Friday, August 30, 2013

... gradual tone-building devourers : NIXA (EP Review)

From the unforgiving swamps of South Florida, comes the bone shattering heavy doom / sludge act NIXA. The band formed in 2012 and consists of vocalist Valentin Mellstrom, also singer of Death Wolf (with members from Marduk - considering this and his name, this guy may have swedish blood!?), drummer Mike Rodriguez (Secret Arms), Andrew Herrero on bass and Anthony Mendolia on guitar.
Some months ago Nixa recorded a two track EP with South-Florida music heavyweights Ryan Haft (Capsule) and Jonathan Nuñez (Torche) at Pinecrust Studio  and -if not done yet- I'd like you to pay attention to this amazing debut !

First song is "Bound in Troth", a massive monster of crawling heaviness which - from the word go - makes a very strong impression on the listener. Catchy and mid-paced riffs are mixed with slow crushing ones, almost trance-inducing with flourishing eerie melodies. 

Nixa knows how to build atmospheres, including vocally wise - with Mellstrom's fearless expression. I'm very impressed by this guy's voice who's basically pretty much clean but utterly gritty, creepy and even sometimes kicking up the jam ! It's not that the music lacks of thickness and textures at all but with a slight reverb, his nasal and moody voice adds considerably in emotion and deepness... 
"Superior" is slightly more rough with an amazing hardcorish dynamic in its beginning. Albeit different,  the song shows a great variety too, culminating in the eerie and spaced-out atmosphere of the mid-part, while  ending in a pretty gnarly way with an incredibly heavy and dirty bass, plus pounding drums !
NIXA's sound has the perfect amount and balance of sludge and doom, with various overtones emanating from each one's various experiences, could it be Post HC and psychedelic Stoner. Powerful and destructive as Florida's actual leading acts Shroud Eater and Hollow Leg, Nixa with its additional ambient textures constitutes  their perfect complement to form an amazing swampy trident that just a very few other areas of this rotten earth can claim to count on ! 
This is just damn too fucking short (11 little minutes) but with just those songs, NIXA proves to be one of the very best newcomers of the year and it's good to know that the quartet is planning to go back soon into the studio to record more brand new songs, cause one thing is sure : Nixa has arrived in the metal world with an uncompromising ferociousness and have no plans of leaving it until it has been completely devoured !!!
 Now, enjoy this FREE downloadable EP, with rolling a fat one and drinking a fresh one, this is the best thing you could do to start your week-end...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

... joint Interview with COSMONAUTS DAY and EndName : «The Iron Satan engine works for the benefits of cosmic program»

Here is the story of two Russian bands. Both of them are from Moscow and both of them walk through different musical paths in the same direction. As EndName go willfully through the mire of post sludgy doom without any vocals, without any remorse, their mates Cosmonauts Day are going further from their doomy post metal sound to deepest and darkest corners of modern underground. Who knows where their roads could meet? Yet the answer is simple: both bands are threaten to Eastern Europe as they're about to tour together in September. Dima CD (Cosmonauts Day) and Mr.EN 1 with Mr.EN 2 (EndName) are here for an interview worth to read. Do not succumb to those tricky tentacles of insanity!

Hi, gang! How are you? What`s up? How are you preparing for your common business?
Dima СD : Hey-ho! Dima from Cosmonauts day is here! My vivacity is in the groove and I am full of resolution. Every time when I come home from just another tour there is the only one  desire — desire to go on the road again. And I`m very glad that we`ve got the chance to leave for  the new tour.
Mr. EN 1 : Hi everyone! Everything is on the top-level! The charge of liveliness come from the 220V power socket with a direct or an alternate success. Now we perform an external coordination policy with post-Iron Curtain Europe using our network of undercover KGB First Chief Directorate`s agents. All members of Fame Money Power Tour are going to rain down their sophisticated and not so much sophisticated musical compositions on the European audience. We practice in the conspiratorial basements and in the bunkers of our Capital. We practice a lot in order to approach the deepest immersion and feel Mother Earth`s call and also to sharpen our skills.

You`ve got 13 announced gigs and the most of them will be in the countries of EU. How hard it was to organize the gig schedule and what do you have to give to your listeners?
Mr. EN 1 : I, as exterior observer of the dialogues with the West, may complain about it. We have been forced to insist on our arrival, compel to help us and threaten Europeans. After that the things look promising. The menace needs everywhere. It`s so strange as we try to do all that we do for welfare of the people.
Mr. EN 2 : I think that it`s not impossible at all in our century of the hellish digital technology and communication. All you need to organize a such tour are laptop and powerful desire. I suppose the listeners will not disappoint by our shows. Definitely. How you may guess commercial part is extremely low and ideological part is vastly high on the current step of our activity. Audience may be sure that they will get a honest and true-hearted shows.

The bands have some news, well, let`s start by alphabetic arrangement from Cosmonauts Day. What has happened with the band members? Who are these people?
Mr. EN 1 : By the way I am in some bewilderment about that too. What`s going on, bro?
Dima СD : Our former drummer Nikita decided to develop as musician in a different genre. Vanya appeared as his replace. He is a veteran of musical underground, his heart beats in unison with rock music and everything what he does he does by his special way. Vanya played  in some bands before - .crrust, Stellar Dust and Steny Lda (Walls of Ice). And I noticed him on the Steny Lda show and invited him to jam. It was clear to everyone that he is the best drummer we have ever play with. Since that we played a lot of shows in Moscow and in the another cities. But when I offered to go to the next tour our bassist preferred to spend his vacation with snowboard. This answer forced me to adopt a radical decision. When I called Vanya with such news he was drinking all night long with Sasha, bass-player of Tombstone Piledriver and also his former bandmate from Steny Lda. He invited her to play with us while they were mixing vodka and energy cocktails. Everything was settled then.


There is new song “Hail The King” on your bandcamp page and it differs from your previous composition from album “Paths of The Restless”. What is the matter for such serious changes?
Mr. EN 1 : It seems like the guys tired to chew their snots beeing in the open space and they decided to re-arranged their stuff to land on the Earth where the Dark Lord waited them. It`s more serious and interesting.
Dima СD : My answer will not sparkle by its freshness. Time moves on, people change so as their music. A half of our line-up changed, now we can more than before. We tried to play something  harder, faster and more brutal than we played before. Well and as the phrase goes “let’s roll!”. After our first release “Paths of the Restless” I decided to give mind wholly to misic and stop to be an office monkey. New life faced me by metaphysical punch on the nose. And I sobered up and I realized that all I want to get I must gain by hard long work and struggle. I guess that there are so much feelings of this struggle in our new songs. We create the track with an endless blastbeat and when I play it I feel how I fight with a crowd of the enemies. At this moment it`s my favorite track from forthcoming second album.

Cosmonauts Day
Cosmonauts Day recorded ''Hail the King'' for the Loud Nation Tour Live Compilation – what is this release and what is its conception?
Dima СD : We went to monthly tour around Russia with Autoscan, Equal Minds Theory, Lucifer in the sky with Diamonds, Kamni (Stones) and Flypaper. Every member-band performed a track which have been live-recorded and made a video for the tour supporting. In addition to the videos on youtube we made a web-release because everyone was satisfied – thanks to professionals from Destroy The Humanity Studios. In my opinion Loud Nation Tour Live Compilation is exclusive release so almost all of that tracks have never been recorded before. All artwork was made by Valdez from This release is available on, you can download it for free or pay some money that is rather important for us. We`ve already get 25$, thanks! By the way except the music you could find many photos from Loud Nation Tour in the archive. Those photos reflect very clear everything that had happened then. 18+

By the way, may we assess tracks that will be on the forthcomming album based on “Hail The King”?
Dima СD : I cannot say that this song is representative but generally our music became darker and angrier. And faster. I`m very curious about the coming result because we have 8-10 tracks which genre varies from post-rock to grindcore.

I remember that EndName tried to play shows very often about one and half years ago and earlier. But what has happened after that? Where you were so long?
Mr. EN 1 : Some personnel replacements happened. Our collaboration contract with Dima from Cosmonauts Day was suddenly canceled by external power and we needed some time to  tame the routine of existence and form the tripole view of the production of our cave music art. It must be noted that it redounded to advantage according our and not our feelings. It became easier to operate the rages of our bulldozer by six arms and six feets. The Iron  Satan engine  works more effective and more convincing. That`s why we had to keep our bulldozer in a garage and we have no possibility to go on the road. We just undertook some raids to the ground from the bunker in order to test our new schemes of the human manipulating.

Sergey, you told me that EndName prepared «the new show with video and light effects». Will the bears with monocycles, acrobats and whores go with you by common tour van?
Mr. EN 2 : The whores? Сertainly! We spent some time designing mathematical video with our video-engineer. It was like generation of the difficult geometrics which are governed by music using the cunning programs. We will show something of the results of our work in the tour. It will be the hard clinical psychedelic in the classical EndName spirit. Be ready for horror.

You have got enough stuff but you`re not going to a studio. Why? What does stop you?
Mr. EN 1 : We should get a external permission and done schemes of the musical creation. The necessity of recording has hanged like a guillotine over our necks for a long time. Some of these tracks ready for recording we`ve composed with Dima. We still have to oil and refuel our machinery and spark! Hope that we will obtain a license for all these things in the end of this year. Outwatch for news!
Mr. EN 2 : No! No! We`ll leave for the studio straight after the tour. it's about time!

May one consider this tour as the return to the active creative work? Or it will be one-time frightening  action?
Mr. EN 1 : This will be a beginning of the new age of developing and creation of the New Mankind. Not so fast of course. The virus will infect brain territory and form the necessity to visit our Black Messes.

What merch are you going to present in the tour? May one wait for the firm Russian matrioshka  and vodka?
Dima СD : We will take ''Path of the Restless'' discs, which we have a few copies - so I advice  all concerned persons to not miss a chance to buy last copies. Also we`ll take those T-shirts, which was designed by  mentioned above art-team Rotten Fantom.
Mr. EN 1 : Since we love so much a woman part of our audience we ordered the exclusive batch of lingerie and accessories. For example there will be the stockings with gorgeous black and red pattern in art-work style of our album ''Antropomachy''. And something else! See your on our show soon!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

…Producing psychotropic effects: Interview with Ron Vanacore of CURSE THE SON

It seems as if the world is slowly starting to wake-up and take notice of Curse the Son’s stellar sophomore effort, ‘Psychache’. The menacing riffs of Ron Vanacore combined with the propulsive rhythm section of drummer Michael Petrucci and bassist Cheech have yielded one of the year’s finest albums to date. The band’s debut, ‘Klonopain’, was a solid slab of stoner-doom, but Curse the Son has managed to push their sound to dizzying new heights with a refined focus on head-nodding groove and bleary-eyed psychedelia. Vocalist/guitarist Ron Vanacore was cool enough to shed some light on the making of ‘Psychache’, the future of the band, and more…

SM - Hey, Ron, thanks for taking the time for chatting with me on behalf of the Temple of Perdition. I have to say that ‘Psychache’ is easily my most spun album of the year. While your debut, ‘Klonopain’, was a solid album and well worth the purchase ‘Psychache’ seems as if it’s on a whole other plane in terms of progression and musicianship. Is there anything that went into the making of your sophomore album that stands out or was different, or is it just a matter of “practice makes perfect”?

RV - First off, thanks so much Steve.  I am thrilled that you enjoy the record so much. We receive messages from people all over the world, telling us how much they enjoy our music and what it means to them.  We are blown away each and every time, and I can’t begin to tell you how much it truly means to us.
You are correct in your suggestion that ‘Psychache’ is on a different level than ‘Klonopain’.  ‘Klonopain’ was a collection of songs that had been created over the course of 3 years.  The music was written and arranged entirely by me, and some songs had been written before I even had a band to jam with!

Subsequently, the songs on ‘Psychache’ were written rather quickly. We wrote those tunes between July and December of 2011.  The songs for ‘Psychache’ were written with more of a “band” concept in mind, and some of the riffs and ideas were born just from jamming.  The biggest difference between ‘Klonopain’ and ‘Psychache’ was the addition of Mike Petrucci on the drums.  He joined us in June of 2011 and all we did was write that entire summer.  Mike is a trained musician, and a top-notch drummer.  As soon as he joined the band, it was immediately obvious that he was going to help us to grow as musicians and songwriters.  His impact cannot be understated!  I had known Mike for a long time, and hoped of playing with him in a band at some point. Luckily, the stars aligned properly and we haven’t looked back since.

SM - The band put out ‘Psychache’ earlier in the year as a self-release and I was expecting fans of doom, stoner, and sludge to be all over it. Recently the album is seeing a bit of a resurgence that seems to coincide with the digital release through your Bandcamp page. Why did it take six months for ‘Psychache’ to finally be available digitally? Any chances of seeing ‘Psychache’ on vinyl?

RV - Well truth be told, there was a false start with the release of ‘Psychache’.  It had always been our intention to shop this record in the hopes of landing a record deal, so we wanted to wait a bit before we self-released it. There were some promo copies of the CD distributed at the Stoner Hands of Doom festival last year in New London, CT and some of the songs found their way onto YouTube.  The cat was out of the bag, so we just went with it. The first round of reviews/interviews, and the subsequent requests to purchase the CD soon followed.
Our management (313 Inc.) entered into serious negotiations with some labels in the late fall, and it was decided to wait and sit on the record for a bit.   Even with negotiations still ongoing presently, we decided that we could not wait any longer. We knew ‘Psychache’ was too good to rot on the shelf, so it was given its proper release a couple weeks ago in the digital download format.  It is available as a CD as well, and YES; there is a very good chance that you will see the ‘Psychache’ record on vinyl at some point very soon!
SM - In response to ‘Psychache’, Ulla Roschat of The Wicked Lady Show and Temple of Perdition has said, “I'm totally hooked. It's of an outstanding beauty, everything comes together as if it's just natural.” I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. Did the pieces fall into place from the get go? Is ‘Psychache’ the end product that you had envisioned before going into the studio?

RV - That was really cool of Ulla to say, comments like that not only make my day, they make my LIFE! 
I was taken aback by the response to ‘Klonopain’.  As a musician, you always hope that your creation will resonate with others and make an impact. I was pleasantly surprised with the way that record made its mark.  The reviews from the stoner/doom press were overwhelmingly positive and the fan reaction was amazing.
Due to the success of the ‘Klonopain’ record I felt a tremendous amount of pressure when planning its follow up.  This was a situation I had never found myself in before, and we’ve all heard of the “sophomore slump”.  When mixing began, the feel and vibe of the record really began to all fall into place. 

We didn’t want to make “Klonopain II”, so it became very important for us to make this one a different experience entirely.  As the mixing progressed, each and every song began to take on its own life.  As a perfectionist, ‘Psychache’ became an obsession for me.  I poured everything I had into mixing the record.  It was a very exciting experience, but also difficult and emotionally draining at times.

SM - Related to Ulla’s comment about ‘Psychache’ coming together naturally, how much time was spent on the album’s sequencing?
RV - A lot! When I was a kid, I was so into the sequence of songs on the records I dug.  I loved the concept of 2 sides and all the thought that is involved in picking which song leads off, which one is the closer, etc.  Again, as the mixing progressed and the characteristics of each song began to appear, it became clearer and clearer which songs would go where. 
I sincerely think that the CD ruined the pacing of a record. I enjoy the ebb and flow of the classic records, and have always tried to upkeep that old-school tradition.

SM - The only real criticism that I could possibly launch at ‘Psychache’ is that the album seems too short, though there can be something said about being concise and leaving the listener wanting more. It’s the same feeling I get after listening to most of Saint Vitus’ discography. Were there any tunes left on the “cutting room floor”?
RV - I always think it is better to leave the listener wanting more, whether that be live or on a recording.  Why overstay your welcome?  That is another problem that arose with the advent of CD’s.  15 songs on an album?  Nah, I dug it when there were 7 or 8 tunes on a record.  All killer, no filler…ya know?
No, there were no songs left over.  As a matter of fact, a couple of the songs were written in the studio as the session was progressing.  I won’t divulge which ones though!

SM - One of the coolest things about both ‘Klonopain’ and, to a greater degree, ‘Psychache’ is that the riffs are menacing, yet still possess a hypnotizing groove. Was this the ultimate goal behind the formation of Curse the Son, or are the tunes just the end result of three guys getting together to jam?
RV - Well as I stated previously, at one point Curse the Son was just me.  I wanted to be super fucking heavy, fuzzy and slow.  I wanted a sound that was huge, fat and analog. 
The riffs are what they are.  I write what I write.  I can’t play other bands songs and I never played covers.  The only music I play is mine, so the riffs are of obvious importance to our music.  There is NOTHING like getting stoned and locking onto some badass hypnotic riffage.  Pure ecstasy!

SM - I remember reading a post on your Facebook page that stated that Curse the Son never tours and you play about four gigs a year. Is playing live a priority for the band? Are there any gigs on the horizon?
RV - Playing the RIGHT gigs is a priority for Curse the Son.  I would much rather play 4 meaningful shows a year, than play every other weekend at dive bars just to make a couple bucks.  I am a long time veteran of the Connecticut metal scene and I have paid my dues.  I’ve learned that playing too many shows can become detrimental to the overall psyche of a band and end up working against you.
We would like to tour if we can find a label that will help us with some tour support.  My personal life doesn’t really allow for extended periods away from home, so it is something that I could only do once in a while.  We have people from all over the country (and the world) who write to us daily asking us to come play their hometown.  I think it would be so awesome to play in different areas and meet the people who know and love our music.  Someday it will happen, when I am not sure.

SM - What’s the music scene like in Connecticut, particularly around your hometown of Hamden, and how does Curse the Son fit in?
RV - The music scene in Connecticut is a victim of its location.  We are stuck between New York City and Boston.  There are a few really great bands around here, but it is so difficult to gain any traction.  There are very few places to play and the majority of the bands around here are death metal.  You wouldn’t think it, but it plays to our advantage when we gig with a bunch of death metal bands.  We stand out.  We make our mark and people remember whom we are.
There are only a few bands in our area that are doing the stoner/doom thing, so there is not much of a scene for our music.  Sea of Bones and Lord Fowl are the two bands that immediately come to mind.  It is tough to get people to come out to local shows now.  There are so many other things that are competing for their attention.  Plus, they can always watch it on YouTube the next day right??  All things considered, we have developed a pretty decent following in our area.

SM - What’s the current status of Curse the Son? Are you guys working on any new material or do you have any plans to record in the near future?
RV - We are currently writing material for the 3rd release.  At present time we have 4 songs in the can and hope to begin recording by October/November 2013.  I hope that the next record will be released mid winter 2014.

SM - I can say without reservation that ‘Psychache’ is one of those rare albums that I can reach for regardless of how many times I’ve listened to it or what my mood is and I can still totally get into it. Are there any albums, classic or contemporary, that you never seem to tire of?
RV - That’s a great question!  I never tire of ‘Deliverance’, ‘Back In Black’, ‘Sabotage’, ‘Master Of Reality’, ‘Unleashed In The East’, ‘Diary Of A Madman’, ‘Zeppelin III’, ‘Dopes To Infinity’ and ‘Black Masses’ by Electric Wizard amongst many others!  I generally only listen to music that was made previous to the mid-90’s. I also enjoy a lot of the early thrash music from the 80’s, like ‘Hell Awaits’ and ‘Infernal Overkill’ by Destruction. 

SM - Any last thoughts on future recordings, the status of Curse the Son, or the big existential questions?
RV - Well, like I said we are currently busy writing material for the next record.  We are in a really good headspace right now as a band.  The sales and downloads of ‘Psychache’ has been mind blowing to say the least.  The best part is that a lot of people who are grabbing ‘Psychache’ are grabbing ‘Klonopain’ too, which means we are gaining lots of new fans everyday.  It is a very exciting time for us.  We hope to have some record label support by the time the 3rd record is released, but if not, we will just do it on our own again.  The music biz has become a very D.I.Y. system and that is OK with me. 
Anyone interested can still purchase a copy of the ‘Psychache CD, and we have T-Shirts for sale as well. 
The last thing I would like to say is thank-you to everyone who has shown us such love and support so far.  Please keep spreading the word about us.  Word of mouth is the only way a band like us will continue to grow and so far it has been a magical ride.  Keep the faith brothers and sisters and let’s keep the party going…..Get HIGH!!

Interview by Steve Miller

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Out from Melbourne, ELDRITCH RITES is another serious addition on the list of killer Doom bands from Australia... I discovered their name and sound some weeks ago on a flyer for a gig they're going to give soon with Rote Mare and Dire Fate - for the split Album launch !!! Comprised of Shayne "Doc" Joseph - Guitar and vocals, Adam "Adz" Holmes - Drums  and Trev Scott - Bass , the band has released a rehearsal-demo early this summer which you can listen on their bandcamp !
Despite the average quality of the recording, we've got here 3 songs of some of the darkest Doom Metal you can expect ! But there's already more to get from them, with the long and epic "Institoris" from the EP they gonna soon release... Definitely worth to follow !!! 

From Adelaide, here's LUCIFER'S FALL, a trio consisting in Deceiver (Bass, Guitar, Doomed bellows), The Mother Superior (Guitar, Bass, Stratospheric Falsetto) and Unknown & Unnamed (Drums & Destruction) and playing a very rough Trad' Doom with operatic vocals and obscure Heavy Metal overtones !!!
A song is actually available on their bandcamp while waiting for a complete demo this fall... While the music is pretty classical in its form and execution, if your a fan of Rote Mare, you'll be surprised by some high-pitched Metallic screams delivered awesomely here by Phil Howlett.... I knew the guy had a very complete culture of the Metal from the 80's and a stunning voice in the Doom genre but to hear him shouting at times like King Diamond in Lucifer's Fall is something pretty amazing ! 

Arcane Heavy/Doom Metal from hell, this is what THE WIZAR'D is all about and their new album"Ancient Tome of Arcan Knowledge" (the 3rd one if I'm not wrong) is one of those hidden gems released a few months ago that hasn't already come to our European ears... If you like Pagan Altar, Pentagram and Paul Chain, you need to get this now !!! 
The album is only available on vynil format so far, through Buried by Time and Dust rds but a CD release shall see the light of day this fall...

From Adelaide again, Born For Burning is a one man project created in 2010 by Pahl Hodgson (Johnny Touch/Beyond Mortal Dreams) in the stylings of traditional Doom/Heavy Metal. Originally a side project from his main musical endeavors, BFB first saw the light of day on the internet in 2011. A handfull of songs were written, and in 2012 a three song demo tape entitled "Woeful Souls" was released to a limited run of 100 copies through Sarlacc Productions. Now in 2013, new songs are under construction with plans on releasing a full length album in the near future.


To make it more complete, remember that all ROTE MARE new recordings -from this year- are now available as free downloads on Bandcamp (the package deserves at least a little donation though!!!) Check out those essential releases from Australia's leaders of Doom Metal : "The Hour of Doom" (in my opinion THE best Doom song of the year!), "The Invocation" and "The Kingdom"...

Finally, check out "THE HAND OF DOOM" the best podcast for Doom and related genres on this side of the planet - who just became a blog too !!! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

... Worth a few bucks : MANTRA / SYNSOPHONY / A GOD OR AN OTHER / MASADA...

A few days after its official release on CD/Digital through Finisterian Dead End record label (Bagheera), "Into the light", the debut album from the French psychedelic/progressive metal entity MANTRA, is available right now for entire streaming.
Born in 2009 with the aim to create innovating, complex and powerful music in the footsteps of bands such as Tool, Mastodon and fellow french monsters Gojira, for a deep dive in a personnal universe made of overwhelming riffs, convoluted rythms and bewitching atmospheres, Mantra is the sum of three artistical personalities. The voice of Pierre is leading the crew, followed by Matthieu’s bass and Gabriel’s drums who put the rythm section at the center of Mantra‘s music. Guitarist Simon is also responsible for the mind-blowing sound on the band’s recordings, rocking you along unpredictable paths you will never forget.

9th Meridian Records has released a split CD entitled “Triarchy” featuring the Danish acts PICTURE ANN, SAGNTID and VORNOFF. The album consists of 22 melancholic tunes that were composed and recorded between 2000 and 2013, most of which were unreleased until now. “Triarchy” contains haunting, lo-fi music inspired by the likes of Vond, Wongraven, Mortiis, and Ulver. The CD is limited to 100 copies and is available from 9th Meridian Records NOW!

Hailing from the UK, SYNSOPHONY formed early in 2013, when Ollie Borgstein joined Tom Pryce in a strive to produce music which is as scary as it is psychedelic. Drawing on industrial acts like Lustmord and Flint Glass, black metal acts like Nachtmystium and Watain, with a healthy slice of stoner/doom such as Sleep and Bongripper thrown in, Synsophony's brand of experimental post-metal aims to paint a sonic landscape which will draw the listener in, warping sense and mind. 

Synsophony's debut EP - Karmic Existence - stands at 23 minutes long, and was recorded March-April in the depths of Cambridge. Put on your headphones, crank up the bass, and enjoy!


Experimental black metal band, A God or an Other, will debut their album 'Towers of Silence' on a limited CD run through Seattle's Alive & Breathing Records. The full-length is a collection of the group's first two EPs, re-recorded as a full three-piece outfit with proper production, including new songs never before released. The record showcases the group's ability to blend their unique style of psychedelic black metal, atmospheric post-rock and crushing doom. Drawing comparisons to groups such as Altar of Plagues, Deathspell Omega, and Thou.

The current line-up, formed in spring of 2012, has performed alongside peers such as Velnias, Abigail Williams, SubRosa, Lycus, Ceremonial Castings and Hull. The new record has already sold-out of self-released cassettes and seen reviews on numerous music sites around the world, specifically garnering high interest in Europe and Latin America.

'Hideous Rot' from Philadelphia's MASADA is a 5-track MCD of unpolished underground death metal brought to you by current/former members of IMMOLATION, GOREAPHOBIA, CRUCIFIER and RELLIK. Also features of bizarre contribution from Clive Jones of legendary 70's occult rock band BLACK WIDOW!


... THE MEZMERIST "The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty" (soon reissued on Shadow Kingdom !!!)

On September 3rd, Shadow Kingdom Records will release The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty - a collection of rare recordings from enigmatic psychedelic metallers THE MEZMERIST. The Shadow Kingdom reissue will feature a CD compiled of the band's two EP, recorded in 1983 and 1985, and a DVD detailing the history of THE MEZMERIST. 

The Mezmerist is one of the most mysterious US Metal acts of all time.  Few even know who The Mezmerist is, and to find an original LP is a chore as the band held on to most of the copies pressed. Originally issued in1985 and limited to 500 copies, today those copies have gone for extremely high prices on eBay.  The Shadow Kingdom records reissue marks the first time anyone who knew about this lost gem made contact with the band.  SKR was fortunate in finding the mastermind behind the band - Thomas Mezmercardo. After tracking Mezmercardo down, an additional five years was spent on this release to ensure it was done properly and with all of the parties and work involved. 

Speaking of all parties involved, one of the most interesting things about this release is that Bill Ward did in fact play drums on the four tracks that make up the 1983 EP. The circumstances surrounding the events back then are somewhat of a mystery, even to this day. Mezmercardo sits down and tells the story of how all of this came together on the DVD portion of the release. 

The Innocent,The Forsaken, The Guilty is not just any old over-hyped cult release that some of these other labels are feeding you.  This is the definition of the perfect lost gem in 80's heavy metal history and by far one of the best cult classic metal albums you'll ever hear. Psychedelic Heavy Metal is the most apt way describe this band that offers shades of Led Zeppelin, Cirith Ungol, and Mercyful Fate.  

1983 EP
1. The Forsaken
2. Dead Ones Cry No More
3. Arabian Nights
4. Victim of Environmental Change

Tommy Mezmercardo - Vocals / Guitars
Roger Abercrombie - Bass
Bill Ward - Drums

1985 EP
5. Kingdom of the Dead
6. No Family, No Friends
7. The Jam Song

Tommy Mezmercardo - Vocals / Guitars
Steve Conrad - Bass
JR - Drums

Sunday, August 25, 2013

... NOMAD SON "The Darkening" (new Album Review !!!)

Formed in 2006 by veteran of the scene Albert Bell (bass) along with Frenzy Mono members- Jordan Cutajar (voc), Chris Grech (guit), Julian Grech (keyboards) and Edward Magri (drums), NOMAD SON is back with a stunning 3rd album "The Darkening" - to be released on August 30th via Metal on Metal Records...

If Forsaken is Malta's most renown band for more than 20 years, one has to admit that NOMAD SON is actually its most interesting (local) descendant and after two extremely interesting first albums - namely "First Light" and "The Eternal Return", everything has been done here again in the most professional way to explode more widely in the face of worldwide Metal warriors...

I'm convinced that all Forsaken fans are potential fans of N.S., as both bands sound is basically boiled into authentic Heavy Metal and Doom but whereas Forsaken's main personal touch is characterized by epicness, Nomad Son ventures deeper into the 70's and early 80's roots of Heavy Rock/Metal genre... Then you can still talk about who's more traditional, who's more melodic or whatever, you've simply got two different bands whose main common characteristics are originality, tightness and a great respect to the elementary codes of METAL!!! 

The album starts with "Light Bearer", a pivotal entrance for what is to come in the next 50 minutes; without overdoing it on the production side, the overall sound is thick and immediately a dense feeling is emitting from this dynamic up-tempo song with gripping chorus hooks. At first you could think the band should have maybe placed this one later as it sounds quickly like a kind of zenith-song but "Age of Contempt" proves quickly to be another empowering and evocative masterpiece, just as the following ones will, and leads to the obvious conclusion that everything here is cohesive and at the same high level of composition!

Forming the heart of the album, "Only the Scars" and "Descent to Hell" are mid-paced songs with a pretty galloping approach for what is still basically traditional Heavy doom-laden Metal to raise your fist high in the battle; even more finely than on their usual fields of fertile expression, those keyboards play here a great role in the right balance found between aggressive heaviness and atmospheres!!! 

As says the label in their promo sheet, N.S. style is also all about versatility of moods; the flamboyance previously described is soon followed by somber, mysterious, intriguing songs like "The Devil's Banquet" or "The Darkening" with ominous Hammonds and raspy vocals, "Caligula" a monster of tremendously malevolent hauntingness which sets an impressive aura of impending doom, or the hard hitting and haunting at the same time "Orphaned Crown"... 

The album's art takes then all its dimension, perfectly in harmony with the special tone of solemnity often enhanced by Jordan's strong delivery; the booklet layout is very impressive and makes this album definitely essential in all regards, it's nice to see that some people always consider artwork and lyrics sheet as essential, even the thanks list (one of the biggest I've seen in long years!) is something that has been worked on very hard, with passion and devotion.

No wimpy ballads, no boring long songs, no demonstrative bullshit, just pure face-melting Metal with melodies, heart and soul... oh, by the way - maybe some of you didn't know that N.S. can be classified in the Christian camp of Metal bands?! Well, this spiritual dimension is subtly delivered and in no case a prominent (and eventually detrimental) element systematically exposed! 

I already wrote some flattering reviews on some of their colleagues from Metal on Metal Records here in the blog, think about Arkham Witch and Mortalicum latest albums - but honestly "The Darkening" is in my opinion the most memorable of all, and NOMAD SON reaches here an impressive level of excellence - not just musically but in its whole identity... HIGHLY recommended to fans of Dio, Candlemass, Deep Purple, Stone Magnum...!!!

Together with this third album - Metal on Metal Records will re-release the band's sold-out debut from 2008, "First Light". It will be out on DVDplus format together with "Pilgrimages of Doom" DVD, and with completely new layout. The DVD contains over 2 hours of pro-filmed and edited exclusive footage from the band's gigs at Hammer of Doom, Doomsday, Headbangers Open Air warm-up and Doom Shall Rise festivals, interview, a song from Maltese TV program and slideshow.