MORASS OF MOLASSES ‘These Paths We Tread’ Review & Full LP Stream

MORASS OF MOLASSES
These Paths We Tread – Vinyl//DD
HeviSike Records – Released May 19th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Last Friday, May 19th saw the release of the anxiously awaited new effort from the self-proclaimed “swamp master generals” Morass Of Molasses, ‘These Paths We Tread‘. The seven song follow up to their ‘So Flows Our Fate’ EP finds these heavyweights further building upon the sludge-ish stoner doom of that release while exploring some richly fertile new territories as well. Vocalist/bassist BonesThe BeardHuse, guitarist PhilThe MountainWilliams and drummer ChrisThe BeastWest act as our sonic guides upon an album that will splendidly please those that seek the very best in dense hard rock.

This latest offering from these Reading, UK-based purveyors of pummeling finds them dragging us in by the necks with our introduction to ‘My Leviathan‘. It may be their monstrosity but it is indeed our good fortune as the fluid grooves soon ignite after a brief, melodic intro. Guitars wail, rhythms pulsate and aggressive, bellowing yells resonate but then an oddly intriguing Pink Floyd-ian vocal delivery takes hold of the verses. The track truly serves as a mere warm up when compared to much of the other content included here.

From there we get the upbeat blues ‘n roll of ‘So They Walk‘, a highly energized number where grooves encircle every step. All while some trippy vocals narrate things and guitars wail away. The latter comes at you from all directions it seems while the former explores myriad avenues of delivery, from underbreath and softly spoken to emotional yelps. We get our first real chance to catch our breath for a moment with the tranquil intro of ‘Serpentine‘ before it too bursts loose for a few brief bars. It then quickly throttles down to a bit of groove-geared bluesiness also and from there, routinely builds and buckles beneath things. There’s even a dip or two into some wind-blewn psyche elements amid the fiery guitar work and, at over seven minutes in length, a lot of ground is explored.

The psychedelia stays on hand for the female chanted interlude that is ‘The Ritual‘ and then comes one of my favorite cuts from the record, ‘Centralia‘. After a bit of spoken word, news report-sounding snippets about a fire in the mining town of “Centralia in Columbia County”, the thick riffs ignite and smolder. Keeping things dialed down and in-the-pocket, the song’s hazy overtones are the ideal vehicle for the scorching guitars and crunchy drums. Varied spoken samples about the fire-ravaged residential area come and go, an area that stays inflammed due to underground seams of coal that continuously burn (something I know all too well about here in Kentucky’s coal country).

Another bit of mellow blues resonate before the doom-ish psychedelia of ‘Maenads‘ plods forth like a slow rolling lava flow. Slowly it churns and inches ever forward while the eclectic vocalizations constantly cycle through a variety of styling. The music maintains a mostly steamroller-like momentum while one of the more intriguing compenents of interest is the combustible drumming. ‘Wrath Of Aphrodite‘, the final track starts sedately enough but it is not destined to last for before you know it, a tempestuous onslaught of sonics are surrounding you. Uptempo they unfurl and totally take us along for the ride in this highly energized exercise of brazen, groovened blues.

Once again, Morass Of Molasses display why they are one of the more interesting of rock acts to rise above the din in recent times. Totally unique, uniquely intrepid..this trio is not afraid to experiment, to take chances and blaze their own trail to get where they feel they are being led. If you will, call Morass Of Molasses the pioneers upon…’These Paths We Tread‘.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

 


PUTA VOLCANO ‘Harmony Of Spheres’ Review & Stream

PUTA VOLCANO
Harmony Of Spheres – CD//DD//Vinyl
iota5 Records – Release Date: April 28th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

I have long said that there is some incredible music happening in the nation of Greece and this band, Puta Volcano, are the latest example of what I am talking about. Clearly, I am not alone in that belief either seeing as how Athens’ Puta Volcano is set to play at DesertFest Athens 2017 alongside acts like Saint Vitus, Orange Goblin, Colour Haze and Graveyard, among others. It has now been close to a month since the band, vocalist Luna Stoner (aka Anna Papathanasiou), guitarist Alex Pi, bassist Bookies and drummer Steven S., released their latest album, the stellar ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘. The 8-song offering is the eagerly awaited follow-up to the band’s earlier releases, The Sun (2015) and Represent Victory Below Eye (2011) and let me tell you, the wait was worth it.

Puta Volcano

Much like their namesake, Puta Volcano and their music are an explosive eruption of lava hot Desert Rock, but such that has elements of Stoner, Psyche, Grunge and Progressive Rock augmenting it. The quartet craft intensely enthralling riff-driven hard rock that just flows with rhythmic propulsion, they keep it tight knit and cohesive thanks to their solid deliveries. It simply astounds me that the band is not a widely known commercial success, a well-recognized household name uttered upon the lips of countless music fans. But then like I said, this record is a freshly out of the oven, piping hot slab of molten musicality so who knows what may be lurking around the bend?

Speaking of bends, things kick off here with the winding rollercoaster that is the aptly-titled introductory song, ‘Dune‘. Huge grooves, thunderous rhythms and impressive drumming drive the song’s swaggering, laid back flow but without question, something gets revealed. A sultry sounding, raspy-throated and utterly incredible vocal powerhouse that is Luna! Don’t get me wrong, the guys are as equally fantastic as well but we all know that without the proper singer, even the best music can fall short. There seems to be no chance in hell of that happening here though thankfully.

Once you’ve regained your senses, there’s a whole range of multifaceted music explored in subsequent songs like the beautiful ‘Bird‘, jumpin’ ‘Jovian Wind‘ or radiant ‘Afterglow‘. For me personally, things really landed well during the middle segment of the record, particularly ‘Zeroth Law‘, ‘Neon‘ and ‘Moebius‘. All three tracks are just incredible, the hypnotic haziness of ‘Zeroth Law‘ with a structured, pattern-like vocal delivery where Luna once again struts her stuff. From there, ‘Neon‘ ratchets up both the tempo and intensity like a driving, pumping engine as a tempest of energized music swirls about. Meanwhile, I believe ‘Moebius‘ may actually be my favorite cut on the record with its own trippier nuances. Things eventually careen headlong into some truly powerful Alt. Rock, the band itself in unison and rolling out a truly stand-out performance. I will let ‘Infinity‘ just surprise and impress you all on its own.

Yet when all is said, done and played, Puta Volcano‘s ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘ is a veritably stand alone musical statement itself. Simply put, it is a fantastic album and I feel that life is better with it than without it but you will have to be the judge of that for yourself. You can do exactly that by streaming it via the Bandcamp embedded player below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


TWELVE NOON ‘Saints And Sinners’ Review; Official Video

TWELVE NOON
Saints And Sinners – CD//DD
Eclipse Records – Release Date: June 9th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

From Steel City, USA comes one of the more invigorating albums I have been privy to streaming via a promo recently. The band is freshly formed one in some sense of the word, a quintet amassed not that long ago in 2015 by members Rob Heil (gtrst.) and Michael Loew (vox). Twelve Noon rounded out their roster with guitarist John Devlin, bassist Tim Clark and drummer Justin Runkel and believe it or not, began as a cover band. Feeling the fire burning to write and create their own original music after a song or two placed in their covers sets got tremendous receptions, that is exactly what they did. Soon, the band caught the attention and ears of producer Bobby Balow and fast forward to now, they sit poised to unleash ‘Saints And Sinners‘ via Eclipse Records on June 9th.

On said album, Twelve Noon truly wear a variety of musical hats so to speak, meaning they cover a lot of territory in their music. Blending elements of razor sharp heavy metal with those of hard rock, nu metal, alt. rock and even some melodic, more contemporary moments, the guys meld it all into this powerful recorded statement. It’s like a rollercoaster running at top speed, it hits twists, turns and curves with seemingly reckless abandon but truth is, there’s a method to the madness. A course laid out, a path being traveled and it is most definitely a ride you should get your ass on and buckle in to.

