Earth Drive “Stellar Drone” Album Review + Stream…

Earth Drive

Stellar Drone – CD // DD

Raging Planet – released June 10, 2017 (DD) & October 20, 2017 (CD)

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

 

Lineup:
Hermano Marques – Vocals and guitar
Luis Silva – Bass
Luis Eustáquio – Drums
Sara Antunes – Vocals

 

Previous Releases:
2014 Known by the Ancients
2015 Planet Mantra

 

Tracklist:
Lactomeda 01:49
Known by the Ancients 07:01
Dead Blood for the Royal Weather 07:14
Two Temple Place 09:36
Stellar Drone 10:59
Are we Drowning in Digits 06:13
Magical Train 05:07

 

 

Review:
The band have their album described as an “Addictive cosmic journey, one entrancing hybrid embracing heavy psych riffs and sweet vocal harmonies.” The album does have those elements of that. When Hermano is singing it sounds like Jane’s Addiction but heavier and more distortion on the voice. The parts when Sara takes over it sounds like either Belly or Hole. When they sing together it sounds almost new, but still has those influences. So in shorter terms; they gave their album a good description.

Track-by-Track:

Lactomeda – Is a Spanish term for the Milky Way Collision with Andromeda. The cover even seems to be depicting it. The song is a collision of Noise Rock and Space Rock. It is almost sludgy for a noise song but in pace but it is also fast for a space song. It is a good intro for what the rest of the album holds.

Known by the Ancients – Here is where the Jane’s Addiction comes in (Especially in the 3 minute area). This song is more of noise than of space origin. This is a heavy rock song, Hermano comes in at the last two minutes and makes the song seem even heavier.

Dead Blood for the Royal Weather – This is one of the more radio friendly songs, even though it is eight minutes. It plays it safe and doesn’t do anything too crazy. It stays on the cusp of being space and noise.

Two Temple Place – This is the first true Space Rock sounding sounds and as it moves along it introduces some of the harmonies the description on bandcamp mentions. It is a slow song with slow vocals with stretched out chords with reverb and drum fill. That is until the 3 minute mark; more drums and distortion to the guitar is added and everything gets slightly faster. At around the four minute mark the tempo changes again and is like Known by the Ancients.

Stellar Drone (Favorite track) – This track is more spacey than the previous track but it is also faster and more distorted and changes tempo a few more times.

Are we Drowning in Digits – This song is almost like a continuation of Two Temple Place. It sounds very similar but has more “Normal” Rock influences.

Magical Train – This is the most radio friendly track and could have been released as a single to promote the album. It is also the song that reminds my the most of Hole (the first album.) Sara really goes in on this track and gives a great performance. It is like the previous track but stays on the heavy rock side of music.

Pro Band Pic

Review (Continued):
Musically, Earth Drive are bringing back the 90’s Noise Rock and helping to bring back Space Rock (in the more expansive tracks). During the mostly instrumental parts it sounds almost like a soundtrack to a late 80’s sci-fi movie. In some ways it sounds like it is two separate ideas for an album that were pieced together but it is done well so it doesn’t sound too different. To paraphrase the TV Series “Stranger Things” – ‘The Upside Down'”.

This is a very easy first listen and is also very accessible because the stretches of odyssey are in between more pop/rock radio-ish oriented tracks. If you have any interest in Space Rock or a modern take on it with influences with 90’s Noise Rock, you should take a listen.

 There are two choices either from the Raging Planet (For a physical and/or digital) Bandcamp HERE or the band’s HERE !!! (Where you can get the full digital discography)

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/earthdrivesound/about/?ref=page_internal

Album Promo


Bell Witch “Mirror Reaper” Album Review + Stream…

Bell Witch

Mirror Reaper – Double CD // DD

Profound Lore Records – released October 20, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Hello everyone this is  The Ancient One and I want to tell you about a new album I came across just recently called Mirror Reaper by the Seattle based duo BELL WITCH. Founded in 2010 by Drummer/Vocalist Adrian Guerra and Bassist/Vocalist Dylan Desmond, BELL WITCH nearly came to an end. Unable to continue due to his struggle with alcohol and meet  contractual obligations, Dylan Desmond had to make the heartbreaking decision to release founding member Adrian Guerra and replace him with Jesse Shreibman, of the grind-core band Transient.  The two of them had been trying to keep the duo together in its original incarnation but were unable to do so because of Guerra‘s increasing addiction.  Alcoholism is motherfucker of a disease, with a mind of its own. On May 17, 2016, Adrian Guerra passed away in his sleep from heart failure while Mirror Reaper was being recorded.

For those unfamiliar with Bell Witch, the Duo occupies a special place in the metal scene as they rely on nothing more than bass, drums, and vocals to create their haunting funeral doom sound. The best way I am able to describe what they do is to imagine having nothing but black paint and a goal of painting a picture leaving no part of the canvas untouched by the paint forcing the artist to rely on texture to create the negative and positive spaces that make up an image. While many musicians can do this with sound to a point, BELL WITCH’s Dylan Desmond and  Jesse Shreibman have taken it to the next level on there 83 minute single track album Mirror Reaper.

Band Pic

As with past albums BELL WITCH’s Mirror Reaper is a continuation of that which is ghostly. After reading an article about the new Bell Witch album in which Dylan Desmond explained that the track’s theme is about mortality and the experience of dying. Some may want to call this ambient and I suppose you could if you sat down reading a book and used it for background noise. But if you actively listen you will find it easy to picture in your head what is going on for the person on their deathbed.

With a steady mournful riff by Dylan Desmond and slow purposeful beats by  Jesse Shreibman, they sound like a mourner crying and the dying person’s fading heartbeat. When I got to the part were of the song in which Jesse Shreibman stops drumming I found it easy to envision those last moments after the heart stops as I listened to the soft crooning and the soft ghostly bass. Listening to this sort of messed me up as it reminded me of being in the room as my own father died.  While I am certain this album started out being an exercise in thought, I believe  Adrian Guerra’s death made the album a reality for  Dylan Desmond and  Jesse Shreibman that affected the end result leaving BELL WITCH fans with a monolithic masterpiece!

From BELL Witch’s Bandcamp page
“During the writing process we were devastated by the loss of our dear friend and former drummer, Adrian Guerra. In love and respect to his memory, we reserved an important yet brief section in the song for him that features unused vocal tracks from our last album. This specific movement serves as a conceptual turn in the piece, or point of reflection. We believe he would be proud of it as well.” Adrian Guerra (R.I.P.)


Ethereal Riffian – “Afterlight” Live DVD Review + Stream + Video…

Ethereal Riffian

Afterlight – Limited DVD Packaging // CD // DD

Self Released – released August 17, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Tracklist:
Whispering of the Ancients (1:39)
Beyond (7:04)
Transoma (9:05)
Wakan Tanka (12:02)
Thugdam (8:52)
March of Spiritu (10:55)
Anatman (12:24)
Drum of the Deathless (7:29)
Sword of the Deathless (9:29)
Light of Self (7:28)

Ethereal Riffian is:
Val Korniev – guitar/vocal/didgeridoo
Olexander Korniev – bass
Max Yuhimenko – lead guitar
Nikita Shipovskoi – drums

Guest Musicians: 
Makha Tretyakova – djembe
Sergey «Bookvarique» – djembe
Yaroslaw Kaminskiy – didgeridoo

 

 

Live albums are a risky endeavor: If a band has not yet achieved worldwide success, then releasing such material is a gamble on its potential success, and essentially risking a good deal of money on the production, recording, and packaging of a single concert with the hopes that enough people will want to experience that singular show. Thankfully, Ethereal Riffian is not a band that seems to care about gambling.

Ethereal Riffian are a Rock band from Kiev, Ukraine. I simply say “Rock” in such a sub genre-obsessed genre because Ethereal Riffian is sort of their own thing- Somewhere between Progressive Rock, Doom Rock, Spiritual Rock, Stoner and Psychedelic Rock. It might paint a clearer picture to call them something along the lines of “Meditative Rock”. Their drum-based composition and vocals reminiscent of Gregorian or Tibetan Chanting are extremely conducive to sitting down on the floor, crossing legs, entering a groove (which there are many), and just listening and enjoying.

“Since 2013 I wanted to have a single release that can give a versatile overview of the band’s creative work – its music, philosophy, approach to limited editions and live potential. And now we have it,” says Val Kornev, the frontman of the band. “With this release we, on one hand, aim to crystallize all our work and ideas since the inception of the band, and on the other hand, we want to show the quintessential component which unites all spiritual paths. For the band this release marks the end of the first chapter in its history and the beginning of the new one.”

Afterlight Packaging

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that this is a live album. This was indeed recorded live, and I wouldn’t believe it had it not been accompanied by the occasional applause of the probably all too small audience. Ethereal Riffian does an excellent job of bringing their intricate and lengthy compositions to the stage, to the point of getting the listener to almost smell burning incense and experience visions of what must be the most intense temple experience one could ever feel.

One thing that must be emphasized is that if you can afford their unbelievably extravagant limited edition packages, certainly do. Almost all of Ethereal Riffian’s releases have an absolutely beautiful package that is hand-crafted with a degree of dedication and love for the craft that is practically never seen elsewhere, and naturally, the best way to ensure that these packages to continue to be made is by buying them. The band’s many releases are worth buying for the package alone. For example, their album “Æonian” is packaged with a full-length original hardcover novel.

Artifactz

All in all, “Afterlight” is a fantastic release by a band that obviously has an unparalleled passion for all things artistic and this passion reflects in all aspects of the release- composition, performance, and packaging. If you are not averse to live albums, I would highly recommend you purchase this album. Finally, if you do: please, please get the limited edition version. You won’t regret it.

Additional Links:
https://etherealriffian.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/etherealriffian/
https://www.instagram.com/etherealriffian/
https://twitter.com/EtherealRiffian
https://vk.com/etherealriffian


A Comprehensive Look into How Ethereal Riffian Packages their releases…


Full Album Stream Of BARROWS ‘Obsidion’; Tour Dates

Friday, May 26th will see the release of the latest album from the atmospheric progressive rock duo Barrows, titled ‘Obsidion‘. It will be issued digitally through the band and on deluxe 2xLP through Tonzonen Records (purchase here). Obsidion is the follow-up to 2011’s Imprecari Island and 2014’s Red Giant and finds the forces behind BarrowsJim Leonard and Richy Epolito, delving ever deeper into exploratory aural realms.

The textural expanses of the sci-fi infused instrumental rock of Obsidion is streaming in full below for your listening enjoyment. You can expect myriad fragments of audible experimentation inspired from progressive, space, kraut, and psych rock acts, derived by influences from early King Crimson and Pink Floyd to John Carpenter and Goblin. The album was mastered by Eroc from the legendary Krautrock band Grobschnitt and features stark/abstract artwork and photography by Alexandre Souêtre.

The band is planning on touring in support of Obsidion, including a residency/album release show at The Echo in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles for the month of May, where the band will be playing a free show every Monday of the month with a bill of area bands of their choice. This is to be followed by a full US tour, all the dates are listed below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Barrows tour dates:

5/22/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA *Free Residency Show w/ Psychic Jiu–Jitsu, Mothdrops, Dream Phases
5/29/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA *Album Release Show w/ Hex Horizontal, Starving Daughters, Clear
5/30/2017 The Casbah – San Diego, CA w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Bleak Skies
5/31/2017 The Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ w/ Moons Eat Stars, The Idiot Mars, The Living Receiver [info]
6/01/2017 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM w/ Votives, Distances, Chess At Breakfast [info]
6/02/2017 Hole In The Wall – Austin, TX w/ Gold Leather [info]
6/03/2017 The Parlor Tattoo North Little Rock, AR w/ Mainland Divide, The Light in the Woods [info]
6/04/2017 The East Room – Nashville, TN w/ Tape Deck Mountain, International Friendly [info]
6/05/2017 Galaxy Hut – Arlington, VA w/ The Orchid [info ]
6/06/2017 The Fire – Philadelphia, PA w/ This City Called Earth, I See Demons in the Wood Grain [info]
6/07/2017 Golden Sounds Bar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Hannibal Montana, Zevious [info]
6/08/2017 Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT w/ Mid Atlantic Title, Western Estates [info]
6/09/2017 O’Brien’s – Boston, MA w/ Sea, 28 Degrees Taurus, Voidgod [info]
6/10/2017 Monkey House – Winooski, VT w/ Dr. No, Gnomedad [info]
6/11/2017 Pauley’s Hotel – Albany, NY w/ Yoma, Grimer [info]
6/12/2017 Dinosaur BBQ – Syracuse, NY w/ Formidable Duke, The Magnetic Pull [info]
6/14/2017 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL w/ Coyote Man [info]
6/15/2017 Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN w/ Hardcore Crayons, Nomia, Goodnight Gorillas [info]
6/16/2017 O’Leaver’s Pub – Omaha, NE w/ Low Long Signal, Towering Rogue [info]
6/17/2017 Electric Funeral Fest – Denver, CO [info]
6/19/2017 The Underground – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Yeti Warlord, Toxic Dose [info]
6/20/2017 The Olympic – Boise, ID w/ Desert Graves, Preakedness, Wall Of Ears [info]
6/21/2017 The Valley – Tacoma, WA w/ Fang Chia [info]
6/22/2017 Lytle Beach – Bainbridge Island, WA w/ Weeed [info]
6/23/2017 Victory Lounge – Seattle, WA w/ You May Die In The Desert, Chrome Lakes, Slumberbox [info]
6/24/2017 Turn, Turn, Turn Records – Portland, OR w/ U Sco, Stars’ Blood [info]
6/25/2017 Old Nick’s Pub – Eugene, OR w/ Cambrian Explosion, Paleons [info]
6/27/2017 Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlour – Reno, NV w/ Weight Of The Tide [info]
6/28/2017 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA w/ (Waning), Axiom [info]
6/29/2017 The Night Light – Oakland, CA w/ Wander, Dokoe, Voidtripper [info]
6/30/2017 Davenport Ditch – Santa Cruz, CA w/ Cosmic Reef Temple, Oort Cloud
7/01/2017 Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA w/ Floral, Wander [info]

Barrows-tour-2017


Steven Wilson To Release Solo Album ‘To The Bone’; New Song Streaming

Brilliant multi-instrumentalist and musical genius Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Blackfield) has announced details of his upcoming fifth album, ‘To The Bone‘. To herald the release, which is set to be released August 18th, Wilson has shared the new song “Pariah”, available for streaming below. The follow up to 2015’s Hand. Cannot. Erase., To The Bone is Steven Wilson’s first album since signing with Caroline International (Iggy Pop, Underworld, Thurston Moore, Glass Animals).

Steven Wilson will embark on a major 2018 UK tour, including a return to one of the country’s most iconic venues – the Royal Albert Hall. U.S. tour plans are also being finalized and further details of both will be made public soon.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

steven wilson TTB
Tracklisting:

“To The Bone”
“Nowhere Now”
“Pariah”
“The Same Asylum As Before”
“Refuge”
“Permanating”
“Blank Tapes”
“People Who Eat Darkness”
“Song Of I”
“Detonation”
“Song Of Unborn”


New Album Review – Pallbearer “Heartless”

Pallbearer

Heartless – Vinyl // CD // DD

Profound Lore – March 24th 2017

Have you ever seen the expanded version of Bruce Lee’s “Enter The Dragon?”  During the opening sequences, he expands more upon the philosophical underpinnings to his martial arts style, or no style, as he’d probably say.  He believes that the ultimate form is no-form, that a Zen-like detachment from the rigors of the overly traditional allows for unparalleled creativity, fluidity and freedom of expression.  He definitely believes that this no-form is a clear expression of intense feeling, as there’s also a poignant scene of him training an aspiring student where he emphasizes “emotional content” in the student’s strikes.  “No, not anger!!” he corrects, “emotional content.”  I re-watched this movie quite recently on one fateful night, and it got me to thinking about how these concepts played out in music.  And that got me to thinking about Pallbearer….

My first experience with Pallbearer was seeing them tear it up live.  That’s always a great place to start when you’re getting into a band, because there’s no pretense there, only direct experience. Right before I first left Black Pyramid in 2011, we shared the stage at the first Days Of The Doomed Festival in Wisconsin.  I’d actually heard quite a bit about them, as they had a demo that was much lauded in both the traditional doom scene and the broader metal community, and they had a reputation for punishing heaviness live.  I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.  Because of the name and their rumored heaviness, I was actually expecting them to be a death/doom band, which they clearly are not.  Needless to say, they didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Once I was properly baptized in the power and glory of their glowing tube amps, there was no turning back, and you could count me among the faithful.  What impressed me the most was their mixture of the traditional and the modern; they definitely nailed that timeless classical metal influence with their twin guitar attack, which alternated between crushing down-tuned riffs and labyrinthine dueling leads, yet the tones were more modern, while the songwriting itself was forward thinking and intelligent.  It didn’t hurt them any that their rhythm section was rock solid and the vocals were soaring high (so was I).  The experience was most triumphant and I was an instant fan.  This was indeed a band of exceptional promise….

 

Live Band Shot

 

Fast forward to a year later, and the release of their debut album, Sorrow And Extinction, on Profound Lore Records.  I have tremendous respect for that label, as they have discriminating and impeccable tastes.  What a sound Pallbearer had developed on record!  It was heads and tails above their demo: emotionally charged, transcendentally structured, and as meticulously melodic as it was devastatingly heavy.  Their debut quickly brought them to the forefront of the metal world, and with their sophomore album, Foundations Of Burden, they only solidified their destiny as the new rising stars of underground metal.  They experimented more with tempo and song structure, and deepened their understanding of the emotional power of melody.

This brings us to March 24th, 2017, the date they’ll unveil their latest masterpiece, the ironically named Heartless.  Well, I’d say that it’s ironic anyways, since their music seems anything but heartless to me.  It’s chock full of emotional content; it’s over brimming in every note they pick, every chord they strum, every drum that’s struck, every word that’s sung.  Not since the much missed doom masters Warning walked this world have I heard a band that so encapsulates the concept of emotional content.  This is a seven song, hour long tour de force of angelic agony, bizarre beauty, mind-melting misery and earth-shattering ecstasy.  I’ll admit that it’s a bit long in the tooth, and this really demands active listening.  Those who have the endurance and the attention span are duly rewarded, as this is as rich and fulfilling an album as I’ve heard in recent years.

Pro Band Pic_Good

 

I heard all kinds of wild rumors before Heartless even came out: they were a post-rock band now, the new album wasn’t heavy, they’d sold out.  Don’t believe the hype.  They’ve definitely taken a more progressive stance, though it’s not a radical departure by any means.  As my friend Stephen Loverme from the bands Olde Growth and Sea sagely stated on this very day, “The new Pallbearer sounds like a doomed out Porcupine Tree.  I’m 100% okay with this.” Wiser words are rarely uttered. There’s just more going on, from meticulously layered guitar passages that twist, turn and wind down all sorts of mesmerizing staircases, to subtle acoustic flourishes and backdrops of effected soundscapes, to melancholy harmonized vocals.  There are even more tempo changes, key signature switches, the versatility in the vocals, and clever changes in tone and texture than on the previous album, and the production is even more stunning and meticulous.  What’s most impressive is how subtle and slow burning it all is, how fluid and free, like the no-form of Bruce Lee’s metaphysical martial arts.  This is a modern masterpiece deserving of every iota of praise that’s thrown its way, paying tribute to the masters like Candlemass, Trouble, and the New Wave Of Heavy Metal, yet it’s delivered with such urgency that it’s just as immediate as it is an instant classic.  I’ve always said that it’s the reconciliation of opposites that makes for great art, a little lesson I learned from Herman Hesse’s novel, Narcissus And Goldmund.  The juxtaposition and paradox that Pallbearer pull off….it’s utterly stunning.  They’re the doom metal actualization and apotheosis of what Hesse was talking about.

Often I take a listener through an album track by track, so they can get some reflection of my experience.  I’m not going to do that here.  Not at all.  The reason is, I want you all to experience this for yourself without my impressions of the album coloring your sensations and perceptions.  Take this in, savor it, remember that first time you put the needle to the wax, or the CD in the tray, or pressed play on your computer.  Remember this moment, so that you can say that you were there when Pallbearer helped to redefine the face of modern doom metal.

Links:

Reviewed by Andy “Dingweed” Beresky