Monster Magnet “Mindfucker” Album Review + Videos

Monster Magnet

Mindfucker – Vinyl // CD // DD

Napalm Records – March 23, 2018

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Tracklist:
Rocket Freak (3:30)
Soul (5:27)
Mindfucker (5:00)
I’m God (6:16)
Drowning (7:21)
Ejection (3:27)
Want Some (5:49)
Brainwashed (3:22)
All Day Midnight (3:59)
When The Hammer Comes Down (5:48)

 

 

Review:

Despite this passage that would suggest the contrary, Monster Magnet is a band that needs no introduction. Dave Wyndorf’s masterful Stoner Metal Legend boasts a gargantuan overarching influence that stretches from Queens of the Stone Age to the undisputed emperor of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee himself. Well within the midst of a long and fruitful career, a more mature Monster Magnet have brought themselves into the modern era with a personal spin with the brand new Mindfucker.

While it is true that Monster Magnet is more mature, it cannot be said that their rage has been quelled. Dave Wyndorf and his cohorts are still ripe with fury, especially on the incredible “I’m God”, in which Vocalist Wyndorf takes on the role of a particularly vengeful Old Testament-era God, who has had more than enough of modern society, ready to remind Earth’s unknowing citizens of his power. This tune is very indicative of the direction Monster Magnet has taken with Mindfucker: Furious, Raw, and powerful, with a healthy dose of the strangeness that has defined Monster Magnet throughout their career. Therefore, if you’ve listened to Monster Magnet before, you likely know what you’re in for with this one.

Current Band Pic

With Mindfucker, Monster Magnet have progressed their sound while still staying familiar enough to be recognizable as a Monster Magnet album. It is heavy, melodic, and fun, with enough lyrical fire to make you believe that there’s a reason this album exists. Mindfucker definitely earns its in the lofty echelons of Monster Magnet’s oeuvre, making it a must purchase for Stoner Metal fans.


Earthless “Black Heaven” Album Review + Music Video + Links…

Earthless

Black Heaven – Vinyl // CD // DD // Bundle Packages

Nuclear Blast Records – Released March 16th, 2018

Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

A Journey into Black Heaven

Line Up:
Mario Rubalcaba (drums)
Isaiah Mitchell (guitars & VOX)
Mike Eginton (bass)

Review:
Greetings music heads this is that old sonic wave rider The Ancient One and I want to tell all of you about  San Diego’s heavy psyche rock trio Earthless and their upcoming album Black Heaven. Originally signed to the independent record labels  Gravity Records  and then Tee Pee Records, Earthless has been Blowing minds since 2001 with their own brand of almost entirely instrumental heavy-psych rock that many of other great musicians/bands credit as inspiration in their own music. To date they have released a slew of split albums with the likes of Witch, Danava, Lecherous Gaze, Premonitions 13, Radio Moscow, and Harsh Toke. This is accompanied by 2 live albums and 3 studio albums with their 4th “Black Heaven”, the subject of this review.

Band Pic

Released on March 16th, 2018 on the Nuclear Blast record label with songs that have more vocals than all their previous releases combined, Black Heaven is a leaner meaner Earthless album . Though I cannot be certain because I don’t have any contacts in Nuclear Blast Records or Earthless  I suspect the band’s association with the Rock Giant is why the bands latest album have significantly shorter songs.  Is this a bad thing, absolutely not!!  Isaiah has a fantastic bluesy voice that is also on display with his other band Golden Void.

 

While the 40 minute album is broken into six tracks, to me it all seem to blend together into two parts with interlude track “Voit Rush” acting as sort of a road sign telling me were I am at in the journey. What catches my attention most about Black Heaven is that more than half of the songs have guitarist Isaiah Mitchell also taking up the microphone as vocalist. Which I think he does a bang up job at. Yet for all that has changed Earthless has remained true to their original mind-bending blend of krautrock and Japanese heavy-blues rock with still some of the freshest and finest Riffs, meanest basslines and Cosmic Drumming on this great Universe!!

Link to buy Album, Bundles and more…

http://shop.nuclearblast.com/en/products/sound/cd/cd-digi-ts-xxl/earthless-black-heaven-baseball-shirt-cd-digi-poster.html

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Black Space Riders “Amoretum Vol. 1” Album Review + Stream + Videos + Lyrics

BLACK SPACE RIDERS

AMORETUM Vol.1 – Vinyl // CD // DD

Self Released – January 26, 2018

Reviewed By Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

***The Riders Mount Up Again***

 

Line Up:
JE (VOX, Guitars)
SLI (Guitars)
MEI (Bass)
C.RIP (Drums)
SEB (VOX)

Previous Releases:
2010 – S/T Black Space Riders,
2012 – Lights In the New Black,
2014 – D:REI,
2015 – Refugeeum
2016 – Beyond Refugeem

Musical Influences:
Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy, The Chameleons, David Bowie, Bauhaus, Tom Waits, Slayer, Motorpsycho

Hello once again friends, this is The Ancient One and today I’d like to tell you about some out of this world music by a Quintet of space rockers from Münster, Germany called the Black Space Riders. In 2008 founding members JE, SLI, SAQ and C.RIP sought to give the music world music that could truly be called PSYCHEDELIC SPACE ROCK and created what they call a “NEW WAVE of HEAVY PSYCHEDELIC SPACE ROCK”. After listening to their current Album AMORETUM Vol. 1 released January 26th, 2018 and  with their past releases I gotta say the band and their style of rock are aptly named.