Things tear right off the line with the groove-laden stomp of ‘Change My Ways‘, a chunky, heavy riffer that chugs forward with pure determination. Aggressive music and vocals drive things onward and then abruptly relent to some incredible choruses laden with infectious melody. At one point things go unhinged with some scathing vocal deliveries while the music itself remains a bit laid back with a bluesy swagger. With the bar set, things quickly detour into the unexpected, solid, emotionally poignant ‘Breaking Down‘. Everything is dialed back on this track, keeping it all tight-knit while the drumming especially stood out to me on this one. The amps are cranked up and the attitude set loose on the album’s title track, ‘Saints And Sinners‘, next. A mid tempo pace pushes the song on with some pure rock fueling, catchy hooks and choruses, an infectious and addictive track for sure.

In fact, those very same qualities permeate all of the ten songs here and regardless if you’re a metalhead or a mainstream rock fan, there’s something for you to enjoy here. From the ballad-esque ‘Hope In Tragedy‘ to the acoustic-tinged southern rock of ‘Carry On‘, the song that Guns & Roses never wrote but should have, it’s all here. Maybe the darkly-hued aggro-styling of ‘No Way Out‘ (video streaming below) or the even darker tainted ‘Bottom Of A Bottle‘ is what you need. Then there’s always the album-closing ass kick that is the apprpriately titled ‘The End‘, a track that is quickly becoming my own personal favorite. Not to mention the nice double bass drum kicks rippling throughout the cut at times or the simmering guitar leads/solos.

Yep, Saints And Sinners is a nice breath of freshly metalized modern hard rock, one that I hear varied influences contained within. Moments of 80’s rock to the nu movement of the Nineties or the alternative constructs of more recent years, you hear it all at times. After all, isn’t time what this band and their official label debut here are all about? So, you know what time it is..or you’d better because, if not, then make the time Twelve Noon all the time by checking this superb album out as soon as possible.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


PYRESHIP ‘The Liars Bend Low’ Review & Full LP Stream

PYRESHIP 
The Liars Bend Low – DD//Ltd. Ed. LP
Black Bow Records – Release Date: May 26th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Every so often a time-specific item comes along, something that is ideal and fitting for that sole moment, at that very point with all that is transpiring. It can be anything of course, a statement, a movement or hell, perhaps even a musical movement that makes a statement. I believe the latter option is happening as I write this, as the Houston, Texas-based prog metal unit Pyreship release their debut ‘The Liars Bend Low‘. The 5-song offering will be unleashed via digital format and limited edition vinyl via Black Bow Records today, Friday, May 26th.

In an age where mediocrity and the most seemingly mundane noise is hailed as great music and talentless hacks hailed as “brilliant”, this release comes. It comes at just the right time too, right when we need it most for it contains a much larger scope and impact when effectually dissected. Thanks to guitarist/vox Cru Jordan Jones, guitarist/ vox Sam Waters, bassist George Ellis Lusito and drummer Steve Smith, the quartet has given us quite the profound album here. One that is comprised of progressive, forward-moving Post-Metal and massive Noise Rock qualities yet those qualities are taken much, much further into the fray.

Things begin with a melodic introduction and build up in the first song of the five, ‘Gravity‘ but soon enough it implodes. Massive, bulky riffs drive the song’s advance while rhythmic pulsations pump and plod beneath as the guys find the groove and initiate the ride along it. Ever chugging onward, while somewhat stripped down, angst-y vocals find their way into the verses and then merge harmoniously in the choruses. Outstanding drum work powers the backline within the track, at points it is isolated and becomes the focal point of the song. Using samples and spoken word inserts to serve as a type or narrative to much of the record, the famous one from Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator delivers us to the fantastic ‘Machine Men‘. You nearly assume this will be an instrumental track due to the abundance of jamming jam-packed into it but alas, vocals gradually appear. They become one of the really interesting elements of this track too, the present multiple layers of them, how they divide and unite at differing marks.

