Saturday, 21 October 2017

An Interview With Zach Wheeler From HOWLING GIANT

John Wisniewski makes his interviewing debut on Outlaws Of The Sun. His first task was to interview Zach Wheeler (Drums/Vocals) from the awesome US Psych/Stoner Rock band – Howling Giant.

Howling Giant released their new EP - Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 2, earlier this year. I rated it quite highly which you can read here. Howling Giant are known for their progressive and spaced out riffs. Their last two EP's have been acclaimed from fans and critics alike within the Stoner Rock/Metal community.

Anyway John caught up with Zach recently. Here's what went down in this cool and very quick fire interview.....

Hi Zach. Could you tell us how and when Howling Giant was formed?

We met in Boston, MA while attending college and formed under the name SKLDZR. We wanted to write songs about Dungeons & Dragons, the occult, and cosmic warfare and little has changed except for the name. Once we graduated, we moved to Nashville to seek fame and fortune while liberating dive bars everywhere. 

What may inspire you to write music?

The smell of Fall, the feeling of triumph, failure, and a crisp PBR.

Could you name a few favorite albums?

Baduizm - Erykah Badu
Business As Usual - Men At Work
Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age
Leviathan - Mastodon
No World For Tomorrow - Coheed and Cambria
Fashion Nugget - Cake

Will you be playing any live dates?

We just finished a 2 week tour supporting Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2 and are planning tours for all of 2018. 

Do you enjoy playing live?

Yes, we sure do.

Any plans you may have for the future?

Continue to write and record the next instalment of the Black Hole Space Wizard series and tour until the embers of our dying planet burn out.

Are there any Howling Giant side projects?

Sarlaac Pit(Tom's mariachi side project), and My Two Uncles(Zach and Roger's party electronic band)

Are there any bands that you may like in the doom/hard psych genre, currently?

Elder, Pallbearer, Russian Circles, Evolfo

Who named the band?

Outer Space

Are you guys interested in occult subjects?

Certainly, I mean, we tour in a white hearse. "Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law."

Words by John Wisniewski and Zach Wheeler


Captives Of The Void - Hypnos (Album Review)

Release date: October 13th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Hypnos – Tracklisting

1.It's Not Safe 05:30
2.Blazed Trail 04:39
3.The Search 04:50
4.Joined In Orbit (ft. Tilly Riddle) 05:29
5.Gravitational Collapse 04:16
6.Victory 02:31
7.Hypnos Awakens 04:16
8.Belka 07:20


Jack Larkin
Max Storr


Instrumental Spaced Out Stoner Metal Duo – Captives Of The Void – return with another impressive album. Hypnos takes the sound they created on their 2016 debut album and gives it a Pink Floyd inspired makeover. The riffs are more progressive and even trippier than their last album. The progressive sounds draw you in from the start as the mix of Post-Rock/Post-Metal style instrumental jams sound so intriguing especially when mixing it with a Stoner Rock/Metal sound.

Tracks such as it's Not Safe, Blazed Trail, The Search, Gravitational Collapse and excellent final track Belka show you that Jack and Max take their craft seriously. Inspired partially by Karma To Burn, Pink Floyd, Earthless and even Pelican at times. This is an album that has an air of intelligence that you don't really feel or hear on Instrumental Rock/Metal albums.

The album can be very trippy and psychedelic for it's own good at times but Captives Of The Void soon come up with another musical idea that pays dividends for the band. As they offer an experimental sound on certain parts of the album. With songs - Blazed Trail, Gravitational Collapse and Belka – showing the band's willingness to experiment with their own sound.

The production is another highlight with the band sounding fantastic from the start. Maybe the band aren't breaking any new ground musically but it's how the band have developed since their debut album that has impressed me the most. It shows myself that the band could have the potential to release something special in the years to come. For now this is a band trying out different things and taking the listener along for the journey.

Hypnos is a brilliantly entertaining album that will keep fans of both the band and instrumental rock scene entertained for a long time to come. Check it out now.

Words by Steve Howe

Huanastone - Second Stone (Album Review)

Release date: September 29th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Second Stone – Tracklisting

1.Orangino 05:19
2.Reverend 06:50
3.Downtripper 09:02
4.Metabolt 07:04
5.Lizard Queen 10:14


Bass - Filip Larsson,
Vocals - Tobias Gonzalez,
Guitar - Carl Lambertus Olofsson,
Drums - Victor Hansson


Swedish Desert/Stoner Rockers return with a new album and a potentially huge new sound for the band. As they've added more musical elements to their crazy sound. Second Stone offers a potent mix of 70s Hard Rock merged with 90s sounding Grunge, Desert Rock and Stoner Rock influences. It's a very multi-layered and heavy album with the band impressing on songs such as: Orangino, Reverend and the fantastic sounding Lizard Queen.

Though there's a lot more to this album than the potential first listen suggests. As Huanastone lyrics offer a darker perspective once you've listened to the album multiple times. Some parts of the album are very dark indeed. So KUDOS to the band for writing a darker and imaginative take on the standard Desert/Stoner Rock sound.

The instrumental work is good for the whole album with the band playing different styles of music for each of the individual songs. The album does have a QOTSA style vibe around it. Meaning when the mood does become too depressing or dark, the band unleash a superb guitar solo that elevates the atmosphere to a more upbeat mood.

Overall, Second Stone is a superb sounding album with Huanastone on inspired form throughout. It may not be for everyone but if you're in the mood for something different and perhaps a little big more offbeat then Second Stone is the album for you.

A damn good album indeed....

Words by Steve Howe


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Gods & Punks - Into The Dunes Of Doom (Album Review)

Release date: October 13th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD

Into The Dunes Of Doom– Tracklisting

1.Dunes of Doom 05:31
2.Civilization 06:59
3.Rise from the Sand 00:54
4.Signs of Life 03:57
5.Mushroom Cloud 04:16
6.Subatomic Wormhole 06:03
7.The Encounter 14:01


Alexandre - Vocals
Pedro - Lead Guitar
Danilo - Bass
Psy - Rhythm Guitar
Arthur - Drums


Gods & Punks new album, Into The Dunes Of Doom - owes a huge debt of gratitude to Black Sabbath. As the band play a wild variation of Doom/Stoner riffs influenced by that legendary band. Gods & Punks play a heavy blend of Desert Rock, Psych and Stoner Rock which is held together by a classic doom/proto-metal sound. The vocals from Alexandre do sound like Ozzy at times but still stand on their own merits.

The album feels very retro in places and that's no bad thing as Gods & Punks know how to play exciting riffs and exciting lyrics to match. There are seven songs on the album and the band have written some epic tracks to poison your soul with. Standout tracks to check out are: Dunes Of Doom, Civilization, Signs Of Life, Subatomic Wormhole and The Encounter, which runs past the fourteen minute mark. The instrumental work is very good indeed with the band moving from different genres effortlessly.

There are a few psychedelic progressive parts that do drag at times but Gods & Punks return to the standout Doom/Stoner Rock sound. As it gives their sound a more refreshing and addictive edge. The album can be very loud at times and that's perhaps down to the fantastic production. This is a very clear and crisp album with the band creating a record that will appeal to all fans across the Doom, Desert Rock, Psych and Stoner Rock spectrum.

There is something for everyone to enjoy and admire. Into The Dunes Of Doom is a superb album that Gods & Punks should rightly be proud of.

Words by Steve Howe

The physical versions, on CD and Cassette released by Abraxas, Red House and Dinamite records, are coming and you will soon be able to buy.


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Tuskar - Arianrhod (EP Review)

Release date: October 20th 2017. Label: Riff Rock Records. Format: CD/DD

Arianrhod – Tracklisting

1.Fateweaver 05:47
2.Where Strides The Colossus 03:12
3.Toegrinder 03:55
4.Moon-Hooch 07:33
5.Crimson Skull 06:02


Tom Dimmock- Riffsmith (guitar)
Tyler Hodges-Throat Lord and Skin Smasher (vox and drums)


UK Sludge Metallers - Tuskar - have been gathering some major buzz recently before the release of their debut EP. Is the hype justified. You bet. Especially after listening to their debut EP - Arianrhod. So what can you expect. Heavy Sludge Riffs that bring back memories of Mastodon and The Melvins in places.

Opening track - Fateweaver - takes it time with Tuskar playing a heavy distorted and almost droned out riff before exploding into a doom based thunderous noise. Tuskar have elements of Ufomammut psychedelic doom appearing throughout the song. Vocals from Tyler are firmly rooted in the Sludge Rock arena. The vocals are mostly clean but sang in an angry fashion with hardcore style growls appearing towards the end. Fateweaver has a slight DIY approach but it still sounds remarkably clear and fresh.

Second track - Where Strides The Colossus - is a huge sounding song with Tuskar proving their worth by creating one of the EP's best songs. The fast-paced drumming adds real volume and weight to the band's overall sound. The mixture of the stop-start rhythms played against the Sludge/Stoner Metal backdrop sees the band playing their own sound. This is music to violently lose yourself in. Arianrhod is violent and it makes no apologies for that. Though Tuskar still bring moments of melodic Sludge/Stoner Rock at different parts of the EP.

Third track - Toegrinder - has a very cool sounding progressive sludge/stoner rock melody that will no doubt appeal to fans of Torche in places. The mood becomes very psychedelic in parts and it's good to see another side to Tuskar's angry personality. The music is calmly played with measured assurance.

The final two tracks - Moon Hooch and Crimson Skull - lay on the Mastodon-esque atmosphere with aplomb. As the riffs become heavier and dirtier in places. The progressive sounds adds a heavy touch of class with the distorted DIY approach to Tuskar's music makes them standout from the crowd. The vocals veer into more dreamlike and psychedelic territory especially Moon Hooch before the sludge/doom growls fully take over. Tuskar's debut EP is a winning combination of many different heavy Sludge, Doom and Stoner based sounds. Though it mainly shows that Tuskar are perhaps destined for bigger and greater things in the years to come.

The last time I was genuinely excited for a UK Doom/Sludge Metal band was the mighty OHHMS. Look how far those guys have progressed over the last few years or so. Tuskar have similar qualities to OHHMS as they strive to create music on their own terms and what is meant to be heard by the biggest audience possible. Tuskar are going places. Watch these guys soar!!!

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Arianrhod is available to buy on CD/DD via Riff Rock Records now.


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YANOMAMO - Neither Man Nor Beast (Album Review)

Release date: October 20th 2017. Label: Iommium Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Neither Man Nor Beast – Tracklisting

1.Blood Red, Black God
2.Gilded in Gold
3.10,000 Hooves
4.The Number 9
5.Death Whistle Blues
6.A Bad Time for the Empire
8.Neither Man Nor Beast


Jason Higson: Guitars
Clarence Wandren Albatross: Bass
Jack Thomas: Drums
Scott Tabone: Vocals


Australian Stoner Metal scene has provided us with some great albums to listen to recently. Now it's time for Yanomamo to fly the flag for Aussie Doom/Sludge Metal with this nasty slice of epic riffs and their excellent debut album - Neither Man Nor Beast. Influenced by bands such as Conan and Church Of Misery, this album sees the band create a heavy nightmarish sound with blues/stoner grooves appearing from time to time.

Opening track - Blood Red, Black God - perfectly captures the whole tone and atmosphere of the album. With Church Of Misery style guitars but with a different vocal and lyrical perspective. The music is played at a slow to mid pace and that allows the band to draw the listener in with bleak and doom based atmospherics. The vocals from Scott do take some time to get fully used to. Though this is only a few minutes of the album.

Yanomamo earn their Doom/Sludge Metal stripes with the hard-hitting lyrics that touch on some dark subject matters on certain songs of the album. From the opening song, Yanomamo turn on the violent charm with great songs such as Gilded In Gold, 10,000 Hooves, The Number 9, A Bad Year For The Empire and Neither Man Nor Beast All containing many doom/sludge metal moments that will keep fans of the genre entertained until the very end.

The album does become quite progressive in places as the band allows the Stoner Rock/Metal vibes take over for a brief rest from the devilish riffs the band are primarily known for. Maybe the band could have changed the direction of their sound in a few instances on the album. Though it’s still a brilliantly heavy and entertaining album.

Yanomamo do have a wicked sense of humour on some of the songs especially with the lyrics and they deserve credit for how they structure their music around certain songs. It allows the album to become a more enjoyable listening experience. Overall, Yanomamo have released a brutally epic slice of Doom/Sludge Metal with their debut album and it should hopefully find them an appreciative audience to terrify them with.

Words by Steve Howe

Neither Man Nor Beast will be available to buy on CD/DD/'Vinyl from October 20th.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017


APF Records announced this press release earlier today.....

"We are beyond thrilled to announce that Desert Storm have signed to APF Records.

Following on from Desert Storm (2008), Forked Tongues (2010), Horizontal Life (2013) and Omniscient (2015) we will be releasing the quintet's new album SENTINELS worldwide and on all formats on 1st March 2018.

Welcome to the family, boys."

APF Records Links:

Official | Facebook | BandCamp | BigCartel

Desert Storm Links:

Official | Facebook | BandCamp