Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lord - Alive In Golgotha EP

The last year or so has been testing for Lord. Line-up problems meant the recording for this EP was done as a three-piece since their bass player, Helena Goldberg, left. Steven Sullivan pulled double duties playing both drums and bass guitar and did so admirably. However, once the studio session was over, he left the camp amicably leaving guitarist Will Rivera and singer Steve Kerchner hanging in the balance. 'Alive In Golgotha' would have been the perfect epitaph for this sludgy stoner band had they decided to call it quits. It's that good of a release. Messieurs Rivera and Kerchner wanted otherwise and assembled a new line-up which is already working on a new full-length. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger is clearly a proverb these guys live by.

Throwing caution to the wind Lord goes for the throat right away. 'We Own The Storms' starts at 100mph and never lets off the gas. Ripping, pulling, pounding me to bits and pieces, the band is absolutely relentless and I fucking love it. It's like being trapped in a brutal snow storm where the wind sucks the breath out of you, killing you painfully. Letting off the speed slightly, 'What You May Call The Devil Is Amongst Us' goes more for groove and pounding percussive rhythms backing up Kerchner's deranged vocals while Will's buzzsaw guitar riffs its way through it like a laser beam. Muy bien hombres!

Starting out like a moshpit from hell, 'With Reaching Hooves' alternates between brutal hardcore, moshy grooves and more contemplative segments. Everything flows back and forth so beautifully and easily creating a powder-keg of emotions waiting to erupt. Lord are at their very best here, not that the other songs are less good. Quite the contrary, but 'With Reaching Hooves' is the stand-out track for yours truly. Nothing but amazing.
Aaaaaargh, fuck me running! The last song 'Golgotha' brings back so many memories. This is how I love my death metal played in sludge, evil, brooding and inventive. What makes this one step out of the frame is Lord utilizing more black metal-ish vocals and all this blended together works fantasically well.

For a band that has been through a lot, turmoil can be the perfect catalyst to write and record greatness. I really don't know if this is the case with Lord. However, I have followed their progress through the years so I am not surprised they created a bad ass release. What amazes me though is how damned great this EP is. Even as a longtime fan of the band, they caught me off guard and I love that.

Like I stated earlier, 'Alive In Golgotha' would have been the perfect end musically for these Virginians. But as powerful and majestic as the EP is, I am very happy they are still alive - no pun intended - because this is music for everybody. Whatever your preferences are and whatever frame of mind you're in, this wax has everything. Each listen brings out something new and personally, my mood decides what way I will perceive it. And to me that means high musical class. Don't miss out waveriders, get yourself a copy and become reborn...the proper way!

- Swedebeast

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tourdates 2014 - IGUANA - Fall Winter Tour 2014

The  IGUANA-Tour starts with some highlights. On 3rd of October IGUANA shares the stage with brooklyn based psychrockers NAAM. On the 18.10. they will play Keept It Low Festival, with acts like KADAVAR, BLUES PILLS, MARS RED SKY and THE SHRINE. The bands' personal highlite will take place on the 25th of October, when IGUANA will be playing with SPIDERGAWD (including two members of the fabulous MOTORPSYCHO). So there is a lot of parties to come. Please join us!

IGUANA are touring Europe for some years now in the good old manner of DIY. IGUANA played more than 120 shows with bands such as Colour Haze, Kadavar, Saint Vitus, Brant Bjork. And they played Stoned From The Underground twice, also Void Fest and Blue Moon Fest.

Tourdates 2014 - IGUANA - Fall Winter Tour 2014:
03.10.2014 - Weil der Stadt (DE), JH Kloster, w. Naam
18.10.2014 - München (DE), Feierwerk - Keep It Low Festival, w. Kadavar, The Shrine, Mars Red Sky
24.10.2014 - Lüneburg (DE), Jekyll & Hyde, w. Eta Lux
25.10.2014 - Hamburg (DE), Bambi Galore, w. Spidergawd
31.10.2014 - St. Gallen (CH), Rümpeltum, w. Wight, Bushfire
01.11.2014 - Kranichfeld (DE), Crossing All Over Fest
14.11.2014 - Nijmegen (NL), De Onderbroek
15.11.2014 - Den Haag (NL), Club tba
20.11.2014 - Dresden (DE), Ostpol, w. Kalamahara
22.11.2014 - Würzburg (DE), Immerhin, w. Stone Troopers
13.12.2014 - Berlin (DE), Cortina Bob, w. Deaf Flow

English - short band info: IGUANA:
Their outstanding and unusual sound, influenced by Doom and Blues structures, Desert-Fuzz-Rock, Noise as well as Psychedelic at its best, makes the band to weirdoes on every stage. The four musicians (Bass, Drum, Vox, Gits) know their stuff and create an off- mainstream sound that is far away from copying heroes. Instead, it is a unique and first-rate sound providing complex song structures.

Iguana have already had 120 gigs in Europe, for instance at the renowned ‘Stoned From The Underground’-festival and Void-Fest, as support for SAINT VITUS, BRANT BJORK, COLOUR HAZE, KADAVAR, DOZER or THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX. Moreover, they have toured with LOS NATAS and recently with SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT. Thus, the band has firmly established in the ‘first class of German Heavy-Rockers’ (generated-x). Not just old hand doom legend Wino Weinrich knows that these boys are killer. Look forward to the sound of former desert sessions along with instrumental gimmickries and doom attacks yet charmingly and a little crazily wrapped up.

For more detailed information, songs, pictures and videos please visit our homepage, facebook page, Youtube or Soundcloud space:

English press commentaries on the Iguana-Album „Get The City Love You“(LP 2012):
Visions is really keen on it and says: “Iguana offer with ‘Get The City Love You’ Desert Rock at its best.” The online magazine praises Iguana and thinks that it is beyond question that they already have the invitation for the next Desert Sessions under their belt. Beatblogger compares it as follows: “As if Blur covers Kyuss […] just finest rock music. “ writes that Iguana’s style is a mix of classic Desert-Rock blended with experiments and gimmicks. Last but not least, Ox-Fanzine praises the new LP by saying that “they could easily compete with Neo-Stoner bands such as Deville, Dozer or Red Fang.”

English: Here’s some information on the new album:
“IGUANA released their new double vinyl at the end of June (at Sweethomerecords, Broken Silence) and have gradually moved their style from classic Stoner-Rock to a distinct Desert-Session-Psychedelic-Rock. „Get The City Love You” provides old-school Desert Rock – rough, psychedelic, melodious, but, above all, multi-faceted. The 10 songs represent different tunes in finest Desert-Sessions without even relating to any desert-clichés: sometimes instrumental, sometimes just straight, and then laid-back again. Somewhere between Doom, Psychedelic, Noise and the Desert Sessions, but, with a twinkle in the eye, it reminds us of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd as well as Saint Vitus, The Black Keys, Qotsa and Soundgarden."

Soundcloud – Listen Songs:
Songs to sheck out at first: A Royal Null Drift, Vaque As A Mirage, Fukushima 50, Get The City Love You).

Youtube – Video-Channel:
Song "vague as a mirage" (presented by noisey/vice)
Song „Morning Eve“ (presented by

Tourdates 2012 – Get The City Love You – Tour 2012:
presented by: Allschools Network, Electric Magic, Sweet Home Records
26.10.2012 Chemnitz (GER) - AJZ Talschock
27.10.2012 Freiberg (GER) - Deep Hole
03.11.2012 Jena (GER) - Black Night
09.11.2012 Leipzig (GER) - Bandhaus
10.11.2012 Braunschweig (GER) - Nexus
16.11.2012 Cottbus (GER) - La Casa
17.11.2012 Dresden (GER) - Born Wild Fest
18.11.2012 Berlin (GER) - Schokoladen
past shows - 2012
01.09.2012 Fraureuth (GER) - Fraureuth Open Air w. Phased
18.08.2012 Hohenstein-Ernstthal (GER) - Voice Of Art w. Neume, Urlaub in Polen
11.08.2012 Kranichfeld (GER) - Kulti Open Air w. DxBxSx
03.08.2012 Waldmuenchen (GER) - Void Fest w. Kadavar, Naam
23.06.2012 Chemnitz (GER) - Atomino
10.06.2012 Moscow (RUS) - Art Garbage w. The Grand Astoria
02.06.2012 Oederan (GER) - Insect Lounge 2012 w. Zen Zebra
31.03.2012 Innsbruck (A) - PMK w. Samsara Blues Experiment
30.03.2012 Feldkirch (A) - Graf Hugo w. Samsara Blues Experiment
29.03.2012 Freiburg - White Rabbit w. Samsara Blues Experiment
28.03.2012 Rivignano (I) - Osteria Alle Piramidi w. Samsara Blues Experiment
27.03.2012 Ljubljana (SLO) - Club Gromka w. Samsara Blues Experiment
26.03.2012 Salzburg (A) - Mark w. Samsara Blues Experiment
25.03.2012 Wroclaw (PL) - Alive w. Samsara Blues Experiment
24.03.2012 Warszawa (PL) - Fonobar w. Samsara Blues Experiment
23.03.2012 Berlin (GER) - White Trash w. Samsara Blues Experiment

APE MACHINE announce fall U.S. tour dates

Portland, Oregon stoner-rockers APE MACHINE have announced fall U.S. tour dates in support of their latest record, Mangled By The Machine, which is out now via Ripple Music. (Order here.)

Please contact for any press inquiries, including guest list spots, photo passes and interviews.

Oct 16: Black Forest - Eugene OR
Oct 17: Witch Room - Sacramento CA
Oct 18: Eli's Mile High Club - Oakland CA
Oct 19: Redwood Bar - LA CA
Oct 20: Flycatcher - Tucson AZ
Oct 21: JRs - Sierra Vista AZ
Oct 22: Lowbrow Palace - El Paso TX
Oct 23: House of Rock - Corpus Christi TX
Oct 24: Continental Club - Houston TX
Oct 25: The Grotto - Ft Worth TX
Oct 26: Underground - Sante FE NM
Oct 27: Pub Rock - Phoenix AZ
Oct 28: Copper Door - Santa Ana CA
Oct 29: U-31 - San Diego CA
Oct 30: Prospector - Long Beach CA
Oct 31: Soda Bar - San Diego CA
Nov 1: Audie's - Fresno CA
Nov 2: Paddys Pub - San Jose CA
Nov 3: Elbo Room - San Francisco CA

The name Ape Machine is a nod to the days of reel-to-reel magnetic tape audio recording; a fitting moniker for the heavy-hitting quartet as the band plays through vintage tube amplifiers and lays down its songs using exclusively throwback quality studio equipment. With a heady mix of animal aggression and technical precision, Ape Machine's music carries an organic depth and warmth rarely heard since the time of rock's glorious early years (or your Dad's bad ass record collection) infused with an exceptional modern sensibility. When the mystical lyrics of vocalist Caleb Heinze lock in with the band's stone-cold groove, Ape Machine demonstrates an earth-shaking ability to rock. A true four-piece, the group has been called "a rock and roll band with a finger on the pulse of the '70s and their asses firmly in the present" and "real heavy-psych for the iPhone generation" that delivers "true guts and glory rock and roll."

Blending equal parts rock 'n’ roll, blues, stoner rock and psychedelia, Ape Machine is out to melt faces and pound the apathy out of otherwise jaded listeners with a wall of heavy rock n’ roll tones unheard since the days of bell bottoms, long hair and blaring tube amplifiers.

Ape Machine's mission is to combine intense melody, cutting riffs and blistering live improvisation. Where many bands rely on meticulously rehearsed, just-like-the-record-parts, they provide a live experience that is as unique as each evening it shares with an audience.


ATRIARCH added to Midnite Collective's Midnite Communion II: "Out Of The Woods" featuring COUGH, INVDRS & SORXE

This Fall, the annual celebration of arts, crafts, and musicianship within the realm of darkness befalls upon Los Angeles. Midnite Communion II will play host to nine artists, four musical performances, and a number of crafters, toolers, and builders all with an artisan approach.

Specifically curated by the Midnite Collective, this year's theme is entitled “Out of the Woods,” celebrating the emergence and accomplishments within the first year of renewed vision operating under the guise of Midnite. By unifying these creative entities with the endarkened community of greater Los Angeles, the purpose is not only to share these outlets with our brothers and sisters within the shadows but to extend gracious appreciation for the incredible support through 2014.

This year's creative harvest has brought a spectacle of pieces contributed by Lucas Ruggieri, Krist Mort, Farron Loathing, Raoul Mazzero, and Joie “Jaxa” de Vivre. An extended exhibit showcasing
and reflecting a year of Midnite Ceremonies includes Mike Lawrence, Sebastian Mazuera, Shaun Beaudry, and Jean Saiz. Musical accompaniment will be provided by Virginia’s worst, Cough, who will be supported by Salt Lake City’s sonically destructive INVDRS, the just-added Portland ceremonial death/doom outfit ATRIARCH and Phoenix progressive metal act Sorxe.

Taking place on Saturday, November 15th within the confines of The Complex in Glendale, California, this Communion will have two periods of worship and tribute. Beginning at 7pm, the art exhibit and craft fair will have an opening reception free to the public. At 9pm, the venue will be
emptied and re-entry will be granted with tribute for the musical acts while the art exhibition and craft fair will still be available for viewing and perusing.

“Out of the Woods”
Featuring Original Artwork from:
Lucas Ruggieri
Krist Mort
Farron Loathing
Raoul “View from the Coffin” Mazzero
Including Ceremonial Contributions by
Mike Lawrence
Sebastian Mazuera
Shaun Beaudry
Jean Saiz
Musical Accompaniment Provided by:

Backlined by ATLAS Cabinets.

Taking place on the 15th of November
Induction ceremony from 7pm - 9pm (free)
Communion begins at 9pm ($15 pre / $20 door)
Hosted at Complex in Glendale, CA
Support provided by CVLT Nation
Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at:

Dark & Somber Greetings

Kelly Johnston-Gibson / Natura Obscura
PKZ Clothing
Cutthroat Leatherworks
Other Links:

Beak - Let Time Begin

Let Time Begin begins with an enthralling riff which slowly bleeds into a viscous display of vocal howling. The vocals may intimidate those of you who can't stomach a little bit of angsty shrieks, but stay calm I tell you. I too, go back and forth on the harsh vocal phenomena, and the deal breaker for me is the overall musical combination of sounds. In the case of Beak, the carnivorously hefty climate shreds on as the hardcore shouts become one with the scenery. Weaving from a lucid fantasy into a bludgeoning sludge backdrop, Beak doesn’t just peck away your eyeballs, but they muzzle apart your brain from the inside out.

Let Time Begin is an extremely haunting and ritualistic portrayal of life's journey towards the top of the drowning pyramid, or descending to the depths of the uncharted tombs of life. In other words Beak conceptually tracks the beginning of time and rise of the universe, in the form of a wicked concept album. For me personally, I'd be lying if I said I understood 100% of the lyrical content expressed throughout the 40 minute, 8-song set. However, the tone, the vibe, the mood and the atmosphere of the album crammed my mind with a notion eerily similar to what the album evidently explores, thus causing history to repeat itself by way of the replay button.

The album flows smoothly throughout its duration. Melodious guitar picking carves the murky depths of the blackest hole, floating into jagged reefs of sludge and metallic waves of post-metal. The album parts a sea of sludge warping itself into outer space where volume is the only variable. The higher the better, as all you stoner rock fans would agree in more ways than one.

Think Pelican or ISIS, only imagine their beaks spew out a tasteful blackened sludge crossing the interplanetary divide of hardcore/screamo and extreme post-metal. The tranquil atmosphere permeates the minds ability to let go allowing the music to speak. Let Time Begin suggests you, as the listener, do exactly that. Kick back, relax and let the brutal melody baptize your brain. Beak has crafted a truly compelling album with Let Time Begin, and I urge you all to give it a chance. It's a bit of a grower, but, then again, so is time itself. Linked below is a brand new video of their song ‘Light Outside’ as well as their debut EP ‘Eyrie’ on bandcamp. Let Time Begin is available on September 23, 2014 via Someoddpilot Records.

-The Huntsman

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ripple Record Store Round-Up - The Sound Machine, Reading UK

I'm sure everyone has that one special place that can call it 'heaven', including myself. I've been to a lot of record shops within 60 mile distance (can't afford travelling too far... yet).  Bought quite some interesting albums outside Reading, where I live and I still enjoy going to London, Guildford or Henley and find obscure bargains, but the shop I can call heaven is actually in Reading. It's called The Sound Machine.

Located very close to the train station, only less than 5 minutes walk (24 Harris Arcade, Reading RG1 1DN), The Sound Machine offer a wide range of second-hand LPs, CDs and DVDs. Tour booklets, cassettes and music-related books can also be found. Although they mostly specialise in rock and pop, other genres can also be found such as jazz, soul, reggae and more, so everyone can find something for themselves. The stock also changed regularly, so a regular visit is necessary if you don't want to miss out something that might be on your wantlist.

I've started buying records since April 2011 and ever since my collection, as well as musical knowledge, has grown impressively big and I'm only 23. It is thanks to their cheap section, where I have found a lot of stuff I needed and never heard of before (and loved in the end). Being a huge heavy metal fan, a small cheap metal section makes this place a huge bonus and always dig through it and even when I go there not willing to buy anything I end up getting something anyway (addiction much?). The cheap sections are priced £3 each and 4 for £10. The condition may vary, but they always try to put out the best conditions possible. Personally, I don't mind a damaged sleeve, as long as the record is playable, it will find a place on the shelf. Also the CD section is quite big and the shop also get customers willing to buy CDs at price £3.99.

Of course it doesn't end with just bargains, there are other sections with priced up albums. A vast majority is £5 and £8, but there tend to be £10, £15, £20 and more depending on the album, pressing and condition (the third always is important). Despite this, the prices are not high at all. Compared to prices in London they tend to lower the prices and you definitely will not overpay. It is hard to say what is the best find from there, I've had so many of those I just can't remember. What I do remember is getting a German press of 'Counterparts' by Rush from 1993 from the cheap section together with a pile of other prog albums for £2.25 a piece. Later I found out they can go for hundreds of dollars! Another memory I can recall is finding a copy of American press of Nazareth's 'Hair of the Dog' for just £3, which is one of my life soundtracks. Also a holy grail copy of 'Dehumanizer' by Black Sabbath and signed copy of 'Power Supply' by Budgie will always remind me where it came from.

Of course digging through crates is not the only reason I go there. The staff is wonderful and always willing to help. Even if you don't manage to find anything, you can still be there for small chattering not necessarily about music, laughs guaranteed. Their music knowledge helped me to discover new bands (and persuaded me well to buy records), but also they learn new things from me, so there's a very good information being shared for the future. They will also help you find albums you're after and put on the side for you, very helpful to avoid spending too much on eBay/Discogs purchases.

It is a truly wonderful place, don't think there's one like this anywhere in the UK. Pop in and I'm sure you will find something for your taste.


Enslaved and Wardruna To Perform Skuggsjá, The Sound of Norway's Norse History at Roadburn Festival 2015

Roadburn Festival 2015 Ticket Pre-Sales Start Thursday, Oct 16th 2014 at 21:00 CET; Pre-Sales Party at The 013 Venue (NL)

Bongripper, Floor, Sólstafir, Virus, White Hills, Messenger, Junius, Skeletonwitch, Svartidaudi, Mortals, The Osiris Club and Zoltan also confirmed for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.

We're elated to announce that Enslaved and Wardruna will perform Skuggsjá, the sound of Norway's Norse History at Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson's and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik's curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Written by Bjørnson and Selvik for the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution and premiered this past weekend at the Eidsivablot festival, this will be Skuggsjá's first performance outside of Norway, and will certainly be one of the highlights of the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.
Skuggsjá translates into ‘mirror’ or ‘reflection’ in the Norse language, and the commissioned piece not only contextualizes harder music’s role in the democracy in Norway in 2014, but also joins threads from the country’s ancient musical history and solidifies harder music’s position as Norway`s most important cultural export.
By highlighting ideas, traditions and instruments of their Norse past, Skuggsjá will tell the history of Norway and reflect relevant aspects from the past into the present day. In light of this they will reflect on themselves as a people and nation. In a magnificent tapestry of metal instrumentation, a wide variety of Norway and Scandinavia’s oldest instruments, and poetry in Proto-Scandinavian, Norse and Norwegian, Skuggsjá will be a fusion between past and present, both lyrically and musically.
We simply can't wait to experience it ourselves, to hear how how Norwegian metal has developed from its rebellious roots into the highly acclaimed artistic expression of a complex music genre, under Norway's constitutional right to freedom of speech.

In related news, Virus, Junius, Skeletonwitch, Svartidaudi and Icelandic heathens Sólstafir, who are currently making huge waves with their latest release, Ótta, are also confirmed for Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson's and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik's curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue.

Tickets for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, set for April 9 - 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, will go on sale on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Set your alarm and get ready to score your tickets at 21:00 CET!

The majority of Roadburners live outside The Netherlands, which is why ticket pre-sales will start at 21:00 CET. This should be convenient for most time zones. Apologies to our friends in Oceania who will have to wake up early (or just stay up late)!

We are pleased to report that there will be NO price increase this year.Three-day tickets will be available for 165 Euros (excl. servicefees); four-day tickets will cost 185 Euros (excl. service fees). Afterburner-only tickets will cost 32.50 Euros (excl. service fees). Please note that one-day tickets are not available for the Thursday, Friday or Saturday Roadburn dates. Online buyers can order a maximum of four tickets.

For everyone in the Netherlands and Belgium: we are aware that your local ticket outlets will not be open when pre-sales start, which is why we are throwing another pre-sales party at the 013 venue in Tilburg (NL). From 19:00 CET - 20:30 CET you will be able to purchase a maximum of four paper tickets for Roadburn Festival 2015. Guaranteed!

In addition to making it easy to get tickets, the pre-sales party is going to be a blast! This year, we have invited The Machine and Radar Men From The Moon to provide the soundtrack.

The live music part of the evening starts at 20:30 CET. Roadburn’s artistic director/promoter Walter Hoeijmakers will be on hand to share the latest festival updates, too.

Chicago instrumental band Bongripper will make a welcome return to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival with two sets that feature their unique brand of devastating doom. The first will see them play their latest album, Miserable, in its entirety at the main stage on Thursday, April 9. The second will be later that weekend (more info about the date to be determined).

If you are a fan of stellar riffs and molasses-thick distorted guitar tone, Floor has everything you want in music. These Floridian sludge/pop pioneers get a lot of comparisons to lead singer/guitarist Steve Brooks other band, Torche — and rightfully so — with his instantly recognizable singing style and guitar tone. Floor, however, is the essence of pure heaviness, with just a nod to the pop melodies that have spurred Torche on to crossover success. Come feel the downtuned thunder of Floor’s bassless power trio attack when Floor plays the main stage of the 013 venue at the 2015 Roadburn Festival on Thursday, April 9.

Combining many of the essential themes of Roadburn music in their volatile sonic elixir -- psych, space rock, stoner rock, kraut rock and noise -- have made White Hills one of Roadburn's favorite bands. Their bespangled and energetic live shows have a life and chaotic energy of their own that reshapes their music and creates powerful sonic programming driven by pure energy, exactly the kind of thing that Roadburn celebrates, and fans seek. White Hills will make a very welcome return to Roadburn for a main stage performance on Sunday, April 12.

After winning the limelight category for the brightest young rising stars in the progressive sky today at this year's Progressive Music Awards this past weekend, Messenger will bring their acid folk/prog and psychedelica to the 20th edition of Roadburn on Saturday, April 11.

Mortals, The Osiris Club and Zoltan have also been confirmed for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.

Curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015 (including Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Fields of the Nephilim, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper, Floor and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

I listen to a lot of metal.  I write these reviews, I do a weekly radio show, and to be honest, a lot of what I listen to is just a blur.  Much of what comes my way is just very generic metal.  I figured out last year that I listened to portions of over 400 albums between my writing and radio show.  If a band stands out then they have got something a little unique, they've figured out how to put their own touch on this metal genre.  If they stand out enough that I give their release multiple listens, then it has to be something special.

I think we can call this Tom G. Warrior fellow pretty special.  For over 30 years now he has kept it interesting with Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and now Triptykon.  Let me just join the chorus now and state that this is his master work.  This album is so staggeringly good, with nothing on display that you could even begin to call a misstep, that it boggles the mind a little.

The songwriting is outstanding.  All of the songs sound like they are of a whole.  There is nothing here that seems as though its just a bunch of riffs pasted together.  The songs sound like fully formed ideas, and they are given enough room to breathe and develop.  Each one seems to be exactly the right length.  The performances are top notch.  All of the playing on this album feels like there is a symbiotic relationship between the player and the music, that there is no difference between say the drummer and his rhythms.  They are one and the same.  As an album, all the songs work together.  I've heard concept albums that don't flow and work like this one does.  This band has simply put all the right parts together in all the right ways to bring us something spectacular, something that does not often come along.

You can't lump this in a nice tidy box, genre wise.  It is most definitely, without a doubt, metal, but you aren't going to be able to call it black or death or anything so simple.  This is other metal, a distillation of the experiences of a metal veteran, taking the best bits of everything he has done before to put forth something so much greater than the sum of its parts.  “Breathing” certainly blasts along like some tasty death metal, but yet has enough other things going on that you can't simply call it death.  Other tracks, such as “Boleskine House” and “Aurorae” are just a few BPM above what you might call doom, but again, more than an easy definition awaits the listener.  “Demon Pact” is tribal and primal, sounding like what you might imagine a gathering of Hell's minions would be like.  “Black Snow” is just twelve and a half minutes of gorgeous darkness.

This album is brilliant.  Everything you could want in a metal release.  Something I will listen to repeatedly.  Definitely on my top 10 list for this year, regardless of what comes out the rest of the year.  Mr. Warrior, you have done yourself proud.  Valhalla awaits.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Ripple Conversation with George Trevino of Las Cruces

Just about the heaviest doom we've ever heard!  And damn proud to bring them into the Ripple Family!  Here's a quick chat with George Trevino of San Antonio Doom-masters, Las Cruces

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

AC/DC on the late night tv live in 1978.

What makes a great song?

What makes a great song are the guitar riffs.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Song called Sans Sentiment in '82

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

The song In My Sadness

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Windhand, Mothership etc.just great riffage from these bands

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

digital now but vinyl is awesome

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Beer cause it's cheaper lol

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

San Antonio TX Hogwild records

What's next for the band? 

European tour we hope

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Continue to wave that metal flag proudly. cheers and doom on

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vajra - Pleroma

Finally, a disease I can live with.  It’s a neurological condition called synesthesia.  Annamaria Pinna, the driving force behind New York City alternative/progressive art rock group Vajra, has the malady. The affliction attaches color and shapes to sound.  It makes her songwriting unique, visual and a synthesis of styles.  You can hear the result in Vajra’s debut album, Pleroma (which means in Greek “the totality of divine powers”), and it is guaranteed to drive your own visual hallucinations

The album, true to its hype, “is an exploration in paradox (east vs west, soft vs pummelling, female vs male) and includes Blake Fleming (ex-The Mars Volta) on drums. Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash) co-produced the vocals and mixed. Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) mastered”.  The music comes off as “Dark, Alternative, Progressive Art Rock with Eastern Indian Themes”.  In fact, the band’s name, Vajra, is a Sanskrit word and its dual meaning, ”thunderbolt” and “diamond,” accurately describes the band’s work.

A long time friend of mine who is an accomplished musician recently expressed her hope that progressive rock would make a comeback.  From what I have heard Vajra is performing before sell-out crowds.  With more bands like Vajra she may just get her wish.

- Old School

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