GRAVES AT SEA Shove Off On The Cold Dead Hands Tour 2017

Portland, Oregon’s sludge/doom heavyweights Graves At Sea are officially on tour in the U.S. as of right this moment. Dubbed The Cold Dead Hands Tour 2017, the trek kicked off yesterday evening in Boise, Idaho and will close June 16th on their home turf in Oregon. The run includes performances at 71 Grind Fest in Colorado Springs, Colorado as well as Northwest Terror Fest in Seattle, Washington. See all remaining dates below.

Graves At Sea are touring in support of their 2016 debut full-length album, The Curse That Is. Engineered by Greg Wilkinson (Noothgrush, Brainoil) and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, YOB), The Curse That Is melds walls of feedback-laden sound with gargantuan riffs that burden and crush one with the weight of mountains. The Curse That Is is out now on Relapse Records. For physical orders visit Relapse.com HERE. For digital orders go to the Graves At Sea Bandcamp page HERE where you can also stream the record in its densely savage entirety.

 GRAVES AT SEA [remaining dates]:

6/01/2017 Hi Dive – Denver, CO
6/02/2017 71 Grind Fest @ Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO
6/03/2017 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM
6/05/2017 Club Red – Mesa, AZ
6/06/2017 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
6/07/2017 Five Star Bar – Los Angeles, CA
6/08/2017 Alex’s Bar – Long Beach, CA
6/09/2017 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
6/10/2017 Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA
6/15/2017 Northwest Terror Fest @ Neumos – Seattle, WA
6/16/2017 Tonic Lounge – Portland, OR

– Pat ‘Riot’ WhitakerGAS Tour


WITCHTHROAT SERPENT Stream ‘Striped Dragon’ Single

France-based doom stalwarts Witchthroat Serpent will release their new single Striped Dragon on June 15 through Svart Records. The newest offering from guitarist/vox Fredrik Bolzann, drummer Niko Lass and bassist Lo Klav finds the trio adding some psyche-heavy flourishes to this superb selection. The song and its B-side were recorded live at Drudenhaus Studio during the sessions for the band’s previous release, 2016’s Sang-Dragon. It is arriving just in time for the trio’s upcoming road trek (dates below).

Striped Dragon” is presented in a deluxe gatefold cover, a carefully-crafted work of art by Branca Studio. This piece is limited to 300 copies and is a one-time pressing.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

WITCHTHROAT SERPENTRISING SUN TOUR” June 2017:

19/06 BE Antwerpen “Kid’s Kaffee”
20/06 GER Berlin “Tiefgrund”
21/06 GER Dresden “Ostpol”
22/06 GER Leipzig “Black label Pub”
23/06 GER Nuremberg “Kunstverein”
24/06 GER Munich “St Helena Festival”
25/06 FR Paris “Dr Feelgood”


Elder “Reflections Of A Floating World” Album Review & Stream…

Elder

Reflections Of A Floating World – Vinyl // CD // DD

Stickman Records/Armageddon Label – Release Date: June 2nd, 2017

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

Today I’m going to talk a little about conflicts of interest.  That’s a pretty scarce topic in the realm of the music world, though for me, it’s always that proverbial elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about, or even acknowledge.  Why?  Because conflicts of interest is pretty much business as usual in the music biz and I don’t think that it’s often on people’s collective radars as a result.  Why am I choosing this particular topic as the item of interest du jour?  Because in full disclosure, I’ve had a long history with Elder, and I’d hate for any of you to think that my objective subjectivity could be in any way tainted by either personal interests or outside influences.

