Wednesday, 13 December 2017

CLAMFIGHT - III (Album Review)


Release date: January 19th 2018. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD

III - Tracklisting

1. Whale Road
2. Selkie
3. Echoes in Stone
4. Eynhallow
5. History of the Earls of Orkney

Members

Joel Harris: guitar
Louis Koble: bass
Andy Martin: drums/vocals
Sean McKee: guitar

Review

Greetings all,
I had the most righteous honor of checking out the new album by Philadelphia riff masters Clamfight. III is obviously the bands third release and it is an amazing set of 5 slabs of killer sludge. The band credits alot of the hallmarks of the stoner metal as their influences, and while you can certainly here those influences the fellas in Clamfight do an amazing job of sounding original and masterful. There are elements from the 70's to today and the band finds a way to wink and nod at 40+ years of killer music in only 5 crushing tracks.
To the tracks, the album opens with Whale Road which spans over 11 minutes and kicks of with a surf inspired intro that instantly reminded me of that used in Pulp Fiction. The song varies into a lot of directions as their is a bit of Neurosis when the song kicks in before going in to a Clutch inspired guitar breakdown before some heavy, heavy drums in the outro. Selkie comes in next and it hits you hard and fast. The song is heavy, period. Echoes in Stone is an impressive multi faceted song. There is some Eyehategod level sludge mixed with female vocals and an absolutely face melting guitar solo outro. Eynhallow is the shortest track on the record at a little over 5 minutes. It is a slow instrumental interpretations that opens with a subdued bass line before bringing in some David Gilmour/Pink Floyd inspired guitar work with a nice mix of synths to keep the mood mellow. The album closes with the impressive 12+ minutes of History of Earls of Orkney that comes in with a leisurely 3 minute start before kicking in with an amazing riff that will leave your neck a bit on the sore side. There are so many aspects of this song that are utterly amazing.
Clamfight has bestowed upon us an amazing piece of work. I implore anyone reading this to take the time and track this record down. The band is set to start 2018 with more than just a bang. Do yourself a favor and track down III. I know I am.
-Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to Barbara at NeeCee Agency for the promo. III will be available to buy on CD/DD via Argonauta Records from Jan 19th 2018.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Shadow Witch - Disciples Of The Crow (Album Review)


Release date: December 15th 2017. Label: Salt Of The Earth Records. Format: CD/DD

Disciples Of The Crow - Tracklisting

1. Love Could Be Like This
2. Reap
3. Cruel
4. Disciples Of The Crow
5. Stranger Skies
6. The Sea
7. Beneath The Veil
8. Dead Heroes

Members

David Pannullo (bass)
Jeremy H. Hall (guitars)
Doug “Beans” Thompson (drums)
Earl Walker Lundy (vocals, mellotron, samples)

Review

Psychedelic Doom Metallers – Shadow Witch – return with their new album – Disciples Of The Crow. Coming about 16 months of their debut album which the whole Doom/Stoner Metal community rated quite highly including myself.

Newly signed to Salt Of The Earth Records it's good to see the band expand more on their progressive sound with opening track- Love Could Be Like This – creating quite an uplifting Doom/Stoner Metal vibe. It's very demonic parts but it's so damn catchy with the band writing 80s Classic sounding Doom/Hard Rock lyrics. The vocals from Earl have matured since the last album. He's more focused and his vocals soar to new heights. The music is still influenced by Mastodon, Sabbath and Clutch but that's a good thing. As at least Shadow Witch are giving their own spin on the Progressive Doom/Stoner Metal sound.

Second track – Reap – is a more soulful occult/doom rock sound with the band adding a more blues/funk guitar that tries a little too hard to merge 70s Doom Rock with a 90s Alt Rock/Stoner Metal feel. It's still a very good song to listen to. I wasn't a fan of the different funk based moods that this song contains. Earl's vocals are very dramatic and OTT at times but I feel that's the whole point of this song.

Third track – Cruel – sees the band return to winning ways with a CLUTCH inspired guitar sound. This is high octane Blues fuelled Stoner Rock with a gloomy psychedelic score being the main focus of the song. This is the style of music where Shadow Witch excel at. It's superbly played and the psychedelic progressive riffs only endear you to the band even more. The different styles of music is another highlight with the band switching to a more sombre classic rock/doom rock sound towards the end of the song.

Fourth track – Disciples Of The Crow – has Shadow Witch become a fully fledged DOOM METAL Band. As they leave all their fancy and imaginative psychedelic stoner sounds behind and embrace a more demonic vision. Earl's vocals are bang on point here when sung against the slowly played macabre sounds. The atmosphere becomes heavier and more frantic as the mood of the album will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The second half of the album is equally as good as the first half if not better. The Sea and and Dead Heroes are perhaps the standout tracks on the later stages of the album. As the songs sees the band experiment with their sound more by adding different elements of music. Some trippy post-rock style sounds appear on The Sea. It's quite a slow-paced affair to start off with. Though Shadow Witch know when to play a superb sounding progressive doom metal melody that offers a few surprises along the way.

Shadow Witch raise the ANTE and EXCITEMENT in every aspect with the album. Shadow Witch could have easily released Sun Killer Part Two. But Nope. The band took another route and have released a more daring and genuinely exciting record.

Disciples Of The Crow is a Stoner/Doom Metal Masterpiece. I know that term gets branded around too easily and very quickly at times. However I stand by my review. This album is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Leanne at Mettle Media PR for the promo. Disciples Of The Crow will be released via Salt Of The Earth Records on CD/DD from December 15th 2017.

Links:

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Enhailer - Dumb Enough To Care (EP Review)


Release date: December 11th 2017. Label: Blackseed Records. Format: CD/DD

Dumb Enough To Care - Tracklisting

1. Dumb Enough To Care

Members

Michael Gilpatrick-Bass
Mike Shea-Guitar
Mathew Snyder- Guitar
Chadd Beverlin-Drums

Review

Enhailer's new EP – Dumb Enough To Care – is 18:23 minutes of bleak Progressive Stoner/Doom Metal. I haven't heard of these guys before and their latest release impressed me from the very first listen. The band create an epic and distorted style of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal that offers a bleak atmosphere from the very start.

The pissed off vocals just add to the heavy and furious atmosphere that Enhailer expertly create. Taking influence from bands such as Mastodon, Neurosis, Bongripper and even Pelican at times but with a more Doomed Out Stoner Metal sound holding everything together.

Dumb Enough To Care is superbly played throughout with the band creating a nightmarish world of different sounds and textures. The soundclips spliced throughout the EP have been strategically placed to amp up the gloomy atmospherics of the entire record. Though the standout parts of the EP appear towards the end when Enhailer ditch the Doom/Gloom theatrics for a more focused Progressive Stoner Metal sound.

I maybe Dumb Enough To Care but not dumb enough to recognise a band who have the potential to release something more substantial in the future and perhaps a full length album.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for the promo.

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Borracho - Riffograhpy (Album Review)


Release date: December 08th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Riffography - Tracklisting

1.Rectify 03:19
2.Círculos Concéntricos 03:20
3.Mob Gathering 03:56
4.Short Ride (When It's Over) 03:20
5.Stockpile (alternate vocals) 11:23
6.Know the Score (alternate vocals) 07:16
7.Know My Name 04:39
8.King's Disease 05:02
9.Fight the Prophets 07:20
10.Superego 07:38
11.Shark Tank 06:03
12.Border Crossing 04:03
13.Animal Magnetism 05:52

Members

Steve - Guitars & vocals
Mario - Drums & percussion
Tim - Bass & backing vocals

Review

Washington DC Stoner Metallers – Borracho – have released a string of acclaimed releases since their formation in 2007. 2016's Atacama made my best albums of 2016 list. Now the band are back and they've released a greatest hits of sorts. Well not a greatest hits package as such. Just all the previously released vinyl only tracks.

Borracho explain more: Since we first started jamming in late 2007 we’ve made a habit of sprinkling some goodies before, between, and beside our LPs. For the first time, a collection of these previously vinyl-only tracks is now available on the comprehensive Riffography CD. This incredible package includes singles, b-sides, and splits - from our first 2008 single “Rectify” to the just announced “Border Crossing” 7”

What you have is some outstanding slices of Desert/Stoner Metal from one of the best Stoner Metal bands around. There are songs here that I hadn't even heard of before. Such as Rectify. Yeah I know it's been out for ages. I just focused on Borracho's full length albums and EP's. Shame on me for that mistake. However I'm grateful that Borracho have released this excellent album. OK, it's not a proper album as such but you can see the progression of Borracho's sound to what it is today.

This is a must have album for any self respecting Borracho fan. If you're new to the world of Borracho then Riffography is the best place to start.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Riffography is available to buy now.

Links:


KOZMIK CORNER - Upcoming Vinyl Releases From KOZMIK ARTIFACTZ


Who cares that most of the upcoming Vinyl Releases from Kozmik Artifactz have already been released. Let's rejoice that this great label is releasing some of the best sounding albums of recent years on Vinyl with Whoopie Cat, Snowchild, Mississippi Bones, His Masters Voice - The Devil's Blues and Deadneck being set for release in the next month or so.

Out of those 5 great album releases Snowchild have to be my top pick. As it's one of the best Doom Metal Albums of 2016. Especially if you're a fan of Black Sabbath and other legendary Doom Metal Bands.

Snowchild

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl




Whoopie Cat


Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl





Mississippi Bones

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl



His Masters Voice - The Devil's Blues

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl



Deadneck

Facebook | BandCamp | Kozmik Artifactz Vinyl


Angus Black - S/T (Album Review)


Release date: October 10th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: DD

Angus Black – S/T - Tracklisting

1.All the Sins 05:43
2.I'll Guide You Home 03:27
3.I'm Yours 12:16
4.Incomplete 08:17
5.Children of The Stars 05:17
6.Leaving 07:24

Members

Antti: Guitar, Vocals, Synths
Sampo: Drums
Jyri: Bass

Review

Holy Hell. Angus Black maybe one of the best Black Sabbath sounding and inspired bands I've heard this year. As their debut album matches the classic Sabbath sound with a more gloomier Fuzz Rock sound. The album is very psychedelic from the start with Antti's vocals taking influence from both Ozzy and Uncle Acid. Though Angus Black manage to stand on their own convictions in creating a highly effective Post-Doom/Fuzz/Hard Rock sound.

The opening track – All The Sins – operates fully as a Doom/Psych/Stoner Metal song that showcases Angus Black's music to almost ear-splitting perfection. The music drifts from gloomy theatrics to the heavier psychedelic sounding vibes heard on the later stages of the song. This gives the listener a full glimpse on what to expect for the remainder of the album. A superb audio soundclip shows you how dark the album can really be when the album progresses onto the other songs held on the album.

Second track – I'll Guide You Home – carries on the dark gloomy atmosphere from the opening track but with Angus Black playing a more precise song that doesn't waste any time in playing some classic doom based riffs.

Third track – I'm Yours – is Progressive Doom Metal excess of the highest order. Angus Black capture the early sounding vibe of Uncle Acid and give it a Progressive Doom Metal makeover. The Psychedelic Stoner/Occult Rock sounds give this song a more modern sounding feel. The music is played deliberately slow throughout. As the band create the standout song on the entire album.

The remaining 3 songs on the album – Incomplete, Children Of The Stars and Leaving offer more highly stylized Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal that fans of 70s Hard Rock/Heavy Metal will find very hard to resist. I would say Children Of The Stars is perhaps the best track of the bunch. As Angus Black play a more standard Retro style of Doom/Hard Rock that still sounds remarkably modern at the same time.

Overall, Angus Black have released an exquisite sounding album that offers the right amount of thrills and spills. You would be a fool to miss out this on record. Impressive As Hell.

Words by Steve Howe

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Pale Horseman - The Fourth Seal (Album Review)


Release date: December 08th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

The Fourth Seal - Tracklisting

1.Final War 06:25
2.Witches Will Gather 05:50
3.Aokigahara 06:45
4.Bereavement 08:46
5.Gnashing Of Teeth 05:43
6.Forlorn Extinction 04:37
7.Pale Rider 07:08
8.Tyrant 05:33
9.Phantasmal Voice 07:43

Members

Eric Ondo, Rich Cygan, Jason Schryver, Andre Almaraz

Review

Even though I'm huge fan of Baroness and Mastodon, I'm willing to admit I miss their earlier albums heavy progressive sludge riffs before they abandoned that sound for a more commercial based sound. This is why I'm thankful for bands such as Pale Horseman who have taken up the mantle of creating highly complex and progressive sludge metal sounds.

Now four albums into their career, the band return with The Fourth Seal. A heavy complex and highly intelligent journey that has a lot of soulful psychedelic grooves that allows the band to have a more threatening presence compared to their other albums.

Opening track - Final War - has a thrash metal groove with the band channelling early Metallica especially with the thrash paced guitars and pitch perfect vocals. The progressive sludge element of the album is the main focus here as Pale Horseman manages to sound like a direct threat to the more established bands within the Progressive Sludge Metal scene. It's good to hear Pale Horseman change the mood of the album so early on. As they'll happily be playing a Thrash Metal sound before switching to a more soulful psychedelic riff. The majority of the songs held on the album run from six to nine minutes in length. With this being a progressive sounding album, Pale Horseman includes a lot of interesting ideas in both the music and lyrics held within the album.

The next three songs on the album: Witches Will Gather, Aokigahera and Bereavement - are perhaps the standout moments of the album. As the sounds of Witches Will Gather and Bereavement have a strong balance of Thrash, Progressive, Sludge and Psychedelic vibes that leave you pressing the rewind button for more enlightenment and even punishment. The production is another highlight of the album. As the album feels dynamic and fresh from the very start. The instrumental work is LOUD and throws you right into the centre of the action. You feel that Pale Horseman is playing right in front of you. So top marks on the production side of things.

Other songs on the album that I was impressed with were Pale Rider and Phantasmal Voice as the band expertly switch genres yet again whilst still delivering a true "underground" Progressive Sludge Metal experience. If you feel let down by the current studio outputs of Baroness and Mastodon. You need to experience Pale Horseman for yourselves. Some people may feel the album maybe slightly too long in parts. Though that feeling will go away within time. As there is a lot of music to digest and fully understand here. So please give this album repeated listens before making your final decision.

The album also has its fair share of Doom and Gloom parts. As The Fourth Seal has a creepy narrative that becomes even more threatening when the band slow things down and play gloomy soundscapes against a progressive thrash/sludge metal backdrop. The Fourth Seal is perhaps Pale Horseman's most complete album to date. As the album feels more focused and perhaps fully realized compared to their earlier albums.

The Fourth Seal is one of those albums why you fell in love with Heavy Metal music in the first place. You want an album that is challenging and extremely heavy from the start. Well look no further, Pale Horseman is here to answer your prayers....

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Curtis at Dewar PR for the promo.

Links: