German Riffonauts BLACK SPACE RIDERS will release new EP Amoretum Vol. 1 on January 26, 2018.The LP can be pre-ordered on all digital platforms, including Bandcamp, as well as at www.blackspaceriders.com/shop
The album flows from song to song as if from a single cast. The listener wonders after 45 minutes whether everything is really already over, and wants to go back to the beginning again immediately.
But of course everything is not over after 45 minutes in the world of BLACK SPACE RIDERS. The band also announces a second chapter for 2018 … Amoretum Vol. 2 is waiting for us, while we are looking forward to Amoretum Vol 1.
Track List: Lovely Lovelie
Another Sort of Homecoming
Soul Shelter (Inside of Me)
Come and Follow
Friends Are Falling
Fire! Fire! (Death of a Giant)
BLACK SPACE RIDERS are:
JE: Lead Vocals, Guitars, Organ, Piano, Electronics
SEB: Lead vocals, Keyboards, Electronics
C.RIP: Drums, Percussion, Didgeridoo
SAQ: Bass Guitar
MEI: Bass Guitar
The French psychedelic sonicnauts in Mars Red Sky will release a very limited edition 12″ EP titled ‘Myramyd‘ on June 17th. This brand new track was recorded and mixed live on analog tape at La Nef venue in Angoulême, France. Limited to 500 copies, 200 of them will be numbered and come as a special “Hellfest Edition” bundle, including a unique silkscreen created by French design teamArrache Toi Un Oeil, a totebag and other goodies.
The artwork and layout for ‘Myramyd‘ were designed by Carlos Olmo. Pre-orders for this must-have collectible are open now at this location.
One of the best rising acts within the underground metal scene is the Des Moines, Iowa-based Green Death. The crossover thrash band’s new EP, Pure Torture, was released yesterday (June 2nd) through longtime Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s label,EMP Label Group. To celebrate, the band is streaming the EP’s closing track “Sickle & Scythe”.
Vocalist Sol Bates commented on why this particular song was selected to share with fans saying: “‘Sickle & Scythe’ is the darkest song we have written to date. Lyrically it deals with blind faith, cult practices and death. The song is also meant to take the listener on a journey of our musical direction from our past albums to the next full-length album: We start out with more of a thrash style, then the middle/chorus gets into more death metal, ending with more of doom feel. The upcoming full-length will explore more of that doom side of our sound.”
Clayton Cagle, guitarist of Bay Area thrash group Hatchet, also contributes a guest solo to “Sickle And Scythe”.
You can purchase Green Death‘s ‘Pure Torture‘ right now at this location. (Digital platform-based releases have been delayed until June 9th).
– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
Pure Torture EP tracklist
2. Pure Torture (f/ David Ellefson)
3. The Reaper
4. Sickle & Scythe
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 Sixties ‘Gods 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.
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.
FOTOCRIME Always Hell – Vinyl 7″//DD Self Release – Released May 12, 2017 Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
Once upon a time there was a man named Ryan Patterson from Louisville, Kentucky that played in a sludge-ish, albeit punk-infused, post-hardcore band named Coliseum. As an integral component of Coliseum, he participated in the release of five studio albums and numerous EPs and Splits with the band. In 2015, that project would release their final studio record, the critically acclaimed Anxiety’s Kiss, and from there eventually disband. In the months and eventual years since then, Ryan would adopt a pseudonym, R. Pattern, and undergo an intriguing musical metamorphosis.
In more recent times, Pattern has resurfaced with a new musical endeavor named Fotocrime, one where he alone has been the sole member thus far. The story goes that he holed himself up within a home studio and went to work on giving Fotocrime its very own aural identity. Now be forewarned, if you are seeking sonic output similar to that of this man’s previous project then you may as well turn around and leave as quietly as you came in. I bequeath that advice to you based upon the reality that Fotocrime is nothing like Coliseum in any way of substance or similitude. Inspired by more minimalist musings and armed with a seemingly stripped down arsenal of riffs, synths, and drum machines, Fotocrime emanates a fatalistic fever of darkly gothic music. It’s a staunchly haunting, musical menagerie of stark, shadowy overtones and post-apocalyptic new wave.
Captured in conjunction with longtime collaborator and producer J. Robbins at Robbins’ Magpie Cage Studio, Fotocrime‘s 3-song EP debut, ‘Always Hell‘, was just released on May 12th. It contains the ‘Always Hell’ title track (and official video below) along with ‘Plate Glass Eyes‘ and ‘Tectonic Shift‘, a trio of hellishly deep cloak and dagger cuts. Spellbinding and all-consuming, the tracks are a refreshing lungful of enthralling, atmospheric-laden opposition to the stagnant norm of moden music. If it is different you seek, that you want and ultimately must have, then Fotocrime has come to deliver you from the mundane sameness that assaults us daily.
Alongside R. Pattern in the live version of Fotocrime are Shelley Anderson andNick Thieneman. The trio have a series of live performances scheduled to begin in late June and they are listed below.
– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
FOTOCRIME On Tour:
Jun. 27 — Chicago, IL @ Gman Tavern
Jun. 29 — Toronto, ON @ Baby G
Jun. 30 — Ottawa, ON @ Pressed
Jul. 1 — Montreal, QC @ Turbohaus
Jul. 2 — Boston, MA @ O’Briens Pub
Jul. 3 — Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Jul. 6 — Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle
Jul. 8 — Columbus, OH @ Café Bourbon Street
MERCHANT Beneath – CD//DD Black Bow Records – Released May 12, 2017 Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
Black Bow Records is the label started by Conan’s Jon Paul Davis and it just released the 2-song ‘Beneath‘ from Australia’s Merchantlast Friday, May 12th. It was just little over a year ago that Merchant came crashing on to the heavy music scene with their four-song debut, Suzerain. Now, vocalist Mirgy, guitarist Ben, bassist/vox Wilson and drummer Nick are back with another brutish boulder of harrowing heaviness.
The slowly unfolding first moments of ‘Guile As A Vice‘ are somewhat sedate as a fuzzy riff reverberates and plodding drums render periodic, perfectly timed strikes. Soon a pattern begins to form and from that pattern, a rhythmic roadmap comes into sight..and sound. Equally melodic and epic, things build and circulate, almost reaching a drone like point before gravelly vocals finely enter the mix. Harshly acidic, they herald a tale told from what sounds like pure vocal chord shredding severity amid semi-psyche infused atmospherics of utter dread. At over fourteen and a half minutes running time, there is a lot of transcendental sludge to be explored here for sure.
Second cut ‘Succumbing‘ is instantly more uptempo yet no less savagely brutal and battering. Taking a cue from peers like Neurosis and Yob, the track’s flurry of circulatory rhythmic pulses pull you under. The vocals undergo a turn toward a much more sinister state than the previous track while the hellish audio bog beats you into submission. Another long-player, the song maintains a constant, fevered inferno of activity on varied levels and refuses to let up for the most part. A bit of haziness seeps forth at one point as things begin to pull back in intensity, gradually getting a bit more and more minimalist. That throttling down continues and soon gives way to a cacophony of feedback and dissonance before relinquishing its hold upon your throat.
What strides Merchant has made since their critically acclaimed release last year are more than evident on the new EP, ‘Beneath‘. The sludgier vibes are prevalent and punishing of course with one of the most noticeable differences here is the change in the vocals. I am sure this newly released beatdown of blackened bereavement shall leave no listener unscathed. You can now stream it for yourself via the Soundcloud embed below if you dare.
FORBIDDEN NOISE Distances EP – Digital Download/Stream Self-Released Apil 11th, 2017 Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
Metal…the forbidden noise. Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Well that is quite fitting then because we are here to spotlight the unquestionable metal presence that is Szeged, Hungary’s Forbidden Noise. The band just recently issued their five-song (and an intro) ‘Distances‘ EP and the PR for it states that it is: “Five songs about the physical, mental and emotional distances within and between people.” Now, while it may be all of that and more, it is also something else…Metal. Part death metal, part power-violence, part metalcore, part Post-Hardcore and all of it is downtuned D-Beat and damaging.
After the brief intro piece of ‘Foghorn‘ sets the stage, things explode with the bruising rhythmic pulses of ‘Crowing‘. Driving pulsations pump like pistons while constant guitar manipulations are presented, all while dizzying drum work is delivered too. A multitude of vocal styles alternate back and forth from guttural bellows to piercing shriek-styled ones. Thrashing cuts like ‘From Under The Grindstone‘ (official video below), ‘Mass Production Line Of Fear‘ and ‘Release‘ send you reeling one after another. The music remains energetic and intense at all times and once again I must draw attention to the fact that the diversified vocal approach keeps things interesting. If you need a comparison, think Lamb Of God-meets-a-much-heavier-Between The Buried And Me.
My personal favorite track is ‘Amit ott találsz‘ and while I have no inkling what that means or translates to, I do know that it is a fantastic song. Melding all of the heaviness of the music with a bit more melodic elements and more importantly, abundant measures of progressive nuances. That experimentation infects all the components here as schizophrenic-like vocals unfurl one after another and the melodic, exploratory tint of the music grows more epic. The song, and Forbidden Noise‘s ‘Distances‘ EP itself must be heard to be fully appreciated and you have the ability to do so below via the Bandcamp embed.
WELLS VALLEY The Orphic EP – DD//Vinyl Chaosphere Recordings/Raging Planet/Bleak Recordings Released – April 26th, 2017 Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
Hmmm…where does one even begin to describe the aural output of Lisbon, Portugal’s Wells Valley? Take prevalent components of psychedelia, sludge, atmospheric doom, progressive Post-Rock and say, experimental black metal, and you will begin to glimpse what’s going on here. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Filipe Correia, bassist Pedro Lopes and drummer Mau, aka Wells Valley, have just released their 3-song EP ‘The Orphic‘. On the EP the guys provide two powerful originals along with an equally exertive cover for some truly avant-garde sonicdelia.
The pair of originals, ‘Annunciation‘ and ‘Ophanim‘, are deep descents into the darkest recesses of atmosphoria. The first is a spiraling, at times hypnotic twisting of near trance-inducing rhythms and frenetic drumming. Intensities build and then dissipate amid a seeming hive of periodically buzzing guitars, all while acidic, harsh vocals dance upon the music beneath them. Second track, ‘Ophanim‘, begins with some piercing feedback before exploding into a flurry of activity. Guttural vocals bellow and then give way to dizzying deluges of tribal-like drumming before everything goes all heady and lysergic. Even that eventually yields to some potent, crushing aggro-doom music and post-hardcore type vocals.
The first two songs cannot prepare you for what lies ahead with track three, a mind-melting adaptation of Pink Floyd’s ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun‘. Transcendental verses unfurl with sedately calm, somewhat minimalist vibes but ’tis merely the calm before the storm. The choruses erupt with barrages of musical abrasiveness and totally unhinged vocals, along with some fiery guitar work. By the time the song begins to wind down you feel the despair grip your very soul, keeping you strapped in place and bound for the imminent destruction at the core of the solar inferno ahead.
Out of the blue came news that Kittie drummer Mercedes Lander was involved in a new project last year, The White Swan. She sings and plays guitar fronting the atmospheric doom band alongside bassist Kira Longeuay and guitarist Shane Jeffers. Their self-titled EP debut, Anubis, was immensely well-received last year and garnered large amounts of positive critiques, from myself included. Now, The White Swan has just checked in with this new update:
“The White Swan’s new EP and last year’s critically acclaimed Anubis EP together on one limited edition 12″ record. Available on purple wax, it’s dirty sludge synth rock with knobs turned to 11. This is a pre-order, the album will ship mid to late July. Includes digital pre-order of The White. The moment the album is released you’ll get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.”
Digital album releases June 9th. Item ships out on or around July 15th. Limited edition of 300 and you can pre-order/purchase here.
You can check out the new track, ‘North Carolina‘, below along with the astounding Anubis EP as well.