If you think about it, it’s fairly obvious why Elder and Black Pyramid would have so much history.  Both bands were coming into their own around the same time, in the same geographic area, Massachusetts, initially playing a similar style of post-Sleep stoner doom, and we were both signed to the same label, Meteorcity.  We often shared billings on New England shows, heck I remember playing basement shows in Providence, Rhode Island with these guys before any of them were even old enough to drink legally (they didn’t let that stop them).  I borrowed Nick’s amplifier at the Stoner Hand Of Doom festival when the reverb tank of my trusty Ampeg V-4 went to shit and took the rest of the amp with it.  I went out and bought a Soundcity 120 like his afterwards, and eventually Jack from Elder used it as a bass amp when we were sharing a bill in Keene, New Hampshire.  I slept on Matt’s sister’s couch after a High On Fire show in Boston, and I don’t think that she was particularly pleased to wake up to a strange hairy beardo, so I quickly made myself scarce.  Even when I had taken a full hiatus from music, Nick gently urged me back to towards playing again, and Matt encouraged me to come over to jam with he and Nick, as they were both living in Western Mass. at the time.  This is an offer that I sadly declined, but that’s besides the point.  The point is, these guys were my brothers-in-arms, my friends and my musical family, so obviously I have every reason to write them a glowing review, right?

This seems like a particularly pertinent time for this discussion because I don’t think that anyone is going to dispute that Elder are amazing, so my glowing review is just going to be E Pluribus Unum, one of many, out of the many, one, par for the course.  I don’t think anyone would seriously question my journalistic integrity because of this review….well, no more than they normally would anyways.  It’s not like I’m writing that some previously unknown and seemingly mediocre band is the greatest thing since sliced pepperoni pizza and cheap beer, and you later find out that they’re actually my drinking buddies and pizza pals.  That would of course be highly suspect, wouldn’t it?  But Elder have rightfully earned their place in the pantheon of heavy psychedelic rock, so I’m considering myself relatively safe.

As I’ve written in past reviews, I shouldn’t be safe.  You shouldn’t inherently trust my opinion.  You shouldn’t inherently trust any reviewer’s opinion, really.  Most of those opinions will be rife with conflicting interests: the desire to see their favorite bands succeed, wanting to do favors for friends, wanting to please the powers that be, mainly the labels that are supplying them with free music, etc.  It becomes a bit like politics – the longer someone is in the game, the more they start to develop relationships that serve themselves rather than the constituency they initially aimed to and still claim to serve.    Eventually the conflicting motivations become deeply embedded, unconscious, second nature.  Many reviewers are nothing more than wannabe taste makers who think that they should personally possess the power to decide who succeeds and who does not.  Many write for the sake of their own ego, getting off on their own wordiness and acclaim as writers rather than the music that they supposedly serve.  Many simply follow trends, or just write safe as milk, formulaic reviews because it pays the bills.  No one is totally pure or entirely immune, no matter how noble their initial intent.   It eventually becomes all about influence. In the end, in some way, shape and form, they all end up serving The Threefold God Of Influence: Power, Fame, Money. They are under the influence.  You can’t trust them.  You can’t trust me.  I have my own agenda; it’s just not any of those particular things, is it?

Pro band Pic

On their first album, Elder had a song called “The Riddle Of Steel.”  I’m sure most of you are familiar with the original Conan The Barbarian movie, where Conan’s father waxes poetic about trust.  He talks about how you can’t trust anything in this world except your sword.  Wise words, though I believe that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and that’s the crux of my agenda.  I’ll tell you who I believe that you should trust: trust your own taste and opinion.  Trust yourself.  Think for yourself.  Choose for yourself. This, this you can trust.

The subject matter of Elder’s latest magnum dopus also makes my rant timely, as it ties right into the themes of the album itself.  In many ways, I believe that Elder and I are actually saying the same things through different mediums, though I’m much more blunt about it while they utilize an elaborate allegory, mainly that of the floating world.  Known as Ukiyo, the term is a reference to life in urban Japan during its period of high feudalism.  The typical Japanese city-dweller would embrace the many aspects of Ukiyo: the beauty, the artistry, the culture, along with the flip side, the decadence and the corruption, whereas the Buddhists saw the floating world as the very apotheosis of the dualistic illusions from which they sought to escape.

The music industry, in many ways, is much like the floating world, and I’m fairly certain that despite their youth, they’ve been in it deep enough and long enough to recognize the similarities.  On Reflections Of A Floating World, it’s unclear if Elder are holding up a mirror to the conflicting realities of modern life, or directly commenting on music in the way that I’ve chosen to in the context of this review.  I suppose that in the end, it doesn’t really matter, as our precious little music scene is nothing if not a microcosm of a larger cultural phenomena.  I truly don’t think that we can separate one from the other – great art in my book will always be relevant to what is going on at the moment; it will always harness the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, the collective unconscious, first and foremost as its muse.  That’s what makes music feel immediate. It’s what makes it sound urgent.

