Friday, November 30, 2012

... ORTEGA "A Flame Never Rises On Its Own"

A little more than two years have passed since Ortega attracted positive attention with their surprisingly strong debut 1634, which united sluggish doom metal riffing and raw sludge in a unique sound, including plenty of fresh ideas.
After some delays over the last months, the dutch quartet from Groningen can now finally present new material in the form of a comprehensive EP, called A Flame Never Rises On Its Own. Although there is certainly continuity with their previous work, A Flame Never Rises on its own takes full advantage of the EP format by intensifying their efforts and delivery. And even though there are only three songs, they are expansive without seeming to be spread too thin on this abbreviated release.

A Flame Never Rises On Its Own: Three songs, each one displaying a unique character, but merge together into a single body of work.

Released by Badger Records

... Agonia rds reveal Album details about TOMBSTONE HIGHWAY's "Ritualizer"

Italy's Southern- Hard Rock act TOMBSTONE HIGHWAY will release their debut studio album entitled "Ruralizer" on the 26th of February in Europe and 19th of March in the USA on Agonia Records.
The musical style of TOMBSTONE HIGHWAY is a classic blend of feisty Stoner/Southern- Rock and Doom Metal, with catchy guitar solos and old-school heavy metal parts that may remind of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Corrison Of Conformity, Pride and Glory, Down, Black Sabbath, or even ZZ Top riffage. Apart from Hard Rock instruments, the band uses also a banjo and Hammond organs.

Ruralizer will consist of 8 original songs and a cover of Mountain's Mississippi Queen with a playing time of almost 50 minutes and will be made available on Digipack CD and digital download. It was recorded at Elfo Studios by Daniele Mandelli who is also in charge of mix and mastering.

The band commented: "We're very proud of how the album came out and we strongly believe it's the perfect way to begin our legacy. People into heavy, ballsy southern-tinged Hard Rock should take note!"

3 songs from Ruralizer can be heard at TOMBSTONE HIGHWAY's Reverb Nation profile at:

Track-list of Ruralizer:

1. Old Blood
2. Acid Overlord
3. Graveyard Blues
4. Hellfire Rodeo
5. Ruralizer
6. Bite The Dust (and bleed)
7. At The Bitter End
8. Mississippi Queen*
9. Hangman's Friend
*Mountain's cover

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

... About "Tierras Infertiles" : Interview with KAYROS !!!

I presented you this great chilean band about two weeks ago with their new double album "Tierras Infertiles" (here) and announced an upcoming interview that I finally just received back from Nacho (guit/voc)... - thanx to you man for your interesting words ! - I hope this will help you to know more about KAYROS and their amazing blend of crushing Stoner and Psychedelic Doomy Rock, but also their local scene, live playing conditions in S.A. and more ...  now listen the album, read carefully what follows and support those talented guys !!!

Your new album recently came out after a long process of composition and recording, was it planed from the beginning to be a double album ? Why such a title, are the “tierras infertiles” those surrounding you ?
No it was not really planned that way from the start. What happened is that since 2009 we publish black hole we were always writing nonstop and we accumulate a lot of songs that we all liked and did not want to leave any out, also  we realized, unconsciously, that there was a conceptual thread in lyrics and so even though everybody said that a double album could be a commercial and economic suicide for the group as it could be very expensive and no stamp is interested in, we said "we are a band with an independent spirit and never have done this for money, fuck all that, we record it all and we edit a double album independently. ", Tierras infértiles is a concept that I can adapt to any reality, not only in Chile, reflects how hard it is existentially survive in a world falling into ruins before your eyes, in which the political and economic system is criminally annihilating people and the planet.

The album cover represents a poverty-sticken woman and her baby, is that in your opinion the most faithful and dramatic image that can be related to infertile lands ?
I guess so. We looked long enough ,between painter friends of our city, an image representing the concept of the album and when we found this woooow!!! We immediately said this is it, we contacted the author of the work, Ricardo Mella (heisenberg Il) and he loved the project. interestingly also he knew the band's music and liked it, so he facilitated his work to use it as album cover, it was great, fairly represent the pain and darkness that we wanted to transmit.

