We Hunt Buffalo “Head Smashed In” Review + Stream…

WE HUNT BUFFALO

Head Smashed In – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

New Damage Records (Canada) &  Fuzzorama Records (World) – released October 26, 2018

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

 

Location:
… a small suburb of Vancouver, Canada

Personnel:
Ryan Forsythe – Vocals/Guitar
Cliff Thiessen – Bass/Vocals
Brandon Carter – Drums

 

Previous Releases:

“Rain” single (2010)

‘S/T’ (2012)

‘Blood From A Stone’ EP (2013)

“Alaska” single (2013)

‘Living Ghosts’ (2015)

 

 

Review:
These guys have been around for the better part of the last ten years, always striving to keep things streamlined, bombastic and lethal, all during the years of perfecting this feat both live and in the studio. Using various techniques, both tried-and-true as well as the experimenting with drop-tuning and phase-shifts not yet imagined. Fuzzed out, window shaking and volatile are three adjectives that just ‘fit’ and make sure you are ready for this one… Ryan (vox/guitar)  himself warns that “Head Smashed In is definitely our heaviest effort to date,”

Opening track “Heavy Low” hits as you would expect,  rumbling your fillings from the first note, quickly joined by a nice staggered tempo and enough power chords to pop your eyes out of the sockets. And all of this within the first minute plus… enter the vocal with a sinewy undertone that does little to disguise the passion behind delivery of lyrics that fit the myriad of might on display. If the remaining eight tracks come close to this, holy shit!!

“Angels Must Die” crashes out of the gate, all thunder and might with a faster beat and the wailing screams are right up front, the perfect dressing for the entire body of crunching that keeps churning you forward, even as the multi-layered chorus entices further. Heavy and unrelenting, JUST how I like it!!

“Prophecy Wins”  is another slower-paced that still pulls you in tow to catch each wave of electric-punches that wash over your brain and makes you reach for the volume to get it even BIGGER as the solo takes you over during this, the longest composition contained.

“Industry Woes” is structurally, the most commercial sounding track, but the ingredients these guys have season the chord-progressions perfectly with the rhythm section never dropping a moment, pummeling away at your very core as the screams of ‘End Of Me’ keep permeating, while “The Giant’s Causeway’ comes in with a quick-fade in bass-wash over a softly echoing 6-string intro that sounds as footsteps of an equine presence setting his gait.  When the harmonizing vocal busts forth from the light fog, you can’t help but run alongside to catch each moment, all the way to the slow fade out… and by the time the snare-snaps of ‘Keep It Refreshing’ hit you, the NEED for more is satiated again with the same force that has been present throughout each song to this point.

Even as the poppy bassline of ‘Anxious Children’ is joined by a jazzy beat, we are presented with yet another flavor from this gathering of musicians that are leaving nothing on the table. Utilizing a classic-stoner tone with the floating lead bits that flow seamlessly from background to right in your face and back again, all the while maintaining the ferocity exuding from the core of each and the deluge of guitar-might for the end section cements that they are not fucking around, this shit is as REAL as it gets, while closer, ‘God Games’ comes out with a soft-touch from each member, including a clarity of vocal that has been kept at bay until…

Band Pic

Stand-out track IN MY OPINION would have to be ‘Get In The Van’, the fastest HEAVIEST romp offered, and while it is the shortest song here as well as the sole instrumental, this shows just how ‘thick’ a mix can be and the tempo is guaranteed to make every headbanger flop-yer-mop in time as the song seems to get bigger and bigger, even as the pace slows toward the end.

One of those rare instances where front-to-back, there is not a dud among, and each song seems even better than the one before it!! Get it NOW, share it with everyone in your circle and support them LIVE if you are given the opportunity… and as always, keep it LOUD!!

Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97Litlo7lio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi-PCORpo2o

https://wehuntbuffalo.com

Label:
Fuzzorama (World) – info@fuzzoramarecords.com
New Damage (Canada) – info@newdamagerecords.com


Domkraft “Flood” Album Review + Stream…

Domkraft

Flood – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Blues Funeral Recordings – releases October 19, 2018

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Location:
Stockholm, Sweden

Band Members:
Martin Widholm – Guitar
Martin Wegeland – Bass & Vocals
Anders Dahlgren – Drums

Previous Releases:
‘Domkraft’ EP (2015)

‘The End Of Electricity’ (2016)

 

 

Review:
OK, I’ll admit it… the first question I had was what does the name Domkraft mean?? Translated from Swedish to English, it simply means ‘screw-jack’ like what you would use on a larger vehicle or a house foundation. Hmmm… this can ONLY mean that this is going to be some ultra-heavy shit I am about to immerse myself into. I had not heard of this power-trio until I was handed the album and told to give it a listen. Little did I realize just what awaited me on this true-sophomore effort from this band that describes themselves as simply, “Organic, electric, hypnotic and loud.” And, engage………

Opener “Landslide” wastes no time in getting right down to the heavy riff that knocks you over, complete with the soaring vocals that cascade over the staggered tempos that keep your feet moving during the almost ten minutes.  “Landslide” sets the tone for the rest of the record to follow with a slow fade out, leading right into “The Watchers” with another lead you slowly follow along until the full body of stoner-might pops you in the jaw this time.  Making sure you feel the reeling as you spin in amazement at the sheer force pumping out of this three-man machine that keeps the slice-and-dice routine swirling around you, even as the last chord strings in sustain.

“Flood” is more even tempered and keeps the air shimmering with a bass tone that is ALL enveloping and shows zero sign that it will relent anytime soon, and why would you want it to??

Domkraft….The Calm before that Tsunami!!

Gear Picture

 

“They Appear To Be Alive” comes out nice and sedated and is the sole instrumental contained on this slab of intensity and then after a half second space, “Sandwalker” hits hard again, maintaining the stature of a giant that looms above and beyond as the musical winds whip the air around with a fury not witnessed since, well, the LAST Domkraft record!!

“Octopus” is one of the harder-hitting compositions with the bass-slides and power chords encasing a drum line that fits like a ‘magnum’ and serves ‘this ride’ well. The stand-out track, in MY opinion, “Dead Eyes Red Skies” wraps this masterful-morsel in the perfect foil of musical precision that in it’s HUGENESS of mix, towers above the rest of the album and promises so much yet to come from this triad of mega-power.

I believe this release will be making a lot of ‘best-of’ lists for 2018 and does indeed indicate that Domkraft is set to be in the leagues of their peers with bands like Monolord and Neurosis to name a few.  If you don’t believe me, get your copy, share it ALL around and see what those around you are saying.  Support / witness these guys in a live format if you are given the opportunity and above all else, keep it LOUD!!


High on Fire “Electric Messiah” Review + Stream…

HIGH ON FIRE

Electric Messiah – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

eOne Heavy Records – released October 5, 2018

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Location:
Oakland, CA USA

Members:
Matt Pike – Guitar / Vocals
Des Kensel – Drums
Jeff Matz – Bass Guitar (ex Zeke, member since “Blessed Black Wings” tour)
George RIce – Bass Guitar (ex-Dear Deceased, on :”Art Of Self Defense” / “SUrrounded By Thieves”)
Joe Preston – Bass Guitar (ex Melvins / Thrones, on Blessed Black Wings)

Previous Releases:

“The Art of Self-Defense” 2000

“Surrounded By Thieves” 2002

“Blessed Black Wings” 2005

“Live from the Relapse Contamination Festival” 2005

“Death Is This Communion” 2007

“Snakes For The Divine” 2010

“De Vermis Mysteriis” 2012

“Spitting Fire Live Volume I” 2013

“Spitting Fire Live Volume II” 2013

“Luminiferous” 2015

 

 

Review:

Way back in 1998, Matt Pike was deep in the band SLEEP as guitarist and when the other guitarist quit, Matt began inviting people to come to his garage to jam.  This led to Matt deciding to work in a power-trio again.  Within 6 months, the jams led to the formation of HIGH ON FIRE, allowing Matt to keep his tone similar while his playing style was becoming faster and more aggressive in delivery and structure and taking over vocals and writing the bulk of the new material.

As of 2007, the current and most prolific line-up solidified into the unit that is getting set to take the new release to the world. Having toured endlessly with a wide variety of acts from GOATWHORE to CONVERGE, including a stint on MEGADETH’s “Gigatour”.

Band Pic

With the release of “Electric Messiah” Pike & Co. are not trying to re-invent the wheel; FAR from it. Nine tracks and 59 minutes later, HoF have delivered what can only be described as the quintessential definition of what High on Fire has come to demonstrate;  aggressive precision seasoned perfectly with Matt’s lyrical creations.  This fits seamlessly into his 6-string myriads of hyper-aggro masterpieces. Tracks like ‘Spewn From The Earth’, ‘The Pallad Mask’ and ‘Freebooter’ show that the might is still intact and the longer compositions are still present as ‘Steps Of The Ziggeraut/House Of Enlil’ and ‘Sanctioned Annihilation’ show clocking in at over 9 minutes plus. ALL factors that encompass High on Fire are present and even the title track belies that they are even more cohesive and just flat-out IN YOUR FACE than ever before, using power-chords, bombastic bass tones and drum-attacks that ring in sheer might.

Matt Pike

The standout on this record, for ME, is the closer ‘Drowning Dog’.  I hear the culmination of the best of each previous release, all winding into this diatribe that allows Matt to give it all and offers what can only be HoF at it’s absolute top-notch performances.

If you don’t have it yet, GET IT asap. If there is any in your circle that may not yet be aware of what High on Fire entails, force-feed them until they know, support these guys live if you get the chance and above all else, KEEP IT LOUD!!

High on Fire Tour Dates

Tour Dates


Ethereal Riffian start Crowdfunding Campaign for 3rd Full Length…

Crowdfunding Campaign for Ethereal Riffian’s 3rd LP

 

One of our favorite bands here at Taste Nation, Spiritualized rockers from Ukraine, Ethereal Riffian are launching a crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo to support their 3rd full-length album which they plan to release next year and we couldn’t be happier!!

With all Ethereal Riffian’s previous releases their intention was to make people realize their true potential via different spiritual traditions, but with the third album we want to bring the wisdom from the Himalayan Caves to the streets of big cities and radio stations. Eight years since the inception of the band, we have refined our musical language to be able to produce the songs which talk directly to the Spirit and now we’re finally ready to record the album which will shake you to the core.

We’ve been creating psychedelic rock music with a message since 2010 and are now ready to record our 3rd full-length album. We have started working on the new album in the beginning of 2016 and it took us a little more than two and a half years to write 10 new songs full of energy and purpose.

Collage

“Since 2010, we have produced 6 releases and never before in our history we have asked our fans to contribute,” comments Val Kornev, frontman of the band. “This situation is very different, because we have many ambitious plans for this album and we’re looking forward to your contribution. Musically it’s a much more straightforward work compared to our previous efforts and ideologically, it can be described as bold as Rage Against the Machine meets the Dalai Lama.

You can follow the process of album’s recording via Ethereal Riffian’s YouTube channel.

Contribute to the crowdfunding campaign: https://igg.me/at/erthird

Follow Ethereal Riffian on social media:

 


Max Tovstyi “Mesmerize” Album Review + Stream…

MAX TOVSTYI

Mesmerize – Vinyl // CD // DD

Clostridium Records – released May 21, 2018

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

 

Location: 
Kyiv, Ukraine

Other Projects:
The Heavy Crawls
Lucifer Rising
Turnaround
The Red Sterns

 

 

Review:
While most of us have taken the summer to live life, the way we do, soaking up all of the joys life offers us while taking a break from the ‘every-day’ as it were. Max Tovstyi is the exception to the rule here. Having completed another tour with The Heavy Crawls and their rotating cast of members, he completed his Broken Bricks Studios project, including getting the right building and equipment, and doing most of the work himself. During all of this he had going on, Max was able to complete a series of 12 songs that tend towards a more blues-feel record, complete with faster tempo tracks interwoven with the slower, and Max does it ALL on this album. Previously, he seemed to concentrate on the space-rock type of structure and letting his guitar work speak for itself while sitting at the helm of his creative juggernaut, steering into the world.  This time, it is just him, no pretense, no other minds involved so we get PURE Max, claiming responsibility for every nuance and note.

I had been contacted directly by Max to review this solo-outing, the day before it’s release and upon initial listening, I was floored with the simple purity of each track, surprised with the dozen compositions that sound very little like anything I had heard before from…

Pro Shot

From the power chord intro of ‘Rising Sun’ through to the phased-out beginning of bonus track ‘So Unfamiliar’ and it’s slow-cascading tempo, there is just so much to ingest here. While ‘Wait Till Tomorrow’ comes out of the gate relatively quick, he slows to a mid-tempo pace that allows him to flex his muscle, including harmonizing alongside himself in the chorus and you can hear some multi-layered soloing as it permeates the air around. ‘Interstellar Girl opens with a jazzy drumline that leads right into some funky 70’s sounding keyboards that follow the pumped-up bass line and is jaunty enough to keep your head moving along, and ‘Feel Like Dying Now’ keeps that feel but is a diatribe in sadness as Max describes what took him there, all frosted in some of his most-personal soloing he has done yet.

‘From The Blues To The Funk’ sounds like something lifted directly out of Mississippi mud and by the time you have reached the three minute mark, the funk has overtaken the bass and the ‘funk’ is all over the place, replete with some sassy horn work for good measure. ‘Yesterday’s Blues’ is more traditional in arrangement and delivery but still containing his heart on his sleeve, much like the token ‘heartstrings-puller’ delivery of ‘You Have To Make Up Your Mind’ that includes some female back-up vocals to compliment the chorus here.

‘Show Me The Way’ maintains this feel and does not disappoint while tracks like ‘World Of Sin’ give you something to chew-on with the lush mix that manages to convey a little of the previously mentioned space-rock’ feel and still feeling heavy as fuck, where ‘You Know That I Know’ is one of the faster tracks offered and keeps it moving as much as any other from this album. ‘Show Me The Way’ sums up the rest of the record in keeping with that standard 3/4 time sig that is so prevalent with the blues overall.

Painting_Album Cover

The one that stands out and away from the others on this in I didn’t just want, I NEEDED to listen to this one over and over, that being the title track ‘Mesmerize’ with what can only be described as fuzzed-out, punch you in your chest hard rock brought perfectly into this century by Max’ own hand. The structure/arrangement/delivery is flawless and FOR ME, is the best I have heard from Max to this point.

Having watched this all develop has been fascinating and I can only hope for more, including a tour to the USA. Get it if you haven’t already, share it with ALL that surround you and when all else fails, keep it LOUD!!


Ancestors “Suspended In Reflections” Review + Stream..

Ancestors

Suspended in Reflections – Vinyl // CD // DD

Pelagic Records – released August 24, 2018

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Justin Maranga
Jason Watkins
Daniel Pouliot

Tracklist:
Gone
Through a Window
Lying in the Grass
Into the Fall
Release
The Warm Glow

 

 

Review:

This new Ancestors album is very interesting, somewhat complex and heavily layered. It rides the line between Post-Metal and Progressive Heavy Rock (And to clarify when I mean Heavy Rock, I mean the style of vocal. The album is very relaxing without being monotone or boring); it is Progressive, but also their more “Mellow” release aside from 2011’s “Invisible White”. This is the band’s fifth album. The band started as a 3 piece, in 2006, expanded to 4 and eventually 5, now they are a 3 piece once again.

Ancestors is good name for the band because throughout the band’s career they have shown many influences of bands in the past and the music has constantly changed and evolving, showcasing the breadth & talent of this Los Angeles based outfit. In the relatively short time they have been a band, they have had a lot of influences in their music and turmoil in their personal lives.

I see why they released the last track first. The beginning is like the sound of the previous albums, specifically “Bounty of Age” from 2009 Release “Of Sound Mind”, and by the end it turns into the new sound of this album. The band reigns supreme at making a vast array of soundscapes and have been doing it since their first release; a 7 inch split with Sweden’s Bluesy Rocker Graveyard.

Band Shot

“Gone” Starts this new album off heavy but becomes more and more atmospheric as the song progresses.

“Through a Window” is a track that is most aligned with a “true” or more normal post-metal sound.

“Lying in the Grass” has moments where it almost sounds like Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd and/or the Celestial Voices segment of A Saucerful of Secrets.

“Into the Fall” has a very 80s movie soundtrack and early 80s Tangerine Dream vibes.

“Release” – Is a kind of release but not really this track brings back the heavier elements of the bands sound and vocals.

“The Warm Glow” – A little over halfway through the last song it starts to slow down again the easy off of the journey that the album has been

In Conclusion:

This has been said about the band a few times but this album shows how they have matured as musicians veering away from the “stoner rockers” moniker to a forward thinking, ever-evolving juggernaut.

The album feels like it is in three parts because the first few tracks flawlessly run together then there’s a heavy track and then there is a little bit of a relaxation point and then there is another heavy track that is the album… and it is a good journey.

I simultaneously wish there were no vocals and also more vocals at the same time. I would kind of like it if they were to release a double album; disc one being just the instrumentals and disc two being all the songs with vocals.

While this album is most similar to 2012’s “In Dreams and Time” there are some new elements as well and is definitely worth buying and listening to.  “Suspended in Reflections” is an absolute year end contender for best album of 2018.  

Links:

https://ancestorsla.bandcamp.com/album/suspended-in-reflections

http://ancestorsmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ancestorsband/

 

 


Red Swamp “Desert Drive” Album Review + Stream…

Red Swamp

Desertdrive – Released April 20, 2018

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

“Rollin’ Balls”

Line Up:
Gergely (Greg) Kovács (vocals)
Zoltán Bereczki (guitar, vocals)
András Makay (guitar)
Márton Veress  (drums)
Sándor Szabó (bass)

Tracklist:
Waste
Crossed
Desertdrive
The Emptiest
Leech
Castaways
Rediscover
Queen of The Dirt

 

 

Review:
Hello once again my fellow tasters. Here at Taste Nation LLC – A Music Consortium we strive to bring fans and musicians of all genres together. To do that we scour the internet and our local music scenes for music submissions by fans and bands from around the world. One of our most recent submissions comes from a band called Red Swamp.

After downloading the band’s 2nd album Desertdrive and adjusting the sound settings to rock, I got an earful of ‘Hell Yeah!’ Wanting to know more about the band I went to their Facebook page were I learned the band hails from Hungary’s capitol city Budapest and the names of the members and little else. I could have just went with that and this review would just be a short blurb about some Hungarian metal band but the music sounded to good to let my review be a blurb. So I decided to contact them and ask them a bit about their band as I am not at all familiar with the Eastern European metal scene.

Formed in 2015 by its 3 founding members vocalist Gergely (Greg)  Kovács, guitarist // vocalist Zoltán Bereczki, and bassist Sándor Szabó, Red Swamp seemingly hit the ground running when they entered the music scene. With little more than a 3 song EP that they circulated throughout the stoner/sludge/doom music blogs and pages, they earned rave reviews. It was these earlier releases that lead to Red Swamp being 1 of 500 applicants in 5 general categories, accepted into the Talentometer (one of Hungary’s biggest musical talent competitions cultivated by the A38 Ship concert venue) and winning 1st place. With their prizes, Red Swamp hit the open road Headlining their own “Support the Habit” tour and opening for local and international bands where they played sold out shows with Karma to Burn, Clutch, and Sons of Morpheus. They have also played Hungary’s Rockmarathon twice and EFOTT where they got the audience so nuts they turned the joint into a huge mud hole. All of which resulted in the release of their debut album Tiszassippi on September 21st 2016.

After touring the Hell out of their album Tiszassippi in Hungary and Austria, Red Swamp sought to keep the momentum and went right back into song writing mode for their Sophomore album Desertdrive and recruited  Márton Veress (formerly of Pokolgép Hungary’s biggest metal band  and ex member of Chris Amott’s Armageddon, and now member of Aelonia, which is Jake Pitt of the Black Veil Brides project.) Whew!!…Now got all that out of the way I can tell you what this means to the band and their latest offering. Unlike Tiszassippi which created the basis around Red Swamp, Márton Veress’ skill has allowed the band to polish and refine its overall sound.

Band Pic

Tiszassippi was mastered by maestro Jens Borgen of Fascination Studios who is best known for his work with At The Gates, Soilwork, and Arch Enemy. Tiszassippi is the result of Red Swamps evolution as a band in the 1st year in which they developed their sound which swift current beneath a sludgy surface resulting in something that sounds akin to heavy southern rock. Thus the album title that combines the names of Hungary’s and the United State’s Mississippi rivers.

When I first heard Red Swamp I was in a bit of a conundrum. I found myself asking How do a bunch of musicians from Hungary  sound so Southern Fried?  Of course after a bit of thought I recalled the British Blues Rock scene of the late 60’s and 70’s and came upon my answer. Influenced by many different bands, Red Swamp seems to have taken a sort of VOLBEAT type of approach to Desertdrive by concentrating on catchier hooks and clear vocals backed up by harsh vocals rather than slam the listener with ten tons of sludge. While the band may attribute quite a bit of this to their new drummer I believe the addition of his skill and presence to the line-up is a huge confidence booster because it allows them to get the exact sound they want.

All in all I’d say Red Swamp did one Hell of a job. From getting their album recorded under Hungary’s acclaimed Hunnia Records, to getting the support of Hungary’s National Cultural Foundation, and the sponsorship of the Hanfoglaló music program that they used to record Desertdrive. Red Swamp’s own guitarist Zoli Bereczki mixed and mastered the album. I love all of the 8 songs on this album but, my favorite is ‘Waste’ and its music video which is a damn good introduction to the band for us Yanks here in America. All one has to do is watch it to see why its climbing the rock video charts in Hungary.

Among my other favorites are the albums title track ‘Desertdrive’ which feels sort of like a tip of the hat to VOLBEAT with Márton Veress’s bouncy drums Greg’s Anthem vocal hook “You had every piece of me except the one” backed up by Zoli’s leads and harsh vocals. While Red Swamp calls itself stoner/sludge; track ‘Castaways’ treats the listener to some thrashing guitar breakdown combined with  Sándor Szabó’s rolling bass. This is an album that is definitely worth getting on CD or vinyl and a band I would love to see come to the States.  Show Red Swamp your love and support! If you are an American Band Promoter or somebody that can make this happen, drop them a line and tell them you were sent by The Ancient One!


Boss Keloid “Melted on the Inch” Review + Stream…

Boss Keloid

Melted on the Inch – CD // DD // Vinyl

Holy Roar Records / Black Bow Records – released April 27, 2018

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Paul Swarbrick | Guitar
Alex Hurst | Vocals and Guitar
Ste Arands | Drums and Percussion
Matthew Milne | Keyboards
Liam Pendlebury-Green | Bass

Tracklist:
Chronosiam        07:14
Tarku Shavel       07:14
Peykruve              07:02
Jromalih              07:51
Lokannok            05:24
Griffonbrass       05:59

 

 

Review:

Boss Keloid are a Progressive/Groove Metal band from Wigan, UK and have been active since 2010. For me this release held a lot of mystery when I first received it. Looking at the cover I was not expecting what I got. I thought the album was going to be either an Art Rock or a Power Pop record. (and boy was I in for a shock when I started listening to the album.)

As with most prog bands, tempo is played with and changes a bunch. The first track is a great example of that. The band likes to play with different genres as well. A good chunk of the album is Metal while hints and parts of other’s types of music are overlaid and played in between parts of the songs.

The titles to these songs are in some fantasy like language and I cannot seem to find a translation or where they came from.

The vocalist has a pretty good range, if I wasn’t paying as much attention I would think there were at least two singers. At a few moments he reminds me of David from Disturbed, but with more range. The band hold their own as a unit; no one seems to be trying to outdo the other.

Live Band Shot 2

Three of the tracks are over 7 minutes long and the others are both 5 minutes long, with and while listening I never got bored or tired. The band go all over the musical board and, even though it sometimes gets a little messy (in terms of meshing genres, like in the beginning of Tarku Shavel) it never sounds bad.

Overarching album review:

Here is where I’d break down each track and give a brief synopsis of each. For this album I feel it will get redundant after the second track; so instead I will give a highlights version.

Boss Keloid sound great and, for the most part, blend elements of rock, world, progressive, and metal together really well. The lyrics are interesting and the delivery is executed good as well. The playing by the band never seems to be sloppy. Every song seems to be a part of one bigger song or jam session(s). Alternatively the album sounds like it is one big song. So no song in particular sticks out to me. That is not a bad thing or a dig at the band. This album sounds great and is a solid album.

If you enjoy more soundscape-y albums with progressive music, heavy rock and well written lyrics you should check out Boss Keloid and “Melted on the Inch”!   Top Year End Contender!

Band Logo

 

 


Sergeant Thunderhoof “Terra Solus” Album Review + Stream + Video…

Sergeant Thunderhoof

Terra Solus – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Released May 12, 2018

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Tracklist:
Another Plane (8:35)
Stellar Gate Drive (5:41)
The Tree and the Serpent (6:01)
B Oscillation (6:59)
Diesel Breath (7:35)
Priestess of Misery (6:24)
Half a Man (4:07)
Om Shaantih (6:00)

 

 

Review:

Sergeant Thunderhoof is a group of unsung metal heroes from England specializing in stoner metal.  In May of 2018 following a successful kickstarter campaign, Sergeant Thunderhoof have graced us with their third full-length album Terra Solus and I am happy to say that it does not disappoint.

Stylistically, Terra Solus is about what would be expected of them, boasting a heavy yet melodic variety of stoner metal tinged with a healthy dosage of psychedelia. The album begins with tribal drums and a huge guitar riff in “Another Plane”. Eventually, the vocals enter, showing a marked improvement over their previous album, Ride of the Hoof. On Terra Solus, the melodic vocals of Dan Flitcroft are clearer, crisper, and more confident, showing great maturation of their band.

Band Pic

The production is also much cleaner, resulting in a great sound quality. Each instrument is heard with crystal clarity throughout the whole album and it is a joy to listen to. In addition, Terra Solus is sequenced fantastically- it’s almost as though the album has a complete story arc.

The album also has insane solos and riffs to spare. Guitarist Mark Sayer is really playing his instrument for all it’s worth. There are a ton of great guitar parts straight out of the gate, and the band’s rhythm section gives every song on the album a fantastic groundwork.

All in all, Terra Solus is an absolute killer of an album from beginning to end. It has groove and attitude to spare, and it’s a crime that three albums in Sergeant Thunderhoof still hasn’t gained a foothold. I highly recommend that you check out this album and Sergeant Thunderhoof’s entire backlog if you’re interested in Stoner Metal. Now if only there was a time machine in order to go back and “back” the Kickstarter project…


JIRM “Surge Ex Monumentis” Album Review + Stream + Videos…

JIRM

Surge Ex Monumentis – Double Vinyl // CD // DD

Small Stone Recordings – released March 16, 2018 

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

Formed:
2004

Location:
Stockholm, Sweden

Lineup:
Karl Apelmo: vocals, guitars
Micke Pettersson: guitars
Viktor Källgren: Bass
Henke Persson: drums, percussions
Additional musician: Daniel Hägglund: organs

Previous Releases:
Elefanta (2009)
Bloom (2011)
Spirit Knife (2014)

 

 

Review:

First coming together in 2004 under the name of Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, this quartet have spent many days and nights sharpening their skill-sets, both as a collective and individually through endless gigs and three solid releases that have kept their name on the lips of the ever-widening fanbase.  They have been described previously as quote, “a driving mindmeld between psychedelia, classic metal, heavy rock, and individualized realms beyond” enquote. With this fourth release, they have shortened the moniker to an abbreviation of the  previous name to the shorter and more accessible JIRM and results contained in this 7-track opus will leave jaws dropped and eyes wide.

Already known as a progressive force, dripping in the sweat of endless striving for those defining musical moments that set them apart from their peers, these four have taken that and have indeed redefined who they are and what they do as a unit and the result is this juggernaut that clocks in at just over an hour.

Recorded in their hometown of Stockholm, the record was mixed in Gothenburg, Sweden and then mastered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the end result shows that JIRM remains stronger than ever and the proof is ‘in the pudding’ as it were with the sheer MIGHT that exudes from each song here. From the opening rolling chords of “Candle Eyes” that sets the pace before that high-scream hits hard at the 1-minute mark and has the hallmark tones of psychedelia melded into that hard rock/metal hybrid and is unrelenting in the delivery that grabs you by the arm and pulls you along to end solos that fade slowly into the opening organ sounds of “Dig”.

This track is fraught with that ‘space-rock’ feel, from the back and forth vocal fade in that sounds almost operatic in undertone. Being the longest of the seven songs contained, it is three minutes until we are given a bass line that gets your pulse matching the cadence and when the double guitar assault comes in, it is just as thick and churning as you could ask for. By the time the crescendos are at full gallop, there is no turning back and why would you want to go back anyway, right?? At the half-mark we are granted that clear voice again, soaring as high as you can possibly see and it seems almost too short as you take in the tale delivered with enough time-shifts and slight pauses to make the atmosphere around you shimmer as you surrender to every measure to the almost ghostly-solo that ends this time.

“Isle Of Solitude” fades in, even slower than it’s predecessor and at 11:26, it is the next-longest of the offerings and the name of the track tells the tale you will experience with this softer/slower parade that cascades by, showing the versatility of these guys in a manner most may not have expected, where “Nature Of The Damned” lets JIRM get even more complex in the weaving of bass, guitars, perfect cadences and that vocal that takes absolute control of you as it continues to reach even higher highs. “Giza” is another slower, softer track that does not fail to satisfy in its plush arrangement and is the perfect bookmark to take you into closer “Tombs Arise” that is as frantic and powerful as the opener and seems the absolute summation of the creature that stands before us in the guise of JIRM.

The one that really stood out for me here would have to be “The Cultist”. In MY opinion, this is the ultimate melding of the prowess of each musician here, comes at you out of the gate with a steady running tempo and power chord progressions to match, all served with that voice that truly IS the icing on the cake of this slab of wax that is guaranteed to satiate even the most fervent fan of progressive compositions.

I would have to put it out there that this WILL be one of the ‘must-have’ records released in 2018 and I encourage you to buy it and share it with all in your realm, support them live as they truly seem to never stop gigging, and spread the word about JIRM so nobody misses this juggernaut… and most importantly, keep it LOUD!!

Photograph by Sophia Hogman Myrbacka

Band Pic_Sophia Hogman Myrbacka