One of Sweden’s most popular power metal bands, Dream Evil, has returned after a seven year hiatus with several new offerings. They begin first with the news of their long-awaited new studio album, ‘Six‘, which will be released on May 26th via Century Media Records. The new album was recorded and produced by guitarist Fredrik Nordström, or as he is known in Dream Evil, “Ritchie Rainbow“.
Along with this most welcome news also comes both a new official video from Dream Evil, interestingly enough, titled ‘Dream Evil‘ and an album announcement trailer. You can see both streaming below while pre-orders for ‘Six‘ are available here. Continue reading…
One of the most popular acts in progressive doom, Anathema, have revealed that they’ll be releasing their eleventh studio album. ‘The Optimist‘, on June 9th via Kscope. The band, led by brothers Daniel and Vincent Cavanagh, alongside drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, bassist Jamie Cavanagh and drummer/keyboardist Daniel Cardoso, began recording The Optimist in the winter of 2016. It was recorded at Attica Audio in Donegal, Ireland and then finished at Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow with producer Tony Doogan at the helm then mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
The legendary U.S. proto-doom band Cirith Ungol are preparing to play their first ever show on European soil, the Keep It True festival in Lauda-Konigshofen, Germany the last weekend in April. To coincide with this historic event, Metal Blade Records will release the Ultimate Edition of Cirith Ungol‘s King Of The Dead album, on that same weekend of April 28th.
The King Of The Dead – Ultimate Edition digipak CD features a full re-mastering by Patrick W. Engel at Temple Of Disharmony, five bonus tracks, expanded packaging and a bonus DVD. The LP will be released as part of the Metal Blade Originals series; featuring 400 g spine sleeves, a 12-page booklet and an A1 sized poster, the vinyl was also mastered and fully restored by Patrick W. Engel in January 2017. This version reflects the original sound of the 1st vinyl pressing, released on Enigma in 1984. Continue reading…
“Thousands of years ago, Chickeater Joe the Banana-Head, (he’s one of your lower-ranking demigods), “Chickeater Joe had invented the Diddley Bow to save rock’n’roll, but he couldn’t find anybody to play it and left planet Earth to explore the greatness of the universe. On the 21st of December 2012 he finally came back, only to discover the damage the human race had done to themselves and their planet. Pissed off, Joe searched the globe for musicians, to spread his word of enlightenment through the mass manipulating medium of pop music. But then he discovered an awful truth; ALL the famous musicians also worship another god of humanity, the so-called “Money“.
Somewhere in the backwoods of Austria, after a long journey around the devastated planet, he finally crossed the path of three young musicians who had just formed a band called „Fairtrade Floyd“, and Chickeater Joe liked their music, but most important he liked their attitude. So he gave them the ancient instrument, and sent them out to save mankind from the mess they are in.”
Quite the backstory for something that had almost slipped through the cracks. After reading this and knowing a diddley-bow is a usually homemade stringed instrument with typically one to three strings, strung over a cigar box or some such size piece of material and a guitar pickup mounted to electrify. I was indeed intrigued… 10 items and 27 minutes… engage.
From the very first 10 seconds of ‘Outbreak’, the pace is set and you’re already on your way feeling the need to get the fuck up and MOVE. “Listen up, this is how the story ends. An economic re-set; think again.” and if you are breathing, you are standing while this insane hook drags you along as the bass and drumline push you back and forth with equal force. The last minute took me back to MINISTRY of the 90’s with the inserted oddities and the fury of this track never falters until the very last note. Not metal, but heavy as shit and I am impressed at how big that one string has just appeared. ‘How & Where’ show a more pop-type structure laden with dark humor and demonstrate a virtuosity of style hey ban handle with each, not losing the edge they run along.
‘Peace Like Gandhi’ has a more ‘spaghetti-western’ twangy guitar tone but still a complex arrangement, still keeping that dark-side in this tlae asking what else can they do and they remind that they are “Back to save mankind” as the aforementioned legend proclaims’ Great solo to close out the last portion of that leads right into the knock of an engine coming to life in ‘Engine 56’ with a nice even driving-pace SET for driving, ride cymbal fading as the engine drops off and next thing you hear is the sudden appearance of a full string acoustic and could those be maracas in ‘Three Saints Bay’? “Come close to me, watching the scenery” the seeming chorus of what could be direct from some island beach.
