Saturday, 23 September 2017

Turn Me On Dead Man - Heavymetal Mothership (Album Review)



Release date: October 13th 2017. Label: Heavy Psych Sounds. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Heavymetal Mothership – Tracklisting

01. Vimana
02. Asteroid 9
03. Mind Of Oz
04. Maharishi
05. Master Planet + Mother Star + Secret Moon
06. Cosmo Nymph
07. Monolith 1971
08. White Slave Black Master
09. Diamond Endless
10. Hologram Universe
11. Forest Damask
12. Room 237
13. Floating in Zen

Members

Mykill ZIggy: Guitars, Vocals, Synthesizers, Bass, Phasers and Lasers
Nick Doom: Guitars and Music Theory
Christopher Melville Lyman: Drums, Percussion, and Vocals
Attis Ngo: Bass, Keyboards on 'Hologram'

Review

Heavymetal Mothership is the new album from Heavy Metal/Stoner Metal outfit - Turn Me On Dead Man - and their fifth overall. This is quite a surprise as I’ve never heard of these guys before. Honest. I don't know where I've been all these years as this album is pure stoner metal excess of the highest order. This album was originally released in 2016 but is now being reissued by Heavy Psych Sounds.

Yeah, the album is overblown and OTT but that doesn't stop Heavymetal Mothership being a fantastic listen from start to finish. Adding elements of Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, Doom and Psych Rock to their already bombastic style of Stoner Metal make Turn Me On Dead Man a true force of nature to be reckoned with. The vocals will have you either singing along or headbanging in agreement.

Songs such as: Vimana, Asteroid G, Mind Of Oz, Maharishi and Floating In Zen show a flair for classic sounding Monster Magnet style Space/Stoner Rock. Though Turn Me On Dead Man add a more heavy metal approach with thrashy guitar riffs giving the album a very rebellious feel compared to other bands of their ilk. The music can be very fast-paced and uneven at times but Turn Me On Dead Man soon return to winning ways. With an epic collection of twelve songs held on the album, it's good to see the band writing songs lasting between two minutes to four minutes each.

There are moments of prog rock that will no doubt impress the serious prog rock/heavy metal fan. As Turn Me On Dead Man is not your usual Stoner Metal band. This is a band willing to take risks with and to say FUCK YOU and TO HELL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES. If you're a first time listener to Turn Me On Dead Man's world then is perhaps the best place to start. It was with me before I checked out their superb back catalogue. Long-time fans of the band will no doubt love what is on offer here.

Heavymetal Mothership impresses and entertains from the start. What more could you possibly want.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Heavymetal Mothership will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Heavy Psych Sounds from October 13th 2017.

Links:

DESERTFEST LONDON - LINEUP AND TICKET DETAILS



Desertfest aims to get bigger and better every year, and for our 7th edition it's no different. Ladies and gentlemen, bow down to the Bullgod because Monster Magnet are headlining Desertfest 2018!

That's right, New Jersey's finest rock exports, Monster Magnet, are set to steamroll through Camden as headliners of Desertfest. The bona fide stoner psych living legends are approaching three decades of bringing the world acid freakouts and riff rock anthems; freakouts and anthems which, it's no understatement to say, helped shape the stoner rock scene.

From their boundary breaking psych in early releases to the hard rock stomp through the noughties and their recent return to early influences, Monster Magnet have a knack for putting out iconic albums, before doing it all better live. We were always going to have Monster Magnet play eventually and 2018 is the year it happens. We can't wait to be part of the biggest singalong in Desertfest history when Powertrip hits.

Joining them are the recently resurrected early stoner kings, Nebula, who return from an eight year hiatus in 2018. Steered by the riffs of Eddie Glass, Nebula tore through the turn of the millennium thanks to releases such as To The Center and Charged; must own LPs for anybody reading these words.

Also on the bill are barons of the Bayou, Eyehategod. Shaped by destruction, the sludge metal heroes have a life beaten coarseness that brings a next level of harshness to their sound. Pioneering sludge with their 1990 release, In the Name of Suffering, Eyehategod's brutal assault through the nineties is something to behold. Then, after a decade away, the band came back stronger with 2014s self-titled, rawer, angrier and more driven than before. Having smashed The Electric Ballroom to pieces in 2015, Eyehategod are back at Desertfest.

We also have performances from High Priestess of occult rock Jex Thoth, stoner strut from champions of the Greek underground Planet of Zeus, the garage infused sound of Black Moth and the soulful proto-doom of The Black Wizards. Of course, that's only the beginning. We have dozens of huge bands to announce over the next few months so keep your eyes open.

Alongside that mammoth announcement, tickets are now on sale for Desertfest 2018. As ever, we're offering affordable hotel and hostel packages, which you can find out about here. Also, for the first time ever, we're also offering a split payment plan. With our payment plan, you'll pay half now and half early next year, making it easier to get your ticket for Desertfest 2018. For more info on our payment plan, click here.

It's going to be another huge weekend in Camden. We're excited for you to see what we have in store for our 7th edition of Desertfest.

Buy Tickets here.

DESERTFEST BERLIN - LINEUP AND TICKET DETAILS


Desert rockers! It's about time to unveil the first bunch of bands for next year's Desertfest Berlin, which will take place between May 4th - 6th 2018 at the ARENA BERLIN!

Ladies & gentlemen, breath in deep, as this first line-up news will come to revive your spirit: We're more than thrilled to announce that the Spacelord, Dave Wyndorf will hit our main stage in 2018. MONSTER MAGNET comes as the first headliner we can proudly present to you today! With their hazed heavy sound on groundbreaking records such as 'Tab', 'Spine Of God', 'Dopes To Infinity' or 'Powertrip', MONSTER MAGNET transformed themselves into the Olympus of modern power rock and became the godfathers of psychedelic and stoner rock.

More big news are coming ahead, Desert Rockers! We are extremely happy that LA´s legendary psych stoner outfit NEBULA will celebrate their Re Union at our stages!!! Formed in 1997 by Fu Manchu member Eddie Glass, NEBULA have been on indefinite hiatus since early 2010 but have not broken up. We are much looking forward to welcome Eddy Glass and his gang at Desertfest Berlin 2018!

Oh and for all of you dear Sludge rockers, don't worry we haven't forgot about you. What about a heavy dose of mighty EYEHATEGOD in 2018? Yes, you have heard right. The kings of Sludge from New Orleans, who emerged from the Nola Metal scene since 1988 belong to the most influencing bands. Heavy, detuned, and bluesy guitar riffs, combined with walls of feedback and tortured vocals to create a harsh misantrophic vibe, EYEHATEGOD will make sure to take over our new home at the ARENA BERLIN!

Next on the bill we're very proud to inform you, that the queen of darkness JEX THOTH will bring the Doom and Psychedelic Rock as its finest to Desertfest Berlin. Fronted by the eponymous Ms. Jessica Thoth, the Wisconsin- based 5 piece band delivers delicate tones that are soaked in mystery and aura as well as generate astounding depth atop a musical landscape of intelligently constructed Sabbath-ian blues vibes and fuzzy distortion.  

Athen's rumbling heavy rock machine PLANET OF ZEUS will set the stage on fire with their outstanding live perfomance. Last but not least in this announcement we are welcoming THE NECROMANCERS! This young band from France raised a lot of attention with the release of their outstanding debut album a few weeks ago.

We hope you all like this first bunch of bands and be sure there are many more exciting acts and news to follow soon! In 2018 we will break new grounds and preparing for an unforgettable Desertfest Berlin experience. 


Join us in the capital of the almighty riff – DESERTFEST BERLIN 2018!!! 


Limited amount of early birds avaialble now!

85 € ( + 7.-€ service fee)


Head over and make sure to get yours right HERE: 

https://www.desertfest-tickets.de/produkte/150 
 


For More Info Visit:

www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/desertfestberlin


Official Event:

www.facebook.com/events/128298847822160 

Sun Rider - III (EP Review)


Release date: July 14th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

III – Tracklisting

1.Intro 01:11
2.Call of the Mountain 05:13
3.Exodus of the Firetitans 06:00
4.Supercell Thunderstorm 08:47

Members

Mark Stevens - Guitar/Vocals
Michael Philippo - Vocals
Gert-Jan Kruijthoff - Guitar
Giel van Arkel - Bass
Erik Reppel - Drums

Review

Dutch Stoner Rockers Sun Rider return with their new EP – III – and it's a great collection of hard-rocking stoner based songs. With the band playing a more heavier style of Stoner Rock compared to their last album.

III clocks in around 21 minutes and it never outstays it's welcome with a bombastic style of great vocals and fantastic riffs. Call Of The Mountain opens the album on highly confident form with the band opting for a familiar stoner rock vibe and classic hard rock sound. Sun Rider do veer into Heavy Metal territory at times but it gives III a more meaner and angrier sound.

Exodus Of The Firetitans opens with a more blues rock vibe before the band settle once again into their stoner rock identity. The song is very fast-paced with the heavy metal style vocals being one of the main strengths of the EP.

The final song – Supercell Thunderstorm – should have been the standout song on the EP and it does start really well. With the band playing non-stop heavy riffs that have quite a soulful groove to them. However the song comes unstuck in the middle as the song loses focus and very repetitive at times. That's not to say it's a bad song. It isn't. I found more enjoyment from the other songs on the EP.

Overall, III will no doubt please Sun Rider's dedicated fanbase and proves Sunrider will hopefully be around for a long time to come.

Words by Steve Howe

Links:


Thursday, 21 September 2017

Spectral Haze - Turning Electric (Album Review)


Release date: October 20th 2017. Label: Totem Cat Records. Format: CD/DD/VInyl

Turning Electric – Tracklisting

1. The Dawn Of The Falcon
2. Turning Electric
3. Cathexis/Mask Of Transformation
4. Ajaghandi
5. They Live
6. Master Sorcerer

Members

Spacewülff - Interstellar Howls/Geetarrrgh
Sönik Slöth - Supercosmic overdrive pedalinfused guitarvoid
Döômdögg - Dronemachinated AUM
Cëlestïal Cöbra - Conjurer of souls through ritual drums

Review

Spectral Haze return with their new album - Turning Electric - and their first release for their new label - Totem Cat Records. Turning Electric sees Spectral Haze taking the bold and bravado from legendary Stoner Rockers Monster Magnet and the classic psychedelic sounds of the mighty Hawkwind. With the album being a very exciting and fast paced affair.

The opening track - The Dawn Of The Falcon - opens with a psychedelic whirlwind exploding into a myriad of different sounds. Before the heavy stoner riffs and high calibre vocals of Spacewülff appear. The song runs frantically with its Hawkwind inspired space rock vibes before fully exploding into a Monster Magnet style rhythm. The vocals are very good indeed. Not the most original of vocals but they have quite a flair about them. The music on the other hand is vibrant with the band playing a faster and more fluid style of Space/Stoner Rock. The only thing that I didn't enjoy about this song was the constant piano sounds that slows the mood right down.

Second song - Turning Electric - carries on the same mood and atmosphere from the opening track and unfortunately the piano makes another brief appearance. The lyrics are very cool indeed. Simply written but with a catchy sing-along chorus. The whole mood of the song is very fast indeed with Spectral Haze adding weirder and wonderfully psychedelic spaced out sounds to the mix.

Third track - Cathexis/Mask Of Transformation - has a more classic fuzz rock feel with the band also adding a doomier feel. The vocals have a more "heavy-metal" feel compared to other songs on the album with vocalist Spacewülff changing styles at different parts of the song. Though they have a distinctive Dave Wyndorf vibe to them. The second part of the song sees Spectral Haze enter into "Earthless" jam-based psychedelic rock territory. This song is the standout song on the album. As it's quite epic at times.

The next two songs Ajaghandi and They Live - offer almost thirteen minutes of superbly played Psych/Stoner Rock. The fuzzy guitars make Spectral Haze's sound standout even more. As the whole tone of the album becomes decidedly clearer and louder. There are quite a few demonic sounding laughs lurking in the background that adds a sense of devilish fun to the whole flow and feel of the album.

The final track - Master Sorcerer - has a more world weary vibe compared to the other songs on the album. As the riffs are doomier and slightly sinister in tone. Spectral Haze approach this song with a sense of dread with the band writing truly "classic" doom metal sounding lyrics. This song shows you that the band are not all about space rock theatrics. As they create a good old fashioned sounding doom metal song. Sure, there are strands of heavy psychedelic stoner rock appearing within the song but it's the not-so-subtle doomier vibes that hold your attention. I would have loved to hear the band play this style of music more on the album. Maybe next time....

Turning Electric is a superb album from Spectral Haze and it's one that offers genuine moments of true excitement within the Doom/Stoner Metal world.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Turning Electric will be available to buy via Totem Cat Records on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 20th 2017.

Links:

Spotlights - Seismic (Album Review)


Release date: October 06th 2017. Label: Ipecac Recordings. Format: CD/DD/VInyl

Seismic – Tracklisting

1. Seismic
2. Learn to Breathe
3. The Size of the Planet
4. Ghost of a Glowing Forest
5. Under the Earth
6. A Southern Death
7. The Opening
8. What is This? Where Are We?
9. Hollow Bones
10. Hang Us All
11. The Hope of a Storm

Members

Sarah Quintero - Bass/Guitar/Vocals
Mario Quintero - Guitar/Synths/Vocals
Chris Enriquez - Drums

Review

Spotlights play a beautiful style of Sludge, Doom, Post-Rock, Noise and Shoegaze kind of sound. Parts The Melvins, Torche, ISIS (The Band) and Helms Alee but offering their own unique heavy sound. The band return with their sophomore effort - Seismic. A lush and progressive musical odyssey that captures the listener's imagination from the very start with brooding drums and haunting played riffs.

Opening song - Seismic - is a song that captures the balance between light and heavy sounds with Spotlights operating with a distinctive shoegaze authority. The song changes from melodic sludge/post-metal heaviness to a more refined doom-pop/shoegaze environment. The ambient and psychedelic sounds add a very cool and very friendly feel to the whole feel of the album. The dual vocals have a warm embrace around them. As Spotlights maybe distinctively a heavy rock band but they bring you into their sludgy rock world with loving open arms.

Second song - Learn To Breathe - has a classic eighties/nineties shoegaze approach with the band keeping the sludge riffs at bay and replaces them with a heavy alternative rock feel. The band adds their soulful and addictive vocals to the song at different parts of the song. The vocals have quite a stop-start approach that matches the flow and vibrancy of the song.

Third track - The Size Of The Planet - has more of a classic post-rock/post-metal feel that brings back memories of ISIS (The Band) at the top of their creative powers. It's a beautifully played slow piece with Spotlights on mesmerizing form. The shoegaze/doom-pop feel of the song is what holds your attention. Seismic has this magnetic and addictive hold over you as the heavy played sludge riffs leave you wanting more. The dual vocals and superbly written lyrics make the emotional connection between the album and the listener only stronger.

Fourth song - Ghost Of A Flowing Planet - is perhaps my favourite song on the album as it opens with a fantastic psychedelic/sludge hybrid sound with dreamlike vocals to match. The lyrics are simply written but Spotlights deliver them with ultimate grace and style.

Spotlights carry on their experimental doom/sludge rock vibes with more outstanding songs such as Under The Earth, A Southern Death, Hollow Bones and The Hope Of A Storm. Spotlights opt for a more drone based sound on later stages of the album without compromising the almost feel-good and uplifting sludge/post-metal/doom metal riffs they capture superbly well. Seismic is wonderfully produced with the band sounding incredible from the start.

Spotlights should also get credit for their use of different sounds on the album. As they keep the album sounding wholly original throughout. Seismic is an album that works on so many different levels. It never bows down to genre rules or conventions. Seismic is perhaps one of the boldest and most addictive albums you'll hear this year. I rank Seismic as one of the top ten albums of the year.

A simply incredible and exquisite album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Monica at SpeakEasy PR for the promo. Seismic will be available to buy via Ipecac Recordings on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 06th 2017.

Links:

Facebook | BandCamp

Mastodon - Cold Dark Place (EP Review)


Release date: September 22nd 2017. Label: Reprise Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Cold Dark Place – Tracklisting

North Side Star
Blue Walsh
Toe To Toes
Cold Dark Place

Members

Brann Dailor - Drums and Vocals
Brent Hinds - Guitar and Vocals
Bill Kelliher - Guitar
Troy Sanders - Bass and Vocals

Review

When Mastodon announced their new EP there was a lot of head-scratching (and excitement for that matter). I mean they had just released one of the years top albums just a few months prior. This felt like a pretty bold and odd move. Since Mastodon certainly don't adhere to the structures of "regular" bands this however do fit in with their nature I guess. Enough about that, let's get into this EP.

I have been in love with Mastodon since first hearing The Hunter in 2011. That was basically my intro to heavy progressive music. So keep in mind that at the same point where longtime fans lost interest in the band i fell head over heels in love with them and their music.

I hear echoes of many albums on Cold Dark Place. There's definitively hints of Blood Mountain and Crack The Skye here on the opening track North Side Star especially. It almost feels like an extension of The Czar from CTS. And while Blue Walsh and the title track itself feels more like "Classic" Mastodon this is without a doubt in the vein of newer Mastodon. The tracks are littered with melody and that might not fall in good graces with some fans. That is not the case with me though, I love this EP. My only gripe is the length of the songs and as a result of that the EP itself.

With darker and gloomier instrumentation (the doomy b-bender guitars sure do add an extra layer that we previously haven't heard in Mastodon). This by no means a doomy record though. It feels very uplifting, bright in parts and full of variation. However the lyrics and emotion gives it a melodramatic taste. This keeps me coming back time and time again, I just can't seem to let it go. Just how awesome is the riffs from Toe To Toes? It makes me think of Van Halen, but in a good way. With fluffy and airy harmonics they hammer it all the way home.

For me the showstealer is Blue Walsh. This happens to be some of Mastodon's finest work regarding vocals. Especially Brann's reverb-laden verse vocals. Ethereal and crisp.

This begs for the question, why isn't this part of Emperor of Sand as a double album? While it certainly doesn't diminish any of these works, it feels like a missed opportunity. However it won't keep me from coming back to this hauntingly Beautiful Cold Dark Place.

Words by Simon Ohlsson

You can buy Cold Dark Place on CD/DD/Vinyl from here.

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