Purveyors of the Finest Stoner Rock/Doom/Psychedelic/Sludge Since 2008

Friday, September 19, 2014

LP review: 'Welter Through The Ashes' by RODHA

Two years ago a five track monolithic sludgy-doom masterpiece was released in the form of German group RODHA’s demo EP Raw, gathering a collective to gasp breath and say “Oh Holy Fuck!” as layer upon layer of devastating riffs and pounding mounds of destruction caved in to your skull in a glorious release of energy. Now, a larger collection of people get to stand up and roar from the depths of their guts as finally the band’s debut full-length has arrived, and it redefines the word OHMYGODTHISISSOFRICKINGHEAVYANDAWESOME.

Welter Through The Ashes may well soon be considered a game changer, an album where others spend their carers trying to capture just a hint of their stench, to muster even a fraction of the venomous power which extrudes through every orifice. The record opens with ‘Tresor’, six-and-a-half minutes of massive riffs and hell-spawned vocals, something many bands could only contemplate in their wet dreams, starting with quickened sludge before moulding into a doomier ending; it echoes the soul of what makes RODHA. With Mo Posch’s vocals sounding at their crushingly brutal best, you find yourself gripping your fist menacingly tight as he yells “What the fuck did you expect?” through the record’s face-melting title track.

If you make it further into the record without being completely crushed under the band’s devastation, there’s a sense of heavy beauty in the emotion to be found in tracks such as the empowerment and anger of ‘Overloaded’  (a slightly more polished version than the one found on Raw), and the charging desperation of ‘On Solid Grounds’, create layers to RODHA not found in too many other bands playing at such relentless aggression. RODHA create devastating powerful sounds and craft them into quite impressive moments a singular masterful songs whose essence don’t get lost in the mire, but rather guide it.

The record ends how their demo Raw began, with ‘Bliss’, a song about self-realisation and being fully content with who you are, not living the life of someone else, and it’s a crushingly powerful statement you can scream out as your fist pounds the air in rhythmic death-blows. RODHA have created a truly stunning debut record in Welter Through The Ashes, something which lives up to all of the promise and expectation met with their demo Raw (read what Seth thought about it in his Sunday Sludge). To every band reading this, RODHA have raised the bar, are you ready?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Heavy Planet's Reader Takeover Volume 5

Have you ever listened to a band and said to yourself...holy shit is that band awesome , I wish more people could hear them? Well, here is your chance! Similar to Sirius Radio's Liquid Metal in which a fan guest DJs playing some of their favorite tunes, you the reader are here to takeover the pages of Heavy Planet for the day. Today's edition features five bands courtesy of Muhammad Athif from Indonesia. 

To those that have participated in our "Reader Takeover" we truly appreciate your time. Unfortunately, we did not get as many requests as we had hoped for this feature and will no longer be accepting submissions.

Now, on with the show...

1. Seringai

The fastest southern rock thrashers alive in my country, it's a combination of Sabbath and Motorhead and other influences from Kyuss to Turbonegro.


2. Komunal

They started as a grindcore band, but now they play stoner metal and prehistoric heavy metal sounds.


3. Auman

The freshmen in the scene, they released their debut in 2013 as a catchy southern heavy rock from Palembang, North Sumatra.


4. Suri

Maybe they are the one that can really beat Sleep on the stage. The trio stoner from Jakarta.


5. Matiasu

Here comes the stoner doom hero from my country. Recently released their EP entitled Doom Dance.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Sludge: Fistula - "Vermin Prolificus"

If you expected to pour some coffee and breathe in some crisp morning air on your front porch, you've come to the wrong fucking place. I've said it before: Cleveland's Fistula are never gonna make you feel good. Through various lineups and countless EP's, splits, and full-length albums, these snarling scumfucks have consistently drawn distinct lines between societal classes and never been burdened by things like tact or nuance. Whether its a low, pensive groove or a breakneck pull on your tie as your teeth are beaten in, Fistula's overt violence is ever-present.

On Vermin Prolificus, thirty-five ticks of abrupt tempo shifts and screeching, stabbing guitars canvas larger truths. These seven tracks are less symptomatic of Oppositional Defiant Disorder and more indicative of the human condition's natural response to authoritative bullshit. Nowhere is this more evident than on Pig Funeral, a slow-simmered revolt slung low and hot and brimming with cracked-tooth spite. Rhythms churn and wave a fist in the fat faces of power, evolving toward a blistering close that repeatedly bloodies its knuckles on sharp bone.

For all the vile sludge bubbled underfoot, however, the band is never a hair away from lashing your back with a barbed rod. Spitting back to 2012's Northern Aggression EP, Harmful Situation and Sobriety are slightly reworked, slightly shorter, and seemingly more destructive with this go. And the contempt displayed on Upside Down is a call not just to authority, but to mainstream society as a whole. And the shit-caked trudging tempo is like an added bonus.

But Vermin Prolificus makes its boldest assertions on lengthier exercises. Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails is fuzz-coated sludge marked by violent, screeching pulls. Again, the sounds are absolutely foul and filth-laden. Moments of torrid tension are broken by hard coughs, assisting to uncover grimy truths of contemporary youth. The slugs come slow and poisonous, evoking incredibly dark imagery consistent with the middle finger this album throws in the face of convention. The title track is similarly jarring and unsettling, utilizing drawn-out, splintered extraction via drug-fueled samples. Layers continue to emerge, wounds work deeper, and slow-burning ruminations reveal (somewhat) rational explanations of drug distribution and addiction. We were never promised a sunny day, but Fistula reveal that endless pain has an endless dark solution. These thirteen minutes are the sonic equivalent of picking scabs off your face and kicking your kids. Not unlike a junkie, this track simply can't escape the grips of its own demons.

There's too much going on here to bottom-line it with one summation. Each of the seven tracks on Vermin Prolificus is a bold fucking assertion (especially the album's final moment on Goat Brothel, whew). Short-tempered and fed up, this album is a slowly corroding, synthetic-smoked nightmare flogging us as we scratch for daylight. The screeches and abrasions are the effect here, not the cause. What you're really hearing is yourself, your community, and our society inches away from collapsing under the weight of a fake smile. How much longer you think you can stand it?

For fans of: Angst, piss, pills, scabs, Gummo, malcontent, broken teeth, glass, burnt hair, and whatever the fuck is rotting in your basement.

Pair with: Meth

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