THE RIVEN ‘Blackbird’ EP Review & Stream

THE RIVEN
Blackbird – CD//DD
Self-Released – April 14th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

The London, UK-based band The Riven recently issued their 5-song ‘Blackbird‘ EP and it has quickly garnered quite positive press across the board. With an ever-present feel of bluesy hard rock and retro vibes, vocalist Charlotta Ekebergh, guitarist Arnau Diaz, bassist Max Ternebring and drummer Olof Axegärd deliver a powerful musical statement with the effort. Immensely soulful elements permeate the musical output of The Riven, ones exuding depth amid the intricacies resulting from brilliant songwriting.

If you can imagine the guitar-fueled strength of a band like UFO melded with the vocal chops inspired by greats like Ann Wilson or Pat Benatar then you’re starting to get the idea of what’s going on here. From the faster-fueled paces of the opening ‘Ain’t No Doctor‘, with its driving intensity and throbbing rhythms to the unhinged boogie of ‘Tower‘, this is energized music. There are moments of melodic psychedelia, such as in the bridge of the latter track there or in the fantastic haziness of the title track ‘Blackbird‘. It’s a simmering, heady number and definitely one of the stand out cuts from the EP along with the fantastic ‘One Last Time‘.

If you’re seeking something that’s steeped in classic rock overtones, embedded with bluesy swagger and full-on with amplifier-fueled attitude then look no further. The Riven‘s ‘Blackbird‘ EP is a superb display of raw, solidly-hewn hard rock that you can check out for yourself below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Riven

DEVIL ELECTRIC Unveil Details Of Upcoming S/T Album; Premiere ‘Hypnotica’ Video

Melbourne, Australia’s heavy occult rock quartet Devil Electric have revealed the details of their upcoming full-length self-titled debut album. The 37 minute, 9-track debut will be available digitally and in three colored vinyl variants on August 11th through Germany’s Kozmik Artifactz label. The first single to be released from the album is “Hypnotica” – watch the video clip below.

Devil Electric dropped like a sinister spell with their ‘The Gods Below‘ EP in 2016, making an instantaneous impact with critics and fans alike. The band, Pierina O’Brien (Vocals), Christos Athanasias (Guitars), Tom Hulse (Bass, Vocals) and Mark Van De Beek (Drums), play some superbly bluesy heavy rock. It is nearly a certain given that the upcoming self-titled album will further impress folks across the musical spectrum and make Devil Electric a commonly known household name.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Devil Electric

Devil Electric tracks:

1. Monologue (Where You Once Walked)
2. Shadowman
3. Lady Velvet
4. Acidic Fire
5. Monolith
6. The Dove & The Serpent
7. The Sacred Machine
8. Lilith
9. Hypnotica


UFOMAMMUT Premieres ‘Warsheep’ Official Video

Italian heavy psychedelic band UFOMAMMUT recently announced the imminence of their next studio effort 8 and that it will be released via Neurot Recordings on September 22nd. In anticipation of the event, the guys are issuing a new official video for the track “Warsheep today. That’s it above but things don’t end there as UFOMAMMUT is offering “Warsheep” as a limited edition 7″. It is available in a small run of 500 pieces, each with the cover handprinted with gold iridescent and red inks on pearlescent paper by Malleus. The 7″ record shall be released via Supernatural Cat on 15th June but pre-orders are available now here.

Preorder information and more for 8 will be revealed over the upcoming months.

UFO Warsheep
– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


A Sacred Performance: The Obsessed/Karma To Burn/Lo-Pan/Navajo Witch Live; Johnson City, TN. 5-10-17

 

Every fan of underground heavy music knows how the legendary ScottWinoWeinrich-fronted band The Obsessed are back in a major way currently, circa 2017. The band has been the centerpoint of mass focus and near hysteria since announcing their return in 2016. That announcement eventually led the band, with drummer Brian Costantino and bassist Dave Sherman alongside Wino, to sign with Relapse Records. From there, the guys went to work on writing and recording a new studio album, the band’s first since 1994’s The Church Within. Eventually, said album did manifest as the hugely successful ‘Sacred‘. Since that time in the studio, the band underwent a couple of membership tweaks, ones that have now settled with bassist Reid Raley completing the trio’s line up. As is the case with new records and oldschool legends, The Obsessed soon decided it was time to take things to the road and so they compiled a powerfully alluring touring package that included Karma To Burn and Lo-Pan. Others would join along at some legs of the trek like Fatso Jetson, Weedeater and Primitive Man so all in all, this was a tour that only a damn fool would miss. I had no intention of being that fool when I hauled ass over to The Hideaway in Johnson City, TN. back on May 10th for this Volunteer State stop of The Obsessed, Karma To Burn, Lo-Pan and Navajo Witch caravan.

