post punk / new wave / goth rock
Heading from Bristol, Naut decided to ignore all current trends and to look back to the dark eighties. Now, this five-piece comes with a baffling debut EP, containing five pitch black goth rock tunes. Influences from bands like Sisters Of Mercy and Killing Joke run rampant and come with the overwhelming energy of post punk acts like The Jesus and Mary Chain. Song like opener 'Disintegration' and 'I'm Here' are destined to fill dark dancefloors everywhere. My personal favorite here is closer 'XVI'. It makes me curious and hungry for more, but for now I'm sure that this EP will be an excellent addition to every post punk / goth rock collection.
doom / sludge
Sheffield doom mongers Kurokuma return with a two track EP, based on the Dope Rider strip from High Times in the 70s. The artwork comes from Paul Kirchner, the creator of the strip. The music is another slab of severe psychotic sludge doom, five and eight minutes long. Part 1 also showcases something industrial, reflected by repetitive, almost methodical drums. Part 2 simply continues to slow but brutal pummeling. Fans of bands like Conan, Dopethrone and Yob can easily trust Kurokuma to deliver the monolithic riffs and fierce vocals they crave so much. So if you want your sludge metal as destructive as a wrecking ball, this EP should do.
post-metal / doom / alternative rock
Several months after the release of 'Serrated', Dutch heavy rockers An Evening With Knives unleash three songs that did not make the album because of the limited space on the vinyl. Yet, these songs were to important for the band to be ignored. Opener and title track 'Fade Out' deals with the death of Marco’s father due to Alzheimer disease. It's a long, heavy and cathartic lamentation, showcasing the darkest side of this band. The other two songs follow that example, be it a bit shorter. They all walk a similar path as the songs on 'Serrated', and thus would also fit perfectly into every sludge, doom and grunge collection. These guys are growing steadily, that's for sure.
electronic / ambient / experimental
An alienating two track EP that will leave you confused and entangled, that is what Soho Rezanejad delivers. Subtle electronics, minimalist drones, gloomy soundscapes and her vocals come together in two lengthy modern day folk songs. I can't help but think about a mix between Zola Jesus and Diamanda Galas, be it a bit less creepy than the latter. Yet, there is emotion, there is fear, mourning, wonder and hope in these two tracks. There is a mystifying atmosphere, one that borrows elements from dark ambient. Yet, above all perhaps, this is a unique piece of work, reminding me of an act like Dark Ensemble. Recommended only for eternally wandering souls.
post rock / post metal / stoner / sludge
In today's post rock scene, new bands pop up like mushrooms. Würzburg residents The Man Within are one of those newcomers. Mostly, that first effort comes with a low production and a careful introduction in what the band really is capable of. Yet, here that results in a full-blown post metal album with seven outstanding tracks. Most of them, including 'Mount Santo', my favorite 'Institution' (that rolling bass is hot!!!) and the massive 'Limitless' can easily entertain audiences far and wide. Although firmly rooted in the post-scene, elements from sludge metal, psychedelic rock and stoner rock are never far away. A great introduction, now let's hope they can confirm this in the near future.
The new brainchild of Nachtzeit, the man behind ambient dark metal project Lustre, comes up with an interesting dark ambient album. Although playful at time, this album takes us back to the mysterious and dark age of the Norse gods. Early in 'Drömmarna' acts like Mortiis (on Cold Meat Industry) and Wongraven come to mind. Synths, soundscapes and dreamy melodies guide the listening on a musical tour of medieval Europe, so it seems, highlighting in 'Löftet' and 'Tårarn'. Strangely, the title track 'Hädanfärden' has an X-Files OST feeling about it, which isn't bad, on the contrary. Fans of old school medieval dark ambient can easily appreciate this album.
alternative rock / hard rock / grunge
Belgian hard rock duo Breakfast At Midnight proves that two is enough to create heaps of noise. On this debut EP they blast seven tracks through our speakers, beginning with the heavy rocking 'Kidi Coke'. From then on, the rock doesn't seem to stop. Inspired by anything between Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age and Stone Temple Pilots, these two feed an everlasting fire. Most tracks drive on sheer energy but in 'What I'm To Say' and in '1813', the band delves deeply into the Pearl Jam version of grunge rock. Here, the vocals are excellent and clean while the other tunes contain heaps of aggressive screams. Not that I mind, this is pure rock 'n roll: raw, rough and heavy.
black metal / death metal
Grab onto something now because Ukrainian trio Goatsperm is about to unload a hellish, chaotic and vulgar EP, loaded with orthodox black/death metal. 'Voice In The Womb' contains three tracks, each one being a pummeling piece of extreme metal, as dark as Satan's butthole but with an ambient breather here and there. Somehow, this trio manages to combine atmospheric passages with sheer metallic terror, something that might indeed make a lot of banging heads turn their way in the near future. Besides, 'Into The Deep Waters Of Catacombs' is one of the fiercest black metal tunes I've heard this year. If you're a self-respecting extremist, you need this.
krautrock / shoegaze / punk
What would have happened if Ramones used My Bloody Valentine's guitar effects? What would a punk rock cover album of Neu! songs sound like? Well, Finnish six piece Teksti-TV 666 might have a decent answer for you. 'Aidattu Tulevaisuus' delivers six high-octane krautrock tunes with the raw energy of punk and the immersive nature of shoegaze. I admit, it is something different from the usual slabs of rock 'n roll that appear here but 'Turbo-Mondeo' and 'Aidattu tulevaisuus' can easily get your behind shaking. My favorite here is the somewhat slower 'Rauhankone', which might be described as a down-to-earth space rock track. Recommended? Hell yeah!
ambient / electronic / experimental
Hailing from Porto, Vitor Joaquim is a sound sculptor and visual artist, active around the strange borders between soothing ambient and otherworldly noise. This new album, 'Impermanence' contains seven tracks, revolving around repetitive soundscapes, almost subconscious loops and immersive musical textures. Here and there vocals samples have been added to increase the narrative nature of the music. That, along with the minimal soundscapes, makes the title track my favorite here but I'm sure that every fan of decent ambient music can appreciate these sounds. Obviously, this comes highly recommended.
ambient / drone / experimental / noise
An even more noisy and experimental variation on ambient sounds comes from Han, a project by Vitor Joaquim and Emidio Buchinho. This album revolves around live improvisation and real time processing, which results in something severely unusual and highly experimental. Yet, behind the gritty freestyle on the guitar, beautiful ambient loops lurk. These seven tracks are weird, immersive in one way, yet restrained and peculiar. Somehow this album feels like the early days of drone experimentation, when artists were exploring the other possibilities of their instruments. In all, this is an interesting release to dive into, but only for experienced avant gardists...
October - Dark Hymns
A fifteen minutes EP with four tracks, Dark Hymns lives to the glory of its simple, but energetic and suggestive title. With a very dark, subtle and obscure sound, the sensitive premises of the style are afflictive to the fullest – despite being paradoxically peaceful and serene –, and seems to anticipate the imminence of a profoundly terrible doom. While the work presents to the audience a very simple and surreal sound, its nuances are dense, and the excellence of its atmosphere dissipates a graceful and somber fear over the boundaries of the melodies. There is nothing too exceptional or extraordinary about this work, but for dark ambient genre enthusiasts, the vivid, morbid intensity displayed by the artist behind the project is certainly vast, very meaningful, and spiritually consistent.
Collapse Project - Crossing Lights
electronic / darksynth / dark electro / synthwave
Crossing Lights is an album released on June 22, by German electronica/ synthwave act Collapse Project. A wonderfully splendid album, with eleven tracks – Where everything began, Crossing Lights, Arise from the darkness, M.e.n.s.c.h., Pursuit,
Bloody Dancefloor, Cemetery Walk, Starfighter, Nightshift, Test Drive and Rewind – this marvelous and majestic state of the art work has colorful harmonies, a vibrant, lucid and energetic pace, an intense and cohesive style and a superb sense of rhythmic rapture. With softly pungent, dense and dynamic mordacious melodies that engraves its formidable intrinsic strength at the voracious pace of the music, the album is fulfilled with a tremendously aggrandizing and creative originality, displaying a talent that has everything to stand out as uniquely authentic in the contemporary underground scene. Showcasing a sensational musical grandeur whose artistry is effectively sidelined with the most vivid and hallucinating melodies, the genuine musical abilities of Collapse Project is a gigantic cosmic evolutionary step in what concerns the general development of the genre. With some of the most beautiful songs that I’ve ever heard, Crossing Lights is an unprecedented milestone in the history of electronica. Certainly, deserves not only to be fully appreciated, but highly highlighted as one of the most beautiful, sensational and singular albums ever conceived.
Extremity - Coffin Birth
Coffin Birth is an album released on July 20, by Californian death metal group Extremity. With eight songs – Coffin Birth / A Million Witches, Where Evil Dwells, Grave Mistake, Umbilicus, For Want Of A Nail, Occision, Like Father Like Son and Misbegotten / Coffin Death – the record is a satisfactory, lucid and efficient, but hallucinatory and hazardous death metal album, that works decently the most traditional elements of the genre. With heavy, fast rhythms that exposes the voracity of their style, Extremity showcases a peculiar, brutal, direct style, atrocious to the core of its corrosive nature. Despite the fact that the album at some rare passages becomes a little predictable and monotonous, this does not affect the general layout of the sound, nor does any damage to the competent and precise style of the band. Their aggressive strength is somewhat inherent to the most brutal and extreme ramification of the genre, and the name of the band certainly stands for it. While you can’t expect too much of innovative features on this record, Coffin Birth displays a decent amount of virtuosity, talent and definition, and certainly honors the genre with a virulent and passionate degree of astounding sonorous hostility, that will entertain avidly the most dedicated enthusiasts of extreme death metal.
Khemmis - Desolation
grunge / stoner rock/ power metal / black metal / alternative rock
Released on June 22, Desolation is an album by alternative post grunge/ power metal rock group Khemmis. With six tracks – Bloodletting, Isolation, Flesh To Nothing, The Seer, Maw Of Time and From Ruin – this gracefully peculiar, audacious and cohesive record showcases the splendid abilities of a band that does an amazingly superb and exceedingly sophisticated work in their amalgamation of several different genres and styles of music. With a power metal core heavily infused by a post grunge alternative rock density, the music of Khemmis has its own singular and energetic creative groundwork, fuelled by an outstandingly voracious and rude nitroglycerine spontaneous synergy, that explodes directly in the brain of the listener. A little reminiscent of more classic and mainstream acts like Manowar, Creed and Blind Guardian – although exposing a formidable degree of uniqueness – the band does a surprisingly splendorous and excellent work on Desolation, that reveals itself as a marvelous, profoundly genuine and sensational album, all the way through. Undoubtedly, Desolation deserves to be classified as one of the greatest masterpieces of the year.
Lossy - Gated Soul
A beautiful, outstanding, lancinating and colorful EP, Gated Soul has four tracks: Blues For Jekyll, Last Raver, Hocus Pocus and To The Woods. With beautiful melodies, and very sensible, delightfully plausible harmonies, there is a genius spontaneity coming out from these songs that actually make you feel quite enthusiastic about it. With an exceedingly serene, but at the same time ostensibly sensational and mandatory vibe, the artist reveals a subtle, but formidable sense of originality on the framework of the sound that is the embodiment of this work. From within, the melodies gradually expand from a synergy that relocates the rhythm directly to the point of its graciously moving syncope. Exposing lucidity and showcasing an extraordinary degree of creativity, this electronic music artist from Great Britain has no fear in demonstrating his superb, masterful and singular talent, that easily reinvigorates in a more sophisticated sonorous artistry the greatest elements of electronica. Here you have four amazingly wonderful songs, that you will be pleased to hear over and over again.
Moloch Letalis - Krwawy Sztorm
black metal / death metal
A very impressive, hostile and energetic album – although widely using exceedingly crude and conventional elements by some standards – Krwawy Sztorm, by Polish extreme metal group Moloch Letalis, is an aggressive, furious and bloodthirsty album. Only thirty minutes long, the record has nine tracks: Wielka Egzekucja, Sztorm, Krwawa Ziemia, Zatańczysz Ze Mną Kurwa W Piekle ?, Przysięga, Zdychaj Psie, Palownik, Gotowy Na Piekło and Żar. With ostensive and abrupt rhythmic grievances, the style of the group is simple and direct, a little reminiscent of punk rock, given the atrocious voracity, objectivity and rudeness of its style. With a solid fidelity to the most brutal aspects of the genre, the work is amazingly competent and full of acid rage. Although there is nothing too aggrandizing nor original about the work, certainly this album is a pearl for avid enthusiasts of the genre, since Moloch Letalis literally practices closely the most ardent, extreme, raw and violent aspects of death and black metal, executing a refined breed of these marvelous genres. If you like astoundingly heavy material, Krwawy Sztorm is something you would like to hear.
McClane - The Cavern of Noise
electronic / techno / industrial
With six tracks – Entrance of Gargoyles, Dance or Die, The Order, Mechanical Vampire, The Cavern of Noise and Theunderdogme 2018hardrem1x – The Cavern of Noise, by techno industrial French artist McClane is a formidable, very intuitive and lancinating work. With abrasive and disruptive rhythms, increasingly grotesque and infuriating harmonies, cohesive dilapidation of sound and very unpredictable, dense musical compasses, The Cavern of Noise is an interesting work of art, astoundingly engraved at forefront of the best tradition of techno music. With elements that plays on the fundamental axis of the noise and industrial genres, the artist evokes at the colorful blast of the music an atmospheric vitality that rejuvenates the harmonies and the anatomy of the music. With a lucid, compulsory and graceful creativity that is exponential to the ardent mordacity of the melodies, on this album, you certainly get the best the genre will ever offer you. The title track – The Cavern of Noise – is absolutely the best, and will leave you with the dense exposition of what electro techno music should really sound like.
Blutvial - Mysteries of Earth
Mysteries of Earth, released by British black metal group Blutvial on July 5th, is a formidable, lucid and splendorous album. Fully energized, mortally intense and with sordidly aggressive, rapturous and impulsive, but lugubrious and poetic guitar lines, Mysteries of Earth is better described as a marvelous state of the art work. With ten amazingly placid and cohesive tracks – beneath the moon, black silence, existential rite, vault of unrest, carving nihil, midwinter's halls, urnacht, doomed to eternal night, in praise of noctula and where graves spring open – this fantastic work, besides its subtle originality, extraordinary grandiosity and proverbial musical audacity, consolidates firmly and brings about intrinsically the best qualities of the genre: hostile mordacity, somber harmonies, an aggressive stylish impetus, creative melodies, a rapid pace and an exceedingly volatile density. With the organic virtue of a profoundly vital and conscious musical dynamic, you can certainly highlight this record as one of the best black metal pieces released this year. Mysteries of Earth is a punctuating device and a majestic work of art in the history of the genre.
Cosmic Autumn - Cosmic Autumn
Cosmic Autumn is the debut album of an eponymous black metal project from Germany. Released on July 13, the record has five tracks: The Last Deception, Event Horizon, Indistinct Visions, Realms Of Eternal Light and Solitude (Instrumental). With a beautiful and very original musical layer, very sober and proficient, the sound is definitely strong, sensitive, dynamic and fundamentally cohesive. Although the record retains the fury typical of the genre, Cosmic Autumn is also a lesson on sincere and poetic artistry, as the music revolves itself around a shroud of mortifying serenity, like a twilight that dies in the agony of an everlasting moment of unspeakable affliction. Since the music translates into sound these imponderable passages of pervasive anger, the overall loyalty of the project’s style to the genre is emphasized, but without compromising the ability of the artist in showcasing his own peculiarities. A very good work, that certainly exposes the mordacious talent of an exponentially promising black metal artist, Cosmic Autumn is the opening gate for a musician that has everything to aggregate into the genre a whole new conjuncture of possibilities, with his audacious and ostensibly brilliant creativity.
Stone Age Mammoth - Earthborn
stoner rock/ psychedelic rock
Earthborn is an album released by Greek stoner rock group Stone Age Mammoth. Forty minutes long, the record has seven tracks: Fearless, The Dark, Whispers, The Mysterious Life Of Mr Krips, The Secret, Earthborn and My Darkest Hour. An exceedingly calm, methodic and meticulous, but exceedingly vigorous and lucid album, undoubtedly, Earthborn is a fantastic state of the art work, that dissects, reverberates, comprehends and exposes the best aspects the genre has to offer. With singular, serene and soft guitar lines, a configuration of sonorous walls that grows from the sincere stylish leniency of the group and a marvelous sense of timing that knows from instinct what has to be done, Stone Age Mammoth has a formidable artistic security and a powerful domain over the genre, that comes out naturally. Revealing itself as a graceful masterpiece as the album evolves and revolves around its own atmosphere of calmness, omniscience and existential perception, the glorious creativity of the group certainly highlights them among other bands of the genre. With a singular conjuncture of sonorous qualities, Earthborn deserves to be greatly regarded, widely appreciated and publicized as the wonderful and fantastic work of art that truly is.
ColdWorld - Nostalgia
Nostalgia is an EP released on July 23 by German black metal artist ColdWorld. With five tracks – Cosmos Devourer, Demon Speed, The Dark Ages, Let The Devil In and Silva Nigra – the EP, almost twenty six minutes long, is concise. Exceedingly beautiful, with the typical elegance that is an engraved milestone of the artist, the proverbial guitar lines and the poetic harmonies anticipates the general conflagration of its overall majestic serenity, deeply fulgurated with the sensible character of its everlasting, elegant and somber horizon of artistry. With rapid passages that are profoundly surrounded by graciously atmospheric interludes, the music on Nostalgia is overloaded with the imperial fragrances of its own rudimentary darkness, that is sustained by a lucid and dense, but marvelously whimsical ferocious resentment, whose vitality extrapolates the shadows of its own arrogant beauty. With everlasting precipices of color surrounding the rhythmic fortunes of the songs, I must confess that I wasn’t particularly overwhelmed by this work. Nevertheless, Nostalgia has all the elements that are characteristic of a ColdWorld work, and, to a certain extent, has enough qualities to be deemed valuable for its sincere and splendid level of singularity.
Phet - Return
post rock / experimental
Return is a three tracks EP released on July 25, by a musician from India, who works under the nom de plume of Phet. With three marvelous songs – Return, Distance and Liberation – Phet works very distinctively the interior perception of the harmonies, to articulate an ascendant, protuberant and expansive, but at the same time discreet, lucid and introspective degree of sonorous exhilaration. With a pungent, incisive axis of conscious melodic devices, correctly assimilated by the lenient, but purposeful stability of its glorious symbiosis of organic dissonances, that seems lethargic at first, the intrinsic nature of the rhythmic serenity that grows within this musical horizon slowly works towards the digressive elements of the harmonies, revolving around a certain complexity that obliterates the cosmic volatility of its formidably eloquent style. With a futurist, colorful, modernist musical approach that made the external shape of the songs, indeed, to sound in an exceedingly beautiful and elegant fashion, Return can be positively described as a very gracious, audacious and original work of art. The last track, Liberation, I would certainly highlight as my favorite. If you want to listen to something very surprising, astute and genuine, I definitely recommend this marvelous and surreal EP.
stoner rock / hard rock
A crow munching on someone's brain near what looks like Route 66, the cover of this album is odd but interesting. I'm not sure if I have ever written about an album cover before. I have to say, I like the shadow of the crow in the clouds, but even more so, I like the backside of the album which shows that same car but this time it's on fire and a crow wearing a crow skull is sitting on it. Neat. It all looks like an intriguing road trip, obviously inspired by American landscapes and music. And when you dig into the music on this album, you'll feel exactly the same. Get ready for a rocking blend of stoner, blues and grunge, hailing from La Douce France.
I have no idea what is in the French waters but these guys can rock. Opener 'Dying Day' immediately brings out the big guns. Well, not immediately, first we get a short Colour Haze like jam before the groovy nad riff loaded stoner rock starts blasting through the speakers. From this very beginning, the influences become clear. Musically, everything between Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age and Truckfighters shines through. The vocalist is clearly a Metallica fan, since James Hetfield often comes to mind.
But that's ok. In fact, that's perfectly fine. The mix of heavy stoner rock and those vintage metal vocals really give the whole thing the power it needs. Believe me, there is plenty of power here. Just listen to 'Mushroom Fail', a potent stoner rock track, mostly slow also but containing a fierce jam near the end. Then, they prove that they can just as easy write a convincing desert rock ballad, 'Upset Man'. Here, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam come to mind and again, I'm quite impressed.
Sunderfeet sound as vintage and genuine as their favorite bands do and that is a very good quality to have. They can rock hard but they can also write decent songs. They know how to sound varied while still maintaining a coherent sound. They can do Creedence Clearwater Revival (in '13'), they can do Fu Manchu ('W.A.R.') and everything in between. So yeah, this is a highly recommended album for everyone who loves a good stoner jam once in a while. Check it out. You'll be massively surprised...
psychedelic rock / post hardcore / grunge
I'll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I like to start writing a review before I actually listen to the album. Just for fun. In those cases, I write some nonsense about the weather, about how almost every car on the handicapped parking space is a BMW or about my lazy cat. I can also write that first paragraph about the band name or about the cover art, or simply about my own history with that particular band. In this particular case, that history is rather long and vague. I think I first heard the name Maudlin back in 2006 or 2007. After that, I regularly saw them featured on a festival flyer. Yet, I can't say I have ever been a fan.
Why not? Well, I have absolutely no idea. My best guess is the fact that I have never been a (post) hardcore fan. That, and I have been away from the heavy music scene for about ten years before I started this website. In the days Maudlin stepped on festival stages far and wide, I was engaged in the dark ambient and noise scene. Until today, I didn't know any song by these guys. Now, that is all changing and after giving this album a first spin I'm stuck between a feeling of regret and one of pleasant surprise.
Maudlin is a Belgian band, formed in 2005. In those thirteen years, they released only three albums, this one being the second full length on Consouling Sounds. This one comes five years after 'A Sign Of Time' and much like its predecessors it is a concept album. This time, the focus is on the sea. The band hails from Ostend, a city at the Belgian coast so the band members are very familiar with the North Sea.
The music on this album is quite different from what I expected. After all, I expected post hardcore but I was treated to something psychedelic and immersive. 'Endless Expanse' is a perfect opener for this album, something between Tool, Soundgarden and Isis. To me, that was surprising, especially when the vocals came in. Most of them seem to be clean, well performed efforts instead of brutal screams. To me, that is a massive plus.
Then it hit me. Of course, Maudlin has matured, something you can easily hear in the brilliant 'Erase'. Along with the opener, this one is probably my favorite. In fact, all of these tracks are strong, potent pieces of raw psychedelic rock music. Over the past thirteen years or so, the members have gotten extremely well attuned to one another, became better musicians, experienced the ups and downs of the underground music industry.
Blending psychedelic rock with doom metal and grunge is an absolute win-win situation and Maudlin simply nailed it. Other bands that come to mind include Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Om, Porcupine Tree, Alice In Chains and Black Sabbath. I don't think those are bad names to be compared with. Yet, probably more important than that, Maudlin managed to create their own niche within a vast and massively influenced music scene, so it seems.
So yeah, from a bit hesitant to glorifying. I guess that I either underestimated these guys in the past or they have just created their own magnum opus. Fact is, this is going right into my day-to-day playlist in which all of the aforementioned bands are already present. I'm sure I will enjoy tracks like 'The Stowaway' or 'Above The Vast Clouds' quite a few times from now on. I can only recommend this album, which is actually yet another statement about how much talent our country harbors.
grunge / alternative rock
'These Paths Lead Us Where We Started From', what a significant expression. It tells us that we are running in circles, unable to reach our goal, unless the goal is to actually run in circles, obviously. Dogs do that, some children too. I guess it's a matter of energy and having too much of it.
Anyway, I forgot where I was going to with all of that. Some asshole on a loud moped distracted me. I hate those things and the people driving them. I'll go punch him in the face and then get back to the review if that is ok with you.
Right, that's that. Now let's dig into this new album by Finnish rockers The Psycho Season. This is one of those bands that does not seem to follow trends, something I can only applaud. Instead, The Psycho Season mainly seem to consist of old fashioned rockers who love to crawl into a rehearsal room and create some heavy music. That music is a blend of alternative rock, metal and grunge, enhanced by a dash of psychedelic rock.
The album opens with the song 'Ghosts' and immediately Alice In Chains comes to mind. That is a good sign and 'Ghosts' is a damn good song. Thick riffs, pounding drums and strong, potent vocals. It is like the glorious rock of the nineties is waking up again. That grungy quality remains throughout the entire album and highlights quite often. My personal favorite is 'Sky In Smoke', a brilliant grunge metal tune that reminds me a bit of Soundgarden's 'Rusty Cage', mixed with the previously mentioned Alice In Chains.
Perhaps that is what they mean with the album title. In their youth, the guys from The Psycho Season have been listening to all these bands. They learned to play their instruments by learning songs from Life Of Agony, Pearl Jam, Black Sabbath, Audioslave and so on. With this album they return to those roots, to that heavy and intense sound. Furthermore, somehow they have managed to make it sound both authentic and relative. Yes, there is still room for grunge inspired hard rock in today's rock scene and The Psycho Season is the perfect example of that.
Besides, if you are a fan of guitar solos, you might have a few eargasms while listening to these songs. The one in 'Under The Storm' is my favorite but there is brilliant guitar play to be found everywhere. 'Waves' is another highlight, a tune that somehow manages to blend sludge doom riffs with shoegaze janglings and again that muddy grunge sound. Oh well, let's just face it, these guys are fucking awesome. In 1994, this would have been a genre defining album. Today, this could be the soundtrack of a very welcome revival.
rock / blues
I have to admit, this album has been sitting on top of my pile of albums to review for quite some time now. I guess I just didn't know what to make of it or what to expect from the music. Judging from the cover, I think I was expecting something in the line of Misfits or psychobilly music, something for gothic bikers.
Today, I finally decided to throw the album into my CD player. Meanwhile, I committed to the usual background checks and research, which made the confusion only bigger. Now I was expecting a lo-fi dark folk rock act or something. It was about time to play the damn thing.
Stone Of A Bitch is Ludwig and Alice. According to the biography they met at a festival in France where she was performing and he was a crewmember. Armed with guitars, bass and vocals, they started they own project, aided by electronic percussion and drums. What they do with that equipment pleasantly surprised me. This album is loaded with alternative rock and blues songs, here and there nudging towards post punk or grunge.
I found it hard to compare Stone Of A Bitch to other bands. On 'It's A War', I'd mention alternative rock bands but 'Carribean Drive' then suddenly drags itself into the world of gloomy blues. 'Wolves' opens as a trip hop tune but gradually turns into something Radiohead would be jealous of. 'Cold Blood Tear' brings Weezer to mind. Even Vive La Fete came to mind, even though Stone Of A Bitch rocks more than they dance, which is a good thing I think.
Yet, what strikes me the most about this album is the sheer quality of the whole thing. This is definitely not a lo-fi duo throwing some jams on a disc and hoping to become famous. No, this is a massive talented band with two members who know a great deal about songwriting. Furthermore, the album is executed to perfection with great songs. Songs that will make you want to shake your hips. I'd say do it. Check it out. This is absolutely recommend music for all rockers out there.
Ihä - Esperanza
drone / ambient
Parsons Rocket Project - Parsons Rocket Project
shoegaze / ambient rock
The Mayhem Lecture Series - Structures And Behaviors EPv1
ambient / experimental
Jupiter Zeus - Eyes on the Prize
hard rock / heavy metal
Haema - Insurrection
industrial metal / alternative metal
H2SO4 - British Bangla Testament
Asylum 8 - Repressed
Jinthra - Transitæon
Insanity Cult / Isolert - Towards the Great Dissolution
Akoustik Timbre Frekuency - Thee Essence Of Existence
The Reed Effect - A Strange Curiosity
stoner rock / grunge
Fotocrime - Always Night
post punk / dark wave
Disco-Nected - Vision Division
Morphine Social Club - Monolithic Gospel
stoner rock / psychedelic rock
Jenn Vix - Unlocked
alternative rock / post punk
Pylon Reenactment Society - Part Time Punks Session
punk / alternative rock
Dreamgrave - Monuments
Mortum - Eheieh Chaos
grunge / alternative / stoner rock
A marvelous record, Or Die is an album released on July 30 by wonderful stoner/ post grunge band Highfly from Warsaw, Poland. With six tracks – On the Disappearance of the Dwemer, Ab Urbe Posnani, Spooky Guy from the FBI, T. Bone Rocket, Swear to God and The Ballad of Larry Flynt – Or Die is a great album, with amazing guitar riffs and astounding melodies. On this album, we have the spirit of stoner, deeply inserted in a more relaxed, but exceedingly stunning – and sometimes reflexively poetic – post grunge atmosphere, a remarkable sonorous experience that will enchant your soul, your body, your sensorial perceptions, in a highly ascendant journey of proverbial intensity, that will revolve endlessly around your whole comprehension of the genre.
With an amazing and intelligent unconventional approach, Or Die is a groundbreaking experience on wild rock. Labeling themselves as “surf metal”, the irreverent spirit of the band, a little reminiscent of bands like Faith no More, is brightly fused with a post grunge appeal that remembers Tantric in its “glorious” days (if they really had something that we could call this way), as well as Soundgarden and Pearl Jam (but these two just a little). Influences apart, Highfly has its own style: a surprising sound that conquers the listener instantly, and reveals a deeply infused touch of savagery, with a melodic perspective that stands over the perceptive sensibility of a cosmic emotional infinity, guarded by a restless soul lost in an immensity of touching serenity, encircled by a marvelous sonorous chaos of sincere comprehension.
A very intriguing album, Highfly has what it takes to be considered a great experiment on their genres of choice. A rebellious, categorical and very sophisticated group with qualities of their own, Or Die gets close of being considered a masterpiece. Bringing with them all the formidable traditional qualities inherent to the genre, but working them over their own organic sonorous anatomy, there is a touch of exceedingly sensational originality into them that immediately captivates the listener. And other than that, the music is simply beautiful.
A marvelous album that you should listen very attentively, Or Die is a giant record, fulfilled with wonderful music from the beginning to the very end. A deeply aggrandizing authorial work, filled with a genuine and authentic creativity, Highfly deserves the best praise for this incredible record. With killing tunes and powerful melodies, this is a highly fantastic album, that will generate a tremendous commotion on its audience.
The Psycho Season - Ghosts
grunge / alternative rock
Northern Plague - Scorn the Idle
black metal / death metal
Fractured Spine - The Price of Retribution
doom / black metal
Howling Giant - Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 2
Tombstones In Their Eyes - Fear
Atomçk - Every Room In Britain
Tod Huetet Uebel - N.A.D.A.
Philipp Rumsch - A Forward-Facing Review
ambient / electronic
Slanderus - Walls of the Mind
Wicked - Crawling Back
alternative rock / blues
Sutekh Hexen / BLSPHM - Split 7"
Six Feet Deeper - Six Feet Deeper
Lucifer's Dungeon - The Dark Army Raises
Lød - Folder
krautrock / post punk
Last Bullet - 80-69-64
hard rock / grunge
Svartsinn - Collected Obscurities
Dominique Charpentier - Esquisses
Putrid Offal - Anatomy
Moon Circle - The Cosmic Penguins
stoner rock / psychedelic rock
Misantronics - Contraformance 3
drone / ambient
Mutank - W.H.A.T.S.T.H.A.T.
Totengott - Doppelgänger
Neverending Winter - Хиус
black metal / folk metal
Tristan da Cunha - Soçobrar
post rock / ambient
A Pale Void - Songs Of Sirens
electronic / downtempo / psychill
Santiago Niño - Cosmic Clearance
electronic / downtempo / dub
Elder Devil - Graves Among The Roots
Elizabeth Shaw - I
drone / black metal
Show of Bedlam - Transfiguration
doom / avant garde