Monday, 20 November 2017

Catching Up With ELECTRIC AGE - An Interview With Jason Ogle

Jason from NOLA/Sludge/Stoner Metallers – Electric Age – contacted me recently to do an interview where Jason wanted to discuss the band's future plans for 2018 and beyond.

If you don't remember Electric Age, they released a superb album – Sleep Of The Silent King - earlier this year. You can read my review here and a previous interview that I did with the band earlier this year.

Lets see what Electric Age have in store for us in 2018. Read on for more info.

Hi Jason. How are things with you today.

Great man!! Beautiful weather in South Louisiana!!

So what have you been upto since the release of your new album earlier this year.

Playing some shows and writing the new album. We slacked off shows a bit after summer to finish the album. It was nice get back in the rehearsal room and just play and have fun. There was a point were we kind of hit a rut by going too hard. Now we have the fire back!!


You're about to head into the studio to record some new material. Can you give our readers what will you be recording. Album, EP, Single of some sort.

Yes we hit our friend Kib from 4Mag Nitrous studios on Dec. 2 and couldn't be more excited to get going. It's gonna be a full length but not nearly as long as the last one. This one is more of a straight up rocker.

What can people expect from this record.

Just a heavy rock record. One thing about us is we aren't scared to break out of genres. Although it will be heavy we have two acoustic songs and some interesting things on it. They listener will have to interpret it their own way.

Will it be different from your last album. Can we expect some different sounds.

Well when Sleep Of The Silent King was written I was actually playing guitar. We lost a bass player or 3 and being my natural instrument is bass, I stepped over to it. So the last album was a two guitar concept record. The band now has jelled as a 3 piece and this record will be more stripped down and less orchestrated. It's just 3 guys jamming

When will you be releasing this new record.

We are shooting to be finished recording by Christmas and mixing right after. As far as a release date, we are still working on that stuff. No later than spring I'm sure


Do you have a title for the record yet?

Well...nobody knows it yet, we have been messing around with artwork and ideas but I'll give you the scoop. The record will be called Painter of Saints and we have some cool artwork stuff we are getting ready.

Will Argonauta Records will be releasing this record. Or will you be releasing it by yourselves or via a different label.

Actually I sent Argonauta some pre-production demos about an hour ago. We just got started with "the business" side of all that. Argonauta is a great label and we have had nothing but positive things happen with Gero and the crew. We are not sure which way we are going yet but we should have all that and release details coming up by the first of the year.

So do you have any exciting plans happening in 2018 that you like to share with us.

Nothing super special get back out and play some shows and push the new record. We are working on getting a worldwide web store up and we shall see what the new year holds. I wanna do a live record later next year but I'll have to talk the guys into it. Ha!!

Looking back on 2017, what have been your high points and low points as a band.

High was finally getting that last record out after so long. As far as low points we really didn't have any except maybe a little fatigue. We are all such good friends we never have any problems or drama in this band.


Would you change anything at all in 2017 what happened to Electric Age.

Other than getting a couple of big shows we wanted nope.

What have been your favourite albums of 2017.

The Age Of Truth's new record Threshold has been in constant play lately, everyone check it out. Let me see, Forming The Void-Relic, Paramaya-Love, Fire And Dangerous Things come to mind. I really listen to a lot of older stuff and talk radio.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Thanks for all the support from everyone. I still smile when I see people from all over the world digging our music or messaging us and liking the record. Don't worry the new one will be good!!

Thanks for doing this. All the best with your future endeavours.

Thank you brother!! Anytime and be safe!!

Words by Steve Howe and Jason Ogle.

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Wolf Counsel - Age Of Madness/Reign Of Chaos (Album Review)


Release date: November 17th 2017. Label: Czar Of Bullets. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Age Of Madness/Reign Of Chaos - Tracklisting

1.WolvenEarth 05:33
2.Semper Occvltvs 04:53
3.Age Of Madness/Reign Of Chaos 10:05
4.O' Death 04:28
5.Eternal Solitude 05:19
6.Coffin Nails 04:19
7.Remembrance 06:50

Members

Ralf W. Garcia – Bass/Vocals
Reto Crola – Drums
Andreas Reinhart – Guitars
Ralph Huber – Guitars

Review

Wolf Counsel has bestowed upon us all their 3rd full length album, Age of Madness / Reign of Chaos. I was kind of unsure what to say about the album after a couple of listens, but there was one particular morning in which I was on my way to work and in a rather foul mood. It was at this point that the record really and truly resonated with me. The band delivers a classic doom sound with a modern feel to it. 
I know this sounds of a bit of an oxymoron, but hear me out. The seven songs presented have the feel of the classic doom sounds of say Cathedral, but with a more modern twist of some newer metal. I often times am reminded of Pallbearer, but without the tendency to meander musically.
On to the songs…. Wolven Earth opens the album. It is a song that is soaked in the classic doom metal sound. Semper Occultus continues the heavy, but brings in a unique more modern metal sound that was alluded to earlier. The title track Age of Madness / Reign of Chaos is a return to the heavy doom sound of the opener. It is over 10 minutes of righteous oppressive doom. O'Death follows and it is a real surprise. A killer track with female vocals. (My apologies for not knowing the vocalist) The song takes the bands power and provides a dark background for the haunting, beautiful ethereal voice of the singer.
Eternal Solitude hits you with a more modern rock/pop sound that continues to shine a light on the bands chameleon like talent. Coffin Nails comes at you next with plenty of big drums and an unusual sounding vocal delivery that gives the song plenty of dark charm. Remembrance closes the album out with a final dose of quintessential doom metal. The anguished refrain to "Remember" haunts the listener to the very end.
Age of Madness / Reign of Chaos demands repeated listens, as it is nuanced and heavy. In a year that has seen some pretty amazing Doom records being released, Wolf Counsel has released one of the best. Dig on it!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

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Opium Eater - ENNUI (Album Review)


Release date: October 12th 2017. Label: Art as Catharsis Records. Format: CD/DD

Ennui - Tracklisting

1.Collapse 04:25
2.The Effect Of A Tragedy On Its Spectators 08:35
3.Babelsteps 09:09
4.Post-Tense 10:19
5.(The Not-I) 02:44
6.Worry Is At The Door 07:29
7.Ennui 11:25

Members

Jesse Hill (Bass, Vocals)
Craig Leahy (Guitar, Vocals)
Sam Leamy (Guitar, Vocals)
Matt Hill (Drums)

Review

Opium Eater's debut album Ennui is one I've been struggling to review recently. As the album is very diverse and includes a wide range of different musical genres. My initial thoughts were that the album is quite complex and too clever for its own good at times. Within time I've come to admire Opium Eater's creativity and diverse range of sounds of the album. Drawing influence from bands such as Elder, Mastodon, Baroness, Russian Circles and Neurosis, this album does actually feel influenced by those amazing bands.

However Opium Eater create their own unique sounds on songs such as: Collapse, The Effect Of A Tragedy On It's Spectators, Babelsteps, Post-Tense and the brilliantly heavy title track Ennui.

Opening track Collapse is a post-rock/post-metal introduction to Opium Eater that I feel would work better as a closing track than an opening track. Still it gives you a brief glimpse on what to expect on the more mellower parts of the album.

Second track - The Effect Of A Tragedy On It's Spectators does take time for the band to find their purpose and let rip with a heavy Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal riff. The vocals are mighty impressive as one of the bands 3 vocalists opts for a hardcore/post-metal sound. The song whilst staying mostly melodic does contain heavy violent outbursts of post-hardcore/sludge metal aggression. The progressive rock/metal style fusion of the music allows the band to explore many different elements of music. Psych Rock. Post-Rock and even Alternative Rock. The clean vocals can feel out of place at times but you soon become accustomed to Opium Eater's way of delivering their music.

The rest of the album follows the same path as this track though Opium Eater does throw a few curve balls along the way. As they experiment with their sound at different parts of the album. They could be playing a straight forward Post-Rock/Stoner Rock riff before changing direction altogether and playing something more primal. The album maybe challenging and too complex at times but you can never call it boring. As Opium Eater really do create a truly rich sound of their own.

The lyrics are another highlight with Opium Eater writing highly intelligent lyrics that matches superbly well with the complex melodies. Ennui may have taken a long time for myself to truly appreciate and to respect the band for doing something different with the standard Progressive Sludge/Post-Metal sound.

This is an album that you need to take your time with and it becomes a much more rewarding and emotional experience because of this.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

ROBUSTFELLOW GIVEAWAY: Robust Lottery.

We're happy to celebrate 1st ever release in Robust Relics Series - Deluxe CD reissue of Eternal Elysium's "Searching Low & High".

That's why we decided to ask Outlaws Of The Sun to provide the Robust Lottery.


Participating in the Robust Lottery you can win a lot of recent releases from Robust Shop:

- Eternal Elysium "Searching Low & High" [Robust edition] Deluxe CD + EE patch
- Soom "Night on the Meadow" [Japanese edition] mini-vinyl CD + 4xPins set
- Bomg / Khola Cosmica - Split CD + 2xPins set
- Contra - Deny Everything CD + Contra Patch
- Somali Yacht Club "The Sun" CD
- bundle of stickers, patches, pins related to Robust scene

Here are few simple rules that you should follow to win a Robust Bag:

1) Press like, follow -> see first to Robustfellow Facebook Page. (if you haven't done this before)
2) Write a comment below this post
3) Winner will be chosen randomly

The lottery starts today and ends next Tuesday (21 Nov 2017, +2PM GMT).

Don't miss your chance!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Ember - 271 (EP Review)


Release date: November 12th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

271 - Tracklisting

1.Ladoux Snare 08:07
2.Moonchild 09:13
3.Eye of the Dawn 08:48

Members

Crystal Bigelow - Vocal
Jeremy Allen - Bass
Craig Shadix - Guitar
Eric Bigelow - Drums

Review

Ember - return with their second EP - 271 - that contains three tracks which focuses more on the Psychedelic Doom side of life. Expertly produced with Ember on inspired form right from the start. The EP is steeped in seventies sounding doom rock with the modern sounding Psych Blues Rock that's a lot of female fronted bands are starting to do at the moment. Ember’s new EP is superb with the band even showing flashes of originality throughout the EP.

Opening track - Ladoux Snare - is a more lucid affair with the band adding elements of sixties trippy psychedelic rock before the heavy doom/stoner sounds that appear. It's very slow paced at times with Ember adopting a more experimental and alternative rock approach. The lyrics feel slightly out of pace against the doom and gloom backdrop but the vocals from Crystal save the day with Ember slowly settling down into a more emotional rhythm.

Second track - Moonchild - opens with a speech from the classic children's movie - The Never Ending Story. One of my favourite films growing up in the eighties. So kudos for the band using that brief sample. The song then moves onto a classic sounding Black Sabbath style riff. Slow pounding drums and heavy guitars creating a vintage sounding doom and gloom based atmosphere. The mood then changes to a more emotionally charged psychedelic blues rock vibe. The slow paced riffs allow lead vocalist Crystal to expand her vocal range quite dramatically in places.

Third track - Eye Of The Dawn - has a heavy mixture of grunge, doom and stoner rock with a twinge of gothic style delivery. The vocals from Crystal are very emotional at times and can be quite gloomy as well. Maybe Ember has taken influence more from Chelsea Wolfe and Black Sabbath on this record. The heavy riffs do take their time to appear but when they do they are precise with Ember showing a fine ear for detail especially during the more melodic parts.

271 is a very dramatic and emotionally charged EP that should hopefully find a loyal following within the Doom/Psych/Stoner Rock community.

Words by Steve Howe

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1000Eyes Announce New Single And Announce Debut Album In 2018.


Band Members:

Morpheus: Bass.
Kronus: Drums.
Caos: Moog


The Lowdown:

The God of 1000Eyes is the first single from stoner instrumental band 1000Eyes.
The power trio sails on a lysergic journey with doom / sludge influences and comic strip designs. In addition to electronic elements acquired with a Moog synthesizer which lead the band to a more futuristic and apocalyptic experience.

Who needs a guitar when you have a bass with fuzz and a Moog plugged into tube amplifiers.


The band is currently on studio working on their first album due to be released in 2018.



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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Nomasta - House Of The Tiger King (Album Review)


Release date: November 03rd 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

House Of The Tiger King - Tracklisting

1.Death Rattles 02:11
2.The Book Burners 04:37
3.Sir Impaler 03:45
4.Alchematic 05:21
5.House Of The Tiger King 04:01
6.This Trail Got The Best Of Us 03:49
7.At The Mercy Of Sleep 04:06
8.Hard As A Coffin Nail 03:36
9.Dawnbreaker 05:02

Members

Owen Wilson - Vocals/Guitar
Kris Allen - Bass/Vocals
Andy Richards - Drums

Review

Leeds Sludge/Doom Rockers - Nomasta - have been compared to bands such as Mastodon and High On Fire with the accompanying PR sheet that came with the album. And truth be told it's a fair description after listening to their debut album - House Of The Tiger King - multiple times recently. The album has a heavy hardcore punk vibe with moments of Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, Psych. Sludge and Stoner Rock that allows Nomasta to easily force the listener into submission.

The opening track – Death Rattles - is a post-doom/thrash/sludge metal onslaught with cool psychedelic sounds starting the song before the band playing a heavier and sludgier punk driven sound. The vocals come screaming in and definitely have a hardcore/heavy metal influence running throughout them. It's quite a short track lasting over two minutes but Nomasta still manage to create an action packed song that goes through a lot of different sounds and genres.

The band then go flying into action with The Book Burners and that's where the Kvelertak/High On Fire comparisons come into place. As the band move through a myriad of different sounds that makes the album sound exciting. Thrashy based Doom/Sludge guitars added with a more modern Stoner based groove. The vocals take an unexpected turn as they harness the clean harmonic energy of Mastodon but set against a much heavier progressive backdrop. This is one of the standout songs on the album with Nomasta pulling every trick out of the book as they leave you wanting to listen to this track over and over again.

Third track – Sir Impaler is what Mastodon/High On Fire would sound like if they embraced a more hardcore and psychedelic identity to their music. Though to Nomasta's credit it's the vocals that impress yet again with the mixture of hardcore growls and progressive clean style vocals meaning there is more to Nomasta's sound than the pounding riffs.

Fourth track - Alchematic - has a more alternative rock/metal feel with the vocals but it's the riffs that allows this song to be a "true" rager with equal parts melody and aggression.

Nomasta carry on creating their dynamic Sludge driven sound with great songs such as House Of The Tiger King, This Trail Got The Best Of Us, At The Mercy Of Sleep and Dawnbreaker showing how the band know how to create a lean, mean and angry sounding riff. Some people may complain that the band are maybe trying to hard including too many different genres of music into the sound. That's beside the point as Nomasta grab your attention from the start and submit you to an intense and heavy musical workout that takes no prisoners.

The musicianship shown here is nothing short of brilliant in parts. Progressive and daring in equal measures with Nomasta sounding like a heavier and thrashier version of Cave-In at times. Though this is Nomasta's show and House Of The Tiger King is an album that could see the band play to bigger crowds and audiences over the next few years.

The production is superb with the album sounding crisp and fresh from the start. I haven't seen many reviews of this album yet and that's a crying shame as this is a brilliantly entertaining and brutally heavy album that pulverize the listener into submission.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Simon at I Like Press for the promo. House Of The Tiger King is now available to buy on CD/DD now.

Links: