Saturday, June 30, 2012

the delightful taste of killer rare Tapes : "demos + live" ELDER

It took a rather long while to arrive but I finally have received my special TAPES order from Acid Punx with Ice Dragon (both first album and "the sorrowful sun" ) and a few others I should write about shortly... I love tapes, that sound is very special here too and the product itself is so different. As I already wrote it in that post about Acid Punx rds, this pack also of course included ELDER "demos + live", a special limited edition of 100 handnumbered copies (it's written that this is a 1st pressing, so there could be more). 
Well, if you already have read my review about "dead roots stirring" (here) you may then remember how I was impressed by the amazing evolution of the trio between their (honest and promising) 1st album and this little jewel; now listening to this demo, I could even add that in 4 years (this demo was recorded in 2007) ELDER has evoluted in an impressive  and exceptionnal way... a rising trajectory that deserves an infinite respect.
In fact the gap crossed between both albums was more in musical terms, while the gap between the demo and 1st album is more relative to the vocals which are here (on the 3 songs of the demo) very primar, raw and in fact almost sludge for the most parts; honestly they are pretty average to my ears and   I would say that fortunatelyNick DiSalvo found quickly its way for something far more catchy and homogeneous with the music.
Even if some nice original ideas have already matured, the music (let's remind it : on this 1st effort from a young starting band) is  more than ever influenced by Sleep and we just can hear here and there a few premises of this intense taste for long psychedelic jaming. Two years later, 1st album had already shown more personnality which was more than confirmed on "Dead Roots Stirring" last year !!!
Considering this, maybe you could think that this tape isn't worth checking out.... you would be wrong, first because none of these songs is on the 1st album, so if you're a real fan, 3 unreleased songs  ("1162", "Red Sunrise" and "Black Midnight") from Elder is a sufficient argument in itself :) but there's also 2 live songs as kind of bonus  : "Gemini" (at Stoner Hands of Doom 2009, have a look on the video !!!) and "Riddle of Steel" (2010), both with a correct sound and  giving a good idea of ELDER's evolution over the years. Let me remember you that we speak here about one of the HEAVIEST bands of the Psychedelic Stoner Rock genre, he he he ! 
Knowing that they actually tour the States quite intensively and listening this makes me think and strongly hope they'll come in Europe next year, why not at Roadburn where they were programmed a few times between the end of soundchecks and the beginning of bands set on the main stage... ? that would be awesome ;) Now that I got this tape and their tour is about to end, I'm gonna work on that interview !
Get this while there's some left at :

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Prepare to drown in a swamp with "Tarnation" from BASTARD OF THE SKIES

This SLUDGE quartet from Blackburn (UK) is everything except a new band as they already have a consistant catalogue of releases and live performances.
 Formed in 2006 and consisiting in Matt Richardson -guit/vox-, Rob Beesley -guit-, Claire Horrocks -bass- and Matt Aldred on drums, the band indeed released a self titled debut album in 2008 and it's follow up "Ichor! Ichor!" in 2010...
Their latest release, dated from last December, is a split album with Catatomic (Wisconsin, US); just as for all their previous stuff, 4 songs from this split (out of 5, a Neil Young cover must be added to make the count) are streaming on their Bandcamp page, revealing their uncompromised and filthy Sludge goodness.
What is rather distinctive in the sound of B.O.T.S. is that heavy and  intense metallic tone executed sharply with an extremely  downtuned, filthy and vicious approach; from effort to effort this is amazingly matured which makes me think that this fucking underground world definitely not makes enough justice to more and more bands, including of course this one on the top's list !
BASTARD OF THE SKIES recently toured the UK with Jucifer and in the past have played with bands such as Harvey Milk, Baroness, Kylesa, Today Is The Day, Conan, Alunah, Undersmile, Black Sun, Lazarus Blackstar and loads more.

What's next now ? Well, there's not a long wait until the third album, "Tarnation", will be released through Future Noise Recordings in the Summer and that's exciting cause this band rips believe me....
Matt recorded and mixed it himself at his own studio (Full Stack Recording Studio) and it was mastered  by James Plotkin. The artwork is actually in the process, but it's being done by Sean Schock who has worked with Yob and Buzzoven (and many more).

The track list of "Tarnation" (new 3rd album) is :

01 Drug Monarch
02 A Punch In The Fucking Lungs
03 (Roasted in the Depths of the) Sloar
04 Bastard Sabbath
05 Tarnation
06 Repugnance
07 Bookatee Willalee
08 Locklear
09 Snapmare
10 What are You Looking at Dicknose?

Matt kindly sent me an advance track ("repugnance") which is an overwhelming appetizer, one of their slowest song, almost doomy in the mood, darker but still very sick... can't wait to hear this new album which I'm convinced should be one of the highlight of the year !!! This needs TOTAL support \m/

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Vicious Circle" : enjoy the Fuzzy free download of HALMOS

After ORDER OF THE OWL earlier in the month, I'm happy to present you another new band from Atlanta : HALMOS... and next time it'll be maybe Demonaut or Blasted Goat, as there's many interesting ressources over there :) 
Released a few months ago "Vicious Cycle" is now available for FREE through their Bandcamp page, so you're warned that there's no excuse possible to miss these great Stoned minstrels !!!
It seems this has been recorded as a duo between Corey Briley (guit/voc) and Travis Anderson (drums/voc), while Casey Yarbrough (from Order of the Owl) joined shortly after on bass.
This ep contains 5 songs for about 30 minutes of heavy, raw and dirty STONER with pronounced and regular Sludgy hints. A solid and punchy mix of influences from bands such as SLEEP, THE MELVINS, FU MANCHU (slight but present to my ears through some backing vocals and a little punkish warmth at times) and ELECTRIC WIZARD when it turns really heady and weedy ;) Rather classic in its execution, the style of HALMOS is caracterized by a dense and smokey fuzziness that is kind of nicely bewitching... this fucking rips !!!
Yet already very thick and infusing, I'm convinced that the arrival of Casey should enrich the density of their sound, all this allows strongly to expect some great things for the near future; meanwhile enjoy this nice debut !

Monday, June 25, 2012

... "rituals" by SHEVER, one of the heaviest female-band on earth !!!

After a 1st full-length in 2007  + an ep in 2010 (both autoproduced), 'rituals" the sophomore album of shEver finally just came out through Total Rust rds - one year after its recording... 
Existing for about 8 years, the musical style of this (all-female) quatuor from Switzerland has consistently matured over the years; this is certainly not just related to their developped musical abilities but from a rather basic Funeral Doom/Death at their beginnings, they have nicely gone through something thicker with more atmospheres and variations.
Sure the pace is still very slow, extremely heavy and despaired , plus songs are  long,  but I now hear more basis taken in Trad' Doom ("you're the mirror" especially) or eventually Sludge  than anything obvious dealing with Doom Death Metal à la Mythic (often cited previously, which was an easy comparison considering the type of line-up but not really exact otherwise) or MDB and shit that's cool !!!  
While the sludgy bass is maybe more omnipresent and crushing ("ritual of chaos" and "je suis née") and guitars sound more piercing ("souls collinding"), the overall is definitely more menacing at the same time, not just by the scary vocals of Alexandra which are reaching excellence when turning agonizing like on "ritual of chaos"(it's impressive how she seems to be strangled here... brrr !) but also by solemn, colder atmospheres which erased a great part of the monolithic aspects from previous stuff, for something still heady but fairly rich and soaring.
I'm really not sure that the label Death/Doom is still appropriated to the band, no offense to anyone but this style is pretty outdated for many people (including me), while the music of shEver is NOT outdated at all and is far more catchy than what this generally implies... If there's some bands to think about when listening those doomed ladies then Thorr's Hammer, Grief, St Vitus,Neurosis and Wooden Stake (for the creepy vocals and witchy moods) should give you a better picture of how amazing this band sounds... 
shEver is a DOOM band, eying more or less seriously on some of its related genres that's a fact but  in the  structures and moods they are DOOM to my ears !  so forget all the boring cliches you could read or hear about them and give them all the attention they deserve ...

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Licantropia" by FINDUMONDE

Out from Argentina, FINDUMONDE formed in 2009 and consist in former and current members of Jesus Martyr, Avernal and Embodiment, solid acts of the local scene, but with this "Licantropia" I wouldn't be surprised if this new project become quickly a priority for each members, leading their future plans far beyond the supposed fatidical of 21th December 2012 !!!
FINDUMONDE is a brutal DM band, in its rawest and straightest form, highly loud and brutal with blast beats, shredding guitars and ferocious growled vocals. They could be ranged somewhere between Napalm Death and Misery Index, constantly sharp and aggressive but (to my ears) not eying at all on lacerating grindcore, FINDUMONDE rather adds nicely a few different elements that make the difference. First and mainly, the vocals in spanish obviously give a special touch to the overall, a promising personnality enhanced by some thrashy overtones here and there which could effectively remind the thickness and unpredictability of the best Strapping Young Lad.
Constantly wild and brutal, just slightly melodic, the band does not  try to sound old-school, neither too modern with a too synthetical sound. Also this is not particularly influenced by a special school  -no US, no Sweden-like pale copies-, but on the other hand nothing new in particular, it's just like they did a great synthesis of the best displayed in the DM planet over the years and I think this deserve respect and attention.

"Chapter II - Vulgo gratissumus auctor" by AT DEVIL DIRT

I may not have heard hundreds, but when speaking about South American stuff, I must admit that whichever style they could  play, I've always had a little preference for Chilean bands. This started back in the late 80's with Pentagram and continued sporadically over the years... At Devil Dirt is a new band added to my list of Chilean gems !!!
This duo composed of Néstor Ayala (vocals/guit) and Fransisco Alvarado (drums) released here a stunning sophomore album "Chapter II - Vulgo gratissimus auctor", which  is exactly what I needed this week, (after the deluge of decibels at Hellfest, last week-end) :  a great piece of hot and soulful Stoner, heavy and full of fuzzy guitars.
Particularly through very distinctive vocals, we can hear some Grunge (think about Alice in Chains) and Desert Rock influences which make the approach of A.D.D. quite easily accessible while the music is pretty loud and heavy.
I love that contrast between the deepness and melody of the vocals and the guitars which are  very heady and crushing; even if this is different and doesn't exactly recover the same kind of textures,  I feel this sounds a bit similar as the heaviest side of OM and even a few weedy SLEEPian overtones can be smelt here and there ! I honestly think these are just references, nothing too obvious and easy that you've heard ten times before, this is defenitley fresh, sincere and harmonious and makes it an agreeable surprise...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Crawl Space" by THE MARCH

"Crawl Space" is the posthumous new ep of THE MARCH, out from Lille in the north of France... The main important thing is that it came out despite the band's split, but listening to it quickly leads you to deplore that these 5 guys didn't continue the adventure !
Well, this 5 songs ep consists in about 30 minutes of burning Post HC, pretty gnarly basically with harsh guitars riffage and screamed vocals, sometimes eying on Sludge's intensity with a nice chaotic edge ("Nate Williams", "the dyed wall"). What characterize the band's sound is the fact that each song is very well structured and lenghty (from 6 to 8 minutes, save the last one which is a normal 3 minutes long), this implies a great part of quieter moments filled with melodies and airy atmospheres which in fact place more precisely their style in the vein of Isis or Cult Of Luna. Let's just hope now that those guys still have intentions to display some more heavy sounds through future new projects, cause this decently can not be their last musical attempt !
This "Crawling Space" can be downloaded for free (just as their 1st ep) and bought on CD format directly via the band, listen and enjoy it now...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

..."Trephine" by MAKE

Composed by Scott Endres (guitar, vocals), Spencer Lee (bass, vocals) and Matt Stevenson (drums), this trio from North Carolina presents here "Trephine",  their debut album which is already available digitally and on CD format, while the vynil version is set to be released on July 30th through Devouter Rds.
"Trephine" is a concept album about a hospital resident regressing into a fantasy state after a psychological breakdown and I think this is pretty well-adapted with the musical moods of MAKE : atmospheric, despaired and aesthetically apocalyptic.
The band could be ranged in the Post Metal genre at first sight with a very cold and dark approach but they maliciously add elements of Doom, Drone and Sludge to make it more stoned and thicker, reaching at times YOB's crushingness.
Vocals can be either screamed or sung with nice reverbs, they fit consistently with the mesmerizing and suffocating musical elements, even enhancing the impact of "Trephine" on your psychological sensibility. All this makes me think that just the Post Metal label would be far more too simplistic as the richness, deepness and aura of MAKE's music are neat and truely promising.
I don't hear any fillers here but a few songs value more particularly this epic and tormented journey like "Ancient Tongues", "Returning to the Ruins of my Birthplace" and "Valhalla". The result is a very mature, personnal and skillfull blend of slow, oppressive and intoxicating stuff which should fulfill the expectations of most people into post-doomy-psych Metal , so try it !!!

...ARKHAM WITCH join Metal On Metal Rds roster, new album set for release October 1st !!!

Metal On Metal Records is excited to announce the signing of the England's traditional metal brigands ARKHAM WITCH and with this signing welcomes to their roster the first band hailing from UK. "We met and saw ARKHAM WITCH live when we went to the Doomsday festival in Wakefield, UK in February 2011. They instantly captured us with their incredibly catchy songs and the show that was pure mighty fun! We got their 2009 demo and later on their first album, which was a stellar piece of doomy Heavy Metal, so when they contacted us after their previous label closed, we eagerly offered them a deal."

ARKHAM WITCH was formed in 2008 by the couple behind THE LAMP OF THOTH (vocalist Simon and drummer Emily), so obviously there are many similarities to their previous band (that for now is on hold). It's still straightforward, Doom laden Heavy Metal of the old (read: with heaps of NWOBHM influences), occult, but with a tinge of humor, with the trademark bard/brigand type vocals of Simon. The group takes their inspiration from bands like Deep Switch, Hell, Witchfinder General, Judas Priest, Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Pentagram and Saint Vitus (with Scott Reagers).

The band has just finished recording their sophomore album, a follow up to last year's "On Crom's Mountain", entitled "Legions Of The Deep" and scheduled for October 2012 release. Meanwhile check the links to their pages to listen to some of their older recordings from ARKHAM WITCH page on Metal On Metal Records website (, where you can also read the detailed biography and check some promo and live photos.

ARKHAM WITCH also contributed with an exclusive, previously unreleased song "For Metal" to "Compendium Of Metal Vol. 5" compilation CD, released in April by Metal On Metal Records.

Four Metal On Metal Records releases, including the compilation, are already out this year. Here’s the label's complete 2012 release schedule:

April 27th:
• VV.AA. "Compendium Of Metal Vol. 5" CD
• SKELATOR "Agents Of Power” CD (Epic Heavy/Speed Metal from USA)
• SACRED GATE "When Eternity Ends" CD (Traditional Heavy Metal from Germany)
• MORTALICUM "The Endtime Prophecy" CD (Heavy/Doom Metal/Hard Rock from Sweden)

July 26th:
• HERETIC "A Time Of Crisis" CD (US Power/Thrash Metal from USA)

October 1st:
• ARKHAM WITCH "Legions Of The Deep" CD (Heavy/Doom Metal/NWOBHM from UK)
• AFTER OBLIVION "Stamina" CD (Technical Death/Thrash Metal from Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

French Doomed interviews-serie pt 3: CHILDREN OF DOOM, GOAT RIVER + FATHER MERRIN...

Here the 3rd part of the mini interviews-serie wtih French bands : this time the same questions have been asked to Ben from CHILDREN OF DOOM (Doom n' roll - from the area of Lille), Christophe from GOAT RIVER (Stoner - Toulouse) and S. from FATHER MERRIN (Doom from the area of Metz)... Once again, three very different sounds with a major common point : quality... make your opinion and support them !!!
This will be the last chapter of the season... hope you enjoyed this serie ;)

1) How's the french doom/stoner/sludge scene like to your opinion in 2012 ?
2) What have been the most significant events that happened to the band since the beginning of the year ?
3) Any concrete news or serious plans (gigs, recording, album release...) for the 2nd part of 2012 ?

(here come the links to the 1st part with The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Zombie King and Barabbas and the 2nd part with Wheelfall, Eibon, A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm and Bear Brawler)

1) I think the french scene is very rich, gets stronger with the time, there's a lot of Great bands that play doom or stoner and most of them are fucking underrated here. I don't know so much about sludge and drone bands, but it seems also to be the same case. Most of the time, we hear the best things about the french scene from abroad.

2) The beginning of the year has been pretty prolific for us, we've composed a couple of new songs for the next album, we're just back from the Heavy Metal Overkill fest in Germany and we played some gigs like Doom Over Paris (Mhönös, Funeralium, Northwinds, and Cauchemar), a gig with Cauchemar (can) in Rennes... to mention some.

3) Next thing coming is the release of our 1st Album in LP on Emanes metal records, we gonna play at Malta Doom Festival 2012 in November, we gonna record our new songs for the album, and we'll see what the future will bring before the end of year.

Q1 - There are good bands in France like Monarch, Barabas, Ehecatl and Huata but we are more familiar with our local scene with bands like Drawers, Bitter Chup Chup We Loose, A Very Old Ghost Behind The Farm, Whiskey &Weed and of course The Junkyard Birds. We appreciate all these bands for their music and personnality and of course most of them are good friends.

We don't have a lot of connections with the national french Stoner/Doom/Sludge/scene since they don't tour much in our area so it's a bit difficult to talk about it . But on the whole, the scene seems to be in good health.

Q2 - We self-released a double LP in January. It's a 100% DIY production. We are very proud of the result. Unfortunately, we have only played 2 shows since the beginning of the year, one with 7 Weeks and our friends of Bitter Chup and another one with Zatokrev and Impure Wilhelmina. Both shows were good, and we had a great time and fun with all these bands.

Q3 - We are going to record new material in July, but we don't know yet what we're going to do with these new songs. If we like the result, we may try to do a 7" or 10". We are going to experiment with friends who have built their own portable home studio and hope for the best.
We are also trying to book a small tour in France in October. We miss playing live.

1) It's getting more and more interesting 'cause a lot of good bands are appearing these days. Although FATHER MERRIN is a pretty young band (not so young are the band members sadly!), we already had the chance to share the stage with bands we respect like A VERY SAD STORY, SURTR or CALDERA to name a few. And people seem to pay attention to the genre again. But sometimes it's also quite sad to see that there's kind of a "trend" coming with that: all of a sudden, people worship Hammer movies, vintage clothes, etc... But I suppose it's something you can't avoid...

2) Pretty much nothing! We played in Strasbourg with our friends STONE TELLS in February and since that, we have some troubles to find gigs. 2011 was a far more active year for us: we recorded the demo track "Hellride" for promotional purpose and it helped us making gigs throughout that year, in various places (Clermont-Ferrand, Metz, etc.).

3) We hope to record an EP and release it early 2013. But since we'll do everything by ourselves, it may be a longer process. The lack of concerts that I mentioned at least allows us to have time to work on it. Besides that, we'll keep on writing music and searching for concerts. Even if it is not official yet, we shall play near Reims in March 2013 and other dates will follow hopefully. Our goal is to play as much as possible with bands coming from the same scene, in front of people that enjoy doom metal. So if tomorrow bands like HANGMAN'S CHAIR, BARABBAS, HUATA, EIBON or FATUM ELISUM are searching for an opening act, we'd be more than happy to do it! At least as happy as doomsters can be...

here's a link to Download the song "Hellride" that the band kindly gave me, enjoy it :  HERE !


Monday, June 18, 2012

live-report : my HELLFEST 2012

Most are cool, but lots of mixed feelings after this new edition of the World's biggest Festival of extreme musics, which for the negative ones I could sum-up in just a few words : TOO MUCH of everything !!!
Too much crowd, too much noise : the site was bigger but there wasn't enough space between each tents which means you never had quieter moments between two bands; after a Doom or Stoner gig, it's hard to stand a constant harsh background noise of a Black Metal band playing too near and if that wasn't black then it was brutal DM or Grind... Too many waiting also, which was not the case previous years, 2 or sometimes 3 hours of waiting between bands you really want to see, that's too much when repeated several times in the week-end .
 Ok,  it can be cool to see unknown bands or old ones but on that point the problem is that this year the old dinosaurs proposed were not as interesting as usual : for example MOLLY HATCHET (photo below), URIAH HEEP were to my opinion just cool to see for a few songs, ok the technic is still here but it's too wheezy physically to create something that can wake up the audience in the beginning or middle of the afternoon... 

 I just really enjoyed LYNYRD SKYNYRD that were consistently more sharpened and ended with both anthemic songs that everyone was waiting for... I regret not to have seen BÖC but was too fucking tired in fact yesterday and left the site by the end of the afternoon; YES I know I'm an ageing fucker and missed PENTAGRAM and THE OBSESSED.... it was hard to take the decision though but I had seen all those bands before and needed to stop this edition a few hours before planed; another thing is that after 3 days, maybe for the 1st time in such circumstances, I really missed my wife and kids too.
Of course, it would not be decent at all to complain, considering the luck to have this happening each year just about 2 hours from where I live but that doesn't prevent to feel a bit blasé, even if it's mostly tiredness that prevails today.
 In order to host 40 000/45000 metallers, the site has been enlarged and is now too big and makes you walking a lot more; the organization did a lot of nice efforts for evrybody's cumfort and more than 150 bands is absolutely exceptionnal in the principle, especially for the youngers, but beware of a prematured indigestion !!! this can be more debatable for old metallers who have yet seen a great part of the bands in their earlier days and/or in more appropriated conditions...
This said, I have of course enjoyed more than a fair amount of bands with :

ORANGE GOBLIN : an oustanding energic set of Metallic STONER and what a hell of a frontman !

NECROS CHRISTOS : on the Temple stage, this scene dedicated to the blackest sounds was pretty much fitting for those German mortified souls and their awesome mix of hauting Death/Doom was pure excellence, the vocal performance was perfect again, can't even say that Roadburn was better as being the first time I saw them ! 

THE DEVIL'S BLOOD : first thing that comes in my mind is the very impressive musicianship; like the 1st time I saw them, it's about an hour of guitars climax, extremely rich of twirling melodies, almost reducing each vocal apparition as a simple accompaniement but still brillantly valued as some kind of enchanting incantations.

 SAINT VITUS : great set, including 3 songs from the new album... I was surprised to hear 'I bleed black" so quickly in the set (2nd song) but everyone was in good form and - save a few doubtful improvisations of Dave Chandler-, the performance  was topless.

ACID KING : even if maybe not in at her best (last song was surprisingly messed-up in the soloing) Lorrie's is one of the rare woman whose voice suffers from no difference on stage and shit I think I could see her dozen times and would be always impressed by such a little build playing so crushing stuff !

THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX : I just have one album but should quickly give more attention to this fuzzy trio... They have completely returned the audience with their powerful and fuzzy Heavy Rock, proving once again that a POWER TRIO can be often devastating !!! 

 HANK 3 : what a nice moment during this Friday's evening with this memorable show of  a bit more than 2 hours... First  45 minutes were composed of his predilection style :  Country n' roll. Honestly I don't know anything concrete about this style but in this ambiance with prefectly well-adapted lights, it's like I felt transposed in "Deadwoods", almost hearing Al Swearengen insulting with passion and affection at next door !!!  and fuck that was something pretty unique :) Then during about 20 minutes the guys turned progressively into something more thick with skillfully infused Metal, Psychedelic and Stoner touches... then during the last 45 minutes Hank played alone with another drummer, a lot more hammering in his style than the first one believe me ! and a completely different set began... something TOTALLY crushing, a mix of Sludge/ Industrial/Metal, harsher and harsher, to end in a hardly standable maelstrom, CRAZY !!! I even left a few seconds or minutes before the end (at least I think... after 2 hours and a few minutes of uninterrupted set, more than 30 songs), that was so NOISY !

THOU : it was a bit hard to start the fest with them, early in the afternoon those yelled vocals were a bit difficult to get into, but I would be curious to see them in more enclosed conditions.

UFOMAMMUT : I'm not an unconditionnal fan of the italian Sludge/Stoner band but their gig was agreaable, catchier and more accessible than 3 years ago.

 ENSLAVED : too bad I was really too far the stage to take pics but the half of the set that I've seen was excellent, they're still pretty wild on stage and terribly epic... I've heard great Doomy riffs from in their newer songs and think their new album deserve a quick purchase.

 YOB : 3rd time I saw them in less than one year but still a special moment, even I've been bit disappointed by Mike's setlist and I think the context was too big for him and the band to feel and share the usual communion...

 I saw other bands during one, two or three songs, a part of them were cool  like ENTOMBED, DISCHARGE, ANAAL NATRAKH, COLOUR HAZE (I think this was a mistake to place them just a few hours after Atomic Bitchwax), NASUM...

Looking back at this, I think this was again a rather complete edition, it's just that I'm getting older and certainly a bit blasé (sorry if that hurts !); I think next year(s) I won't do the 3 days anymore, just one or two days if a few bands I never saw before will be coming or friends will be playing (hum, got a few cool infos for next year !). Of course it's hardly comparable but for my little fucking body I feel if there's just one to save : Roadburn is THE essential festival that is not to be missed each year, then it's now time to try discover smaller festivals like Muskelrock or Heavy Days in Doom Town... gonna think about that seriously !!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

....KILLER Sludge from Atlanta : intie with ORDER OF THE OWL

Out from Atlanta , ORDER OF THE OWL is the new band of Brent Anderson, the ex bassist/vocalit of the almighty Zoroaster, occupying exactly the same functions here and accompanied by long experimented buddies from the local scene Corey Pallon on drums and Casey Yarbrough on guitars.
ORDER OF THE OWL is a kind of majestic wild beast, delivering primarily a powerful, and droning SLUDGE on their excellent ep "In the Noon of the After Day", an ultra massive debut that will crush your soul and  guts with long lasting secondary effects.
Just like this nocturnal animal, the band's music reveals a multiplicity of caracters : wild, beautiful, aesthetic, dark and majestuously soaring; but there's of course more with an heady, monolithic approach, full of deviant fuzziness. Brent vocals are outstanding, either utterly blackened or turning into some kind of  hypnotic "industrialized" incantations ; not to forget also  Casey's vicious backing vocals (have a look on the live video below...). The tempo is mid-paced, immensely heavy and suffocating which give some moods that could remind sometimes  (another US revelation of this year) In The Company Of Serpents and more slightly Dark Castle, while some historic influences like Celtic Frost, The Melvins or Sleep are mentioned...
Listening again and again songs like "Band Saw", "Cocaïne Super Demon " and "Mighty Demon  Love" over the past weeks led me to ask Casey (guit) a few questions :

-  When did you form ? Why this strange name ?
We formed in Feb of 2011 out of the ashes of Brent leaving Zoroaster. The name is along the lines of Illuminati (ed : I wasn't aware about that term and asked Casey if that was the right word that he wrote, he then gave me the following link in order to precise things :

- Is that your first recording ? On which format will be available"in the noon of ..." ?
It's our first ep that we are working on. We have a single "Cocaine Super Demon" coming out via 7" on The Great Big. "In the Noon of the After Day" our EP is being put out by Electric Mind Records here in Atlanta GA. It'll be digi download, 12" vinyl, and cd.

- Judging by the number of fans you already have on FB, I guess you have yet given quite many gigs in the States, do you some more planed shortly ?  
We have a lot of shows coming up and some dates with our buds Sourvein. We always like hitting the road with those guys!

- There's some CELTIC FROST legacy in your darkest riffage which sounds really amazing with the extreme heaviness of your sludge/stoner but I'm a bit surprised to see Asphyx named among your influences... it's not really palpable contrary to some others named, what do you think ? is there any pure black metal bands that inspire you ?
Celtic Frost is a huge influence of Brent and Corey. We all like varying degrees of metal, across all genres. That's just how this band works. Honestly though my influences were more in the punk rock realm. One of my favorites is Murder City Devils.

- The last song "wraith" is pretty different from the rest of the ep, it's a bit faster, without any blackened touch, more straight just as Brent ' singing which is for a part kind of punkish, do you see it as a special song in your actual repertory ?
"Wraith" was a song that just sort of happened. We rolled with it. A lot of our stuff is heading that direction. Like Cocaine Super Demon.

- Is the song "mighty demon love" a perfect closer for your gigs, with those awesome heady 3 last minutes ending in a chaotic maelstrom ?
Mighty D is almost always a closer. It changes almost every time we play it. A lot of our live sets vary with our moods in speed and length.

Brents stands in a very particular way when singing on stage, how did he experiment that ? I guess it helps him to get such awesome vocal deepness and variations... ?

He learned to play bass and sing while sitting down. In that position, he's most comfortable and also gets his best growl.

Very special thanx to Scott Harington from 313 Inc Artist Management for having introduced me to this awesome band !!!

"Reaper's Consecration" by ZOMBIEFICATION

After their debut album "Midnight Stench" released in 2010, this infernal mexican duo comes back with  "Reaper's Consecration", a 5 tracks mini-album due to be released on July 9th through the ripping Pulverised rds...
First thing that can be noticed is the very much improved sound quality, which considering that mixing and mastering duties were handled by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio (Watain, Desultory, Deströyer 666, etc) is pretty logical.
Musically, I don't feel there's many changes though, ZOMBIEFICATION still delivers that unholy, uncompromised DM deeply influenced by the old swedish 1st wave (Entombed, Dismember, Carnage) but also  Darkthrone "soulside journey" period; expect here some fast, raw and brutal stuff with chainsaw guitars, punchy bass and drums.
That's good and well-executed, but one could rightly think that this recipe has been so much used since the early 90's, so what could then justify an investment in another record that could not bring something a bit fresh and new within the genre ? 
In fact, beyond a pronounced taste for catchy melodies in the soloing,  what makes this band rather interesting  is that they, more here than previously, like to introduce some slower tempos, let's say mid-paced with atmospheres, where we can feel some Autopsy hints (vocally wise mainly) and even a slight aftertaste of old mexican precursors like Shub Niggurath. This gives a nice creepy edge... which should be even more developped in my opinion !!!
Indeed I think that with such a name, the overall could be more dripping, gorified and scary but don't misunderstand me we're not dealing here with young wimps that have a problem of gap between the image/concept and the music displayed....
Their style is slowly but cleverly maturing, still compact and raw but more melodic, grisly and stenching; the fact that it's a mini-album is good in my opinion, this is a measured and wellthought evolution that will certainly allow to push things definitely further next time !

Monday, June 11, 2012

"through the dusty paths of our lives" by the new french reference ABRAHMA

A french band signed on a top-notch label like Small Stone records (Acid King, Gideon Smith, Backwoods Payback, Wo Fat and zillions more),  immediately this is something that somewhere is pretty surprising (at least for us little frogs)  but most essentially  wins (y)our trust... 
You know french people are often sarcastic and teasing towards their own scene and I already hear some reflections like "I can NOT believe that this has been released by a French band !!!" ... But YES they fucking are (French) :)
Born from the ashes of Alcohsonic (an ep + album released), out from Paris, ABRAHMA have simply released here THE masterpiece that all the french Stoner scene was waiting for, an album that has the potencial to make them following the fresh steps of Mars Red Sky in the States and even further ! 
Basically the music of ABRAHMA is STONER Rock; full of KILLER riffs, catchy melodies, groovy solos. This is intense, sharp and  full of warm heaviness. What is quickly striking is that ABRAHMA's music recovers almost all possible facets of the STONER ROCK genre : Bluesy, Psychedelic, Southern, Fuzzy... all this in a bluffing and homogeneous manner ! 
Lasting about 70 faultless minutes, this "Through the Dusty Paths of our Lives" is also  not at all devoided of refined atmospheres ("Loa's awakening", "headless horse", "oceans of sand"), could they be quieter accoustic moments or darker airy ones; well-served  by an exceptionnal production, they also reveal a surprising maturity. 
Can't forget to mention the guest appearances of Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet) on the titanic "Big Black Cloud" and Thomas Bellier from Black Heet Shujaa on "The Maze"(an epic journey of 10 minutes that is a kind of perfect synthesis of the album).
And  how could I end without underlining another major distinctive force of ABRAHMA : the vocal performance of Seb... ?! he sublimates awesomely the overall and in my opinion delivers here the best vocal performance ever released on our territory for ages ! I'm rather impatient to read his lyrics which seem everything except conventional, including most specificaly the trilogy "Vodun" ("pt1 : Samedi's Awakening" - "pt2 I, Zombie" and "pt3 Final Asagwe") and then have a tchat with that guy who seems very friendly and   creative (he's also one of the both guitarists)... While waiting for this cool moments, I entreat you to get this album that will be assuredly in many top 10 of the year, starting by mine ! No possible regret, if you're into STONER, this is ESSENTIAL.
The album is actually streaming in its entirety HERE

order HERE at Small Stone Rds

... ADRIFT FOR DAYS release new single + announce new album ‘Come Midnight…’

Australia’s smoked-out, psychedelic doom-droners Adrift for Days are back! Two years after the release of their acclaimed debut “The Lunar Maria” comes “Come Midnight…”, an ambitious 71-minute concept album that spans doom, drone, sludge, stoner metal, 70’s psychedelic rock, post-metal and post-rock influences.

So what can people expect from Adrift for Days two years on? “We’ve retained that smoky, stoner and doom heaviness from ‘The Lunar Maria’, but we’ve also expanded our sound beyond that to incorporate new styles, ideas, and influences” explains guitarist and droneslinger Lachlan R. Dale.

“After spending two more years jamming and playing live together, we’re much more comfortable writing songs as an entire band. As a result we’ve been able to explore a lot of different moods and dynamics on ‘Come Midnight…’ We’ve matured a huge amount and that’s allowed us to draw from a much wider musical palette.”

“The production values have stepped up a lot too. We worked very closely with Tim Carr at Studios 301 for this album. He’s not only a good friend, but also an incredible engineer who has worked with people like Matt Corby, George Pajon (The Black Eyed Peas), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), INXS, The Herd and The Cat Empire. Importantly he also has a lot of experience working with underground musicians like Dumbsaint, We Lost the Sea, Serious Beak, Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt and kyü. I have the utmost respect for his work, and I think the results really show.”

Adrift for Days “Come Midnight” is an epic, drug-tinged, existential journey that draws on the traditions of Earth, Neurosis, Boris, Pink Floyd and Rosetta. This album represents a life-long journey that we all take – whether we realise it or not. Its concept is grounded in an existential search for meaning in a universe that at times can feel pitiless and indifferent.

This is the perfect soundtrack for a nightmarish trek into the depths of your soul. For best results, listen while in the throes of a mescalin binge and lost in the pitiless freeze of the desert night air.

“Come Midnight…” see release on 13 July, 2012 through Art As Catharsis.

Adrift for Days will be touring in promotion of their new album during July and August:
Melbourne: 13 July at the John Curtin Hotel. Supports TBC.
Adelaide: 14 July at Enigma Bar w/ Space Bong, Hydromedusa and Leather Messiah.
Sydney: 10 August at the Lansdowne Hotel w/ Space Bong, Summonus and We Lost the Sea.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

"Little Bones" - preview of ISHMAEL's crushing debut Album

After a promising demo in 2010, this english band disappeared more or less prematurely from the actuality but two years later they now come back under the lights with one of the most obscure, misanthropic  Doom/Sludge affair you could ever expect. 
This 5 piece (including Jim Willumsen from The Wounded Kings) is now ready to crush your soul and prooves that with Undersmile, Conan and a few others, the English scene is uncomparable to combine slow, blackened, despaired and hammering stuff !!!
Due to be released in August, their debut album "Hell is Empty and All The Devils are Here" contains 3 long songs drowning you into a despaired and violent journey enhanced by the scary vocals of Dani Hawkins who deliver here some of the most unique extreme vocals I've heard over the past years, a huge performance that must be even more impressive on stage ! 
Thye recently opened for UNDERSMILE at the "Narwhal" release party, I think this is one of the  most relentless line-up one can ever imagine on the Doom/Sludge planet !
Enjoy the preview freshly puted on line on their bandcamp "Little Bones" and expect more about them this summer here in T.O.P. ...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Earlier than planed, here's the 2nd part of the FRENCH DOOMED NEWS mini interviews-serie, this time the same questions have been asked to : Wayne Furter from WHEELFALL (Nancy - Stoner/Doom), Lundi Galilao from A VERY OLD GHOST BEYOND THE FARM (Toulouse - Sludge/Doom), Jérôme Lachaud from EIBON (Paris - Sludge/Doom) and Beartrand Lefetz from BEAR BRAWLER (Lisieux, Sludge/Stoner)... Thanx to you guys ! I think honestly that (if necessary) we've got  here some more concrete  proofs of the rising diversity and quality of our scene...

1) How's the french doom/stoner/sludge scene like to your opinion in 2012 ?

2) What have been the most significant events that happened to the band since the beginning of the year ?

3) Any concrete news or serious plans (gigs, recording, album release...) for the 2nd part of 2012 ?

(here's the link to the 1st part with The Bottle Doom Lazy Band, Zombie King and Barabbas)

1) Hi Stephane ! 2012 seems to be an excellent year for the scene : it started with some very good records like HUATA's "Atavist of Mann", RESCUE RANGERS' "Manitoba" (yes, nothing to do with doom, and more rock than stoner but...), the DRAWERS/HANGMAN'S CHAIR split EP... And I already wait for the first ABRAHMA's LP and the next THE BOTTLE DOOM LAZY BAND and FUNERALIUM, among others.
This french scene becomes bigger and bigger, between new independant labels and new bands in a lot of genres... It's a significant evolution, and I want to contribute to it within AND outside our band.

2) I think there were three main events : the first is our gig with Pledge of Cain and The Wounded Kings. If I had to summarize, I would say "good friends and [many] bottles of wine [and beer]" haha !
The second is a gig too... our second with Karma To Burn. We opened for them with Rescue Rangers. A hell of an evening !
The third is our pre-selection for the Sonisphere Festival, which will take place in Amneville. We really want to play at this fest : we would be the only stoner/doom bands to play (with the excellent french band and friends A VERY SAD STORY), in front of an audience which mostly doesn't know much about this genre of music... Can't wait to see the response, we love that !
...And personnaly speaking, I'm a big, BIG fan of Faith No More and Mike Patton, so... We are enthusiastics for Baroness too ! But please... FNM !?! haha

3) No concrete plans for now, but be sure that there will be a lot a news soon !
Last year, we recorded our first LP ("Interzone") and a split album with A VERY OLD GHOST BEHIND THE FARM. This year, we want to release them.
The split album will come first, as an autoproduction. Moreover, we composed for it something a little different from our past stuff.
Then we'll release "Interzone" : we still are in talks for its release... You know, we really want to release this album, it's vital for us. We have to release it before moving on. We already work on some new material, but fuck, let's release "Interzone" ! And we'll be on the road again, and again...and again... of course ! Can't wait ! Thanks a lot for theses questions !

1) Even if the french scene is more and more active, in the south-west of France there is a lack of interest for the doomy side of the scene. Bands seem to prefer playing stoner then there are not many gigs for bands with a darker sound, maybe a weather issue ! The rest of the scene is very prolific but we sometimes feel like bands want to imitate english or american music rather than creating their own vision of this music, it's quite a pity !

2) For sure, it's the recording of the songs for the upcomming split-cd with our pals of Wheelfall. We didn't play gigs because we were focused on this recording and on the work of new music for another album.

3) We're peacefully waiting for the doomsday ! More seriously, we will promote the WHEELFALL/A VERY OLD GHOST BEHIND THE FARM split album and keep on working hard for our next record which is already composed, it's a concept album which deals with the local myth of the "came cruse". We look for a label to produce this record and we also hope to come back on stage soon.

1) We do not have any opinion whatsoever on this matter.
2) We have been through Hell and back, so we are now eternal.
3) 2 gigs planed in June (Paris & Clermont-Ferrand) but most important, we have a new EP coming out at the end of the year.

1) There is no doubt that the French scene is quite flourishing. There are a lot of good bands releasing high quality music, such as Hangman’s Chair, Drawers, or the recently discovered Verdun and Valve. It’s always a pleasure to get slapped in the face listening to bands you’ve never heard of before !

2) The most significant event for us this year was the release of our second EP “Tales of Deadly Addictions”. We also did a few gigs to introduce our latest songs to the public, which seems to be quite receptive to our new sound.

3) We are working on some new material. If we can stick to our plans, we will enter the studio at the end of the year to record our first full-length album. However we want to take our time to write this new piece. Otherwise we will take part to interesting shows, a gig with Aguirre next month and this summer the FDAB “Festival des Arts Bourrins” w/ Mumakil, God Damn, Trepalium and more.