Marilyn Manson “Heaven Upside Down” Album Review + Videos…

Marilyn Manson

Heaven Upside Down – CD // DD // Vinyl

Loma Vista/Caroline – released on October 6, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

The Unofficial Return of Omēga and the Superstar 

 

Lineup:
Marilyn Manson – vocals
Tyler Bates – instrumentation, engineering, recording, production, mixing
Gil Sharone – drums
Additional musicians:
Dana Dentata – backing vocals (on track 9)
Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. – Clavinet (on track 10)

Album Art:
The cover is similar to his previous album without distortion. It’s a black and white side profile shot with an upside down cross with an extra horizontal line.

Tracklist:

  1. “Revelation #12” 4:42
    2. “Tattooed in Reverse” 4:24
    3.         “WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE” 4:32
    4.         “SAY10” 4:18
    5.         “KILL4ME” 3:59
    6.         “Saturnalia” 7:59
    7.         “JE$U$ CRI$I$” 3:59
    8.         “Blood Honey” 4:10
    9.         “Heaven Upside Down” 4:49
    10.       “Threats of Romance” 4:37
  2. “Stigmata” (Ministry Cover) 5:29
  3. “Kill4Me” (Mystery Skulls Remix) 3:39

 

 

History:
In late 2016 and early 2017 Manson announced and released a working title for the album named Say10. He also said that the projected release date would be Valentine’s Day 2017, needless to say, it was put off until a further date because he had a couple more ideas for the album and needed time to produce them. These songs being “Revelation #12”, “Saturnalia” and “Heaven Upside Down”. In an interview with Loudwire he stated: “Those three songs take place where, if [the album] were a film, it’s the opening, the middle and the ending. Then there’s the song after ‘Heaven Upside Down’, it’s sort of the end title credits where it’s really surmising the story of the record, which is to be interpreted by the listener.”

This album was produced by film/video game composer Tyler Bates. (He also produced The Pale Emperor) During the time that this album was being made; Manson produced a song for a movie that Bates was working on, Atomic Blonde. The song is a cover of a Ministry song “Stigmata.” (Which I have included here because it fits in this album as a bonus track, (along with the Mystery Skulls remix of “Kill4Me”) The last two tracks are a throwback to the Mechanical Animals period of his career.

Marilyn Manson as a band has gone through many lineup and personnel changes since its inception as Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids in 1989. As Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids there are seven official releases, they are mostly demo versions of tracks later remade for the Marilyn Manson album “Portrait of an American Family”. As just Marilyn Manson there are ten albums, one live album, three compilation albums, and 37 E.P.s and singles. So, suffice to say he has had a prolific musical career since the 1990s.

Review:
Unlike his previous releases from this decade this album has a more of a “throwback” sound of his heyday of the 90’s. He also keeps some of the changes he has made in the aforementioned albums. There is a meme that describes it perfectly: it has the cover of Born Villain with the words “Who are you” and then it has this albums cover saying “I’m you, but stronger.” This album has more of a dirty sound; in terms of more distortion, not lyric content, it sounds like whoever mixed/mastered the album let the sound go into the max.

The Opening: In “Revelation #12” there is a call back to one of the chants in “Irresponsible Hate Anthem” and “The Reflecting God” (from Antichrist Superstar). It is also a sort of sequel to the soundscape they put out in 1994 on the Get Your Gunn single. (i.e. The repetition and some of the samples in the background.) “Tattooed in Reverse” is closer to his work in the early 2000s, Holy Wood/The High End of Low. The sound itself is more industrial than the music at that period (with the use of samples and drum pattern).

“WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE” is a mix of “The Beautiful People” and “Mister Superstar” the fast and then the quieter parts being interchanged with the shout/yelling. It ends with him whispering the beginning of the track; which helps introduce us to “SAY10” which is a lot like some of the songs from Holy Wood with the electronic sound of Mechanical Animals. “KILL4ME” sounds like it was a song that could’ve been recorded during the Mechanical Animals session with a hint of “If I Was Your Vampire” style lyrics.

The Middle: “Saturnalia” is the longest track on the album, but, in a way it feels like it is about the same as the others. The repeated drum pattern works as a way to get you in a sort of trance as you hear the back-masked sounding words in between delivery of vocals. The song also works as a part one to the Ministry cover, even though I highly doubt he planned it that way. This song ends like “WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE.” “JE$U$ CRI$I$” sounds like either a song from Born Villain or The Golden Age of Grotesque. The song is like two different songs, with the second song being put in the middle of the first. It is almost a breakdown, maybe that is what he wanted the song to be like. “Blood Honey” is the first of the slower more mellow tracks. It sounds like, once again, a song from The High End of Low.

The Ending: “Heaven Upside Down” the title track is the second of the slower tracks and is almost a continuation of the previous track. It has almost the same structure and tempo and lyrical content, but it isn’t quite the same song. “Threats of Romance” is the most traditional rock song on the album. It is just has the Manson mix on it like a distorted vocals and the way the Clavinet in the background. I included “Stigmata” (Ministry Cover) here because it fits the album. I don’t know why it wasn’t included but it brings the beat back up from the previous three tracks. “Kill4Me” (Mystery Skulls Remix) is a Japanese bonus track that I included here because it is another track that is an example of the Mechanical Animals being brought into the “modern” version of electronic music and is a good song to bring you down from “Stigmata” as it (in a way) takes you out of the album.

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This album is an excellent example of Manson showing his ability to reflect on his past but make it new in a way. Like Alice Cooper with Welcome 2 My Nightmare or like David Bowie with The Next Day. In a way Marilyn Manson is a Alice Cooper/David Bowie 2.0 taking his influences and putting his spin on it, even from his early days as a leader of the Spooky Kids. If you are a fan our just like his music but have stayed away since the 90s, this would be a good time to come back.

 Stream the album here.
Download or buy (from Amazon) here.
Buy album and/or merch from Loma Vista Recordings here.

 Additional Links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM13xSW3ggo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven_Upside_Down

http://www.marilynmanson.com/home.php

https://bodega.lomavistarecordings.com/collections/marilyn-manson/products/marilyn-manson-heaven-upside-down-180g-red-vinyl-pale-emperor-box-set-bundle

https://bodega.lomavistarecordings.com/collections/marilyn-manson/products/marilyn-manson-heaven-upside-down-180g-red-vinyl-pale-emperor-white-vinyl-bundle

http://www.spookykids.net/indexxx.html

https://www.discogs.com/artist/229973-Marilyn-Manson-The-Spooky-Kids

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj35NqGx_vWAhWHr1QKHZzwCDIQFghHMAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fopen.spotify.com%2Falbum%2F6kbfR3NJmBGlgsTPAYmezz&usg=AOvVaw11zUAq8dEdXU_1CV84psQk

https://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Upside-Explicit-Marilyn-Manson/dp/B0757CYN8Q

https://bodega.lomavistarecordings.com/collections/marilyn-manson


First Band From Outer Space “We’re Only In It For The Spacerock” Album Review + Stream…

First Band From Outer Space

We’re Only In It For The Spacerock – CD // DD

TRANSUBSTANS Records – Originally Released In 2005 (with a bonus video)

Re-released: digital Download February 14, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
– JohanFromSpace / Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars
– SpaceAce Frippe / Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Synths, Bells and Voice
– Starfighter Carl / Drums, Percussion and Voice
– Moon Beam Josue / Silver Flute

Previous Releases:
This was the band’s first full length album. The two previous releases were two demo CDr’s; the first “Further Magic” and “Aboard The Mothership Of Cosmic Sound Creation” both released in 2003 and none of the tracks have been re-released. Their second full length release “Impressionable Sounds Of The Subsonic” was released in 2006. The most recent release, from 2009, is “The Guitar Is Mightier Than The Gun”… Two bonus tracks that were on their MySpace: “Mellow Yellow” and “You Will Be Freed”…

Tracklist:

  1. Begin to Float (Intro) (4:44)
    2. Sannraijz (9:58)
    3. Sometimes Going Too Far is the Only Way To Go (7:13)
    4. Sannraijz 2 (4:43)
    5. We’re Only In it for the Spacerock (20:28)
    6. Make Yourself Heard for the Sake of the World (10:47)

Review:

The Band:

First Band From Outer Space are a Aleatoric/Psychedelic/Space Rock band from Gotenborg, Sweden. Their label describes them as  being “Swedish intergalactical starfighters on their eternal quest for infiltrating the human race with their alien psychic powers of enslaving the neanderthals by brainwashing [them] with the finest space rock ever done in Sweden!”

Album Art:

There are two variations of this cover. The one for the original release give you a better idea of what you are getting into once you get into the music. (Meaning it is more atmospheric) There is a person in a spacesuit on the right and there is a light coming from over their shoulder. The second cover is the one for the digital release it is black with a starfield and two light spots similar to CD, but instead of a astronaut there is a small module with the band’s name filling up most of the screen with the album title smaller on the bottom. (Both in the NASA font)

Original Artwork of “We Are Only In It For The Spacerock in 2005Only in it for the Spacerock_Original Cover

Track-by-track Breakdown:

  1. Begin to Float (Intro) – This track whirls in with a slow strumming of the guitar leading us into the First Band From Outer Space version of space. It is similar to “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” (Pink Floyd) in the way it builds and builds on itself. More bloops and bleeps are added and the music starts to pick up in the 2 minute area. Here we get our first clip; “All of my most sensitive areas were inflamed. My extremities pulsing and tingling sensation. …Floating higher and higher. A wonderful feeling! I began to float. Up, away from my body… My brain seemed to be held in a giant vice. Swaying back and forth. A beautiful thing taking me away. My head is spinning. It was a bell… a bell…” now we get fast beat of the drum. Building the tension. The guitar strumming along calmly.. and then
  1. Sannraijz – Now we are in a slightly different area. We are speeding through their space. The track slows at four minutes and then speeds back to it’s normal pace. At five minutes we get vocals. At the end of a comparatively quick singing passage we are told, by Johan that; “The end is always the start of something new” as we continue on our way through the rest of the track. Until it starts to slow in the last 20 or so seconds and our next clip; “No one had a bad trip. It was all very good.” as the next track cuts it off.   I could not find a translation of what the title means.
  1. Sometimes Going Too Far is the Only Way To Go – Here is where (more of) the 70’s rock comes in. A cowbell is counting in our next jam. Six minutes in we get our 90’s influence. A layered vocal not quite shouting at us. This is another short bit of lyrics. We are counted out by the cowbell as well.

      4. Sannraijz II – Here is an almost Mike Oldfield type of track, there are birds chirping. We have now landed on a strange desert planet.           This is the most radio friendly song; it is acoustic and has lyrics throughout. It serves as an intro to the next track.

      5. We’re Only In It for the Spacerock – This track is an experience. It is a slow jam calling back to the first track. It is similar to a                 song by Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno called “Anthem of the Space.” Just a very spacey sounding with heavier guitar. There is another sound clip at the end but I cannot quite make it out.   The title is likely in reference to the Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention album We’re Only In It for the Money.

6. Make Yourself Heard for the Sake of the World – This track has a Jethro Tull flute part in it. We get our space or eastern                      sounding intro then we get a rocking riff and MoonBeamJosue is bringing us home with his flute. Two minutes in we get our 80’s/90’s            sounding vocal style again. The track ends how it begins. The tracks are all faded into another so it is a continuous piece.

Band Pic

The synth parts of the music are like a 50’s or 60’s look at what music from aliens, (meaning the bloops and bleeps) that was depicted in the old sci-fi movies/shows with guitar and rhythms from 70’s (and at some points the late 90’s) Rock. This album is a mix of Budgie and Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno that I didn’t know that I needed until now. The band show their influences well while making their own brand of Spacerock.

If you like 70’s style Rock with some space synths added in you should definitely pick this release up.

Stream and download the album here.   “No one had a bad trip. It was all very good.

Extra links:

http://www.progarchives.com/album.asp?id=9483

https://www.discogs.com/First-Band-From-Outer-Space-Were-Only-In-It-For-The-Spacerock/release/1166182

https://transubstansrecords.bandcamp.com/album/were-only-in-it-for-the-spacerock

http://www.transubstans.com/

https://myspace.com/firstbandfromouterspace

https://www.discogs.com/First-Band-From-Outer-Space-Further-Magic/release/5373943

https://myspace.com/firstbandfromouterspace/music/song/mellow-yellow-37764068-39871988

https://www.discogs.com/First-Band-From-Outer-Space-Further-Magic/release/5373943

https://www.discogs.com/First-Band-From-Outer-Space-Aboard-The-Mothership-Of-Cosmic-Sound-Creation/release/5373935

https://www.discogs.com/First-Band-From-Outer-Space-Impressionable-Sounds-Of-The-Subsonic/release/1759512

https://www.discogs.com/First-Band-From-Outer-Space-The-Guitar-Is-Mightier-Than-The-Gun/master/377219

https://www.facebook.com/firstbandfromouterspace/?ref=br_rs


Clouds Taste Satanic “The Glitter of Infinite Hell” Album Review + Stream…

Clouds Taste Satanic

The Glitter of Infinite Hell – CD // DD

Self Released – October 31st, 2017 on Helloween!!

Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Yum…May I have a second helping?”

                  

Hey everyone this is Terry the Ancient One and I got some more kickin’ Doomaphonica for your Rocktober by  Clouds Taste Satanic. Formed in 2013,  Brooklyn’s instrumental Doom Quartet is made up of bassist Sean Bay, drummer Christy Davis, guitarist Steven Scavuzzo, and guitarist David Weintraub. While pretty close mouthed about themselves on their Facebook Page and just as mysterious in Encyclopedia Metallum, They have managed to amass a small army of followers which I think is due to the fact Clouds Taste Satanic is promoted mainly by their loyal and deeply devoted fans through word of mouth and social media outlets.

While “DOOMED & STONED”  has been quoted as saying “one of the most remarkable and tragically unknown metal bands of our time continues to reach new creative heights.” in their review of latest album by Clouds Taste Satanic.  I must say I disagree on the part about them being tragically unknown. If they are then tell me why I am seeing them all over Facebook’s various metal and doom pages and communities and in the big underground Webazines: Decibel Magazine , CVLT Nation, DOOMED & STONED, Outlaws of the Sun, The Sludgelord , Metal Bandcamp, Sleeping Shaman  and these are just the big ones. DOOMED & STONED, as cool as I think you are I think you’ve smoked a bit much.

Band Logo

Now that I have probably pissed off the Rolling Stone of doom music I will tell you a little about Clouds Taste Satanic latest musical offering  “The Glitter of Infinite Hell.”  Scheduled to be released October 31st, 2017, this 4 song, 74 minute demonic masterpiece of doom backs one hell of a punch. It’s songs fell like an opium dream turned into nightmare. Quite possibly inspired by Old Scratch himself “The Glitter of Infinite Hell” seems to tell the story of Lucifer’s rebellion and fall with the songs Greed, Treachery, Violence, and Wrath.

Opening Track off “The Glitter of Infinite Hell”

The songs feel like an opium dream turned into nightmare. What’s really cool about this album is the songs sound like the titles they are given. Through a brilliant combination of Doom, Sludge, Psychedelic Rock and Stoner riffs; “The Glitter of Infinite Hell’s” tracks manage to convey the meaning of the songs titles. For instance, the opening track ‘Greed’ sounds like a hulking beast lumbering across the land it laid waste filling its maw in a vain attempt to satiate its endless hunger. I could continue about every track but I think you are going to have to listen for yourselves to fully understand.  You now have your soundtrack for Halloween this Year compliments of CTS!!

Break out your headphones for this one boys and ghouls  Clouds Taste Satanic has some amazing ear candy ready for you. In “The Glitter of Infinite Hell.”  If you can’t afford this one, beg your  mom, dad, wife, husband or don’t buy that $6.00 Cup of Coffee for One Day… and spend the $5.00 to get the digital download, or $7.00 for the CD. If that doesn’t work, sell blood, volunteer for an experiment, sell sperm/eggs or you could try to sell your soul to Satan. In the mean time here are some of their past videos and a Bandcamp link to the new album.

Band Pic

Additional Links:
https://www.facebook.com/CloudsTasteSatanic/videos/970541083038312/

https://www.facebook.com/CloudsTasteSatanic/videos/1106859459406473/

https://cloudstastesatanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-glitter-of-infinite-hell

https://www.facebook.com/CloudsTasteSatanic/


Bat Chain Puller “The Anatomy of Thera Macula” Album Review + Stream…

Bat Chain Puller

The Anatomy of Thera Macula – CD // DD

Mesolithic Records – released July 1st, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Bill Wyant – Guitar, Vocals
Jed Guthrie – Bass
Dennis Flynn – Drums

Tracklist:

  1. Perversions of the Anti-Ego 03:59
  2. On Pilot Wave 05:07
  3. Ostrich 06:38
  4. Nothing Is, But What is Not? 10:27
  5. The Anatomy of Thera Macula 11:04
  6. Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder 06:31
  7. Neon Spiral Hydra 10:57
  8. Glory Whole 05:46

 

 

Review:
Bat Chain Puller are fuzzy Stoner Rock group from Bloomington, Illinois. I use the adjective fuzzy because; as they explain it themselves, [We are] “Specializing in fine handcrafted metal that is fuzzy […] even before you bake…” (From their Facebook page). Their name is likely in reference to the album(s) by Captain Beefheart. The band have two previous releases; the first being a studio album from 2012, “One Million Tomorrows” and the second being a single (that is the first track off of this album with an altered time from 2016,) “Perversions of the Anti-Ego

I could not find any direct pictures that the cover is made of. I am guessing that it takes place in either World War II or after some nuclear fallout. I say WWII because of the gas mask the model is wearing and because the background looks European. (Which leads into…)

Track-by-track Breakdown:

Track 1. “Perversions of the Anti-Ego” – This is the single that was released a year before the album came out. It is Black Label Society-ish sounding; slow, it keeps the same tempo for most of the song until the last few seconds where they pick it up barely and once they hit the last note it fades out.

Track 2. “On Pilot Wave” (Favorite track) – I will elaborate more below but I feel that this should have been the single they chose from the album. It is Bush-ish sounding; abstract sounding lyrics, changing tempos, pseudo-Grunge aggression and a good rhythm.

Track 3. “Ostrich” – This is the song where you hear the bass guitar the most and it is what makes me enjoy it. This track is more of a Black Sabbath/Bush hybrid; strange lyrics, the bass keeps the track moving (along with the drums of course)

Track 4. “Nothing Is, But What is Not?”/Track 5. “The Anatomy of Thera Macula”(Best tracks) – These tracks go back and forth between all of their influences. There are brief points of Metal throughout both with points of Progressive Rock and Stoner Rock.  Thera Macula most likely refers to one of the dark spots on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Which just happens to relate back to the cover, because; “Thera Macula is a region of likely active chaos” and that is what the cover and even points of these songs include.

Band Logo

Track 6. “Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder” (Heaviest song) – This is a close second favorite song. It goes between Bush style lyrics and modern (1990’s-2000’s) radio metal music. The repeating riff and how the guitar is the fade out at the end.

Track 7. “Neon Spiral Hydra” – This is a close relative of tracks 4 and 5 but different enough to where it doesn’t fit into the one song scheme. The song is very close to newer Alice in Chains.

Track 8. “Glory Whole” – Very Alice in Chains with hints of Layne Staley vocals. The way the vocals are layered is reminiscent of how AIC do theirs.

Bill Wyant’s vocals remind me of a strange mix between Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society and Ozzy Osbourne) and Gavin Rossdale (Bush). The music itself is a strange mix of newer Black Sabbath, the William DuVall lead Alice in Chains, Black Label Society and Bush and often the music styles come together and move apart song to song.

The drumming is the highlight of the album to me. Strangely enough; this album reminds me of Bless the Martyr Kiss the Child by Norma Jean, but a softer Rock version. Even though I feel the album has more of a Metal feel than a Rock feel. Tracks 4 and 5 serve best as one track. In these two the band creates a world that showcases their influences and shows the talent that they have as composers. Other than the 10 minute plus tracks this is a good biker album. Tracks 4, 5, 6, and 8 are the highlights.

If there is anything to complain about it is that it’s not heavy enough! At some points when they are building the soundscapes, I kept expecting some rapid fire drums or a speedy guitar solo, they teased it a little bit. Also “On a Pilot Wave” should have been the single, even if it would have to be shortened for radio play. (But these are personal gripes, not a musical one.)

Overall, Bat Chain Puller puts on a stellar performance with “The Anatomy of Thera Macula.”  Definitely get a copy of it!  Take a listen here and buy the DD or CD

Additional Links:

https://batchainpuller.bandcamp.com/releases

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/batchainpuller

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/batchainpuller2

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/batchainpuller3

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

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/fig_tab/nature10608_F2.html?foxtrotcallback=true

https://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/europa_20111116.html


Nihilosaur “Hymn & Ruin” Album Review + Stream…

NIHILOSAUR

Hymn & Ruin – Digital Download

Independent – Released July 1, 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Line Up:
Florian Analfox / Voices, Bass
Felix Geniusfix / Guitars, Samples
Tiwo Meiz / Drums

Review:

From the nether regions of Poland, Nihilosaur return with their 3rd full length album entitled “Hymn & Ruin”. Nihilosaur has a unique sound. I don’t feel that music needs to be categorized but it’s a lot easier to describe a band by their genre. Usually when I don’t know how to classify a band I’ll hit the net and check the usual places. Wikipedia is my go to but Wikipedia never heard of Nihilosaur. My next stop is Encyclopedia Metallum who list Nihilosaur as “Death Metal / Hardcore”. Even the shortest of listens leads me to believe that what they actually meant when they said “Death Metal / Hardcore” was “we don’t know”. Off to Nihilosaur’s Facebook page where they list their Genre as “Hymn and Ruin”…. That’s not a fucking genre. That’s the album title. I assume what they mean when they say their genre is “Hymn and Ruin” is “We don’t care”. I don’t think we can lump them into any category.

With that in mind, I think the best way to describe Nihilosaur’s sound is by conjuring up an image in your mind of the Nihilosaur itself. What would that be? First, the Nihilosaur is ancient & long dead but reanimated, presumably by some toxic waste and a few shots of lightning though no one knows for sure. Some of the Nihilosaur’s flesh was preserved in the tar pits from whence it came while some places the flesh is rotten, even decomposed to the bone. Its movements are slow. Despite having emerged from the pits a decade ago, tar is stuck to the Nihilosaur’s exterior. Flowing like molasses off its body with each movement, despite leaving a trail behind there seems to be no end to the muck. Nihilosaur is large, carnivorous and hungry – but not evil. No. Nihilosaur will devour you with indifference; not malevolence. He’s also horny as fuck.

Let’s see if we can complete the metaphor as we tour through the album. Starting with the cover, the analogy breaks down but let’s ignore that for just a minute. We’ve got a comic book style cover with an upright elephant with multiple arms, its trunk rammed into its gut. I guess it’s eating itself? I’m not really sure. The lettering of the band name looks eerily familiar and I’ll kick myself when I figure out where it’s from. Hopefully you’re reading this and yelling it at your screen, maybe I’ll hear you. Anyway, I have no clue on the significance of the elephant. Maybe it’s some sort of Nihilist symbolism though that’s a complete nonsense thought.

The album opens with a track called “No, No, No”. The heavily distorted guitars start the number, giving us a clue as to what comes next. The drums and bass of join the fray filling out a thick doom sound. Slow, melodic, distorted voices start creating eerie, ancient doom. They soon give way to death voices but quickly return to eerie again. Unfortunately none of the voices are discernible so I have no idea what this song is about. I agreed to review this album based on the band name alone (it’s so clever!!) and was hoping to hear what these guys have to say. The incomprehensible voices are a theme throughout the album. In fact the voices are turned down so they don’t stand out but rather blend in with the music. I suppose this is why the band calls them voices as opposed to vocals. It does suit the sound.

Moving on track to track, we have an atmosphere of thick goo. Imagine your lungs filling with tar. How they achieve such density with a 3 piece is beyond me. I would guess it has something to do with the heavy distortion and the blending of the voices which throughout the album go from eerie to death vocals to deep chants to low rumblings to screams.

Bimp Picture

Song titles like “A Kiss is the Beginning of Cannibalism” and “A Bag of Bones” tell me the Nihilosaur is hungry…or perhaps he was. After all, it’s not a bag of drumsticks, it’s “A Bag of Bones”. Song titles like “Night is My Nudity” and “What Are You Doing After the Orgy?” tell me he’s horny… but then again, if “A Kiss is the Beginning of Cannibalism” then he’s probably planning on working up an appetite during the orgy. Don’t go anywhere alone with the Nihilosaur unless you want to be dinner.

The album closes out with a track called “Reptile Parthenogenesis”. If you’re not aware, parthenogenesis is when an animal impregnates itself. Get ready for there to be many little Nihilosaurs running around having orgies and devouring whatever’s in their path. (Edit note: after writing this paragraph and submitting this review, I woke up in the middle of the night and realized what the elephant is doing to itself on the album cover… a little parthenogenesis action!!!).

Seriously though, it’s hard to take a band seriously when their members have names like Analfox and Geniusfix. I have to assume that they don’t take themselves too seriously either. That’s a trait I think is very admirable in music and musicians. It’s supposed to be fun. Grab a copy of Hymn and Ruin, give it a listen and have a good time.

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Kadavar “Rough Times” Album Review + Music Videos + Tour Schedule…

Kadavar 

Rough Times – Vinyl // CD // DD

Nuclear Blast – Release Date: September 29th, 2017

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

Germany’s premiere retro-metal rockers Kadavar have long been a favorite of mine, since their first album dropped.  Their take on the heavy 70’s sound was surprisingly refreshing and convincing for a genre so hell bent on mimicking the past masters, and they had a killer fashion sense to boot.  Seriously, these guys dress to impress, and they’ve got some righteous hair and beard styles to match the bombast.  In a field that was rapidly becoming over-saturated, this three piece stood out as something special, and their second album still stands as a solid test to their legitimacy, not by treading any new ground, but rather by solidifying and consolidating their alchemist formula: one part Black Sabbath, one part Pentagram, and a heavy handed helping of Sir Lord Baltimore.

Record Release Party

It was Kadavar’s third album, Berlin, where we saw some real growth in the band.  Not only did they polish up, modernize and thicken the production a bit, they also wrote some songs that were more hook oriented and less blues based, while others took a slightly heavier approach.  It’s that heavy approach that’s carried over and is thrust up front on their latest record, Rough Times, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer….

The first three songs are really in your face, with a huge, throbbing bass tone and gnarly guitars cranking out more modern riffs.  The title track leads off this album, and it starts with a bombast of hyper saturated guitars smashing through a chain of punctuated and syncopated power chords overlaid by a subtle, subdued lead.  This sounds like nothing that Kadavar have ever done before, and if I hadn’t known who this was, I would have probably never guessed, even though the vocals aren’t too different from their past releases.  They’ve still got that signature, shrill Ozzy-esque sneer, and “Lupus” still got a really great range.   A little past halfway through the song, there’s a groovy breakdown riff that straight up sounds like something that Rage Against The Machine might have played in their heyday.

The second track, “In The Wormhole” continues this approach with a more plodding but equally heavy guitar part that’s more typical of modern doom.  There’s also some cool organ on this one during the vocal parts, along with a low and fuzzy guitar solo that adds some dimension.  “Skeletal Blues” opens up with another big groovy riff that once again reminds me of RATM….maybe it’s the accentuated bass?  Anyways, the verse and chorus are a bit bluesier; perhaps it’s the strange production choice that gives these songs their more modern edge.

It’s not until the fourth song that there’s a shift in vibe and production towards what has come before. With “Die Baby Die”, that we hear anything remotely “retro” or resembling the first two albums, and even then, it’s a more busy, complicated take on that early sound.  The ultra-catchy “Vampires” opens with a 60’s inspired psych sound; fuzzy chords ring out, followed by a jovial, simple bassline and some bare bones atmospheric keyboards alongside the vocals.  The distortion kicks in for the second half of the verse and remains through the chorus, though it’s still one of the album’s catchier number.  “Tribulation Nation” showcases both the more psychedelic side of the band that reared its head on the first two albums and the more hook oriented songwriting from Berlin, and it’s an early album favorite for me.  It straight up sounds like a Hawkwind song, complete with the driving Lemmy-esque bassline, and that’s A-okay by me.

The next track “Words Of Evil” sounds a bit like Sin After Sin era Judas Priest with its palm muted power chords punctuated by bluesy runs and progressive flourishes.  “The Lost Child” is a more subdued song, with a sinister vibe that creeps into  Doors territory with its “riders on the storm” ready keyboard parts and lush guitars, though they do rev up the old distortion pedals for the chorus.  Fans of the softer, more acid-damaged Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats tunes will eat this up.  True to the album’s form, Kadavar changes gears again for the next song, “You Found The Best In Me”, a laid back, though upbeat, major key Southern rock ballad with some truly soaring vocals.  They end the album with the odd “L’Ombre Du Temps”, a more ambient affair with airy whispers of French poetry spoken over the music.  It’s interesting to note the contrast, how the last three songs decrease in both volume and distortion, and what a drastic difference this is from those first three songs.  In a strange way, it does offer at least some semblance of symmetry and balance to the album.

I don’t often do the whole track by track analysis in my reviews, as I feel like a lot of other reviewers already do that, and they do it much better than me.  This time around, it feels like the obvious and intuitive way to approach Rough Times, as it’s both a diverse and an uneven record.  There’s just not any other way for me to write about it that would make any sense.  There’s no overarching theme or trend in the album other than its variety.  I’m not sure if this album was recorded in different studios, though the drastic shifts in productions style certainly point that way.  I’ll tell it straight – I don’t really care for the first three songs, and I’m not exactly sure what they were going for.  I can appreciate that they tried to go there, did something different, and for me….it just doesn’t work.  It’s too jarring, too clunky a shift.  Are they trying to veer into the more extreme stylings of modern stoner doom bands like Electric Wizard?

I’m not sure.  I’m not entirely against them going for a heavier approach – they managed to do so, much more convincingly in my eyes, on Berlin.  “Last Living Dinosaur” was a good, solid heavy track that didn’t sound forced.  It sounded organic, natural, authentic, and these are all key ingredients of the sonic cocktail that’s made Kadavar so successful up to this point in time.  Those first three tracks just don’t sound like a natural progression to me at all, it sounds phony, and the shift after these tunes towards their more natural inclinations only drives this point home.

photo: Clemens MitscherLive Shot_Clemens Mitscher

Once the tone does shift, I rather enjoy the rest of the record, and I’m well aware that there will be those who enjoy and embrace the added heft of those first three songs.  Hell, I’m aware that there are also people out there who actually enjoy listening to Rage Against The Machine, as odd as that idea might be to me personally.  There are probably folks who aren’t going to like some of the other tracks very much, preferences always vary from person to person.  I still stand by my point that bands should experiment and vary their sound, they should take risks and try new things, regardless if these new directions align with mine or anyone else’s tastes and preferences.

With that in mind, I’d highly recommend checking out this album, as it does try out a lot of different things – it seems to me that there’s at least something for everyone to like.  It feels a bit like a transitional record, where Kadavar are branching out and seeing what works, and I for one am hoping that it leads to greater things down the pipeline.  I’d love to see them trim the fat on the next release and really up the bar in terms of their consistency.  All in all, the uneven nature of this record isn’t enough to tip the scales and dethrone Kadavar as my personal leaders of the proto-metal pack.

Tour Schedule


GoatWhore “Vengeful Ascension” Album Review + Stream..

GOATWHORE

Vengeful Ascension –Vinyl // Digital Download // CD

Metal Blade Records – Released – June 23 2017

Reviewed by Mike Hackenschmidt

 

Line Up:
Ben Falgoust/ Vocals
Sammy Duet / Guitars and Vocals
Zack Simmons / Drums
James Harvey / Studio Bass
Robert “TA” Coleman / Live Bass

Born:
December 20, 1996

Review:

GoatWhore: Just saying the name puts a smile on my face. Say it with me now: GoatWhore. Did you smile? If you didn’t I’m willing to guess you didn’t say it out loud. Maybe you’re on a bus or waiting for the doctor and afraid to be judged? Toughen up a little. PC culture would love to take our GoatWhore away. Are you going to sit back, stay silent and let them take our GoatWhore? Let me hear you! GOATWHORE!

Fuck that feels better! I sure got some dirty looks stopping through white bread America wearing my GoatWhore shirt on my way home from seeing them live at Full Terror Assault. (Check this shit out, best kept secret in American metal). Seeing GoatWhore live has been a treat each time. The energy is electric and these guys know this full well. In fact, according to their Facebook page when they recorded Vengeful Ascension, GoatWhore aspired to match the live experience as much as possible. Let me say, they 100% have the right idea. On one hand, it’s unfortunate that you simply can’t package up the energy of a GoatWhore concert so they’ll never reach this goal. On the other hand it’s fortunate you can’t simulate a GoatWhore concert because you’ll never be able to download it and that means you have to get off your ass and go see them. Each time I have, Ben Falgoust says roughly the same thing (paraphrased): “Get the album. Buy it from the merch booth, off Bandcamp or steal it off the internet BUT come out to a concert and support the band.” So just what are we stealing off the internet?

First the cover of Vengeful Ascension depicts what I believe to be their rendition of Lucifer, having fought his way back from the depths of hell and risen to the earth, clutching the sun and marking it with some sort of magic symbol. He appears to be sucking the energy out of it and into himself no doubt to power himself for impending battle. This imagery seems to hold true to the theme of the album. Straight from their Facebook page, the following is what they intended the album to be all about. I feel compelled to directly quote Falgoust, his words eloquent and clear:

“There’s that whole idea of Lucifer being the anti-hero. He’s cast out from this place in Heaven to the depths of nothing. He keeps trying to ascend to the top again but no matter what, there’s always this significant force trying to destroy him at any point and banish him back to Hell. If you look at it from an everyday aspect in life, it’s the idea of people, hitting the bottom of the barrel or you know, things just aren’t going right in life… emotion plays a huge part in how people react. Whether it’s based on love or hatred or sadness or whatever, there’s always an aspect of emotion that drives people to an extent. So the whole idea of a ‘Vengeful Ascension’ is built on being at the bottom, working your way to the top, and realizing along the way that there’s other facets to the journey aside from just pure retribution. Within negativity there can exist a positive angle as well.”

I would have needed to write a 10,000 word essay to convey this concept. And for this idea alone I would buy this album and use it as a theme to my rise.

live Shot

Musically speaking, Vengeful Ascension is very similar to what GoatWhore has been offering up for the past 17 years. They somehow manage to blend elements of several different sub-genres together in order to create their own unique sound. Wikipedia lists GoatWhore as “Blackened Death Metal”, whatever that means. GoatWhore’s Facebook page list them simply as “Metal”, which I feel is more accurate. Album to album, track to track we get emphasis on different sub-genres. Vengeful Ascension leans toward black more so than any.

Track 2, “Under the Flesh, Into the Soul” has elements of speed metal yet mysteriously sounds like something that might have come out of Dimmu Borgir’s playbook. This is one of my favorite tracks on this album and these jerks have not deviated from the practice of giving the most complicated titles to the earworms. Try yelling out “Under the Flesh, Into the Soul” between songs next time you see them live. As if to prove my point, “Mankind Will Have No Mercy” shows up later on the album again with that speed metal feel that I can’t get enough of. This one probably has the least blackness on the album.

They follow this up with the title track, “Vengeful Ascension”. Again, this track is heavy in the black metal but thankfully not without a slightly off-key melody. Later tracks, “Abandon Indoctrination” and “Those Who Denied God’s Will”, are structured very similarly. It allows the track to keep that black metal feel without being boring.

Pro Band P

Where the “Sun is Silent” is a slower paced track, thankfully the only one of its kind on Vengeful Ascension. I’ll admit my bias right now; I want to spend my live GoatWhore experience in the pit. I’m getting a bit old so one or two slow ones is a welcome breather. I really don’t have time for any more than that.

In summation, Vengeful Ascension is another great GoatWhore album. The band wants you to hear it and it sounds to me like they don’t really care how. The one caveat is that you go out to the shows. I think that’s a pretty fair deal. For those who just aren’t in the right geographical area or for those who aren’t in a financial position: Go back and review the Falgoust quote above and use it as motivation to bring yourself into a better position where you can afford to get out to a show or maybe plan that trip to the festival you’ve always been dreaming of… where you’re sure to see GoatWhore… and maybe pick up a shirt too.


Black Mare “Death Magick Mother” Album Review + Stream…

BLACK MARE 

Death Magick Mother – Vinyl (coming soon) // DD

Magic Bullet Records – Release Date September 15th, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

 

Location:
Los Angeles, California

Previous Releases:
“Field Of The Host” (2013)

“Iseult” single (2014)

“BLACK MARE / Syndrome” split LP (2014)

“Low Crimes” single (2015)

 

Review:
Black Mare, the solo project of Sera Timms (Ides of the Gemini, ex-Black Math Horseman), and focuses on conveying a world of meaning with a minimalistic vocabulary. With a focus on rhythmic repetition and atmospheric simplicity, Black Mare steps outside the collaborative dynamic to reveal a creative process that is all Sera’s. Black Mare immerses the listener into her own mythical world, an aurally lush, yet glacially-paced cruise through Timms’ frozen world wherein she encourages the mind’s eye to notice relics like the feathers of fallen angels scattered about the snow.

This latest release goes further into the shadowed realms of contemplation and darkened spheres that exists between the here and there, the now and the then and all hidden points between. Sera masterfully guides us along, showing the landmarks of her mindscape along the way.

 

 

From opener ‘Ingress To Form’ through ‘Femme Couverte’ to ‘Death By Desire’, the ringing clarity of the vocal layers haunting every shadow along the journey. As her ringing bass notes lead us into the ‘Coral Vaults’ that are seemingly filled with ethereal guitar notes that wrap themselves through the cadence set, flowing into ‘Babylon’s Fold’, hypnotic and morose in tone, unrelenting even as the soft cymbal washes back and forth.

Even as ‘Kala’ comes in, once the muted chords lead directly into Sera‘s vocal, commanding and demanding in her beckoning execution, further summoning the roar of her vision of deafening inevitability. Closer ‘Inverted Tower’ begins with that signature vocal layering that is the signature mark and this tale is the exacting summation of where we have traveled so far and nothing is left on the table.  All ingredients and flavors swirled together to give us this opus to satiate the mind and heart in the secrets and shadows that are revealed throughout.

36 minutes made up of a cohesive gathering of seven saga’s that flow from and to each other effortlessly. Grab this one immediately, share the wonder with every ear you come in contact with and support them live if you are granted the chance to and keep it LOUD!!

 

Promo Image

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

                                                         

 

                                                                                                                                     


Howling Giant “Black Hole Space Wizard” (Parts I & II) Review + Stream…

HOWLING GIANT

Black Hole Space Wizard (Parts 1 & 2) – CD // DD

Self Released – August 25th, 2017 

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Location:  Nashville, Tennessee USA

Line-Up:
Tom Polzine – Guitar and Vocals
Roger Marks – Bass and Vocals
Zach Wheeler – Drums and Vocals

Drew Harakal – ‘Guest’ Organ/Synths
Additional vocals on ‘Mothership’ provided by Kim Auch and Kevin Dempsey

 

Previous Releases:

“Howling Giant-s/t” EP (January 2015)

 



 

Review:
It didn’t make sense to review these as separate releases as you have to hear the opus in it’s ENTIRETY to get the full impact of the complete tale of the “Black Hole Space Wizard” and seeing as ‘Part 2’ has just been unleashed, following ‘Part 1’ that was launched August 16th, 2016.

After hearing Howling Giant’s first EP, I was floored and hoped for more that would be as heavy, if not even MORE so as the last notes of ‘Camel Crusher’ had hinted at. As I am before you, this pair of releases deliver even more than previously hoped for, heaped in macro-bass, slamming riffs, splitting cymbals and strong, clear vocals that will guide you throughout this journey, into the deepest outreach of the infinite cosmos of “Part 1” and back into the forgotten realms of the Earth Goddess of “Part 2”. We are advised by Howling Giant that “For greater riff-sensation, listen to these songs at maximum volume.” Smoke ’em if ya got ’em, crank it up and hit ‘play’…

“Part 1”

Black Hole Space Wizard_Part 1_Album Cover

 

‘Mothership’ opens with a strong riff amid cymbal washed before the full body hits 20 seconds in and already the power is palpable before we hear “She’s our Mother…” and we are truly off and running as we hear that “The life we’ve built has come undone” and are beckoned to open up our mind… this is not the end. Loopy and soaring to the last staggered, fading note that leads directly into ‘Exodus:Earth’ with it’s slower tempo intro as “We rise into the black skies…” in this tale of traversing the atmosphere and beyond. Breathe deep and hold it in as riding the crescendo of true stoner/doom/sludge filled measures of headrush inducing guitar outbursts that take you even further into the expanses before your mind’s eye, even as the ghost of War Of The Worlds echoes in your mind, soaring further and further into the blackness and the when the needle sharp frenetic notes of ‘Dirtmouth’ hit, it is the perfect wake-up from. Hyper-speed and crushing in weight is the only way to describe this four-minute plus outburst, complete with time-shifts galore to make even the strongest necks snap along in tempo, and when you hear the scream that “The Wizard Lives!!”, you know it’s true, and then, sudden dead stop.

The silence seemed immense until the sound of a screaming wind fades in as if to mirror the return of consciousness as whispered breathing gives way to a footstep close as the power chords permeate the air as ‘clouds Of Smoke’ rumbles in, “Stranded here in this ocean of sin…” and the desolation seems to loom beyond the horizon before you, languishing in the fact that you would “Rather be anywhere but here…” as the solo rips your heart from your chest before your eyes, even as “Up in clouds of smoke, let it go, just let it go…” and as you take all of this in, even as the notes climb beyond sight as the keys fade slow as your eyes close once more.

 

“Part 2”
Black Hole Space Wizard_Part II_Album Cover

 

‘Henry Tate’ comes on full gallop, complete with the spoken meanderings of Kublai Khan wafting in and out through the plethora of musical might being flexed here as the mix is even MORE lush and thick through what is an insane instrumental stroll. ‘The Pioneer’ opens with the plush bass line suiting a tome of this strength, as “My mind begins to melt, my soul strives to break free…” and another soft fade out greets you. ‘Visions’ opens, slow and blues-filled in tone and progression,  and when the opening solo progression rises up, it is as haunting as ever as the body of the song gels over “Besides the embers of my fire…” and we are cast into another dream of “whipping winds that fortel a storm” that can be smelled in the air.

The acoustic track ‘The Forest Speaks’, is a soothing composition complete with soft horn sounds that permeate the air in a ‘softness’ not present before this is the ultimate precursor into ‘Circle Of Druids’ where we are told we have gone too far before the power chords hit again, giving even more of the lush heaviness I have come to expect over the course of these songs that have lead me here knowing “You must ascend…” and rise indeed on the hooks and time shifts.

 

Band Pic

 

‘Earth Wizard’ is the absolute culmination of all points traversed up to this moment and serves as the bookend to tie it all together and does it incredibly well. Over seven minutes long, Polzine, Marks, Wheeler and ‘guest’ Harakal put 200% into this song, as they have seemingly done with every other song included in this opus and does not disappoint in any manner.

Switching studios between Part I and Part II helped Howling Giant bring the process closer to home for these guys but the continuity between is flawless and if I have to say this record has done one thing for sure… left me wanting, no, scratch that, NEEDING more!! Grab these two, listen to them as a single release and climb aboard for a journey you have not experienced before. Share it with every mind you encounter and support them live if you get the opportunity… keep it LOUD!!

 

Tour Schedule