What I enjoy most about the music is the detached far away sound. To create their take on the psychedelic space rock sound Black Space Riders seems to have combined desert rock, electronic music, a bit of 80’s new wave and some Post Punk with powerful vocals with anthem-like lyrics on the 2 most recent albums. If I were to compare them to anyone I’d say that I’m often reminded of Pink Floyd, and David Bowie with a harder edge.

Live Band Pic

When I first gave AMORETUM Vol. 1 a spin I was really not impressed with the first song however what followed changed my mind as I quickly realized Lovely Lovelie was a cornerstone for the rest of the album to be built on to give the listener a good starting point. It’s also a play on words.  Lovely Lovelie – Lovely Love Lie get it. I didn’t because maybe I am a Doofus. Also its not a single song in a collection of songs that are put together simply because the sound fits with the occasional filler song to make the album longer. Rather its part of an album with a theme created by Black Space Riders. Although theme albums are nothing new to me, Black Space Riders may quite possibly have delivered a Magnum Opus with this one!

Refusing to be swallowed by the darkness AMORETUM  Vol. 1 is the  follow up to their July 2015 album “REFUGEEUM” that came out when it seemed the world had gone mad with fear and hate in Europe. Continuing to rage against that darkness  with in us all Black Space Riders have mounted up and released AMORETUM  Vol. 1 which is about conflict and seeks to inspire us to overcome our dark side. Specifically the conflicts between fear, hate, and rejection, darkness on the one hand, and love, empathy, and care light on the other. This album and band seem to be very relevant with acute razor-like lyrics that seek for positivity and rejecting hate…universally!!  The superb musicianship by these veteran rockers shine with each new release and is again evident with Amoretum Vol. 1

Rather than bore you all to death with a track by track description of all the songs I am going to provide you links to my favorites on YouTube and  Bandcamp and let you decide for yourselves.

 

Track Listing with Lyrics

 

LOVELY LOVELIE

Get back to your beds, hide in your hole

You lovers collapse while facing your fall

A paradise will no longer exist,

peace and love can no longer resist

Erupting fear breaking the wall

Lovely lovelie

Our garden, destroyed, taken by storm

We‘re bringing the harm, the hideous swarm

A love so deep, now determined to die,

wrapped and muffled by hate

Get back to your beds, here comes the storm

Lovely lovelie

Get back to your beds, hide in your hole

A love so deep, now determined to fall

Get back to your beds, facing your fall

Erupting fear tearing down every wall

Get back to your beds, hide in your …

Lovely lovelie

Lovely, lovely lie …

Another Sort of Homecoming

The times were terrifying

and coldness wrapped me up

I‘d been sent to see, to seek, to save

A long way to the top

How they turned their lives

into a mellow mass:

how they shed their feelings and their souls

forgot about the past

So, day by day

I denied my moaning heart

and repelled temptation, brave and strong,

to join and fall apart

Now it‘s time to change

My longing growing strong

Leave this place and coming home again

is what I really want

GO! Time to return to my ground

GO! I have to leave these souls I found

GO! Time to rest under the shield

GO! Energy!

Another sort of coming home

 

Live Band Pic 2

SOUL SHELTER (Inside Of Me)

Bringing back the sunshine

Remembering the light

A place attacked from outside

I keep this place inside

Inside of me, inside of me

Garden of completeness

A warm and tender light

A place attacked by darkness

Don‘t hide this place inside

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of me

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of you

Silent is the inside

All quiet now and clear

Knocking from the outside:

denial, hate and fear

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of me

Soul Shelter – Inside of me, inside of you

 

MOVEMENTS

Just a glimpse of something lost,

flickering in my mind

Like a memory from the past, echoing

Ground control, lost control, no control

In a place where I belonged:

echoes from the past

In a time I called my home, wandering

Ground control, lost control, no control

How I missed the ones I loved,

moments passing by

Still I‘m waiting for the call, remembering

Ground control, lost control, no control

Movements

Comes a time, comes a time of reunion

Comes a place, comes a place of communion

Comes a time, comes a time of affection

Comes a place, comes a place of attraction

Comes a time, comes a time when we meet again

Comes a place, comes a place where we meet again

Comes a time, comes a time when we love again

Comes a place, comes a place where we live again

Stop and rest – consider and remember

Stop the quest – rethink and now remember

Rest, remain – and realize amazing

grace, retain – the echoes of your living

Go and see – now realize the beauty

Go and turn – now realize the grace

Go, return – get hold of all the beauty

Go and feel – compassion to embrace

Movements

Comes a time, comes a time when we meet again

Comes a time of reunion

Comes a place, comes a place where we meet again

Comes a place of communion

Comes a time, comes a time when we love again

Comes a time of affection

Comes a place, comes a place where we live again

Comes a place of attraction

Realize the grace

Realize the beauty now

Echoes from the past

Passion to embrace

Movements

 

COME AND FOLLOW

Follow me, take my hand

Don‘t look back, just trust my way

Follow me, leave this place

I will take you far away

Watch my shades: familiar shape

with sweetest taste of the unknown

Bite into tender doom

Worship and adore my throne

Beautiful but treacherous

Rotten to the bone

Serpentine but sensual

A queen of hearts dethroned

Now you love, now you know:

adoration brings the light

Idolize, now you‘re lost

I take you to the other side

Beautiful but treacherous

Rotten to the bone

Serpentine but sensual

A queen of hearts dethroned

Come on follow me into the darkness

Come and follow me, follow my love

Come on follow me, beauty is transforming

Come on follow me into the dark

 

FRIENDS ARE FALLING 

Open your arms after closing your thinking for ages

Missing the trust that you lost on your way to the stars

Fighting the hating has taught you to hate for ages

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of love

Open your mind to the memory of love and affection

Missing your friends who vanished while you‘ve been

away

Yearning for turning to someone so close and familiar

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of faith

Falling, friends are falling

Falling and lost in a vision of trust

Falling but lost in my vision of trust

Open your heart to some gratitude,

kindness and friendship

Empathy melting the ice that‘s enclosing your soul

Yearning for turning to someone so close and devoted

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of trust

Falling, friends are falling

Falling and lost in a vision of trust

A vision of love and a vision of trust

Open your heart after closing your spirit for ages

Missing the feelings you lost on your way to the stars

Fighting the hating has taught you to hate for ages

Remind you your mission was based on a vision of love

Falling, friends are falling

Falling but lost in a vision of trust

My vision of faith and my vision of trust

Falling but lost in my vision of trust

Falling for ages, falling from the stars

 

FIRE! FIRE! (Death Of A Giant)

Facing the past, deeply crooked for ages

Annual rings of a life, witnessing hope

Murder and death, lovers and birth, closely entwined

The battle of darkness and light, observer of life

Here on the hill, bound in hostile surroundings

Cracks in the bleeding wood: scars and remains

Here all alone, shelter and symbol of freedom:

a giant, so massive and old: gentle but strong

Tearing down to the ground

Burning heat, smoking coal

Fire! Fire!

Burning down to the ground

Timber heart, holy wood

Fire! Fire!

Facing the day, changing the soul of perception

Father of life, father of fire and death

Cold is the night , warm is the shine of the torch

Now and forever: deep is the heart of the flame

Tearing down to the ground

Burning heat, smoking coal

Fire! Fire!

Burning down to the ground

Timber heart, holy wood

Fire! Fire!

 

FELLOW PEACEMAKERS

 Will she find, will she find, will she find?

Withered blossoms falling down to earth

All she left alone

Nothing else than footprints of the years

before they reached her home

Will she find, will she find, will she find?

Looking back: she missed her final choice

Mandatory hate

Where’s the place? Now listening to her heart

Hope it‘s not too late

Start a new world, so far up above

Waiting to return

Gathering the troops of heart and soul

Sowing seeds of love

And she will find her way!

Will she find, will she find, will she find?

Will she find, will she find, will she find:

fellow peacemakers?

She will find, she will find, she will find:

fellow peacemakers!

We will find, we will find, we will find:

fellow peacemakers!

Black Space Riders Live

Live Band Pic 3


Music From The Labyrinth: Part One – Minotauro Records…

Music From The Labyrinth: Part One

By Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

 So….I was record shopping in lovely downtown Northampton one fateful afternoon, and ran into this dude Glenn, who works for the Italian label Minotauro Records.  I’m not sure exactly how his collaboration with the label came to pass, though we got to talking music: cool bands from New England we’d both been big on, such as Ogre, whose back catalog was re-released by Minotauro Records, incidentally.  At any rate, all good things come to an end, and when Glenn and I parted ways, we planned on staying in touch, and he said he’d send me some stuff to review over at Taste Nation LLC.  Well, as it turned out, he sent me quite a bit of material to review!!  I was thinking of different ways to approach this, maybe figure out what the priorities are, see if any of the writers wanted to take on some of the work.  It seems that everyone else here at Taste Nation always has a ton on their plate, and this was kind of my pet project, so I decided that I’d just forge ahead and do a feature on Minotauro, and basically write mini-reviews of each of the albums that Glenn sent me.

Now, that’s STILL a lot for me to take in and process, and like a lot of my creative endeavors, it really took on a life of its own.  With that being said, I’ve decided that I’m going to break down the feature into two parts, with a longer biographical element on Minotauro in the second part of the feature.

Without further adieu, strap on your shields folks, as we take a trip into the labyrinth, the lair of the Minotaur, in search of our proverbial Daedalus within the dark depths of Italian underground doom and metal….

Where the Sun Comes Down_Album Cover

 

Where The Sun Comes Down – Welcome

Minotauro  – 2017

This collaboration between Death SS founding member Thomas Hand Chaste and Alex Scardavian, who played with Paul Chain, has some of the more interesting cover art I’ve seen of late.  It looks like a child’s drawing done with magic markers, though it’s none-the-less intriguing, especially given the reputation of the folks involved.  This led me to reach for this album first and foremost.  What I really liked about it was that it bucked all cliches of metal and doom in general, and I had no idea what to expect when I pressed play on the album.  Would it be similar to Paul Chain’s material post Death SS?  Even then, Chain’s projects and various solo albums haven’t all sounded the same, and have explored various styles and aspects of his personality.   Would Where The Sun Comes Down opt for a more psychedelic or space rock sound?

It’s actually pretty close to what I’d initially expected: ultra raw cult doom with dramatic, emotional, over-the-top vocals, noisy, blown out Sabbathian riffing, off the cuff guitar and saxophone solos, a sparse yet powerful rhythm section, and haunting keyboards, all delivered with a heavy emphasis on atmosphere, theatrics and the bizarre.  I don’t pull any punches and I’m not going to do so here either: it’s called “cult doom” for a reason.  It’s not going to appeal to everyone, and it’s not meant to.  The vocals alone are a hard sell, as they’re all over the place and quite frequently strained and/or out of tune.  That’s not a deal breaker for me personally, as they have moments when they really shine, and they’re a vital part of the whole experience.  They add a flair for the avante garde, and they make me feel like I’m living in a horror movie for the duration of the album.  This is the perfect soundtrack for October….

Grand Delusion_Supreme Machine

Grand Delusion – Supreme Machine

Minotauro – 2017

Sweden’s The Grand Delusion play pretty traditional doom metal with a focus on the metal.  Blending Black Sabbath, NWOBHM and 80’s metal influences with Wino inspired biker blues licks, big stoner tones,  and just enough experimentation with psychedelic sections and additional instrumentation to keep things interesting.  The vocals also offer up a nice cross-section of influence and variety, from the full throated bellows of the first two tracks, to the Iron Maiden-esque epicness of the two-part “Trail Of The Seven Scorpions” and the operatic choir chants of “Imperator.”

This is a really solid release.  I like the production a lot – it’s fairly clean and polished, and the sheer variety of cool guitar tones and well written compositions benefit from this approach.  There’s a lot of more mid to uptempo sections, which keeps it from feeling like a slog.  They’re not reinventing the wheel by any means, as that’s a tough feet with doom.  However, if you’re bored of the same monotonous stoner doom fare, this is both a bit more nuanced and upbeat.  It wears its influences well, giving them all a chance to shine and never sounding merely derivative.

Kroh_Altars

Kroh – Altars

Minotauro – 2017

 

Birmingham UK occult doom crew Kroh also bring a refreshing take to the table with their second album.  With a new lineup and new vocalist, Polish born Oliwia Sobieszek, they craft a captivating, dark and mesmerizing take on traditional doom metal.  This sound revolves heavily around the powerful and ever prominent vocals and slim song arrangements.  None of the tunes overstay their welcome, all clocking in at under the five minute mark or so, which is a mixed blessing.  In one sense, it makes the album stand out, a concise statement trimmed of all excess.  On the other hand, sometimes the lack of expansive parts makes the songs feel stifled and abrupt.  There’s also the impending sense of predictability when all the songs follow a similar format.  I personally like a bit of decadence here and there, and I certainly like variety.  It’s the spice of life, as a wise woman once sagely stated.  With all that being said, this is a great record, and makes ample space for improvement on future albums.

It’s worth noting that the guitar sound on this album is one of the meanest and most distinctive I’ve heard in recent years.  It’s got that massively distorted, “swarm of bees” hyper-fuzz going on, and it  also retains much of the notes clarity rather than just becoming a blur of notes.  This alone makes this one worth a listen,  just hearing those righteous, crushingly oppressive guitar riffs coupled with the haunting vocals.

Ufosonic Generator_The Evil Smoke Possession

Ufosonic Generator – The Evil Smoke Possession

 Well, once again, this is totally not what I was expecting based on the name, illustrating the old adage that you can’t judge a book by its cover.  I was expecting something a little more space-y, of the more cosmic doom variety, and that’s simply not the case. Ufosonic Generator play pretty straightforward stoner metal, complete with Garcia inspired vocals, uptempo songs with righteous boogie breakdowns, a rock solid rhythm section, and scorching guitar solos.  The songs are a bit paint by numbers – you’re not going to get many surprises, and the influences are the usual suspects: Black Sabbath, Kyuss, Dozer.  You get the idea; it’s a tried and true one.

I dig what Ufosonic Generator are doing on this album.  Its approach is both charming and disarming, just four peeps really going for that proverbial “it”, with songs served meat and potatoes style, lean and mean.  There’s certainly some standout tracks with killer riffs going on throughout.  I’m not going to spoil the magic by giving you the play-by-play, song-by-song analysis.  You’re going to have to do the heavy lifting and figure out for yourself which songs make your mind soar and your booty shake.

Funeral Marmoori_The Deer Woman

Funeral Marmoori – The Deer Woman

Italy’s Funeral Marmoori have a classic doom sound with a 70’s horror tinged vibe, thanks largely to the excellent usage of Farfisa organs, which make them sound like a more evil version of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep at times.  It’s cool to hear a band that has such an intense interplay between the guitars and keyboards, just like the days of old.  They wear some of their other influences on their sleeves, a bit of Saint Vitus styled gonzo guitar solos, some vocal mannerisms reminiscent of Lee Dorrian’s work in Cathedral, and of course a heavy debt to all things Paul Chain.  Hell, they even cover a Death SS song, “Profanation.”

One of the things I really like about this album is the way that the vocals alternate between sounding more theatrical and more psychedelic.  Similarly, there’s excellent variation in the guitar parts: sometimes we’re treated to righteous Sabbath-inspired riffs, other times more otherworldly explorations and introspective moments.  The thing that really makes this one work for me is the rhythm section – the busy bass and drum work keep things moving forward.  The Deer Woman never gets dragged down into the gloomy realms of excessively downtempo dirges, while the music always retains its evil edge.  Highly recommended for fans of cult and traditional doom metal.

Ancient Spell_Forever in Hell

Ancient Spell – Forever In Hell

Los Angeles’ Ancient Spell bring something much different to the table, with a decidedly more modern take on doom metal.  It’s really telling that they list Death, Slayer and Lamb Of God as influences, because they bear more resemblance to these bands than Black Sabbath or Saint Vitus.  The vocals in particular are more on the death metal end of the spectrum, harsh growls and drastic screams with dark and misanthropic themes.  The guitars definitely utilize those chromatic style intervals that Slayer famously made into their trademark, and alternate between a thrash chug and a doom groove.  Though the tempos can get pretty quick for a more doom influenced band, they never approach anything near the breakneck tempos associated with either thrash or death metal.

in keeping with the thrash tradition, this is a pretty short and sweet album, clocking in at under 40 minutes.  That’s a good thing, as there’s not a ton of variety.  It’s interesting to see a band bring together such diverse influences, and this feels like an album where they’re trying to figure out how to make all of those influences come together into something coherent.  While it certainly never lacks in that department (their sound is fluid and polished, and never sounds forced), I think they have a lot of room to grow and try other things.  I’d love to see them incorporate some of the aforementioned faster parts, some death or black metal styled tremolo picking, some super slow doom bridges and breakdowns.  Forever In Hell seems like a great jumping off point for a band that has lots of room to grow and develop.

 

Tony-Tears-Follow-the-signs

Tony Tears – Follow The Signs of The Times

Wow, what an opening to an album!!  This one starts off with a brief intro that could straight up be a Goblin track that’s part of a D’Argento soundtrack.  It nails that sound with a combination of synth washes, blurps and appergiated chords, overlaid with creepy, demonic voices.  From there, we’re treated to more cult, esoteric doom in the traditional Italian style – darkly dramatic vocals reminiscent of King Diamond, 70’s metal riffs, ever present keyboards and a battering ram rhythm section of bass and drums.  True to form, they even cover a Paul Chain song.

I really dig on the production job here.  For me personally, cult doom has to have just the right production: grimy and cavernous, yet with enough clarity to let each individual instrument shine.  Follow The Signs of The times showcases exactly how this is pulled off.  I also really enjoyed the three shorter tracks (intro, an interlude, and an outro) that pull off that Italian horror soundtrack vibe so convincingly.  It’s always great to hear a band so refined in their craft!  Apparently Tony Tears started off as a solo outlet for Antonio Polidori, though he has since added a full band of backing and touring musicians, and I must say that I’m impressed with the results.

My Silent Wake_Damnatio Memoriae

My Silent Wake – Damnatio Memoriae

 Hailing from England, My Silent Wake are another band in the world of doom with decidedly modern influences, most noticeably of the death metal/goth metal variety.  However, that ain’t the end of the story.  There’s also a modern progressive slant to the songwriting and arrangements that keeps things fresh and dare I say, lively?  Take the intro to the song “Highwire” for example, with its bouncing bassline and bursts of jazzy, dissonant chords.  The album is loaded with tons of tempting little musical moments like this, and it makes for a rather refreshing listen.

Basically, if you’re into The Peaceville Three….you’re going to like this.  I’m generally not into the more goth doom bands like Paradise Lost, Anathema, and My Dying Bride.  I do like this album by My Silent Wake, as it’s got a lot of variation, tons of twists and turns.  The keyboards add a nice texture, it ‘s got a clear production, some strategic usage of guest musicians, and they’ve clearly got the chops.  Fans of the bands I’ve mentioned should give this a swing, it’s rather righteous in its ambition and scope of vision.

Misantropus_The Gnomes

Misantropus – The Gnomes

 Oh cool, another album with some truly bizarre and iconoclastic cover art, this one a simple cartoon looking drawing of what I’d assume to be a trio of green gnomes.   I’ve talked earlier about the lack of longer numbers in discussing the other albums, and although this Misantropus album is rather short on the whole, tracking in at just above 35 minutes, it’s only four songs.  So….we’re treated to a 9 and a half minute opening track and closer pushing the 13 minute mark.

http://www.minotaurorecords.com/shop/cd/misantropus-the-gnomes-copy/

These guys are obviously into the occult, as the song titles indicate. “The Gnomes (Ariel)”, “The Salamander (Mikhael)”, “Undines (Gabriel)” and “Elis (Raphael)” all connect an  elemental spirit to the corresponding archangel for each of the Greek elements: earth, fire, water, and air.  It’s obviously some kind of concept album, or ritual invocation – only the creators, an Italian duo, would know for certain.  It definitely creates an air of mystery and intrigue.  Musically, it’s an equally odd piece, consisting mainly of a variations on one stripped down guitar and bass riff with a trance-like drum beat.  There’s a guest guitar solo on the second track, and some cool ambient synth passages that bookmark the beginning and end of the album, and zero vocals.  Their stripped down instrumental approach levies them in my eyes as the Karma To Burn of Italian cult doom.

Once again, this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.  It’s extremely monotonous, with very few changes, even from song to song.  And while this may sound boring to some, and honestly left me pretty non-plussed initially, I found myself out humming those riffs in my head as I went out and ran my errands today.  There’s something rather captivating and enchanting about them.  If this sounds like your kind of jams, hey….I’d encourage you to give it a listen.

Additional Links to Minotauro Records:
http://www.minotaurorecords.com/https://
www.facebook.com/minotaurorecords/
https://minotaurorecords.bandcamp.com/

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Mother Mars “On Lunar Highlands” Album Review + Stream + Music Video…

Mother Mars

On Lunar Highlands – CD // DD

Pepper Shaker Records – Releases December 6, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

 

Lineup:
Frank Attard: Drums, percussion, Clavinet, synth, meandering chaos
Paul Attard: Guitars, bass, synth, banjo-mandolin, piano, organ, complications
Dave Schembri: Vocals, harmonica, mellow vibes
Matthew Slager: Lead guitar on ‘Never Fail’

Tracklist:
Wrecker’s Reunion Ball (5:00)
Lost Planet Airmen (4:34)
Bean Stalkin’ (0:28)
Thought It Best To Cut You Loose (5:33)
Soap Bar Pick-Up Joint (3:41)
The Stalwarts of Saltwort Castle (9:31)
The Working Mind of the Creator (3:44)
Woodhollow Green (12:55)
Bean Stalkin’ Again (0:56)
Never Fail (4:13)
Bigger Than Fear (5:44)
On Lunar Highlands (8:35)
The Heavy Hand Of The Destroyer (4:14)

 

 

Review:
Sludge Metal can go in any one of many directions, and one of the most interesting just may be the original: The variety of Sludge both invented and perfected by Black Sabbath. That particular brand of Sludge Metal is heavily Blues-influenced and totally unafraid to incorporate highly experimental elements like irregular time signatures, tempo changes, and long complicated instrumental sections in a manner that is almost progressive. This style of music has existed since the late 70s and one of its latest disciples is Australia’s Mother Mars, and they exemplify it fantastically in their newest release, On Lunar Highlands.

As a listener will easily pick up on while making their way through the album, Mother Mars makes no attempt to pigeonhole themselves. They open with some sludgey goodness on “Wrecker’s Reunion Ball”, but they weave their way through several different styles like early-era Queens of the Stone Age-style desert rock on “Lost Planet Airmen” Psychedelic Folk on several songs, most prevalent in the interlude “Bean Stalkin’” and its brother-in-arms “Bean Stalkin’ Again”, and expertly execute a song that sounds like a long-lost B-side from Black Sabbath’s Paranoid in album high point “The Stalwarts of Saltwort Castle” (stream below).

While Mother Mars is an extremely skilled band, they really show their true talent when their songs are heavier and longer. When Mother Mars give themselves room to breathe, their songs gain an organic energy that is nearly second to none, especially when they decide to allow themselves what is a particularly decadent instrumental section full of guitar solos, bass riffs, and plenty of interplay between the band’s members.

Additionally, there are only 3 members of Mother Mars, though you’d never guess it from listening to them. These Heavy Space Rockers are incredibly adept at filling a space with as much noise as it needs to sound full and heavy without making it sound unnecessarily chaotic. It is chaotic, to be fair, but as Mother Mars proves, chaos is not always directionless. As the band simulates what can only be described as the sonic equivalent of a Solar Storm, they always make sure to include a clearly understandable sense of direction, as the songs always make sense, as a band full of gentlemen this talented should. If you are interested in Bluesy, Spacey, Sonic-adventurous Sludge Metal, and you have 70 minutes to kill, look no further than Mother Mars’ “On Lunar Highlands”. It is skillful, it is eclectic, and most importantly: it is heavy.

Album Logo


Kal-El “Astrodoomeda” Album Review + Music Video + Stream…

Kal-El

ASTRODOOMEDA – CD // DD

Argonauta Records – Released August 25th, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Lineup:
Cpt Ulven – Vocals
Roffe – Guitars
Liz – Bass
Bjudas – Drums

Prepare to Rock ‘N’ Roll Earthling

Review:
Hey Tasters this is your old friend “The Ancient One” and today’s flavor is psychedelic space rock from Kal-El, the fuzzed-out step children of hard rock and heavy metal. Founded in Norway in 2012 by members of Theatre of Tragedy, Six Eyes Lost and Desspo, the band Kal-El quickly got to work rehearsing for its debut and formed a sort of family / domestic following doing gigs throughout their native country Norway’s many venues. On November, 28th, 2012  Kal-El self-released it’s 1st single called “Dark Moon Voyage”, quickly followed by their debut full length album “Pakel” released May 26th, 2014 on Wyrmhole of Death Records which was followed by “Ecosphere,” released on Setalite Records on August, 22nd, 2015.  And now after two years of hard work Kal-El is preparing to release it’s 3rd album “Astrodoomeda” on Aug 25th, 2017 Argonauta records.

Promo Image

As a lover of heavy metal, hard rock, doom, psychedelia, and space rock I refuse to review stuff if I am not feeling it. So rather than saying oh what a great album I researched Kal-El’s past music before I even listened to the advanced copy of “Astrodoomeda.” What I discovered through their music videos and overall band concept is they put on one hell of a show.

Listening to the album “Astrodoomeda” was like smoking a bowl and watching the old black and white episodes of Buck Rogers, Flash Gordan, or the animated movie Heavy Metal. Musically this band is tight!! Liz lays down some gnarly bass grooves that blend with drummer  Bjudas’s beats that create smooth rolling rhythms, and other times rolling thunder as Roffe plays fuzzed out psychedelic leads that Cpt. Ulver uses to give his vocals an even more spaced out sound.

Besides the title track, ‘Astrodoomeda’, some of my favorite tracks ‘MOTHERSHIP’ in which you see the sonic blast coming from Bjudas’s drums in the band’s video. I also enjoyed ‘LUNA’, ‘STARLIGHT SHADE’ and the band’s cover of the Kyuss song ‘GREEN MACHINE’. While I think lovers of Black Sabbath, Monster Magnet, Nebula, and Kyuss are naturally going to love this album, fans of Greenleaf and Horisont might want to check this out too .

Additional Links:

http://www.kal-el.no

http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/music-/214-kal-el-astrodoomeda-cd.html

                                                         

 

                                                                                                                                     


Cosmic Fall // Aphodyl “Starsplit” Album Review + Stream…

Cosmic Fall and Aphodyl

Starsplit – Vinyl // CD // DD

PsyKA Records – released July 27, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

The Starsplit Enterprise

 

 

Star date: 8/30/17 – Space, time, … as everyone even somewhat familiar with Albert Einstein theory of relativity knows  one’s perception of them changes when traveling at the speed of light. Music strangely enough has a similar effect which I was reminded of while listening to the “Starsplit” album last night. An endeavor by two stoner rock bands from Berlin who decided to share some vinyl Cosmic Fall and Aphodyl released a split aptly named “Starsplit” on PsyKA Records, a small underground label from Karlsruhe, Germany. This epic journey has a total run time of 6 tracks lasting 1 hour and 17 minutes on their CD release and 4 tracks lasting about 47 minutes on their Vinyl Release. I found I really didn’t care about time and just enjoyed the moment on each song, which is what good psychedelic/stoner rock is about. Normally I don’t talk about each song on an album but I feel I would be doing these guys an injustice if I didn’t explain why I liked each of their songs.

 

Cosmic Fall Logo

On the A-Side of “Starsplit” is Cosmic Fall. Founded in June 2016 by Bassist Klaus Friedrich, and drummer Daniel Sax.  With 2 impressive self produced Heavy Psyche albums “Cosmic Fall” has returned from the  stars to lay down some more of their otherworldly instrumental space rock with an urban feel to it for us.

Galactic desert rock is what I like to call the albums 1st track ‘Overhead Intelligence.’ It begins with a slow bluesy guitar jam  done by Mathias Rosmann accompanied by Klaus Friedrich’s mellow bass notes emphasis by a few well timed drum beats. Then drummer Daniel Sax helps to kick the song into warp drive allowing Mathias and Klaus to amaze the listener with a stellar guitar performance. ‘Blues at CME’ is pure  ZZ Top instrumental worship that feels like a late night cruise on the back roads of Texas in my cheap sun glasses where a UFO lands and some hot space chicks abduct me to take me on a cruise through the stars. Closing out the Cosmic Fall side of the album is the Bonus Track  ‘Sleeping Pandora.’ Beginning with a Bass and Drum lead by Klaus and Daniel while Mathias plays a far away psychedelic guitar that seems to ebb and flow like the ocean tides. A superb track to close out Cosmic Fall’s 39+ minutes of Cosmic Traveling!!  Up next on Side B…..

APHODYL
Aphodyl_Album Cover

On the B-Side APHODYL!! – No matter the medium I have found Germans have always seemed to have a big Avante Garde art scene that challenges people’s perceptions. Biene, Holli, André & Arno are no exception. Playing music that comes from their minds with much influence from the psychedelic and Krautrock realms, (Pink Floyd, UFO, Hawkwind, Jane etc.) APHODYL fearlessly experiments with sound. On the  APHODYL side of “Starsplit” is what I consider to be 1 long song that has been separated into  3 movements simply titled  ‘Part I, II and III(bonus).’

‘Part I’ begins  with what sounds like a bluesy heavy psych guitar lead by André with some jazz style percussion and bass by Hollie and Arno. As the band starts getting into the song they start working in the strange psychedelic sounds. In the second movement  you feel like you are under a desert sky riding along on a caravan under the stars watching flying saucers through the combination of  instrumental sound effects by Biene, Middle Eastern style guitar playing and that chugging bass. Then at the mid point the lead starts taking off all the while the band is adding sounds from their synth and the bass by Arno begins to feel like its speaking a strange mantra. Then the third bonus movement begins with sounds of a sultry night with a cool bass and drum lead in then the electric blues guitar starts playing music you can actually feel. I’d love to hear more by APHODYL and will be scouring the internet to see what they have available.

While you can still buy Merchandise this album is no longer available for purchase on Bandcamp but fear not you can still get CD’s and Vinyl direct from the band, Cosmic Fall.  Simply drop them a line at their email cosmicfallband@gmail.com.

Additional Links:
http://www.clostridiumrecords.com/

https://cosmicfallband.tumblr.com/

http://www.aphodyl.com/

http://www.allthatisheavy.com/Cosmic_Fall_Aphodyl_Star_Split_Marble_IMPORT_LP_p/ath-12273.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJkOD9CM6U0


Arteaga “Vol II. Dios Sol” Album Review + Stream…

Arteaga

Vol II. Dios Sol – CD – releases July 16, 2017  // DD – released February 7, 2017

Forbidden Place Records – USA // South American Sludge Records – R.O.T.W.

Reviewed by Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez

 

The first notes of ‘Cuicodelia’ may seem like an homage to Electric Wizard, however, if you keep listening, you will start to unravel what makes Arteaga stand out from most Electric Wizard clones. To their advantage, Arteaga put their South American (Chile, to be precise) stamp all over this release. Yes, this album has the trademark stoner/doom/sludge touches. The drawn-out riffs, the thick rhythms, the slow trampling drums are certainly all there. However, the crepuscular vocals (sung in their native tongue) is what sets them apart, used almost as a fourth instrument to enhance the overall mystical horror vibe of the record.

While their first EP, Vol I. Agradable, “added sludge and stoner riffs, desperate voices and constant beats” to the established sound of their debut demo, Vol II. Dios Sol “dragged guitars down a little bit more, they expanded their horizon turning themselves to the darkness of 20th Century Italian Giallo and Grindhouse dirt, genres that influence both their lyrics and aesthetic.”

 

Promo Pic

 

‘Cuicodelia’ and ‘Chapultepec’ open the album with pure, straight up sludgy/stoner grooves, at times recalling a mid-90’s desert sessions sound. Both songs have accompanying videos on YouTube worth checking out that capture the previously mentioned Giallo and grindhouse aesthetic with elements of mystery, slasher, exploitation, and supernatural horror. ‘Daga’ and ‘Ruta’ follow up with a slightly different take on the genre. At times having a late 80’s early 90’s alternative/punk sound not unlike you would find with certain bands on a label such as Alternative Tentacles or Touch and Go.  Final track, ‘Dios Sol’, briefly follows a similar style before shifting gears into a long droned out acid-fest. Expertly using crawling atmospheres and crafty grooves within the canvas of the 20+ minute song.

Francisco Gonzalez (bass/vocals), Sebastian Morales Munita (guitar), and Domingo Lovera Parmo (drums) have gradually begun to refine their sound with each release. If this LP is anything to go by, I’m sure they will come back even stronger with their next effort. Vol II. Dios Sol is out now on Forbidden Place Records – USA and South American Sludge Records – Rest of the World.  You can also find it on their Bandcamp page. Give it a listen and take the trip!!