARRIOR SOUL in it’s ‘simplistic-complexity’ of spinning guitar lines with a KORY CLARKE like vocal-delivery that has you grabbing to savor each syllable being belted out. ‘Nine Months’/’A & B Brown’ and ‘Cock Of Dog’ could easily be a 15 minute ‘jam piece’ for their live set as all run so smoothly together, one after the other as if they were intended to be a three piece opus.

 

Band live Shot

 

For whatever reason, it seems to be a tendency for the last track of most stoner bands to be the perfect book-end and a precursor of what looms next and RHINO seems to be no exception here. ‘I See Monsters’ has so many elements mixed together saluting their aforementioned influences in power and might with the SABBATH-style window rattling thickness of guitar/bass and that MONOLITH vocal sneer describing the “monsters in your mind.” 48 minutes later, I had to pick my jaw up to close my mouth in my astonishment and appreciation for what I had just took in and if you know what is good for YOU, you will grab this one the second it is released!!

Highly Recommend!!

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr


Album Review – DOPELORD “Children Of The Haze”

DOPELORD

Children Of The Haze

Independent – released January 16, 2017

Warsaw Poland is where this bearded foursome hail from, bringing forth a 6-track masterpiece of doom/stoner metal with this, their third official release. Citing “old movies, 70’s music and magical herbs’ as their main influences, it makes sense that they ‘tune low and play slow’ as they follow their strict regimen of ‘smoking, rehearsing and touring.” If that is what it takes to get to this point, roll on gentlemen!!

 

Band in front of Amps

 

Opener ‘Navigator’ is the perfect start to this album with the lone guitar and enough slow-decay delay to carry you until the first rumble of ultra low bass and cymbals take over. For the next minute plus, you feel it creeping into your veins as your eyes close without resistance, waiting for that moment when you hear “Leaf burns to ashes, inhale the holy smoke…” and a grin takes over as you understand. ‘Skulls and Candles’ is even slower in tempo, and is suiting to the tale being told. Love the tone of the guitar solo that takes you to the end, perfectly faded in saturated delay.

‘Scum Priest’ shows the shared love for old movies with the inserted dialogue including “The evil is real, may God have mercy on us” and the crushing assault splits you between the eyes as DOPELORD has shown they love to do, this time with a fury glowing brighter than ever before. ‘Reptile Sun’ is another crusher with a faster pace than usual and you can’t help but to get moving in time.

Two of the tracks stood out to me as incredible and I couldn’t decide which was more of a favorite. ‘Dead Inside (I & II)’ is the quintessential stoner float-along song with their signature ‘low and slow’ pace that carries you to the edges of the picture of lyrics delivered to you with an open hand. When the second part of this tome hits, you are ready for the bass/guitar pummeling that is about to be delivered, feet hitting the ground running. The title track ‘Children Of The Haze’, is near perfection that almost broke my sternum it hit me so hard just HOW definitive this particular composition is of one of the finest moments from DOPELORD… so far. “Dancing madly” absolutely describes how my heartbeat shifted with the flow of this opus.

As the last note faded out, I was stunned at how impressed I was, having been drawn in completely and I am SO looking forward to DOPELORD bringing it live to our shores this year. GOTTA get this one if you don’t have it!!

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr

 


Album Review – Lecherous Gaze “One Fifteen”

LECHEROUS GAZE 

One Fifteen – Vinyl / CD / DD

Tee Pee Records – Release Date:  February 10th, 2017

Founded in Oakland, CA in 2010 citing to be the balls-deep bad-assery that would come from combining all of the sweet guitar based, no bullshit rock and/or roll of MC5 and BLACK FLAG to CHUCK BERRY, THE DAMNED and most in between, using that as the prow of a mighty ship cutting through a sea of turd to bring dangerously heavy rock to the masses. Three maxi singles and two full length releases later, LECHEROUS GAZE has become known for their punk riffs, wailing rock solos and shrieked vocals as well as having self-proclaimed themselves as the ‘#1 rockin’ band in the entire world.’ This third full length may be the one to show the rest of the world exactly what they mean…

 

Band Photo

 

Six seconds into the title track ‘One Fifteen’ anybody that is a fan of these five guys will notice something new; a clean surf-punk ‘DICK DALE sounding guitar mixed among the power chords letting you know this is not just ‘more of the same’. All elements LECHEROUS GAZE are present including that NASHVILLE PUSSY type vocal growl/sneer and this clean tone on top shows a willingness to keep ‘adding to the dish’, giving another spice to take in.