The double album is about 85 minutes long but paradoxically (or not) there’s no very long songs in it (nothing that exceeds 8 minutes), is it a deliberated choice ? Do you fix a limit to the length of your songs or can we expect for example a long epic song of 15 minutes for example in the next album ?
True, what happens is that many of these songs in the live shows can last 20 minutes or more and we play a lot with improvisation, but the disc by a matter of time we decided not to extend beyond what we believed necessary for a disc that already was in itself quite long, but we have never put limits on the duration of the topics, on the contrary, in fact for the new album the band decided to put 6 or 7 songs "short "duration and more defined song structures and two songs of 15 or 20 minutes based much more on improvisation and jams, luckily for the material the day before Choclo died, we recorded these seven songs, in fact the song 8 ,disc 2, of Tierras Infértiles “Lleno de vacío" (bonus track ) was recorded at last session with Choclo. We were very lucky to record those songs before the tragedy and we will start working full time next year finish and edit that material.

This new album is darker and heavier than your debut, how did you approach it after “Pozo Negro” ? Did the debut gain good reactions from the fans ?
Pozo negro was our first album and we didn’t did have much experience in studio and we recorded it very fast, but we were very happy with the sound, people liked it a lot here in chile and allowed people knew our music even in other countries and so we began to get invitations to play from other parts of Chile and Argentina because of it and the song "Pozo negro" became kind of an anthem and the fans always ask for it and they sing it along with an endless passionately.. Now, about thye focus…. it was clear to record a new album hopefully with better production for which we would take as long as necessary and as musical influences we ride always bands as Sleep, Soundgarden, Melvins and heavypsycho and space rock of the 70s.


You toured Chile and Argentina consistently over the years… Did you organize the tour(s) by yourselves or had the support of a tour-promotor ? Both countries are very extended, wasn’t it too difficult to organize this logistically ? Were the conditions generally correct or was it sometimes kind of epic ?!
Managers have never worked outside the band, I manage the dates and Choclo when he was with us. In Argentina we have great friends as “Banda de la muerte”, “Elefante blanco”,”Buffalo”,”Knei”. We generated a very strong bond, so when they come to chile we move our contacts and we generate the gigs. In Argentina is the same thing, they move their contacts and locations. They got good places or bars to play where you get good money and the conditions are good. there are other shity places but we have always this strong desire to keep on playing live and touring. And as you said…long distances are very exhausting and Chile is very long…but with our van there is enough space for us and our equipment. So we don’t think much about that…we just do it. We got already some “name” so we play most of the time under good conditions.

The Chilean scene has always been pretty active when speaking about death and thrash metal but what about Stoner and Doom at the moment ? At Devil Dirt are pretty cool, Procession too but they are now European based… could you please present a bit some worthy bands ?
In Europe are very well known metal bands like Criminal, Undercroft, Pentagram, however, we got very good bands making psychedelic stoner or doom, but they never generated impact beyond our borders. My favorite bands are “Orate” , “Yajaira”, “Supercabron”,”Umbria en Calafate”. I recommend absolutely those bands, and now there is small but strong scene of new bands who bet for heavy psychedelia like “Icarus”, “Chinaski” or “Demonauta”.

You certainly know the South American Sludge movement founded by Cultura Tres and fellows, do you feel Kayros as a part of it and see any particular interest to gather forces this way ?
From a perspective yes we feel it that way, we believe that there is a real commitment to mutual support among the stoner-doom bands in South America, in our city , Concepción, we always received with open arms all the bands that visit us. They stay in our homes, we party together and assemble them shows, in fact in 2011 we had “Cultura tres”, a great band and great guys and I got the best impression. Now…I think is very important to unite forces and push forward a movement that is basically underground and which often have no support and you have to fight against. Musically I think there is no “sludge-southamerican” sound. We try in our songs to include some rhythms of South America as the "malambo", "cueca" or "diablada" and in some songs (Pozo negro) are a few of our indigenous native instruments like trompe or trutruca, hopefully this “southamerican sludge” is grow ing and doing a lot of noise and that make us stronger. In Perú there are good bands like “Tlön”, “Mazo”, “Reino Hermitaño”,” La ira de Dios”,”Don Juan Matus” . A few bands played last year in Concepción.

Are you looking for a label to release physically the album (cd or vynil) ? Do you expect this new album to bring you new contacts in Europe and why not follow the steps of Cultura Tres who gained quite much interest during the last year over here in Europe ?
We got out Tierras Infértiles independently in a limited number of 500 double cds although we were in conversations with some local labels for editing it, we had much trouble to release it on the 20th of October. The day Choclo turned 30 and we wanted to release it that day as a tribute, the album has sold well here.It would be incredible that an european label would be interested in releasing and promoting the material. We are totally available for it and to generate more contacts in europe in the near future.A tour in europe would be wonderful, the intention from the beginning was to edit the album on vinyl, love that format, but here in South America is complicated because there is no pressing machines, which are destroyed or lost. Around here those machines were discontinued many years ago with the rise of cds. If a label is interested in our material to put it out on vinyl or cd and distribute it contact us without a doubt.It would be very important for us.


  I’m sorry but I can not understand more than 2 or 3 words in Spanish, so please tell us what are your lyrics generally dealing with ? is there any themes that you’re sure you’ll never write about for KAyros (political subjects for example…) ?
our lyrics talk about inequality, how weak people is push to the side, subjects related to our native people the Mapuches, who are criminally repressed by the state and from a more intimate perspective we write about the innerself within the world ... it is not easy to live in this sick society, I think…we will never write about girls in bikinis, parties and fast cars hahaha !! that's not our roll, political issues are very present in our songs.

What are the next plans now : promote the album, tour… ?
for now promote the album as much as possible in chile and play in as many places as possible, slowly we are starting to play again after the death of Choclo, and we had a gig in October for the album release that was incredible, a lot of people watching us. Now we are planning more gigs in our city and in January we are gonna play in some festivals: “Woodstaco” the biggest festival of independent rock in Chile is outdoors by a mountain in “Teno”. Very hippie in a way and then we are invited to a festival in Patagonia, by 2013 we want to go in summer to Peru and Argentina, hopefully the disc get a good atention in Europe so we can make something overthere too.

You’re selling nice flashy T-shirts of “Tierras infertiles” (orange, blue…) could you please give details about your merchandising ? (including shipping costs !)
Yes we have t-Shirts for sale from Pozo Negro and Tierras Infértiles, 10 dollars each and the shipping costs range from 10-15 dollars, our e-mail is Contact us and lets coordinate. Our double cd Tierras Infértiles cost 8 dollars plus shipping.

Last September, Cord died tragically in an accident… you wrote me that he fell into the sea, so did he die of drowning ? how did this happen, was he working or practicing sport or … ? was Cord the main compositor of Kayros ? Did you ever think of stoping the band activities after this tragedy ?
Choclo was in an abandoned pier in the city of Lota taking photographs. So he fell down due to the bad conditions the pier was , Choclo could not swim and nobody was there with him so , nobody could do anything. He was paradoxically in a place. He always went there to meditate and be inspired, in fact the Pozo Negro song was written in the same place where he fell down, compositionally Kayros work well, someone came with a small idea, a basic riff, and then we get all ideas together, Me and Choclo were the writers of the lyrics, Cholco was a great composer.Is a tremendous loss for rock …He still had much to give, we never think of stopping after Choclo’s death. We were killed as a group and went into a strong shock not only because we lost an important group member…. we lost our best friend and just days before days of editing Tierras Infértiles, but we never thought stop playing, I’m sure Choclo didn’t want that for us,Kayros was the most important thing in his life… every time we play our songs we feel a direct connection with him that helps us to heal from this pain which is his death.

So, what are your expectations for 2013 ?
Play as much as we can, work and rehearse a lot to regain the level live, and present our work in as many places as possible in Chile, Argentina and Peru, would be incredible that the material could be edited in Europe in 2013, and as I told you I had work on new material that we recorded with Choclo and we will put all of our energy to compose some more songs to complete that album, we will also make a video clip for the song Oveja Negra, we already started to work on it and in a few weeks,possibly, we are gonna make a DVD with live performances…. greetings to all the readers!!!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

... SONANCE "Like ghosts"

SONANCE started a year and a few months ago and began to find its feet in early 2012, in front of a wall of amps and live visuals, the Bristolian 5 piece consists in :
Ben - guitar, screwdriver
Will - guitar, dictaphone, vocals
Tom - vocals
Chino - bass
Jamie - drums

"Like Ghosts"  is the first recording of SONANCE and  comes in two halves, totalling just under 42 minutes. 
Each part is an atmospheric heaping of interwoven arrangements, detailed and droned stretches that subside into sludge filled chasms as the bass pushes you through the floor and lifts dust from the walls. The record was written and rehearsed in a confined practice room in which the waves of sound could literally be felt shuddering up through your lungs and out of your mouth.

So far drawing comparisons with latter era Scott Walker/Bohren & Der Club Of Gore/Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Badalamenti/Janek Schaefer/Stapleton and Tibet/Gnaw Their Tongues / Abandon/ Khanate/ Corrupted, the band have made a promising impact via their live shows (see Youtube link below) and have a tour of the UK and Europe booked for March 2013:

Mar 19 - Bristol, UK
Mar 20 - Colchester, UK
Mar 21 - Ghent, Belgium
Mar 22 - Leiden, Netherlands
Mar 23 -Bruges, Belgium
Mar 24 - Antwerp, Belgium

If your into painful SLUDGE with heavy and loud dynamics, bleak soundscapes and droning parts, then devour now this great piece of  uncompromised stuff :

Friday, November 23, 2012

... BARABBAS live 11/17/2012 including new song "le Couteau ou l'Abime" !!!

To start your week-end ultimately, let's enjoy a few videos from BARABBAS latest gig in Savigny le Temple (last week end, 17th Nov.)... You got the point now when I tell you how awesome is this band in LIVE conditions ?!!!
Doom and Stoner Fans, bloggers, radioshow programmers, bookers, gig organizers... everyone, listen and support BARABBAS !!!

                                                La question de Pilate (intro) / Horizon Gologtha

                                                     Le Couteau ou l'Abime"


                                                 Next celebration at D.O.P. VI

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

... BLACK SCIENCE "An Echo Through The Eyes Of Forever"

Is it possible to draw heavily from Space Rock, which was more or less single-handedly etablished by Hawkwind, without sounding like the British flagship? Sure, there are many bands that do well in the shadow of the originators, but few throw in something distinctively their own. Enter Black Science from Seattle, whose second album turns out to be a delectable hotchpotch.

The opening "First Contact Manual" as well as the relatively short "Exegesis" show the whole gamut of colours the group applies to its music: less riffs (but if so, they hit hard), more noodling, approachable vocals plus actual lyrics that are worth hearing - however vague in meaning - and even understandable. The quartet does make use of samples and noises, but none of their compositions are just that and nothing more. First and foremost, there is a compelling idea that justifies each track to be what it is, and only then comes the use of leftovers, respectively a recourse to leftovers from a bygone musical age, for example syllables sung in the background that hark back to "The Four Horsemen" by Aphrodite's Child.

"Hardcore U.F.O.'s" is beyond good and evil due to, on the one hand, its enervating main motif, while on the other, Black Science don't sound as compact as here anywhere else on the album - and the sizzling keyboard plus ecstatic six-string solos are a real show. By means of reverse-taped voices, the stylistically similar "Easy Prey" leads into "Anywhere", which in return varies between dense, heavy passages (yet still with that airy character, all drenched in echoes and reverb without sounding wishy-washy) and psychedelic light-headedness. The hook is provided by one of the singers (both guitarists stand behind the microphones) and enhanced by drummer G. Eichler's cowbell. Here, the man swings where more often than not, he stoically plods along as we have become used to it ever since "Master Of The Universe".

"The State Of The Art", a call to meditation thanks to squelching guitar tones and mantric, evocative bass lines. The midsection is one veritable guitar freakout, while for a change, the singing fails to maintain a structure, but intentionally so, as one could argue. The final quarter of an hour named "Our Sentence Is Up" goes like a bull at the (interstellar?) gate with an infecting riff, but then drifts off into improvisation that verges on redundance, would it not be for the layered harmonies which are kept together by the rhythm section's expedient, but still nuanced playing. The closing minutes are reserved for a bass-driven, almost danceable (think Ozric Tentacles) rocket ride - accompanied by the men from ground control - towards a hypothetical sun that does not harm, but provides the ultimate orgasm ... or something like that.

So if you are looking for a different fare of space food that still comes in a tried-and-tested tube, forget the tongue-in-cheek hubbub Black Science's label concocts when describing the band ("Occult" sells these days ...) and check out " An Echo Through The Eyes Of Forever": It's mushy still, yet tasty and quite nutritious, even in the long run.

by Andreas Schiffmann

... KONGH reveals New album details !!!

Swedish Grammy nominees KONGH have revealed the cover of their new full-length album entitled Sole Creation (picture below). The album will be coming to shops on the 5th of February in Europe and 19th February in North Amercia.
Sole Creation - the 3rd album from the doom metal trio - will consist of 4 new tracks and 45 minutes of music, with a guest appearance of John Doe from Craft. The album was recorded at Teknikkompaniet (Vetlanda, Sweden) by Peter Lundin; mixed and mastered by Magnus Lindberg of Cult Of Luna fame.

KONGH's front-man, David Johansson, commented:

"After a very long time of hard work, this album is finally ready for release. We couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out and I really think it is the best Kongh material so far. For our old fans, I am pretty sure it will be well worth the wait and I also think it holds great potential to satisfy a bunch of new listeners. In my opinion, the album is more dynamic and has much more emphasis on melodies than our previous works. At the same time it maintains the harshness and it's undoubtedly the heaviest slab of metal we've done as well."

Track-list for Sole Creation is as follows:

1. Sole Creation
2. Tamed Brute
3. The Portals
4. Skymning

David Johansson - vocals, guitar, bass
Tomas Salonen - drums
Olle Hedenström - bass (live)

Band's facebook:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

... CHAOS ECHOES "Tone of Things to Come"

After the split-up of Bloody Sign about two years ago, brothers Uibo (Kalevi on guit/voc and Ilmar on drums/voc) are back with an amazing new band, named just like their third and last album : CHAOS ECHOES, nothing hazardous at all in this moniker choice...
Oh, first, let me remind you that Bloody Sign was (one of) the best DM band coming out from France in the first decade of this final century; consisting of just 3 albums in 15 years of existence, their discography was in my opinion the most consistent in terms of composition, evolution and uncompromised personality... This last album, Chaos Echoes, was their most extreme and unpredictable too, a gate opened towards more hellish experimentations with the addition of two like-minded guys named Stefan Thanneur (bass/voc) and Etienne Testart (guit/voc... also in Children of Doom and Evisceration !).
In fact CHAOS ECHOES did things quickly, geographically splited in various parts of France, the 4 maniacs just rehearsed a couple of times all together and then directly entered the Grillen Studio in Colmar during 3 days to record this 6 songs affair that is this incredible "Tone of Things to Come" !
The result is pretty unique believe me; have you ever thought about an ultimate mix of Death, Black and Doom Metal with evilized vocals, an old-school and experimental edge at the same time, not forgetting a commanding aura that make the overall terribly infectious ??? A band that comes with a heartly-felt evil sound made of old recipes and fresh mushrooms... A band that can be a new NECROS CHRISTOS or PORTAL, soulful and devastating.

First song "Rise" is a good introduction to this new tortured world that will soon be yours, the most classical song in its structure I would say, with a fast desecrating tempo and yet a solid drum performance that makes a lot in the mood creation. All along the album there's lots of tome work which adds a ritualistic touch and even in the fastest parts Ilmar succeed to surprise, just listen "Black Mantra" and you'll also wonder if it's a human playing or not ! Another surprising thing in Rise is the apparition of vocals at the very end of the song, this is before all a MUSICAL project (at least towards the execution of this debut) but they could be a bit more present considering their general quality, for the guys know perfectly how to share them depending of the different moods.

Starting with a mystical atmosphere, then sinister, "The Innermost Depths of Knowledge" is a vicious mid-tempo, oppressive and malevolent, it's penetrating your soul to end in a devilish dementia.
One can not forget to speak about "Interzone I" and "Interzone II", short interludes enhancing the dark and mystic atmospheres with ambient effects which we also can find here and there in "normal" songs...

Back to this "Black Mantra",a real highlight, it has it all : a slow and doomy introduction with an horror feeling, that suffocating up-tempo, brillant solos (a constant quality here) which sometimes remind some early moments of Morbid Angel, there's a succession of solos in this song between Kalevi and Etienne that is amazing (the more rock'n roll background of Etienne is even giving a slight groovy tone but that's really brief !). I'm not surprised that Michel Dumas is a fan of the band ;)
Talking about Doom, last song "Weather the Storm" can undoubtedly be ranged in the genre and is more the result of the darkest and most hallucinating sound experimentations of the guys; trippy and still nicely menacing, it closes this first studio experience too quickly and let a strange little bitter taste or maybe it should have not been placed at the last row because not the most representative of their originality, richness and unpredictability.

Anyway, even if too short, this is a stunning surprise and if you like Blackened DEATH Metal with Doomy atmospheres and largely above the average musicianship, an album you should in no case miss ! This year has been exceptionally rich for the french scene but along with the new album of Northwinds I place this "Tone of Things to Come" above everything else; now let's hope that this is just a beginning and that 2013 will bring more from this lethal quatuor.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

... Awakening the Old Gods : DEA MARICA "Ritual of the Banished"

DEA MARICA Ritual Of The Banished (self-released)

Gallow God is one of those bands that have managed an extraordinary feat : mix both schools of Classic Doom (both your Blues-fluenced Traditional one and the Epic one) with Doom/death the english way. And while the band hasn't been very busy since the release of their first EP in 2010, some of their members have decided to reactivate another older entity under the name Dea Marica.

Dea Marica is a band in which Riccardo Veronese and Chris Takka were playing before Gallow God, and the obvious question is : do they play the same kind of music? The answer is : yes and no. Now sit down, relax a bit and let's see what this first album bring to the table. First, there's some heavy riffing, the kind of which any Doom band worthy of the name should always have. While being quite Heavy sounding, those riffs have also an emotional content not unlike some of the more melodic doom/Death bands you can think of. It's still as heavy and cold as your marble angel crushing your back under its weight, yet it's also very deep and mournful (especially the solos, which are of colossal rain size). The vocal range is large, between classic Messiah Marcollin-inspired soulful cries and more aggressive morbid grunts. Too bad that those grunts are only used on the first tracks, because the mix of both vocal styles works so well that I was expecting an album full of it.

The atmosphere is as dark and brooding as one could expect, yet one cannot help but to think an expression of miserableness permeating every track. The production is just where it needs to be, not too polished but not too crispy either, shuffling both coldness and warmth on an album that shows a lot of promises for the future. Despite having a lot of italian born musicians in the line-up, the music sounds surprisingly not italian at all : don't expect here some occult vibe in the vein of Paul Chain or Black Oath, but more a curious and well-done mix between Serenity (remember that UK band formed by ex-Solstice members that was signed on Holy Records?) and My Dying Bride in their more melodic moments (especially “The Wild Hunt”, that seems to be taken from the sessions of The Dreadful Hours).

And as it goes, Ritual Of The Banished is nothing but one of the best first albums I've heard this year. There's a lot of bands with a longer career that haven't managed to release an album as good as this one for a long time. If ever there was an unsigned band that was deserving your support, this is Dea Marica. And I hope I won't have to wait too long to hear the follow-up to that excellent release.

Laurent Lignon


Friday, November 16, 2012

... MARA "demo" (Free download of infectious Stoner/Doom)

Pretty newly started, MARA is a 4 piece Stoner/Doom band from Gävle (Sweden),  consisting in Thunder (vocals, lead guitar),  Abbeth (bass, backing vocals),  Denka (lead guitar) and  Ülf (drums).
What we've got here, as an introduction to the quatuor's sound, is a 3 song DEMO which you can download for FREE !
Lasting all about 6 minutes, the songs are "Greed", "Possessed" and "On the Edge of Extinction". For a 1st recording, the production is correct, it has a raw edge which in fact solidifies the traditional approach of the band, nothing dirty or full of tons of distortion.
While the song structures are rather conventional, the riffs are slow to mid-paced, kinda Sabbath derived, brillantly heavy and impactful. 
1st and 2nd songs are great pieces of dark, infectious and crushing Stoner/Doom but my preference goes to the last one which focuses more on spacey vibes, drenched with feeling and hints of psychedelia.
MARA is young but already talented and this demo gives serious hopes for their 1st album which should be recorded this winter, so enjoy this nice debut recording and watch out for more from MARA in 2013 !

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

... a taste of victory : VOLTRON "Kaventsmann"

After many line-up changes over the last years (the debut "Beyond an Armoured Skin" was released in May 2007 !),  Berlin based band VOLTRON are finally back with this sophomore album named "Kaventsmann"...
Sludge or DoomCore ?! In fact, some years ago a journalist labeled them as DoomCore-Blutgrätsche (Blutgrätsche is the German word for a dangerous sliding tackle) which they have continued using to describe their sound... but well, ain't Sludge basically a mix of Doom and HC ? so, I would be tempted to say that VOLTRON is basically a SLUDGE band, I'd even add METAL too (maybe even before anything else!) for it is uncompromised and thick but also very melodic and powerful at the same time, finally I could also add Atsmopheric too cause we've got here a great dose of breathing moments.... Ok, there might be some HC overtones in the angriness of some vocal parts but some others are seriously eying on doom/Death hints... so, shit, enough with that, the most essential to know is that Voltron is heavy, dark and soulful !
We've got here 8 songs for about 55 minutes, most of them clocking at around 7 minutes which often give lots of variations in the tempos and structures from extremely heavy and pounding to more quiet and melodic.
"13 Liter Bohrmaschine" is a rather classic opener with a severe and damn heavy riffage; the quiet and accoustic intro of "Black to Back" announces the first signs of a more developped musicality, the rising tension progressively leads to an amazing chorus and then to explode in some furious blasting moments in the end.
The following "Studententoeter" is a nebulous piece of doomy heaviness, also including a consequent accoustic passage, like a transition between two worlds of pain and unknown. Not filled at 150% of just hate and brutality or despair and funeralism, the music of VOLTRON is not particularly extreme but filled with enough of that all in a well measured refinement full of twisted riffage, cold moods and sheer heaviness...
There's other nice little surprises like that middle-eastern sounding riff in "Still Faster Than Nothing Can Be Slow", extremely catchy and classy, this is the highlight of the album and the ideal song for a brilliant solo which definitely transport the listener in unknown mystical landscapes !
The only weak song to my opinion is "Helmet Berger At Salzburg Airport" (what a strange name again!), monotonous and empty; luckily "Medic! Help" comes back to a serious level of composition and the closer "Fuck Forever Over Time" is not far at the top of Kaventsmann, this nine minutes long epic piece has it all, including some blackened fast riffage and then very slow and doomy moments in its last part.
I'm bluffed by this new effort, a real grower which needs attentive listening to be fully enjoyed, great work guys !
Great DIY bands like VOLTRON need your support, check them out \m/

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

... one of the most anticipated Debut Album of 2013 : PRIMITIVE MAN "Scorn"

Here's a band I discovered a few days ago thanx to my great friend Grant from In The Company Of Serpents... And what a band is that PRIMITIVE MAN  !!!   
The recent DENVER Doom Fest proved that the scene over there was very interesting, particularly diverse and crushing too; now no doubt that this awesome trio will be a killer new act added to next year's line-up ! Blending various extreme Metal genres (DOOM, DEATH and BLACK for the most essential but one can find some Funeral and Sludge hints too), a bit like local fellows Stoic Dissention did on "Senium" a year ago, but even more heavily and brutally, PRIMITIVE MAN is one of the most punishing upcoming bands from this planet, just listen both songs actually streaming on their Bandcamp page and you won't need long to be convinced...

Gosh, those vocals are so evilized and brutally commanding that you can hardly believe they are human ! I love this and can't wait to hear more of this debut album (there's 5 other songs)... Ethan (one of the three members) just told me that there's actually talks to release "Scorn"on vynil in Europe (possibly a label from UK... Mordgrimm rds would perfectly correspond for example...!?) within the next few months, while they're also looking for a US deal.
No doubt I'll come back on this highly anticipated album as soon as possible, meanwhile get used to their amazing sound !

... S:t ERIK "from under the tarn" finally Released on Vynil via Spora Recordz !!!

Swedish doom metal rockers S:t Erik finally get to see a vinyl release for their "From Under The Tarn" album. This amazing 5-track EP was somehow tossed to the wayside when it was first released back in '09, and didn't receive the attention from doom metal fans that it quite deserved. S:t Erik's "From Under The Tarn" has been resurrected from the dead thanks to Spora Recordz(Austin, TX). Spora has just released "From Under The Tarn" on a 12" clear vinyl double LP gatefold edition. This will be a limited run so get em while they last. To purchase this record or to read more about S:t Erik, please visit

Artist: S:t Erik
Album: From Under The Tarn
Label: Spora Recordz

Track listing:
1. Goddess 6:59
2. The Search 11:33
3. Your Highness 9:04
4. Black Wall 7:19
5. Swan Song 13:35

Thanx to Spora Recordz for making justice to this highly underrated album originally released by Solitude Prod (remember that cover with an eye in close-up !)... highly recommended to fans of ELECTRIC WIZARD, SLEEP and HUATA !!!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Out from Orange County in California, here's NIGHTMARE CVLT... Nothing to do with Horror Doom or Black Metal stuff,  no, this 4 piece plays HC/Sludge and their lyrics deal with society, death, personal struggle, etc... there's definitely just the music that can still be scary and that's the most essential !
Claiming influences in Disembodied/Martyr AD, Converge, Sunn O))) and Harms Way, this debut demo from N.C. includes 4 songs for about 15 short minutes (including a short introduction ), so as you've now already guessed, what we've got here is downtempo HC :  filthy, harsh and  raw...
"Mourning Ritual" and "Anguish" are super gnarly, catchy, heavily brutal too; the reference to Martyr AD is certainly right but I would say that the METAL consonances are rather limited, there's just a little hint of Thrash in the first of those both songs. I think that N.C. are closer on the edge of a more simplistic and nasty stuff  which gives an obvious raw HC/Punk edge to the band's sound.
While the overall could be certainly thicker and gain in crushingness, this doesn't mean at all that the songs don't go anywhere, no, the demonic rage and ugly screamed vocals really spread the disease all over your face and that's pretty enjoyable !
"As the Fun Fades" is a bit different, almost crusty the first part is the fastest material from the demo, but they quickly break it down to a more atmospheric mood, without sounding forced and too different from the rest. This one has a slight Post-HC edge which let suggest a possible opening towards something a bit more refined and personal in the future; pretty interesting, it would certainly help keeping the interest intact during the entirety of a next full-length effort ...
If this remains consistently  choppy and catchy in the meantime, this would be then a sufficiently good reason to follow closely NIGHTMARE CVLT in the near future !

Saturday, November 10, 2012

... Fans of YOB, dig this : SNAILKING "Samsara" !!!

From the fertile ground of Sweden comes SNAILKING, a young trio from Kalmar that writhes between the cosmic complexities of psychedelic rock and the shuffling, gritty groove of sludge/doom. Drawing influences from sonic wizards such as YOB, Sleep and Electric Wizard, Snailking truly live up to their name on their first effort “Samsara”, by churning out snail-paced, colossally heavy riffs that could easily open cracks in the thickest walls.

With only three songs extending past the ten-minute point, “Samsara” is a finely crafted and captivating piece of trippy fuzz-metal that’s is well worth a look for anyone who enjoys the twisted and dense sounds of YOB, Ufomammut and Rwake.
Karl Jonas Wijk- Drums
Frans Levin- Bass
Pontus Ottosson- Guitar/Vocals


If you dig YOB's latest album "Atma", you should then like this new swedish band... This is a 1st recording and of course needs some maturation regarding this very pronounced influence (too pronounced or just enough ? make your own opinion) but there's that something which let expect a lot from this tasty Snailking in the future !

Thursday, November 8, 2012

... ARKHAM WITCH "Legions of the Deep" -Album review-

After such a brilliant debut as "On Crom's Mountain", the challenge was anything except easy to face with the release of this "Legions of the Deep", but - holy shit-  Simon and his faithful buddies did it ...!            Just a little reminder in case you don't know anything yet about this mysterious gem from the UK, ARKHAM WITCH consists in one of the most talented singer of the last 25 years I've named Simon (also responsible for delightful occult works in The Lamp of Thoth), Aldo "Dodo" Doom (guit), John Demaine (bass) and Emily (drums, also partner of Simon in TLOT) and is a fine purveyor of obscure and Doom (more slightly) infused Traditional Heavy Metal.
 A style that is still most often terribly straightforward and authentic on “Legions of the Deep”, with again a prominent late 70’s/early 80’s sound to it,  but this time with a more consistent, clearer and sharper production, while the feeling of a kind of drunken party record that was too present on the first album almost completely disappeared.
Don't misunderstand me, it's not that the guys changed drastically their approach, nor became too serious and sober-minded; songs like "Kult of Kutulu", "Infernal Machine", "On a Horse Called Vengeance" are for example pure manifests of sweaty  and saucy METAL dedicated to the glory of the headbanging 80’s but they’re thicker and punchier than “just” fun and stirring.
To cite influences could seem easy at times but what you hear in a second can be different very quickly, that doesn’t mean they are unpredictable though, this is just rich in simplicity !  In no particular order one can find some Wtichfinder General, Candlemass, Judas Priest, Manilla Road, Angel Witch, Cirith Ungol, Pagan Altar... I even heard some stuff that reminded me a bit Skyclad and early Running Wild saucy expression, some early german thrash in the (rare) most frantic moments but ARKHAM WITCH has succeeded to mix all those influences ultimately with a bluffing enhancement in harmonies, a bit like the Swedish OBRERO awesomely did on their “Mortui Vivos Doscent” last year but A.W. tends more on NWOBHM where Martin and his Swedish buddies are before all a Stoner/Doom band..
Harmonies, here’s something very important and delightful in infectious songs like “David Lund”, “The Cloven Sea”, “At the Mountains of Madness” or “Legions of the Deep” (which includes special appearance of the maltese doom legend Leo Stivala), where Simon’s vocals are the most valued with his famous brigand tone, naughty and so catchy at the same time; they fit perfectly with the music, magnifying gloriously the weirdness of such songs.
Riffs on those songs and particularly on the outstanding opener “David Lund” are really hooky, soulful and melodic; sometimes the blazing tone reminds of Pagan Altar, almost mystical and epic. This is the best side of A.W. personnality without any doubt, even if I also enjoy the rawer and blasting (sometimes thrashy) moments
This is not a promotional abusive formula, but believe me just this 1st song deserves the purchase of the album ! Of course I recognize willingly that I may have missed a few ones since the golden days of the 80’s, but this “David Lund” is the BEST HM song I’ve heard for ages… no less than the equivalent of a “Run to the Hills”, “The Reaper” or “The Crystal Ball” !!! The kind of song that is a real milestone in the Heavy Metal history and bands from the years 2000 that can lay claim to this can certainly be counted on the fingers of a kamikaze’s hand  after a bloody attack !
Before concluding, I can not forget to mention the quality of the artwork perfectly fitting with the Lovecraftian horror-concept around which the band revolves.
Contagious, classic and twisted, this new album is an absolute must-have for old school METAL fans, it’ll be officially released by Metal on Metal rds tomorrow, so there’s no excuse to miss this masterpiece !!!