Saturday, 31 August 2013

Hour of Power 08/31/13 (playlist)

  1. Dead Rising (Church of Void / Dead Rising) 2013
  2. DMSLT (A Pale Horse Named Death / Lay My Soul To Waste) 2013
  3. Peace Mind (Beelzefuzz / ST) 2013
  4. The Universe Is Mine (La Chinga / ST) 2013
  5. A Shot of Whiskey Music (It Came From the Desert / TBA (Upcoming Demo)) 2013
  6. Kentucky Bourbon in 80 Grit (Skrogg / Blooze) 2013
  7. Writing on the Wall (Horisont / Time Warrior) 2013
  8. Six To Let the Light Shine Through (Dead Meadow / Warble Womb) 2013
  9. Circle of Lies / Adore the Moon (Touch the Spider / I Spit on Your Grave & Souls For Sale) 2009
  10. Hail to the Haze (Iron Man / South of the Earth) 2013
  11. Black Moon (Tombstones / Red Skies and Dead Eyes) 2013
  12. Stone the Crow (Down / NOLA) 1995 'classic video'

The Paranoid 30 (08/31/13)

Top 30 Albums
#). artist - album title
  1. Brutus - Behind the Mountains
  2. Goatess - ST
  3. Tumbleweed Dealer - ST
  4. Werewolves in Siberia - The Rising
  5. Pyres - Year of Sleep
  6. Cult of Occult - Hic Est Domus Diaboli
  7. Black Sabbath - 13
  8. Church of Void - Winter is Coming EP
  9. Tombstone - Where the Dead Belong
  10. Scorpion Child - ST
  11. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control
  12. Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark
  13. Magister Templi - Lucifer Leviathan Logos
  14. Crowlord - Naked Chicks, Goats & Wolves
  15. Spiral Shades - The Hypnosis Sessions (Demo)
  16. Stone Magnum - From Time ... To Eternity
  17. Alice in Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
  18. Devil - Gather The Sinners
  19. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
  20. Ice Dragon - Born a Heavy Morning
  21. The Black Angels - Indigo Meadow***
  22. Naam - Vow
  23. NYMF - From the Dark***
  24. Desert Storm - Horizontal Life
  25. Shallow Grave - ST
  26. Rote Mare - The Invocation / The Kingdom
  27. La Chinga - ST***
  28. Peacemaker - Cult .45
  29. Demon Eye - E.P.
  30. Spirits of the Dead - Rumours of a Presence
*** New Album

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Paranoid 25 (08/28/13)

Top 25 Songs
#). Song Title (artist/album)
  1. Suicidal Slayer (Rote Mare / The Kingdom)
  2. Vulture Bitches (Ten Foot Wizard / ST)
  3. Tempest (Shroud Eater / Dead Ends EP)
  4. Brother Death (Zodiac / ST)
  5. From the Woods (Black Moth Cult / The Fountain of Tantric Worship)
  6. Pretty Done (Alice in Chains / The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here)
  7. The Witches Remains (Brutus / Behind the Mountains)
  8. Ten Lizardmen & One Pocketknife (Devil to Pay / Fate Is Your Muse)
  9. That Woebegone (Ghold / Judas Ghoat)
  10. Brother Bishop [Gary Heidnik] (Church of Misery / Thy Kingdom Scum)
  11. The Wicked King (Hela / Broken Cross)
  12. Know Your Animal (Goatess / ST)***
  13. Kings of Koch (Snowchild / digital track)
  14. Honeyland (Voodoo Mule / Voodoo Zoo)
  15. Battle in the Swamp [live] (Conan / Mount Wrath)
  16. Nineteen Ninety and a Half (Holy Mount / Aplic)
  17. To Hell We Ride (Albino Python / The Doomed and the Damned)
  18. You're Mine (The Black Angels / Indigo Meadow)***
  19. Summoning the Not Living (Vidunder / ST)***
  20. Son of Crow (Crowlord / Naked Chicks, Goats & Wolves)***
  21. King's Highway (Scorpion Child / ST)
  22. Follow the Rats (Peacemaker / Cult .45)***
  23. A Rush of Power (Age of Taurus / Desperate Souls of Tortured Times)***
  24. Satan's Got My Back (The Mangled Dead / single)
  25. Kingmaker (Spiritual Beggars / Earth Blues)
*** New Song

Outgoing songs:
Caress of Darkness (Aniara / Caress of Darkness EP)
So Deep (Ape Skull / ST)
Drakon, It's Shadow Upon Us (Black Oath / Ov Qliphoth And Darkness)
Cathedral of the Damned (Cathedral / The Last Spire)
Mutated Dracula (The Mangled Dead / Hate Humans)
Hand of Lucifer (Doublestone / ST)

STB Records to Release Geezer's 'Gage' EP on Vinyl

Fresh press release:

Geezer and STB Records are proud to announce that we have joined forces to release Gage 
(EP) as a special Limited Edition Vinyl Release.

Pat says of STB, “Up until now, Gage has only been available as a digital download. Our 
main goal has always been to press it up on vinyl. Ever since I saw their first release, the 
Die Hard Edition of Dopethrone’s Demonsmoke, I knew STB was the label I wanted to work 
with. STB Records is reinventing how vinyl is packaged, marketed & sold.”

Steve from STB Records says, “I have been a fan of the Electric Beard Of Doom podcast for a 
while now.. Once I met Pat and started talking to him it was only a matter of time that we 
started to collaborate on ideas. One night he let me hear the new Geezer EP and I was sold.. 
The rest is history.. STB is truly honored to be a part of the US Doom revival along side 
Geezer and The BEARD!!

Geezer: Gage (EP)
Limited Edition of 100 (color vinyl)
Hand numbered, hand screened cover in a hand sewn burlap outer jacket which will then 
be hand screened.
Artwork, colors, and other details are still being developed

*The EP will include 2 previously unreleased tracks that are being specifically recorded for 
this Ltd. Edition release

STB Records started in Dec of 2012 on a whim. Since then, it has snowballed into a special 
boutique record label specializing in limited edition vinyl pressings of Doom / Stoner / 
Psych Rock... with a great cult following. Records made for record collectors by a record 


Geezer is the (anti)band... not interested in winning any fashion contest, we just lay down 
grooves that make you shake your ass down to the barrelhouse to get drunk, get laid and 
get into a fight... Formed in the Hudson Valley, NY in 2010, the original idea was to harness 
our familiar background of classic rock, hardcore and heavy metal; throw in Pat’s afnity 
for pre-war slide-guitar blues and Geezer was born. Best described as ‘Heavy Blues’, Pat 
says of Geezer’s approach, “We just wanted to bring the evil back to the blues, the devil’s 

Gage is the follow up EP to Geezer’s debut full length album, Electrically Recorded 
Handmade Heavy Blues, which is being released via Blues Blvd. Records (Belgium) on Sept. 
15th, 2013.

Current and future STB releases include:
• Dopethrone: Demonsmoke LP - Die Hard Edition Ltd 50 / Standard Edition 200
• Spelljammer: Vol 2 LP Die Hard Edition 75 / Standard Edition 175
• Spelljammer: Vol 2/Inches from the Sun Die Hard Edition Cassette Tape 100
• Traitors Return To Earth: Betting On A Full Collapse Die Hard Edition 37
• DoctoR DooM: DoomO EP (coming soon) Limited Edition of 100
• Brimstone Coven: LP (coming soon) Limited Edition of 250 (Die Hard Edition 50 / Edition 75 / Standard Edition 125)
• Geezer: Gage EP (coming soon) Limited edition of 100
• Druglord: Brand New Album recorded by Garrett Morris of Windhand due out winter 

Geezer Reviews
The Sludgelord raves, "Believe me folks when I say Geezer's EP is a work of genius. Stoner 
Rock of the highest order...", and goes on to call it, "Brilliant and Highly Recommended" 
Read the review here:

Nuclear Dog from Heavy Planet concludes, "Incredible musicianship is the hallmark of 
Geezer's EP, a worthy, treasured, and indelible addition to any collection." 
Check the article here:

Joe at Ride With The Devil predicts, “Geezer is quickly becoming the dark horse of the 
stoner scene. Given the right exposure, Geezer could soon be on the fast track to blowing 
minds across the world.”
See the rest here:

Lucas at the Paranoid Hitsophrenic says, "Ridin' down the highway through the country, 
the sun spins in the sky creating a warm blanket of light. When that happens, pull over to 
the side of the road and press play." 
Read the review here:

Contact :
Bandcamp: (FREE Download)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

La Chinga - ST (album review)

I was in Mission, B.C. recently, a small town of roughly 36,000 (that feels like 5,000) about a 70 minute drive from the city center of Vancouver.  While there I spotted a concert flyer stapled to a telephone pole, about a block from my Mom's house.  I saw the name La Chinga emblazoned on the flyer and nearly plotzed.  La Chinga came to my attention months ago when this album came out but I put off buying it for whatever reason and it languished in my bandcamp wishlist all that time.  Then it started showing up on the Doom Chart as voted for by other bloggers, etc. (I trust we all know the drill about the Doom Chart by now?  If not, don't be afraid to leave a comment below and ask).  I figured there was no way the name on the flyer could be of this La Chinga, Doom Chart La Chinga, it simply had to be another band with the same name.  Well, I rushed inside and did the most rudimentary of checking and lo and behold, the band is from my very own backyard, Vancouver, B.C..  With the release of Funeral Circle, The Anciients and Black Wizard's respective albums it's been an excellent year for music from Vancouver and La Chinga does nothing to tarnish that record.  And speaking of records ...

... 'La Chinga' is an exuberant first foray into the great unknown by a hungry and greasy band.  La Chinga does rock n roll the way it's meant to be done, with long hair, wailing and expressive vocals, and enough venom-soaked denim to poison and clothe the homeless (and there are a shit ton of homeless in Vancouver.

Anyway ...).  La Chinga scratch out a niche for themselves that wouldn't be out of place on the roster of Small Stone records, albeit a filthy niche.  The seventies vibes are as vibrant as an aquarium full of sea monkeys.  On their bandcamp page, their byline reads "HARD ROCK done by rockers" which is about as lucid a statement as can be, because that's just what you get here.  It's obvious that there is true love of the artform on this record.  There's a palpable joy between the grooves of the record and a devoted respect and fearless admiration of guitar-based ROCK around every corner of the record.

La Chinga treats the music the way you would a beautiful woman, there is respect and admiration there, but it only brings out the best and most positive forms of aggression in the band.  Confidence!  Confidence oozes from La Chinga like squeeze-tube sleaze, always ready to get down to business, the business of women-chasing and beer swilling.  These are my kind of people, this is my kind of rock n roll.  But don't get the wrong impression, the boys in La Chinga aren't just about caveman-ish activities all of the time.  Every now and then they are known to lie back on the hood of their Camaro's or in the backs of their flat-bed pickup trucks and stare up at the night's stars as they finish off the last of their brews.  You know, introspective, soulful, thoughtful.  Check out "To Let Silver" if you don't believe me.

The band lays rubber on the Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Rolling Stones and Mountain highway with a healthy dollop of Hendrix inflected wah for that exclamation point, not unlike an accessorized bulging sock to "add dimension" to the crotch.  Does that sound like a put-down?  It's not.

While most of the songs on this 10-track album are of equal quality, the band's finest hour may be their eponymous cut, "La Chinga".  It's just piston-pumping rock n roll that crashes through walls ("ooh yeah!") and sounds like a lost gem that's been moldering in the recording vaults of some gastown recording studio for the past 40 years or so.  It may be the best hard rock song my city has put out since the days of Heart and Loverboy and I do not make that statement lightly.  No sir, I DO NOT MAKE THAT STATEMENT LIGHTLY AT ALL!

'La Chinga' kind of reminds me of how my jacket smells: musty with a top coat of cigarette smoke, regions of unidentifiable stains, a back patch of sweat and a ... sniff, sniff ... slight trace of fecal matter.  And if I absolutely have to sum up this album in one word it would be ... righteous!

Highlights include: "La Chinga" and "Boogie Children".

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 36:50

From: Vancouver, BC

Genre: Hard Rock, Stoner

Reminds me of: Five Horse Johnson, Scorpion Child, Witches of God

Release Date: April 19, 2013

La Chinga on facebook

Monday, 26 August 2013

Causa Sui - Euporie Tide (album review)

One of the true pleasures of maintaining this blog is stumbling upon terrific music.  I made one of these "trips to discovery" with the release of a music video called "The Juice".  I watched it and enjoyed the lazy technicolor river flow of the psychedelic sounds combining with the phantasmagoria of distorted visions on screen, so I put it on my Hour of Power.  I hope some of you out there discovered this band for the first time the same way I did, which is because of this blog.  What's more, I hope a few more will discover this band for the first time, right now, because of this post.  If that happens, I'll have done my job.  My job here, as it happens, is presenting the best music that the world has to offer.  It's only incidental that most of it is found in the seedy digs of the nebulous "underground" and that most of it is extremely heavy.  The band who produced the "The Juice" video is called Causa Sui and they're ... not so heavy as readers here may be used to.  They were put together by Jonas Munk of Odense, Denmark in anno 2004 and seem to have a decent following, that is if facebook followers is any indication, and it usually is.  Munk also trades under the monicker of the ambient electropop project Manual, which he is better known for.  Causa Sui (a Latin phrase coined by Baruch Spinoza [my favorite philosopher] meaning, "cause of itself" as in, brought itself into being) released their first album way back in December of 2005.  Whichever way you want to slice it this is either their third record "proper" or their eighth with variously volumed "sessions" albums of free jam material.  Of course with collected editions of 'Summer Sessions Vol. 1-3' and 'Pewt'r Sessions Vol. 1-2' discs on the market, I wouldn't hold it against you to call 'Euporite Tide' the band's fifth album.

Oh, and before I get too much farther ahead of myself I should point out that Causa Sui traffics in instrumental music.  Instrumental psychedelic ambient / desert rock if you want to be fussy about it.

The riff that opens the album on the ten minute colossus "Homage" is as good as anything found in Josh Homme's bag of tricks and is the perfect indication of the band's fuzzy foundation.  The song, and indeed the album, glides outward from there in an organ-blessed and wah-blissed tangle of noise building layer upon layer of psychedelic imagery, increasing the dosage until all thoughts, visions and words of the material world have been swept ashore like so many bottle-messages cast from the sea by gently pummeling waves.  Textures and tempos give way to other textures and tempos in a kaleidoscope of inside-out implosions.

The barnacle of smooth ambient elements find anchor on the album via the aforementioned "The Juice".  This dream pop sensibility is a no-brainer considering Munk's pedigree, but that's not to say the band around him (nor Munk himself) forgets to rock hard on this one.  No sir, just as you drift off to another world, heaviness beats the daze out of the listener's head as a Godzilla of wah-fuzz roars into being, stomping down on the Bambie of sleepy feelings.  This battlefield is a place Causa Sui likes to visit often.  "Echo Springs" is even dreamier using synthesized sounds to shape crystalline caverns in lieu of heavy guitars which would destroy them.  "Mireille" is a nice blend of dreamy psych in a sixties, softer-side-of-The-Rolling-Stones idiom and the heavier desert rock side of the band.  Ostensible title track 'Euporie' delivers those Isaac Hayes "Look of Love" shivers and at 11 minutes in length is worthy of the comparison. Mmm-mm, shades of progressive soul.  Album closer "Eternal Flow" begins laconically and ends laconically, building in layers of soothing sounds in the middle, this is the eternal flow of Causa Sui.

'Euporie Tide' ultimately launches into outer space via carefully concealed launch pads sprinkled throughout a desert of git-yer-rocks-off heavy psych fuzz.  "Boozehound" transmits the heavy bug to listeners in a pure and undiluted fashion, but it must be said that metal heads and strict fans of the heavy stuff (and the heavy stuff only) will not dig Causa Sui's approach.  However, if you don't mind a softer touch with your fuzz and psychedelic organ then try 'Euporie Tide' on for size.  Hell, try it on even if you don't think you like the sound of my sell job, because you never know until you hear it for yourself.  If nothing else, it's worth a shot.  I like it, and if you ever need a break from the freakishly heavy stuff, it's there waiting for you, and your wife will probably like it too.

Highlights include: "The Juice" and "Homage"

Rating: 3.5/5

1). Homage (10:08)
2). The Juice (6:06)
3). Echo Springs (5:06)
4). Boozehound (5:20)
5). Mireille (7:13)
6). Fichelscher Sun (2:15)
7). Ju-Ju Blues (6:35)
8). Sota El Cel (1:40)
9). Euporie (10:54)
10). Eternal Flow (9:26)
Total Run Time: 1:04:38

From: Odense, Denmark

Genre: Psychedelic, Ambient, Desert Rock, Stoner

Reminds me of: Air, Kyuss, The Machine

Release Date: August 5, 2013

Causa Sui on facebook
Causa Sui official website


OR HERE (digital)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Paranoid 30 (08/24/13)

Top 30 Albums
#). artist - album title
  1. Brutus - Behind the Mountains
  2. Tumbleweed Dealer - ST
  3. Goatess - ST
  4. Cult of Occult - Hic Est Domus Diaboli
  5. Black Sabbath - 13
  6. Church of Void - Winter is Coming EP
  7. Werewolves in Siberia - The Rising
  8. Pyres - Year of Sleep
  9. Scorpion Child - ST
  10. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control
  11. Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark
  12. Magister Templi - Lucifer Leviathan Logos
  13. Crowlord - Naked Chicks, Goats & Wolves
  14. Tombstone - Where the Dead Belong
  15. Alice in Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
  16. Devil - Gather The Sinners
  17. Desert Storm - Horizontal Life
  18. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
  19. Stone Magnum - From Time ... To Eternity
  20. Shallow Grave - ST
  21. Ice Dragon - Born a Heavy Morning
  22. Spiral Shades - The Hypnosis Sessions (Demo)*
  23. Rote Mare - The Invocation / The Kingdom
  24. Naam - Vow*
  25. Chili Cold Blood - And Now the Dawn
  26. Peacemaker - Cult .45
  27. Demon Eye - E.P.
  28. Spirits of the Dead - Rumours of a Presence
  29. Lizard Queen - ST
  30. Devil To Pay - Fate Is Your Muse
* New Album

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Hour of Power (08/24/13)

  1. Southern Discomfort (Eyehategod / Southern Discomfort) 2000
  2. Lucifer Takes the Crown (Nymf / From the Dark) 2013
  3. Cult of the Witch Goddess (Fangs of the Molossus / ST) 2013
  4. The Watcher [live 2013] (Ice Dragon / The Burl, The Earth, The Aether) 2010
  5. Lathe Biosis (Pelican / Forever Becoming) 2013
  6. Concrete (Batillus / Concrete Sustain) 2012
  7. The Juice (Causa Sui / Euporie Tide) 2013
  8. Babylon (The Scimitar / rehearsal video) 2013
  9. The Tower (Blizaro) 2013
  10. Torment (Spiral Shades / Hypnosis Sessions) 2013
  11. Hush [live on Playboy After Dark] (Deep Purple / Shades of Deep Purple) 1968 'classic video'

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Naam - Vow (album review)

Naam is one of those bands that you hear about all the time as a new guy in the rock & roll underworld.  What I knew about them before sampling this album was that they are from New York, they play psychedelic rock and their most recent album 'Vow' features a nearly invisible album cover.  I also know that they had polished up their heavy black boots for this album to made a sizable dent in last month's Doom Chart jumping from 34th place to 17th and officially landing themselves on the paranoid radar screen.  I took a quick listen, nearly shat myself and grabbed a copy.

As with most treasure finders I stashed the loot at a secret place where it could be just myself, the album and the walls.  I puzzled over the contents of this strangely adorned disc with hand on chin.  I was doing some heavy contemplation.  Then it hit me.  I was doing it all wrong.  I needed to take the hand from the chin and perhaps replace it with a drool cup because what this treasure called for was a turning off of the mind.  It was all so simple, and brilliant.  To turn on the album was to turn off the mind!  Energy neither created nor destroyed, the contents of a vessel emptying into another vessel, for every action a reaction.  It seemed in my humanly physical limitation I had been given enough "on-ness" to either keep the mind fired up, or blast 'Vow' on the ol' Victrola.

So I sat back in my secret place, and I entered a world.  There was deep tone there, and vertigo.  Deep toned Fuzz and vertiginous Organ.  Album intro "Silent Call" gave me the spins and it's a long way down from there to the bottom of the rabbit hole.  Things go on in this tunnel world, strange, unaccountable things.  Interludes braid between songs and do something fascinating: they actually enhance the songs around them.  They work in a similar way to behind-the-scenes commentaries or deleted scenes on a dvd, clarifying meaning and further exploring themes.  You can't account for something like that.

Other things go on in this world, acoustic things, swirly things and even droney things.  Things that suggest still further worlds to explore beyond the pocket dimension of Naam.  Things that suggest a third level of reality from which the raw materials of composition are mined by Naam and carried to higher places to be worked on and polished off.  Naam shows you the whole process and makes it coherent, in a sort of dream-like way.  But make no mistake, 'Vow' isn't an experimentation-first, collection of illogical navel-gazing.  Naam may show you glimpses of the process, but it's the finished results that they are most interested in showing, not the laboratory work.  It's the finished songs that are the star of the show, not improvisation.  The short interludes become an ectoplasmic glue, allowing the album to hang together, creating a fluid environment of ethereal void, through which the listener plummets.

Naam provides a fresh take on the psychedelic genre.  That they build new sounds from traditional origins is the best part.  "Beyond" may be the fullest expression of this: ghostly choirs, synthetic smoke-filled environments with a stringy skeleton of jangly sitar, the raw ingredients could easily result in everything you've ever heard before ... again and again, but what you get is something new and fresh, infused with vitality.  It's easily the most far out full song on 'Vow' but is somehow representative of the whole, incorporating bits and pieces of the rest of the album into its mass, becoming the concluding paragraph of a psychedelic essay.

The songs are focused and the emphasis is on familiarity (verses, choruses, traditional instrumentation), but there's always that hint of otherwordliness about.  Instead of staring deeply into the void Naam keeps it in the peripheral, but it's always there, a hungry threat.  This allows the band to focus on writing complete songs, while they allow the listener to be sucked into the portal that shimmers and swirls around them.  Minds switch off, expressionless faces twitch and dinner is served, full of nutrients with no empty calories.  Now if only I could remember where I parked my mind ...

Highlights include: "Vow" and "On the Hour"

Rating: 4.5/5

1). Silent Call (1:42)
2). Vow (4:50)
3). In & Through (1:01)
4). Pardoned Pleasure (5:03)
5). Laid to Rest (1:49)
6). Brightest Sight (0:46)
7). On the Hour (3:44)
8). Skyscraper (2:59)
9). Midnight Glow (5:11)
10). Beyond (8:12)
11). Adagio (2:23)
Total Run Time: 37:54

Ryan Lee Lugar - Guitars, vocals
John Preston Bundy- Bass, vocals
Eli Pizzuto - Percussion
Johnny "Fingers" Weingarten - Electronics, organs, synthesizers

From: Brooklyn, New York

Genre: Psychedelic, Stoner, Space Rock

Reminds me of: Black Angels, Hawkwind, Holy Mount, Ufomammut

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Goatess on facebook


OR HERE (digital)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Paranoid 25 (08/21/13)

Top 25 Songs
#). Song Title (artist/album)
  1. Caress of Darkness (Aniara / Caress of Darkness EP)
  2. Suicidal Slayer (Rote Mare / The Kingdom)
  3. So Deep (Ape Skull / ST)
  4. Tempest (Shroud Eater / Dead Ends EP)
  5. King's Highway (Scorpion Child / ST)
  6. Vulture Bitches (Ten Foot Wizard / ST)
  7. Brother Death (Zodiac / ST)
  8. Pretty Done (Alice in Chains / The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here)
  9. That Woebegone (Ghold / Judas Ghoat)
  10. The Witches Remains (Brutus / Behind the Mountains)
  11. Drakon, It's Shadow Upon Us (Black Oath / Ov Qliphoth And Darkness)
  12. From the Woods (Black Moth Cult / The Fountain of Tantric Worship)
  13. The Wicked King (Hela / Broken Cross)
  14. Cathedral of the Damned (Cathedral / The Last Spire)
  15. Mutated Dracula (The Mangled Dead / Hate Humans)
  16. Battle in the Swamp [live] (Conan / Mount Wrath)
  17. To Hell We Ride (Albino Python / The Doomed and the Damned)
  18. Kings of Koch (Snowchild / digital track)***
  19. Honeyland (Voodoo Mule / Voodoo Zoo)
  20. Hand of Lucifer (Doublestone / ST)
  21. Ten Lizardmen & One Pocketknife (Devil to Pay / Fate Is Your Muse)***
  22. Brother Bishop [Gary Heidnik] (Church of Misery / Thy Kingdom Scum)
  23. Satan's Got My Back (The Mangled Dead / single)
  24. Nineteen Ninety and a Half (Holy Mount / Aplic)***
  25. Kingmaker (Spiritual Beggars / Earth Blues)
*** New Song

Outgoing songs:
Live Forever (Black Sabbath / 13)
Hecate (Demon Eye / ST)
The Age of Salem (Salem's Pot / digital track)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Spiral Shades - Hypnosis Sessions Demo (album review)

Spiral Shades represents the best of what the internet has to offer to the arts.  Filip Petersen, a musician from Norway who, on the strength of cover song videos uploaded to youtube, has garnered a solid cult following and parlayed that into a globe-spanning recording effort with a like-minded friend from India.  On youtube, he is called Deventy and his videos are well-known and well-loved in the world of doom metal.  Now, it appears, it's time for him and Khushal Bhadra (guitars, vocals) to "give back" to the genre.

Right off the  bat, Spiral Shades hit you with energy and power.  In some ways it's an unusual first strike, rather than building layers of ever increasing slow and heavy waves before launching into a fully formed composition as would be the typical doom thing to do, Spiral Shades just grab you and toss you into the deep end all at once.  But it's on this opening track, "Frustration" that you already begin to see how aptly named the band is as the riffs hammer, bend and curlicue in agonizing contortions ... and it sounds great!  Bhadra is Ozzy-like, sounding nearly like Christian Linderson of Goatess & Lord Vicar, etc., he does it with a good deal of skill and it never sounds strained or forced the way some Ozzyesque vocalists can be, but just a word of warning for listeners, don't expect a lot of variation in range, technique, melody or style.  "Frustration" sends a shock through the listener with its abrupt beginning, but before too long the band settles down into a sound which may soon become one of the more highly original and identifiable within the genre.

This duo also released a trio of preview songs on Soundcloud in the days and weeks leading up to 'Hypnosis Sessions' release.  "Illuminati" was the first of these that I heard.  Chandleresque hammer-ons, drums that build to a crashing climax and frothy electro static fuzz are married to a vocal that is every bit as Ozzy as it is inherently Indian with its steady vibratto melodies.  Spiral Shades have something unique going on here.  There are little bits and pieces that sound vaguely like doom bands that have come before, and only the best and most classic doom bands at that, however, the full compliment of elements can't help but congeal into something fantastically unique.

Spiral Shades distinguishes themselves by their high energy and virtuosic performances.  The guitars speak on this demo.  They speak in a language that is sophisticated and distinctive and they speak it in a loud and authoritative voice.  On this album the guitar is an instrument of interstellar / infernal communication, pulsating, twitching, convulsing, billowing, rending but never breaking.  "Wizardry" is perfectly named as a showcase of the band's guitar wizardry indeed.

Typically, songs are kept on the upper end of the doom speedometer, when Spiral Shades slows things down it's as a counterpoint to the headiness of the rest of the album, dragging you through the sewer as it were, perhaps for some perspective.  And though they're a faster band than most doom combos, their resonant sound rumbles speakers with the deepest, heaviest and slowest of them.

Doommeisters be forewarned, you're going to feel like an idiot if you miss out on this album and everyone's talking about it at the end of the year.  This is easily one of the best and certainly one of the most unique and distinctive doom albums of the year so far, and we're two thirds of the way through the year so that kind of phrase is beginning to take on some meaning.  The internet is a crazy place, where people do crazy things and get a lot of attention for no good reason ... but then on the flipside there are people like Petersen who, as Deventy, does his own thing, makes it interesting, gets a small amount of attention, but from the right kind of people, and parlays it into a demo album that can stand proudly next to the efforts of those who inspired him.  Then there are people like myself who take further notice ... and so on.  What does it all mean?  All I know is that this album could not and would not have been possible without the influence of the internet.  How is it possible to make an album with someone you've never met?  Let alone an excellent one!  I don't know, Spiral Shades do, they can show you how on the player below.

Highlights include: "Illuminati" and "Wizardry"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 54:14

From: Norway, India

Genre: Doom, Metal,

Reminds me of: Black Sabbath, Lord Vicar

Release Date: August 15, 2013

Spiral Shades on facebook

Fair Warning! Don't Miss ... Problem With Dragons!

Weird Science and High Fantasy collide in the form of Easthampton, Mass' Problem With Dragons.  This trio's debut, 'Atomics' is like a streamlined rock ship, all afterburners and propulsion.  Problem With Dragons are the stoner rocker's answer to Buck Rogers, but instead of Ray Guns, their weapons are dazzlingly dark and haunting harmonies, fuzz by the bucket load and drums that stomp and smash.  Though this EP came out roughly t-plus a year and a half ago, they have only just come to my attention and have earned it in full measure with 5 short and poisonously sweet tunes that will peel the paint off the walls before crashing through them.  Those in the Boston area should know of this band as well as those who make it their business to keep a keen ear close to the (under-)ground, but for those like myself who are fashionably late to the launchpad, it's never too late to boogie in orbit, so get to know Problem With Dragons on the player below and I swear to you you will not be disappointed!  And of course, like all New England based underground bands they have a new album in the works (is that all they do over there or what?) so be on the look out for that one as well.  Consider 'Atomics' a primer.  Or a stage-1 booster rocket.  You have been warned.  End transmission.

Problem With Dragons on facebook
Problem With Dragons on Reverbnation

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Ice Dragon - Born a Heavy Morning (album review)

Cover artwork by Samantha Allen.
I've mentioned, showcased, posted about or discussed Ice Dragon more than any other band on this blog, hell, more than any two bands, for several reasons.  For one thing, the prolific nature of the band's output has offered more than enough grist for this mill, another thing is how the band continues to pump out consistently high quality music while remaining equally consistent in challenging the listener with the ever widening twists and turns of their musical choices and also, I have this overblown and fairly pretentious notion that this quartet is the most "important" underground band of the internet age.  They are the standard bearers for "how it's done", they are the blue collar, no bullshit band that you and your buddies would be if you could be.  There is no hype, no pretension and no desperation in this band.  They just get together on Friday night, grab a pizza and a couple cases of beer, jam, argue, create heavy music, then release the results to the public when we least expect it.  By my count, 'Born a Heavy Morning' is the band's sixth full-length album since 2010 (and seventh overall including their first effort, recorded in 2007 and released in 2012).

First of all, in spite of the title of the album, 'Born a Heavy Morning' is not the band's heaviest effort, so do not expect a Tentaclesque return to 'Tome of the Future Ancients'.  Vocalist Ron Rochondo says about this new album, "It's called "Born a Heavy Morning", though it's not very "heavy".  It's sort of Dream Dragon meets Sorrowful Sun.  Heavy as in ... bummer.  Or weighing you down".  I asked him if it felt like the rainy morning after 'Dream Dragon'.  "Sort of," he said, "this one is a bit like that one in the overall sound, but the lyrics and feel of everything are more like 'The Sorrowful Sun'.  It's kind of a "concept" album.  Kind of".  This writer's take on the "concept" in question is that in which a man feels the burden of life, like Atlas bearing the weight of the world, 'Born a Heavy Morning'.

The album opens up on a bright note with a sixties feel, as the morning sun streams in through the bedroom curtains of "Wakin' Up".  Once more, the vibe is somewhat reminiscent of the kind of material found on Ice Dragon's 'Dream Dragon' album, the song is infused with the hopeful enthusiasm of youth and that feeling carries over into "We'll Go on a Trip You & I" all the way until the middle of the record with "The Deeper You Go".  Before long however, the drudgery of everyday life takes hold and grips the listener in heavy grimness on "We Are the Hopeless" and "Square Triangle" before the day ultimately ends with some heavy reflection on "(I'll Watch) My Hair Grow".  Basically this album feels like the ultimate "kick-in-the-nuts" kind of day.

'Born a Heavy Morning' is indeed a heavy listen, fearless and unrelenting as it boots listeners in the nuts.  As I briefly described before, it starts out strong and with a good head nodding feel, reminding me a lot of those rare psychedelic / folk LPs from the 1970's by groups and musicians with names like Ferris Wheel, Father Yod & Ya Ho Wa, The Yays & Nays, Bobb Trimble and others from the Acid Archives.  Somehow, the front half of the album captures a specific mood for me of sun streaming into a dusty old barn in a failing hippie commune.  Perhaps it taps into that rural "going to the country" mindset of the Woodstock generation.  Of course, these divisions are not truly so precise as I make them out to be here because I think I often see symmetry where there is none, but the change into darker territory is stark at this point in the album as the sunsoaked, lazing by the riverside mood of "The Deeper You Go" gives way to the cold urban mood of "We Are the Hopeless".  "Square Triangle" is a strong musical equivalent of sunset.  Ice Dragon has never shied away from depression as subject matter and the mood really sinks in here on this track.  This is why 'Born a Heavy Morning' is a "heavy listen" after all.  If you're not expecting it on first listen, the change in mood will punch you in the gut and your reaction to the overall album may not be favorable because of this.  But, if you stick with the album it is rewarding.  "I'm Lost" brings us a slice of classic Ice Dragon will howling vocals, loud crash and a spiral bound wah infected riff.

The album also uses four short interludes in the form of vignettes all with long titles beginning with the phrase "In Which a Man ...", the concept behind which is reminiscent of "The Man" section from Pink Floyd's "The Man & The Journey" suites from their 1969 tour (find out a bit more about that here) and the execution of which slightly resembles "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" from 'Atom Heart Mother', only I'd say these selections are a lot more musical here.  If a comparison has to be made to Ice Dragon's own back catalog, then it's true that this album can be seen as a combination of the laconic soundscapes of  'Dream Dragon' and the morose tidings of 'Greyblackfalconhawk' or some of the darker moments on 'The Sorrowful Sun'.  But if ever there were a band whose each and every project deserved to be judged solely on its own merits it's Ice Dragon and 'Born a Heavy Morning' is (no surprise here) its own beast.  This is what I love about this band.  Every time they step up to the plate you can forget everything you know about them as they refuse to repeat themselves, constantly expanding their horizons while maintaining an identifiable sound that is all their own.  Based on the sounds found on this particular album, 'Born a Heavy Morning' takes its place in the upper tier of the band's collected works (keep in mind that the band also comprises some five (maybe more?) other incarnations / associated acts).

Highlights include: "I'm Lost" and "The Past Plus The Future Is Present"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 48:16

Ron (Vocals, Synths, Drums)
Joe (Bass, Acoustic Guitar)
Carter (Guitars)
Brad (Drums)

From: Boston, Massachusetts

Genre: Psychedelic, Stoner, Drone, Doom, Experimental

Reminds me of: rare 1970's home-recorded psychedelic / folk LPs, Pink Floyd, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Season of Decay / The Humble Titan single

Release Date: August 13, 2013

Interview with Ron (featuring a dozen or so other links)

Ice Dragon on facebook

The Paranoid 30 (08/17/13)

Top 30 Albums
#). artist - album title
  1. Cult of Occult - Hic Est Domus Diaboli
  2. Goatess - ST
  3. Tumbleweed Dealer - ST
  4. Black Sabbath - 13
  5. Church of Void - Winter is Coming EP
  6. Scorpion Child - ST
  7. Brutus - Behind the Mountains
  8. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control
  9. Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark
  10. Magister Templi - Lucifer Leviathan Logos
  11. Tombstone - Where the Dead Belong
  12. Alice in Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
  13. Pyres - Year of Sleep
  14. Devil - Gather The Sinners
  15. Desert Storm - Horizontal Life
  16. Werewolves in Siberia - The Rising
  17. Crowlord - Naked Chicks, Goats & Wolves
  18. Shallow Grave - ST
  19. Peacemaker - Cult .45
  20. Demon Eye - E.P.
  21. Chili Cold Blood - And Now the Dawn
  22. Spirits of the Dead - Rumours of a Presence
  23. Rote Mare - The Invocation / The Kingdom
  24. Stone Magnum - From Time ... To Eternity*
  25. Ice Dragon - Born a Heavy Morning*
  26. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
  27. Lizard Queen - ST*
  28. Devil To Pay - Fate Is Your Muse
  29. Switchblade Jesus - ST*
  30. Age of Taurus - Desperate Souls of Tortured Times
* New Album

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Fair Warning! Don't Miss ... Lizard Queen

Though their debut album is only months old, one of the members of Italian stoner freak out band Deep (check out the PH article here / and my review here) has returned with a second new project called Lizard Queen, as if to prove that this band is the Italian equivalent of Ice Dragon.  Their self-titled debut is weighty and substantial.  Indeed it is an absolute boulder of desert rock.  Though not as experimental in terms of style, texture and structure as Deep's album, that exploratory nature displayed by the parent band shows full blooming expression here in the form of thematic variation (both within each individual track and within the structure of the album overall), improvisation and above all else, feel.  The vocals are laid back, punctuated by heartfelt flights and generally match the mood of the music behind them while the riffs flow along languidly and are exploited  to their fullest measure by lengthy compositions, creating a hypnotic effect.  Simply put, once you press play on track 1, you are locked in with no desire to escape.  Lizard Queen casts a deep spell and puts you in a trance.  However, don't expect a droney album with a bunch of one note songs, 'Lizard Queen' has more than a few curve balls to throw at you, and when they come, they fly at full force.

And when I speak of weightiness, I mean it.  At 56 and a half minutes, this isn't your typical four song tryout that most bands test the waters with, this is a veritable 72 ounce steak of fully stoned rock n roll and with a blank price tag on bandcamp this is the band that keeps on giving.  Check them out on the player below:

Lizard Queen on facebook

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Paranoid 25 (08/14/13)

Top 25 Songs
#). Song Title (artist/album)
  1. King's Highway (Scorpion Child / ST)
  2. So Deep (Ape Skull / ST)
  3. Caress of Darkness (Aniara / Caress of Darkness EP)
  4. Tempest (Shroud Eater / Dead Ends EP)
  5. Vulture Bitches (Ten Foot Wizard / ST)
  6. Live Forever (Black Sabbath / 13)
  7. Brother Death (Zodiac / ST)
  8. The Wicked King (Hela / Broken Cross)
  9. Mutated Dracula (The Mangled Dead / Hate Humans)
  10. Suicidal Slayer (Rote Mare / The Kingdom)
  11. Hecate (Demon Eye / ST)
  12. Honeyland (Voodoo Mule / Voodoo Zoo)
  13. From the Woods (Black Moth Cult / The Fountain of Tantric Worship)
  14. To Hell We Ride (Albino Python / The Doomed and the Damned)
  15. That Woebegone (Ghold / Judas Ghoat)*
  16. Drakon, It's Shadow Upon Us (Black Oath / Ov Qliphoth And Darkness)
  17. Battle in the Swamp [live] (Conan / Mount Wrath)
  18. Pretty Done (Alice in Chains / The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here)*
  19. Cathedral of the Damned (Cathedral / The Last Spire)
  20. Hand of Lucifer (Doublestone / ST)
  21. Kingmaker (Spiritual Beggars / Earth Blues)
  22. The Witches Remains (Brutus / Behind the Mountains)*
  23. The Age of Salem (Salem's Pot / digital track)
  24. Satan's Got My Back (The Mangled Dead / single)
  25. Brother Bishop [Gary Heidnik] (Church of Misery / Thy Kingdom Scum)
* New Song

Outgoing songs:
The Bull (The Ruiner / digital single)
Black Colossus (Zeppheroin / Howl)
Maleficia Lamiah (Pombagira / Maleficia Lamiah)

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Stone Magnum - From Time ... To Eternity (album review)

Stone Magnum is aptly named.  When you listen to 'From Time ... To Eternity' you may get the distinct impression that this music was forged in the molten and ancient heart of a volcano.  Stone age music that goes beyond sword and sorcery, updated for the digital age so that science has supplanted wizardry and the blade is substituted for the ultimate equalizer: the gun.  Not just a gun but a magnum, a Stone Magnum no less.  Yet still, the basic, familiar structure of man's life and it's related trials, remains hopelessly intact.  Stone Magnum is True Doom.

You feel like you've been through an epic journey.  You feel like you've been through hell and back.  It's a whirlwind circus sideshow of riffs and atmosphere.  Guitars swirl and thrash about, the singer gives a balls out performing from start to finish and it's a physically and emotionally exhausting performance at that.  And that's just the opening song!

The remainder of the first four songs (what I reckon to be Side A of the record) is more of the same.  Epic traditional doom and just about as good as it gets in that regard.  Energetic but still moody, I dare say Stone Magnum's brand of doom is accessible to all metal fans, at least those of a certain bent and from a certain era.  Let's say, that this album has the potential to appeal to, for sure, any metal fan over the age of 30.  Anyway, as far as doom goes, solid epic vocals and music that moves, music that doesn't plod, but still finds time to lurk about in the shadows, is traditional doom alright, the best kind there is.  That's just what we get here.

The grammatically dubious "By An Omen I Went" sounds as though it might actually be a lost recording from the 1980's.  This song is for the most part a "prop-sword-wielding-muscular-guy-in-fur-lined-loin-cloth" kind of metal moment.  This is where the album takes a bit of a turn.  Not a bad turn, or a sharp turn where sunglasses left on the dashboard fly out the open passenger side window, but ... well, maybe a U-turn, back in time.  It begins to feel like voyeuristically peering into some tight blue jeans and black studded leather jacketed long-hair's bedroom window during the decade of big hair.  And though "By An Omen I Went" may use the 'passive voice' for its title, aggression abounds on Side B.  This is due largely to the efforts of the heart and soul, clenched fist vocal stylings of Nick Hernandez, whose talent is unleashed to its fullest extent on the latter half of the album.

The first time I heard the album, I thought I might have overblown this "switch" in styles, but I don't believe I have.  It's not as though the band decided to cut their record into a "traditional doom" side and an "old school metal" side.  But there is a moment on the album where your perception of what the band are doing and what they're all about changes.  There's also something of this in the theme of the album title, as we move forward through the album we go back in time and if the album is put on repeat we can see how the front and back of the album meet.  Who knows, maybe this is the hidden message behind the album, that maybe many artists no longer innovate but prefer to emulate what they enjoy, to emulate what hooked them into art in the first place, to the point where the new music (and specifically doom) that comes out is now somewhat indistinguishable from that which inspired it.  And when you think about it, what's the point of that?  Maybe it's all pointless, maybe it's all hopeless, maybe we all ought to just give up ...

You see?  True Doom!!!

This is music with an 'old soul' that cries out for action and lashes out with a vengeance.  Doom metal is the pop music of horror and Stone Magnum unleash the true doom on listeners.  They appear to do this with a minimum of fuss.  Sure, the 'effort' is there, but the effects, bells and whistles found in production and recording techniques and long improvisational instrumental passages of other bands are largely absent.  Stone Magnum weave an atmosphere all their own and do it with the tools available at hand, like stone age craftsmen, or in this instance, stone age gunmen firing rocks from a Stone Magnum like those from David's sling.  Who knows, maybe that's what a Stone Magnum actually is, a slingshot, a giant killer.

Highlights include: "From Time To Eternity" and "And Now the Dawn"

Rating: 4/5

Total Run Time: 48:36

Guitars: Jim Brucks
Guitar: Dean Tavernier
Bass: Ben Elliot
Drums: Brad Toth
Vocals: Nick Hernandez

From: Michigan City, Michigan

Genre: Traditional Doom, Old School Metal

Reminds me of: Destroyer of Light, Hour of 13, Iron Man, Magic Circle

Release Date: June 28, 2013

Better Review:
Temple of Perdition

Stone Magnum on facebook

Monday, 12 August 2013

Chili Cold Blood - And Now the Dawn (album review)

The state of Texas has never had a shortage amazing musicians and amazing bands.  Chili Cold Blood are an Austin based band and provide no exception to the general rule.  The sound of Texan rock bands is unlike anything else you'll hear.  One part Led Zeppelin, one part Black Sabbath (or AC-DC), one part middle finger all traveling down the dirt road feel of ZZ Top in the sweltering and humid heat of night.  I was amazed to discover that this is Chili Cold Blood's 7th album over the course of the past 10 years.  The ideas presented here sound just-plucked-off-the-vine fresh and the energy and enthusiasm caught on record is through the ceiling.  If you're new to this band as I am, hang on tight because you're about to get your ass rock n rolled black and shiny blue.

One of the first things you'll notice about Chili Cold Blood is that the band uses two lead singers who trade off vocal duties on different tracks.  This automatically wins them points in my book, because I have always loved the idea of two singers and the possibilities that set-up creates.  For Chili Cold Blood, the singers are distinguishable enough to lend each of their songs a distinctive feel.  Unfortunately, I don't know which singer is which by name, but "Rocket Ship", "And Now The Dawn", "Trade Your Sons", "Past Savior" and "Wait" are 'darker' songs that wouldn't be out of place on a Doom compilation.  They are sung by the same vocalist, with the remaining five tracks handled by the other vocalist.  Without knowing anything about the band, it's my guess that the two singers are the main songwriters of the band who share the responsibility and do it solo, bringing in songs for the band to jam on.  These two styles are distinctive but create a healthy and complete 'being' rather than sounding like an identity crisis on record.  It's always great when two distinctive sounding visions can come together on a record and sound so natural doing so.  It certainly is a rare feat.

The dark and brooding (lightly) countrified rock n roll is counterbalanced by the 'other' vocalist's energetic and (lightly) punkified, to-the-point compositions.  This side of the band focuses on driving Deep Purplesque rhythms and Byrdsian pedal steel solos, with a punk twist.  It's a good combination alright.  Just about the coolest thing you've ever heard.

'And Now the Dawn' is a Texas funk machine.  "In the Neon" is just a groovy blast, but, not finished there, the band follows up with the title track which is guaranteed to shake you in one way or another.  Then that's followed up by "Rest" which just finishes you off.  If this album was a night of drinking, you are now the music listener's equivalent of sprawled on the front lawn next to a puddle of vomit by 8 o'clock in the evening.  And that's before you even hear the inventive and iconoclastic guitar solos which are very countrified and very Texan.  When that happens you are up this album's creek without a paddle.  Only halfway through the album, this party's just getting started.

At the end of the day I am impressed with this album.  Damn impressed!  Though it's not a 'retro' sounding album, it's got a no-bullshit vibe about it that lends it an old school sensibility.  This is straight ahead heavy blues inspired rock music.  I can't help but picture this album being recorded in the back of an old saloon or general store, set down on tape between fist fights and whisky swills, passing the bottle around and wiping mouths on shirt sleeves.  Then spitting out the side of the mouth but always staring straight ahead with dark intense eyes.  Never losing the focus.  They've got the eye of the tiger and though they are 7 albums and 10 years into being a band, they haven't lost that ability to spark something in new listeners.

Highlights include: "In the Neon" and "And Now the Dawn"

Rating: 4/5

Total Run Time: 40:45

Ethan Shaw (pedal steel/vocals)
Doug Strahan (guitar/vocals)
Matt Puryear (drums)
Dave Wesselowski (bass)

From: Austin, Texas

Genre: Stoner, Country Rock, Blues

Reminds me of: Blue Cheer, The Byrds, Deep Purple, Wolf Parade

Release Date: July 1, 2013

Chili Cold Blood on facebook

***special thanks to Bill Goodman of The Soda Shop and The Ripple Effect for bringing this album to my attention***

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The Paranoid 30 for 08/10/13

Top 30 Albums
#). artist - album title
  1. Tumbleweed Dealer - ST
  2. Goatess - ST
  3. Scorpion Child - ST
  4. Brutus - Behind the Mountains
  5. Cult of Occult - Hic Est Domus Diaboli
  6. Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark
  7. Magister Templi - Lucifer Leviathan Logos
  8. Tombstone - Where the Dead Belong
  9. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - Mind Control
  10. Alice in Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
  11. Pyres - Year of Sleep
  12. Devil - Gather The Sinners
  13. Desert Storm - Horizontal Life
  14. Black Sabbath - 13
  15. Crowlord - Naked Chicks, Goats & Wolves
  16. Shallow Grave - ST
  17. Church of Void - Winter is Coming EP
  18. Peacemaker - Cult .45
  19. Demon Eye - E.P.
  20. Rote Mare - The Invocation / The Kingdom
  21. Werewolves in Siberia - The Rising
  22. Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum
  23. Spirits of the Dead - Rumours of a Presence*
  24. Devil To Pay - Fate Is Your Muse
  25. Ape Machine - Mangled By the Machine
  26. Holy Mount - Alpic
  27. Head of the Demon - ST
  28. Abysmal Grief - Feretri
  29. Chili Cold Blood - And Now the Dawn*
  30. Pombagira - Maleficia Lamiah
* New Album

Friday, 9 August 2013

Hour of Power 08/10/13

  1. Gods of Magnitogorsk (Kröwnn / Hyborian Age) 2013
  2. Tie One On (Devil To Pay / Fate Is Your Muse) 2013
  3. At Midnight (From Beyond / The Color Out of Space EP) 2012
  4. The Contract (Purson / The Circle and the Blue Door) 2013
  5. Reborn (Beelzefuzz / ST) 2013
  6. Raices (Chinaski / Resiliencia) 2013
  7. Full Moon at Noon (Goatess / ST) 2013
  8. Red Death (Spirits of the Dead / Rumours of a Presence) 2013
  9. Woodbine (Windhand / Soma) 2013
  10. Chylde of Fire (Witchcraft / Firewood) 2005 'classic video'

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Goatess - ST (album review)

Goatess formed in 2009 as Weekend Beast.  I don't know when this album began to take shape, but if it began to happen early on, it must have been torture to wait to finally release it after so long.  The patience and restraint shown by a band that waits four years to release an album goes a long way toward establishing the character of the band and the kind of ethic that went into the songs on this album.  Knowing full well that they had the "star-power" on their side in the form of Christian Linderson to release sub-par material and still make a splash, they took their time to create a work that is substantial in all dimensions.

This is workmanlike doom, manipulated by the deft hands of visionaries.  The band confidently stroll on cloven hooves through eight hard-earned tracks, most of which tip the scales at over seven minutes in length.  Coming in altogether at nearly 67 minutes, it's a lot of album to get through, but there's scope here provided by well planned out song structures and depth thanks largely to a slightly more experimental approach to side two of the album.  It's obvious that the band spent a lot of time crafting this album.

As far as individual songs go, the overall package is the key here, much like Serpent Venom's 'Carnal Altar' album, the individual tracks may not be as important as the overall sound, vibe and tone of the album taken as a whole.  This is not at all a bad thing.  In fact, it's a great thing.  It's exactly the kind of intangible element that makes for an infinitely replayable album.

That's not to say that there aren't terrific moments laced throughout 'Goatess', but without many real stand-above-the-others type tracks, the overall impression will be of moods rather than specific songs.  However, opening cut "Know Your Animal" provides that one big chorus moment that all albums should have, especially on opening tracks.  It sticks with you long after the album is finished playing, it's the one song that gets caught in my head like a bat in a belfry and continuously brings me back slavering for the next go at this album.  It's a subtle hook, one enlarged by echo and distant atmospherics but it works.  This is followed up by the percussion and wah happy "Alpha Omega".  It's this early on where the overall feeling of the album comes to the fore.  The songs don't all sound the same, but they are of equal value and they can be a bit same-y in places, especially in terms of guitar tone and of 'feel'.  Each song is as good as the last, so no matter how different they all are, no matter which distinguishing features the songs have, 'Goatess' feels less like a collected 'photo album' of various songs but a 'motion picture' that flows from scene to scene.  This happens in the most natural of ways, something that could be as easily achievable as say, using the same guitar tuning for all songs.  It's not forced, nor do I feel is it even intentional.  But once again, this overall feeling gives the album that instant classic grit.

The second part of the album beginning with the "Oracle" mini-suite reveals a more psychedelic side to the band, it shows the band has depth and proves they are willing to try different things.  Indeed the very origins of the band arise from this desire to try something different.  Without factual evidence I would guess that this is actually the point where side C of the 'Goatess' double LP begins.  The opening moments of "Oracle Part 1: The Mist" changes the complexion of the album completely but does so without violating the feel of what preceded it.  What greets the listener here is a shimmering, wavering effects-laden intro leading into a main riff soaked in reverb and an arrhythmic tom-and-crash-heavy drum riff over which Chritus croons of the slithery, slippery nature of reality.  This is heady stuff, not for the weak-minded or faint of heart.  When "Oracle Part 2" slams in, it's a bucket of ice cold water to the face (see link to video in the tracklist below).  If one were going to start the album anywhere, I would recommend starting with "Oracle Part 1".  I imagine the only reason Goatess decided not to start the album here is because "Part 1" is not representative of what the rest of the album is like.  That, and it's always good advice to put your best foot forward and start with your best song first, second best song second and so on.

Goatess swing for the fences with their debut album and I'll be darned if they don't knock it into the parking lot.  You almost need to ask yourself "what doesn't this album have?"

Highlights include: "Know Your Animal" and "Full Moon at Noon"

Rating: 4.5/5

1). Know Your Animal (7:45)
2). Alpha Omega (7:10)
3). Ripe (7:55)
4). Full Moon At Noon (8:01)
5). Oracle Pt. 1: The Mist (4:40)
6). Oracle Pt. 2 (8:53)
7). King One (10:37)
8). Tentacles of Zen (11:52)
Total Run Time: 106:52

Niklas - Guitar
Findus - Bass
Kenta - Drums
Chritus - Vocals.

From: Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Doom, Psychedelic

Reminds me of: Count Raven, Lord Vicar, Serpent Venom, Terra Firma, The Wandering Midget

Release Date: July 5, 2013

Better Reviews:
The Obelisk
Temple of Perdition

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