Writer Eric Layhe Top 25 Albums of 2017 + Links…

Eric Layhe Top 25 Albums of 2017


1. Caligula’s Horse – In Contact (Inside Out Records)


2. Pain Of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day (Inside Out Records)


3. KXM – Scatterbrain (Rat Pak Records)


4. In The Presence of Wolves – Of Two Minds – Stages 1 & 2 – The Ape And The Cage (Self-released)


5. The Burden Remains and The Horns Of The Seventh Seal – Touchstone (Self-released)


6. Icefish – Human Hardware (Self-released)


7. Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore Records)


8. Toehider – “GOOD.” (Birds Robe Records)


9. Nothing More – The Stories We Tell Ourselves (Eleven Seven)


10. Mother Mars – On Lunar Highlands (Pepper Shaker Records)


11. Ayreon – The Source (Mascot Label Group)


12. Sons Of Apollo – Psychotic Symphony (Inside Out Records)


13. Others By No One – Book I: Dr. Breacher (Self-released)


14. Sons of Texas – Forged By Fortitude (Razor & Tie)


15. Ne Obliviscaris – Urn (Season of Mist)


16. Starset – Vessels (Razor & Tie)


17. Subterranean Masquerade – Vagabond (ViciSolum Records)


18. Leprous – Malina (Inside Out Records)


19. Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence (Roadrunner Records)


20. Voyager – Ghost Mile (IAV Records)


21. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand (Reprise Records)


22. Alice Cooper – Paranormal (EarMusic)


23. Steven Wilson – To The Bone (Caroline Records)


24. Big Wreck – Grace Street (ole)


25. 10 Years – (how to live) AS GHOSTS (Mascot Label Group)

KYLESA To Issue ‘Live At Maida Vale Studios’ April 22

Savannah, Georgia’s genre-mashing alternative psyche rockers Kylesa will release the four song ‘Live At Maida Vale Studios’ as part of Record Store Day 2017. It will be released through Season Of Mist on April 22nd and captures the band’s February 2014 BBC Radio 1 Rock Show session in its entirety and has never been commercially available before. The session was recorded with BBC DJ Daniel P. Carter for the BBC program “Rock Show With Daniel P Carter” and will be a one time pressing of 1500 12″ LPs, 1000 CDs, and 150 cassettes.

The track list for ‘Live At Maide Vale Studios’ is:

1. Quicksand
2. Long Gone
3. Don’t Look Back
4. To Forget

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

New Album Review – Hark “Machinations”


Machinations – Vinyl / CD / DD / Merch

Season of Mist – Release Date: February 24th, 2017


Presented as a meticulously honed movement of ripping riffs, rib-cage rattling groove, intricate solo progressions and a sludge/doom vocal line sprayed out with pure punk bluster, this Welsh four-piece offers their sophomore release containing nine tracks of some of the most ferocious time shifts twisting around the hammering double six-string assault that rides the writhing body of the bottom end to the soulful wails that captivates you to savor each second in anticipation of the next. From the first second of opener ‘Fortune Favors The Insane’ to the cymbal fade at the end, the tone is set, the bar has been raised and there is zero doubt the guys in HARK are not fucking around. ‘Disinigrate’ is full on, heart-ripping-from your-chest heavy for the whole 6-minutes plus, followed by ‘Nine Fates’ that comes at you with a slower progression that is almost misleading as the speed-shift exactly one minute in takes you by the collar and forces you to run to keep up before the screaming solo leads into the verse of this runaway train. ‘Speak In Tongues’ wastes no time using the utmost jazz tinged time-sig’s that would make even LARS ULRICH nervous, creating the heaviest staggered timeline I have heard in ages and not a beat is dropped or lost beginning to end while the brutality is kept intact, even as twisted keyboards seem to weave in and out of the screaming solo sections; truly an amazing feat with this one keeping that timeline smooth as glass.


Pro Band Shot


‘Transmutation’ is more to the point rock-n-roll right on time and there is no stopping the head-banging along while you grind right along with, as does ‘Son Of Pythagoras’ showing HARK flexing the might they have brought forth with this record.

The last three tracks, to my ears, seemingly tie together as an opus in and of itself and I have a feeling if ‘Premonitions,’ ‘Comnixant 3-0’ and ‘The Purge’ are included in the live set, they are presented in this order. Pulling out all stops and utilizing everything they showed in each previous track is brought to the table here with the galloping drums sporting more of those fills from hell to the-thunder-on-the-under to those insanely swirling guitar lines that envelop each lyric in the perfect vessel.




When asked to describe their ethos, the answer given was:

“Fingers to the bone. That has been one of our motto since HARK’s inception, and it carried us through to the recording studio. We push ourselves in all kinds of ways, and that commitment resonates throughout.” As this release shows, in every way imaginable, THIS is how you ‘do it’… they will be touring Europe this Spring, support them if they come to your area and GET THIS RECORD the second you can!!



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Words by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr

Album Review – Crippled Black Phoenix “Bronze”

Crippled Black Phoenix

Bronze – Vinyl / CD / DD

Season of Mist – Released: April 11, 2016


So how often can a drummer for one(or two) already established and killer band break away and do something that is unexpected, something unique and able to stand on it’s own two feet? Not often. Hell I can’t think of anyone besides Dave Grohl or Phil Collins, who have pulled it off successfully. Well now we have Justin Greaves, skin beater for Electric Wizard and Iron Monkey, who with his project Crippled Black Phoenix, have created in their latest album ‘Bronze’ what can be considered a contemporary exploration of mood and atmosphere.


Cool Band Pic
This is no collection of 3 minute dittys designed for ass shaking, no, this is an album that demands your time and attention. An album not to be taken lightly, it makes you want to experience it as a whole, even though it works song to song as well. Hearkening back to some of the most relevant bands and albums of the early to mid seventies, this UK Octet, crafts some of the most passionate melancholic, psychedelic stoner-prog found this side of the moon. They succeed at pulling you in to their world, a world this is terminally overcast, and weary, but a world not without emotion and, dare I say love?  Listening to this I hear Pink Floyd, I hear The Cure, I hear Muse, I hear King Crimson, I hear Mogwai. And it works. All of it.


I especially love the places where they take musical chances, like on the album opener which is an orchestral instrumental track led off by a passage from the beginning of Genesis. Another chance was taken with the song ‘Scared and Alone’ employing a horn section to accentuate the tired and troubled lead vocals provided by Belinda Kordic, who shines in the singular track that she takes lead vocals on. All the other tracks are sung by Daniel Anghede who at times is reminiscent of 80’s post-rock goth progenitor Peter Murphy with his deep baritone voice and delivery.


LIVE Band Shot_Cool


My favorite track on the album comes in the 7th slot titled ‘Turn to Stone’. It is a paean to every great rock song written in the Seventies, with it’s mid to slow tempo march, infectious main riff that makes you bob your head, and it’s psychedelic guitar nuances, emphasized by a vocal delivery that’s half Robert Plant half Neil young. The later part of the song is a ride out on the bridge riff, proving that there is beauty in repetition.

Elsewhere throughout the album you will find hints of organ, synthesizer and other non-standard instruments placed tastefully for maximum affect, enhancing and emphasizing the masterful songwriting.  The end result being an artful, moody collection of contemporary prog-rock songs with heart that shines brightly in a musical landscape that is all too often more of the same.

Words by Mark Aceves