JIRM “Surge Ex Monumentis” Album Review + Stream + Videos…

JIRM

Surge Ex Monumentis – Double Vinyl // CD // DD

Small Stone Recordings – released March 16, 2018 

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

Formed:
2004

Location:
Stockholm, Sweden

Lineup:
Karl Apelmo: vocals, guitars
Micke Pettersson: guitars
Viktor Källgren: Bass
Henke Persson: drums, percussions
Additional musician: Daniel Hägglund: organs

Previous Releases:
Elefanta (2009)
Bloom (2011)
Spirit Knife (2014)

 

 

Review:

First coming together in 2004 under the name of Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, this quartet have spent many days and nights sharpening their skill-sets, both as a collective and individually through endless gigs and three solid releases that have kept their name on the lips of the ever-widening fanbase.  They have been described previously as quote, “a driving mindmeld between psychedelia, classic metal, heavy rock, and individualized realms beyond” enquote. With this fourth release, they have shortened the moniker to an abbreviation of the  previous name to the shorter and more accessible JIRM and results contained in this 7-track opus will leave jaws dropped and eyes wide.

Already known as a progressive force, dripping in the sweat of endless striving for those defining musical moments that set them apart from their peers, these four have taken that and have indeed redefined who they are and what they do as a unit and the result is this juggernaut that clocks in at just over an hour.

Recorded in their hometown of Stockholm, the record was mixed in Gothenburg, Sweden and then mastered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the end result shows that JIRM remains stronger than ever and the proof is ‘in the pudding’ as it were with the sheer MIGHT that exudes from each song here. From the opening rolling chords of “Candle Eyes” that sets the pace before that high-scream hits hard at the 1-minute mark and has the hallmark tones of psychedelia melded into that hard rock/metal hybrid and is unrelenting in the delivery that grabs you by the arm and pulls you along to end solos that fade slowly into the opening organ sounds of “Dig”.

This track is fraught with that ‘space-rock’ feel, from the back and forth vocal fade in that sounds almost operatic in undertone. Being the longest of the seven songs contained, it is three minutes until we are given a bass line that gets your pulse matching the cadence and when the double guitar assault comes in, it is just as thick and churning as you could ask for. By the time the crescendos are at full gallop, there is no turning back and why would you want to go back anyway, right?? At the half-mark we are granted that clear voice again, soaring as high as you can possibly see and it seems almost too short as you take in the tale delivered with enough time-shifts and slight pauses to make the atmosphere around you shimmer as you surrender to every measure to the almost ghostly-solo that ends this time.

“Isle Of Solitude” fades in, even slower than it’s predecessor and at 11:26, it is the next-longest of the offerings and the name of the track tells the tale you will experience with this softer/slower parade that cascades by, showing the versatility of these guys in a manner most may not have expected, where “Nature Of The Damned” lets JIRM get even more complex in the weaving of bass, guitars, perfect cadences and that vocal that takes absolute control of you as it continues to reach even higher highs. “Giza” is another slower, softer track that does not fail to satisfy in its plush arrangement and is the perfect bookmark to take you into closer “Tombs Arise” that is as frantic and powerful as the opener and seems the absolute summation of the creature that stands before us in the guise of JIRM.

The one that really stood out for me here would have to be “The Cultist”. In MY opinion, this is the ultimate melding of the prowess of each musician here, comes at you out of the gate with a steady running tempo and power chord progressions to match, all served with that voice that truly IS the icing on the cake of this slab of wax that is guaranteed to satiate even the most fervent fan of progressive compositions.

I would have to put it out there that this WILL be one of the ‘must-have’ records released in 2018 and I encourage you to buy it and share it with all in your realm, support them live as they truly seem to never stop gigging, and spread the word about JIRM so nobody misses this juggernaut… and most importantly, keep it LOUD!!

Photograph by Sophia Hogman Myrbacka

Band Pic_Sophia Hogman Myrbacka

 


Turtle Skull “Self Titled” Album Review + Stream…

Turtle Skull

Turtle Skull – Digital Download // Band Shirt Bundles

Self Released – releases May 17, 2018

Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Surfing the Psychedelic Sound Waves

 

 

Tracklist:
No News is Bad News – 6:56
Take it or Leave It – 8:27
Eden – 6:08
Empty Ships – 8:23

 

Ah…Spring has sprung. The trees are leafing and flowers blooming and I feel the urge to leave my cave behind and go bike riding. But to do that I need some good riding music and in my collection I have quite a bit to choose that covers a wide spectrum of styles.

Most recently I added a “Self Titled” EP by the self described Flower Doom  rockers from Sydney Australia called Turtle Skull who will be debuting the download of their EP on Bandcamp this May 17th 2018. Available for Pre – order now for $1 US I’d feel like I was ripping them off if I didn’t pay $5. Offering up what sounds to me like surf music infused with psychedelic feel good fuzz I find it easy to not care about trivial things when I listen to it. While I am not going to claim Turtle Skull is the next Earthless I feel pretty safe saying they have a lot of potential and I’d buy a full length album if they produce one.

Live Band Shot

Opening the EP is No News is Bad News a trippy fuzzadelic song about tuning out the talking heads on TV that encourage us to buy into their vision of a plastic paradise that we all to often buy into. What I like most about this are the droning vocals and guitars that feel like they are coming from the deep.

With a steady mid tempo rhythm that keeps things simple Take It Or Leave It has the rolling feel of a classic surf song. Overall, what I enjoyed was its catchy feel.

Nothing like having drums and guitars create a rhythm which Turtle Skull does masterfully.

Moving into a more visceral sound is Eden the 3rd track is my favorite on the EP. What I like most is that naughty guitar played by vocalist guitarist Dean.

Closing “Turtle Skull” is the psychedelic blues song Empty Ships that feels like a midnight swim under the stars. Deans smooth vocals and guitar along with Dan on synth set the mood for the song and proved to me they can do more than just sound more fuzzed. This debut album is an excellent start for this promising band.  I look forward to what they have in store for us in the near future.  Highly Recommend!!

Pro Band Pic


Monster Magnet “Mindfucker” Album Review + Videos

Monster Magnet

Mindfucker – Vinyl // CD // DD

Napalm Records – March 23, 2018

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

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

 

 

Review:

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

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

Current Band Pic

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


The Ugly Kings “Darkness Is My Home” Review + Stream…

The Ugly Kings

Darkness Is My Home – CD // DD // Vinyl

Kozmik Artifactz – released April 13, 2018

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Russel Clark (Vocals)
Christos Athanasias (Guitar)
Nicolas Dumont (Bass)
Andy Alkemade (Drums)

 

Tracklist:
Promised Land     04:53
Black Widow        03:53
Raging Bull           03:21
Killing Time         04:31
Love Enemy         03:56
You & Me             03:58
Lazarus                 05:43
Little Birdy Told Me 04:10
The Fire                06:24

 

 

Review:

The Ugly Kings are a Rock band from Melbourne, Australia. I’ll let the band explain themselves further; “[we] offer a stripped down but powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene [by] formulating what can only be described as ‘Power Blues’ [with] memorable beats, thunderous bass lines and an electrifying barrage of bluesy ‘grit’ riffs tied with raw and emotive vocals.”

Darkness Is My Home is the first full length album by the band. (The previous releases being a E.P. of sorts, Of Sins, and a single, Promised Land, which is the same as the version on this release but has a b-side that is not on this album.)

Overall the band’s sound is a mix of early Classic Rock and are heavily inspired by Blues Rock. The perfect descriptor tag for the album is Doom Blues with Rock flair. In a way this album sounds like you can chop up and mix it up and make different songs each time. At the same time I like that it sounds that it was recorded in one take in a converted garage to studio.

Track-by-track: (Briefly)

Promised Land: I found a quote from the band on the song; “‘Promised Land is about the false promises that are preached to us by the charlatans of our society (politicians, big business, etc…). It’s about the pipe dream they sell us to keep us in servitude to the 1%, to keep us slaves to the dollar and material things. There is nothing at the top of the ladder, except another ladder. The Promised Land isn’t the destination we get sold, it’s inside of us.”

The band also have a beautifully shot video for the track too.

 

 

Black Widow: This is the 2nd hardest rocking track on the album. There is a bunch of back and forth in the tempo. It is also what I imagine the cover art comes from. (That and for Love Enemy)

Raging Bull: This is the hardest rocking track on the album. The riffs on this song sounds so familiar and I can’t think of what it is from.

Killing Time: Watch the music video for this track HERE

Love Enemy: This is a slower and more blues filled track. They sit on the riff while Russell is delivering the vocals. This track also feels like it could be a 2nd part to Black Widow.

You & Me: This is where the title of the album comes from. This is another slow track.

Lazarus: This track is a cover of David Bowie’s Lazarus from his swan song album “Blackstar” and the band manage to make it their own while keeping the original close at hand.

Little Birdy Told Me: Kind of feels like Love Enemy.

The Fire: Is my favourite track from the album.

Pro Band Pic