‘Reptile Minds’/’Cosmos Redshift 7’/’The Day The earth Caught Fire’ show that this band carry on with their all-out jam mentality, while ‘Thing Within’ reflects a maturity both in songwriting and musicianship. Standout for me on this release has to be ‘X City’ that brings everything together in the most coherent track to date from… the all-out guitar-gasm that really begins at the 2:16 mark will make your knees weak, fade to the 70’s keyboard taking you somewhere back into ELP‘s practice space. Perfect ending to this half hour jaunt, grab it asap!!

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr


Album Review – A Projection “Framework”

A Projection

Framework – Vinyl / CD / DD

Tapete Records – Released January 13th, 2017

 

I’d been telling Taste Nation brainchild Matthew Thomas that I needed some good new post-punk in my life.  Believe it or not, I don’t just sit around listening to stoner metal, doom, and all the old Black Sabbath albums all the time.  I actually have fairly eclectic tastes, and I start to feel pretty burned out listening to one genre of music all the time.  I beg and practically whine to be able to review someone who doesn’t list Kyuss or Sleep as influences, and eventually Matthew was kind enough to oblige.  Okay, maybe not initially, when he tricked me into reviewing another stoner metal band by telling me it was a post-punk band, but I’m willing to forgive him that little bait and switch tactic, because it was a good stoner album, and the next band that landed on my proverbial desk was Sweden’s A Projection.  Matthew basically asked me, “Is this post-punk enough for you yet??”  And I answered with a resounding YES, then proceeded to bombard his Facebook page with cute pictures of kittens as a show of gratitude, for which you’d think that he’d be far more appreciative.

 

Band Pic

 

From the opening bassline from first track, ‘Hands’, which creeps and crawls through the brain like some long-lost Joy Division outtake that’s just resurfaced circa 2017, you pretty much know what you’re getting into: frenetic, restless and infectious basslines, drumbeats that pulse with a steady, hypnotic monotony, cold baritone vocals delivering bleak lyrics and minimalistic melodies, soaring synthesizer parts, and guitars that toe the line between lush ambiance and abrasive angularity.  The second track, ‘Dark City’, follows suit quite nicely, with a catchy instrumental hook that’s reminiscent of the classic Joy Division tune, “24 Hours”, though A Projection definitely ups their early Cure influence on this one.  This tune for me represents the peak of what they can accomplish with the whole  Joy Division exchanging bloody kisses and  black roses with The Cure approach, so I think that it’s cool that they change things up by the third song, “Transition”.  The memorable line “No more singing on the dance floor” is reinforced with the more dance friendly beat and song structure, and it marks a turn towards the more upbeat, which continues on the next track “Sensible Ends”, with its curt vocal delivery and driving drum rhythms that eventually morph into a straight up four-to-the-floor dance beat.

The next track, ‘Scattered’, is where they really start to shake things up a bit.  A Projection utilizes a two chord major key progression that’s eerily reminiscent of the Modern English song “I’ll Melt With You.”  There’s also a really cool and quirky keyboard breakdown thrown into the middle before the vocals break out of the baritone range into more ecstatic octaves.  In case you think that they’re going soft on us, rest assured that the next song ‘I’m Not Here’ once again launches into  a dark and emotionally tortured dalliance, like Ian Curtis providing guest vocals for a Disintegration outtake.  This is followed by ‘No Light’, which is more in the same vein of the second song, “Dark City.”  Just read the above description of that track; it’s the same idea.

‘Next Time’ once again strays into pop territories, with a ridiculously infectious main hook initially introduced by the guitars and then driven home by the catchy chorus.  I swear that I’ve heard this hook in another prominent 80’s tune, though I can’t place it off the top of my head.  The ending of the song is great too, as it descends into this ranting style of vocals, like a goth-rock take on R.E.M.’s 

‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (I Feel Fine).’  The next song, ‘For Another Day’, once again reminds me of early Cure, which is fine and dandy. ‘Betrayal’ is next, and once again brings that major key melodic sense to the table, and the quicker tempo gives it an irresistible urgency.  ‘Hollow Eyes’ is slower and bleaker, with a more dissonant, eerie progression and some harsh triggered electronics in the background, along with a splendid descending keyboard line after the chorus.  ‘Breach’ is in the same realm as “Dark Cities”, right down to the main guitar part that reminds me of “24 Hours.”  The final track, ‘Listen To The Dark’ once again makes heavy use of electronics and effects – the drums and vocals are punctuated by heavy delay, which stretches out the otherwise sparse arrangement into a dark abstract soundscape that recalls some of The Soft Moon’s best work.  This would have been a goth anthem were it only released in 1983.

