Matthew James and the Rust Belt Union “Impromptu Musicals for the Skeptic” Review + Album Stream…

MATTHEW JAMES
AND THE
RUST BELT UNION

Impromptu Musicals For The Skeptic – Vinyl // DD

Sump Pump Records – released September 14, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Formed:
January 11, 2016

Hometown:
Rust Belt, USA (roughly in a garage, somewhere on the east side of Des Moines, IA)

Genre:
self-described ‘Midwest Junk Soul’

Band Members:
Wrex – Drums.
Larry – Upright Bass
Nathan – Pedal Steel
Brad – Guitar
Matthew – Acoustic / vocal.

Previous Release:
“Live From The Loft” (2016)

 

 

Review:
When I hear the term ‘rust-belt’, I am immediately in mind of that region of the country that begins in western New York and traverses west through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, ending in northern Illinois, eastern Iowa, and southeastern Wisconsin. Previously known as the industrial heartland of America, Industry has been declining in this region since the mid-20th century, leading to the unofficial labeling as the ‘Rust Belt’.

Including Detroit MI in it’s ‘snare’ that has served as home for Matthew,  a singer songwriter originally hailing from the ‘dirty mitten’, aka Michigan. He has been howling in microphones since 2000 and recording hand made lo-fi junk since 2006 with the formation of The Back Home in Michigan Band. He spent a few years touring with Rickett Pass, rambling around the country before settling in Des Moines Iowa. This album is singer Matthew James’ story of moving to Des Moines from his home of Detroit for a girl and leaving everything behind including music with his nationally touring string bands. The single “Goodbye” was written on that drive as heard in the lyrics. Matthew James & The Rust Belt Union refer to their brand of music as ‘Midwest Junk Soul’ and that description could not be more accurate.

Ten tracks that clock in at around 44 minutes.  Musically, what we are presented with here is a collection of compositions that fly up and down the proverbial scale of ‘type’ where we get everything from the elements of folk, gypsy, jazz, be-bop, country, bluegrass, blues, swing and rock to deliver what can only be described as a hybrid that could be described only as Midwest-junk-soul as they have aptly classified themselves.

Band Pic

Filled from the get-go, opener ‘Goodbye’ has each element described above in full force from the raspy vocals flavored with battery-acid, jangly acoustic in tow, great swing beat setting the pace as a soulful wail of lap-steel flows in and out of focus giving the body of this, and each track here a flavor typically kept in the background. Much as Primus brought ‘eh bass guitar to a new level having it out from the shadows, MJ&TRBU have brought this obscure-to-rock instrument to the forefront as well and it is amazing!!

‘Little Light In The Big Rust’ opens with a surf-slide tone over that acoustic guitar and slams right into the body of a song that makes you move!  Like it or not as the beat is infectiously hypnotic and keeps you in hold as Matthew sings of a “child crying and a mother trying” on top of a band that is as tight as any and doesn’t drop a note among the slyly-placed time shifts keep you wanting more. ‘Enthusiastic Apathetic’ opens with a slower, bluesy cadence as MJ’s vocal paints his picture over the band behind him and this pace fits this oratory like a glove, where ‘Left Foot Fail’ is country to the core complete with an upbeat ‘two-step’ rhythm line that pulls your boots to tap at the least along in response.

Shifting gears again with ‘Dying Dogs In South Carolina’, we are given another diatribe of wondering ‘why’, and when ‘Holidays’ kicks in with it’s faster upbeat tempo, it is right on time and lifts the mood again, even as Matthew slides forth with what must be an introspective perspective of what I can only guess to be a typical holiday for as he states that he said “We’re all going to Hell”…

Band Pic 2

The final four tracks represent what I would hope would a block of songs played in this particular order and could very well be the perfect ‘end-piece’ for their live set. From the soft acoustic opening of ‘600 Miles’ with it’s “Cold-moon sinking” into the ‘So broke” exclamation of ‘Tough’ through the advice of ‘It’s The Kind Of Place’ that could very well be describing a day in the life and by the time closing track ‘And We Went Drinking With Ed Love!’ hits, it is the perfect wrap-up of one HELL of a story an I found myself hitting play again after the frenetic ending section to savor it all again.

If you are looking for something that is meaty and satisfying at the same time, cured with the purity of music for the sake of music and masterful storytelling hidden behind a vocal style that will make you listen harder to catch each word, THIS is the record for you. Support them live if they come to a garage / tavern / library / or any other venue near you, play it to death for everyone you know and keep it LOUD!!

Band Logo


Electric Orange “EOXXV” Double Album Review + Stream + Video…

Electric Orange

EOXXV – Triple Vinyl // Double CD // DD

Self Released – September 18, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Electric Orange is:
Dirk Jan Müller
Tom Rückwald
Georg Monheim
Dirk Bittner

Tracklist:
CD #1
Continuum (22:59)
Under The Nun (16:01)
Gnosis (20:02)

CD #2
Misophonia IV (20:05)
Misophonia V (16:36)
Faint (22:01)
Residuum (16:51)

 

CD package

 

Review:
There’s an old adage that insists that patience is a virtue. Such a sentiment can seem laughable – after all, isn’t instant gratification almost always preferable? However, every now and then, that adage proves itself true: retaining one’s sanity whilst waiting in line at the secretary of state, not crumbling under the pressure of waiting to hear the results of a medical test, and most recently reaping the rewards of listening to an album like Electric Orange’s EOXXV.

 

 

Review:
If the above paragraph didn’t make it clear enough, EOXXV is a tough nut to crack! It is a 135-minute leviathan of relentless sonic experimentation, and such a beast could very easily prove insurmountable to the common listener. Many may find it meandering or even aimless, but those with a tremendous degree of musical patience will eventually come to a metaphorical clearing….one where everything opens up and even almost makes sense.

This is obviously not a very concise experience, but it is without question a fulfilling one. There is a point that one reaches when listening to this album at which the listener and the album achieve a sense of spiritual resonance and the listener enters a groove when you finally reach the point that you not only enjoy the music, but you are prepared to hear more: I reached this point during the gargantuan two-parter of “Misophonia IV” and “Misophonia V”.

It would be an out-and-out lie to say this release is for everyone though. I cannot recommend this album to listeners looking for an emotional experience – this is more an album of vibes and atmosphere than one of emotional release. This album simply doesn’t trifle very much in the realm of emotional release or scenarios one can relate to. That said, this is my experience.  You may have a completely different experience as this is the beauty of MUSIC…..Right??  With 25  years of blowing minds under their belt, Electric Orange once again serves up a platter of Sonic Sensations that transcend words.

Human nature seems foreign in the land of EOXXV. It is a totally alien experience, one that can’t be felt or heard anywhere else. To put it simply, if Michael Gira’s equally experimental work with Swans is the soundtrack to an indie horror film taking place in a cabin in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, than the catalog of Electric Orange is the soundtrack to a Science Fiction film taking place onboard an otherwise uninhabited space station, on which the only life forms are you and a hostile extraterrestrial.

It is expansive, yet isolated. You feel alone, yet somehow watched. Most importantly, you feel paranoid and perhaps even frightened, but you inexplicably want to continue. Maybe it’s out of curiosity, maybe it’s just longing for a sense of completion, but this bizarre and unique experience just begs to be finished, and you are more than happy to do so. Just make sure you are equipped with a preparedness to experience something new and plenty of patience.  Here’s to 25 years Electric Orange!!

Band Logo


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

Helmer “Helmer” Album Review + Stream…

HELMER

Self Titled – Digital Download

Self Released: July 4, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

 

Founded – December 31, 2013

Location – Chicago, Illinois

Genre – rock / thrash / acoustic / doom metal

Band Members:
S
tevil Helmer – guitars
Matt Westlake – guitars
Elvin Rodriguez – vocals
Dave Bizzigotti – bass
Gary Farano – drums
Tracy G. – guest guitar (“Bag Of Dimes”)

 

Previous Releases –  “A Million Pieces” single (2013) / “Ivory Tower (Acoustic) single (2015) / “Bag Of Dimes” single (2016)

Two years and three months in the making, this “S/T” album marks a landmark with it being the first full-length release from HELMER and is right on time to fill a void that has been growing wider in scope.  That being original music filled with power and managing to avoid falling into any of the trappings of heavier music while showing a mindset of singularity… to make ‘formula music’ obsolete and forge forward wielding ‘axes high’ in this 9-track, 38+ minute venture into the mind of guitar-master Stevil Helmer.

Pic Stevil Helmer

Each of these tracks is ‘tall-enough’ to stand on their own, much as ‘Bag Of Dimes’ and ‘Ivory Tower’ have done, originally released as singles, and together as a unit, the resulting compilation is simply…. KICK ASS!! From the dark fade in of ‘Electromagnetic’ to ‘Burn The Rain’, with a staggered tempo entry, it is clear there is no rest or compromise offered in the relentless pulling as the HELMER train keeps you moving along with no thought of anything but MORE…

‘Caveman’ has this chilling harmonic squealing that turns into the thickest chunky melody that keeps hitting hard and heavy as we “Shine, shine, shine, shine…”, while ‘Two Birds, One Stone’ hits your brain asking “If Misery loves company, than why am I alone?” and the body of the song is immediately rolling hard, grabbing you along.

‘Pure Madness’ is more of a doom/stoner track in it’s delivery, nice and even and filled with guitar textures galore to fill the most ardent guitar fan with happiness and when ‘Hey Hey My My’ hits, there is nothing to do but scream along with this absolutely genius update that even NEIL YOUNG would have to smile wide. On the version I purchased, the original version of ‘Ivory Tower’ is including in all it’s haunting acoustic glory that was how I heard it first and shows how much even one song can progress just by shifting gears. In MY opinion, the combination of both versions, acoustic first, followed immediately with the electrified would be the perfect set closer/encore in a live setting and would melt heads off.

Get YOUR copy of this immediately, share it out and shove it down the throats of the unwilling. Get out and see this music live if you are afforded the opportunity and keep it LOUD!!


POSEIDON “Prologue” Album Review + Teaser Video…

POSEIDON

Prologue – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Ripple Music – Release Date:  JULY 21st, 2017

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall

 

Poseidon…crushing, destructive, monolithic. Juxtaposed with melodies of melancholy and the starkest and darkest of beauty. Poseidon…volume, monster thickness of tone. Rhythms with a pulse that can go from subtle to leveling pulverization. Emotional atmospheres of foggy desolation. Based out of East London these four blokes bring the smoke and the ash. Raza Khan-Drums // Matt Norris-Guitar // Matthew Bunkell-Bass/Vocals // Jaime Starke-Guitar hurl fire and smog. They bring a weight down on you that hits the soul. Prologue  is Poseidon’s Ripple Music debut. Ripple most definitely know what they are doing. The label is the leader of heavy in North America and expanding. Signings such as Poseidon and this concrete slab of a record will keep Ripple’s reputation held in extremely high regard.

 

Band Pic

 

Prologue begins with ‘The Beginning The End The Colony.’ Our journey starts with a slow build of epic proportions. Feedback and tension swirl around your brain. The thickness pushing and putting pressure on the mood. As the monolithic and devastating riff drops, the drums of thunder kick in heaviness and groove that suffocates, and simultaneously exhilarates. Slow, meaty, weighty, emotionally charged sludgy doom. Midway through, the flawless vocals come in as Poseidon proceed to drop the sledge. The band transitions into an atmospheric and dissonant short reprise. Complete with swirling and weaving leads. You are able to catch your breath…if only for a minute. Savor that breath, because the last four minutes of this jam, the band will crush your lungs, your mind, your heart, and your soul. All has gone black.

Mother Mary Son of Scorn follows. A poignant acoustic dirge that lets the sparks and ashes fall and settle, on the smoldering landscape of desperation. Beautiful and dark, lamented and empty. This song makes you feel. Feel deep.

Chainbreaker  breaks the chains. The beast is rising. Slogging across a swamp of mud and guts. Angry and agitated, the creature destroys the tethers of persecution, and is coming for the black tower. Tribal rhythmic drums mimicking the heartbeat, guitars raining molten lava. Waves of noise suffocate, as passionate and desperate vocals send shivers up the spine.

 

 

Closing track Omega opens with a biblical sermon on top of clean guitars with some reverb. The mood it sets is  immediate and intensely felt. Poseidon smash the psyche and the face until the final note.

On Prologue, Poseidon lay the wood. This record takes you on a dank and darkened  journey of diabolical sludge and doom. Neurosis noise, ethereal Yob vibes, Conan crushing tones. From the opening feedback, to the feedback at albums end, Prologue has everything. Heavier than one hundred heavy things. Emotional with weight and eerie underlying melodies throughout that are amazingly beautiful. Poseidon will be making waves, or should I say…Poseidon will be making tsunamis. We are all going under, and we are all going to be swept away.


Bludy Gyres “Echoes of a Distant Scream” Album Review + Stream…

Bludy Gyres

Echoes of a Distant Scream – Vinyl // CD // DD

SoMan Records – February 1, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Band Logo

          
                       Sabbuth Bludy Sabbuth

 

With it’s roots in the music of the legendary metal icons Black Sabbath, doom metal is one of my favorite sub-genres of metal. So when Matthew at Taste Nation LLC asked me to review Bludy Gyres album Echos of a Distant Scream I didn’t hesitate to accept the opportunity. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia the doom metal quartet made up of guitarist Isidore Herman, drummer Dennis Reid, and ex-Hallows Eve members bassist and frontman Tommy Stewart, and guitarist Chris Abbamonte founded their band as  Bludy Gyres in 2014. After releasing the “Self Titled” EP Bludy Gyres and the 18 minute single Behold! Your World Now Burns, Bludy Gyres released the single Defy the Lie produced at Tommy Stewart’s Blue Ogre Noise Lab and released in 2016 as a sample of what will be the full length album for their 2017 release Echos of a Distant Scream.  The band signed on with Bordeaux, France’s SoMan Records for this album offering Limited Edition Vinyl and CDs.

Band Logo 2

 

Listening to Bludy Gyres debut LP Echos of a Distant Scream was quite the experience. Rather than concentrate on monotonously slow sluggish music that is full of feedback and growling vocals, Bludy Gyres takes a more classic approach to doom metal. Like early British doom metal bands such as Black Sabbath the music is bass heavy however the band threw the power trio book out of the window and incorporates elements of early British Prog such one might hear in the music of King Crimson. This is done by having dual guitarists Isador Herman and Chris Abbamonte share the stringed instrument duties with  bassist and frontman Tommy Stewart. While drummer Dennis Reid besides setting and keeping the tempo helps fill in the sonic atmosphere creating sounds on his drums vocals and stringed instruments can’t. My favorite songs from this album are ‘O.O.D.’ and ‘Live to Bleed.’

 

Live Band Pic

 

If you like classic British doom metal and Progressive Rock Echos of a Distant Scream will impress you immensely. Echos of a Distant Scream is available for digital download on Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes. For those that want a CD or Limited Vinyl, I recommend the band’s Bandcamp Page (below).

 

 

Bludy Gyres is  Facebook
CHRIS ABBAMONTE -guitar Chris’ Facebook Page
DENNIS REID -drums Dennis’ Facebook Page

ISIDORE HERMAN -guitar Isidore’s Facebook Page

TOMMY STEWART – bass, vocals Tommy’s Facebook Page


Clan “Carnivores” Album Review + Stream…

“Eat ‘M’ Alive!”

Clan

Carnivores – Digital Download

Self Released – June 19, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Hey all I got some music for you all to Rock ‘n’ Roll all night to from a power trio of rockers out of the UK’s Norwich calling themselves Clan. It’s been awhile since I last heard about Clan , but Matt , Ben, and Matt haven’t been just laying about. Since 2013 when they released their “Self Titled” EP, Clan has been hard at work.  They released a highly acclaimed sophomore album in 2014 called Witchcraft available in physical formats on Kozmik Artifactz Records.  On April 2017 they released a single Haunt Your Ghost as a teaser to get us all amped up for Carnivores.

I first heard Clan back in 2013 and instantly found myself singing along to their righteous rock/doom/blues sound like I had been listening to them for years and the feeling was no different when I gave Carnivores a spin. Since their S/T EP and Witchcraft album it seems to me Clan has grown musically.

Rather than rush to create their 3rd album or make up for a lack of material by potting previously released tracks on it as was done on Witchcraft the band took its time with Carnivores and gave fans a 10 song album of all new material. I have also noticed a slight change in sound as the songs are less bouncy and have a more heavy blues feel. Overall the album seems to have a dark theme about how people prey on one another; providing relevance to the album name.

 

Pro Band Pic
Clan: Left to Right – Ben Giller(Drums), Matt Rabong(Bass), and Matt Pearce(Guitar & Vocals)

A band with a versatile sound in a live show I think Clan would go over just as well with the Black Keys audiences as it would with Bikers, Wolfmother and those that attend the Maryland Doom Fest. What can I say Clan is just good Rock ‘n’ Roll. My favorites from Carnivores are ‘Burning,’ ‘Bodies Jackal,’ ‘Haunt Your Ghost,’ ‘True Believer,’ ‘Sleep In Salt,’ and ‘White Spider.’  This album is slammed with killer hits!!  If your looking for kick ass rock then Clan might be what you were looking for.


Mutoid Man “War Moans” – Album Review & Stream

Mutoid Man

War Moans – Vinyl // CD // DD

Sargent House – Release Date: June 2, 2017

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall

 

Supergroups usually suck…Mutoid Man does not. Formed in New York, and comprised of Nick Cageao on bass, Stephen Brodsky on guitar/vocals, and Ben Koller on skins.  The latter two members are from a couple of seminal bands of the last twenty years…Cave In and Converge respectively. On the heels of one EP, “Helium Head” and their critically lauded debut LP “Bleeder” released last year, momentum has been rapidly growing. After touring for “Bleeder,” the band returned home to find out they had lost their practice space due to evil gentrification, ultimately landing in the basement of one of, if not the most heralded venue in the heavy scene…St.Vitus Bar…(where bassist Nick works as the sound-man). On the stage of St. Vitus during off hours is where Mutoid Man’s new record ‘War Moans’ was assembled and constructed. Make no mistake, Mutoid Man are one of the most exciting bands in music. Destined for legend status in the underground if not more. Chock full of explosive attitude, bombastic energy, detonating musicianship, with aftershocks of memorable melodies, ‘War Moans’ is something to behold.

“Feel the heat, of the fire at your feet,” is the beginning salvo of opener ‘Melt your Mind.’ The music starts with galloping drums and bass with a killer melodic riff coming in over the top. Brodsky’s voice immediately brings to mind Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft. The song is feverish in its energy and direct in its delivery. Fantastic thrash riffs and punk rhythms fill the middle section to perfection. The chorus of ‘don’t let it melt your mind…’ makes me feel like they’re talking about this record. It is truly mind melting.

 

Live Band Shot

 

‘Bone Chain’ is next, and immediately rips and roars. Beginning with a chuggtastic riff and groove that you cant help but bang your head to. A stellar harmonized guitar section in the bridge goes into a shredder of a solo to end. ‘Micro Aggression’ follows with a punky start and a bluesy chord progression that flows into a sing along chorus with monstrous double bass underneath that crushes. These two songs are quick and flawless. Executed with  a simple virtuosity that grabs you with immediacy.

‘Kiss of Death’ is fucking sick! Sick in every way that’s good. A wildly mathy intro that drops right into the heaviest riff up to this point. Its tongue in cheek lyrics are so well written and performed that the song almost fools you into thinking it’s a pop song…which I suppose it is. If that’s the case, then this is one of the heaviest pop songs ever. The end section is pure brutality. Holy shit I love this song!

‘War Moans’ has begun with banger after banger with absolutely no let up. Next is the jam, ‘Date with the Devil’ This song is a damn masterpiece of sonic intensity as well. Mutoid Man is blowing my skull in every facet. It kicks of with another thrash shredder of a riff with a swing rhythm. Sounds weird, but man does it work. The guitar tones on this song are some of the best I’ve heard in a while. Especially the verse riff. Goddamn! In under three minutes this tune takes you from space to earth and every where in between. I can’t explain the badassness of this song. More tongue in cheek lyrics but with meaning. Very hard combination to bring to fruition and Brodsky pulls it off in spades. Go listen for yourself and get your mind blown. Wow ‘Date with the Devil…just wow.

 

 

From the pure metal riffs and blast-beats on ‘Headrush’ to the Bad Religion style punk of ‘Irons in the Fire’ Mutoid Man are exquisite. I’m running out of adjectives and superlatives for this record.

The title track ‘War Moans’ follows. This song is all Slayer and Megadeth. A pure throwback thrash song but with a fresh feel. I’m completely mesmerized and hypnotized by the songwriting and performances on these songs. Simply stunning. Marty Friedman guest solos on this track.

‘Wreck and Survive’ is another metal manifesto of amazingness. With guest vocals by the awesome Chelsea Wolfe that add an atmosphere of eeriness to this diamond of a song.

‘Afterlife’ is a straightforward slab of weight with a Burnt by the Sun feel.  ‘Open Flame’ rips and roars and who has your hair back from jump to landing.

Album closer ‘Bandages’ is Mutoid Man’s homage to 80’s hair metal balladry.  It sounds a little off when described that way but, its so spectacularly awesome, and a perfect conclusion to ‘War Moans.’

Mutoid Man have utterly and fantastically impressed and intrigued me. No exaggeration needed…’War Moans’ is a complete masterpiece. There is not a single note or melody wasted. No fluff, no filler. Energy and fervor from beginning to end. Expertly crafted individual songs and a complete piece of art as a whole. My early choice for record of the year. Period.  I could sit here and wax poetic all night about how much I truly love ‘War Moans,’ but I’m not going to. I am going to go listen to this record on repeat…and repeat…and repeat…

Band Shot

L’IRA DEL BACCANO “PARADOX – HOURGLASS” Album Review & Stream…

L’IRA DEL BACCANO

PARADOX – HOURGLASS – Vinyl // CD // DD

Subsound Records – Released March 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

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.

 

Live Band Shot

 

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