Spacelord “Spacelord” Album Review + Stream…

Spacelord

Spacelord – Digital Download

Self released:  October 10, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

Lineup:
Bass: Chris Cappiello
Drums: Kevin Flynn
Vocals: Ed Grabianowski
Guitar: Richard Root

 Tracklist:
Five Days in a Hole (5:34)
That Witch Rises (6:56)
Livewire (4:11)
Warlike Prelude (1:16)
Warlike (6:15)
Hollow Moon (4:11)
The Old Road (3:09)
Black Sword (4:28)

 

 

Review:
Monster Magnet is a band whose far-reaching influence on the world of Rock music is not always properly appreciated. Without them, such Hard Rock giants such as Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal may have never seen the light of day, and yet Monster Magnet has never become the household name that they probably should be. After all, the school of Monster Magnet is a deceptively large one, and an excellent recent graduate of that school has recently surfaced with the name of Spacelord.

There are Monster Magnet followers of two basic varieties: Desert Rockers a la Queens of the Stone Age, Brant Bjork and Kyuss; and Stoner/Sludge Metallers a la Soundgarden and Red Fang. Spacelord straddles this line a bit, but tends to adhere a bit more to the Stoner Metal side of things. As a matter of fact, Spacelord’s self-titled debut is quite reminiscent of the early days, sounding like they’d be right at home among the track-list of Louder than Love, especially tracks like the 6-minute sludgey atom bomb “Warlike”, which opens with lots of reverb and closes with sinewy guitar lines that Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil would be proud of.

Logo

Spacelord is first and foremost a very genuine affair. There’s nothing absolutely perfect here. It is perfect in its imperfection. That’s not to say the music is bad – in fact, it’s very much the opposite – But a huge amount of personality is found in those little moments where a backing vocal is a little flat, or a guitar comes in the tiniest bit late. This is not a tightly-composed Progressive Rock opus, and it shouldn’t be. This is an intentionally organic album. The performance here is not done by robots programmed to hit every note with surgical precision, it is done by humans – real living humans, and the interplay and charm associated with such a work breaths through this album impeccably.

Spacelord is the album that it needs to be and not an iota less. With their very first record, Spacelord has asserted a very real identity for themselves.  It is one that regales you with the feeling of the early 90’s, when Stoner Metal was at its absolute finest.  It gives you hope for another golden era that Monster Magnet and Kyuss would likely welcome with open arms.

Band Pic


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!!