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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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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose": Autism / Brüder


Autism: Savant Syndrome (Single) 

As I stare out of my lonely window into the colored autumn world of Western Pennsylvania in a complete day dream I am pushed back into reality. That push was caused by one Lithuanian's ambient metal ambition known as Autism. I found very little in my research of this one man project and yet discovered tons about his character interpreted through his art. Autism released their full-length debut Falling Motions a couple months ago. Now, on the very heals of Falling Motions we are graced with a brilliant new single Savant Syndrome. If you're looking for six minutes of pure post-rock creativity that will fly you through a bustling park with an uplifting guitar lick and dives away into an inaudible back room discussion with some serious chuggin' then this is a track you will certainly want to check out. Stream it below or get a FREE download here!

 


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Brüder: It's In The Blood 

Our next "Dose" is a Minneapolis power-house with a killer name, Brüder (and yes... I dig the umlaut). This four-piece spew a dry, desert-like version of sludge metal (with some slight Mastodonian bursts) on their debut release It's In The Blood. So, what is in the blood you ask? RIFFS, robust, hypnotic RIFFS are in the blood. Brüder waste no time in pulverizing every minute fiber of your ear drums with the first two thrash-punk influenced tracks. The tunes take a doomy turn in Tiney Peony and really doom-shift into a thunderous crawl with Earthen. The EP kicks back into a chest pounding swagger with the final tracks Uff Da and Rolling Timber. Both which I believe to be the strongest tracks on the EP. The vinyl will be available this Friday November 2nd from Chase Bliss Records (whom also include a digital download of the album upon purchase). Check out my favorite track Uff Da below or stream the entire release at bandcamp.

 

Members: 
Calahash J - Guitar // Vocals 
Mike Mastel - Guitar 
Tom Busch - Drums 
Tucker Sterling Jensen - Bass // Vocals

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: MARA

HEAVY PLANET presents... MARA!


BAND BIO:

Mara is a pretty newly started 4-piece doom band from Gävle, Sweden,
focused on total heaviness with crushing sabbathy riffs and demonic howling vocals.
So far we've only released this demo with 3 songs (link to bandcamp below),
but a full length will be recorded this winter.

Thunder - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Abbe - Bass, Backing Vocals
Denka - Lead Guitar
Ülf - Drums


THOUGHTS:

"First off, you gotta love the self-confidence of a singer willing to go by the moniker of Thunder, pair that up with a drummer named Ülf, and well, you get the picture. The music on this 3-song demo from these Swedes is as heavy as their names suggest. Not to leave out Abbe (Bass) and Denka (Lead Guitar), who destroy and obliterate in their own right. The music contained within this demo is stripped down Stoner/Doom rock to the mutha fuckin' core. "Greed" is the standout track on this demo. It begins with an eerie intro that leads into a pulverizing series of stacatto punches by a heaving fist of doom. You can check this demo out for free on their Bandcamp page."

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Monday, October 29, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: DEADWEIGHT

HEAVY PLANET presents...DEADWEIGHT!


BAND BIO:

Born in a wind tunnel, Deadweight has been Chooglin' for quite some time. Exploring the inner workings of Rock and Roll, and Pabst cans, they have found what they believe to be the ultimate formula for a pint of steady rock brew. With our monolithic guitars, caveman drums, blitzkrieg bass, apothecary vocals, and our keynilgus, we will help you free your body and mind.


THOUGHTS:

"The new EP from Oklahoma band Deadweight is a fusion of sixties-inspired psychedelic rock and seventies-inspired blues rock albeit with a modern spin. The first track "Lady" has a Black Crowes influence while fourth track "Silver Buckle" has that haunting Doors inspired sound. The vocals are amazing and are well-suited for both styles. The organ adds that creepiness factor to the songs giving it that backwoods swamp feel as the pounding rhythm and wailing guitar rips mammoth solos as the the songs intensify. The band ends things on a high note with the heavy-blues romp of "Gannymead". This EP is chock full of influences and styles which leads to the question...which direction does the band intend on taking their music? I for one would be very interested in hearing. For now I will just enjoy this EP over and over again"


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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Gniyrg Gnaarg - "The Acolytes Feel Sleepy"


Scandinavia is normally great for power metal, black metal, apocalyptic cathedral throat-chirp metal, and all kinds of other metal that's indulgent, over-the-top, and seeking to balance the pretty with the ugly. With every release, from the great to the awful, I wanna grab bands by the short-and-curlies and quietly, softly ask them to slow the fuck down. Just once. Maybe my American frame just isn't built to withstand all that fog, all that hair, and all the high-pitched nut-cradling. 

Helsinki, Finland's Gniyrg Gnaarg, featured as a Heavy Planet "New Band To Burn One To" more than eighteen months ago, have triumphantly returned with a low-slung, first-gear trip through ancient, troubled times. The Acolytes Feel Sleepy is the band's conceptual second release, chronicling what the band calls an "ancient chaos monk who tries to warn his nonchalant acolytes about imminent doom" and a "prophet who has a vision of the depressing future of the world, but manages to see the bright side of it all in the end."

Likely more doom (or "dungeon," as they've claimed in the past) than sludge, Heavy Planet still felt the release deserved a push. The vocals set apart this lo-fi stoner fuzz from the down-tuned deliciousness normally served piping-hot every weekend. Where the slow doom grumble hovers somewhere between hell and its own billowed smoke, the vocals carry these three (well, two... A Wizard? is instrumental) tracks back hundreds of years to a time that not even a medieval history buff can fully grasp. There's something about the way bassist/vocalist Tommy T juxtaposes "A wizard? Nay. A PROPHET!" that drives home a hint of doubt blended with a wall of realization that you won't find anywhere else.

Mangling just under twenty fuzzy clicks won't be tolerated in your cool, damp cell. I can't promise yelling out "Gniyrg Gnaarg" will win over your sweaty bunk-mate, either. But with enough cunning, maybe a rookie dungeon master will look the other way as you spin The Acolytes Feel Sleepy. Or maybe Gniyrg Gnaarg will snap you out of this role-playing bullshit altogether and just get you laid. Regardless, this doomy, hazy sophomore effort is worth your attention. And a few pence.

Band:

Tommy T - Bass/Vocals
Leo N - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Ines B - Drums




Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Dwellers - "Good Morning Harakiri" / Sun Gods in Exile - "Thanks for the Silver"

What is the very best thing about Stoner/Doom/Psychedelic rock, the thing that sets this music apart more than anything else, that makes it worthwhile and meaningful and incredibly joyful to hear and play? It has to be the unanimous recognition by the thunderous hordes of practitioners and their insatiable devotees that guitar is king. Obviously there is no musical style that reveres the guitar more than rock and roll, and I'm a firm believer there is no rock and roll genre, or set of genres, that places the guitar up on the exalted altar of total glory than those espoused on Heavy Planet: Stoner, Doom, Psychedelic, Sludge, Fuzz, High Desert Rock, New Grunge . . . True Rock.

It's no secret that Stoner Rock, Doom Rock, Psychedelica, are all legitimately classified as underground music due to a lack of mainstream recognition, be it through airtime, album sales, or inclusion as theme music on thousands of Hollywood productions, large or small. But that, perhaps, lends itself to the freedom of artists who conjure forth such incredible music week in and week out, year in and year out, until there is so much of it, and so much of it excellent, that it's nearly impossible to discover as much great music as exists. Besides your daily visit to Heavy Planet, where great music is eternally available, there is one other sure place to go for a compendium of some of the finest True Rock available in one place, and that is Small Stone Records, a label that puts forth a tremendous effort to find and sign musicians that create a sound worthwhile as a lifetime go to source.

Today, Nuclear Dog once again visits Small Stone Records and introduces you to two bands, two gifted groups of artists, that truly understand that guitar is king.



DWELLERS - "Good Morning Harakiri"

Rare is the band that can create a sound unique enough to call its own without paying heavy homage to some sound of the past, near or distant. Dwellers could very well be such a band. I cannot purport to be any sort of musical historian, so I could never say their music isn't at least somewhat derivative of something somewhere, isn't all music?, but for me the sound this threesome create is incredibly unique, and immensely enjoyable. Each song is relentless in its delivery, melded with inexplicable moxie out of ethereal musings and exhibiting guitar work that soars and churns with dexterous ease, riding a plasma wave of unyielding energy borne of the fiercest joy. Vocals strike an incredibly perfect chord, combining a near perfect rasp to an athletic and capable range, lending themselves to the classification of perfect True Rock vocals.

The abilities of the threesome that make up Dwellers is perhaps the result of prior experiences in previous and alternate bands combined with innate ability and passion that has set the course for all three long ago. Iota member Joey Tuscano takes credit for guitar, vocals, and song writing, bringing his considerable talents to the fray from years of playing in the trenches. Zach Hatsis on drums and Dave Jones on bass, formerly of Subrosa, complete the trio by bringing their own years of trench warfare into the mix. The recipe here has worked often in the past, where talent is forged with experience for several years until karma plays its hand and brings together musicians that seem to experience an epiphany and revelation for significant and noteworthy music that makes its indelible and eternal imprint upon the universal tome of True Rock.

"Old Honey" is a perfect example of the quiet fury of their music as it builds from low intensity to an unyielding guitar encased by the onslaught of the drums beating out a path and a rhythm that always hits its mark in perfect unison with the merciless and malleable bass. It is a psychedelic journey of intrepid emanation and power, laying bare the soul of those who listen just as it had done to those that played, delivered with the wet thump of bloodletting vocals that twist the visceral and primal core held subservient to its almost hypnotic power. 

There is a wonderful and slight distortion of the riffs that ride roughshod over "Lightening Ritual", while the drums play a prominent role out front of the tune and the vocals are harmonized for a powerful, primal effect. "Black Bird" carries out more distorted riffage, powerful in delivery, and accompanied by the wide stance of booming bass and backed again by the heavyweight hooks of champion drums.

"Good Morning Harakiri" has been released for several months and perhaps has flown under the radar of too many lovers of True Rock. This is music at its absolute finest and is now compiled in one place that could very well find its way onto several top music lists of 2012.




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SUN GODS IN EXILE - "Thanks for the Silver"

Sun Gods in Exile play rawk n' roll. It's rowdy, it's loud, it's abrasive, it's relentless, it's tinged with a Southern sound reminiscent of a dozen great bands, from now and down through the decades. It still brings its very own, bourbon inflected sound that you simply cannot sit still for. It moves you, it relates to you, and it pleases you to no end, because this is both fresh and exciting at the same time as the music you grew up with. It is all the great bands past and present you cannot get enough of. The songs are melodic and familiar, and easily sung to. There may not be a more listener friendly set of songs than on "Thanks For the Silver", and we're talking about a sizeable set of songs, with ten incredible tracks that could quite likely burn your place down if you don't pay attention while playing. You will not be able to get enough of "Thanks for the Silver".

There is a strong blues rock component to SGIE's sound, reminiscent a bit of The Black Crowes, among others, with a considerably heavier dosage of guitar riffs ensconced within a huge phalanx of bass, drums, more guitar, and various other fun sounds that create the larger than life sound this furnace blast band emanates with an obvious joy. These guys go all out when they play and it's obvious they have just as much fun playing as you will listening. 

Band members include:

Tony D'Agostino - Guitar
Adam Hitchcock - Guitar, Vocals
John Kennedy - Drums, Percussion
Chris Neal - Keys, Slide Guitar, Harmonica, Backing Vocals

"Climb Down" is a prime example of the classic and fresh sound SGIE have created on this album, hitting a reminiscent sound to the aforementioned Black Crowes. "Since I've Been Home" will rock you all the way to point it then pulls on your heart strings in the chorus, reaching down through the tunnels of time to one of those smoke filled, whiskey splashed joints of past times and fuzzy memories. If you want scorching solos check out "Broken Bones" where fire is a likely outcome and Molly may bring out her hatchet for a second or two. "Nobody Knows" is a dance hall summer storm, blowing through at a quick and catchy clip, blowing up skirts in its wake and likely wearing out a hole or two in shoe leather to boot. For sheer beauty it's hard to beat the title track, "Thanks for the Silver". 

You can't help but have a good time when you play through "Thanks for the Silver". Sun Gods in Exile are a tightly knit fivesome that know how to deliver music that tugs at the ol' heartstrings while providing the homage to the Guitar Gods we pray to daily.




((( facebook || website || Small Stone || bandcamp || myspace )))

Friday, October 26, 2012

Heavy Planet CMJ Showcase in Review

Fontana's Bar
New York, New York
October 18, 2012

As you more than likely already know, Heavy Planet hosted our first ever College Music Journal (CMJ) Showcase last week at Fontana's Bar in New York City. Much like CMJ, the goal of Heavy Planet is to introduce new ears to the music of independent and unsigned artists. Unlike CMJ however, we tend to focus on those independent and unsigned artists who lean towards the heavier end of the musical spectrum.

Given that fact, we put together a lineup of bands that ran the gamut from neo-stoner art rock to riff slinging doom and from psychedelic sludge to dune riding, desert rock. And just in case that wasn't enough, we topped it all off with a pseudo-instrumental set of mind bending, ear splitting groove that drilled our message home with measured precision. Friends…allow me to recap for you the performances from the inaugural Heavy Planet CMJ Showcase.

Shock Radar


This NYC trio…one of two local acts to play the showcase…took the stage and immediately introduced the crowd to their post-grunge aural trip. With a sound somewhat akin to Bruce Springsteen doing “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”, vocalist/guitarist Lee Diamond and company kicked the evening off in perfect stoner rock fashion, all riffs and rhetoric. Shock Radar, which is rounded out by bassist Larry Hess and drummer Rich Drouin, played an eclectic array of experimental noise fused with flourishes of country twang and punk rock attitude. Diamond's raspy delivery melded well with the crisp backdrop of the rhythm section as the band got the evening off on the right foot. Bonus points to the Shocks' main man for recklessly flinging his Fender stage right as the band's set concluded, thus laying the foundation for what would be a raucous evening of rock n fucking roll.

Summoner


I knew it was time for some riff slinging when I saw Summoner’s Orange amps being loaded onto the Fontana’s stage. And I have to say, I was stoked to finally have a chance to see these guys, especially since I’ve essentially had their recent album, Phoenix, on repeat for about three straight months…seriously. Employing the dual guitar attack of A.J. Peters and Joe Richner, Summoner created a deafening wall of sound from the second they started playing their opening number “Conjuring”, through to the last crash from drummer Scott Smith during "Across Iron Fields".


And to say that every tendon, muscle and sinew in vocalist/bassist Chris Johnson’s throat was visible as he shouted his message into a microphone laced with echo effects would be an understatement. The vocals, which are a powerful ingredient to the Summoner concoction, drape the band’s layered riffs in an ethereal tapestry that adds a measure of depth to their sound that isn't often heard in this genre of music. Listening to the band play "Let the Light In" for example, was chill inducing to say the least. Summoner, who graciously made the trip down to NYC from Beantown to play our little shindig, was a highlight among highlights…wicked fucking good. If you have an opportunity to see these guys live, do not miss them.

Eggnogg


Brooklyn's Eggnogg were next on the bill and once again I couldn't wait.***Psst…since I put the damn lineup together, this will be a running theme throughout.*** After seeing Summoner jostle for position on the small Fontana's stage, this three piece almost seemed to spread out as vocalist/bassist Bill O'Sullivan set up shop at stage left with guitarist Justin Karol flanking him on the right and Jason Prushko situated behind his drum kit in dead center. Having spoken with O'Sullivan prior to the band's set, I learned that Prushko is a relative newcomer to the Eggnogg lineup, and as such, I was curious to hear how that would work out in a live setting. Turns out, the trio was just as tight, methodical and downright militaristic in their slow building, sludgy attack as they sound on their 2011 album Moments in Vacuum.

Given the band's name, you're likely to assume that Melvins comparisons are apropos…and in that assumption, you'd be right. Eggnogg is an aural juggernaut and on this night they had heads nodding in trancelike unison throughout Fontana's. O'Sullivan snarled from behind a mop of hair that was swiped from his eyes only long enough to say a quick thanks before the bludgeoning continued. Karol chugged along as one might expect, but managed to pull off impressive leads whenever his time came. And what of the new guy? Well he held down the band's patient rhythms and unexpected time changes like a seasoned vet throughout the 45 minute set.


In true showcase fashion, Eggnogg took the opportunity to highlight material off their forthcoming LP You're All Invited which seemed to be…at least to my ears…a heavier and darker Eggnogg. But don't take my word for it, take a listen for yourself to the live clip of the eponymous track off that upcoming album below. Also, the band is attempting to raise money via a kickstarter campaign in order to release the new album on vinyl. You can help them out with that by clicking this link: You're All Invited - Vinyl Kickstarter

Valley of the Sun


Valley of the Sun, who travelled the furthest to participate in this showcase, coming all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio, is so fucking good I almost don't have words. For starters, if you aren't already listening to their 2011 EP The Sayings of the Seers, then you need to stop reading this and go download that shit right now. Secondly, I want to thank vocalist/guitarist Ryan Ferrier, bassist Ryan McAllister and drummer Aaron Boyer for agreeing to play this show and for being true road warriors in doing so. It was much appreciated fellas.


Now…on to their set. Valley of the Sun took the stage and immediately erupted with the pure intensity and passion that can only come from a band who loves their craft. All three band members are equal cogs in this wheel. Ferrier, who casts a striking presence sporting the shaved head and bearded look drives the band's sound with his fuzzed out guitar tones and better-than-Cornell vocal delivery. But what you don't realize until you see Valley of the Sun in a live setting is that this band's secret weapon is it's rhythm section. McAllister and Boyer play off of each other so rapidly that it almost goes unnoticed…the former laying down the constantly shifting backbone of the band's attack while the latter pulverizes his drum kit into oblivion. In fact, Boyer played the drums so aggressively that at times, I found myself focusing solely on him…he was that much fun to watch.


Like Eggnogg, Valley of the Sun took the opportunity to showcase new material alongside the massive sounds from their aforementioned EP. And while the new stuff definitely whet my appetite for a new Valley of the Sun record, it was songs like "Hearts Aflame" and "Mariner's Tale" from Seers that drilled their way into my cranium. This is rock n' roll my friends! Combining power, hooks, and intricate melodies and then submerging them in a layer of glorious fuzz, Valley of the Sun breathes new life into a sound that bands like Kyuss and Fu Manchu coined long ago. Nobody inside Fontana's sat still during their set…and if they had…I would have checked their pulse. Phenomenal.

Borracho


Borracho is another band that went out of their way to be in New York City for this CMJ showcase, traveling up from Washington D.C., and for that, we are ever grateful. Having had the occasion to see the band's full lineup a few times in the past, I was extremely curious to get my first look at the new trimmed down, three-piece version that debuted back in September at the Stoner Hands of Doom Festival. With vocalist/guitarist Noah Greenburg on an extended hiatus while he handles day job commitments that have him out of the country, guitarist Steve Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano are busy keeping the Borracho torch burning. Their solution? Take the best instrumental sections from the songs on their excellent 2011 album Splitting Sky…and if you've heard it, you know there are many…segue one piece into the next, throw in some killer new material and the end result is one monstrous 45 minute groove. Sound good? Yeah you know it does.


There aren't many bands that can captivate and enthrall an audience without the need for a vocalist. Interestingly enough, I saw Borracho open for a band with just such a talent about a year ago when they played with Karma to Burn, and I can't help but wonder if that band may have rubbed off on them and perhaps influenced their decision to carry on as a pseudo-instrumental trio in Noah's absence. Whatever the inspiration, I'm glad the band has gone in this direction, because their infectious groove, heavy riffs and sheer fucking talent are truly a sight to behold. Trubiano lays down thunderous beats right in time with Martin's thumping rhythm. But it's Fisher who seems to have taken the lead in Greenburg's absence. Without a word spoken, the guitarist raised his Flying V to the sky, shook his beard to the heavens and wailed out riffs, chords and glorious solos galore.


And right about the time that me and the rest of the Fontana's crowd began to wonder what the hell that microphone was doing raised up in front of the guitarist, all Lemmy-like, Fisher stepped right up and belted out the finale to "All in Play"…"and when your armies fail to come…you find your castles come undone…the answer…the answer…is run away." Fuckin' A! And in true headliner fashion, the band launched right into their catchiest, most accessible number of all, as their guitarist proceeded to handle vocal duties on a killer version of "Concentric Circles" before bringing Borracho's set to a satisfying end.


With that, the Fontana's crowd left with their ears ringing and their minds blown. The scene at Fontana's last Thursday night was one of a small community of musicians and their fans coming together to show support and solidarity to one another. This was a true showcase of real musical ability…of talent…of bands on their way up. I'm proud to have been a part of it and I want to thank Shock Radar, Summoner, Eggnogg, Valley of the Sun and Borracho for being a part of it as well. I enjoyed meeting and hanging out with all of the band members and I can't wait to do it again.

For more on all of the bands that played the Heavy Planet CMJ Showcase, check out the following links:

Shock Radar
Summoner
Eggnogg
Valley of the Sun
Borracho

The following is a clip of Eggnogg playing the song "Eggnogg" from their forthcoming LP You're All Invited shot live at the Heavy Planet CMJ Showcase:



Check out more photos from the show below:

Shock Radar







Summoner









Eggnogg



Valley of the Sun







Borracho





Thursday, October 25, 2012

Album Review: The Sword - Apocryphon

THE SWORD – APOCRYPHON



For a band that started off as complete strangers, they are not doing bad at all! They have gone from playing in small clubs to opening for Metallica. Six years and three albums later their enormous debut “Age Of Winters”, The Sword is back in 2012 with their new album called “Apocryphon” which has all the potential to blow your mind away.
After a few listens, it is safe to say that the band has evolved immensely since “Age Of Winters”. They have grown as musicians and this does not mean they have softened! They still write kick-ass tunes full of crunching guitars, fearless lyrics, great hooks and awesome melodies to sing-a-long to.
“Apocryphon” is musically in the same vein as their previous release “Warp Riders”. Some new stuff has been added to the mix though, for example some subtle electronic elements that give some extra magic to their music. Another detail noticed was the fact the guitars were much more up front and in your face. Kyle Shutt and J.D. Cronise shine! The vocals are getting better from album to album and they continue to have that Ozzy-like hint which is fantastic and completely suits the Sabbath vibe in some of their songs (“Seven Sisters” for instance).
All this added up with their great songwriting skills and we have one hell of an album here! This is their best album to date hands down. I advise everyone to put this record on, grab a glass of your favorite liqueur, light one up, sit back and enjoy the riff fest!




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Thursday Playlist of Doom V5

This week's Thursday Playlist of Doom features some of the pioneers of doom and the evolution of what elements many new bands today have incorporated into their sound. From Traditional Doom to Epic Doom to seventies inspired Occult Doom it's all about Doom! Let the power of the riff consume you!


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Zac's "Double Dose": Gonzo Morales / Snake Thursdays


Gonzo Morales: Gonzotown: Prologue - The End of Morales 

We find Mr. Morales strung out, paranoid, and unaware of how exactly he wound up in Gonzotown. Enter our quirky narrator, Gonzo Morales, who runs us through the scenario of our protagonists misadventures in Gonzotown, his soul searching and intent to escape. If you haven't caught the drift of Gonzotown: Prologue yet, allow me to cut to the chase... You are knee deep in a concept album, a damn fine concept album by a damn fine quintet. That quintet is Gonzo Morales from Copenhagen and their strength is not only found in their ability to tell a gripping story but also in their ability to structure the music around that story. That music is based in true West-American stoner rock and Americana. Gonzo Morales makes such a familiar sound all their own through a progressive mindset, bombastic percussion and a diverse guitar mastery. You definitely need to check out the clip below for the grandiose album opener Prelude and Beatencrippledburied. If you're hooked, as I was, head over to Gonzo's download page where Gonzotown: Prologue is being offered as a free download. "Now wake up!"

 

Members: 
Chau-Chau Morales 
Esteban Morales 
Gomez Morales 
Raul Morales 
Miguel Morales


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Snake Thursday: Cruise Mode 

Snake Thursday are a classic stoner rock band here to melt the ceiling off of your favorite pub. That's right, this Poznań, Poland based trio formed in 2007 to please us headbanging beer drinkers with a style of metal that packs a glorious nostalgia with contemporary RIFFS. The band dropped their sophmore release Cruise Mode this past June to the tune of five fast paced grooves that know their way around the pub. Each song is just the medicine you need when you just can't seem to find the right tunes to spin. Check out the bluesy attitude of my favorite track Bitchcraft below, but be sure to spend some time spinning God's Scythe as well over at bandcamp, you won't be disappointed.

 

Members: 
Filip Małecki - Percussion 
Łukasz Mańczak "Maniek" - Bass 
Marcin Sikorski "Sikora - Guitar // Vocals


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: COUNTS OF THE NETHERWORLD

HEAVY PLANET presents...
COUNTS OF THE NETHERWORLD!



BAND BIO:

Formed late 2008 in Bradford, UK. Counts of the Netherworld write songs about love, sex and death... space, beauty and bananas... heartache, cynicism and the daily grind. A lo-fi tour-de-force of strange alternative jingles and out-there space-rock.

The self-released 11 track début album from Counts of the Netherworld was released in 2012 and is available from all major digital download stores worldwide.

After the release of their début album, all focus has been on writing material for the follow up which will be recorded in 2013. Promising to be a darker, heavier, and weirder epic journey. The Last Refuge of the Complex. Coming soon...


THOUGHTS:

"On their latest self-titled full-length, UK band Counts of the Netherworld take you on a weird psychedelic stoner rock journey. The album starts of with a few fuzzy little pop nuggets that would give Queens of the Stone Age a run for their money. Although it sounds like the band is still searching for their sound, their uniqueness shows within their quirky and infectious song-writing ability. Not sure why, but I hear a bit of a System of a Down/Faith No More vocal inflection on the opening track "Activation Sequence" do you? Songs like "Bananagate",  "I Am Symmetry" and the cool fuzz of  "Robotic Heel" are straight up radio-friendly stoner "pop" ditties. The band takes on a bit of an edgier sound on the second half of the album, which is apparently the band's new direction. The moody and passionate vocals standout on tracks such as "King" and "She Rules the Earth". The album is closed out by the epic 12-plus minute spacey shoegazing of "Kaleidoscope Star Destroyer". The music is well played, the songs are well sung. This album would be very cool on two-sided vinyl as the first half differs a bit from the last half. Overall, I really enjoyed the album as I found myself listening to songs repeatedly. Give this one a listen."

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Band To Burn One To: GAGGLE OF COCKS

HEAVY PLANET presents... GAGGLE OF COCKS!


BAND BIO:
NYC's own gaggle of cocks has been makin noise for 10 years now. Though there have been twists and turns, we are back with a new line-up and a new album, Low Class Trendsetter! Recorded at Riverfront Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and produced by Stacy O'Dell & Pat Harrington, the buzz around this release has been electric!

With Charles Ruggiero now providing the massive drum attack and special appearances by Chris Goercke on guitar, we return with a new sound, but the same ole attitude you've come to expect from GOC! This album will set the standard for NYC bands for years to come...

Pat Harrington: Guitar/Vocals
Freddy Villano: Bass Guitar
Charles Ruggiero: Drums
*Chris Goercke: Occasional Guitar and Full-Time Bad Muthafucka

THOUGHTS:
"Sometimes there is absolutely nothing better than just some good 'ole stripped down, rugged and intense rock and roll. New York City's Gaggle of Cocks does just that on their latest album "Low Class Trendsetter". Without getting too wordy with unecessary adjectivity, this band delivers a high-energy and blistering display of potent white trash hard rock. The songs are short but definitely not sweet. With a gravel fed vocal delivery and furious fret board mayhem, you will be bashing your head into the wall with scorchers such as "Black Helicopters" and the bass-driven barrage that is "Guy Supreme". While the band isn't exactly "new" by any means, check out their 2008 release "American Trash" for more highfalutin debauchery."

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Sludge: GOAT BONG


One of the great traits of metal is that the genre and its artists are given plenty of liberty concerning their influences, their direction, and ultimately their output. Every element can lay down a lead-pipe cinch, or the atmosphere can let itself be dominated by a single riff, a torrid bass thread, or the mere presence of Satan's right hand. Albums benefit from the absence of rules, and the ensuing product, despite its middle-finger to contemporary rock radio, will manage to find a fan-base more loyal than a swarm of bees.

As the name would suggest, a cloud of bong smoke won't take anything away from Goat Bong's thick rabbit tobacco.  Loaded with unsettling audio clips slowed to a slur and later pushed to a buzz-saw grind on the hunchback of down-tuned guitars, the band's self-descriptor "Sex, Drugs, and Satan" is probably the fairest and most accurate (and certainly the most pleasantly concise) assessment of Goat Bong's sound. So let's summon the sativa spirit via drone echoes and sludge stomps; roll up the windows, crank Goat Worship & Sodomy, and hit that shit hard.

The five-track album veers in every direction but thoroughly channels the heavy and the high. It's unfair to call it sludge, as the sound truly doesn't resign itself to any specific tag. Without vocals, Goat Bong make strong use of samples (leading with a sweet Poltergeist swipe on Baptized in Bong Water), organs (balanced with the shred on Cannabis Sativa Luciferi), and whatever the fuck else could be found in a dead grandparent's basement. Without any bio, I can only ride the assumption that Goat Bong is all one man, Dirty Mike Alcala. If that's the case, we could be in for one hell of a session once this guy finds an audience.

Where Goat Worship & Sodomy hides its stash is with the drone. While Tripping the Riff is (no gack here) just that, loaded with neck-bending fret-fucking, Romancing the Drone is slowed, haunting, and gorgeous. Packed with hover and dripping with rain, it's easily the album's black-cloud highlight. Punctuated with a few licks, the cavernous uncertainty steals the show and demonstrates the dude's chops. And fuck, man... the sludge/doom denouement at song's end will floor you faster than White Widow, Cheech.

As an ass-fisted bonus, reverbnation holds the key to a haze you won't find on Goat Worship & Sodomy entitled The Lost Art of Bong Rips. Instrumental, repetitive, and shredded, it's equally as toke-worthy as the buds on GW&S. If you can manage to keep your melon from falling too deeply into the cushions, you'll no doubt find this sour diesel's gonna get your head banging.

Obviously, there's no pretense here. Goat Bong is all about weed; evil, riff-drowned weed. It won't take long for these six tracks to make a fan of anyone. They're heavy, they're mind-numbingly fuzzy, and they go great with a lack of motivation. Strap on that jammy pack and punch yourself in the dick, you ain't goin' nowhere. But don't worry... your new friend Goat Bong is coming by. Your mom doesn't trust him, but she's just happy you've found a pal. Like that hesher down the street, Goat Bong's bringin' over his best kush. Pretty soon, though, he's movin' in. And when your grades start to dip, mom's gonna blame Goat Bong.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Mother of God - "Anthropos" / The Graviators - "Evil Deeds"

The musical fare for the day is bone crushing, thought provoking, escapist metal too heavy to lift and too pungent to escape as it smolders and churns with the power and peril of a dozen uranium cores, with an unstoppable force that pulsates through to the deepest core of your being, burning an indelible pattern on your DNA that may ultimately mutate the musical, metal fibers of your psychedelic stoner soul.


MOTHER OF GOD - "Anthropos"

Small Stone Records is unarguably THE premier label for what I consider true rock, rock that gets labeled as stoner, fuzz, psychedelic, doom, or high desert depending on various aspects of the music itself. This type of rock hearkens back to the great music of the seventies as well as incorporates qualities of the music played by Kyuss in the nineties or Dozer in the double aughts, or a dozen other great bands and sounds in and around those eras. Small Stone does a great job of signing bands and artists that have an extreme aptitude toward true rock, and they have often gone to the ends of the earth to find them. This is very similar to Heavy Planet in that regard, presenting music to the habitues of these great musical styles hailing from far and near. Today Small Stone and Heavy Planet collaborate a bit, with Small Stone having done almost all of the work, by presenting an honest to god, sublime kick ass rock and roll band, Mother of God.

Mother of God hails from Morgardshammar, Sweden with bandmembers:

Daniel Nygren - vocals, guitar
Johan Kvastegard - guitar
Carl Lindblad - bass
Jimmy Hurtig - drums

Their music is at the same time as familiar as flannel and as fresh and new as Swedish mountain snow. They incorporate all the great elements of true rock, with gargantuan instrumentation from all members, while crafting songs that immediately and clearly make their mark upon an exceptional and enjoyable style. Two qualities among many exceptional traits they possess that places them immediately upon the shelf for album of the year consideration is, 1) the singularity of the songs and, 2) Nygren's vocals. I've said it before and I'll probably say it ad nauseum in perpetuity, gifted vocals are a true rarity not just in the underground rock world in which we frequent worldwide, but in all of rock and roll in general. There are a lot of really good singers, there are plenty of really bad ones, and there are a whole bushel basket full of singers we love who are simply part of the experience of a particular group, but perhaps aren't quite gifted in the vocal department. And yes, it's often a matter of taste or preference, but when you are enjoying the music of this album, "Anthropopos", over and over again take time to reflect  on the vocals and tell me what you think of the role his gifted, sonorous instrument had to play in this unimaginably fantastic album of instant true rock classics. Another rarity in music, rock and otherwise, is the ability to craft a song this is more than just above average, songs that have melody and fun and singability and soul searing heat. Mother of God's music, on each song, is superbly crafted by masters of their art, without a doubt. What's even better is that no two songs sound similar in structure, only similar in delivery, with the same athletically gifted vocals carried along on a magic carpet of huge, low tuned, and loudly boomed guitars that quickly convert into keenly cutting laser beams that sear through their solos with surgical precision and power. The bass is equally powerful and agile, distributing two ton kegs of dynamite delivery while the drums make their presence felt in all planes through which the music must flow, simultaneously punching quick and true while landing haymakers on top of uppercuts on top of one two hook deliveries.

The opening track, "230", easily fits into the stoner rock classification with a huge, powerfully down tuned guitar that delivers a constant and beautiful hook reminiscent of Dozer, while creating an instant rock classic with their fresh approach. Track two, "Graenslandet", executes a tight tempo and huge guitars, while accentuating the vocals as a major instrument of delivery. Track four, "Aim For the Sun" is a psychedelic odyssey where Kvastergard and Nygren get to stretch and bend their guitars around a bit while Lindblad and Hurtig get to showcase their power and skill at the forefront of this song's haunting, mind bending journey. Track 9 is a clear demonstration of their strong song writing skills. Titled "Something From Below", it too is haunting and psychedelic in nature, but takes a different trip on a different boat down a darker river than did "Aim For the Sun". This songs exudes thinly restrained power from inception to final delivery, eschewing tempo for atmosphere, and demonstrating an almost seething ability in its conveyance of  dynamic, true to roots rock.

"Anthropos" should immediately be placed into the Heavy Planet lotto barrel for possible selection as album of the year due to its high quality collection of superb music. Mother of God delivers a highly refreshing, energy packed set of power ballads, psychedelic odysseys, and instant stoner classics punctuated by some of the best vocals I've heard in a long while and backed with outstanding, quality, true rock instrumentation.




((( facebook || bandcamp || SMALLSTONE || reverbnation || myspace )))

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THE GRAVIATOR - "Evil Deeds"

The dateline remains Sweden, as we now descend upon Malmo and the awesome band The Graviators who have recently released "Evil Deeds" on their new label, Napalm Records, which is a fitting name for the label behind this blistering hot rock band. What The Graviators offer up for your listening enjoyment is a ten track collection of nothing but quality music, songs that will simply rock your face off! The experiences these guys have had in their short existence since forming in 2009, and the connections they have made, have lent themselves well to crafting an album of high intensity and sheer brilliance. 

Band members include:

Niklas Sjoberg - vocals
Martin Fairbanks - guitar
Johan Holm - bass
Henrik Bergman - drums

The Graviators make no bones about from where their musical influences come, pointing to the Seventies as their favorite era for rock music with Pentagram and Black Sabbath providing some of the biggest inspirations. Their first music video was titled "Back to the Sabbath" in a definite ode to the great pioneers of stoner style rock music.

When listening to the great music on this album you can hear a hundred influences intertwined and infused all throughout the songs. Though the influences come from their favorite inspirations of the past, what they have crafted for "Evil Deeds" is never a copy of any one song or of one band's style from anywhere in the pantheon of great rock. These guys are gifted creators in their own well earned right, conjuring songs and music of tremendous quality, delivering catchy melodies ingrained and infused with brilliant sections of white hot solos, or earth trembling mega fuzz from Martin's ferocious guitar. The Graviators unleash the might of their powerful, driving bass guitar throughout their songs, where it not only provides the typical rhythm and driving forces of a song, but also offers up fun and satisfying sections that aren't the typical, almost token bass offerings. The drums as well get to exercise and showcase how utterly rocking a song can be when more than just guitar gets an opportunity to showcase what it has to offer. Rounding out the overall effect of these exquisite songs is the superb and gifted vocalizations by Niklas, whose voice is an ass kicking instrument in its own right, delivering the coup de grace that sets this music apart from anything else that may be more ordinary or mundane.

Part of the great sound on this album was the method in which it was recorded, all on analog equipment in the Napalm studio, lending itself to the great full blooded fuzz distortion at the edges of the music on "Evil Deeds"

There is no song on this album to avoid, they all play well when your stereo, in whatever iteration you use, is maxed out on the volume setting. Song eight, "A Different Moon", for instance, has both mega-fuzzed guitar intertwined with supernova solos that will blister your eardrums while the walls crumble to the ground around you. The opening track, "Soulstealer" is a beautifully delivered one two punch of a song, with hooks aplenty and a greatly satisfying melody. Number six, "Hexagram", is genius in structure, getting quickly into your head where you will find it trying to get out for hours on end after you've quit listening to it directly. Perhaps the most incredibly and intelligently structured song on the album is track number five, "Feeling Low". The guitars open with a dumptruck load of fuzz and a tempo that has me breaking out my air guitar on the spot. Henrik gets to showcase his expert punching of the stretched skin in places on this track, and while it's not much, it's incredibly enjoyable. The main contender for the title of best song against the aforementioned "Feeling Low" is the title track, "Evil Deeds", which is similar in tempo and structure, similar in volume, and brilliant in melody.

The music showcased today just happens to come from the same great country, Sweden, and just happens to be of the highest quality, with guitars overgrown in power and distortion and vocalists that are able to deliver with overwhelming skill. These albums are top notch as either one could be on the best album of the year lists. 





(( faccebook || myspace ||  napalm )))


Friday, October 19, 2012

In the Company of Serpents: TRIVIA CONTEST!


It hasn't been terribly long since Heavy Planet first featured Denver's In the Company of Serpents, a thick and buzzing stoner/sludge/doom act loaded with promise and short on flaws. It was already abundantly clear these dudes put their riffs before their wallets, but now they're offering up FREE downloads to the first TEN readers who correctly respond to the five questions listed below.

And let's just pretend your response falls to number eleven. Well, you still win; just visit the band's bandcamp page and dig for five measly clams. You NEED this band in your head!

Oh, this couldn't be any easier. Simply email your responses to Seth at desertsessions@hotmail.com and he'll let you know whether your hand was quick enough. If it was, he'll respond with a link to a free download of the album. See? Fuckin' simple! Here ya go...

(Disclaimer: These questions are straight from the fucking band)

1. How much more black could this album be?


A. Slightly more black.
B. Way more black.
C. None more black.

2. Which band penned these lyrics:
"Rip your head off and smoke your brain
but at the same time I can be tamed
Conquered and climbed many walls
now and then I'm gettin' kicked in the balls"

A. Earthride
B. GWAR
C. Sonic Death Monkey

3. Proceeds the Weedian, ________ .

A. Nazarene
B. Nazareth
C. Lazarus

4. Taco Supreme:


A. None for me, thanks.
B. Whatever.
C. Taco Supreme!

5. Mankind is ___________ .

A. Doomed
B. A virus
C. Unkind, man





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