This to me is Elder’s crowning achievement.  Many people loved Lore.  It was good and in many ways a high point stylistically, though I found it to be a bit disjointed, in both flow and execution.  It seemed largely like a transitional album, a band trying out new things and new directions, and despite its reception and overall promise, there was something off about it for me, something strangely stunted and one dimensional.  Not a popular opinion, I’m well aware, and I don’t care. I could give two shits about popular opinion, and so should you. Reflections Of A Floating World is superior in my opinion, for many reasons.  First and foremost, Nick’s vocals are better than they’ve ever been.  You may or may not recall that on the earliest of Elder releases, his vocals were basically sludge-based screams and growls.  He’s gradually adopted a cleaner style with each release, and with Reflections Of A Floating World, he’s settled into a style which emphasizes a more high pitched register while keeping the melodies relatively simple.  It works well – he doesn’t really sound like anyone else, and his approach doesn’t overshadow Elder’s strongest element, their compositional prowess.  Sure, they’re still largely monotonal, there’s little movement melodically, though they’re not the key ingredient to what makes this album shine.  It’s all about the instruments.  Sometimes less is more, and I believe that vocals should always be considered just another instrument in the overall mix.

Throughout the course of six songs and sixty odd minutes, Elder essentially put on a clinic , divine a prophecy, show us the future of a genre that’s badly in need of reinvention.  The structure, writing, and production of this album is nothing short of stellar.  Seriously.  This is a landmark album.  This will come to be considered one of the high water marks, an album that will come to define and even re-define the genre.  I don’t say this lightly, and I’m honored to know these cats.   I’ve never heard a “stoner” album with such a nuanced atmosphere, such a multitude and magnitude of textures.  There’s all sorts of amazing tones and effects on the guitars, and the addition of a second guitar has certainly added an entire other dimension to Elder’s sound.  I have a feeling that it mostly gives Nick more freedom and breathing room to lay down leads and still have a foundation of riffs underneath, and there are also lots of cool harmonized and orchestrated guitar parts throughout.  Despite the fact that this cat can rip it up, Nick’s  guitar work is largely restrained; the solos are sparse and never come off as showboating.  They’re tailor made for whatever each musical moment requires, and flashy or not, Elder set their fretboards ablaze with the light of inspiration, passion, and intent.  There’s also some flourishes of piano, keyboard, Theremin and mellotron at crucial points to add to the atmosphere.  It’s all very well done and never over the top – the album retains a nice balance throughout.  The rhythm section perfectly compliments this dynamic, lingering underneath with a pulsing intensity, though never overshadowing the whole or eclipsing the entirety.  The clarity of the production allows all of these elements to simultaneously shine.

It’s worth mentioning that this album is a bit long in the tooth.  Each of these six songs is an epic in and unto itself, with the first four clocking in at over the 10 minute mark, and the longest at nearly 13 minutes and a half minutes.  Even the Krautrock influenced instrumental, “Sonntag”, is eight minutes and forty seconds.  That’s a lot to take in, especially with all the detail that’s gone into crafting this record.  It demands active engagement on the part of the listener in order to appreciate the album’s nuances.  Maximum attentions reaps maximum rewards.

Elder have already proven themselves to be quite a force, through the strength of both their recorded output and their live performances.  They’ve toured all over the world, playing to audiences both big and small.  It’s hard to imagine they won’t be riding a wave of buzz and critical acclaim after this album drops, though it’s also tough to tell where their path will ultimately lie.  Surely more doors will open, more opportunities present themselves, though will this lead Elder deeper into the musical equivalent of The Floating World, or will it allow them the freedom to carve their own niche and to divine their own personal path?