 

Framework_Album Cover

 

I’m sure that you know what you’re thinking right now – I started this review by saying that I was burned out only listening to bands that sound a lot like other bands, and yet here I am reviewing a band that by my own account, simply sounds a lot like other bands.  This is absolutely true; I’m guilty as charged.  A Projection aren’t bravely treading new ground, nor do they really attempt to do so.  This is an album made solely in the post-punk/goth/new wave tradition of the early 80’s.  I’m not going to lie to you or insult your intelligence  by saying that this album is the greatest thing since sliced bread and you must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard it.  It’s just a well written collection of thirteen songs that are executed, performed, and produced to accomplish a particular effect, namely to conjure the spirit of a bygone age of music past.  Right now, that’s simply scratching a particular itch that’s been nagging at my backside for the past couple weeks, plain and simple.  If this albums sounds like it scratches your particular itch as well, then I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself.  If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, and you’re looking to drink down something more in the mode of a 70’s rock throwback, the new Horisont album is most excellent in my humble opinion.

Reviewed by Andy “Darkwave Duck” Beresky


Album Review – Sorority Noise “Joy, Departed”

Sorority Noise

Joy, Departed

Topshelf Records – Vinyl / CD / Cassette / DD

When I saw Sharon Van Etten play to perhaps 30,000 souls at a festival in Kentucky, she unabashedly announced from the stage that she is very serious about her feelings.  That’s one of the many things that enamors her to me, though the list goes on and on. I’d like to take this time to unabashedly announce that she’s my celebrity crush.  Perhaps if I write a review that’s intriguing and interesting enough, she’ll one day become aware of my precarious existence and think to herself, “Hey, that guy is pretty cool for a supposed critic.  Andy Dingus Beresky seems like a guy who gets things done.  I wonder what makes him tick.  I wonder if he’d be interested in knowing what makes me tick.”

Of course, it’ll never work out between us, as she lives in Manhattan, and I’m motherfriggin’ country mouse as it comes.  Last time I was in Manhattan I had a full-fledged meltdown when I was stuck on the subway in the dark for an hour.  This ended with me sitting down and crying on a crowded subway car one fine May morning, and this did elicit an unexpected outpouring of empathy from the normally stoic New Yorkers who shared in my plight, though seemed so utterly unphased by the incident.  When I finally emerged from that underground nightmare, I’d missed my bus and chose to alleviate my woes with an expensive beer and cheap sushi at 10AM.  All’s well that ends well, I suppose, and maybe someday, my morning will end with Miss Van Etten and I sharing AM beers and sushi while we stare longingly into each other’s eyes.  I wonder if she even likes sushi??  Wow. I’m suddenly acutely aware that I’ve derailed this review from the very get-go.  That’s a new one even by my own admittedly low standards.

 

Great Band Shot

 

I bring this all up simply because Sorority Noise also strike me as being very serious about their feelings.  Actually, I’ll recant that statement ever so slightly, as I’m sure there’s a bit of tongue in cheekiness to Sorority Noise’s lyrical approach.  I mean, the first lines sung on the album are “Let me be the drug, that you use to fall in love, the heroin that keeps you warm enough” from the aptly titled lead track, ‘Blissth.’  Sure, that’s kind of sweet and romantic from a somewhat somber and morbid perspective, so I can relate to the underlying sentiment.  Still, it’s too over the top to be totally serious.

Sorority Noise is a four piece outfit from Hartford, Connecticut. They name check a bunch of bands that I’ve never heard as influences, such as Roswell Kid, Pinegrove, Modern Baseball, and Led Zeppelin.  Oh wait…I HAVE heard Led Zeppelin a couple times, and the two sound nothing alike.  The most obvious analogy to me is Weezer, who are a pretty straight forward rock band with obvious indie influence and emo appeal, though the big sound and clean production of their albums obviously sets them apart from the aesthetic of the original “emotional hardcore” bands that were in full bloom during the early to mid-90’s.  Sorority Noise may not sound exactly like Weezer – they’re far more dark, with a heavy emphasis on melancholia and moodiness.  However, they have a similar approach and appeal, in my mind.  They understand the emotional impact of indie/alternative rock, and are able to elevate it to anthemic heights by adding in the perfect amount of stadium-ready bombast.

Heck, these guys might not even like Weezer.  They might even hate them for all I know, and this paltry review may incite them to commit questionable acts of throwing star violence.  Sorority Noise have some similar elements: the big catchy choruses, the big crunchy guitars and the big rock solid rhythm section.  But there are a lot of reasons that my Weezer comparison is way, way off.  Overall, this record is much darker and bleaker, with a pervasive slacker/junky vibe to the lyrics, even in the moment when the music itself is all bittersweet pop and candy-coated melodies, such as on the self-explanatory song, “Using.”  The big difference is that Sorority Noise sound like they’re haunted. There are more atmospheric and orchestrated elements, and the dynamics are more stark.  They shift gears between minimalistic, downtempo indie to frenetically upbeat pop-punk with twin harmonized guitars, sometimes within the course of the same song.  At times, their lyrics go beyond simple self-deprecatory humor, and land firmly within the realm of the full-blown bummer.  This shouldn’t be much of a revelation, given the title of the album.

“Does hell taste as sweet as you thought, do you like what you bought?” This was the question I was left musing to myself after I’d finished the closing track “When I See You (Timberwolf)”.  I was starting to feel haunted as well, though it was that pleasant, warm, fun form of haunting, as if I’d transcended the gloom veil of the mundane, and for a brief instant tasted the highs of heaven and then drank the depths of hell before I took off my headphones, bundled up, and walked down the street for that next cup of afternoon coffee.

Reviewed by Andy “Dingus” Beresky

 


Album Review – DOOL “Here Now, There Then”

DOOL

Here Now, There Then – Vinyl / CD / DD / Book / More…

Prophecy Records – Release Date February 17, 2017

 

From the opening progression of notes, it is apparent that, as DOOL themselves describe, there is something stirring underneath the fumes of Rotterdam and it is rising to the surface as so much cream rises to the top. Featuring the rhythm section from THE DEVIL’S BLOOD and joined by a twin guitar assault that perfectly frames the power of the voice that emanates forth to take you with, wandering through dim streets, out of the confines of the city and into the wild that lurches just past, with tales of dark caves inhabited by ghosts to the deep abyss of a broken heart. Imposing, ominous and at times, sensual and teasing, it is time to  lock it down and close your eyes kiddies… DOOL has the wheel and this ride is but a beginning.

Singer/guitarist Ryanne van Dorst lends her voice to the delivery of clarity and entices you to ‘turn it up’ so you don’t miss a word she offers while Micha Haring (drums) and Job van de Zande (bass) build the foundation of each song, allowing guitarists Reiner Vermeulen and Nick Polak to complete the unique recipe for each of these eight ‘morsels’ that are offered for ravenous consumption with this debut release.

 

Promo Image

 

DOOL describes ‘Here Now, There Then’ as such – “The album is about dreaming, ambition, and will; about breaking boundaries and behavioral patterns, destroying stigmas. The phrase ‘Here Now, There Then’ is a mantra for whomever needs it. Whichever way one chooses to use it. This is the Shadowlands between fantasy and reality.  A lucid fairy tale set against a concrete background.

Ten + minute opener ‘Vantablack’ demonstrates that DOOL is exactly as they describe themselves and are not afraid to let you know from the onset. Harmonic vocals draw you closer as Ryanne takes you along the path of the ‘tip of her tongue’ into the realm of the imposing and ominous… truly a song about vicious cycles and negative behavioral patterns. Featuring guest vocals by Farida Lemouchi.

 

Band Pic

 

“In Her Darkest Hour” begins with the sound of what can best be described as a child’s toy piano before the snapping snare takes you into this tale of someone that wishes to be someone/somewhere else to find the elusive eternal happiness that always seems to elude. Delivered with a vocal that shows the influence of bands like GHOST and SISTERS OF MERCY with a hypnotic flow that washes over as the mist swirls just beyond reach.

Tracks ‘The Death Of Love’ / ‘Oweynagat’ / ‘Golden Serpents’ and ‘Words On Paper’ show the mix of goth-pop and psych-metal in a manner much like GUANO APES while ‘She-Goat’ hints at SONIC YOUTH as ‘The Alpha’ resembles a mix of equal parts TOOL and early EVERGREY sealed with Ryanne’s own breath marking the taste as her own.

DOOL states on their Facebook page that they are bending their nature to find their true identity; with “Here Now, There Then” they have found it indeed…

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr


Album Review – Dr. Boctor’s Medicine Band “Old Bottles, New Medicine”

Dr. Boctor’s Medicine Band

Old Bottles, New Medicine

Psychedelic/Jazz Fusion/Blues/Funk/Garage/Krautrock

Digital (Bandcamp only) Release: January 20, 2017

 

There isn’t anybody out there (myself definitely included) who hasn’t thrown around the words “original” and/or “unique” a little too much or even when we want to make a more dramatic point that doesn’t really apply. If something can be realistically labeled as such, that doesn’t necessarily make it good either (I’m talking to you, Yoko Ono). Fortunately for your ears and mine, ol’ Doc Boctor and his musical “Licensed Practicing Nurses” are both very different and wickedly enjoyable. Now the problem is trying to tell you just how….

 

Painting of Band

 

Last year, it was Odd Couple’s wildly diverse, yet remarkably cohesive “Flugge” (see review HERE) that hit me in a similar fashion, but DBMB somehow pulls even more influences successfully into the mix, albeit in a different style of sound. The main blueprint used is one of garage/psych rock circa 1966 fused with the jazzy, spacey underground from the beginning of that most glorious decade, the 70’s. This means you can hear a wide variety of classic, obscure bands/influences anywhere, at any time. Imagine The Seeds, Electric Prunes, 13th Floor Elevators and the like crash headlong into, then fusing effortlessly with Thirsty Moon, Zappa, Kraan and Skin Alley. Listen a little closer still, and you will find snippets of 50’s, surf and funk as well. Are you thinking all this can’t possibly work? Think again.

So, when all is said and done, you really do have something of a quite special listening experience in “Old, Bottles, New Medicine”. It’s the kind of release that only pops up a few times in a given year and needs to be obtained. The sound, feel and even the private-pressing look to the album’s cover all scream 1971 or ’72 at its most adventurous and eclectic. Get your carcass over to Bandcamp and let Dr. Boctor fill your prescription- NOW!

Words by David “The Lovely” LaMay


Album Review – Dread Sovereign “For Doom The Bell Tolls”

DREAD SOVEREIGN

For Doom The Bell Tolls – Vinyl / CD / DD

Ván Records – RELEASE DATE: 3rd of March 2017

 

From the dark catacombs of Ireland and what could seemingly be the ashes of the doom/ black metal legends PRIMORDIAL,

A.A. Nemtheanga//Bones//Johnny King have come together delivering the self-described ‘born-dead brainchild’ of Nemtheanga, named DREAD SOVEREIGN. Using his years of slaying & slashing on guitar, the blueprint presented is old-school doom/black metal, much in the vein of pioneers VENOM and BULLDOZER, loaded with everything we expect from a band with the time spent honing and perfecting this latest configuration is what keeps us coming back for more.

 

Band Shot

 

Opener and title track ‘For Doom The Bell Tolls’ is the perfect set-up for the rest of the record complete with the vortex of white noise and tolling bells as well as an undefined ominous presence that lurks just out of reach. Until you hear the pick-slide at the beginning of ‘Twelve Bells Toll In Salem’ you are just waiting for some sign of what lurks in the shadows from a distance. Nemtheana’s vocal piercing tells of the DREAD SOVEREIGN’s entrance to our world as commanded to embrace the UnderLord. All the elements of evil rising and the swirling mists of darkness permeate here and take you to the edge of the brimstone glowing from below the surface of this world. Clocking in at 13 minutes, this is the longest track but gives the listener ALL you need to know to grasp the story offered.

‘This World Is Doomed’ follows immediately after as the last of the twelve bells has faded off into the fog. Three measures of crunching chords are broken only by the call “Let’s GO” as the rhythm section belies the real intent to call out the disbelievers to ‘rack up another lie’ and ‘take another pill’ denying the impending as described by Nemtheana’s lyrical tale.

‘Draped In A Sepulchral Fog’ revisits the swirling, menacing white noise and tolling bells of the opener, leading you into ‘The Spines Of Saturn,’ a track that is reminiscent of 70’s space-rock with enough phase-shift used to make you think there is an orchestra of guitar pushing you directly into the halo of rings that surround this ominous planet. In MY opinion, this song could stand alone and is even stronger as surrounded by the rest of this album.

 

Live Shot of Band

 

Closing track ‘Live Like An Angel, Die Like A Devil’ is the perfect tribute to the band many say brought us TRUE Black Metal back when, VENOM. They don’t miss a note in a cover that would make Cronos proud!! While this may not signal the end of PRIMORDIAL, they did just release a live album in 2016, it is something welcomed and NEEDED in this market. DREAD SOVEREIGN have done exactly what they set out to do in their own words; “We have not intended to re-invent the wheel just to give it a good kicking in the true old evil metal fashion.” Mission accomplished boys…

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr


Album Review – OLNEYA “Olneya”

Album Review – OLNEYA

Olneya – Digital Download

Independent – released December 30, 2016

 

Maurizio Morea faced something not that uncommon anymore when he set out to record this EP. He had been working with two other musicians and after facing several issues with the other players, like lack of material, time to rehearse and other commitments, Maurizio decided to ‘mutate into a one-man band’. Beginning in November and going through December of 2016, he did whatever it took to make this “Self-Titled” EP into a reality.  At the time of writing this review, Maurizio is searching for permanent band members to create more material and get to playing LIVE!!

 

Artist Picture

 

‘Mantar’ is the lead off and seems a little long as an intro at just over three minutes, but once ‘Zero Uno’ hits, it makes sense and flows perfectly into ‘Zero Due’ both tracks showing the influences of bands like KARMA TO BURN and KYUSS. ‘Road To Aokigahara’ takes you off across the horizon of lilting floating notes that echo endlessly across your tongue, all the while almost sounding like some spaced-out spaghetti western music slowly fading out to nothing and then, before you know it ‘Zero Tre’ comes in and wraps it all together. The melody and drum line remind you of where this started 20 mins ago and answers all queries your mind may have asked during the flow of this short journey throughout. I completely get the one-man routine as I have done this myself over the years a few times and to me, this seems the perfect vehicle for this man from Italy to make his vision materialize… give it your time and let it envelop you.

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr

 


Album Review – Freedom Hawk “Sunlight”

FREEDOM HAWK

Sunlight – Vinyl / CD / DD

Ripple Music – Release January, 28th 2017 

 

Band_Pic_Live

 

Emanating from the dunes of – Sunlight -Virginia as FREEDOM HAWK, they describe themselves as “Heavy, head-spinning blend of 60’s acid and fuzzy bluesy guitar with generous helpings of melodic 70’s Soul, Blues, Hard Rock, and 90’s Stoner Metal.” The resulting brand of rock capitalizes on the best of the heavy ‘70’s, but presents a fuzzy take that’s modern and based around quality songwriting rather than ‘style-over-substance’ retro posturing.

Formed in 2003 when T.R. Morton (vocals/guitar), Mark Cave (bass) and Lenny Hines (drums) began jamming in Virginia Beach, the band began getting serious to the tasks of rehearsing and performing in 2004 when Mark’s brother Matt Cave joined the fold. The first release was “Sunlight” in 2008, followed up in 2009 with an EP titles “Freedom Hawk”, both receiving positive press helping to grow the fan base and leading them to stoner-rock label Small Stone that released “Holding On” in 2011 and “Into Your Mind” in 2015.

 

Sunlight_Album Cover

 

From the first note of “Sunlight”, I thought I had stumbled across some unreleased tracks from BLACK SABBATH’s “Never Say Die” LP, not even imagining that was a new band with a direction that had seemingly been MIA for some time. From the beginning of opener “Executioner”, through “Land Of The Lost”/”Sunlight”/”Stand Back” and “Lightning Charge” there is no doubt that this is NOT your daddy’s Sabbath but something special to NOT be missed. Standout track for me and a sign of what is coming forth is “King Of Order” that for five minutes and 40 seconds is a full on assault using that pull no punching while traversing the spectral skies of psychedelia before putting you back on your feet. On the first listen, I had left it rolling as I tried to decide what to listen to next and at ten minutes, 3 seconds, all of a sudden, an unlisted song began with a funky bassline, trippy little guitar bubbles and this DAVID JOHANSEN style verse begins. It is SO unlike anything else by these guys but quite enjoyable. Reminded me of the same sort of moment I had had with NIRVANA’s “Nevermind” cd with all that silence at the end then BOOM!!!!

“Sunlight” had been relegated to ‘digital only’ status after the band had done the ‘self-released’ CDs back in 2009. Ripple Music is now giving this release the treatment it has deserved since it was completed. Two vinyl versions and a CD version will be forthcoming towards the end of January 2017.  FREEDOM HAWK will be hitting the road with new guitarist Brendan O’Neil (PESTILENCE CHOIR) and ask you to spread the word, spread the bird!! Just DO IT and let FREEDOM HAWK fly!!

Words by Ric “Sui-Syko” Dorr