Saturday, 30 September 2017

HELA - Death May Die (Album Review)

Release date: October 21st 2017. Label: LP Lay Bare Recordings / / CD Digipack: Discos Macarras, Cosmic Tentacles, Música Híbrida. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Death May Die – Tracklisting

1.The Gateway 02:50
2.Mother of Monsters 09:25
3.Touched by Evil 08:51
4.Dark Passenger 10:03
5.Repulsion 08:26
6.Bodies in Hell 03:49


Mireia Porto: vocals & guitars
Julián Velasco: guitars
Tano Giménez: bass
Miguel Fernández: drums


I didn't know what to expect with Hela's new album – Death May Die. As this was my first introduction to Hela's extraordinary dark doom world. I was pleasantly surprised with Hela's take on all things Doom Metal and Alternative Rock. The album can be very expansive and emotionally driven at times but that matches the overall feel and mood of the album.

Opening track – The Gateway – is a superb slice of drone based doom sounds with an eerie and haunting atmosphere being created in the background. Normally I would complain that a song such as this could have used some vocals but Hela made the right choice in opening with a instrumental song.

Second track – Mother Of Monsters – is the first of 4 epic songs that appear on the album and this is perhaps the standout song on the album with Mireia's vocals creating a fine line between 90s Alt Rock and modern sounding Doom style chants. The music is a mixture of Psychedelic Doom, Hard Rock and classic sounding 90s Alt Rock riffs.

The other songs on the album Touched By Evil, Dark Passenger and Repulsion all carry on the dark progressive themes that can be heard within Mother Of Monsters. Though Hela inject a more world weary and heavier Doom Metal atmosphere on the later stages of the album. Maybe the band could have experimented with their sound more but that may have taken away the haunting and emotional message hidden with the album.

The lyrics are superbly written throughout with Hela expressing themselves on a more emotional level that elevates this album onto greater levels. Death May Die is a breathtaking album and one that Hela should be rightly proud of.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Mathieu at Lay Bare Recordings for the promo.

Death May Die is available to buy on Vinyl from Lay Bare Recordings and CD Digipack: Discos Macarras, CosmicTentacles, Música Híbrida.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

FIREBREATHER - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: October 13th 2017. Label: Suicide Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Screen – Tracklisting



Mattias Nööjd
Kyle Pitcher
Fredrik Käll


From the ashes of sadly defunct Sludge/Doom Metal overlords - GALVANO - comes Firebreather. A new Sludge/Doom Metal trio who fuse the familiar sounds of Galvano but match it with a more ferocious intensity of High On Fire. Their debut S/T album is something to behold, admire and riff-worship from afar. As Firebreather are more primal than Galvano.

The riffs have a doomier feel and the vocals from Mattias take influence from Matt Pike at times. Firebreather excel throughout on this fantastic sounding album. As they offer four prime cuts of pure doom/sludge metal riffs that will have you grinning and head-banging in agreement.

Opening track - Fire Foretold - creates a gloomy atmosphere with fast-paced High On Fire inspired riffs but still creating their own sound. The psychedelic elements of Firebreather’s music allow them to experiment more freely with their music and see the band become a force of nature to be reckoned with.

Second track - Emerald Eyes - opens with a long drawn out distorted riff before the bass heavy sounds moves the atmosphere to a more exciting level. The vocals from Mattias may sound harsh and menacing at times but at least you can fully understand them. The music becomes less angry than the opening song but still undeniably heavy. With the song running for around eight minutes, Firebreather have a lot of time to fill. Firebreather do this by playing epic psychedelic doom sounds that soon give way to heavier sludge grooves. You may start to feel and hear the friendlier Stoner Metal riffs that Firebreather add at different parts of the album. The music interplay between all members of the band is what makes the band work exceptionally well. These guys sound and feel they've been playing together for years and this feels like album number five or six and not their debut release.

Third track - The Ice Lord - is strictly a warped doom metal affair with the heavy riffs driving the demented mood along to its natural conclusion. The whole sound of the album becomes more volatile and fragmented with Firebreather coming into their own identity and leaving the High On Fire and Galvano comparisons finally behind. The music is more primal and offers a more doom-centric on the second half stages of the album.

The final song - Release The Lava - is the standout track and centrepiece of the album. As it runs for twelve minutes and sees Firebreather adapt a more progressive style to their music. The song can be too laid-back and slow-paced at times but Firebreather soon correct that with their intense blend of Psychedelic Doom and Sludge Metal driving the song to an exciting conclusion.

Firebreather's debut album maybe too short, clocking in less than thirty three minutes. Though it's what Firebreather do with those thirty three minutes is what counts the most. As Firebreather have created a brilliantly heavy and exciting debut album that will leave fans wanting more. An outstanding debut album that showcases another great band from the Swedish Doom/Sludge Metal scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for the promo. Firebreather S/T debut album will be available to buy via Suicide Records on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 13th 2017.


Disastroid - Screen (Album Review)

Release date: October 2nd 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Screen – Tracklisting

2.New Day
4.I Didn't Kill Myself
5.Getting in the Way
7.Choke the Falcon
8.Clinical Perfection


Enver Koneya: Guitar/Vocals
Travis Williams: Bass
Braden McGaw: Drums
Robot : Horrible crying


Disastroid new album - Screen - may sound like a very straight forward affair from your first listen to the album. Though the album is very deceptive as the band takes a Melvins-esque approach to their music. With heavy slabs of Sludge Rock merged with Noise, Grunge and some vicious sounding Doom/Stoner sounds.

The opening track - Screen - starts off rather quietly before the band adapts a familiar Melvins style approach with the song. As it fully explodes into a violent Noise/Sludge/Grunge Rock style musical orgy with addictive elements of psychedelic rock appearing towards the end of the song.

The next song on the list is - New Day - which takes a more punk based route with the heavy sludge/stoner grooves being added at the later stages of the song. The song becomes more eerily psychedelic as the bass heavy guitar sounds draw you further into Disastroid's clutches and it's very hard to escape from.

Third song - Dinosaur - opens with a mighty thunderous grunge/sludge/style roar. The drumming and guitars have a heavy stop-start approach with the vocals adopting a more soulful take compared to other songs on the album. One of the main strengths of the album is how Distatroid move from the different sounds they have at their disposal and still sound remarkably fresh. The album stays vibrant and fun throughout.

With songs such as Getting In The Way, Coyote, Choke The Falcon and Gunslinger offering the listener an exciting and devilish ride into the darker side of Grunge/Stoner/Noise rock. The production is superb with Screen staying loud, boisterous and heavy right until the very end. The band may suffer from an identity crisis at times with the amount of different sounds and genres held on the album. Though it works to the bands advantage. As most of the songs have a different feel to each other.

The lyrics maybe too simple at times but for what Disastroid are trying to accomplish here, Screen doesn't suffer at all. As Screen is an exciting and rebellious album that has a lot to offer to the more adventurous Grunge/Sludge/Stoner Rock fan.

Words by Steve Howe


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

RoadKillSoda - MEPHOBIA (Album Review)

Release date: 4th Quarter 2017. Label: Universal Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

MEPHOBIA – Tracklisting

1. Prometheus
2. Bipolar
3. Consequences
4. Easy
5. Casualty
6. Legless
7. Order
8. Dip
9. Backhander
10. Tonight
11. Trust


Mircea Petrescu "Hotshot Eagle" - vox
Mihnea Ferezan "Panda Elixir" - gtrs
Victor "Vava" Ferezan - bass
Mihai Nicolau "Baby Jesus" - drums


RoadKillSoda return with a new album called Mephobia and it's another winning round of high octane Stoner Rock/Metal. Don't let the racy and suggestive album cover fool you. This is RoadKillSoda back on inspired form after their last acoustic offering.

Opening track - Prometheus - opens with a frenzied Desert/Stoner Rock riff with the band creating a heavier Fuzz/Desert Rock sound. The vocals appear a few minutes into the song and they have a more punk based approach. The song also showcases RoadKillSoda new fascination with Blues Rock, as the song moves to a heavier blues rock sound towards the end.

Second song - Bipolar - has a more direct Stoner Metal approach with the band playing a more classic style of Stoner Metal that echoes the classic style of Kyuss. The song sees RoadKillSoda playing a more trippy psychedelic style of music compared to other songs on the album. This is the style of music where RoadKillSoda impress the most. As the psychedelic music allows the band to fully explore their Desert Rock/Stoner Metal sound.

Songs such as Consequences, Easy, Casualty, Order, Backhander and Trust all prove that RoadKillSoda have a real passion and drive for creating stoner metal sounds of their own. The vocals have a grungier feel compared to other RoadKillSoda albums of the past. The album maybe influenced by Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu to closely at times but which modern day Stoner Rock/Metal band isn't. At least RoadKillSoda inject their own identity into their music unlike some other bands within the Stoner Rock/Metal world. At least RoadKillSoda adopt a more Southern Rock approach on the later stages of the album. The lyrics whilst good for the most part do tend to drag on certain songs of the album.

The standout factors of the album is the music, vocals and the excellent production. As this is perhaps the best that RoadKillSoda have sounded so far. For their last studio album, the band released a double album which was quite an extensive and exhausting listen, even for a Stoner Rock/Metal album. This time, RoadKillSoda offer a more direct and manageable album for their established fan-base to worship from afar.

The standout song on the album has to be the nine minute epic psychedelic/stoner based jams of DIP. A song that sees the band playing different styles of Desert/Stoner Rock but with a more progressive edge. DIP has a more classic nineties sounding grunge feel with the band enjoying themselves more than any other song on the album.

RoadKillSoda are definitely aiming for bigger and better things with this album. As it's their biggest and boldest album to date. RoadKillSoda take a wide range of risks on Mephobia and overall it's a major success. This is an album that will no doubt appeal to their established fan-base the most. Though if you're a casual observer there is much to enjoy and admire here. Mephobia is another winning album from RoadKillSoda.

Words by Steve Howe

MEPHOBIA will be released within the 4th Quarter of 2017. The album will be released on CD/DD/Vinyl via Universal Music.


The Sun The Moon The Mountain: A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia by Various Artists - (Album Review)

Release date: September 04th 2017. Label: Archaeopia. Format: DD/Vinyl

The Sun The Moon The Mountain: A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia – Tracklisting

1.Tau & Villagers of Ioannina City - Wakey Wakey 05:07
2.The Road Miles - 600 Miles 04:05
3.Cyanna Mercury - The Flood 05:09
4.Sleepin Pillow - Amplifier In My Heart 05:12
5.Green Yeti - Monkey Riders 08:21
6.Craang - When In Ruins 07:55


The Sun The Moon The Mountain: A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia is a concept album put together by newly formed Greek Record label - Archaeopia. This concept of the album is described below which I've taken from the label's BandCamp Page

The Sun. The Moon. The Mountain. Three fundamental elements of the Greek psyche. From the Homeric hymns of the fiery-stallion-riding sun-god Helios and his ethereal sister Selene, goddess of the moon, to the myriad myths and legends surrounding the highlands and the consecration of Mount Olympus as the dwelling of the gods, these inextricable components of the Greek landscape, brimming with rich symbolism and religious gravitas, have dominated indigenous lore, mythology, literature, poetry and music for millennia.

Juxtaposing our title to the collection of songs featured on this vinyl, the following concept might arise: The sun represents psychedelic rock in its most lurid expression, a euphoric desert plain walkabout towards a bacchic celebration of light. The moon takes us on a slow-burning trip into the night, with the melancholic exaltation of glazed psychedelia. The mountain is manifested by a massive wall of sound, evoking visions of dark rites and primordial cults. Each featured band mirrors a singular element, steering into a substantial whole.

The album has the big hitters of Green Yeti and Craang showcasing some new tunes. Which is always good to hear. There are other bands on the compilation that I haven't heard of before but I'm majorly impressed with. Tau & Villagers Of Ioannina City and Cyanna Mercury being the standout bands for myself.

This is a very cool idea featuring Greek bands writing new material and bringing them all together for one wonderful sounding trippy as hell psychedelic ride into the unknown. The album drifts from psychedelic rock to the heavier Stoner based sounds that Green Yeti and Craang are known for.

The Sun The Moon The Mountain: A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia could have easily followed the same boring compilation route of putting these bands together without any real thought or imagination. So Archaeopia deserve full credit for bringing these bands together and creating a beautifully sounding and heavy album that stands on it's own merits.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


Monday, 25 September 2017

Slomatics: Futurians Live At Roadburn (Album Review)

Release date: October 06th 2017. Label: Roadburn Records. Format: DD/Vinyl

Futurians Live At Roadburn – Tracklisting

Electric Breath
Running Battle
Return to Kraken
And Yet It Moves
Ulysses My Father
March of the 1000 volt Ghost


Chris Couzens - Guitar
David Majury - Guitar
Marty Harvey - Drums/Vocals


"Good evening, we're Slomatics from Belfast". These words open the live LP that feels like the culmination of a genre and our community. While the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands is relatively unknown to the outside World, it is the Mecca of doom, stoner and all things heavy in Eurppe. And this years live-release is by none other than the Irish three-piece known as Slomatics.

If you haven't indulged in what already feels like a staple and a classic, Future Echo Return, from yesteryear you should do so before diving into this. Just to fully appreciate the nuances these guys add to their live works and to get a taste of exactly how much Slomatics aggression incorporate in their live-performance. Just listen to And Yet It Moves and you'll soon know what I mean. Phasers are set to kill.

The pure energy that these fellows named David, Chris and Marty have live really is breathtaking. The guitars doesn't just feel like ten-ton sludgehammers raining down low end-fury over the World, they really are. It's why the intro to Electric Breath feels even more vibrant than it's studio version. The live-album manages to capture the nerve these guys play with. It's faster and perhaps holds more aggression than the studio counterpart. This is why the album has such a triumphant feel. Even though I wasn't there that day at Roadburn, I feel the energy Slomatics poured out.

It is when Jon of Conan makes his appearance on the stage to do vocals for March Of The 1000 Volt Ghost that even the most hardened doom-veteran should get a fair share of goosebumps. This finale encapsules perfectly what Slomatics are and stand for. With the added help of Jon's screams, it's an instant classic with riffs drenched in what feels like a heavy toxin.

Slomatics – Futurians Live At Roadburn is the sound of our everyday fuzz-heroes David, Chris and Marty laying waste to one of the mightiest festivals in all of Europe. It is why any of us are part of this big friendly community. When the crowd erupt in claps and screams over the tonnes of Ritual Beginnings, it feels and sounds like something had changed. I can't begin to fathom how anyone that was there could ever recover from the crushing performance that day, and by recording it the people at Roadburn ensured that no one ever will. For that I say thank you and good job.

Words by Simon Ohlsson

Slomatics: Futurians Live At Roadburn will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from Roadburn Records from October 06th 2017.



Release date: October 06th 2017. Label: Czar Of Revelations. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Volva – Tracklisting



Lukas Fürer
Jonathan Schmidli
Renato Matteucci

The Lowdown

Echolot will be releasing their superb new album - Volva - on October 06th 2017. You can read my review of the album here and my recent interview with the band here.

Ahead of the album's release, we have an exclusive song premiere of their song - IVfrom the album, which you can listen to below.

Almost 17 minutes of pure Psych/Doom/Stoner Rock magic. 

Preorder links

CD - Pre-Order here
LP - Pre-Order here

Tour Dates 2017

26.09.: CH-Basel Hirscheneck
27.09.: CH-Luzern Bruch Brothers
29.09.: FR-Montpellier Black Sheep
04.10.: NL-Utrecht ACU
06.10.: NL-Gouda Studio Gonz
07.10.: DK-Helsingor Elvaerket
11.10.: CZ-Brno Klub M13
12.10.: AT-Vienna Derwisch
14.10.: CH-Hausen Am Albis - Has Club Festival
15.10.: FR-Altkirch L’Oasis
28.10.: CH-Rohrschach Treppenhaus


Official | Facebook

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


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'


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.



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.


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: 

For More Info Visit:

Official Event: 

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


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


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


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


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


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.