NAVAJO WITCH

First up this night was the regional heavyweights and purveyors of pummeling sludge, Navajo Witch. The beloved trio of guitarist Allen Keith, bassist/vocalist Dylan Rutherford and drummer Ross Grindstaff are all well known fixtures within our area’s music community. The band itself now has two official releases under their belts with the 2013 Skinwalker EP and 2016’s full-length, Ghost Sickness. Tonight saw the trio unleash their heavily volatile but totally groove-fueled style of sonic abrasiveness. Navajo Witch are loud and very musically dense, they do not rely on any bells or whistles to augment what it is they do and what they do is savage. Melding a variety of tempos into their crushing stage delivery, they keep it tight and heavy with some alternating vocal stylings. So heavy in fact that you’d have a hard time believing they are a threepiece without seeing them yourself. The beast that is Navajo Witch also treated us to some new tunes this night, so new in fact that a couple are not even titled yet, ha! Their setlist consisted of the well known standards ‘Rites Of Divination‘ and ‘Ghost Sickness‘ but it began with what we will call ‘Untitled 1‘ and ended with ‘Untitled 2‘. There was also a titled new track in there too, one being called ‘Still We Rise‘..a bit of a misnomer seeing as how Navajo Witch‘s thunderous rumbling nearly brought down the room to rubble.

LO-PAN

Next up this night were the continually astounding Columbus, OH. quartet Lo-Pan. If you’ve seen these guys before then you already know that they are one of the tightest bands in all of rock and roll, seriously. Setting up in their usual unusual configuration with vocalist Jeff Martin toward the back behind drummer J. Bartz, bassist Skot Thompson and guitarist Chris Thompson, the guys tore it loose. The rhythm section of the band are nearly impossible to avert your gaze from when watching Lo-Pan and I’ve said it before but here it is again: Bartz & Thompson may be the absolute best in the business (outside of Clutch’s Maines and Gaster). A phenomenal sight to see and an even more powerful one to hear, the pair powers each Lo Pan song like some rhythmic dynamo. Meanwhile Martin croons some of the most solidly soulful vocals there are and, for the third time in a row of my seeing them, this was a recently acquired new guitarist in Chris. I say new but he’s fell right into place after providing the axe-work for the band for several months now and came on board around the time Lo-Pan recorded their latest effort, the In Tensions EP.

KARMA TO BURN

There is always more than just universal recompense ablaze when West Virginia’s Karma To Burn grace a stage somewhere. Tonight was no different either as guitarist Will Mecum, bassist Eric Clutter and drummer Evan Devine did what they do best onstage next. Exactly what that is must be witnessed to fully comprehend as these three have somehow harnessed the truest, most legitimate power of the trio. 99.999% instrumental, Karma To Burn are 1000% unbelievable and so finely tuned that they operate like a machine. I say that despite Will’s having some tuning issues once or twice but undetered, they blistered every ear within earshot with their furious onslaught of numerically designated songs. Always a spectacle to observe, the animated intensity with which all three of these guys go at it live is something that’s beyond merely impressive. Mecum’s maestro-like hand gestures are used to accentuate the guitar-fueled grooves he is constructing at that very moment while Clutter’s all-over-the place bass abuse nearly rivets your eyes in place. And Devine, you ask? He is like some unholy tempest upon the drum kit, furiously pummeling said kit in a manner befitting of someone with multiple appendages. No, I don’t mean the normal two or even four in his case, what he does only seems within the realm of possibility for someone that happened to be an Octa-ped.

THE OBSESSED

Now three bands in, The Hideaway‘s crowd had grown quite immensely and was gradually becoming a standing room only audience. But there would be no agitated wait like some shows, where some primadonna indulged their status and disrespected their fans with an unneeded, extensive wait. No, the legendary ScottWinoWeinrich and his bandmates in The Obsessed, Brian Costantino and Reid Raley commandeered the stage at this point. The trio instantly unfurled their critically-lauded new album’s glorious title cut, ‘Sacred‘, before veering right into one of their beloved classics, ‘Streetside‘. Hearing the crowd sing along to the lyrics and choruses revealed that those present in this house were familiar with output both past and present. With each new song rendered, ones ranging from ‘Blind Lightning‘, ‘Protect & Serve‘, ‘Decimation‘, ‘Climate Of Despair‘ and ‘Hiding Mask‘, The Obsessed seemed a band possessed.

Wino’s playing has increasingly become more and more fierce with each new set that I attend and knowing him as I do personally, I dare say that he is rejuvenated these days. Reviving his beloved band, new blood in it, new album from it, whatever the case may be, Wino seems to really enjoy himself lately and it shows. Another showing that comes shining through is that from the backline anchor, the man that holds it all down and in place, Brian Costantino. His concrete-like heavy handed, hard-hitting style of playing reverberates shudders across the airwaves with each strike laid. Plus, make no mistake, Reid Raley is a bottom-end monstrosity himself, generating visceral vibrations in such cuts as ‘Be The Night‘, ‘Skybone‘, ‘The Way She Fly‘ and ‘Streamlined‘. In fact, The Obsessed played most, if not all, of ’94’s iconic The Church Within along with a respectable number of tracks from Sacred.

Two of that latter album’s tracks were especially enjoyable for me personally as the introductory cut, the re-working of the band’s first-ever song release, ‘Sodden Jackal‘, is so damned heavy now. Even Wino commented about how he’s had the desire to revitalize that old tune for a long, long time and now that he has, Jeee-zus! The depth and density now permeating the song is nearly inhuman while another Sacred selection, ‘Razorwire‘, is just a lively, kick-ass good time of a song. Clearly I was not alone in that appreciation either as people all over the place lost it during its roll out. Playing somewhere near fifteen songs or so as only they can, The Obsessed showed all in attendance why they are the focal point of so much attention at this time. Sure, it is more than deserved by the threesome, they are great musicians and all that but also because Sacred was decades in the making so to speak. In some bizarro world, we might have never gotten this new album or worse, God forbid, a reformed incarnation of The Obsessed! But, thanks and praise to whomever you wish, we do have Sacred and more importantly, we have The Obsessed..and Wino, Brian and Reid.  And Karma To Burn, Lo-Pan and Navajo Witch as well!

All Hail! – Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


KHEMMIS Share Decibel Mag’s Exclusive Flexi-Single Track

Colorado progressive doomers Khemmis have returned with their new exclusive single for Decibel Magazine‘s ongoing Flexi-Disc series. The song, ‘Empty Throne‘, was recorded back in February exclusively for the popular offering. Of course it has only been a few short months since the Denver doomsters Khemmis topped Decibel‘s 2016 Album Of The Year list with their second LP, Hunted. And it’s only been a few short weeks since they owned the big stage with the majority of that record at the first annual Decibel Metal & Beer Fest. Enjoy!

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


Steak “No God To Save” Album Review & Stream

Steak

No God to Save – Vinyl // CD // DD 

Ripple Music – Released May 19, 2017

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall

 

Next up on the menu, is Steak. Not choice, not select, but prime. Meaty and juicy. Based out of London, this four piece of anthemic rock n roll goodness is marbled to perfection. Sprinkled with spices of fuzzy stoner tones, pounding rhythms and grungy vocals. The band consists of, Sammy on drums, and Cam on bass to fill out the massive rhythm section. Reece handles guitar and Kip is on vocals. Releasing two EP’s in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and the buzz building debut LP “Slab City”, Steak now is ready to sear the listener. New record “No God to Save” is out now on Ripple Music. The benchmark label of all heavy independents.

The record begins with the awesome ‘Overthrow.’  It starts with a completely fantastic riff, that is melodic, fuzzy, stoned out, and powerfully emotive. An extremely memorable riff that Steak let build until the thunderous rhythm section kicks in the groove. A really killer intro to this album. The main riff comes on like an avalanche as the band takes the energy up another notch. The vocals triumphantly come in and to me are very reminiscent of an old favorite band, Kilgore from the mid to late 90’s. Grunge-esque and executed very nicely. In my humble opinion, ‘Overthrow’ is the best track on the record…but don’t fret…this song may be the porterhouse, but the rest of the record has prime cuts all over it.

Live Shot

‘Coke Dick’ is next and starts with a slower paced groove that heavily lulls you into a slow head bob. Then the next second, Steak takes the tempo up more to the middle and smacks you right in the chops. A pure rock n roll jam.

‘Clones’ kicks off with a fuzzed out bassline from the desert. A weaving lead over the fuzzy low end, gives the song a lonesome feel. A journey to find oneself. Another anthem that could fill an arena just as comfortably as a dirty dingy UK club. Steak is at home in either, and anywhere in between.

‘King Lizard’ is a journey across an atmosphere thick with heaviness and spectacle. The energy throughout the first half of the record stays interesting and very high.

‘Living Like a Rat’ hits hard as hell from the jump, and pummels until a small reprise halfway through, that leads in to the heaviest part of the ‘No God to Save.’ The second half of this standout track beats you down and tenderizes your brain, in the best possible way.

‘Mountain,’ Rough House,’ and ‘Creeper,’ keep the emotion level to a peak that ‘No God to Save’ maintains from front to back. Powerful and stunning riffs, along with amazing bass and drum work. Vocal that never fail to soar on the choruses and verses that retain grit.

The final two tracks wind the record down. ‘Wickerman’ reminds me of a very heavy Pearl Jam. Steak has  a little bit of everything on this album. Fuzzy and stoner, with a grungy aesthetic. Triumphant rock n roll. Pure and simple.

Closing track ‘The Ebb’ is an acoustic instrumental that lets the listener down easy after an album full of rocker after rocker, jam after jam.

Steak are like I said previously, prime beef. Fatty, thick, juicy, sizzling, and with the bone in. ‘No God to Save is chock full of animal protein. If you like you meat cooked rare and a little bloody, then give Steak a taste…and enjoy the flavor.

My sincerest apologies for all the clichés…not really though. All Hail!

Pro Band Shot


DIVINITY Stream ‘The Immortalist’ In Its Entirety

I’ll be honest, when I read that a band is getting musical comparisons to acts like Soilwork and Extol then that will be plenty enough to convince me to at least check them out. The Calgary, AB progressive death metal band Divinity are getting those types of comparisons out in the music world and deservedly so. If I could add one of my own to the list it would be Strapping Young Lad and not because of the Canuck connection but because Divinity genuinely display some very SYL-ish moments in their music. Having never heard Divinity until recently, I was not fully prepared for the great musical content of their latest recorded offering, ‘The Immortalist‘, nor did I know the story of the music either.

See, The Immortalist (which will be released this Friday, May 26th) is the culmination of five long years of hard work and determination from Divinity. The album features 12 tracks that include their two previous EP releases “The Immortalist, Pt. 1 – Awestruck” and “The Immortalist, Pt. 2 –Momentum” with their 3rd EP “The Immortalist Pt. 3 – Conqueror” now completed to finish off the trilogy series as one huge full length album. All the tracks on the album are re-mixed and re-mastered by the talented Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Grid Productions) to make the songs more cohesive and work as a full-length experience. Plus, the song ‘D.M.T.‘ features a guest appearance from Soilwork/Night Flight Orchestra’s BjornSpeedStrid.

The band commented on their upcoming effort saying: “We’re very proud of our new album! Our dedication to song writing, recording and producing these 12 songs over the past 5 years has been a crazy musical journey and a huge learning experience that we will never forget. Our lyrical content and artwork is based on an original science-fiction concept story about a character who wakes up in a random field within an intricate crop circle with no memory of who he is or how he got there. The character is then thrown into a crazy adventure and eventually learns who he is and how to become immortal. There’s so much more to the story but we don’t want to give it all way just yet.”

Today, Taste Nation LLC is giving you the opportunity to stream Divinity‘s ‘The Imortalist‘ in its entirety below. Pre-order of the album is available on Divinity.ca, iTunes or Amazon plus an exclusive digi-pak CD available on their website for those who like to support the band directly. The digi-pak CD contains a 24-page booklet that showcases this entire concept giving fans way a full physical experience to the story, songs, lyrics, and visual aspect of the new album. Enjoy!

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


TRICKY LOBSTERS Return With New LP ‘Worlds Collide’; Video Premiere

Rostock, Germany’s Tricky Lobsters are set to return with a new studio album, ‘Worlds Collide‘, via Exile On Mainstream June 23rd. The album was engineered and produced by drummer Jörg Peters at Blue Hospital and will be available in CD, LP, and digital formats, marking the return of this longrunning heavy blues rock band. It has been four long years since their last release, The Blue Hospital Conspiracy, won over rock fans everywhere. To properly announce their return, the aforementioned Jörg Peters, along with guitarist/vox Sarge and bassist/vox Doc, are premiering a brand new official video from the upcoming release.

Bitter Man’s Fame‘ was filmed by Christian Thiele and edited by Michael Gröper and Rainer Hochmuth. The clip finds Tricky Lobsters delivering more of their trademark riffs and grooves amid a flurry of melodic, infectious rock and roll.

Tricky Lobsters LP

Tracklisting:

01 Bitter Man’s Fame
02 Battlefields
03 Big Book
04 Tarred Albino
05 Black & Blue
06 Father & Son
07 Dream Diver Pt. I+II
08 The Fire
09 Needs Must

The band is expected to release two more Official Videos soon while German fans can catch the trio on some upcoming shows that kick off this coming Friday, May 25th:

5/25/2017 Aukrug Open Air Festival – Aukrug, DE
6/04/2017 Pfingstrock Entenfang Festival – Torgau, DE
6/23/2017 Helgas Stadtpalast – Rostock, DE *record release show
6/30/2017 Rock an der Ilm Festival – Langenwiesen, DE
7/01/2017 Hangar Metal Meeting – Bad Duerrenberg, DE
7/28/2017 Festevil Nopperhof – Buetzow, DE

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Tricky Lobsters Tour

L’IRA DEL BACCANO “PARADOX – HOURGLASS” Album Review & Stream…

L’IRA DEL BACCANO

PARADOX – HOURGLASS – Vinyl // CD // DD

Subsound Records – Released March 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Hello all!! I’m back from one of my many epic quests through cyberspace in search of all that rocks ‘n’ rolls. Recently I’ve been listening to allot of  Greek, Spanish and Italian rock which seems to come in many varieties from a bustling underground rock scene which I will write an article about at some later date. Right now I’d like to tell you about: Alessandro “Drughito” Santori,  Roberto Malerba, Sandro “fred” Salvi, and Ivan Contini Bacchisio – a self described Doomdelic Instrumental Rock Quartet from Rome called L’ira Del Baccano.

 

Live Band Shot

 

Formed in 1998 as LOOSIN’o’FREQUENCIES, the band decided to reform itself as a purely instrumental act in 2007 as L’ira Del Baccano. The change in name and what they chose to play turned out to be a real shot in the arm band. In a conversation with  Alessandro the bands guitarist I learned the band was not even thinking actively touring and had no idea how big of an influence the internet would be for them until they recorded their first gig in 3 years and put it up as a free download and found they had generated a buzz.

 

 

After releasing two albums, and a split album with Watermelon Time, L’ira Del Baccano has released a third album Paradox – Hourglass on Subsound Records. I’ve listened to this album both actively and inactively and what I enjoy most about it is the musics mercurial nature. Opening with “Paradox Hourglass-Part I” the album begins simply enough with a rolling guitar riff that transforms into an 11-minute psychedelic jam then again transforms into something that sounds not like but akin to Carlos Santana jamming with Geezer in ‘Paradox Hourglass-Part II’.

After getting me hooked with the 1st two songs comes a bluesy heavy psych song called ‘Abilene’, followed by my favorite track with it’s Doomaphonic sound ‘Blind Phoenix Rising’. In just four songs Paradox – Hourglass takes you on a journey outside of space and time and into the spirit realm with L’ira Del Baccano’s blend of heavy, psychedelic, and progressive music.  If L’ira Del Baccano continues making albums like Paradox-Hourglass I can easily see them developing a cult following like the Grateful Dead and playing for years.

L’ira Del Baccano is:

Alessandro “Drughito” Santori – guitar/direction and architecture of Baccano
Roberto Malerba – guitar/synth
Sandro “fred” Salvi – drums
Ivan Contini Bacchisio – bass

L’ira Del Baccano Live at the Stoned Hand Of Doom Fest 2009

 

 


GOJIRA Sets North American Headline Dates With PALLBEARER & ONI Supporting

Gojira have announced their own North American headline dates with support from special guests Pallbearer and Oni. The announcement comes hot on the heels of Gojira joining Metallica as special guests on their WorldWired headlining tour. The summer trek is set to get underway July 30th at the UC Theatre in Berkeley, CA. Presale tickets for the new headline shows will be available beginning Tuesday, May 23th at 10 AM local, with general onsale beginning Thursday, May 25th, 10 AM local for U.S. dates then Friday, May 26th at 10 AM local for Canadian dates.

Gojira‘s upcoming full itinerary at this time includes:

Tour dates:

May
31 – Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound

July
29 – Los Angeles, CA – Rose Bowl*
30 – Berkeley, CA – UC Theatre **

August
1 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst **
2 – Ventura, CA – Ventura Theatre **
4 – Phoenix, AZ – University Of Phoenix Stadium *
5 – Anaheim, CA – House Of Blues **
6 – San Diego, CA – Petco Park *
8 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory **
9 – Seattle, WA – CenturyLink Field*
10 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory ***
11 – Calgary, AB – Macewan Hall ***
12 – Saskatoon, SB – O’Brians ***
14 – Vancouver, BC – BC Place *
16 – Edmonton, AB – Commonwealth Stadium *

*with Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold
** with Oni and Pallbearer
***with Pallbearer