EU Tour Schedule


HE WHOSE OX IS GORED ‘Paralyzer’ 7″ Review & Official Video; Tour Dates

HE WHOSE OX IS GORED
Paralyzer – 7″ Maxi Single
Chain Letter Collective/Void Assault Records- Release Date: June 16th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

The Emerald City’s ethereal sludge/post-rock unit He Whose Ox Is Gored will issue a new 7″ Maxi-Single, ‘Paralyzer‘, via Chain Letter Collective and the band’s own label Void Assault Records on June 16th. This is in lieu of some copies recently being made available at the band’s show with Conan, North, and Serial Hawk back on May 14th and subsequent tour with Samothrace. Anyway, the content on the release is quite intriguing indeed as ‘Paralyzer‘ was recorded as part of a Converse Rubber Tracks session and includes two previously released tracks — “Buried Twice” and “Void Assault” from the band’s critically-lauded Rumors EP — remixed by Seattle’s own Newaxeyes. But wait, there’s more! The recording itself is the result of efforts from the legendary producer Jack Endino (Soundgarden, Nirvana, L7, High On Fire, Zeke) at Avast! Recording Studio.

So, what we have here is three tracks and it officially begins with title cut, ‘Paralyzer‘, an uptempo tempest of crunchy rhythms and buzzing guitars. It is highly energized and seemingly chaotic, like a hive abuzz with activity and sheer presence. Ethereal nuances ripple forth from within at times, airy and graciously afloat upon the turbulent sea of sonic waves crashing beneath. Aggro vocals alternate with cleanly given ones, all the while some fantastic drum work pummels the kit through out the song. Just check out the official visualizer clip (the band’s first ever in fact) for the song and you’ll hear exactly what I’m talking about:

Now we arrive at the first of the two remixed songs, ‘Buried Twice (NWXYS Slime Mix)‘ which begins with a bit of electronica before an unleashing of rhythmic pulses take hold. Battering drums bring the beat as effect-heavy vocals are unfurled, all while some touches of cosmic-like electronics appear here and there. In fact, the evident presence of keys/organs/synths go far in providing a definitve alternative rock roll out of the song. Things really get more unhinged with the next selection, ‘Void Assault (VOIDED Mix)‘, all of which arrives with some trippy electro-psychedelia to start. A hazy, otherworldly setting is established with the very first few vibes of the cut, one where a wide, limitless expanse seems to unfold before you. Pulses of ethereal inflections blip and whirl at intermittent points while the feel of lysergic consciousness is augmented by the chopped vocalizations ringing outward. Things remain in this semi-instrumental state for the duration and ultimately end the 7″ with the equivalent of an out-of-body experience.

Meanwhile, you may get the chance to see the band pretty much repsonsible for all of this, He Whose Ox Is Gored, depending on where you currently reside. The band is out touring with Samothrace right now and here are the remaining dates of the trek:

5/31/2017 Three Links – Dallas, TX
6/01/2017 89th St. – Oklahoma City, OK
6/02/2017 71 Grind Festival – Colorado Springs, CO
6/03/2017 Loading Dock – Salt Lake City, UT
6/04/2017 Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
8/05/2017 Green Room – Flagstaff, AZ
6/06/2017 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ
6/07/2017 Hotel Congress – Tucson, AZ
6/08/2017 Complex – Los Angeles, CA w/ Void Omnia
6/09/2017 Soda Bar – San Diego, CA w/ Void Omnia
6/10/2017 Oakland Metro Opera House – Oakland, CA w/ Void Omnia, Noothgrush, Graves At Sea

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

HWOIG Tour


METAL CHURCH ‘Reset’ With New Official Video

The well-rejuvenated legends in Metal Church have just dropped their official video for the song ‘Reset‘ from their amazing latest album release, ‘XI‘. The video was directed by Jamie Brown for Smokin’ Gun Video Productions while the album XI is out now from Rat Pak Records and features the return of earlier vocalist Mike Howe. The band also recently announced the departure of drummer Jeff Plate and welcomed his replacement, Stet Howland (WASP, Four By Fate), to the fold.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

MC XI


Dö “Astral: Death / Birth” – Album Review & Stream…

A Two Song Masterpiece by: 

Astral: Death / Birth – CD // DD

Self Released:  May 26, 2017

Review By:  Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Hey Metal-heads this is The Ancient One here with some ear candy for everyone. And, today’s flavor is Döömer . Yes you read it correctly Döömer a term coined by to describe the music they play which they say is a blend of doom, sludge, stoner and a bit of death/black Metal.  states on its Facebook page that the bands origins go back to 2007 but  Döömer is only a recent musical avenue they have been developing for the the past few years.

From what I have gleaned about from their Facebook and Bandcamp pages the trio of  doomsters from Helsinki, Finland: Big Dog – Guitar, Deaf Hank – Vox & Bass, Joe E. Deliverance (‘E’ stands for ‘Epic’) (Drums & Vox) have gained a cult following, of what the band calls Döömernauts among doom fans. And after hearing their 3 previous releases I found my question “What makes their sound special?”  Well, it was answered with a resounding WoW!!

 

 

In their quest to keep the Rock Rollin’ on May 26th released it’s fourth EP Astral: Death / Birth  a 20 minute, 2 song masterpiece that was recorded live in the practice den. Beginning with the 7 min 46 sec Astral: Death begins with big slow and fuzzy sludge riffs accompanied by some terrifying vocals that left me feeling like a mouse trying to avoid getting stomped on. Arising like a Phoenix from the ashes of the first song Astral Birth seems like an homage to bands like Sleep, Om, Electric Wizard or a perfect example of what calls Döömer.  Get this EP give Dö  a like on Facebook and tell everyone on Bandcamp why you like them.  The End Result…to quote the band, “20 minutes of raging astral winds!!” Highly Recommend!!

How to pronounce “Dö”: http://www.forvo.com/word/d%C3%B6/

Line Up

Big Dog (Guitar)
Deaf Hank (Vox & Bass)
Joe E. Deliverance (‘E’ stands for ‘Epic’) (Drums & Vox)

Ex-members – May the RIFF be with you: Peat Rex (Drums)

Do_Astral_promo_band_PRINT_PhotobyJaakkoRinne

 

 


KRYPTONITE (King Diamond, Mustasch, Eclipse, Etc. Members) Reveal Debut’s Details; Video Premiere

I recently shared a blurb on the Taste Nation LLC Facebook timeline about with an introduction to the new Swedish band Kryptonite. Today I am happy to bring you all a full article with more details about the band, their upcoming debut album and an Official Video premiere from said album as well. The video is for a track titled ‘Chasing Fire‘ which hails from the band’s upcoming self-titled debut due on August 4th from Frontiers Music SRL.

Kryptonite itself is a special project that began when The Poodles’ Jakob Samuel and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio decided to pursue putting together a band after working on another project. Soon they had brought in former The Poodles bassist Pontus Egberg (now in King Diamond and Treat) who was then followed by Robban Back of Mustasch (ex-Eclipse). The final piece of a guitarist soon fell to Mike Palace of the band Palace, a younger and extremely talented, impressive player.

The band Kryptonite play a more melodic style of rock music, not far removed from what many might call AOR Music. Of course that means it is more radio-friendly content and when it comes to exposure or increasing ones’ fanbase then there is nothing wrong with that. Check out Kryptonite for yourself via the clip for ‘Chasing Fire‘ below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Kryptonite LP

Tracklisting:

“Chasing Fire”
“This Is The Moment”
“Keep The Dream Alive”
“Fallen Angels”
“Across The Water”
“Love Can Be Stronger”
“Knowing Both Of Us”
“Get Out Be Gone”
“One Soul”
“Better Than Yesterday”
“No Retreat No Surrender”


THE ARTICLE SIXTIES ‘Gods Of The Multiverse’ EP Review & Stream

THE ARTICLE SIXTIES
Gods Of The Multiverse EP – DD
Self Released – March 31st, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

From Bruges, Belgium comes The Article Sixties with their debut EP, ‘Gods Of The Multiverse‘, like a bullet out of the blue. Similar to that ordinance, this EP is a dangerous hunk of steely hard rock. Steeped in Seventies-style heaviness but with a clearly modern bent to their sound, this 4-song outing is chock full of energy. The quartet comprising The Article Sixites are Nick Anne (vox), Michiel Henneco (guitar), Marijn ‘Danger’ De Craecker (bass) and Niels Vanthourenhout (drums).

Things immediately burst out of the gate with the introductory cut ‘The Lucky Few‘, a heavy stomp of animated riffs and super-grooving rhythms. Stellar drum work powers out throughout the song while the vocals are quite solid. The song never pauses nor takes a breather and before you know it, ‘Outlaw‘ arrives. Another ripping, tight-knit track with some bluesy overtones where again, the guitar playing is intensely active. Things get quite groove-based in the bridge, I especially like the stripped down section of isolated bass lines and feedback. We receive our first real breather as the lighter vibes of ‘Little Sister‘ begins, melodic and a bit musically haunting. Things soon delve deeply into a bit of psychedelia before a full-on eruption into driving rhythms and vocals with a sense of urgency. That feeling continues to build and build but before the song is over, I swear it takes on a styling that reminds me of The Misfits and TSOL (True Sounds Of Liberty) both. We get to ‘Match‘, the last song and my favorite of the four. Another energized number with a bit of W.F.O. attitude in the thick guitars, amazing rhythm section’s back and forth and the album’s best vocal performance in my opinion.

The Article SixtiesGods Of The Multiverse‘ EP is a superb introduction to the band as well as just a rocking release in general. It is no crap rock and roll and as such, it is good and it kicks ass, simply put. Check it out via the Bandcamp embedded stream below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


MORASS OF MOLASSES ‘These Paths We Tread’ Review & Full LP Stream

MORASS OF MOLASSES
These Paths We Tread – Vinyl//DD
HeviSike Records – Released May 19th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Last Friday, May 19th saw the release of the anxiously awaited new effort from the self-proclaimed “swamp master generals” Morass Of Molasses, ‘These Paths We Tread‘. The seven song follow up to their ‘So Flows Our Fate’ EP finds these heavyweights further building upon the sludge-ish stoner doom of that release while exploring some richly fertile new territories as well. Vocalist/bassist BonesThe BeardHuse, guitarist PhilThe MountainWilliams and drummer ChrisThe BeastWest act as our sonic guides upon an album that will splendidly please those that seek the very best in dense hard rock.

This latest offering from these Reading, UK-based purveyors of pummeling finds them dragging us in by the necks with our introduction to ‘My Leviathan‘. It may be their monstrosity but it is indeed our good fortune as the fluid grooves soon ignite after a brief, melodic intro. Guitars wail, rhythms pulsate and aggressive, bellowing yells resonate but then an oddly intriguing Pink Floyd-ian vocal delivery takes hold of the verses. The track truly serves as a mere warm up when compared to much of the other content included here.

From there we get the upbeat blues ‘n roll of ‘So They Walk‘, a highly energized number where grooves encircle every step. All while some trippy vocals narrate things and guitars wail away. The latter comes at you from all directions it seems while the former explores myriad avenues of delivery, from underbreath and softly spoken to emotional yelps. We get our first real chance to catch our breath for a moment with the tranquil intro of ‘Serpentine‘ before it too bursts loose for a few brief bars. It then quickly throttles down to a bit of groove-geared bluesiness also and from there, routinely builds and buckles beneath things. There’s even a dip or two into some wind-blewn psyche elements amid the fiery guitar work and, at over seven minutes in length, a lot of ground is explored.

The psychedelia stays on hand for the female chanted interlude that is ‘The Ritual‘ and then comes one of my favorite cuts from the record, ‘Centralia‘. After a bit of spoken word, news report-sounding snippets about a fire in the mining town of “Centralia in Columbia County”, the thick riffs ignite and smolder. Keeping things dialed down and in-the-pocket, the song’s hazy overtones are the ideal vehicle for the scorching guitars and crunchy drums. Varied spoken samples about the fire-ravaged residential area come and go, an area that stays inflammed due to underground seams of coal that continuously burn (something I know all too well about here in Kentucky’s coal country).

Another bit of mellow blues resonate before the doom-ish psychedelia of ‘Maenads‘ plods forth like a slow rolling lava flow. Slowly it churns and inches ever forward while the eclectic vocalizations constantly cycle through a variety of styling. The music maintains a mostly steamroller-like momentum while one of the more intriguing compenents of interest is the combustible drumming. ‘Wrath Of Aphrodite‘, the final track starts sedately enough but it is not destined to last for before you know it, a tempestuous onslaught of sonics are surrounding you. Uptempo they unfurl and totally take us along for the ride in this highly energized exercise of brazen, groovened blues.

Once again, Morass Of Molasses display why they are one of the more interesting of rock acts to rise above the din in recent times. Totally unique, uniquely intrepid..this trio is not afraid to experiment, to take chances and blaze their own trail to get where they feel they are being led. If you will, call Morass Of Molasses the pioneers upon…’These Paths We Tread‘.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

 


PUTA VOLCANO ‘Harmony Of Spheres’ Review & Stream

PUTA VOLCANO
Harmony Of Spheres – CD//DD//Vinyl
iota5 Records – Release Date: April 28th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

I have long said that there is some incredible music happening in the nation of Greece and this band, Puta Volcano, are the latest example of what I am talking about. Clearly, I am not alone in that belief either seeing as how Athens’ Puta Volcano is set to play at DesertFest Athens 2017 alongside acts like Saint Vitus, Orange Goblin, Colour Haze and Graveyard, among others. It has now been close to a month since the band, vocalist Luna Stoner (aka Anna Papathanasiou), guitarist Alex Pi, bassist Bookies and drummer Steven S., released their latest album, the stellar ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘. The 8-song offering is the eagerly awaited follow-up to the band’s earlier releases, The Sun (2015) and Represent Victory Below Eye (2011) and let me tell you, the wait was worth it.

Puta Volcano

Much like their namesake, Puta Volcano and their music are an explosive eruption of lava hot Desert Rock, but such that has elements of Stoner, Psyche, Grunge and Progressive Rock augmenting it. The quartet craft intensely enthralling riff-driven hard rock that just flows with rhythmic propulsion, they keep it tight knit and cohesive thanks to their solid deliveries. It simply astounds me that the band is not a widely known commercial success, a well-recognized household name uttered upon the lips of countless music fans. But then like I said, this record is a freshly out of the oven, piping hot slab of molten musicality so who knows what may be lurking around the bend?

Speaking of bends, things kick off here with the winding rollercoaster that is the aptly-titled introductory song, ‘Dune‘. Huge grooves, thunderous rhythms and impressive drumming drive the song’s swaggering, laid back flow but without question, something gets revealed. A sultry sounding, raspy-throated and utterly incredible vocal powerhouse that is Luna! Don’t get me wrong, the guys are as equally fantastic as well but we all know that without the proper singer, even the best music can fall short. There seems to be no chance in hell of that happening here though thankfully.

Once you’ve regained your senses, there’s a whole range of multifaceted music explored in subsequent songs like the beautiful ‘Bird‘, jumpin’ ‘Jovian Wind‘ or radiant ‘Afterglow‘. For me personally, things really landed well during the middle segment of the record, particularly ‘Zeroth Law‘, ‘Neon‘ and ‘Moebius‘. All three tracks are just incredible, the hypnotic haziness of ‘Zeroth Law‘ with a structured, pattern-like vocal delivery where Luna once again struts her stuff. From there, ‘Neon‘ ratchets up both the tempo and intensity like a driving, pumping engine as a tempest of energized music swirls about. Meanwhile, I believe ‘Moebius‘ may actually be my favorite cut on the record with its own trippier nuances. Things eventually careen headlong into some truly powerful Alt. Rock, the band itself in unison and rolling out a truly stand-out performance. I will let ‘Infinity‘ just surprise and impress you all on its own.

Yet when all is said, done and played, Puta Volcano‘s ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘ is a veritably stand alone musical statement itself. Simply put, it is a fantastic album and I feel that life is better with it than without it but you will have to be the judge of that for yourself. You can do exactly that by streaming it via the Bandcamp embedded player below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker