Red Mountains “Slow Wander” Album Review + Stream…

RED MOUNTAINS

Slow Wander – Vinyl // Digital Download

All Good Clean Records – Released – September 1, 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Line Up:
Simen Mathiassen – Drums
Sverre Dalen – Bass
Jostein Wigenstad – Guitar
Magnus Riise – Guitar / Vocal
 

Review:

Red Mountains is a Psychedelic stoner rock band out of Trondheim Norway. “Slow Wander” is their sophomore offering following the 2015 release of “Down with the Sun.” Their Facebook page lists their influences to include Dead Meadow, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Sleep, Brant Bjork and Fuzz. I’m not familiar with all those acts but I can hear the Sabbath for sure. They especially remind me of “Vol. 4” – Tomorrow’s Dream, Cornucopia and Snowblind but not Supernaught.

Let me tell you now this album is chill as fuck. My first taste of Slow Wander was when I was driving. I happened to be in a hurry, realized I had forgotten something at my place and had to turn back. I’m already late and waiting at a light to do a U turn when I hit play. The opening track, ironically named Home has a slow, smooth wane to it, as if it’s recorded on the wrong speed. It’s almost hypnotic how the high notes are placed just so, contrasting the doomish rhythm. I find myself getting sucked into the music and I soon forget I’m in a hurry. I come to and look down at my speedometer because the last thing I need now is to get pulled over. Normally I’ll go 10 over the limit but I’ve got a lead foot so I have to be careful as my speed creeps up. When I look down, I realize I’m doing the speed limit.

Now I know this particular style of music is meant to be enjoyed under the influence. I happened to not partake in said activities on the regular, especially while I’m driving but I can say if you let ‘Home’ take you you’ll get a very similar chill feeling.

‘Endless Ocean’, track 4, sounds like it should be on the soundtrack to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or maybe Trainspotting. If I relax and close my eyes, images of lava lamps and the feeling of floating is induced. Faces distort, patterns can be seen in the windows and one must stop to have a closer look at the wares of the shop we’ve walked past uninterested so many times before. We head down the stairs to the local metal bar, only to find it’s zombie night. We’re not entirely sure if we can be so lucky or perhaps it’s not really happening and just an unexpected effect. It’s troubling and fun at the same time.

Blue Wax

Upon returning to reality, I come to realize that it’s now track 8 and I’ve zoned out pretty hard. ‘Acid Wedding’ is a clever metaphor. I find the verbiage in the lyrics come to life as the music sets the scene. I imagine the events are taking place in the badlands mountainous region from the album cover. Assuming in the valley area but then who knows where a trip will take you? That butte looks incredibly interesting, after all. Slow Wander indeed.

The album closes out with ‘Returning,’ a Sabbath inspired track with the similar slow, hypnotic style that frames the album. I think by now you’re starting to get a clear picture of Red Mountains and “Slow Wander.” Normally I’m much wordier in my reviews but for whatever reason I’m now feeling kind of lazy and just want a Twinkie so I’m going to close it up here.

Links:
https://redmountains.bandcamp.com/album/slow-wander

https://www.facebook.com/redmountainsband


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

A Two Song Masterpiece by: 

Astral: Death / Birth – CD // DD

Self Released:  May 26, 2017

Review By:  Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

Line Up

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

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

Do_Astral_promo_band_PRINT_PhotobyJaakkoRinne

 

 


Red Moon Architect “Return of the Black Butterflies” Album Review & Video…

Red Moon Architect

Return Of The Black Butterflies – CD // DD

Inverse Records – Release Date:  May 19th, 2017

Reviewed by: Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Tracklist:
1. The Haunt
2. Tormented
3. Return of the Black Butterflies
4. Journey
5. End of Days
6. NDE

Line-up:
Saku Moilanen – Schlagzeug & Keyboard
Ville Rutanen – Gesang
Matias Moilanen – Gitarre
Anni Viljanen – Gesang
Jukka Jauhiainen – Bass

Hey all this is Terry The Ancient One and I’d  like to tell all you doomophiles out there about  Return of the Black Butterflies, by the Funeral Doom Metalers Red Moon Architect.  Founded in  Kouvola, Finland  in 2011, Return of the Black Butterflies will be Red Moon Architect’s 3rd album.  It also will bring a big change for the band with their new vocalist formerly of Casket Ville Rutanen. While the departure of  Juuso Turkki  must have been difficult for the band, I am certain long time fans and those who have never heard of  Red Moon Architect are getting a great album.

Pro Band Pic

 

Red Moon Architect  fearlessly uses musical contrast with crushing doom and sweeping melodies to creates a sense of drama in their music. Opening with ‘The Haunt’ drummer/keyboardist Saku Moilanen sets the mood for the entire album with a haunting keyboard instrumental that transports the listeners to what to me feels like the wind swept icy Steppes where the icy winds and chilling howling winds have driven men mad. Following his keyboard lead in, Saku takes up his 2nd job as drummer with guitarist Matais Moilanen and bassist Jukka Jauhiainen to bring Ville Rutanen with vocals that sound like they come from the depths of Hell which are at times complimented by chilling doom riffs.  At other times tracks are contrasted by somber melodies that compliment  the haunting vocals of  Anni Viljanen’s. I really have a difficult time picking any songs as favorites from this majestic album.  They all sort of blend into one another making this one of those albums that I believe must be listened to in it’s entirety.  Set to be released May, 19th,2017  Red Moon Architect’s  Return of the Black Butterflies is now available for pre-order.

https://www.recordshopx.com/artist/red_moon_architect/return_of_the_black_butterflies/#524100

 


Elephant Bell “Gates of Dawn” – Album Review & Feature Video

ELEPHANT BELL

Gates Of Dawn – CD // DD

Argonauta Records – Release Date: April 28, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed: 2000

From: Lappeenranta, Helsinki Finland

Band Members: Tommy Waits – vocals, guitar / Tom C. Johnson – guitar, vocals

J.J. Strangler – bass, vocals / Migis Thunderthrone – drums

Previous Releases: Sunchaser Demo (2000) / Dreamwheel EP (2001) / Electric Shoes EP (2005) / Painless EP (2005) / Rip My Head Off (2008)

This marks the first released outing for ELEPHANT BELL in almost 9 years and is the first full length release in the history of. Each previous release embraced a punk-production level, complete with guitars that were scratch-thin and pissed off lending credo to the claim for each that the band was even MORE stoned than they had been with the one before it. I expected no less than more of the same as they had pretty much defined themselves in this manner and how much difference could nine years make and from what I could glean, there is only one new member in the personage of J.J. taking the bottom end to heart. I went back and re-acquainted with some of the older tracks to get ready for this release and when I noticed two familiar song titles ‘The Sun Is Going down’ and ‘Dreamwheel’, I was ready to hit play and soak in what was about to come at me. . .  Engage…

Pro Band Pic

What jumped out of my speakers with this psycho-phased out guitar line twisting over Tommy’s vocal before this thick pure rock and roll freight train is rolling at full speed as ‘So Pure’ rips you out of your seat, setting a tone that I in NO WAY expected and was devouring with each note, my heart racing in pure joy at the level these guys have risen to in this return, exceeding every possible expectation I had conjured up and ‘Demon Seducer’, ‘Escape’ and ‘Straight To Hell’ keep that rock-n-roll aesthetic working flawlessly while ‘Bug In The Soup’ shows another side, but not necessarily what you might expect; remember, lose the preconceptions with this album, as ‘Mojo Filter’ will remind you as the multi layered voices of 3/4 of this quartet lead you along with another side, again, not what you may have been expecting, especially with the shimmering solo sections that seem lightly laced in a middle eastern flavor, just hinting at harmonics in the softest distorted touch.

‘Come See The Show’ would be the PERFECT track to open each show just as ‘The Last Scene’ is the obvious and most fitting choice as a last song of the evening, even as an encore in it;’s blissfully baked mixture of Moog sounding keys spinning fuzzed out chords that could have been lifted from some 70’s sci-fi, until that ever heavy bass line takes over your pulse and then those lilting voices fade in and out, left and right until at 2 minutes in, Tommy grabs your attention again with an almost whisper voicing that forces you to pay closer attention, taking it all in. ‘The Sweet Babylon’ is probably one of the most dynamic songs this band has written to date and utilizes ALL facets of stoner / psych / and sludge thick bass tones to create one of those songs that is over just too damn SOON as the sheer flow from beginning to end is just precision and beauty in motion that you want to just keep going on and on, as the reworked lean-and-mean version of ‘The Sun Is Going Down’ reminds you of how far this band has truly come since 2008 when they first let this one out of the box that while holding that feel of the original, it is beyond obvious the level of musicianship to make this as razor sharp as anything out there.

And then there’s ‘Dreamwheel’, which I thought was a remake of the track on the 2001 EP of the same name, but I can’t recognize that and this as similar in ANY manner of than name. The slice and dice guitar tones and just how beyond rolling in perfect symmetry as this one, and the whole album for that matter, demonstrates to be, this seems to be the perfect stage for the world to take notice and dive in deep. Buy the record the second it comes out and support them WHEN they come to your area!!


New Album Review – VOID CRUISER “Wayfarer”

VOID CRUISER

Wayfarer – CD / DD

Argonauta Records – Release Date:  Digital album releases February 27, 2017 /

Physical Album Ships around March 10, 2017

 

Ship: Void Cruiser mod.1.0 (Interstellar heavy metal exploration vessel)

Destination: Unknown

Last known location: The Andromeda galaxy

CREW – T-Hug: Low Frequency Engine, Ambience Generator

V-Salo: Soundscape Systems

T-Bag: Battering Apparatus

S-Salo: Fuzz Machinery, Communications

 

Post: Void Cruiser has always been there. Only now the crew have awakened from their cryogenic sleep and they are on a holy quest. A quest for The Massive Resonance. This is how we begin…

And so is how my introduction to VOID CRUISER began. I discovered that this is the third release, the first being 2013’s EP ‘Motherload’ followed in 2015 with the full length “Overstaying My Welcome” and now in 2017 we are gifted with “Wayfarer,” a seven song collection of pure stoner-metal bliss; fuzzed out bass lines, staggered tempo’s and fills running amok with searing, soaring guitar solos that perpetuate every minute that has no other voice voiced communications. Grab your vaporizer/pipe/bong/etc. as we travel along with this mod 1.0 vessel.

 

Live Band Shot 2

 

‘A Day In Which No Man Was Born’ serves as the lift-off and slowly takes you through the entry of the edge of this sector as the background becomes the majesty that is the interwoven expansive net that is propelling you into the unknown ahead with no apprehension.  Instead anticipation as the power chord driven final section of this track shifts as you can almost feel the turning of this vessel which effortlessly flows to the next track ‘I Didn’t Lie, But Know Now I Should Have.’  The band swings right into a blues-tempo’d, doom-slow and low tale of Salo speaking of the “voice” inside of him, letting us see through his eyes what is transpiring within and why he knows why he should have. As the last note rings out, we suddenly hear footsteps and a quick staccato snare pulls us into ‘As We Speak’ where we are told that we will ‘hear with your eyes and see with your ears’ as if he could reach you. Electronic sputters lead us right into the power chord beginning of ‘Madonnas And whores’ where Salo tells us that when he was all alone, in his own narcissistic way, all he could feel was love for everything. Now that he is willing in his own altruistic way, all he can feel is just jealousy as he further exposes the events of the ‘looking for comfort’ and there is no way it’s gonna fall. At the four minute mark, we begin the turnaround portion of this leg of the journey with the tastiest guitar section this record has offered up so far and filled the void around this spinning vessel perfectly carrying you though the ectoplasmic expansion that surrounds you outside until you are told that the ship has been taken over.

 

Pro Band Shot

 

‘Seven Years Late’ is a tale of Salo speaking of ‘your heart of gold, my heart of steel’ and his careening vocal carries you further long. telling of a dream he had, saw his grave, seven years late. Faster footsteps, a coughing man and ‘All Over Nowhere’ begins that Salo is ‘The man that helped you, he’s the man that stabbed your back…’ and then asked if ‘you’re having a good time baby’ with the same monotone sneer you would expect from somebody that tells you he knows for sure that you ‘go around.’ Perfectly accentuated at the end with the same running footsteps at the beginning before final track ‘Maailmann Kallien Kaupunki’ which per a translator means ‘The most expensive House’ which leads me to imagine some spectral equivalent of The House of Heaven or some such. Speaking no Finnish, I can not be positive, but the music of this 10-minute soliloquy gave me a feeling of bliss that carried to the very end as the very last faded out through a backdrop of white noise that seemed endless until it was no more…

Compared to the previous releases, VOID CRUISER have come a long way with “Wayfarer” and have grown not only as a unit, but as a concept and they have executed the concept quite well here. If given the opportunity, I encourage you, the reader, to find their tour schedule and get out and see how this outstanding studio effort is translated to a live forum.  We can not recommend this album enough…

Words by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr


Album Review – Demonic Death Judge

Demonic Death Judge

Seaweed

Suicide Records – Release January 13th, 2017 –  Vinyl / CD / DD 

Doom/Sludge/70’s Metal

 

Demonic Death Judge had seemingly found their sound on 2012’s “Skygods”, but obviously, five years can change much for a band.  I’ll be damned if “Seaweed” isn’t rockin’, forward-thinking proof of that.

For this particular raucous slab or heaviness, the doom and polished sludge (complete with gruff, but fitting vocals) of the past is still very much present, but this time out, the band has added a southern swagger and groove, with a pinch more atmosphere as well. Hell, you even get some banjo for that special Appalachian vibe! Yes indeed, the band is refusing to tread water, but they have found that sweet spot where growth does not mean forsaking the past. No previous fan of the band’s past efforts should feel abandoned; if they do- Shame on them! This is the kind of boundary expansion you want for musicians and DDJ delivers it in a big way!

 

Promo Kit

 

Admittedly, a more approachable effort than the Judge’s have ever released, “Seaweed” still manages to pack a jaw-swelling punch. You need this one in your collection- Trust me! What a nice way to start the reviewing year….

”SEAWEED” tracklist:
1. Taxbear
2. Heavy Chase
3. Seaweed
4. Cavity
5. Backwoods
6. Pure Cold
7. Saturnday
8. Peninkulma

Words by David “The Lovely” LaMay