‘Great Panic’ has a haunting bass intro before the almost ghostly harmonics ring and the gruff voice beckons you to “Barricade your windows” and the thickness of that ultra-distorted hyper modulated guitar screams to the front of this tale of never giving up fighting, even as the news voices fade back and forth as they do in our everyday living giving credence to this outing. ‘Dunkirk’ hits immediately with am ugly/thick wall of strings that permeate from all sides, ringing off of each other until the melody snaps your neck with the singularity of the body of Fairtrade Floyd, our seeming warrior in this quest to save mankind from itself. The speed and complexity makes this the standout track for me. The use of such minimalism and making it so just HUGE sounding is incredible and I did not want this track in particular to stop. In a live format, this could go on for 20 minutes as a jam song and would not be enough as the frenetic ending they use suggests… they just weren’t DONE yet.
And speaking of live, we are given the treat of a LIVE version of the second single release ‘In Money We Trust’ and the sound is just as ‘big’ as the rest of this album.
If you have not found this one on your own, get it and crank it up and support them if they come anywhere near you!!
On Monday, April 3rd at 12pm EST, Devin Townsend will present a FREE Live online lecture titled “How To Develop Creativity & Excel As A Successful Independent Song Writer In A Changing Industry”. And really now, who better to provide such an insightful, informative lesson?
This is guaranteed to be an inspiring lecture for anyone interested in developing their song craft, learning new creative techniques and strategies, and/or overcoming writer’s block. Numbers are strictly limited so if you’d like to attend visit this location.
Heavy rockers Rozamov recently released their densely downtrodden record This Mortal Road via Battleground Records / Dullest Records. The 5-song opus is a crushing slab of mystical-like alternative music laden with progressive nuances and unbridled intrigue. To accompany their latest effort, Rozamov is premiering their new Official Video for the song ‘Serpent Cult‘ today. The track delivers a fine displaying of the band’s more spacier, riveting psychedelia so come on and check it out! – Pat Riot Whitaker
I’d never heard of OHHMS prior to Taste Nation owner Matthew Thomas fast-tracking a copy of their debut album into my grubby little hands one fateful afternoon. He told me it was one of the better releases he’d heard this year, and I’d tend to agree. It’s quite ambitious and unique for a debut, though it’s worth noting that the band already has two EP’s under their belt. This Kent UK four piece formed in 2014 and has been going strong since, as evidenced by the remarkable collection of sounds that they’ve managed to mangle together on The Fool. They market themselves as a “doom” band, though once again, don’t believe the hype. They’ve got some doomy parts, and there’s a whole mess of other styles thrown into the proverbial blender as well. I know that doom is hip and all with the kids these days, though it may befit OHHMS to come up with a stylistic description that’s more in line with their complex sound.
I’m often critical of occultism in music, as it’s usually mindless and shallow, just kind of tucked into the fold for coolness’s sake and little else, or adopted for image and/or artistic purposes. In metal circles, the appropriation of the occult is usually poorly understood. Take Ronnie Jame Dio for example. I’m not one to speak ill of the dead, and the influence of his life and music are undeniable, but let’s get real here. The dude did not “invent” throwing the horns. I’ve heard this from many metalheads, and it shows a real lack of understanding. Firstly, Coven did it well before him, and Dio openly admitted that he didn’t think that he was the first to use it, contending instead that he had popularized it. Secondly, it goes back to a Thelemic tradition (among other traditions as well), the usage of the Hand Of Glory in ritual magic, which was often the severed hand of a dead person, with the fingers set in that posture. Thirdly, it actually bothers me when I see a room full of people throwing the horns, as I’m usually pretty certain that not one of them even understands the most basic Satanic symbolism of the gesture: it denies the Three (the Holy Trinity) and affirms the Two (figure that part out for yourself). It’s had other meanings and usages in other cultures, though that’s a book unto itself and I’ve gone on enough of a tangent for today.
The point I was attempting to make was that metal’s ongoing flirtation with the occult is a largely superficial one that rarely leads to any real relationship. OHHMS have actually done a pretty stellar job of incorporating a magical concept into their music, namely the Tarot. After the brief acoustic intro, appropriately titled “Shuffle, Cut and Reveal”, the next five songs are all named after a card from the Tarot deck. The Fool itself is of course the most complicated of the Tarot trump cards, as evidenced by Aleister Crowley’s treatise of the subject in The Book Of Thoth. While the other trump cards get a page or two explanation of their meaning and symbolism, Crowley devotes a full chapter, 24 pages to The Fool. Once again, I’m not going to get into it here, read the book. No more tangents! What’s impressive is that OHHMS turn each of the cards in their spread into a political allegory, which is a damned clever concept if I do say so myself. There’s a definite punk/hardcore element to the band’s lyrics and overall energy, an existential angst and ardent challenge in the face of societal norms, and that buffers out the sterility often found in technical/progressive metal. OHHMS’ progressive strengths lie more in their ability to transcend genre than to dazzle us with mere technique.
I mentioned earlier that I really don’t think that they’re doing themselves any favors by marketing themselves as a doom band. I guess it’s as good a starting point as any, and gives some description of their music, as they have some pretty slow, vicious riffs at times. It’s just that there’s so much going on within the course of one song: from slow, lush, ambient sections, to floating shoegaze influenced transcendental passages, to parts culled right from the post-metal playbook, to more harsh, chaotic, abrasive sections. I like a band that covers a lot of ground, that makes me feel like I’m taking a voyage when I listen to their songs or albums. Well, with OHHMS, it’s the whole freakin’ Iliad and Odyssey. They exemplify this little pet concept of mine; no matter where a song starts, there’s no telling where it’s going to end up, or where OHHMS will switch gears, varying the tempo, dynamics, or overall vibe of a song. There’s no better place that they illustrate this approach than on the albums 22 minute epic closer, “The Hierophant.”
The six songs, counting the aforementioned intro, clock in at just around an hour, and you’d better believe that extended tracks like “The Hanged Man” and “The Hierophant” gives these sonic adventurers plenty of room to explore the outer and inner depths of their musical psyches. Even witin the context of the album’s shorter songs, “The Magician”, “The World” and “The Lovers”, they find plenty of room to meander and experiment. None of the songs sound all that much alike – it’s obvious that it’s the same band playing, though the sonic writing, textures and riffs vary widely and show vast differences from song to song. “The Lovers” in particular stands out, with its more mellow tone of longing and desire, punctuated by the usage of female vocals and the same immediacy that accompanies all the other tracks. “The World” is the shortest track and perhaps the most punk influenced, still finds plenty of time to wander into different stylistic realms.
Speaking of influences, I usually like to name drop some bands in that department, though that’s going to be pretty tough in this case. Sections remind me of Unearthly Trance’s unholy union of doom, black metal, and hardcore, though even that comparison falls well short when you factor in the just all the ground OHHMS trample over within the full campaign of the album. It’s worth noting that I also would consider Unearthly Trance a band that deals with occult themes in a very deep and meaningful manner, so maybe I’m not that far off after all. Regardless of what you want to call it, this is one of the better debuts that I’ve heard in recent years, just really next level shit, and it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard so far in 2017. There ability to craft a concept album that has such a far reaching scope and yet distills the essential ethos of their music in form, lyric and aesthetic is an astounding accomplishment for such a young band. Take that for what you will, and run with it. I already can’t wait to see what these cats come up with next….
Connecticut’s Curse The Son return with their Ripple Music debut, “Isolator“, on April 7th and it might just be their best release yet. That’s a bold statement when you think how critically well-received earlier releases like the Globus Hystericus EP, Klonopain andPsychache were. But, as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding and Isolator is a tasty blend of doomy, riff-driven music and somewhat tortured vocals. The latest incarnation of Curse The Son sees founding guitarist/vocalist Ron Vanacore alongside returning drummer Michael Petrucci and newest bassist Brendan Keefe. Together the trio wield elements of hard Stoner Rock and pepper it with variances of Psychedelia and touches of Sludge occasionally. In fact, multifaceted aural textures permeate everything present here, it’s what Isolator is all about really and the idea seems to be to push the envelope as far as the band can.
That push begins with the thick riffs and rhythmic rumbles of the album opening title track, ‘Isolator‘, as it gains forward ground with a slower but assured advancement. Chugging guitars and the tight knit rhythm section deliver a hypnotic behemoth as is evidenced in the official video above. That’s followed by the full-on doom heaviness of ‘Callous Unemotional Traits‘ and its seeming Black Sabbath ‘Who Are You‘ inspired formatting. Riffery resonates amid the din of crushing content and the airy elements within parts of the vocal presentation. My current favorite is up next as ‘Sleepwalker Wakes‘ unfurls yet another exercise in downtrodden doom but such is augmented with some killer, airy nods in the verses. Those nuances are ratcheted up rather nicely on ‘Hull Crush Depth‘, another heady foray into slow-grooving, semi-blues territory with tinges of psychedelia. The burly isolated bass lines provide the real fuel here, keeping everything locked down with some teeth-rattling bottom end. The rumble and rattle returns with ‘Gaslighter‘ where the guys revel in the song’s choppier chunks and trippy vocals. ‘Aislamiento‘ soon busts in with some monstrous riffs before relenting to some hazy tones and one of the album’s best vocal performances in my opinion. The song’s take on stoner-fied Fuzz Rock is great stuff while the song’s drum work is stellar on so many different levels too. The battering bass lines return in the intro to the album-ending ‘Side Effects May Include…‘ but soon they are rolling right along with the song’s sludgened undertones and bleak vibes. One could say this is grunge for those poor souls of the hopelessly damned and sure, the tempos may increase at times but perhaps the ending commentary says it all as one voice states: “That’s fucking ridiculous,” and then is answered by, “That’s fucking rock and roll, right there.” Indeed it is, indeed it is.
On a related note, Curse The Son has rarely ever played outside their home vicinity of Connecticut, if at all. That will soon change as the band will undertake some periodic live excursions starting in early May, ones that will see shared performances alongside acts like Pale Grey Lore, Brimstone Coven, The Obsessed, Lo-Pan, Eternal Black, Clouds Taste Satanic, Wasted Theory and more on the following dates:
May 4th – Buzzbin Shop, Canton OH (w. Pale Grey Lore & Goosed)
May 5th – Howlers, Pittsburgh, PA (w. Brimstone Coven)
May 6th – TBA
May 19th – The Outerspace Ballroom, Hamden, CT (w. The Obsessed, Karma To Burn and Lo Pan)
June 1st – Ralph’s Rock Diner, Worcester, MA
June 2nd– Shakeen, Manchester, NF (w. Thunderhawk and more TBA)
June 3rd – TBA
July 20th – Lucky 13, Brooklyn, NY (w. Eternal Black, Clouds Taste Satanic and Mantis Mass)
July 21st – Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA (w. Wasted Theory, The Age of Truth and Goat Wizard)
July 22nd – Guido’s Speakeasy, Frederick, MD (Sludgement Day Festival)
August 25th– Cherry St. Station, Wallingford, CT (w. Sea Of Bones and Come To Grief)
Van Records Ván Records (world excl. N-America) | Profound Lore Records (N-America)
Band Members – Milena Eva – vocals / Thomas Sciarone – guitar / Kamiel Top – guitar /
Jaka Bolic – guitar / Tim Meijer – bass / Igor Wouters – drums
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The first minute and a half is nothing but guitar chords setting a tone of dissonance before Milena’s voice enters with her signature clarity and grabs your attention beckoning “Remember…” and the journey of this, the third full length release from GOLD, is underway. ‘You Too Must Die’ establishes the pace and as lead off, it is plush in the mix and makes you thirsty for more. ‘Summer Thunder’ uses the same extended intro of a minute before Milena states “There is nothing I would rather do…” and the galloping drumline pulling the rest of the band forward into this composition that perfectly suits the title conveying that very thunder through your veins until the sudden end. ‘White Noise’ enters with a cacophony of twisting notes and the body comes in with a more even pace, yet one that still compels you to keep up to the end. ‘Teenage Lust’ fades in slow and mysterious sounding, much like the subject does for the entire 5 minutes plus, no drum line is needed for the tale there in, while ‘No Shadow’ hits with a driving beat, quickly joined by thick base before the guitars join with punch that beckons you to keep chasing along with them.
‘I Do My Own Stunts’ begins with a fury and there is nothing holding back here with the masterful fills and the edges of three guitars chugging on in sonic syncopation. ‘Be Good’ hits with Milena’s command “Stick to your guns…” and we’re off for what is, to this point, the fastest song on this record and is as lush as can be until the sudden stop-ending. ‘Come With Me’ is as quick-paced with the noodling guitars intersecting with a fury of quick-picking that accents the solo perfectly, the rest never missing a beat.
Final track ‘Tear’ begins with a melancholy dirge of notes that summon the dark clouds to return to bring the cover to consume the tears that flow from Milena’s lips into our ears and is the one that stands out as the go-back-to track to take it in again.
Front to back, a stronger album than the previous two and shows that with maturation comes growth both lyrically and musically and each song delivers with a different flavor than the one previous. This could be the one that breaks GOLD out into the rest of the world and is well worth checking out. NOT metal by any stretch and they refuse to classify their own music… no need for all of the micro-genre’s so prevalent these days and that is indeed refreshing. Something NEW & DIFFERENT, as it is supposed to be. For the masses…
Born Feb 12 2010, Dallas Texas, Consisting of brothers Kyle Juett on bass/lead vocals, Kelley Juett on guitar/vocals, and Judge Smith on drums, these guys have a unique sound that demonstrates that Mothership’s goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of classic rock stylings of the ’70′s, updated and re-calibrated and amped up for the modern day fan of thick lumbering tone maxed out with all the distortion there is to be found.
Eight tracks make up this 33+ minute offering and this represents the third studio album of four releases (based on what I could track down) and in my opinion is the most solid outing from the Juett brothers and Judge Smith together, showing a musicianship that comes from lots of time playing together to become the cohesive unit that MOTHERSHIP shows themselves to be with this outing.
Opener and title track ‘High Strangeness’ is a nice slower even-keel instrumental that will suit the biggest stoner-fan with all of the elements in place to take you back in time to the days of MAHOGANY RUSH with the spaced out guitar solos that fly in and out over the even bass line that carries the melody of this track all the way to the left/right bouncing of some faraway sounding signal that slowly fades out. ‘Ride The Sun’ follows with a faster tempo than the previous and again, shows that virtuoso type of riff that dominated the underground rock world of later 70’s bands including the tone of the likes of UFO and MAX WEBSTER and THE GODZ with the stop/start soloing and phrasing and does not relent during the entire 4 minutes. ‘Midnight Express’ wastes no time with a double-measure drum intro before the brothers kick it in together with a heaviness to the tone that will hit you between the eyes and Judge does his all to be right out in front, hitting his drums as hard as it sounds, and then the last minute of, the pace almost doubles and there is no hesitation to run along with.
‘Crown Of Lies’ has a pace that could almost be a tip of the hat to HEART’s anthem ‘Barracuda’ w/ the double palm-muted gallop picking and is one of the stronger lyrical tracks on this album and is filled with more twists rhythmically than any other track contained, invoking the 70’s gods of jam-bands as the multi-layered solo’s sear your brain with the fury of each note. ‘Helter Skelter’ is NOT a BEATLES cover but instead sounds more like THE HUNT meets DIAMOND HEAD in pace and progressions and tells Mothership’s tale of their own dealings that garnered this moniker. ‘Eternal Trip’ is a pure guitar piece that allows Kelley to shine in his own spotlight with a piece that is hauntingly beautiful in its saturated state of reverb with a clear guitar tone that you can feel rolling across your tongue as you take it in.
Standout track on this one for me, oddly enough, is the last song ‘Speed Dealer’ and for the first couple of measures, I felt the need to crank it up to ’11’ for the full impact of this juggernaut of heavy riffs and wash cymbal and was happy as fuck that I did with the power that screamed from the 14’s that were jumping to the quick fade.
They are indeed touring this one RIGHT NOW and it would be in your very best interest to support these guys in the LIVE format for the effect I just got from my measly speakers. Get the album and catch ’em when they show up in your town!!