Tracklist: Rise Of Beesus 07:31
6ft Under Box 03:55
Sonic Doom/Stoner Youth 06:21
Mata La Vergüenza 04:41
Beesus In Dope 07:40
Earlier this year the band made a Pledge Music page to promote and raise money for there second album. It is now closed (of course) and, luckily, reached 101% of its goal. It had some interesting options like, a cover song of your choice, a in your house performance, and an executive producer credit. Sadly the website doesn’t tell you how much of each option was bought so I can’t tell you what got bought the most. But anyway to the review…
Beesus’ second album has more of a venom and late 80s grunge, noise rock feel. The production and playing on this album has tightened up. There is also a more punk feel and the fuzz is still present but is toned down.
For a couple of songs the band have introduced a vocoder. It makes it’s entrance in “I Don’t Wanna Be” and it’s exit is “Beaux”.
The “Intro” and “Outro” are a strange mix of keys and maybe a garage door opening.
“El Dude” starts with a lot of noise and a solid bass riff. It also sounds like it could be the first part to a later track (I Don’t Wanna Be).
“Dubblegum Boom Metla” has four movements the first part which is medium passed and has a repeating riff and speeds up as it gets to the the second which is faster and then it speeds up and suddenly slows to the background screaming and slow churning fuzzy guitars. It then speeds up again, back to the second pace, but only briefly and then it fades out.
“Nuña y Freña” is somewhat of a throwback to their first album kind of like “Kusa”.
“Reichl” is the roughest and noisiest of the main tracks. “Take the cure, my man” is repeated many times throughout the song. Sonic Youth will definitely approve!
“I Don’t Wanna” be is a mix of stoner, punk, and a few moments of rapid, almost rapped vocals. This is the first track with the vocoder. It is in the background emphasizing some of the vocals.
“Junk Around” has the most affects added to it. Strangely enough it is also the most punk of the tracks. There is “You’ll succumb to me.” and “On your knees” are the phrases for this song.
In “Beaux”, the vocoder returns. It is more prominent. This song is also the slowest, and longest, on the album. Has a well executed sludgy feel to it.
“Sgt. Beesus and the lonely ass Gangbang!” is definitely an improvement on their first album and I am excited to hear some of those cover songs if anyone bought that perk.
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 – 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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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:
Poia – Guitars and FX
Urlo – Bass, vocals, FX and synths
Vita – Drummer
Ciccio – Soundlord
Lu – visuals
– Godlike Snake – full length cd/lp – Beard of Stars – 2000
– Snailking – full length cd – The Music Cartel – 2004
– Lucifer Songs – full length cd/dvd lp/dvd – Rocketrecs/Supernatural Cat – 2005
– Idolum – full length cd – 2lp+cd – Supernatutal Cat – 2008
– Snailking – full lenght double vinyl – Supernatural Cat – 2009
– EVE – full lenght cd – LP+cd+dvd – Supernatural Cat – 2010
– ORO – cd – LP+dvd – LP – Neurot Recordings / Supernatural Cat – 2012
– ECATE – full length cd – LP + dvd – Neurot Recordings – Supernatural Cat – 2015
Hey doomsters this is the Ancient One and I’ve just returned from yet another odyssey through the cyberscape traveling the ethereal soundwaves. While traveling I learned through fellow music heads Italian wizards of heavy psych / stoner / doom Ufomammut have released a new album entitled “8”. Wanting to know more I wasted no time in getting a early preview but I unfortunately failed you. While I wanted to let you know about it before its September 22nd release date to give you all time to get your pre-orders in I was unable to because personal issues got in my way.
For those who are unfamiliar with them, Ufomammut (pronounced- ufomam’mut) is a heavy psych / stoner / doom band hailing from Italy. Going strong since 1999 “Ufomammut” was formed by Poia (guitarist, synth, and sound effects), Urlo (bass guitar, synth, sound effects and vocals), and Vito (drums) With 7 albums to date the bands upcoming album was released on the “Neurot Recordings label on September 22nd and is the bands 8th album, thus its title “8”.
As in past albums “Ufomammut” fearlessly experiments with sound and music. But what makes “8” unique is the method in which it was recorded. Seeking to give the listener the experience of listening to them live Ufomammut recorded the instruments in live studio sessions. And this painstaking process that has resulted in an amazing album.
Opening with “BABEL,” stoner doom Wizards Ufomammut begin weaving their auditory spell using a language all can understand. While I’d like to tell you which songs I liked most I really can’t. Every time I took time to look at the title of the song playing it broke my trance. So instead I will tell you what I enjoyed about “8” as a whole.
Unlike some music in which you feel like a spectator watching or listening to the metal gods on high, “8” envelopes you making you feel like you are part of the music. Listening to the fuzzed out guitar, drums, bass, droning chants, and psychedelic sound effects had me feeling like I was part of some strange musical mystery cult. “8” is best listened to in full and if you don’t have a decent stereo I recommend listening with headphones.
Helping them launch their latest album on September 22nd the “Malleus Art Collective” unveiled it’s “A Malleusdelic Art Trip Into Ufomammut exhibition” at the release party held at the Santeria Social Club (Milan, Italy) on September 22nd.
AVAILABLE NOW (Here) https://www.malleusdelic.com/store/index.php… – “The Art of Ufomammut” is a graphic journey by Malleus through 18 years of UFOMAMMUT. We wanted to put together almost all the designs we created during these years for Ufomammut, from the first album covers to the last silkscreen posters, from the Limited Edition vinyls to the t-shirt designs. 96 pages – softcover.
Like many Ufomammut fans,I would have loved to go to the release party or to one of their European dates following it. But since I can’t get to Europe I can console myself with the fact Ufomammut will also be appearing at the Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, Maryland next year May 24th – 27th, 2018. Highly Recommend!!
Hello all!! I’m back from one of my many epic quests through cyberspace in search of all that rocks ‘n’ rolls. Recently I’ve been listening to allot of Greek, Spanish and Italian rock which seems to come in many varieties from a bustling underground rock scene which I will write an article about at some later date. Right now I’d like to tell you about: Alessandro “Drughito” Santori, Roberto Malerba, Sandro “fred” Salvi, and Ivan Contini Bacchisio – a self described Doomdelic Instrumental Rock Quartet from Rome called L’ira Del Baccano.
Formed in 1998 as LOOSIN’o’FREQUENCIES, the band decided to reform itself as a purely instrumental act in 2007 as L’ira Del Baccano. The change in name and what they chose to play turned out to be a real shot in the arm band. In a conversation with Alessandro the bands guitarist I learned the band was not even thinking actively touring and had no idea how big of an influence the internet would be for them until they recorded their first gig in 3 years and put it up as a free download and found they had generated a buzz.
After releasing two albums, and a split album with Watermelon Time,L’ira Del Baccano has released a third album Paradox – Hourglass on Subsound Records. I’ve listened to this album both actively and inactively and what I enjoy most about it is the musics mercurial nature. Opening with “Paradox Hourglass-Part I” the album begins simply enough with a rolling guitar riff that transforms into an 11-minute psychedelic jam then again transforms into something that sounds not like but akin to Carlos Santana jamming with Geezer in ‘Paradox Hourglass-Part II’.
After getting me hooked with the 1st two songs comes a bluesy heavy psych song called ‘Abilene’, followed by my favorite track with it’s Doomaphonic sound ‘Blind Phoenix Rising’. In just four songs Paradox – Hourglass takes you on a journey outside of space and time and into the spirit realm with L’ira Del Baccano’s blend of heavy, psychedelic, and progressive music. If L’ira Del Baccano continues making albums like Paradox-Hourglass I can easily see them developing a cult following like the Grateful Dead and playing for years.
L’ira Del Baccano is:
Alessandro “Drughito” Santori – guitar/direction and architecture of Baccano
Roberto Malerba – guitar/synth
Sandro “fred” Salvi – drums
Ivan Contini Bacchisio – bass
L’ira Del Baccano Live at the Stoned Hand Of Doom Fest 2009
The next event horizon, from Italy’s mighty Argonauta Records, is Dustrider’s debut full length, titled just that…”Event Horizon.” A very fitting title to this tripped and stoned out fuzz fest into the ether of outer space. An instrumental band formed in Rome in early 2015, Dustrider released the self produced EP entitled, ‘Mother Engine.’ In steps Argonauta Records. Dustrider and Argonauta both hail from Italy, so its definitely a match made in hell. In my humble opinion, Gero and the crew at Argonauta have a finger on the pulse of the cutting edge of heavy music…and this release by Dustrider is no different. The band consists of Bruno ‘BrÜno’ Bellisario on guitar, bassist Andrea ‘Keoma’ Romano, and Francesco ‘Krundaal’ Romano on drums. A few fat spliffs, a couple grams of shrooms, and the baddest dune buggy you’ve ever laid eyes on. These are the tools you’ll need for “Event Horizon!”
As ‘Warped’ starts the record, you get in your kick ass buggy and turn the key. The song starts with a thunderous rhythm and bass heavy intro as you rev the motor of this beast. Drop it into drive as you feel the “tools” kick in…and you’re off with wheels kicking up the desert sand. Riffs and groove, manifest as you raise a middle finger in the air. As you light the first spliff Dustrider takes off into a heavy psyche wonderland. Weaving and twisting in bliss. As the song ends with feedback of fuzzy distortion, I cant wait to see where the rest of our spaced out journey goes.
Second track ‘Cosmo’ kicks in with a classic rock intro, then boom we’re off again with spliff in hand. Racing across a floor of desert riffage. This band needs no vocals, the music itself tells a story and takes you away into your imagination. It’s a thrilling ride so far.
‘They Live!’ is the fuzziest so far. A straightforward stoner jam with a glorious and colorful psychedelic solo. The double bass lick at the end is sick! Wait for it. The drum sound on the record as a whole is great. It’s raw but refined. Sounds like real drums. Played by a real good drummer. I dig that.
‘Fallout Criminal’ follows and is an exercise in Fu Manchu. ‘Nuff said.
The next three songs, ‘Agartha,’ ‘Stratosphere,’ and the title track ‘Event Horizon’ are standout tracks that take our badass dune buggy up in to space. We’re floating, we’re flying, and we’re not denying that the mushrooms are taking over.
These songs turn and soar, they bring heavy and can destroy. Tracers of shooting stars are so close, almost touchable as they shoot away with the riffs. Then they let us gently down. We breathe as we ready ourselves for the conclusion of our heavily psyched out stoner trip across the universe. From the desert floor to the galaxies.
The closing tracks to the album ‘Ultima IV’ and ‘Dust Devil’ end Event Horizon perfectly. They are exhilarating and celebratory. Dustrider makes you reminisce on the adventure, and make you wanna get on this dune buggy spaceship and do it all over again…and again…and again.
Dustrider have focus yet flexibility on ‘Event Horizon’ they know when to hold on and they also know when to let go. I for one love instrumental bands and this three piece know how to do it to perfection. They make you hear in colors and in dialogue by the notes, and the complete songs they play. They tell a story, but let you write the script. Your mind is the canvas and Dustrider paints it. ‘Event Horizon’ is an amazing record. I don’t know about ya’ll but I’m getting back in the dune buggy to take another trip with Dustrider and you should too!!
Born in 2008. Hometown – Florence, Italy. Band members listed as FRANCE – GABO – LORE
GENRE – Post Metal / Sludge / Noise / Psychedelic / Doom
A band that says they hate turning down the volume, hates genres and hates biographies; so we can throw those topics out the window then with this review.
“Bury My Innocence” appears to be the fourth release from NUDIST, beginning with the 2010 “S/T” release, followed by 2014’s “Appetizer For Monsters” and 2015’s “See The Light Beyond The Spiral” bringing us to now.
Five songs included and NUDIST seems to get more brutal with each release, this being no exception. ‘Strengthless’ and the title track ‘Bury My Innocence’ are both full speed, full attitude shredders the like of which NUDIST has made their standard and these are gems of just that ferocity, wherein ‘Bloody Waters’ brings a slower if not more even-handed back-beat that is as heavy as ever, but gives this track an almost MUDVAYNE/HELL YEAH sort of taste and feel and is a welcome new flavor for these guys. ‘Dead Leaves’ rips it up out of the gate at full gallop before stopping it up a minute and a half in with a grinding staggered beat that is almost dizzying until kicking back into the ultra-heavy slamming again that rolls right into the guitar chords that follow every beat out of until the last lingering chord drops off into the slow fade in of ‘Drift’ that carries on for over the first minute before the drum line strikes up the pace and then the bass begins it’s thundering and lumbering until that vocal growl takes its place in this closer that serves and the perfect wrap-up to this 26 minute offering that has just been released. This band deserves to be experienced LIVE to get the full effect. Do yourself a favor and buy the record, go see and support live and share this one with anybody you know that may dig it as much as we do!!
Argonauta Records – Release Date: Digital album releases February 27, 2017 /
Physical Album Ships around March 10, 2017
Ship: Void Cruiser mod.1.0 (Interstellar heavy metal exploration vessel)
Last known location: The Andromeda galaxy
CREW – T-Hug: Low Frequency Engine, Ambience Generator
V-Salo: Soundscape Systems
T-Bag: Battering Apparatus
S-Salo: Fuzz Machinery, Communications
Post: Void Cruiser has always been there. Only now the crew have awakened from their cryogenic sleep and they are on a holy quest. A quest for The Massive Resonance. This is how we begin…
And so is how my introduction to VOID CRUISER began. I discovered that this is the third release, the first being 2013’s EP ‘Motherload’ followed in 2015 with the full length “Overstaying My Welcome” and now in 2017 we are gifted with “Wayfarer,” a seven song collection of pure stoner-metal bliss; fuzzed out bass lines, staggered tempo’s and fills running amok with searing, soaring guitar solos that perpetuate every minute that has no other voice voiced communications. Grab your vaporizer/pipe/bong/etc. as we travel along with this mod 1.0 vessel.
‘A Day In Which No Man Was Born’ serves as the lift-off and slowly takes you through the entry of the edge of this sector as the background becomes the majesty that is the interwoven expansive net that is propelling you into the unknown ahead with no apprehension. Instead anticipation as the power chord driven final section of this track shifts as you can almost feel the turning of this vessel which effortlessly flows to the next track ‘I Didn’t Lie, But Know Now I Should Have.’ The band swings right into a blues-tempo’d, doom-slow and low tale of Salo speaking of the “voice” inside of him, letting us see through his eyes what is transpiring within and why he knows why he should have. As the last note rings out, we suddenly hear footsteps and a quick staccato snare pulls us into ‘As We Speak’ where we are told that we will ‘hear with your eyes and see with your ears’ as if he could reach you. Electronic sputters lead us right into the power chord beginning of ‘Madonnas And whores’ where Salo tells us that when he was all alone, in his own narcissistic way, all he could feel was love for everything. Now that he is willing in his own altruistic way, all he can feel is just jealousy as he further exposes the events of the ‘looking for comfort’ and there is no way it’s gonna fall. At the four minute mark, we begin the turnaround portion of this leg of the journey with the tastiest guitar section this record has offered up so far and filled the void around this spinning vessel perfectly carrying you though the ectoplasmic expansion that surrounds you outside until you are told that the ship has been taken over.
‘Seven Years Late’ is a tale of Salo speaking of ‘your heart of gold, my heart of steel’ and his careening vocal carries you further long. telling of a dream he had, saw his grave, seven years late. Faster footsteps, a coughing man and ‘All Over Nowhere’ begins that Salo is ‘The man that helped you, he’s the man that stabbed your back…’ and then asked if ‘you’re having a good time baby’ with the same monotone sneer you would expect from somebody that tells you he knows for sure that you ‘go around.’ Perfectly accentuated at the end with the same running footsteps at the beginning before final track ‘Maailmann Kallien Kaupunki’ which per a translator means ‘The most expensive House’ which leads me to imagine some spectral equivalent of The House of Heaven or some such. Speaking no Finnish, I can not be positive, but the music of this 10-minute soliloquy gave me a feeling of bliss that carried to the very end as the very last faded out through a backdrop of white noise that seemed endless until it was no more…
Compared to the previous releases, VOID CRUISER have come a long way with “Wayfarer” and have grown not only as a unit, but as a concept and they have executed the concept quite well here. If given the opportunity, I encourage you, the reader, to find their tour schedule and get out and see how this outstanding studio effort is translated to a live forum. We can not recommend this album enough…
From the deep South, southern Louisiana to be exact, the birthplace of sludge-metal, comes this hybrid of all things resonating traditional metal, elements of folk / blues / stoner / doom / progressive, and a pure rock dynamic to morph it all into this, the debut offering from this three piece named ELECTRIC AGE. While this is the first release from this line-up as a unit, I was informed directly that these seasoned players have decided to forgo sharing their collective pedigree to let this album stand on its own merits in the here and now. After taking it in, I believe they have created something amazing that can indeed stand tall as an accomplishment of songwriting, musicianship and something that has been so lacking as of late in American metal; the art of storytelling. Dripping with the archetypal concepts of good, evil and the divine throughout this sojourn, the band states that this is “A conceptual and mythological journey through the threshold of time and consciousness, into the heart of darkness and divinity, through death and redemption, and finally into the inexorable void.” So, not just another “Wankfest” but actually thinking-man’s metal?? The pulse quickens…
From the first notes of ‘The Threshold’ through to the acoustic fade out of ‘The Dreaming’, there is a precision of delivery from each member of this power-trio reminiscent of DEMONS & WIZARDS in the exacting musicality given with each track. ‘Shepard And The Raven’ comes on with a single snare-drum pop and a full-on power chord assault hits you before you know it, this chapter of the story unfolding with the might of the voice telling the tale of…
‘Robes Of Grey’ comes out of the gate with a gallop and you can’t help but to hold on as the freight train rolls on. Even when the tempo slows for a moment, you draw your breath slower until that next chord hits and you go again. Ultra thick bass serves as the intro to ‘Cold Witch’ before the hammering guitar takes you into the tale one more “Four long winters have past a ray upon the feet of cold offering…” and further into the mind of the king you are drawn as he asks her to carry him away. Soaring deep notes serve as the perfect accent to the vocal flowing forth. The bass line towards the end reminds you of just HOW deep and dark these guys have shown they can get.
‘Priestess Pt.1’ allows you to catch your breath for a minute through intricate overlaying guitar lines, as the main body of this song, and when ‘Black Galleons’ hits with a thundering drum-line steeped in reverb; it is right on time to keep you glued to this epic journey, time shifts galore that are indeed suiting this diatribe as we hear that “We would die for the Purity and Grace” as the solo lets you traverse onward back into the thunder as the song fades out. ‘Sleep Of Winter’ wastes no time, right back to full-on ‘rock-god’ phrasing on that Les Paul and the pace does not cease to push you along at full-charge. ‘Silent King’ enters with a clean guitar tone and a slower pace again but the majesty and multi-layers of the lush mix is never gone, letting you forget that this is a trio. Our king is in self reflection as the ‘Elders’ and his feelings of being “born of the dark and will leave the same.” ‘Priestess Pt 2’ shows more of the acoustic/folk side complete with violins in the background as “She spreads her black wings to fly”.
The last two tracks are the ones I kept going back to time and again. ‘Electric Age’ is one of those songs with enough hooks to catch a bushel of fish out of the air with and could definitely be the story behind the name of this power-trio. The slow doom fade out into ‘The Dreaming’ is the perfect segue into the song that sums up what we have traversed over the last hour plus and offers final insight into the king’s mind in reflection and attempted remembrance. Is he awake or still in a dream or somewhere in between or… as the ‘pick-birds’ chirp randomly, are we are all dreaming??
I have told my kids as I put them to bed to ‘dream the dreams of royalty’. I now wonder if any of their own nights were filled with tales such as this…
Each of these songs stand tall on their own, just as I was told was the intention and together, they represent a near-masterpiece. For a first debut album, gotta give it an ’11’ on a 1-10… get it the second you can!!
Argonauta Records – Release Date: February 13th, 2017
Two men brought together in the bands UNWELCOME and KESSLER decided in 2014 that they need to play their own flavor of music, saying they “designed it to be an undeniable source of power.” As the 11 tracks demonstrate, they aren’t kidding.
Andrea (guitar / vocals) and Maxim (drums) decided to say YES to stirring up a writhing pit of sweaty bodies, YES to heavy-music and want to remind each of us that “This is not a dress-rehearsal, this is the BIG SHOW!!” With an agreed vision that what they can do together should not be denied, this ‘collision of two different people collaborating as was always the intention’, have given this shape shifting revelation that has taken form in “Labbrador.”
Opener ‘Evil Sky’ comes out of the gate at full speed leaving no doubt that this is not going to be anything less than an assault with a relentless pummeling from Maxim while Andrea takes you along, making you want to ‘touch the sky’ with him. The multi layered backing vocals mixed with the ethereal guitar lines give all the body you need to not notice that there are no bass lines here.
‘Going Home’ / ‘Hey You’ and title track ‘Labbrador’ are further examples of what can be done with the swirling mixture of hard rock/stoner/post-punk can become when mixed in equal parts and then seasoned with some hardcore kicks and licks thrown in for good measure. ‘Blind’ shows that Andrea is not afraid to poke fun at some of his peer-group with the high-pitch tone he takes with alternating passages through the lyrics, sounding almost like some Bieber-prepubescent kid before he drops back to his regular growl into his mic emphasizing ‘it’s easy when you know’ as he spits over piercing notes from his Les Paul.
‘Perfect Black’ begins with a clean tone, something you wouldn’t expect from based on what has been heard to this point, but when Andrea’s voice hits 30 seconds in, it makes perfect sense. When the first solo break hits, that clean tone serves the song perfectly. There are three tracks listing a guest performance from Xavier Iriondo, ‘Sixty-Two’ / ‘Think’ and ‘SheMale’ that show an even blacker depth to THEBUCKLE. ‘Think’ starts of with the thick distorted chords accented by a nice combo of snare and rim shots, establishing an almost galloping pace that smooths into a sweet flex-closing ride cymbal going wide open through the pauses between measures, Maxim showing his true prowess behind the kit as beat-master while Andrea and Xabier deliver supremely, making this sound HUGE without losing the identity of what THEBUCKLE is. ‘SheMale’ is another one to show their twisted sense of humor as Andrea says he wanted ‘more’ but ‘can not make it work’… cracked me up.
‘On My Own’ takes me back to ‘Portrait Of An American Family’-era MARILYN MANSON with the vocal delivery so MM in attack and intent and a deep-dark HEAVINESS in the body of the song. It is obvious this is no joke ripping through your speakers. Disc closer ’12 Seconds’ is another facet to this gem of a band telling a tale wrapped around an Apollo mission, complete with injected radio communications, the last being the statement that “The heavens have become a part of Man’s world.” Started off with the sky and ended with it as well through the journey of this record.
The stand-out track on this one for me is ‘Sixty-Two.’ It with an even tempo that is immediately slower than the rest in true stoner fashion, and the loopy melody of the song will keep your attention as it curls around the tendrils of your brain, the vocal line bringing a DEFTONES flavor along as the perfect garnishment. While each song is well structured and written, this particular track brings a coherence that is at its strongest here. If there is one to be released as the lead-off from this record, this should be the one in MY opinion. Awesome stuff here, front to back and I would love to see them do it live and witness the ‘undeniable’ of this duo as they weave their visions of what they have described as “Dark and gloomy atmospheres tempered with obtundent, memorable melodies”. The world awaits gentlemen… \m/