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.
Rumors of Man is an album released on July 16, by German stoner rock group Goat Explosion. Almost forty five minutes long, the record has seven tracks: The Wandering Specter, Vulgar Saints, If Crimson Was My Tower, Rumors Of Man, Where Shadows Hide, Dionysian Reveries and Stairway Through The Sun. With furious guitar lines, an accurate sense of timing and a purely dense and savage style, Rumors of Man is a very cohesive and intense album, with beautiful harmonies and a coherent sonorous anatomy. Nevertheless, the group somewhat fails a little in branching out from the conventional traditions of the genre, wavering through some musical predictabilities on its course.
Don’t get me wrong. The album manages to be quite satisfactory, and certainly, genre enthusiasts will appreciate it. There is a salutary hostility that revolves almost innocently on the fluctuating waves of the melodies, that are, indeed, the result of a very proficient and splendid creativity. While the sound in general cannot be regarded as original or sophisticated, there is a whimsical, very abrasive rudeness on the vicinities of its style, and its entire crude atmosphere stands very well to the genre. The guitar lines are certainly almost impeccable, and probably the greatest feature of the work.
While Rumors of Man cannot be considered a masterpiece, in some glorious moments, comes close to it. The band, undoubtedly, has an enormous amount of talent, and a formidable, distinct sense about the peculiarities of their genre of choice. There is genuine electricity here, although somewhat in a more brute state. Their main problem relies in never pushing up the boundaries, remaining all the time in the comfort zone of the genre, like most bands usually do.
But despite all of its predictabilities, the album is very good. You definitely can listen to it without any fear or disappointment, if you’re expectations are low. This work will certainly not leave you thrilled, but you will have fun listening to it.
psychedelic rock / stoner rock
Earlier today I once again got involved into a useless discussion about which era produced the best music. Quite often, those discussions are caused by a poll. The choices usually are 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's, nothing earlier, nothing later. In this age of mass produced heavy bassline music, people tend to forget that there are still massively talented people out there, creating absolute magic. People are still crawling into rehearsal rooms and coming out with breathtaking music, showcasing the chemistry which has been going on in there. This fascinating behaviour by musicians far and wide is what keeps the musical underground going strong.
Californian desert rockers Yawning Man certainly belong in that category. Since 1986 these guys have been jamming on stages all over the world. In that time they recorded six album, with 'The Revolt Against Tired Noises' being the latest. Mostly instrumental, this album is a superb statement of the band's know-how. Besides, with the song 'Catamaran', the band has re-recorded an old classic of theirs, made famous by Kyuss when they covered it on 'The Circus Leaves Town'. Now this song finally sees a release by the band who actually wrote it, which I think is a damn good thing.
But first things first as the record opens with 'The Black Kite', a soothing and immersive tune that freely floats between psychedelic rock and post rock. Some artists in the stoner and psychedelic scenes don't like to read the term "post-rock" but if your music would fit perfectly well on a festival like Dunk!, that tag is not an insult, on the very contrary. That would place Yawning Man in the same streets as bands like Monkey3, My Sleeping Karma, Colour Haze and so on. The same goes for the title track and for 'Skyline Pressure'.
'Grant's Heart' is the first track with vocals. It's also one of the fastest tunes, a mid tempo song in the middle of slow but groovy rock tunes. 'Violent Lights' takes the listener back to the path of the previously mentioned tracks, again balancing on that edge between post and psychedelic. With every song I'm becoming more and more convinced of the powerful live experience that Yawning Man will probably be. I never had the chance to see them live but I think that will change very soon as this album will be supported by a massive tour.
The ever expanding musical universe of Yawning Man is stunning. Firmly rooted in the era where bands like Pink FLoyd and Hawkwind carefully crafted a new genre, these Americans are not afraid to look forward. 'Misfortune Cookies' is one of my favorites, a jam (which is a bit too short for me) that brings back memories of 3rd Ear Experience gigs. As I said earlier, I can't wait to experience these tracks live. The album will undoubtedly appear quite often in my day-to-day playlist and if you're a psychedelic stoner post rock fan, I recommend you do the same.
It's strange to experience memories from festivals I have never been to. Especially with the recent psychedelic rock revival I often picture myself at an event like Woodstock or Jazz Bilzen, enjoying the wild guitar solos and immersive bass lines of the bands on stage.
On one hand it's unfortunate that those days are over. Festivals no longer have that "free" feeling. On the big ones, there are more security people and police than people on stage. The sound is rarely at a satisfactory level and the whole thing has to close at eleven in order to avoid complaints from neighbours.
Then again, when the right music makes a solid return, so does the outrageous festival experience. Smaller ones are popping up like mushrooms, pleasing crowds with surprisingly vintage sounding bands. The hippies will dance again, the doomers will smile and the psychedelic rockers will once again float beyond the clouds. That is basically the feeling I have when I listen to this new album by French psych-rockers Domadora.
'Lacuna' is their third album after 'Tibetan Monk' (2013) and 'The Violent Mystical Sukuma' (2016). The album contains four tracks, each one lifting the jam-capacities to new and unheard levels. 'Lacuna Jam' opens the whole thing, immediately delivering the goods. With heavy guitars, almost tangible bass lines and energetic drums, Domadora quickly gets the audience on their feet and shaking their behinds.
Basically, the album is one long jam session. It seems like the bass guitar delivers a firm foundation on which the rest of the band can freely improvise. That results in some wicked psychedelic passages but also in soothing post rock and groovy stoner doom. The massive 'Genghis Khan' is a perfect example of that. This tune is certainly capable of entertaining large groups of traditional psychedelic rock fans.
There a plenty of big names to compare this music to, from krautrockers like Can or Amon Düul II over the psychedelic music of Pink Floyd to the groovy rock of Hawkwind and Led Zeppelin, it's all here. Closer 'Tierra Last Homage' comes up with some neat vintage Black Sabbath riffage too, only adding more level of high quality rock 'n roll to the whole thing. So yeah, this is a brilliant piece of psychedelic jam rock, recommended for everyone at those hot summer festivals.
psychedelic rock / stoner rock
Death Trip is an album by Greek stoner rock band Hazy Sea, released on June 20. Thirty six minutes long, the record has seven tracks: Dolphin On The Fly, Siren, The Aviator, Nothing's Done Until It's Over, Samothraki, The Promise and Memories Of A Different Life. With very beautiful, precise and vividly organic melodies, Death Trip is quite a beautiful, sincere and elegant album, with a very serene, colorful and charming atmosphere. With a very unique musical gravity, definitely this state of the art work can be qualified as one of the best albums of the year. On the first few seconds listening to it, you are completely persuaded by the splendorous density of its extraordinary beauty.
The harmonies are exceedingly energetic, pulsating and intense, although they can be sensationally moderate at the same time. The group has a very acute and graceful sense of timing, and the guitar lines that adorns the music gives to its graciously dynamic features a very singular and fantastic shape. Definitely, just in a few moments into the album, it’s impossible not to love nor appreciate this amazingly expansive, creative, sagacious and wonderfully marvelous work of art.
The synergy between the harmonies are simply a major quality within the work. With a signature sound that runs between the audacity of a majorly peculiar creativity and the outline of a traditional rock savagery – as the album progresses –, Death Trip reveals itself to be more and more surprising, elegant, sober and lucid, with consolidated principles of artistry that really leaves the listener undoubtedly thrilled and amazed.
With some passages that I would like to qualify as primordial to the development of the genre, the album presents some interesting stylistic features, that gives to the sound a more impulsive, natural and genuine outlook on the spontaneous vivacity of the music. The result is a tremendously effective and sensitive sonorous journey, that breaks away entirely from the predictability of its patterns.
Although the album is a little too short – it’s one and only negative aspect – you can listen again as soon as the album is over, and then again, and again and again. You will hardly have enough of Death Trip. It’s a fantastic journey throughout a very vibrating and authorial rock album.
Man, I'm a sucker for instrumental music. Whenever I see a line-up without a vocalist, I get immediately interested. It's probably no surprise that most of my favorite bands are voiceless. It's not that I despise vocalists. Not all vocalists. Vocals can make or break pretty much everything, depending on the singer's talents, a problem that occurs much less in instrumental music.
So yeah, I'm quite pleased with the new wave of instrumental stoner rock bands, especially the ones that sound so vintage and retro that time seems to stand still.
Six Months Of Sun is a trio from Switzerland. Armed with the usual suspects, drums, guitar, bass and a tank of fuzz, these guys successfully ride today's stoner rock wave. Opening with 'Riddle Of Steel' the album borrows the freshest ingredients from doom, psychedelic rock and stoner rock. Soon in, you'll notice that the drummer is the most energetic member of the band. His performance in a track like 'Anvil Of War' is quite stunning. That guy can easily smash that anvil to bits while the rest of us bang our skulls to pieces.
Because yeah, while references to bands like Monkey3 and Karma To Burn are not far away, Six Months Of Sun isn't scared of some fierce rock 'n' roll riffing. Sure, that rumbling bass helps a lot but the whole thing quite often nudges to punk and hard rock, another good aspect if you ask me. Then, since we're throwing in other influences, 'The Barbarian' and 'Savage Sword' harbour tiny bits of progressive Tool rock, which obviously is strike three and as we all know, three is a party. A masterfully crafted party too if you ask me.
If you're into instrumental stoner rock, this album should definitely be a part of your collection. I'm quite sure of that. Besides, the album ends with my personal favorite, 'Birth Of Doom', a megalithic beast that gracefully finishes what 'Riddle Of Steel' started. So let yourself go and surf on the sonic waves of Six Months Of Sun. You know you want to...
Federico Dal Pozzo - Untitled_VNZ
ambient / experimental / noise
Deadsmoke - Forest Of The Damned
doom / sludge metal
Antoine Panaché - Pleasures
experimental / avant garde
Misantronics - Zührpruym
drone / electronic / ambient
Woes - The Coldest Place Is Within Myself
hardcore / crust / black metal
Brass Owl - Brass Owl
psychedelic rock / stoner rock
Dead Man's Eyes - Words of Prey
indie / alternative rock / psychedelic rock
Jübl - Thinking Sweet
dream pop / trip hop
Autger - Eucharistia, Praedestinatio Gemina
dark ambient / neoclassical / dark jazz
Dr Space - Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 1
krautrock / psychedelic rock
A Scar For The Wicked - The Unholy
death metal / deathcore
Stelios Ventas - Faded Flower
Feelament - Hate Delivery
psychedelic rock / stoner rock
Holy Oak is an album released on May 25 by Italian psychedelic/ blues rock group Mr Bison. Forty six minutes long, the record has nine tracks: Roots, Sacred Deal, Heavy Rain, Earth Breath, Holy Oak, The Bark, The Wave, Red Sun and Beyond the Edge. With an impressive and firm, but exceedingly concentrated and aggressive energy, Holy Oak has on the axis of its persistently free, but strident melodies the grace of its salutary motivations and ambitions, with all the traditional rhythmic features that the genre has, in abundance, to please – but concomitantly counterbalance – the pervasive elements of its own ferocity.
With generally calmer, but heavily punctuated and savage melodies – exceedingly beautiful on the surface of its sonorous shape – the pristine style of Mr Bison is strong, objective and direct; rapidly feels and circulates over the hardline of its acid creative ventures, with pungent guitar lines that define the sensibility of its graceful, latent and rude style. Nonetheless, despite an apparent simplicity, there is an expansive, but serene brutality overtly diffuse under the stringent and tense intonations of its sentimental cadences of vigorous and harmonious density.
A very compact album, where effusive and dilacerating guitar lines coldly calculate the nuances where the soul of the rhythm reads the elements of a horizon of colorful and crystalline creativity – although its anatomy seems a little fragile, sometimes – despite the fact that Holy Oak does not bring new components to the table, there is an audacious feeling of genuine introspection present in the music, that slowly revolves around its own subtle beauty, over and over.
There is an effervescent and cohesive grandiosity that comes along with the sound, but it is way more subtle than what it seems; completely submerged on the magic of its creative waves, the listener can feel its craving honesty flowing through the veins of its precious and raw originality. Mr Bison certainly aggregates new elements to the art of psychedelic music with this work, departing from the quintessential nature of their own rough premises. Definitely, Holy Oak is an album that enthusiasts of the genre will ardently love and appreciate.
Lucy is an album released on May 25, by German Stoner rock act Dune Pilot. A formidably conceived and incredibly energized rock album, with filthy, powerfully dynamic and strident guitar lines, the style of Dune Pilot is simple, savage and direct; has literally a lot of hot sun and road dust on its genuinely salutary haven, and on the mordacity of its musical tenure, brings back the intrinsic fury and all the thirsty ventures the genre abundantly displays generally, but here are way more intensified, at the consistent axis of gracefully hazardous, but flexible melodies, that draw the lines of its creative and proficient sonorous diligence with plain security and delightful purpose.
Fifty one minutes long, the record has nine tracks: Loaded, The Willow, Postman, Lucy, I´m Your Man, Speak Up, Sit Back, Griper and Feed Your Conscience. With a generally uniform sonorous layout, with little drastic variations in tone and melody, Lucy deserves a good score for its beautiful music, and specially for pleasantly creating an authentic desert atmosphere, where the listener almost feels itself completely alone, in the middle of a hot desert, crossing the deadly fears of an effervescent, but gracefully melodious road, trying to avoid the vultures that desperately want its prospective prey to dehydrate and die, to finally have a meal.
With wonderful vocals, splendid guitar lines, coherent pace and directly pungent melodies – all perfectly converging altogether with a meticulous singularity – Lucy deserves to be considered an excellent album, that ties with exceptional enthusiasm and savagery all the elements fundamental to stoner rock, completely devoid of grandiosity delusions. The modesty of the harmonies, probably one of the fundamental components of its inherent beauty, also deserves to be highlighted, and assures with the sensational grace of the constant rhythms the exponentially enjoyable vibe it consistently transmits, throughout the whole album.
With a powerful sonorous presence that reveals a cohesive musical layer and a very solid, decisively mature style, Lucy needs little time to prove to stoner rock enthusiasts why it certainly has tremendous potential to break big in the general underground scene. Certainly one of the most competent bands in the genre in their native country, Dune Pilot has all the qualities to master their art to the highest level possible.