Album Reviews



Review: KING WITCH – ‘Under The Mountain’ [Album Stream]

Photo by Alan Swan Photography

 

Edinburgh based four piece band King Witch make a triumphant debut with ‘Under the Mountain’ which is released via Listenable Records! With this release we get 9 tracks of genre bending, kick ass HEAVY METAL! ‘Under The Mountain’ was recorded and produced by guitarist Jamie Gilchrist at their underground studio in their home city of Edinburgh, mixed and mastered by Tom Dring at Vagrant Recordings (Dragged Into Sunlight, Acolyte) in Southport and comes swathed in artwork created by vocalist Laura Donnelly. The record serves as King Witch’s follow-up to their debut EP, ‘Shoulders Of Giants’, and boasts nine riff-laden tracks offset by the powerful yet bewitching vocals of Donnelly. Influenced by everything from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to Mastodon and High On Fire, ‘Under The Mountain’ is as melodic as it is monolithic, taking its listener on a journey from soulful doom to full-tilt metal mayhem. Continue reading

Review: SOULBORN ‘Crash And Burn’ [Track Stream]

Hailing from Norwich, England, SoulBorn serve up American-style, southern-fried metal with heavy portions of groove; or as the band describes themselves, “This is proper beer-in-hand, good time music.”  Their visually striking album cover, featuring a topless chick wearing only boxing gloves leaves little doubt that their full-length, debut release, ‘Crash and Burn’ not only promises a good time, but also packs plenty of punch. Continue reading

Review: MELT – S/T [Album Stream + Live Performance Video]

 

Melt hails from Toulouse, France. The band originally formed as a duo in 2007 when Charlotte and Olivier met. Charlotte at times has used several aliases including Shiro. Olivier adds about Charlotte “there would be no band without her.” They quickly recorded their first demos which they deemed as “a powerful and personal rock, finding its full emotional potential on stage.” Charlotte’s singing comes from a crisis during in which she went crazy and untied herself from the real world. Her lyrics are oniric, a mix of english and imaginary invented language, disconnected from the “real” world, again. Melt sought out additional members and the lineup currently consists of Olivier (guitar), Roméo (drums), Charlotte/Shiro (guitar and vocals) and Julien (Bass). The band’s music is an unexpected mix between metal and cold wave tragic melodies. The band released a self titled EP in 2015 consisting of 4 tracks “Stigmata”, “Cypher”, “Blast” and “Opikanoba”. Those tracks along with 4 additional tracks make up the bands debut album. Melt released their self titled debut album on December 3rd, 2017. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered in a small studio in Saint Antonin, France, the studio doesn’t really have a name, and it was the producers debut working with a band other than his own. So it turned out to be both a debut for the band and the producer. The album is self released by the band and you can hear it below or pick up a copy via bandcamp here.

 

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Review: ECHOLOT – ‘Volva’ [Album Stream & Official Video]

 Switzerland based power trio Echolot was founded in 2014. The band consists of Lukas Fürer (Guitar),  Jonathan Schmidli (Drums) and Renato Matteucci (Bass). The band combines prog, stoner rock, doom and psychedelic rock all into one unique and complex sound. In April of 2016 Echolot released their first full length album titled ‘I’. They kicked things off with an album release party alongside the amazing Swedish stoner rockers Goatess. The bands fresh jams have these psychedelic eruptions that drive you from the depths of doom into a Pink-Floyd type lightness. On October 6th 2017 the band released ‘Volva’ their debut on their new label Czar Of Revelations. ‘Volva’ is a 4 track full length album that comes in with a run time of over 55 minutes. The band says of the album “it will contain moments of fragility, heavy riffing, epic solos and some truly unique jams!”

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Review: COSMIC WOOL – S/T [Official Videos]

 

Cosmic Wool is straight from the Heartland Of America, Oklahoma City to be exact. The band formed in 2013 by brothers Nevada (Guitars/Backing Vocals) and Rado Romo (Lead Vocals/Bass) who both are formerly of the band Anti Mortem and Nevada is currently the guitarist for Texas Hippie Coalition as well. The remaining members of the band are John “Drew” Williams (Guitar/Keyboards) who met the brothers through a mutual friend, and Tom Frizzell (Drums) who responded to an ad by the band seeking a drummer. The band initially like most bands do started out as a jam band. Cosmic Wool was something for the Romo brothers to do with their breaks between tours. With the dissipation of Anti Mortem in 2014 it freed up more time and Cosmic Wool was moved up as a priority. The band first released a 3 track EP ‘Over Your Eyes’. The band tested their sound with local Okalahoma crowds and they seemed to love the direction the band was going in. The next step was to step further out of their region and see if the country was ready for the comforting sounds of Cosmic Wool. In 2016 the band released another EP titled ‘White’. The band further developed their “cosmic” psychedelic sounds and intertwined amazing melodic choruses within their newer songs creating the sound they have today. Cosmic Wool spent the spring of 2015 to the summer of 2017 writing and reworking the songs that would make up their debut full length, working with Chainsaw Kittens guitarist Trent Bell perfecting the sound they were looking for. The band has stated “We met Trent through another producer we’re friends with named Dustin “Provo” Provenzano who did the first Cosmic Wool demos as well as the Anti Mortem demos. Bell Sound is a huge facility,” points out Rado Romo, “so we took full advantage of that and recorded most of the guitar, bass and drum tracks together in the same room. We also experimented with state of the art synths and keyboards to round things out.” The bands sound has been described as various things, space rock, desert rock, psychedelic rock, groove metal, but one thing is for certain; the band has moved out of the hard rock genre and created a sound that is uniquely theirs. The bands debut self titled full length was released on December 19, 2017 and is available at most online music merchandisers. Pick up a copy on Amazon here, or check it out on spotify.

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Review: DANGEROUS CURVES – S/T [Live Performance Video]

Dangerous Curves is an 80’s and 90’s hard rock/classic metal band from the Maryland or D.C. area that creates their own original songs inspired by that decade of great bands. The band has a passion for hard hitting, high energy music that they grew up with. They name drop songs like AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds” and Ratt’s “Round And Round” as some of the specific tracks that inspired them to form the band and also their unique sound. They remember the days of singing along in your car to the hot new cassette you just bought. They are inspired to re-create songs that you went to sing along to. John Jamison, Chris Gamble, Linwood Turner and Randy Snowman love that distinct hard-to-play sound that came out of that 80’s/90’s era. The band says “Let’s be unique and do the HARD stuff!” Like Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Megadeth, Metallica, Triumph, Van Halen? The band knows that not everyone is in love with the harder side of the genre like they are, but they try to add elements that will satisfy every band. Coincidentally Dangerous Curves is also the name of Lita Ford’s fifth studio album released in 1991, so the bands name could be a nod in respect to her since the bands unique style and sound comes from that very era of music. Strap in, put your helmet on, and hang on to something, this is going to be one hell of a ride! Continue reading

Album Review: FU MANCHU – Clone of the Universe

 

Fu Manchu

Clone of the Universe

At the Dojo Records

Release Date: February 9, 2018

Southern California fuzz mavens Fu Manchu may be the closest thing stoner rock has to an institution. Since 1990, honcho Scott Hill and his bandmates have been cranking out high-octane, revved-up power rock that’s served as a veritable musical template for countless heshmongers and bongrattlers that have followed in their skunky wake. And not unlike their fellow institutions The Ramones and AC/DC, since song one/side one of their debut album Fu Manchu have by and large stuck to the strengths that brought them to the dance in the first place: solid, steady grooves, razor-sharp hooks, and riff after riff after motherfucking riff, three miles thick and stacked on top of each other straight up into the sky. Their first release since 2014, Clone of the Universe (released via the band’s own At the Dojo Records), mostly hews to their tried-and-true practices, but with just enough twists and tweaks to avoid repetition and fatigue. The time signatures and song structures skew a little more prog than normal (in one instance, a lot more), and lyrically and thematically they’ve swapped out skateboards for starcruisers, but it’s really just a different picture airbrushed on the side of the tricked-out Fu Manchu custom van.

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Review: IRON REAGAN & GATECREEPER Split LP [Track Stream]

Relapse Records is set to release a devastating split LP of epically retro proportions featuring hardcore-punk crossover thrashers, Iron Reagan, and old school death metal beasts, Gatecreeper on March 2nd, 2018. Split LP’s like this, and similarly compilation albums, have always been exciting for fans of underground music. Not only are they a way to conveniently add immediate variety to a playlist, but at the same time, become exposed to multiple bands at once. It’s a win-win situation. Iron Reagan & Gatecreeper are here to deliver exactly what fans look forward to, with a potent eight tracks of ferocity; the likes of which will transport you into the adrenaline-filled violence of an eighties crossover thrash moshpit, and then straight away into the high-intensity evil of early nineties death metal. Continue reading

Album Review: WEDGE – Killing Tongue

Wedge

Killing Tongue

Heavy Psych Sounds

Release Date: February 9, 2018

 

Those who get their jollies on the classic rock path will find plenty to tickle their fancies in the grooves of Killing Tongue, the sophomore effort from Berlin power trio Wedge. The follow-up to their eponymous 2014 debut, Killing Tongue is a satisfyingly sticky chunk of retro-hesher goodness, steeped in a half-century’s worth of sonic bongwater. It’s loaded up on all the stoner essentials: churn-n’-burn riffing, swirly, trippy keys, a rhythm section that swings and cracks your sternum, and plenty of sharp, shiny hooks, all balled up and deep-fried in a batter of sweaty swagger and blacklight boogie. Guitarist/vocalist Kiryk Drewinski, bassist/keyboardist David Götz, and drummer Holger Grosser have crafted a record that proudly and unabashedly wears its influences on its sleeve, a monument carved from the precious classic rock mined in the late 60’s and early 70’s that feels exciting and fresh yet instantly familiar.

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