Tracklist: Another Plane (8:35)
Stellar Gate Drive (5:41)
The Tree and the Serpent (6:01)
B Oscillation (6:59)
Diesel Breath (7:35)
Priestess of Misery (6:24)
Half a Man (4:07)
Om Shaantih (6:00)
Sergeant Thunderhoof is a group of unsung metal heroes from England specializing in stoner metal. In May of 2018 following a successful kickstarter campaign, Sergeant Thunderhoof have graced us with their third full-length album Terra Solus and I am happy to say that it does not disappoint.
Stylistically, Terra Solus is about what would be expected of them, boasting a heavy yet melodic variety of stoner metal tinged with a healthy dosage of psychedelia. The album begins with tribal drums and a huge guitar riff in “Another Plane”. Eventually, the vocals enter, showing a marked improvement over their previous album, Ride of the Hoof. On Terra Solus, the melodic vocals of Dan Flitcroft are clearer, crisper, and more confident, showing great maturation of their band.
The production is also much cleaner, resulting in a great sound quality. Each instrument is heard with crystal clarity throughout the whole album and it is a joy to listen to. In addition, Terra Solus is sequenced fantastically- it’s almost as though the album has a complete story arc.
The album also has insane solos and riffs to spare. Guitarist Mark Sayer is really playing his instrument for all it’s worth. There are a ton of great guitar parts straight out of the gate, and the band’s rhythm section gives every song on the album a fantastic groundwork.
All in all, Terra Solus is an absolute killer of an album from beginning to end. It has groove and attitude to spare, and it’s a crime that three albums in Sergeant Thunderhoof still hasn’t gained a foothold. I highly recommend that you check out this album and Sergeant Thunderhoof’s entire backlog if you’re interested in Stoner Metal. Now if only there was a time machine in order to go back and “back” the Kickstarter project…
NAP are a Stoner/Progressive Rock band from Oldenburg, Germany. Here is how they describe themselves; “Nap plays as a classical 3-piece rock-formation, mostly instrumental with rather rare vocal parts. Psychedelic sounds, up-tempo beats, grooving Doom and Stoner-riffage plus some Noise and Surf influences with strong tendencies reminiscing the sound of the Hippie-Era and the origin of Metal. A combined musical paradox, of highs and lows, all to end into an excessive nightmare.”
Album Art: Depending on which version of the album you get you either get a melt-y dreamscape (in black and white) or a cloudy sky at sunset.
Translates into Thunderstorm. This track goes in between a somewhat clean solo and a fuzzy riff. It is almost book-ended by drum fills. At some points it almost gives me the feeling that the end of “Side A” (Black Bombaim – Saturdays Space Travels) gives off.
It starts off very 1970’s Black Sabbath sounding but becomes less so as the song continues, until it gets to about six minutes into it then we get our first glimpse at vocals on this album. (Almost sounding The Atomic Bitchwax-y)
Duna is a preview is what is to come in Xurf. Here we have, for the most part, Clean guitar tones and an almost repetitive beat. Duna might be in reference to Duna Jam which is a “a mix between a picnic and a pilgrimage” in Italy that has been going since 2006.
A4/4 Larva (favorite track)
This track is clearly a jam and it’s fuzzy guitar and strained vocals (once again at the end of the track) keep the track interesting. It is definitely an almost Karma to Burn like in its structure and amount of guitar.
Is what the title of the song suggests, It is a Surfer Rock style song. (But with distortion) A reference would be Dick Dale. This would not be out of place basting on the beaches of California in the sixties.
Starts off slow, like a Sleep song but gains speed toward 3:54 and gains its speed again. It is almost a Sludge Metal song; if it wasn’t for the speed it gains toward the end. I could not find a translation for this word but it could be a clean mononym for for shit-show because it sounds like a mash-up of all of the references in the rest of the album.
B3/7 Ungeheuer (Should be a single)
Translation: Monster. And, oh, is it one. The music stays loud throughout the whole track. This is the last track that has vocals, and it also has the most. “Shallow phrases come out of their mouths, With their shallow hearts they try to occupy your mind, Confusion spreads like the flu, Some day they may come over you, It all ends up in the eternal void anywhere you go.”
Translation: Highway. This song stays constant and almost repetitive structure (like a highway) and in the end (4:15) it begins to differ from the beginning of the song. It is almost like a crash starting to happen, it slows, it gets faster and faster until it becomes an almost screech and then it ends.
Nap are reminiscent of another Stoner band, Sleep, but faster, which is ironically what a nap is compared to sleep. The music, as well as being them jamming, it is like a journey. A journey like the ones most stoner albums give are best experienced on vinyl (Which sadly are sold out (unless you look at Discogs) or you can buy a CD directly from the band’s Bandcamp Page (link below or above).
The vocals remind me of Brocas Helm or The Atomic Bitchwax (Except they are used less in Nap’s songs). The instrumentals are similar to Black Sabbath in the 1970’s, especially during the “Vol. 4” & “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” years. The music is also very close to the jamming in some of Karma to Burn’s music. The songs that do have a little bit of organ have almost a Cheap Wine feel; the organ is just barely there but it is present. When the music gets faster and more distorted there is a clear relation to Black Bombaim.
You will not be disappointed with this album if you enjoy a good Stoner jam band (or a if you are a fan of Black Sabbath).