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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

LP Review: Swan Valley Heights by Swan Valley Heights



Munich, Germany, has just spawned the heaviest stoner record of 2016 so far! Swan Valley Heights’ debut self-titled record is one of biblical stoner rock proportions, combining thick heavy assaults, drawn out riffs, and warm, grunge-like vocals that wraps the whole thing together in an awesome package.

The record opens with ‘Slow Planet’, which at over seven minutes, is one of the shortest songs on the record, with enough stoner and doomy elements to lay waste to those looking for a good old slice of heavy rock head banging. With all songs on the album hitting around the 10-minute mark, the band choose to exemplify their song writing skills as opposed to simply droning out the same riff repeatedly, and it makes for a worthwhile listen as the layers of guitar riffs, time signatures, vocal ability, speed, and peddle dabbling is stretched to its full potential. The band basically make the most out of every second they’ve got. It’s a good five minutes into ‘Alaska’ before the delicate vocals enter the frame, not rough or shouting, but gentle, dare we almost say, singing, and it matches perfectly over the top of their stoner riffage, a cross between Arctic Sleep and Truckfighters, and how awesome does that sound?

Words such as “epic”, “colossus”, and “thickriffheavysonofabitch” are all that needs to be shouted while listening to Swan Valley Heights, and that is most elegantly shown on the track ‘Mammoth’: eleven minutes of stoner doom/psychedelic riffs to melt the coldest of faces, and destructive breakdowns to rob your lungs of breath. It’s when you think these three guys can’t do anymore, they take it up one more notch.

The rest of the album continues it the same devastating fashion; ‘Let Your Hair Down’ rattles the speakers off the shelves with its Neanderthalic riffage, ‘Mountain’ lulls you into a false sense of comfort before remimding you just exactly who you’re fucking with, and closer ‘River’changing course between slow delicate playing, to doomesque meandering, to an all-out riff fest as the band decide to simply go out all guns blazing!

Swan Valley Heights is a stunning record, using every riff for a reason, and that reason is to fucking destroy you. The first essential stoner record of 2016.

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Album Review: Cultist 5 song EP "Three Candles" featuring members of Skeleton Witch and Howl.



Upon receiving this submission the first thing that caught my eye was Cultist features the Bassist from Skeleton Witch (Evan Linger) and the Guitarist (Josh Durocher) from Howl (who is also handling vocal duties). Both bands I'm very familiar with and they have brought some brutally heavy music to my ear holes....But to my pleasant surprise this is on a whole different spectrum.

Cultist starts this album off with the title song and works its way through about 20 minutes of super fuzzed out 70's guitar riffage over a heavy drum and bass groove with atmospheric arrangements and Ozzyesque distorted vocals ending on the final song Eternal Dark.

I could see fans of Graveyard, Holy Grove and the mighty Sabbath happily adding this to their collection and playing it repeatedly. 
This album is well crafted and flows seamlessly from one song to the next and leaves the listener wanting more, which is exactly what I want out of an album and band.

Cultist are well seasoned musicians and "Three Candles" is one helluva way to shake these winter blues off. I'm really hoping for a vinyl release as I've already worn out the digital download.

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-Jon-
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