PHE Self-Titled Review, Stream & NYP Item

PHE
S/T – DD
Self-Release – Release Date: June 2, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

From Helmond, Netherlands we have the arrival of a hereunto somewhat secret trio Phe and their just-issued 5-song self-titled album. Secret or not, the cat (or PHEline) is out of the bag with this debut and whatta cat this is! Constructed upon all of the prerequisite fundamentals and components that make Stoner Rock the substantive treasure it is, the musical realms explored on Phe are quite diverse. Sure, it is all deeply rooted in the basics of heavy rock but the boys add in ample amounts of blues, fuzz, alternative and more into this stunning effort.

Things roll out off the line with the heavy stomp of ‘Heaven’s Hell‘, immediately finding an open-ended groove while a tight-knit rhythm section anchors things into place. Fuzzy riffs reverberate as a bit of husky, well-graveled vocals join the movement. We all ride this circuit together until things power down some toward the mid-section for a bit of stripped down vocals with bass and drum accompaniment. ‘Hide‘ begins with a much doomier introduction, a slow churn of guitar, bass and drums before yielding to to a minimalist amount of music during the verses. Reaching an almost hypnotic pattern at times while the vocals switch from melodic and airy to angst-y and intense.

Effect-laden guitars unfurl the middle-marking point of this album, ‘Grow Old‘, before they merge with the others for another intoxicating rhythmic ride. It pulsates and ripples before going off the rails during the amped up choruses while heady vocals do their thing. Those choruses become huge walls of sound where a frenzied delivery rages ever so briefly before powering down back to the melodic verses. In fact, the fourth song’s title sort of describes this best, ‘Rage Down‘. Ethereal bass lines reverberate as an equally airy type of vocal combine with its desert rock music for a bit of a progressive feel to the track itself. Then we arrive at my favorite song of the five, the album-closing ‘Up On The Mountain‘, a track chock full of stoner grit. It combines that grit with a bit of a gothic doom feel while providing some of the burliest riffs yet. A brief pause in the music becomes the shove off point for a fantastic jam session that ultimately ends this fine song and PHEnomenal outing.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


A RED DEAD EAGLE ‘Ovum Exclusum Est’ Review & Stream; NYP Item

From Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Spain we recently received the introductory debut from A Red Dead Eagle here at TNHQ. To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about the band itself really, other than there’s a member named Mijaíl Komang. I know that because he happens to be the one that brought the band’s new offering, ‘Ovum Exclusum Est‘, to our attention. And man, I am glad he did too! A Red Dead Eagle have crafted an intriguing, multi-textured aural display here, one that’s primarily rooted in atmospherically-enhanced music. That music itself is instrumental and quite powerful though it isn’t what you’d call overtly “heavy” in any sense. No, instead this music is “heady” because it is so aurally vast and exploratory that it takes you places.

Those places are way, way out there in the realm of the infinite cosmos and there is no rush, no hurry or hustle bustle taking place to get there. Instead, once launched..the music looses your restraints from this mortal coil and allows your mind to free-float along with the journey undertaken. Ethereal expanses are mapped out and then moved into on such rides as the amazing opener, ‘Hundred Oxen‘, or the beautifully tranquil ‘New Reverie‘. With a massive aura of carefree vibrations permeating their overall feel, cuts like ‘Silver Swan‘ and ‘Chasing The Great Water Snake‘ provide near perfect escapes. The latter track is especially outstanding and definitely one of the album’s more stellar songs.

If you are a regular partaker of ambient-fueled music, especially the type that is instrumental and seems almost free-form at times, this is for you. Call it Progressive, Space Rock, Post-Rock or what have you, it is irrelevant just as long as you give this a listen. In fact, you can now do exactly that via the Bandcamp embedded stream of A Red Dead Eagle‘s debut, ‘Ovum Exclusum Est‘, below. Then, if you’re just absolutely head over heels smitten with the record, you can acquire it as an NYP (Name Your Price) item if you must. I suggest you throw some coin in for it if you have the means too as we all know how bands struggle to survive but do what you must…for you MUST own this album if you dig psychedelia.

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THAL & HASHISHIAN ‘Taurean’ Split EP Review, Stream & NYP Item

THAL & HASHISHIAN
Taurean: Split EP – CD//DD
Self-Release
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

After a string of singles, multi-track EPs and the critically acclaimed 2016 full-length ‘Glitter‘, Columbus, Ohio’s one man abomination that is THAL (The Heathens Are Loose) is back! But the wizard-like maestro behind the project, Vince Green, has brought some friends along with him on this latest offering. Not only is his wytCHord bandmate Kevin Hartnell stepping in to contribute drums and guitars to this new material but hell, there’s a whole other band connected to this release. That band, Malaysia’s Hashishian, contributed three tracks along with THAL‘s three here for this six song, two band recording: the ‘Taurean‘ split EP.

THAL are the first to rumble out of the gate with their bass line-introduced first song, ‘Bloodglutton‘. Things quickly escalate into a full on aural discharge of wailing guitars and crushing drums before the lyrical lull of the first verse draws us into things. Before you know it, a vicious, throat searing scream fully unleashes the track loose upon us all. Things soon settle into a rhythmic patterning while spoken word inserts, in this case news reports, describe sightings of what sounds to be Chupacabra. Next on deck is the southern doom-infused grooves of ‘Flood The River‘, a song driven by thick, chugging riffs and splintering drum work. Hazy tones ripple across the air as Vince’s distinct vocals weave the tale to be told within the track. The last track from the Buckeye State boys is ‘Feast For The Wicked‘ which begins with some seriously Iron Maiden-ish-toned guitars before kicking in. Once fully engaged, the song takes on a bit more airy overtones as its uptempo, energized delivery powers through. You can hear a much different vocal approach here than what we are used to with THAL too but it suits the more European-flared power metal sound of the music well.

Hashishian are a quite bit different than their predecessors, at least style-wise as these guys play more downtuned, slower-paced sludge. Seth Nazgul (Bass/Vocals), Jiesus (Guitar/Vocals) and Sur Gondrong (Drums) are clearly students of the Black Sabbath-meets-Sleep school of sonics. Once the wispy, sedate intro of ‘Carving The Void‘ melts away, things explode into a deluge of fuzzened guitars, shuddering rhythms and acidic, volatile vocals. The thick-ass tones in the track periodically yield to frenzies of furious, punk-ish musicality. However, ‘Journal Of A White Crow‘ unfolds with some bluesy guitars wailing out as the cleaner delivered vocals present themselves. After a moment or two, things abruptly hit a wall of slowly rendered psychedelic flavors before reprising the frenetic intensities once again. Last track, ‘Magic Of Kenna‘, delves into a dizzying den of southern sludge and relentless rivets of drumming before hitting the brakes and turning headlong into some doom. It all escalates into squealing guitars, spiraling bass, and solid drumming before it finds its end and leaves you nearly breathless from what you’ve just experienced.

The unexpected pairing of THAL and Hashishian for the ‘Taurean‘ split EP was a nice surprise and in THAL‘s case, a nice holdover item while the work continues on the follow-up to Glitter. He probably won’t mind me telling you this but Vince recently let me hear a brand new THAL demo track, a work-in-progress if you will. Even in that raw state I can tell you the song is bad ass and definitely displayed some experimentation going on with the band’s overall sound, and vocals too. Anyway, ‘Taurean‘ is streaming in the Bandcamp embed below so check it out but wait, it gets better! Once there, the 6-song EP is available as a NYP (Name Your Price) item so you can snag it for notta if you must go that route.