Friday, October 31, 2014

Archgoat/Surrender of Divinity Split - Angelslaying Christbeheading Black Fucking Metal

When you put a title like that on your album, you're really putting it out there.  You better deliver.  And I can tell you, without a doubt, this entire release delivers in every way you can think of.  We have Hell's Headbangers to thank for this beast, and they did a fantastic job.  The black and white marble LP, although I think this color is way sold out now.  The double gatefold is really well printed, nice and heavy, and has some of the most evil and blasphemous artwork I've ever seen on a release.  And the music?  Every bit as brutal and foul and blasphemous as you would expect from an album with this title.  It's a live album, recorded in Thailand.  It's just fantastic.

The last time we visited Archgoat, they had released a sweet little album called “Heavenly Vulva”.  I reviewed it and one of my fellow Ripple writers referred to my review as the “Best. Review. Ever”.  (You can check it out here:  Not that I'm trying to toot my own horn.  It wasn't my writing that made him respond that way.  More the subject matter.  Anyway, this live blast has 9 tracks of unadulterated Satanic hedonism.  If you are not familiar with Archgoat, they really don't pull any punches.  There is no sacrilege they won't make.  They are easily the most brutal and hardcore black metal band I know of from Finland.  Highlight tracks are “Apotheosis of Lucifer”, “Hammer of Satan”, with a drum riff that sounds exactly like the title of the track, and “Goat and the Moon”, easily my favorite on this release with one of the most evil sounding riffs that I have ever heard.  I dig Archgoat a lot and for me this release is worth the price just for their contribution.

Surrender of Divinity hail from Thailand, so this must have been a hometown gig for them.  Whereas Archgoat put a lot of speed in their black metal, these guys offer more of the chaotic variety of black metal.  All 3 band members are just ripping away all at the same time to create a truly hellish cacophony.  There seem to be some pretty cool riffs in these 3 tracks but this side of the split suffers a little bit from a bad mix.  The drums pretty much take over whenever Mr. Drummer is doing fills and rolls and double bass insanity, which is pretty much all the time.  The drums are way too high in the mix so you just hear the guitar and bass in small windows when the drums mellow out for 5 seconds.  I was not familiar with this band prior to listening to this split but they have some good stuff going on and I'd like to hear some studio recordings with everything in the proper spot in the mix.  My favorite from them is the wonderfully named “Manifest Blasphemy”.

Rarely do I find a release that has the whole package like this one.  When you combine great design, beautiful vinyl, and Angelslaying Christbeheading Black Fucking Metal all in one, you really can't go wrong.  Check this one out while you can, I don't imagine there are many copies left.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

STUBB: New Track From London Heavy Psych Rockers Now Streaming At The Obelisk; Cry Of The Ocean Out Nov 14th

Today The Obelisk has premiered "Sail Forever," the first taste of Cry Of The Ocean, the long-awaited sophomore album from London heavy rockers STUBB, out Nov 14th in North America and Nov 17th in UK/EU. The Obelisk's H.P. Taskmaster gives the Cry Of The Ocean high praise in the accompanying review, calling it "a more complex offering...and in case you're worried, there's no shortage of fuzz, either."

Listen to "Sail Forever" at THIS LOCATION.

The power trios of the late '60s and early '70s are the blueprint for Stubb’s loud, hard-driving, fuzzed-up heavy blues rock. The band recorded their first full length album for UK label Superhot Records, and hit the road, gigging with such heavy rock luminaries as the Gentlemans Pistols, Firebird, Cherry Choke, Steak, Sungrazer and The Machine as well as appearing at Desertfest to a packed house. Making the trip over to Europe twice with Stone Axe from the USA further cemented Stubb's reputation as a solid live act with some serious chops. Quickly, their debut album sold out and fans of heavy rock have been waiting eagerly for their sophomore effort. Now, Ripple Music is proud to deliver Cry of the Ocean, a blissed-out new album that will cement Stubb’s reputation amongst the higher hierarchy of heavy rock bands.

"For the dedicated music fan, hearing a great new album is rather akin to the feeling that a gourmet gets when introduced to a particularly tasty meal. The pulse quickens, the heart pulses and a sense of excitement. It is just this feeling that strikes when you are introduced to the flaming guitars and psychedelic visions of London’s mighty Stubb.”
-Sonic Abuse

Stubb is:
Jack Dickinson - Guitar and vocals
Tom Fyfe - Drums
Peter Holland - Bass


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MOTHERSHIP: Dallas, Texas Riff Lords Reveal "Priestess Of The Moon" via Terrorizer; Mothership II out Nov 11th

Dallas, Texas-based, supersonic, intergalactic heavy rock trio and family unit Mothership have revealed the riff-heavy anthem "Priestess Of The Moon" from their forthcoming sophomore album, Mothership II. Terrorizer, who are hosting the stream today, note that "Mothership’s goal is a simple yet admirable one; to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70′s, updated and amped up for the modern day. Marrying Sabbath-esque riffs to a kind of ZZ Top swagger, if you’ve got a soft spot for this style of music then you’re going to love this."

Mothership II, which was engineered at Dallas' Crystal Clear Studios by none other than Kent Stump of Wo Fat, will be unleashed November 10th in Europe and November 11th in North America on both single LP gatefold vinyl and digipack CD.
Turn your speakers up and blast "Priestess Of The Moon" at THIS LOCATION.
“Mothership‘s new album is a scorcher, plain and simple. The Texas natives made waves with their self-titled debut, which got picked up by Ripple for a re-release, but Mothership II is a different beast altogether, and one that trounces its predecessor easily.”

- H.P. Taskmaster, The Obelisk

"Warning: May cause heads to explode and make your ears bleed. Mothership upped the ante with 'II.' It's Darker and grittier than their debut. If you only listen to one new release this year, this is the one you want! 

- Bill Goodman, The Evil Engineer (ex-The Soda Shop)
Mothership is:
Kyle Juett - Bass, vocals
Kelley Juett - Guitar, vocals
Judge Smith - Drums

See Mothership live:
11/14 Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club
11/15 Austin, TX @ The Lost Well
11/20 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Blue Note
12/19 Houston, TX @ End Of The World Festival

For all press inquiries, please contact

THORR-AXE: Indiana-Based Blackened Doom Quartet Announces New Album, Gates Of Winter; Preorders Available Now

As winter begins to rear its icy head in the Northern Hemisphere, the mythologically-inspired, blackened-doom quartet hailing from Bloomington, Indiana known as THORR-AXE have announced the arrival of their sophomore album, Gates Of Winter: January 13, 2015.

"Cold, frosty doom” act Thorr-Axe is a raiding party comprised of four guys with a mutual love of heavy music who belch forth tales of dragons, wizards, frost giants, and vikings putting axes through people's skulls. A party of the blackest kind, which the Sleeping Shaman once referred to as “a crushing rifforama that boldly sets all axes to bludgeon-mode,” and every metal head with a black heart and a wry smile is invited.

Track Listing:

1. Open The Gates
2. The Seer's Vision
3. Four Hooves
4. Mountain Crusher
5. The Forging Ritual

CD preorders of Gates Of Winter are available now at THIS LOCATION.

Praise for Thorr-Axe’s 2011 debut album, Wall Of Spears:

"Put simply, this 9-song showcase is a feast of continent-sized riffs. Imagine The Sword taking on Amon Amarth for a late night Dungeons and Dragons battle with Matt Pike on hand to drink beer and advise The Sword on its strategy and you’re pretty much there.”
- Pete Green, The Sleeping Shaman

"Wall Of Spears invokes a raging world of wizards and warriors, hell-breathing dragons and a nice cold beer or 50 to celebrate the smashing of the enemy’s skull under the double-edged blade. This is the kind of record that sneaks up on unsuspecting souls before unleashing a Viking hammer between the eyes."
- Nate Vaught, Forbidden Magazine

Thorr-Axe is: 

Tucker Thomasson: Guitar/ Vocals
Mitchell McKinney: Guitar
Garrett Daniels: Bass
Jacob Lett: Drums/ Vocals


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FUZZ EVIL & CHIEFS: The Obelisk Streaming Split 7-Inch Out Today On Battleground Records

The split 7" EP from Sierra Vista, Arizona-based FUZZ EVIL and Southern California's CHIEFS is out today via Battleground Records, and in turn, trusted underground rock go-to joint, The Obelisk, is streaming the entire short but intoxicating platter right now.

Comprised of Wayne and Joey Rudell of Powered Wig Machine on vocals/guitar and vocals/bass, respectively, and drummer Marlin Tuttle, the A-Side's FUZZ EVIL delivers a nearly five-and-a-half minute, solid, groove-laden, heavy psych rock track, "Glitterbones," The Obelisk partially offering that the track delivers, "a swagger and hook reminiscent of early Queens of the Stone Age, played up with some falsetto vocals, and true to their name, some vicious fuzz." On the B-Side, the five-and-a-half minute jam of CHIEFS' fiery "Stone Bull" lets loose. With this recording created by Paul Valle on vocals/guitar and Stephen Varns on drums, the band delivers prime, hard-hitting desert rock, The Obelisk Taskmaster noting that the band begins the track, "with slower riffery but open up to a chugging verse and well-placed clean vocals buried Goatsnake-style under the mountainous tone..."

Jack-in and blaze a few minutes of prime riffology with the FUZZ EVIL / CHIEFS 7" RIGHT HERE.

Limited to three hundred copies, the heavy, white-splattered grey vinyl is cut at 45 RPM for devastating delivery, with the FUZZ EVIL side featuring artwork by the band's Joey Rudell, and the art for CHIEFS handled by David Paul Seymour. Place orders HERE.

FUZZ EVIL has already confirmed several new Fall gigs including release shows for the 7" in both their hometown of Sierra Vista as well as Tucson, the former having taken place on October 21st.

FUZZ EVIL shows:
11/07/2014 Flycatcher - Tucson, AZ - 7" release show
11/08/2014 Superbrawler - Benson, AZ

Monday, October 27, 2014

I've Got Your 7 Inches Right Here #4: Istengoat - MMXII

Haven't done one of these 7” things in a while, and what better time to break one out.  It's a combo of the 7 inchers and the “goat” series.  This is a good one.

I love South American death metal as much as I love French black metal.  It's interesting how some countries and regions just do one style of metal so well.  These guys are from Chile, and they are just as brutal as any other South American band I've heard.  The thing I love about these bands is that when you listen to this stuff, it's as though the last 20 years never happened in death metal.  Forget all the melodic and technical death that has come and gone, just go back to the original stuff, the good stuff, and you'll know what this sounds like. 

There are 3 brutal, devastating tracks here.  Nothing ground breaking, just good old meat and potatoes death metal.  I like the recording quality of this one.  A lot of these recordings sound like the band set up in a parking garage and then someone hit “record”on an old school boombox.  This one has some good production and is well recorded.  The drums are clear and where they belong in the mix.  Many times the drums get buried, and I really like to hear what the drummer is doing, so this is good.  And to make it just right, the vocals are drenched in reverb just as they should be for this style.

You can find this one on the Hells Headbangers site.  The other news I dug up on this band is that they are working on a debut full length so I will be watching for that.  You should be, too.  All hail Istengoat!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

It Came From ReverbNation - The Ripple Music-ReverbNation Playlist Part 1

Welcome waveriders.  Once again the good folks at ReverbNation asked us to participate in a promotion for their millions of bands and artists.  Who ever was interested had 30 days to submit one song to us.  I then promised that I'd go through each submission and write a quick line about the 25 that caught my ear.

1052 artists submitted from all genres.  Originally, I only wanted to review heavy rock stuff, you know, Ripple Music record label kinda stuff, but wouldn't you know it, I simply fell in love with some of the voices, songs, craft and melodies of some very surprising (to me) submissions. I don't really like country, yet a country singer named Maggie Baugh grabbed my ears and refused to let go. I've been bored with too many emo-ish singer songwriters and intended to skip the whole scene, but a 17 year old phenom named Charlie Leavy was way, way too talented to ignore.  Not looking for any indie, folk or alternative yet you'll find amazing songwriters/performers like Van Wild, Flora Cash, and Sirsy on the list.   And despite the fact that ReverbNation ranks submissions by how many fans, facebook/followers they have, etc, I intentionally ignored those rankings and often started at the bottom of the list where heartfelt soul like Rodney Hubbard were just waiting to be found.

In fact, I found so many surprises that I had to petition to increase the acceptance from 25 to 29. Simply couldn't let any of these go.

Its a very mixed, eclectic playlist for all kinds of moods.  In other words, it's what the Ripple Effect is all about.

My apologies to all the others who submitted.  Some of these cuts were brutal for me.  Once I got the list down to about 100 the process trudged to a snail's pace.   I wanted to keep them all, but simply couldn't.

So, without further ado, the Ripple Music ReverbNation playlist, part 1.  Part 2 plays next week.

Dream Aria - Gypsy Heart

Dream Aria is well known to us at Ripple, having reviewed their debut LP so, so many years ago.  With "Gypsy Heart" they do what they've always done so well, combine heavy rocking riffs with exotic textures of Eastern instrumentation and angelic female lead vocals of Ann Burstyn.  Delicate momments of pop melodies merge with some chugging riffs to set us off on a magic flying carpet of mysterious rock.

Van Wild - Cherry Tree

Every thing about this songs screams to me that it should be a hit.  If Ripple put out music like this, I'd sign her in a second.  Stunningly beautiful, blessed with a voice that is instantly captivating, and a song that has melody, rock, and a damn fine vocal hook.  A bluesy, rocking swagger of pop/rock perfection.   I've heard more from Van Wild, and it's all just as catchy, some rocks more, some a bit blusier, and all good.  If Alannah Myles can have a hit in 1989 with Black Velvet, then Van Wild should be a can't miss.  Any A&R people out there?   Snap her up quick and come thank me later.

Flora Cash - I'll be With You

A starkly beautiful, spartan duet of indy folk that is mesmerizing in it's melodic grace.  Shpresa and Cole's vocals intertwine and elevate and float and harmonize and it's all just so damn good.  Sure, it's in the Mumford and Sons vein, but nothing about this tune sounds like it's a "jump on the bandwagon"  attempt at a hit.  It's so heartfelt and swings wtih it's own natural grace.  And when her vocals come in following sequence with his, the juxtaposition of their two tones grabs me somewhere visceral.  Lovely stuff.

Charlie Leavy - The Way Life is

Man, did I freak out when I found out that this stunning talent is only 17 years old.   Man, the voice, the songwriting, the music, it's all so mature, so age-weathered, so, so  . . . so damn perfect.  It might seem trite to hear a 17 year old sing "this is the way life is" over a light blues beat, but nothing here seems forced.   There's a wisdom to her, a seeing well beyond her years.  Best of all,  I could listen to Charlie sing for hours and hours.  Her tone reaches all the right place with a deep honesty that belays her years.  And what a damn catchy melody.  Wow.  Again, if Ripple Music put out singer-songwriter stuff, she'd be signed today, or rather, yesterday.  Can't wait to see where she goes with her music next.

Devilstrip - Go

Now, before you think I'm going soft, let's break the playlist with the first of our rockers.  Perhaps not as heavy as you might expect from me, but Devilstrip manage to find that perfect balance of heavy rocking riffs, gruff vocals and accessible melodies without ever drifting into taboo-Nickleback territory.   When they riff, they riff, when they're tuneful they're tuneful.  The the hook of "Go!" simply works.  When they blast that in there, I go to where the rock is.

Mark Stone & The Dirty Country Band - Whiskey Talkin'

Let's keep it heavy now.  Not in volume but in tone.  Mark Stone may call his band the Dirty Country Band, but this ain't country.  It's downright dirty and gritty southern-fried blues rock.  Less Hank II and more like Ripple favorites Wes Ford and the Foundry.  Big guitars, whiskey-stained vocal chords, chapped leather, biker chains and tattooed babes.  Cigarette smoke hangs heavy over the bar, brass knuckles fill the pockets.  Bad decisions are made and lips get bloodied.  Join in on this bar fight.

Sirsy - Cannonball

Holy crap, did this one grab me.  I haven't been so hooked by such an obviously poppy song since the time I first heard groove rockers Modern Science.  Cannonball, well  . . . it bowls me over with it's poppy hooks, "Baby" choral break, thumping back beat and funky guitar work.  Melanie Krahmer's vocals are perfectly set for the song with enough tone and edge to make sure the song never descends into pop fodder, but stays meaty and juicy.  Meanwhile, Rich Libutti (the band is only a two piece) never loses sight of the funk, freaking it out on his guitar.  Put this one on and just feel the groove.  My ass is already out of the chair.   Don't watch . . . .

Mongrel - Consumed

You're gonna think I got a thing for female vocals, but that's not usually the case.  Just a bunch of talented women jumped to the front of my listening.  Mongrel are no exception.  You want to rock?  You're still swinging your ass to Sirsy?   Well, keep that ass moving but thrust some head banging into the mix.  Riding a charging, near industrial riff, powered rock and roll beat and a punked up attitude, Mongrel rage with all the fury their name would suggest.  Jessica sings with a touch of snot and anger in her throat as the boys rage all around her with a blitzkreig of guitars. And they never lose that open door where even non-metal fans can jump in.

Maggie Baugh - Midnight Train

Now this is country through and through.  And like I said, I don't like country.  Or at least I didn't think I did.  So let's refine, let's make it clear that I don't like bad country but damn if there's more country out there that's half as good as Midnight Train by Maggie Baugh then you can just go ahead and sign me up.  Starting off with that loose strung guitar, then that mournful violin (or I guess I should call it a fiddle) it all builds until Maggie comes in to join the fray.  And damn, if she doesn't have one of those voices that just makes me want to shake and quiver.   Tuneful, forceful and it cracks and squeaks in all the right places to add a ton of nuance to her singing.  I had the melody stuck in my head for days after hearing this the first time.  And best of all, it's got a bluesy soul all playing out over some beautiful guitar work and that damn nice vio--er.. . fiddle.  Suddenly I'm a country fan.

Big Red Beaver - Goat

Back to the heavy.  Need something to clear Maggie's voice from the earworm canal in my brain, and Big Red Beaver should do nicely.  I'd just been hearing a little about these heavy, stoner, sludge rockers recently when they submitted this song and I was damn thrilled to learn that they're local for me.  After hearing Goat, I know I'll be checking them out soon.  If they bring it live half as hard and heavy as they do on this track they'll be a treat.  Dragging their primal asses out of some tepid southern sludge swamp, full of searing guitars, truck stop vocals, haze and fuzz for days, and a bone structure of pure post-Sabbath heaviness, Big Red Beaver are a big red furry heavy treat.

Element A440 - Porn Star

I knew I was in for a sleazy, industrial sexfest when Porn Star started with the quote, "Excuse me, I don't mean to bother you, but would you mind slam fucking me about an hour."  Yes, sets the tone well for this orgy of singed synths, spewed riffs and body-fluid drenched beats.  Element A440 follow in the semen-soaked, tenderloin streets of NIN, Rammstein, and Marilyn Manson, with electronics flaring, guitars penetrating, bass probing and vocals gargling all within a sex-adled, drug-fueled haze of decadence. Porn samples litter the song like discarded sex toys.  So, filthy, you'll need to bathe after each listen.  And you can dance to the whole damn thing.   Really, does industrial grind get any better than that?

The Black Cross Brotherhood - Hillbilly State of Mind

Since we're raging, let's keep it going.   Pure southern metal, all belched fire and brimstone from The Black Cross Brotherhood.  Howitzer aimed guitars fire away mercilessly at my brainstem while the boys unleash an armies worth of terror from the regiments of Down, Metallica and even the Black Label Society.   Vocals are thick, but clean enough to not be off-puting and the guitar work never lets up.  Perhaps surprisingly enough, coming on the heals of the dance freak out that is Element A440, hearing The Black Cross Brotherhood serves to show the uninitiated that true metal can have a killer groove as well as adrenaline, and damn it, you could actually swing your ass to this.  It wouldn't be pretty, but you could do it.

Cosmic Shakedown - Carrying On

Ok.  Ears bleeding.  Need to calm it down a touch.  But not too much!!  Cosmic Shakedown, as their name implies bring on a comet-dust trail of post-70's psychedelic rock and some heavy space jamming.   A certain acrid smoke drifts and trails around the electrifying guitar leads, pulsating bass and soulful swing.  Hendrix lives here, as does Zeppelin, and a universe of guitar gods and spaced psych legends who came before them, and Cosmic Shakedown distills their essence into their own purely unique sludgy groove of  Southern Psychedelic Stoner bliss.  Lava lamps pump away.  Incense burns.  The cosmos await . . .

Xzile - Around the World

Now for what may be the biggest surprise, but a perfect ending to this playlist.  A nice calm down but keeping that essential beat going . . . gently into the night.   Xzile caught me with his even flow, and strong tone.   A cool sample and smooth vocal line brings us in and runs throughout that is totally chill, while Xzile does this thing over the top.  I don't listen to a ton of rap/hip hop but when I do I want beats, intelligent lyrics, and a smooth beat.  Xzile brings all that.  Now the lyrics may not be what you'd want to play to your toddler for a bedtime story, but they're real not fake.  Nothing feels forced here, and the song is all about the beat, the flow, and the sample.  Not a producer-driven calamity of noises and manufactured hooks to try to make a few bucks.  I can't help but feel that if I ever met Xzile, he'd have a story to tell and the scars to back it up.  Real.  Gritty.  Smooth.   A perfect end to our night.

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