With ‘When Leaves Turn To Blood‘ we take a thrilling detour into some hazy, heady psychedelia right from the start. Rhythmic, hypnotically cadenced drums power things like some silken locomotive, simultaneously airy and heavy both before the vocals enter. They too are rendered with atmospheric effects as the track soon seems to float along its way…that is until the guitars surface. Thick riffs churn intermittently with resonating licks, everything merging into a flurry of controlled chaos, the quiet cool if you will. The lysergic nuances up to this point find their full footing in the fourth song, ‘Die-Sect‘, my favorite song. Emotionally scarred vocals crackle before some heavy handed guitars, bottom end-bleeding bass lines and thundering drums find their unified way into the mix. Building upward, tumbling downward, spiraling sonics encircle you, spinning and whirling about your head. This continues in intensity and segmented severity through paced application through much of the cut and up to its finish. Besides, any song that hosts a quote/sample from a David Lynch production is always boss in my book!

A Martin Luther King, Jr. sample provides an eerie intro to the final track ‘…Are We Dead Yet‘ before it unfurls itself as perhaps the heaviest song of this debut. Or so you think as the fantastic swagger of the guitars resonate and the tightly wound, in-the-pocket rhythm section navigates some respectable realms. Aggressive, mostly shouted vocals bellow throughout as well, all of which combined result in a magnificent song that ends an equally monumental album itself. It’s definitely one that you need to hear immediately via the Soundcloud stream below and from there, go purchase!

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


DRUG HONKEY Debut ‘Pool Of Failure’ Official Video

Chicago-based sonic savages Drug Honkey recently issued their critically acclaimed new album ‘Cloak Of Skies‘ via Transcending Obscurity Records just a few weeks ago. The crushingly dense, scourging aural assault has yielded some amazingly volatile music that must be experienced with the utmost caution. Today, this beast yields a brand new official video for your listening/witnessing enjoyment, ‘Pool Of Failure‘.

Like most everything else that Drug Honkey exudes, the clip itself is full of suspenseful, sinister images that provoke you to feel endangered from just observing. The music is a punishing dirge of drawn-out, hypnotic heaviness with beleaguered vocals.

Vocalist Paul Gillis stated: “Pool Of Failure delves into the pitfalls of relationship and situational failures associated with life. This is Drug Honkey’s outlet, or vent if you will.”

So if you will, check out the optical nether realm contained in the visualizer above but do so with caution and a readiness for anything. – Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Drug Honkey

Full Album Stream Of BARROWS ‘Obsidion’; Tour Dates

Friday, May 26th will see the release of the latest album from the atmospheric progressive rock duo Barrows, titled ‘Obsidion‘. It will be issued digitally through the band and on deluxe 2xLP through Tonzonen Records (purchase here). Obsidion is the follow-up to 2011’s Imprecari Island and 2014’s Red Giant and finds the forces behind BarrowsJim Leonard and Richy Epolito, delving ever deeper into exploratory aural realms.

The textural expanses of the sci-fi infused instrumental rock of Obsidion is streaming in full below for your listening enjoyment. You can expect myriad fragments of audible experimentation inspired from progressive, space, kraut, and psych rock acts, derived by influences from early King Crimson and Pink Floyd to John Carpenter and Goblin. The album was mastered by Eroc from the legendary Krautrock band Grobschnitt and features stark/abstract artwork and photography by Alexandre Souêtre.

The band is planning on touring in support of Obsidion, including a residency/album release show at The Echo in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles for the month of May, where the band will be playing a free show every Monday of the month with a bill of area bands of their choice. This is to be followed by a full US tour, all the dates are listed below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Barrows tour dates:

5/22/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA *Free Residency Show w/ Psychic Jiu–Jitsu, Mothdrops, Dream Phases
5/29/2017 The Echo – Los Angeles, CA *Album Release Show w/ Hex Horizontal, Starving Daughters, Clear
5/30/2017 The Casbah – San Diego, CA w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Bleak Skies
5/31/2017 The Rebel Lounge – Phoenix, AZ w/ Moons Eat Stars, The Idiot Mars, The Living Receiver [info]
6/01/2017 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM w/ Votives, Distances, Chess At Breakfast [info]
6/02/2017 Hole In The Wall – Austin, TX w/ Gold Leather [info]
6/03/2017 The Parlor Tattoo North Little Rock, AR w/ Mainland Divide, The Light in the Woods [info]
6/04/2017 The East Room – Nashville, TN w/ Tape Deck Mountain, International Friendly [info]
6/05/2017 Galaxy Hut – Arlington, VA w/ The Orchid [info ]
6/06/2017 The Fire – Philadelphia, PA w/ This City Called Earth, I See Demons in the Wood Grain [info]
6/07/2017 Golden Sounds Bar – Brooklyn, NY w/ Hannibal Montana, Zevious [info]
6/08/2017 Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT w/ Mid Atlantic Title, Western Estates [info]
6/09/2017 O’Brien’s – Boston, MA w/ Sea, 28 Degrees Taurus, Voidgod [info]
6/10/2017 Monkey House – Winooski, VT w/ Dr. No, Gnomedad [info]
6/11/2017 Pauley’s Hotel – Albany, NY w/ Yoma, Grimer [info]
6/12/2017 Dinosaur BBQ – Syracuse, NY w/ Formidable Duke, The Magnetic Pull [info]
6/14/2017 Cobra Lounge – Chicago, IL w/ Coyote Man [info]
6/15/2017 Triple Rock Social Club – Minneapolis, MN w/ Hardcore Crayons, Nomia, Goodnight Gorillas [info]
6/16/2017 O’Leaver’s Pub – Omaha, NE w/ Low Long Signal, Towering Rogue [info]
6/17/2017 Electric Funeral Fest – Denver, CO [info]
6/19/2017 The Underground – Salt Lake City, UT w/ Yeti Warlord, Toxic Dose [info]
6/20/2017 The Olympic – Boise, ID w/ Desert Graves, Preakedness, Wall Of Ears [info]
6/21/2017 The Valley – Tacoma, WA w/ Fang Chia [info]
6/22/2017 Lytle Beach – Bainbridge Island, WA w/ Weeed [info]
6/23/2017 Victory Lounge – Seattle, WA w/ You May Die In The Desert, Chrome Lakes, Slumberbox [info]
6/24/2017 Turn, Turn, Turn Records – Portland, OR w/ U Sco, Stars’ Blood [info]
6/25/2017 Old Nick’s Pub – Eugene, OR w/ Cambrian Explosion, Paleons [info]
6/27/2017 Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlour – Reno, NV w/ Weight Of The Tide [info]
6/28/2017 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA w/ (Waning), Axiom [info]
6/29/2017 The Night Light – Oakland, CA w/ Wander, Dokoe, Voidtripper [info]
6/30/2017 Davenport Ditch – Santa Cruz, CA w/ Cosmic Reef Temple, Oort Cloud
7/01/2017 Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA w/ Floral, Wander [info]

Barrows-tour-2017


THE RIVEN ‘Blackbird’ EP Review & Stream

THE RIVEN
Blackbird – CD//DD
Self-Released – April 14th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

The London, UK-based band The Riven recently issued their 5-song ‘Blackbird‘ EP and it has quickly garnered quite positive press across the board. With an ever-present feel of bluesy hard rock and retro vibes, vocalist Charlotta Ekebergh, guitarist Arnau Diaz, bassist Max Ternebring and drummer Olof Axegärd deliver a powerful musical statement with the effort. Immensely soulful elements permeate the musical output of The Riven, ones exuding depth amid the intricacies resulting from brilliant songwriting.

If you can imagine the guitar-fueled strength of a band like UFO melded with the vocal chops inspired by greats like Ann Wilson or Pat Benatar then you’re starting to get the idea of what’s going on here. From the faster-fueled paces of the opening ‘Ain’t No Doctor‘, with its driving intensity and throbbing rhythms to the unhinged boogie of ‘Tower‘, this is energized music. There are moments of melodic psychedelia, such as in the bridge of the latter track there or in the fantastic haziness of the title track ‘Blackbird‘. It’s a simmering, heady number and definitely one of the stand out cuts from the EP along with the fantastic ‘One Last Time‘.

If you’re seeking something that’s steeped in classic rock overtones, embedded with bluesy swagger and full-on with amplifier-fueled attitude then look no further. The Riven‘s ‘Blackbird‘ EP is a superb display of raw, solidly-hewn hard rock that you can check out for yourself below.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Riven

DEVIL ELECTRIC Unveil Details Of Upcoming S/T Album; Premiere ‘Hypnotica’ Video

Melbourne, Australia’s heavy occult rock quartet Devil Electric have revealed the details of their upcoming full-length self-titled debut album. The 37 minute, 9-track debut will be available digitally and in three colored vinyl variants on August 11th through Germany’s Kozmik Artifactz label. The first single to be released from the album is “Hypnotica” – watch the video clip below.

Devil Electric dropped like a sinister spell with their ‘The Gods Below‘ EP in 2016, making an instantaneous impact with critics and fans alike. The band, Pierina O’Brien (Vocals), Christos Athanasias (Guitars), Tom Hulse (Bass, Vocals) and Mark Van De Beek (Drums), play some superbly bluesy heavy rock. It is nearly a certain given that the upcoming self-titled album will further impress folks across the musical spectrum and make Devil Electric a commonly known household name.

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker

Devil Electric

Devil Electric tracks:

1. Monologue (Where You Once Walked)
2. Shadowman
3. Lady Velvet
4. Acidic Fire
5. Monolith
6. The Dove & The Serpent
7. The Sacred Machine
8. Lilith
9. Hypnotica


KHEMMIS Share Decibel Mag’s Exclusive Flexi-Single Track

Colorado progressive doomers Khemmis have returned with their new exclusive single for Decibel Magazine‘s ongoing Flexi-Disc series. The song, ‘Empty Throne‘, was recorded back in February exclusively for the popular offering. Of course it has only been a few short months since the Denver doomsters Khemmis topped Decibel‘s 2016 Album Of The Year list with their second LP, Hunted. And it’s only been a few short weeks since they owned the big stage with the majority of that record at the first annual Decibel Metal & Beer Fest. Enjoy!

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker


DIVINITY Stream ‘The Immortalist’ In Its Entirety

I’ll be honest, when I read that a band is getting musical comparisons to acts like Soilwork and Extol then that will be plenty enough to convince me to at least check them out. The Calgary, AB progressive death metal band Divinity are getting those types of comparisons out in the music world and deservedly so. If I could add one of my own to the list it would be Strapping Young Lad and not because of the Canuck connection but because Divinity genuinely display some very SYL-ish moments in their music. Having never heard Divinity until recently, I was not fully prepared for the great musical content of their latest recorded offering, ‘The Immortalist‘, nor did I know the story of the music either.

See, The Immortalist (which will be released this Friday, May 26th) is the culmination of five long years of hard work and determination from Divinity. The album features 12 tracks that include their two previous EP releases “The Immortalist, Pt. 1 – Awestruck” and “The Immortalist, Pt. 2 –Momentum” with their 3rd EP “The Immortalist Pt. 3 – Conqueror” now completed to finish off the trilogy series as one huge full length album. All the tracks on the album are re-mixed and re-mastered by the talented Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Grid Productions) to make the songs more cohesive and work as a full-length experience. Plus, the song ‘D.M.T.‘ features a guest appearance from Soilwork/Night Flight Orchestra’s BjornSpeedStrid.

The band commented on their upcoming effort saying: “We’re very proud of our new album! Our dedication to song writing, recording and producing these 12 songs over the past 5 years has been a crazy musical journey and a huge learning experience that we will never forget. Our lyrical content and artwork is based on an original science-fiction concept story about a character who wakes up in a random field within an intricate crop circle with no memory of who he is or how he got there. The character is then thrown into a crazy adventure and eventually learns who he is and how to become immortal. There’s so much more to the story but we don’t want to give it all way just yet.”

Today, Taste Nation LLC is giving you the opportunity to stream Divinity‘s ‘The Imortalist‘ in its entirety below. Pre-order of the album is available on Divinity.ca, iTunes or Amazon plus an exclusive digi-pak CD available on their website for those who like to support the band directly. The digi-pak CD contains a 24-page booklet that showcases this entire concept giving fans way a full physical experience to the story, songs, lyrics, and visual aspect of the new album. Enjoy!

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker