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July 15, 2014
BAGUALSun-scorched riff-driven stoner metal from Chile.
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June 26, 2014
INSTANT BONERMelodic galactic grooviness and hot riffing from Thessaloniki, Greece. facebook- bandcamp
June 24, 2014
IL MALPERTUGIOGenuine, sun-drenched desert rock from Italy.
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June 19, 2014
RAUM KINGDOMEar-gouging, chest-crushing post-metal sludge from Ireland.
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June 17, 2014
MANIACS ON WHEELSFuzz-fueled, heavy duty biker rock from Philadelphia, PA.
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June 12, 2014
PHANTDeafening experimental psychedelic fuzz from Sweden.
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June 10, 2014
DAMN THE GODSHuge stoner riffs, southern-style swagger from Iowa City, Iowa.
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May 27, 2014
BLACK TITAN
A heavy barrage of beer-swilling riffage from Mobile, Alabama. facebook- bandcamp
May 14, 2014
DEMON HEADEvil-glazed progressive doom rock from Copenhagen, Denmark.
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May 8, 2014
FIST FIGHT IN THE PARKING LOTDoomy rock spiked with ballsy female vocals from Pittsburgh, PA.
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May 6, 2014
NOCTURNAL TRIPFemale vocal-led, grunge-laced stoner rock from Northern Ireland.
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April 30, 2014
RUBY THE HATCHETNew 2-song EP from Phily psychedelic stoner mavens.
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April 24, 2014
FANGEHarsh, noisey throat-torturing sludge from the depths of Rennes, France.
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April 21, 2014
TOKERidiculous riffing, slow and nasty doom grooves from Wilmington, NC.
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April 17, 2014
ORYXDunes of droning hypnotic sludge from the deserts of Las Cruces, NM.
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April 14, 2014
MAMMOTH STORMPlodding, tar-lathered metal-fed groove doom from Sweden.
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April 8, 2014
LADY FLINT Explosive stoner blues rock duo from Marselle, France.
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April 7, 2014
KING DEAD Doomy psyche-tinged spaghetti western sludge from PA.
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April 2, 2014
GROGGYBlues-obsessed fuzzy garage rock duo from Omsk, Russia.
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March 31, 2014
THE SILENT LOWMelodic, hard-hitting, attitude-driven stoner rock from Denmark.
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March 25, 2014
GRAILPsychedelic punk with a southern demonic desert groove out of Texas.
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March 24, 2014
LORD OF GIANTSincere, lumbering, 70's influenced heavy rock from Germany.
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March 19, 2014
WOVOKA Intense yet melodic, brutal gut-twisting post-metal sludge from LA.
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March 16, 2014
HEAVY VOODOO
Torpedo riffs, hazy grooves and cosmic stoner sleaze from Portland.
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March 13, 2014
SPIRITUAL VOID
Toxic, heavy southern groove metal attitude from Brazil.
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March 11, 2014
SOUTHERN STATE
Somber, shoegazing post-metal sludge from Columbus, Ohio.
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March 10, 2014
HYPERGIANT
Cosmic, gravity-defying stoner fuzziness from Sydney, Australia
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March 6, 2014
KHEMMIS
Fuzz-filled, snail-paced riff-praising doom from Denver, CO.
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March 5, 2014
BITCHCRAFT
Polish doom band with female vocals is a fuzz worshippers dream
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March 4, 2014
DRUG MOTHER
Sleazy, fat and dirty stoner metal riffs from down under.
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March 2, 2014
SPIRAL GURU
Newly formed 70's inspired stoner doom band from Brazil.
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Feb. 27, 2014
TIMESTONE
Expansive psychedelics and dusty grooves from Austria.
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Feb. 25, 2014
RHINO
Fuzzed-out heavy desert grooves from Catania, Italy.
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Feb. 24, 2014
SOLAIRE
Get stuck in some sludgey stoner groove from South Carolina. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 20, 2014
HADDOCK
Heavy lightning in a bottle stoner boogie groove from Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 19, 2014
VALFADER
Stirring progressive ambient doom from Bath, UK
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Feb. 17, 2014
BRUNT
Intense instrumental sludgefuzz from these Guernsey blokes. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 15, 2014
MATUSHKA
Swirling hypnotic heavy psychedelic rock from St. Petersburg, Russia. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 10, 2014
MOPE
Sultry and somber jazz-laden ambient doom from Genoa, Italy.
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Feb. 8, 2014
LANDSKAP
Late 60's early 70's influenced heavy psychedelic rock from London.
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Feb. 5, 2014
TOMBSEALER
Death/Doom/Thrash from the mean streets of Adelaide, Australia.
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Feb. 4, 2014
SLUG SALT LAVA
Doomy apocalyptic instrumental Sludge from Istanbul, Turkey.
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Feb. 2, 2014
MIST
Spell-binding all-female occult doom from Ljubljana,Slovenia.
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Feb. 1, 2014
GRIT
Heavy heartfelt psychedelic jams from Heidelberg, Germany.
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Jan. 30, 2014
9OZ OF NOTHING
Riff Heavy Stoner Doom with Southern grit from Athens, Greece
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Jan. 27, 2014
BRILLIANT MACHINE
Chest collapsing progressive heaviness from Ventura, CA
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Jan. 25, 2014
OUTWAILED
Genre-defying atmospheric mood music from Tampere, Finland. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 23, 2014
YURI GAGARIN
Freaked-out psychedelic space rock from Gothenburg, Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 22, 2014
BLACK SNAKE
Swamp-infested grooves and fuzzy desert riffs from Portland,Oregon.
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Jan. 21, 2014
BORDEL INFERNO Gritty heavy rock, solid riffs from Rio de Janiero.
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Jan. 20, 2014
OVERLORD Melodic groove-oriented Heavy Rock from Oxford.
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Jan. 19, 2014
A DAY AS WOLVES Garage-rock inspired bluesy fuzz and roll from Alberta, Canada. Eh! facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 18,2014
NAKED BROWN Hard-hitting Polish heavy rock in the vein of Clutch and Motorhead.
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Jan. 17, 2014
OMEGA SUN
Smoke obsessed Stoner Doom from Slovenia. Free demo.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Album Review: Greenleaf - Nest of Vipers


What exactly does Small Stone Records look for in a band? Everything I’ve heard on Small Stone is good, raw and heavy. What’s the other factor? I’m curious since they don’t seem to release bad music in my opinion. Whether it’s Lo-pan or Greenleaf, there are always long chromatic riffs, melodic vocals, and ferocious drumming. Production value must play an important role. They tend to like bands that go for the classic analog sound, rather than state of the art digital production. Some of the bands fit more appropriately in the 70’s than now. Greenleaf is one of those bands, and one of the best.

Pushed to the forefront of the stoner rock ilk by a powerhouse drummer (Olle Mårthans), Greenleaf writes songs to drink to, songs to drive to. They have been around for a decade with different lineups in different configurations (features members of Dozer, Truckfighters), but on their latest LP- “Nest of Vipers”, they got it just right.

The entire record is full of intense drumming, Deep Purple guitar riffs, classic rock melodies and an overall vintage production. This is the kind of band, it doesn’t matter what song you’re on, it’s one continuous stream of awesome. The singer (Oskar Cedermalm) is more grunge than metal. It’s hard to tell if he listens to classic rock or anything post-Radiohead. I feel like Greenleaf could have happened in the 70‘s and it wouldn’t have sounded any different. To be truly IN a certain era from the past, one must stay pure and not be ‘too’ open-minded to the point of too much variety. That was the reason an artist like David Bowie got attacked by critics, for changing character every album. But needless to say, Bowie was awesome. But that’s solo artist stuff, Greenleaf is a band. Few bands can present a sound that’s so clear and precise to the public, it grabs their attention for being honest and direct. Perhaps that is what Small Stone saw in Greenleaf, a band that had not been distracted by the lure of mainstream, stayed true to the music, and delivered the goods on every album.

A notable feature of “Nest of Vipers”, is the use of the drums as a lead instrument. The opening track- “Jack Staff” holds a strong repetitive beat that reminds me of The Jesus Lizard. In my personal favorite, the mostly instrumental- “Tree of Life”, tribal rhythms circle you with gripping snare hits and unexpected chord directions. You’ll hear in “Dreamcatcher”, fuzzed-out guitar leads and wildly impressive drum fills. They say John Bonham took drumming to a heavier level. This guy takes off where Bonham left it. A more than competent musician, he shows his chops like Keith Moon, commanding a wide range of dynamics from part to part. The first thing to notice when listening to bands, is the drummer. If he sucks, there’s usually no point in going further. If he’s great, there’s no ceiling to how high the energy can get. The title track, placed last, is as epic as anything. A full-on prog rocker with a psychedelic vocal intro that falls into a choir-like chorus, making this the pinnacle of the album.

This kind of music isn’t for dissecting, you just have to listen. But I will say, there’s something going on in Sweden, for a while now, even in other genres, whether it’s Little Dragon or The Knife or The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Sweden is putting out the best music of the times. Mix that with the ears of the people at Small Stone, it’s a winning combination.


The members of Greenleaf are:

Tommi Holappa: Guitar
Bengt Bäcke: Bass
Oskar Cedermalm: Vocals
Johan Rockner: Guitar
Olle Mårthans: Drums

Guests:
Fredrik Nordin : Vocals (Nest of Vipers)
Per Wiberg: Organ (Lilith and Nest of Vipers)
Peder Bergstrand: Vocals (Sunken Ships)



2 comments:

  1. You can hear Truckfighters AND Dozer in this record. Doesn't matter. It's still kicking my ass.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dozer was ok. Truckfighters made a few good albums. Greenleaf owns.

    ReplyDelete

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