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DOOM * STONER * SLUDGE * DRONE * PSYCHEDELIC ~ HOME OF THE DOOM METAL ALLIANCE REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS FROM THE UNDERGROUND

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    Taking a first glance at Alunah it’s easy to end up doing a double take to make sure it isn’t a photo of Fleetwood Mac circa ’75 or something but it isn’t. Front woman Sophie Day at quick glance could pass as a young Stevie Nicks or Christie McVie but she is not and any similarities from the band’s photo are completely washed away as Alunah start playing. Their doom laden brand of psychedelic rock immediately reminded me of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats the doom version.


    They have released the first single and video for Heavy Bough and though it is my first time hearing Alunah, based on this, it won’t be my last. I’ve got a little catching up to do as this is off their upcoming third release. Take a listen to Alunah yourself then get all the pre-order deets. Just a note on the vid, it would appear that demons should not do shrooms or maybe I’m wrong since he manages to stumble into Alunah’s jam session and take possession of their lovely lead lady!


    Awakening The Forest, Alunah’s third album will be released Oct 3rd via Napalm Records and can be pre-ordered (HERE). They’ll be hitting the road in Europe starting October 1st with labelmates, Lonely Kamel and alternating openers The Order of Irafel and Mars Red Sky get dates via the bands website (HERE)



    You can also keep up to date with Alunah at:
    Facebook: Facebook
    Twitter: Twitter
    Bandcamp: Bandcamp

    Words: Feind Gottes (editor, The Demons Be Scribblin)


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    It's good to be young and love music. You're in your first decade of hearing everything, so the riffs, solos, and style that sound clichéd to your ears twenty-five years later sound, at twenty years old, like the sky cracking open to reveal the cosmos above. When you join a band, the idea of writing music like your heroes strokes fires within and the thrill of hearing actual music coalescing around you is immeasurable.

        The members of Hashbreath are in their early twenties and hail from Sweden. Their four-song demo, "Hypnotic Voodoo Rhythm", is a strong representation of the band's musical firepower. Make no mistake - this is a muscular, unpretentious outfit aiming to overwhelm the listener in every song. It isn't any slight to say that what they shore up what's lacking in instrumental and composition prowess with a palpable enthusiasm running through the demo's entirety. This band has a wealth of compelling musical ideas to draw from and, occasionally, stumble when the songs seem a little cluttered. If this is a failure, however, it is a noble one and, certainly, far from fatal.

         The opening track, "The Big Chill", has a number of strengths apparent on first listen. The cohesion they display as a musical unit is impressive for even seasoned professionals. On first listen, the vocals didn't excite me much. I will concede a preference for clean singing, but long ago realized that this sort of singing isn't about the lyrical content. It is deeply theatrical and every bit as much of an instrument as the accompanying guitars, bass, and drums. Nor is it tuneless shrieking. Though the lyrics are indecipherable to my ears, the shrieking invokes terrified, nail-cracking desperation in a vivid, visceral way. This is the result of the music working together with the vocal to form a larger whole. This is an excellent choice for the opener. Clocking in at a little over four minutes, it has strong focus and never overextends itself.

        "Hashbreath" kicks off with a surprisingly bluesy crawl. The vocals are clearer here than the first song and the shrieking retains its sharp emotive edge. Everything musical is high quality, but the band marches through three different sections within the song's first three minutes. Sometimes the variations from section to section aren't drastic, but they are notable shifts in the music and betray their inexperience. In the interests of fairness, you can argue this phenomenon is the sign of an exciting, creatively restless band. All bands should have so many good musical ideas and significant parts of this song prove that the band is well on their way to learning what will work, how to arrange it, and what to leave out. I will say that the song's second half, specifically its surprising feedback drenched interlude, is the track's strongest suit.

        The swaggering, vaguely bluesy riff driving the largest part of "Goosebuds" is one of the song's highlights. Another intangible Hashbreath has is the authoritative confidence to take a strong riff like this and play it with unblinking, fully committed confidence. This is another tightly focused effort that doesn't attempt to clutter the song with too many ideas. The lead guitar work compliments the song well.

        "Black Voodoo Drug Lord", the demo's closing song, is by far the longest of the four and runs nearly ten minutes. I appreciate the wealth of ideas they bring to the song and the determination to create an epic number invoking the power of similar efforts in the genre. However, this is too long. One reviewer's belief, sure, but extended pieces need a number of compelling ideas to keep them afloat. not merely a watch. The band is content to milk, with assorted variations, the same primary riff for entirely too long and, without discernible lyric content, the experience can be a little tedious. It is only when the song approaches its conclusion that the tempo makes a clear adjustment and finishes the song on a rousing note.

        This is an enormously promising demo and shows a band that is passionate about music, brimming over with energy, and certain to grow as musicians. Keep an eye out for Hashbreath in the future and enjoy this now.

    Words: J. Hillenburg

    Hashbreath @ Facebook

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    1) Is the name of the band from the song by The Edgar Broughton Band-"Death of an Electric Citizen"?

    Yes, that’s our namesake. So perfectly raw, and the lyrics are badass! "This is my heaven, you can make it if you try.""You hear the promises blowing on the wind, and the wind is a vehicle for a bad man's sins."
    "and then it's just about The death of an...The life of an...Electirc Citizen"

    2) When did the band form? How did you meet the other members, Laura?

    We played our first show in March of 2013, and formed about 6 months prior to that. Ross and I met in highschool, as did Nick and Nate. We knew each other through the local music scene, and when we decided to form this band it all just seemed to click. There’s good energy and a mutual respect between us that’s hard to come by.

    3) Will the band be playing any live dates?

    We just came off a very long stretch of touring that started back at the end of April. We've been lucky enough to support some really awesome bands along the way - Fu Manchu, Joan Jett, The Budos Band, Wolfmother, and The Cult. We are playing The Uninvited Fest in NYC on Sept 20th, and heading to Europe in April 2015 for Roadburn Festival with a week long tour preceding that. I'm sure more dates will come up, but right now we are focused on writing our second album.

    4) Could you name a few favorite bands?

    We have many, but here's a few favorites that have certainly influenced us - Budgie, UFO, Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Frumpy, The Pretty Things, Chrissy Zebby Tembo.

    5) How is the writing of the new album coming, Laura?

    The second album is coming along great, we've been dying to work on our new material, so we jumped right in as soon as we returned home from tour. We're a little over halfway through writing it, can't wait to be in the studio again.

    Photo by Steven Levas Photography — at The Observatory Orange County.  
    6) Are you interested in occultism?

    Interested, sure, the supernatural certainly intrigues me, but I don't actively practice occultism. We often get coined occult rock, but I don't really know where that comes from, and I don't personally consider us occult rock. I do have a bit of family history in witchcraft - my ancestors ran a safe house to protect the accused during the Salem Witch Trials. I think that's pretty cool, and pretty brave of them to do so.

    7) What are you doing when not in the recording studio, or playing live, Laura?

    Right now my attention is focused on writing our second album, but it's been good to get back to normal life since being home. I missed my pets and my friends. I love anything to do with animals, art, music, old cars, metaphysics, science, and technology. I'm fascinated by Nikola Tesla and Edgar Cayce, I'll read anything on them. My grandfather worked with Nikola Tesla as a young scientist, but he wouldn't (or perhaps couldn't) tell us much before he died, and I think that has fueled my curiosities even further. And Edgar Casey is an endless source of knowledge. I rode horses for 14 years, I wish I could find the time to do that again. When I was a kid I'd shovel stalls all day at this old western barn just to get a free ride at the end of the day. I've never had the money to own one, but someday I will, or atleast I'll go back to shoveling stalls. I've always said, if life as I know it fell apart I'd run off to the west and become a cowgirl. And I'd like to have another vintage car someday. I had a 1969 VW Karmann Ghia when I was a teenager, I spent hours driving that thing  to nowhere, I loved it to death.

    Interview By John Wisniewski

    Electric Citizen @ Facebook

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    After their crushing self-titled debut LP out via Gogmagogical Records back in 2013, California-based atmospheric sludge-doom band COLD BLUE MOUNTAIN are back with a new album called "Old Blood". CLICK HERE.

    The new video for track The Strongest Will is an entertaining and surely "refreshing" way for drawing attention to this new release and to this cool heavy band, whose philosophy seems to be a humorous attitude to life coupled with tough riffs and harsh throats.


    But you can explore the atmospheric side of the band with Retreat, another track from the upcoming album, which is available for full streaming via Cvlt Nation's Soundcloud page: HERE.


    Cold Blue Mountain's new album "Old Blood" is released by the US label label Halo of Flies and will be shipped starting from October 7th, 2014. 
    As for the previous release, the elegant cover art of the new album was crafted by the fine US artist Matt Loomis.

    The different versions of album (limited-edition colored and black vinyl) are currently available for pre-order on the label's website at this link:  HERE.

    Check out the band's official website for the record release show (at home, in California ...) and more live dates.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Cold Blue Mountain @ Facebook
    Cold Blue Mountain @ Official Website



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    The Italian occult psychedelic doom-mongers BLACK CAPRICORN are back with a brand new full-length album, the third one, called Cult of Black Friars. The charming female-dominated, (lucky) male-fronted doom trio from Cagliari (Sardinia island) recently posted their first video with the title track for teasing the doom addicts all over.



    The new album will be out via the German label label Stone Stallion Rex as 12" picture LP limited to 300 copies. The artistic features of the release are in the hands of top artist Vance Kelly (Down, the Sword, Graveyard, the Graviators etc.), whose style is ideal for grasping the retro occult and charming sides of the band.

    Black Capricorn's Cult Of Black Friars LP  will be out on  Saturday 01 November 2014.  Pre-orders are possible HERE.

     Moreover Black Capricorn are about to start a new tour, the 10 days-long Save The Witches Tour, across Central Europe starting from September 25th, 2014.

    These are the approximate areas which will be reached by the trio who are still busy in organizing some dates.
    25/09 Munich/Leipzig/Innsbruck area
    30/09 Freiburg/Basel/Karlsruhe area
    01/10 Karlsruhe/Koln/Darmstadt/Mannheim area
    03/10 the Netherlands/Belgium/West Germany
    04/10 Bielefeld/Munster/Dortmund/Dusseldorf area

    Please, contact the band at theblackcapricorn666@hotmail.com for helping in booking some missing dates.
    Keep the the band's FB page checked for further updates.

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Black Capricorn @ Facebook HERE.




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    Even if South America is rather far from what is believed to be or felt as the main "market" for heavy or underground music, i.e. Europe and North America, many heavy bands from those far-off countries are able to grasp attention worldwide and conquer our passion solidly, either with the wildest rage of their riffs, or with their exotic combinations of sounds or atmospheres. Matus, previosuly known as Don Juan Matus, is from Lima, Peru, and is one of those bands which rely on creativity, elegance as well as on heavy riffage while crafting their unique and elegant blend of styles.

    Since their debut album in 2007, Don Juan Matus have become one of the most interesting and fascinating acts of the stoner/doom realm, even if their music bears a marked experimental, progressive imprint while spanning over a wide variety of genres like psychedelia and heavy rock from the 60-70s, Sabbathian doom, folk, ambient, blues, desert, space prog rock, etc.  The very name of the band, Don Juan Matus, suggests a specific focus on various shades of psychedelia. Juan Matus is a major spiritual character in the books by Carlos Castaneda and is described as an Indios "magician" or shaman expert in trance-inducing herbs and plants from the desert.

    Being a band from South America and relying upon some local environmental and cultural features, there are various "hybrid" sides in the music of Matus which make it different, "exotic", and greatly attractive.

    No wonder that all the band's albums, three full-lengths, two splits (with the German doom act Angel of Damnation and with the Peruvian heavy metal band Oxido) and a substantial compilation, were highly acclaimed and successfully released by international labels. Above I mentioned the band dropped the Don Juan Matus name and shortened it into Matus. This happened very recently. That seems like a sort of rebirth after a period of uncertainties mostly related to the fact that the band's members now live in different countries and even continents (Peru and Australia). There were also a few rearrangements in the line-up recently (mid July 2014) when drummer Alfonso Vargas was forced to leave due to work issues. Friend Walo Andreo Carrillo took over and hence joined the core of the band involving founder Richard Nossar (guitars), Alex Rojas (vocals), Veronik (vocals, flute, theremin, guitar) and, not least, Manuel Garfias (guitars, bass). This recent reworking in the line-up took place during the recording of Matus' forthcoming album.

    So ... yes, new tunes are about to come from the Matus folks!

    However there is something else moving and regarding Matus' last release, Espejismos.  Espejismos (= mirages, optical illusions) is the name of the substantial collection of alternate versions and unreleased tracks that was released as a limited edition pro-tape by the US label Caligari Records during August 2013 and rapidly sold out.

    Well, this fine collection will be soon re-issued as CD via the Japanese label Golden Procession Records, the same label that had released Don Juan Matus' 2008 split with  Angel Damnation and the CD version of the 2010 masterpiece Más Allá Del Sol Poniente (see the review here). As reported in various interviews (including this one on Doommantia) the Espejismos collection includes different (re-recorded, reworked, extended ...) versions of selected tracks from the three previous full-length albums (S/T, Visiones Paganas and Más Allá Del Sol Poniente) as well as new, unreleased tracks.

    The new, 2014 edition of Espejismos by Golden Procession Records will not be a simple re-issue, though, but will be expanded for including extra stuff which will make this release even more massive (over 60 minutes) than the original one.  The Espejismos compilation may be regarded as a sort of patchwork of tracks, where the "old" tracks are effectively sewn together by the new tracks acting as a thread. Fans will recognise single tracks from the old albums. Nevertheless the different approach or the re-arrangement of the old tracks coupled with the impression induced by the new combination of songs as a whole, somehow act as a fascinating experience. The result sounds like a new, resuming album sweeping through the history of the band driven by inspiration and not by time constraints.

    Which fits in the Matus character, I guess ... 



    Moreover this collection is a great way for approaching (Don Juan) Matus for those who happened to miss this valuable band before. The new tracks in the tape are, in sequence, “Cantico a los Dioses Antiguos", “Vortice Espiral II”, “Espejismos II”, “Auroral” and “Carne Humana para las Masas”.  The short “Cantico a los Dioses Antiguos" opens the collection and immediately imparts an ancestral and definitely Andean atmosphere lead by ritual chanting/drumming and directly inspired by shamanism. But what follows, Sol Poniente, Kadath, Ecoplasma II, Mundo Alterno, Adios Afallenau, Vortice Espiral II and Matorral, is a kaleidoscope of styles where, however, the band seems to highlight their retro doom component. Sol Poniente is addictive with its plodding riffs with a retro flavour and the aggressive take of Alex' vocals which often sound so much like Chris Cornell. Doom turns to epic and mournful in Kadath, where the intensity of Alex' chanting interacts with the sinister sonic doodles of Veronik's theremin. The howls of the theremin also dominate Ectoplasma II (Breve Regreso), the brief dynamic interlude  before the other amazing psychedelic doom slab of Mundo Alterno. 

    The relaxed swinging mood in the acoustic Adios Afallenau, driven by guitar and piano, is intimate and refreshing. This track was originally closing the side A of the tape version and was probably contributing to the separation between the two halves of the tracks, because the second part of the compilation is a bit different, comparably less heavy doomy and more markedly psychedelic and ambient. Moreover the second half of the collection hosts all the other new, previously unreleased tracks. Vortice Espiral II is a spectacular hommage to both occult rock with a garage tinge directly from the roaring late 60s-early 70s and hosts a drumming-cymbal solo in its second half. And while the leading riffs dies out, the band goes back to the acoustic mood with Matorral, a delicate, proggy dialogue between acoustic guitars and flute reminding me of some acoustic interludes in the very early Genesis. The airy poetry of this music is kept anchored to earth by means of very natural noise, like crickets chirping, dogs barking etc. The noise goes on with the shaking cymbals in the short track Espejismos II which acts both as a reprise of the drumming virtuosity heard before (maybe?) and as a charming bridge towards the other new track Auroral. Auroral is a calm and delicately melancholic semi-acoustic song which easily merges with the piano-driven atmospheric onset of Verde Nocturno/Las Horas Azules (already in Más Allá Del Sol Poniente). From the initial simple and slow refrain the proggy Verde Nocturno/Las Horas Azules ballad gradually unfolds thesophisticated richness of Matus' own electric space prog rock mixed with theremin vibrations and the flute evocative of thin air over the Andean heights. 
       
    The new track Carne Humana Para las Masas is an unsettling return to crude reality by means of its menacing martial take. The use of theremin together with the drums for the leading marching melody sounds particularly sinister to me.

    Hands clapping at the end of this track were closing the tape.  But in the upcoming re-issue of Espejismos by Golden Procession Records the band will keep your bong blazing for additional +20 minutes with a new version of the colossal heavy-psych doom suite Círculo De Sueños (originally opening Don Juan Matus’ 2007 self-titled debut album) as bonus addition.

    So Don Juan Matus are Matus now.  My feeling is that such evolution is best celebrated by the making of a project like Espejismos. And it is great to see the efforts of another underground label willing to share this project by Matus with more and more fans who missed the far too limited edition of the tape version. By the way, the tape version can be streamed in full on the bandcamp page of Caligari Records: HERE.

    Keep Matus' new webpages checked for what is about to come, soon ...

    Words: Marilena Moroni

    Matus Links
    Facebook
    Bandcamp

    Don Juan Matus (old pages, still active)
    Official Website
    Facebook

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    "It's better to reign in Hell than to serve God's will" - I couldn't agree more with the opening line to Crobot's latest release, La Mano de Lucifer, off their upcoming major label debut with Nuclear Blast Records. Crobot call what they do "dirty groove rock" and my foot tappin and head bobbin along can't disagree.

    The retro 70s hard rock movement is a bit of a flooded market as of late it seems but when it's done as well as Crobot does it you won't hear me complaining. Crobot have dubbed their fans Beardos and the Beardos should rejoice in this latest release from the band. Set the dial to groove and watch the audio visualizer video for La Mano de Lucifer below.





    Crobot's Something Supernatural comes out Oct 27th via Nuclear Blast Records, preorder  (HERE) You can stay up to date on all of the latest Crobot news via their Facebook page (HERE,) and Twitter (HERE.)


    Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)


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  • 09/24/14--07:40: KRÖWNN - MAGMAFRÖST ...
  • Magmafröst – such an amazing, smart title … full of contrasts and of orthodox and unorthodox hints: boiling hot magma vomited from a fissure in the earth versus frozen immobility; the reference to northern mythological legends (Byfröst, the bridge betwenn the land of mortals and the land of gods) and that ö always, invariably and instinctly reminding metalheads of legends of another kind, Motörhead! 

    Of course there’s not much proper Motörhead here, but this is just to warn you that Magmafröst, the new, full-length album by fantasy-loving Italian trio Kröwnn, is primarily and overwhelmingly a yummy slab of metal …The substantial Hyborian Age demo (HERE) was the first, super-tight effort of these doomsters crawling out of the heavy music scene in charming Venice, Italy, back in early 2013.

    The new album, Magmafröst, was completed in mid  June 2014 and, basically still steaming hot, was immediately injected into the net and released in digital form via Bandcamp.  In these late summer-early autumn weeks the band is setting stages to fire while touring around, and finishing the crafting of the beloved solid versions of the new album (CD, tape and vinyl) which will be out soon soon. So time has more than come for writing about the Kröwnn bunch …

    Hyborian Age was deeply rooted into old school heavy doom in the vein of Cathedral-Trouble with a marked penchant towards epic doom metal à-la-Candlemass as well as towards gothic tinges at least vocal-wise (many recognized a remarkable affinity of frontman Michele’s chanting style with both  Messiah Marcolin and Pete Steele). Fantasy (by Tolkien, Howard, Martin, etc.) is the passion and the genre preferred by frontman Michele for writing the lyrics of Kröwnn’s music. So it comes as natural for me to imagine Hyborian Age like a baby beast of heavy doom right out of its huge egg and uttering its hungry calls in lo-fi.  But now the doom beast has grown up, huge and in full power. Magmafröst includes eight tracks, that means six full-bodied songs and two short instrumental tracks for intro and outro, all of them masterfully produced. The big tracks may reach over 8 minutes length, but, believe me, time will fly even too quicker …

    Bennu, the short instrumental intro, is a perfect foreboding. But the obscure rarefaction of this 1 minute-and-a-half intro won’t reveal anything of the upcoming riff thunderstorm right at the onset of Skeksis Dance and that will mark the next +45 minutes of the album.

    One says Doom and may think about something slow, heavy and bleak. But most of the times at Kröwnn’s home Doom means tsunami of riffs as high as half mountain and by which you’ll be happy to be continuously overwhelmed. Kröwnn’s Doom is the thick, Iommi-centric groove-drenched doom which is also dripping sweat for the sultry air of Maryland. Doom lead by a mammoth pace but naturally able to gain speed in powerfully rolling waves of heavy metal, a boiling hot and “metal-macho” doom to the utmost, no matter if two thirds of the Kröwnn band are women, Elena on drums e Silvia Selvaggia (that means “wild”!) on bass. Tough women …Skeksis Dance is lead by a rather simple basic melody, however it is so easy to be caught by it as if being swallowed into a pitch-dense space-time vortex. This sonic vortex will invariably draw me and you all in a parallel world for experiencing a weird adventure as sinister as the strained and dissonant narrating voice (frontman Michele) and as the malignant whispers materializing towards the end of this first ballad.

     In Wyvernking Kröwnn’s doom is chuggying away like a huge locomotive fueled by Hell’s fire. Here more than elsewhere in the album, probably, riffs are the main focus of the whole thing. Torn vocals and drums are somehow subdued, although essential for the overall atmosphere. Demons took over and possessed Michele and “wild” Silvia and their overly distorted guitar and bass chords. And in a crazy crescendo these demons strain and extend and morph the base doom melody into a mindwarping reverbered Hawkwind-esque cosmic cacophony …Wölfhunt will bring us back down to solid earth riff- and an chant-wise. The dynamic pace of this doom-stoner ballad is accompanying Michele’s narrating voice telling about the story leading the Magmafröst concept album. “I am a warrior”, Michele says, and soon after doom turns into a frenetic, epic, pure NWOHM charge. The combination of plodding, groove-laden filthy-ish, bluesy heavy doom-stoner half Church of Misery half Sourvein, and NWOHM embodied in Wölfhunt and, subsequently, in Sleipnir, are probably the best trait-d’union, the bridge with the Hyborian Age demo.

    To Minas Morgul is a magnificent flow of molten steel which is structured somehow similarly to Wyvernking because it starts in a way and it evolves in something else. But the way the metamorphosis will take place is different, of course. The initial leading, definitely bass-driven melody is solid and seducing at the same time because of that swinging between tight riff badassery and the morbid, nocturnal atmosphere evoked by the vibrating bass chord and the luring bewitching whispers. If Wyvernking was evolving into acid space metal madness, in To Minas Morgul the trio further downtune their guitars, tighten their skins, and unleash a long, breathlessly rumbling riff charge calling for war. It’s Tolkien speaking …

    Forge Of Crom is the last doom ballad before Cernunnos, the long ambient instrumental outro closing the album. The forge is effectively evoked by some noise of hammers beating on metal. You call for metal, you’ll have it! The riffage starts as slow paced and no less than majestic, Sleep-like. But the Kröwnn trio adores action and so you have to expect the continuous merging between dark, ultra-slow heaviness and the dynamic aggression of the faster parts.  When the riffs stop, sharply, it will be like waking up from a hypnotizing experiment, and the peaceful pastoral melody in the instrumental outro will not reveal what you have been through before …

    Magmafröst reveals great skills and a magic chemistry between the musicians, which have however been forged just by simple “elbow grease”: endless sessions of rehearsing and writing music together as well as a long experience in playing live (in other bands). The trio is also involved in the mastering and in the other artistic sides of their releases, which are auto-produced. As a matter of fact the label releasing CD, Tape and vinyl, Bizzarian Records, is the band’s own label. A special mention goes to the exquisite cover arts for Kröwnn’s albums which is resulting from a collaboration with artist Raoul of View From The Coffin (Lento, The Secret, Bastard Sapling, Grime, Fuoco Fatuo, etc.).

    Magmafröst and Kröwnn - An album to have and to headbang to, a band to experience live …

    Words. Marilena Moroni

    Kröwnn @ Bandcamp
    Kröwnn @ Facebook





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  • 09/24/14--07:43: Gateway - "Aeternae" ...
  • Purity of vision is unmistakable. You can hear it on albums where the artist has dug in their heels and pushed back against any sort of compromise. Sometimes it manifests itself as music revisiting genres long in commercial eclipse. Other times it takes the form of closing their eyes to convention - for instance, the artist who fuses disparate genres into a new whole or the rock band with no guitar solos. Stylistic approaches are another form. Gateway's self-titled three song EP, a one-man project guided by Belgian Robin Van Oyen, is uncompromising in its efforts to drain every flicker of light from the room and overwhelm you.

    This release plays like an unified work with different "movements". The brief feedback laden intro to the opener, "Kha'laam", explodes into a black funeral march. The guitars and drumming alike create an atmosphere of clanging dread. Extreme music like this challenges your preconceived, and likely long held, notions of the art form's function. Mainstream voices have often told us, from our earliest days, that music works best on a single level Can you hum it? Can you dance to it? "Kha'laam" and music like it works under a different paradigm. It is compellingly theatrical and entertaining on that level. However, it also pulls an aural blackness over the listener and forces them to confront it.

    As if cycling through a larger musical structure, "Mangled Icons" stomps into the listener's consciousness immediately with charging guitars cutting through a thin haze of feedback. The effect seems to connect the song to its predecessor. The lyrical content is indecipherable to my ear, but the vocal timber and the inhuman quality in its performance is a key component of this song. The dark, glowering power and style present in the first track is here as well.

    Gateway's final offering, "Vocatvs", plays like a summation of themes. The aural signatures heard in earlier songs receive an extended treatment and surprises abound. Keyboards open "Vocatvs" and a slight classical influence seems laced through their arrangement. It is not just a tribute to Van Oyen's musical ideas, but the clear production as well, that this finale sound monolithic. The song and release end with the music slowly stopping and leaving ambient sound lingering in the air.

    It is rare to hear debuts so singular, so devoid of the influence plundering young artists often mistake for originality. Gateway is intent on capturing your attention and never letting it go.



    Words: J.Hillenburg

    Bandcamp
    Facebook

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    Los Angeles, California's GOATSNAKE is back in a big way. Having spent the Summer at Rock Falcon Studios in Franklin, Tennessee, the band is gearing up to release their first new full-length album since 2000's Flower Of Disease.

    The new GOATSNAKE  album, due for a release on Southern Lord next year, will feature the familiar faces of Greg Rogers (The Obsessed, Sonic Medusa), providing drums, Greg Anderson of Sunn O))) taking care of the riffs, Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool, Earthlings?) on vocals, and new bassist Scott Renner (Sonic Medusa, Sourvein). Joining them again on production duties is Nick Raskulinecz, who, since being introduced to Dave Grohl during the recording sessions of Flower Of Disease, has gone on to work with seminal artists such as Rush, Alice in Chains, Deftones and Ghost, and has won Grammys with the Foo Fighters. United again, he and the band are sure to serve a menacing cut of the time-honored ultra-heavy rock they are infamous for.



    GOATSNAKE came to life in 1996, and released two EPs, two LPs, two 7" records and a split between 1998 and 2000. In 2010 they returned as a live band, playing a handful of well-received shows in the US and Europe in the years since.

    More details of the upcoming album will be announced soon. Fans will be able to catch GOATSNAKE live at several confirmed live events, including the upcoming Southern Lord showcase in LA on October 15th with Excel, Xibalba, Obliterations, Baptists and Torch Runner, followed by a Friday night headlining set at Southwest Terror Fest III: The Western Front, on October 17th, joined by Godhunter and labelmates Eagle Twin and Pelican. GOATSNAKE has also confirmed new 2015 live actions including a spot at Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, performing Sunday, May 24th with Amorphis, Anaal Nathrakh, Demilich, Inverloch, Neurosis, Primordial, Prosanctus Inferi, Skepticism, Tombs and Winter, as well as taking part in Temples Festival in Bristol, UK taking place may 29th through the 31st, alongside acts including Sunn O))), Today Is The Day and Martyrdöd.

    GOATSNAKE Live Actions:
    10/15/2014 Los Lobos - Los Angeles, CA @ Southern Lord Showcase w/ Excel, Xibalba, Obliterations, Baptists, Torch Runner
    10/17/2014 The Rialto Theatre - Tucson, AZ @ Southwest Terror Fest w/ Godhunter, Eagle Twin, Pelican
    5/24/2014 Maryland Deathfest - Baltimore, MD w/ Amorphis, Anaal Nathrakh, Inverloch, Neurosis, Primordial, Winter, more
    5/29-31/2015 Temples Festival - Bristol, UK w/ Sunn O))), Today Is The Day and Martyrdöd

    For coverage of GOATSNAKE contact dave@earsplitcompound.com in North America and lauren@rarelyunable.com internationally.

    Southern Lord.Com
    Southern Lord Bandcamp
    Southern Lord Facebook

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    Powerhouse southwest doom outfit Las Cruces has been a force to reckon with in the genre for over twenty years. Albums like Ringmaster and the band's most recent release, Dusk, provide ample evidence of the band's talent and power. The guiding hand behind this outstanding band's creative direction has been rhythm guitarist and songwriter George Trevino and rarely will you encounter a musician as self-effacing and forthright.


    Doommantia:
    I'd like to start with a little recent history. The band signed with Ripple Music this year and I am wondering what your plans are going forward from here?

    George Trevino:
    Well, finishing our next album is first. We are two tracks short of what we need for a full length album and then, after that, promote the heck out of it once we've got the product.

    DM:
    Can you take the unfamiliar through who's currently in the lineup?

    GT:
    Yeah, sure. There's myself, George Trevino, on guitar, Mando Tovar on lead guitar, Jimmy Bell on bass, and then our drummer/singer Paul Deleon.

    DM:
    A lot of musicians have different onstage demeanors. I was wondering what 60-90 minutes onstage is like for you with these guys?

    GT:
    That's a great question. I don't know if I could really tell you because I'm not paying too much attention to the other guys. I'm just trying to make sure I don't mess up on the notes and getting into the song. But, you know, as far as musically, I hear everything that's going on onstage. It's great. I don't think I'd want to share a stage with another group of guys.

    DM:
    Many musicians I've talked to have said they play and write songs because they really don't have a choice. Would you say that applies to you as well?

    GT:
    No, actually. While music is a huge, huge factor in my life, it's not my end-all, be-all. I don't see myself not doing music, but if I couldn't do it anymore, if I had to stop for any reason, I'd be alright. I know some people who couldn't be, but I'd be alright.

    DM:
    You've been a professional working musician for a long time now. Everyone's doom and gloom, rightly so, that the record industry is dying business, but from your vantage point, is there anything easier or better about the business than when you first started?

    GT:
    The marketing is easier with all the social media sites online and resources that bands or musicians have access to nowadays as opposed to when I started Las Cruces twenty years ago it was barely email, it was in its infancy, and there was tape-trading also. Burning your cd was almost non-existent, you had to go to someone to make copies of your demo. I think the technology is awesome and helping musicians. Of course, it killed the industry, as far as labels. I'm a big fan of independent labels, you know. Majors are no longer a factor in getting a band started like back in my day when it was, let's get this out to Metal Blade, or let's get this out to Roadrunner Record, one of those big major underground labels. Not anymore though. Now it's let's see how many hits I can get off Reverbnation, where I stand in the charts this week, what part of the country is listening in, all these different areas. As I mentioned before, the technology has really stepped it up a bit, as far as the industry, it's non-existent in my case, other than if you were in the mainstream and an "artist", not a musician per se, but an artist. That's the only time you hear about a major label doing anything, you know?



    DM:
    I know a lot of people, including myself, who believe Ringmaster is a classic and still listen to it today. I was wondering what some of your memories are from writing and recording that album?

    GT:
    Thanks for the kind words, man. Ringmaster is definitely my favorite, at this point. The best memories I have aren't so much from writing it as recording it. A lot of those songs were written before I even created the band, they were just songs that I had never really played in bands I was in until forming Las Cruces. Some of them ended up on the first one so then, we thought, let's get them on the second one. I think being in the studio was the most memorable time because we were in there for a whole week from morning until almost late at night. The funny thing is we recorded in kind of a secluded area in Dallas where we didn't really want to move the van around, so we had to walk wherever we wanted to eat, like a restaurant, but there were no restaurants' around there because it was a neighborhood. All we had was a bakery next door so, for a whole week, all we ate was bread. [laughs] All we had was bread and Coke because we didn't want to drive because it was so secluded and we didn't want to take time away from the studio, so one day we'd get sweet bread, the next day something different. After the recording, I didn't want to see bread for a year! [laughs]

    DM:
    The band's last full length album, Dusk, came out in 2010. How's that stand up for you now?

    GT:
    It took a long time to get our third album out. A lot of changes from the previous album, in terms of new members and budget. We were on a really tight budget. It's a great album, but I think where it lacked is having a producer with us. With Ringmaster, of course, we had John Perez of Solitude Aeturnus helping us out. This time around, it was just us, we didn't have a producer and just self-produced it. I think that's where it lacked, but other than that, it's a great album, in my opinion.

    DM:
    How do you think your approach to guitar playing has evolved over the years?

    GT:
    When I first started, I wanted to go all digital with the pedal boards and effects, but I learned, basically the hard way, it's best to go au natural. I've learned to find my tone, stick with it, and modify it if I have to and not rely on a lot of tools. If I have to use anything, it's a wah, other than the tuner, of course. I still have the pedal boards, which I don't even use for live performance. You know, I was never a studied musician. I didn't go to school, I never took a guitar lesson, I just picked up the guitar when I was eleven and started learning by ear. I've been growing and learning about theory and all the other areas of study for the guitar that I really never had a clue existed. I try to incorporate that into some of the songs, different scales, different tunings, things like that.

    DM:
    Who's the guy that when you hear him playing guitar, you think, wow, if I could play like him, I'd be in heaven?

    GT:
    I'd have to say Tony Iommi is my biggest influence, as far as guitar playing, but I'd also have to say Eddie Van Halen. It's kind of a cliché for guitar players to say, but it's not for his style as much as his expertise. I've heard some of his solo tracks from the first Van Halen album, you know where they separate the tracks, and I found out that it was just one take stuff. One take. The guy's a genius.

    DM:
    Can you say that your life as a professional musician has shaped who you are as a man?

    GT:
    Absolutely. One, I've learned so much about the business being in the business, things you'll never, ever learn from a book or a class. I took classes for sound engineering, but there's some things you just learn doing them, especially in the live portion of the business where you perform. On the business end, you've got to deal with a lot of folks because, believe me, there are a lot of great promoters, but there's some really bad ones and you've got to learn to take the punches, so to speak, because they're going to happen. It's made me take those lessons and put them into life. I've dealt with some tragedies in my life, some losses, and it's helped me learn how to get through because I've been able to deal with certain emotions. Some people tend to lose their cool at times, but I've found that zen, you know, you're okay and things sometimes happen. As far as professionally, I've been doing this band for twenty years, this year is its anniversary. I want to be able to continue with the band, of course, but I also want to do more behind the scenes stuff now. I'm getting into writing songs for movies, tv shows, commercials, things like that, not jingles, but background music. Especially horror movies, of course. And I'm slowly getting into that business, making contacts here and there with filmmakers and such. I've taken all these lessons I've learned and I'm putting them towards a sort of different path musically. I did say that if I didn't have music, I'd be okay, but that doesn't mean I don't want music to be part of my life. It's very important. So I'd just like to be able to continue in any aspect, whether it be writing it, performing it, helping produce it, or finding people to help do shows here in Texas, stuff like that.

    DM:
    My last question is a bit more light-hearted. When you've got some downtime, what music are you listening to these days?

    GT:
    I got really big into Windhand, I don't know why. A friend of mine turned me onto them and I just can't get enough of them. I've been listening to their stuff and it's really, really cool, you know? Some of our label mates, like Mothership, I've been getting into their stuff too. There's some Texas bands that I've gotten to see live. They had a fest a month ago in Houston, so I went to check out some bands from Houston, Austin, and so forth. There were quite a few. I can't remember their names off the top of my head. They were very, very cool and I look forward to seeing them again soon.

    DM:
    Thanks again, George for taking the time to talk with me today.

    GT:
    It's my pleasure, man. Thank you.

    Interview By J. Hillenburg

    Las Cruces @ Facebook


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    Instrumental Sludgemetal monster TANK86 just finished up their new record OBEY. To raise funds for the vinyl, CD and shirts they started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.com. Though they are already halfway towards their goal, the band could really use some help to reach the total sum.

    On Kickstarter  you can back the project by pre-ordering the new record, or by using one of the other ‘pledges’. And while you’re there, get your face melted by listening to a brand new TANK86 track!

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    Heavy metal legends BLACK SABBATH will begin work on a new studio album in 2015, to be followed by one final tour.

    BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi, who has battled cancer since 2012, recently hinted that the group's July 4 gig at London's Hyde Park could have been the band's last because the touring can be tough on him. But frontman Ozzy Osbourne now says that the group will record another CD next year.

    "The whole SABBATH experience this time around was great,"Ozzy tells Metal Hammer magazine. "We all made friends, we didn't fuck around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we're going to do one more album, and a final tour.

    "Once the dust settled after the last tour, we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to [wife/manager] Sharon, 'What's going on? Because if there's no more SABBATH, I want to get on with my own thing again,' and she came back and said, 'Let me look into it.' Three weeks later, I asked her about it again, and she said, 'Oh, I still have to talk to so and so...' and I said 'Sharon, I ain't fucking 21 anymore. If we're going to do it, I want to do it before I'm 70!' Time isn't on our side! So she made the call and came back and said, 'Yeah, the record company wants another album.' I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again."
    No new material has yet been written for what will be SABBATH's fourteenth studio album, but Osbourne says that sessions will begin early next year.

    "It'll be sooner rather than later," the singer says. "Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony's health, he's obviously got his cancer treatment, but we'll get onto it next year. I don't know if we'll be writing in England or L.A., but I'll fly to the fucking moon for it if I have to!"
    "13", the first SABBATH album since 1978 to feature Ozzy, Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, was No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and nearly a dozen other countries.

    Butler recently said that that the threesome already have a head start on a new record, explaining, "We've still got four tracks left over from ['13']. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."

    Original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward was on board for the reunion when it was first announced in November 2011, but backed out soon after due to contractual issues.
    SABBATH has used Ozzy's regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos since then for live work. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Brad Wilk laid down the drum tracks on "13", which came out in June 2013.

    Iommi revealed in January of 2012 that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, which is described by the Mayo Clinic as "a cancer of the lymphatic system, the body's disease-fighting network." He had to go back to England every six weeks for treatment, forcing him and SABBATH to work around both the treatments and the recovery time needed afterward.

    Source: Blabbermouth

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    Ceremonial death/doom ensemble, ATRIARCH, today unveils the slow brooding audio treachery of "Allfather."

    The towering new hymn comes by way of the band's third full-length and first under the Relapse Record banner, An Unending Pathway. Recorded at Type Foundry in Portland, Oregon, produced by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Eyehategod, Melvins et al) and the band, engine-eared and mixed by Anderson at Everything Hz, also in Portland, and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Beastmilk, Nails) at Audiosiege, on An Unending Pathway, ATRIARCH delivers catharsis through sonic ritual, churning an otherworldly fusion of death rock, doom, black metal, post punk and psychedelic drone/noise, their haunting atmospheres and avalanches of chest-heaving sludge at once compelling and overwhelming. Imagine Bauhaus as interpreted by Eyehategod, or Sisters of Mercy filtered through Neurosis, and only then can you begin to grasp the darkness that is ATRIARCH.

    Relays Cvlt Nation of the offering: "An Unending Pathway, is an arresting and welcome combination of doom metal, death rock, black metal, and Mid Eastern-influenced darkwave sounds.... this LP is a well-produced and masterful synthesis of its differing components. It sounds confident and assured, a definite step forward in ATRIARCH's sonic progression... it's ATRIARCH's best and most cohesive-sounding LP to date... singer Lenny Smith's deadpan, chanting-like vocals rise to the fore, echoing as if sung from the depths of a musty Egyptian tomb. Tribal-type drumming underscores the building intensity, and halfway through the track the band switches gears and Smith begins to sound like Rozz Williams, with the band picking up speed and fury around him."

    Feel the cold audio decay of "Allfather" now playing at Cvlt Nation at THIS LOCATION.

    And if you missed it, check out the haunting resonance of "Collapse" via Soundcloud at THIS LOCATION or YouTube HERE.

    In related ATRIARCH news, the band will bring their ceremonials to the stage this November on a West Coast run of live dates. Scheduled to kick off November 7th in Seattle, the band will traumatize thirteen cities through November 21st. See confirmed shows below.

    ATRIARCH West Coast Tour 2014:
    11/07/2014 Chop Suey - Seattle, WA
    11/08/2014 Obsidian - Olympia, WA
    11/10/2014 Slabtown Records - Portland, OR Release Show w/ Usnea, Muscle, Marrow
    11/12/2014 TBA - Eugene, OR
    11/13/2014 Cafe Colonial - Sacramento, CA
    11/14/2014 First Church of the Buzzard - Oakland, CA
    11/15/2014 Black Castle - Los Angeles, CA
    11/16/2014 Tower - San Diego, CA
    11/17/2014 Sweet Springs - Santa Barbara, CA
    11/18/2014 The Knockout - San Francisco, CA
    11/19/2014 Catalyst Atrium - Santa Cruz, CA
    11/20/2014 TBA - Medford, OR
    11/21/2014 Wisp House - Salem, OR


    An Unending Pathway will be released via Relapse Records on October 28th, 2014. Preorder your copy on CD HERE, via iTunes (which includes an instant download of "Collapse") HERE or via BandCamp HERE.

    "...shambling, ritualistic drone that gets its talons into you via crusty howls, a colossal dynamic, and the overall feel of continuing ritual" - Pitchfork

    "...doom-soaked, gothic death rock...an act that have our undivided attention." - Exclaim


    For all ATRIARCH coverage in North America contact liz@earsplitcompound.com, in the UK contact pip@relapse.com, in the rest of Europe contact frank@pettingzoo.nl, elsewhere contact bob@relapse.com.
     
    Atriarch Official
    Relapse.Com

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    Yesterday German blues rockers dropped their latest album Sonic Child via Napalm Records. While I have not heard it in its entirety yet I plan to as soon as possible. Zodiac’s sound is thoroughly rooted in the blues though they mix in elements of hard rock giving them somewhat of a stoner rock feel as well as, at times, a touch of *gulp* country.

    No worries though as it all seems very good without ever being too much of one thing or another. The band is to be commended for the diversity in their songs drifting from ballad to rocker to somewhere in between fluidly like in the first early release, A Penny and a Dead Horse. Zodiac make some kick back and relax on a weekend afternoon jams that should bring a smile to your face and tap to your toes.

    Recently they released another video for the title track and this morning I found a new lyric video for the ballad, Sad Song, in my feed so enjoy then order Sonic Child if you haven’t already down below.



    Sonic Child released yesterday (Sept 30th) and can be ordered via Napalm Records (HERE). Zodiac is currently on tour in Europe, get dates (HERE)




    For more info on Zodiac:
    Official Website: HERE
    Facebook: HERE
    Bandcamp: HERE

    Words: Feind Gottes (editor, Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

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    We, sometimes unfortunately, live in a time where music is easily available to anyone with internet access and it’s easy for bands to put music out for people to hear. Due to that fact there is a large amount of absolute garbage out there to wade through to find the bands that are truly loaded with talent yet have difficulty getting recognized.

    One such band that I’ve been following for several years now that seems to get no love whatsoever but is incredibly awesome is Spain’s (yes, Spain!) doom laden masters Horn of the Rhino. Perhaps it’s because Spain isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of metal but to me that should make Horn of the Rhino stand out all that much more but yet I rarely hear them getting mentioned. It’s a complete shame because if you love doom or just metal in general you should know about Horn of the Rhino. Hopefully I can win a few of you over today.

    Due to Horn of the Rhino getting little to no press it seems I tend to miss when they release new music. This was the case with their latest album, Summoning Deliverance, which I only found today because I went looking to see if they had any new music out. To my joy and surprise I found a new album waiting for me that was released at the end of August (August 26th to be precise) via Doomentia Records (link to label site: HERE). I couldn’t hit play fast enough. I discovered Horn of the Rhino a few years ago by mere chance on one of my many forays into my never ending quest for new music.

    I forget what band’s YouTube clip I had clicked on but a suggestion for a HotR song popped up so I hit that, I was hooked immediately and I’ve been a fan ever since. That song was Speaking In Tongues off 2010’s Weight of Coronation, which is still my favorite HotR album btw. So I’ve followed the band ever since. As with any band some of their songs hit me, some miss but man when HotR hit they hit hard! The list of tunes from them I listen to on a near daily basis is long indeed. You can catch up on their back catalog via their bandcamp page here (link: HERE) including their last album as Rhino before changing their name to Horn of the Rhino.

    Horn of the Rhino is driven by mastermind, guitarist/vocalist Javier Galvez along with Sergio “Rambo” Robles on bass and Julen Gil behind the drum kit. Their newest album is Summoning Deliverance and finds HotR being a little more sludgey than on some previous releases but they have always incorporated many styles into their sound even the inclusion of a saxophone in the past. To call Horn of the Rhino just a doom metal band doesn’t do justice to all they include in their sound from sludge to death to black metal and more. Having listened to Summoning Deliverance in its entirety a few times now I would say it may be their heaviest offering to date. Early on, especially on 2010’s Weight of Coronation, the band stuck pretty much to doom which they do fantastically well when they go pure doom but with each album they have incorporated more and more into their sound so now great doom isn’t all the band has to offer. Summoning Deliverance, I would say, is their most diverse offering to date incorporating even more elements into their unique doomy stew.

    Summoning Deliverance starts off with the static fuzzed out intro, Awaiting The Scourge, that leads straight into the opening track, Exvenhstench. While this song like most HotR songs uses doom as a base it adds in some elements of black metal which to my ears, though I could certainly be mistaken, is the first time HotR have done so other than an odd random flash here or there somewhere in the past. Sometimes mixing styles can backfire but as HotR has so many times the mix works well and Exvenhstench just really rocks your balls off right from the get go letting you know Summoning’ is going to be one fun filled doom laden ride.

    Onward Through Domination is another example of HotR laying down some absolute doom gold. When Galvez & crew make a pure doom song it never fails to kick your ass hard. For a doom track it’s not slow and plodding but more mid-tempo that had my head bobbing up and down nicely. It should be said that Galvez’s voice is just amazing as he can go from clean to growl and everything in between with the ease of spreading butter across a slice of warm toast. Then there are the riffs… just wow! The bass line of ‘Domination by “Rambo” is what hooked me on this one. It’s one fantastic song but not even my favorite on the album which should tell you how good this album is right there.

    Onward Through Domination fades out and High Priest comes in to kick your ass. This is one fuzzy, fast sludge track that would fit perfectly on any Crowbar album or another of my favorite current sludge bands, Black Tusk. High Priest just rocks beating you over the head with its riff and Galvez’s screeched vocals barking in your ear forcing your head to bang even harder. Then we seemingly go back to heavy doom territory on Their Tombs which begins with what sounds like someone banging on the inside of a tomb wanting out. Though the song begins in slow methodical doom fashion it soon bursts out quickening the pace as if a jackhammer is being taken to your skull spilling the gooey insides onto the sidewalk. The song just won’t stop pummeling you setting the jackhammer to the side only to pick up a sledge hammer giving you one slow whack at a time until they pick up the jackhammer once more to go to town on you. By the end you’re just a splatter on the sidewalk no longer recognizable as ever being human. Then HotR attempt to put you back together.



    Track Six, Deliverance Prayer, is absolutely my favorite off the album. After beating you to an unrecognizable pool of blood and gore Galvez’s oft times incredible soothing voice comes in to gently pick up the pieces and start stitching you back together. The track is just beautiful as if it may actually be able to deliver you up to the heavens as an offering to the gods. That is until the album continues pleasantly dragging you back into the depths of the Abyss where you belong with the short interlude Drogg Om Thraal pulling you back down into the depths. It sounds as if hell may just have opened up to swallow you where you must confront the Grim Foreigners. Grim Foreigners is yet another excellent sludgey track once more incorporating some black metal tones into the mix which, simply put, makes it sound more evil. Galvez sounds here like a demon chasing you until he finally has you by the throat to drag you to the feet of the Master.

    Builder of Carrion Effigies starts off with some elephants stomping your skull riffage leading into a blistering sludge track in the vein of earlier track High Priest but where High Priest only beat you senseless for six minutes Builder’ makes sure you’re pounded to mush with an eight minute all out pummeling assault. Where Summoning Deliverance was the first time I can think of HotR adding black metal in the mix it is also the first time I can remember hearing flashes of thrash in the mix as well. Builder’ at its heart is a fuzzy, down tuned thrash attack which is as refreshing as it is awesome. HotR don’t hold anything back here defying the pigeon hole of just being a doom band though the album closes back on their doom roots with An Excess of Faith. Galvez seems to channel Ozzy on this one since it sounds as if the song would fit right in on an early Black Sabbath album which I say as a giant compliment. It reminded me a bit of the song Black Sabbath though there is plenty more in there as well.
    If Horn of the Rhino is new to you I would encourage you to take a listen to all four of their albums but I’d say Summoning Deliverance is as good a place to start as any. My personal favorite is still Weight of Coronation but I’ve also listened to that more than any other and it’s really a pure doom album where now the band has incorporated even more styles into their sound which isn’t a bad thing at all. Too many bands today trod out one album after another all sounding pretty much the same but to hear a band grow and change over time evolving musically beyond where they started is far more enjoyable to me. It shows that a band are beyond just musicians but artists as well. Now having heard Summoning Deliverance a few times, I couldn’t help repeating it, I’d say while it definitely sounds like Horn of the Rhino it is also their most diverse album to date and I look forward to seeing how this band continues to evolve in the future. I certainly hope they’re around for a long time to come. So for those in need of a simple rating I’d give Summoning Deliverance about an 8.5/10. Now I think I’m going to go listen again, feel free to join me.


    Words: Feind Gottes (Thy Demons Be Scribblin)

    Horn Of The Rhino @ Facebook



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    "Till The Sun Turns Black", a brand new song from THE SKULL featuring original TROUBLE members vocalist Eric Wagner and drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson, alongside longtime former TROUBLE and EARTHEN GRAVE bassist Ron Holzner and guitarists Lothar Keller and Matt Goldsborough (PENTAGRAM), is now available for streaming via the Sound Cloud link below.

    The track is taken from the band's debut album, "For Those Which Are Asleep", which will be released worldwide on Tuesday, November 4th via Tee Pee Records.



    Source: The Ripple Effect
    Posted By Doctor Doom

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    This is music existing out of time. The Myrrors' four-song collection from the Cardinal Fuzz label is outstanding guitar-driven instrumentals that resist easy labeling as stoner rock, a throwback invocation of more psychedelic times, or an impressionistic alt-rock piece. The production matches the music well and accentuates its strengths. There is a sleepy, free-floating melancholy wafting through each of the release's four tracks. Tempos never rise above shuffle speed and no track clocks in at less than seven minutes. The Myrrors are clearly a band far more interested in getting inside your head instead of belting out verse, chorus, bridge, and chorus. The collection opens with the title track. Reverb hangs over the mix and the effect creates a sonic distance of sorts without sacrificing immediacy. The guitar sounds as if it is rising perpetually, like something immense dawning over the horizon, and its minor-key feel gives it a sense of grandeur. The track also strikes me as a duet between two lead instruments - the guitar and drums. The percussion is freewheeling without ever leaving the timekeeping slack and brimming over with intelligent fills that carry the song higher.

    The same design aesthetic applies to "Escape Attempt". It is another expansive soundscape dominated by reverb-drenched guitar, but darker shades abound. The wah-wah slashes and growls through the mix like a distressed voice. The Myrrors never throttle the listener with a wallop of detuned metal guitars, but they achieve effects every bit as "heavy". This is intense, claustrophobic music churning with emotion. A shimmering swell of keyboards lingers throughout "Ascension" and gives it an ethereal quality. The music's slow, steady stride made me think of a column of souls slowly rising into the air. Long tracks, once considered de rigueur for a "serious" band, are often difficult to justify artistically, but the band avoids self-indulgence by never allowing the songs to meander.

    "Whirling Mountain Blues" concludes the album with, arguably, the band's grandest statement yet. The song runs a little under fifteen minutes long and begins dramatically with ferocious, intermittent bursts of percussion and guitar. The band seems unsteady and impatient to find its feet. When they do, the band comes together at once and locks down on an enormous groove. There are countless mini crescendos littered through the song keeping it interesting throughout. It ends powerfully with the music falling apart, the band apparently exhausted, and nothing but fading static in its wake.

    Solar Collector is a blistering invocation of the cerebral and physical. Between the extended structures and frequently jaw-dropping guitar work, few releases will engage the listener in such a complete way. Highly recommended.

    Words: J. Hillenburg

    Bandcamp
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    White Manna are an American outfit out of California and their latest offering from the label Cardinal Fuzz, Live Frequencies, is a far reaching imaginative work. Nods abound to Hawkwind and other psychedelic, proto-punk predecessors in this live setting, but the band's punk influences are a little more pronounced and they bring a tough-eyed, modern lyrical perspective to their songs that their models lacked.

    "E Shra (Stangade)" opens the album in an ambient swirl with partial guitar arpeggios floating through the mix. This dreamy mood persists for the first two minutes before the rhythm section joins in. Steady drumming and bass playing anchors the disjointed wall of guitars engulfing the piece into some semblance of structure. "Acid Head (Le Kalif)" has a much clearer design than the previous song, but starts off with the same windswept ambience. It is intended to give the music a more cosmic effect and, indeed, succeeds on that count - the first two songs never play so much as they emerge, as if an assembly of pulse escaping from a celestial body. The singing is quite competent, but the muddy articulation practically renders the lyrics a moot point. The riff, refreshingly simple and memorable, never wears thin.

    Another strong riff opens "Evil (Le Kalif)". The band, once again, lays a healthy dose of windswept ambient effects over the song, but the riff's electrifying energy leaves it sounding more like an affectation than a significant contribution to the song. It is the album's first unadulterated stab at punk rock and any attempt to cloak it with trippy, psychedelic trappings is doomed to failure. We return to familiar ground for "X Ray (Le Kalif)" and its loping, hallucinatory groove. The ambient keyboard swirls drop in and out of the mix rather than maintain a constant presence through, but the heart of this tune is the relaxed drumming that never rushes a tune clearly designed for an extended take. "I'm Comin' Home (Le Kalif)" might, initially, give hope to the novice listener that they're in for lighter than usual fare, but the primitive shuffle and gritty, skeletal rhythms form the backbone for one of the album's most impressive songs. The highlight comes with a blistering guitar solo near the song's halfway point.

    "Sweet Jesus (Le Kalif)" is another oncoming tank of a tune with primal drumming and a relentless, simple riff thrashing over the top. It breaks down a little after four minutes into a slightly amorphous quasi-bridge crackling with fractured, fiery lead guitar. The tempo builds to a crescendo before the song races to its final jarring conclusion. The exotic opening to "G Shra (Le Kalif)" catches the listener's attention, but more impressive is how the band maintains such a strong, continuous pulse. The instrumental recalls the opener with a number of the passages sounding like variations on a theme.

    The Stangade performance of "Evil" is more pure rock and roll rave up than psychedelic excursion. The energetic, uncoordinated dual vocals and flailing guitar chords make this an irrepressible romp. Likewise, the Stangade version of "X-Ray" takes a much cleaner, direct line of attack than its counterpart. It's always a marker of greatness to me when a band can take strong material and give distinctive, but different, performances each outing. It doesn't just prove the elasticity of the material, but willingness to risk in the performer. The album's final number, "Sweet Jesus", suggests that the Stangade show must have been an inspired evening. It takes the approach "Evil" did by clinging tighty to what constitutes great rock and roll. Without a doubt, White Manna subscribe to the theory that stripped down, muscular, and gets to the point. However, like before, the band does find opportunity to wander and jam some during an extended bridge.

    If White Manna lacks finesse, who cares? This is a band that intuitively understands many will never get the music, but writes and pursues this genre despite grim financial realities. They are looking to engage the listener rather than losing them in their latest reverie and Live Frequencies shows a band in full command of their connection with their audience and music.

    Words: J. Hillenburg

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    Fresh off a Sleep show in the same town about 6 weeks prior, last night, half that crowd sold out Johnny Brenda's to show Om the love.  And they reciprocated in kind.

    Hit the merch table early, not knowing what was available or if the line would be as nuts as at Sleep, and was so glad that I did.  Al was selling his 7", the first release for new label Samaritan press, that I desperately wanted.  Empty Tomb/Sepulchure Dub ( mine is # 966) is now in my hands, and it's a beautiful 45 that sounds really Al

    One of Emil's "other" bands, Watter opened for Om and brought the instrumental space-love to us.  Three guys, the guitarist, Emil on drums and the key/sound effect wizard. 

    This is heady music, very much accessible yet also completely psychedelic.  The guitarist for the most part was playing Hendrixian solo's mixed with the simplicity and pacing of drone, the key man underneath adding this Come My Fanatics interstellar bass that sounds like a black hole crushing a galaxy and weird trance stuff, and Emil kept it all together.  I really enjoyed their set and was glad I caught them and would definitely see them again.  Mellowed me right out and put in the perfect mood for Om.




    Now, Om.  Well, I'll say that I've been a fan since before they were a band, let's put it that way.  One time I tried to see them and Emil broke his arm skateboarding, and the other was a venue change that brought the need for new tickets at the end of the month for me, and I couldn't swing it.  I've been wanting to see this band a long time, and I'm elated that either at or somewhere near my 50th gig, I finally heard Om do their thing. 

    My lady friend went in hoping for anything Conference, and frankly so did I.  That album is a top 5 all time record as far as I'm concerned, and though we didn't get to hear those old songs, we were still moved.  Robert Lowe's tambourine and flourishes vocally added a beautiful accent to the core bass and drum sound, and during the parts where the cello plays you can tell Al is really into combining the tone of his Rickenbacker with classical instrumentation.  Mostly songs from the last two records.  Emil was awesome, the fills, speeding up slowing down, a very, very different style to Chris Haikus, whom I still hope to finally see live one day, but I know chances get slimmer as time marches on and it's probably a lost cause at this point, but that's the hope Om gives me.  This set was a great counterpoint to the Sleep show, and now with High On Fire last November, I've see Sleep, Om, and High On Fire in less than a year.  That's pretty snazzy.

    At one point Al brushed against me to walk by, and I sensed a  centered, green positivity as he passed.

    We'll catch you back at Johnny Brenda's a little later this month on All Hallow's Eve for Pentagram/Bang!  What a double bill, TWO proto-metal bands?Plus Radio Moscow AND Kings Destroy?  You bet your ass.  Warning, though I may be forced to dress up, the beard stays.  Deal with it. 

    Thanks as always for reading, over and out from SabbathJeff.

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