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If you are looking for new Stoner Rock, Doom, Heavy Psych or Sludge Metal bands, then you have come to the right place. Heavy Planet has been providing free promotion to independent and unsigned bands since 2008. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Sludge: AcidLand - "Through Darkness"


If you're gonna go on a trip, you're gonna need some supplies. Follow that dumb blonde down a wormhole and find yourself in a heap o' trouble, did ya? You probably didn't even think ahead enough to stuff a sandwich in your pocket before your sniffer tugged you out the door and away from real life. So here we are with no shoes, a week's stubble, and a body that's become a canvas of subcutaneous bruising.

Rub some dirt on it. And spin these four tracks from Nysa, Poland's AcidLand, an instrumental psych-sludge outfit promising nothing more than to tune low and play slow. The spook is cranked to eleven on Through Darkness, twenty-three minutes of repetitive, patient doomscape numbing your fingers and twisting your nerves. But AcidLand poke your brain stem with layers and atmospheres, fuzzing and buzzing with vacant occupancies balancing thick patience. Take my hand.

Introducing a vast, hollow terrain is The Outsider, a tin-plucked fuzz buster ripping through wet jeans. The rhythmic reverberations pair with sharp thrills for an eerie chop and chip effect. The dynamic pauses need no vocal accompaniment, just smooth stoner passages slaving on a grind and spacing on a warble. The ends are unknown, and marrying the ethereal with the earthly rarely works this well.

Path Into The Light is a slow-rolling smoker a la Salem's Pot. Wavy, wide-open, sparse, lonely. Tinsel litters the cosmos at half-speed and guitars burn like flaming molasses. This brown acid soundtrack cruises inward though, splashed with double-kicks, closed eyes, and gaping mouths. Spit down the well and forget how weird this feels. The Sabbathain influence of Lost In AcidLand will put you right at home. Buzzing with a seer's patience and swelling on a sludgy walk to nowhere, saws give chase and mud sprays everywhere. The stumble to trot progression hardly breaks the mold, but I hardly fucking care. This is straight sticky sweetness from a lost era.

And we're left with a flattened hope on the album's closing title track, set ablaze with riffs and rife with sludge-drawn beefiness. Peppered with whispers of evil, this smooth psychedelia dooms endlessly. Wet stones seep purple smoke and we're wrapped in a calm acceptance. Listeners are warm with buzz and sick with stew. Delivered with confidence and incredible patience, the album ends on a stagger, spitting blood and rising to face a coup de grâce.

I may hit repeat a few times. The long drags AcidLand peddle on Through Darkness may induce quite a trip, but break it down and there's more sharpened structure than sprawling diatribe. In patience lies promise, and AcidLand never rush the buzz. Sustained aches and an overdose of fuzz may best characterize this release, but the subconscious beating lands in slow-motion strikes. If a blottered mindfuck is your bag, have at it. But AcidLand trip pretty well on their own.

For fans of: Salem's Pot, Black Sabbath, Uncle Acid
Pair with2013 Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island Beer Co.



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Summoner - "Atlantian" / Lint - 'Existence"

2013 has been a major year for new releases and the accompanying anticipation of many of them. There has been a noticeable number of known, favorite bands bestowing upon their admirers new fuzz fodder on which to chomp and chew, and it has been glorious. In addition, there has been a significant amount of 4 star albums seemingly coming out of the blue,  from previously unknown, as yet to be discovered sources, and it, too, has been phenomenal.  I am having the rock and roll time of my life, an experience I'm sure I share with fuzzheads the world over. I think back to the wild oats period of my life in which purchasing an album that had 2 or 3 quality songs from a total of 8 or 9 made it a worthy investment. A record that might have all its tracks of high sonic quality was quite rare. The underground world of fuzz and furor we presently inhabit provides us with a different experience. I marvel at the current state of fuzz/doom/psych/retro rock in which bands are releasing albums filled entirely with superior quality jams (Hey!, if I'm going back to my wild oats, I'm using this archaic term), and that's the case whether established artists are releasing their 4th, 5th, 6th album or up and comers are releasing debut or follow up albums.  Today we showcase one band that gained notoriety with their debut album and have recently released their much anticipated follow up, and we showcase another band that is releasing its second album as well, but perhaps with a lot less notoriety and expectation. Listen for yourself and let me know what you think, as I certainly and inevitably let you know my thoughts below. Ladies and Gentlemen, Summoner and Lint.
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SUMMONER - "ATLANTIAN"

Early 2012 saw the release of an album that became one of the most sought after of the year, as newly named Stoner band Summoner, previously playing under the moniker Riff Cannon, released the surprising and stunning "Phoenix", an album of significant accomplishment in all its phases. This Boston foursome managed to accomplish something not many bands can match by delivering a veritable treasure trove of Stoner wonderment. Now with the follow on album, "Atlantian", members Chris Johnson (bass/vocals), AJ Peters (guitar), Joe Richner (guitar), and Scott Smith (drums) manage to once again accomplish the exceptional in their approach to melodic mayhem, effortlessly gliding through the metalsphere propelled by energetic tracks bursting with gleaming, polished psych-edged licks of ingenuity, tightly interwining anabolic, raw-boned riffs, and diesel powered rock thunder. These guys have stepped up their heavy game and it shows. This is the kind of album that slowly burrows its way through your subconscious, growing in appreciation with each light fantastic trip through its interstellar experiences. Summoner have established a signature sound through the release of these first two albums, and have demonstrated a willingness to put forth maximum and meticulous effort in mastering the melodies chosen for each song in the tracklist. Heaviness in bass and drums is matched perfectly with deep, fuzzy riffs, blended with clean, colorful psychedelic interludes, and married well with ethereal, haunting vocals, creating a sound that's at once familiar in style, but fresh in its respective presentation.

There is no weakness of melody on the album, as it delivers solid, enjoyable music from stem to stern. Favorite tracks include the opener "Gatekeeper", a paragon of Stoner music "Horns of War", and the measured, powerful "Under the Crystalline Sky". But all tracks on "Atlantian" are superb.









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LINT - "EXISTENCE"

Hailing from Wollongong, New South Wales in the land of  Oz come the threesome Lint, a band who know how to throw down elegant, ferocious licks around finely crafted melodies that seamlessly flow in steady state fuzz, imparting a trance like experience to those willing to partake of the 7 conscious bending tracks of their second release, "Existence". Their music seems to borrow themes and snippets of sound and style from many rock subgenres, but never dwell long enough on any one to detract from the album's fresh, dynamic sound, which develops and coalesces into a vibrant, vibrating, voyage of acute indulgence and deep musical gratification.

The threesome of Brad on vocals and guitar, CJ on vocals and bass, and Dave on drums claim influences from genres as varied as grunge, sludge, and psychedelica, and while they don't name Colour Haze as a direct influence I would say they are perhaps unintended disciples of the German juggernaut. The music is moody, damp, cloying, and as mentally invasive as a Centaurian slug released by Khan Noonian Singh. Once it's in, it's there to wreak some havoc, scramble some brain wave patterns and infuse deep, dark, delusional designs of rhythm and pleasure. The songs are predominantly instrumental, but the vocals are well placed within the well written and expertly executed melodies of booming riffs, power thumping bass, and deadly drumwork.

Favorite songs are the melancholy mad dash of "Red Static" and the psychedelic power surge of "The Follower", but, just as it's Atomic Split predecessor, it's an album filled entirely of white hot tunes.







facebook ... bandcamp

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: DIRT WIZARD



Filthy, dirty, sleazy and fuzzy are words you can use to describe this dusty tornado of riffs known as Dirt Wizard. Hailing from Peoria, Illinois, these four bandmates kick a footful of fuzz-laden Earth right into your face and before you can clear your eyes your are hit by another sonic blast of sleazy stoner rock goodness. Harmonic chops, dual-guitar heroics and a steady guiding rhythm thrust you into a vortex of  rock and roll superiority. Once the dust has settled, you find yourself grasping for breath and needing a fine beverage of choice. The band's latest EP  "No Son of Mine" is currently up for grabs on their Bandcamp at a "name your price". This EP is pretty killer through and through, but if I were to suggest a highlight it would be "Ged of Earthsea". Now, go grab a cold one and crank this mother all the way up! This is Rock and Roll!


Pair this release with: Space Dust IPA

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Monday, December 23, 2013

Zac's "Double Dose": All Them Witches / Pelican


All Them Witches: Lightning At The Door 

 The tail end of last year delivered an immense amount of heavy music that was quite simply impossible to get through by year end. All Them Witches debut release Our Mother Electricity was one of those albums I just didn't get to in time. The important thing is I eventually did get to it and was lucky enough to share it with you all as a Double Dose post. The southern soaked soul of this dynamic, psyche-delta, doom rock quartet left a lasting impression with me and I was curious to see what these fellas would come up with next. Little did I know they would deliver a sophomore follow up in a years time. With Our Mother Electricity still fresh in my mind, still fresh in my speakers I promptly answered the door when I heard Lightning... knocking. The album begins with a spacey piece of poetry called Funeral For A Great Drunken Bird and some excellent percussion. If Mr. Staebler's drumming genius did not stand out to you throughout Our Mother Electricity, I'd say you didn't listen nearly close enough. His subtle percussion brilliance within the four and a half minutes of Funeral For A Great Drunken Bird should open your eyes and give you some insight to what is approaching. But, how does a musician follow up a climactic builder like Funeral...? Well, one way and one way only. With a dank and stanky track that swings with a power swagger and is entitled something like this... "When God Comes Back". Future rockers, take note. Infectious riffing backed up by some of the grooviest steel trash can banging percussion take front stage. Hear it once and you will undoubtedly hit repeat. The boys hit the dirt roads, meandering with Lightning between some more bluesy based melancholy jams to experimental Indian and Middle Eastern sounds. All Them Witches never fully depart from the Sabbath inspired doom that we all know and love, bringing back just enough to slam the door in your face and rattle your spine. For example, see Swallowed By The Sea. With the magnitude of Lightning's closer The Mountain I realized that this band means a lot more to me now than they initially did a year ago. It such a relief to know that real musicians and artists are out there, they are creating, and we here at Heavy Planet are elated to bring their creation to you. Right on. Right on.
 

Members: 
Allan Van Cleave - Keys // Violin 
Ben McLeod - Guitar 
Michael Parks Jr - Vocals // Bass // Acoustic Guitar 
Robby Staebler - Drums

I bandcamp I facebook I tumblr I 

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Pelican: Forever Becoming 

After knocking out a quick write up for All Them Witches' rollickin' Lightning At The Door, what is a man to listen to... I mean it has been a long time since I've had the time to just sit, listen, reflect, and repeat... it's been a long time since I've written anything for the 'Planet. Please forgive that. I certainly haven't forgotten about this place. So as I sit alone peering out the window into a icy and white winter-land over the smell of a warm tobacco pipe and a glass of Tulamore Dew I hit play on Forever Becoming the latest from Chicago's finest instru-metal'ers. Who knew what to expect from Pelican this year with long time friend and band member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec no longer part of the whole. Would there be new sound, a lighter, airier style of tunes, maybe vocals? I mean we did find some on the 2009 release What We All Come To Need. Forever Becoming begins with some isolated, very distant sounding drumming that steadily builds with the squeals of electric instruments and an X-Files theme sounding set of keys. This is Terminal. A brief introduction, but critical to the foundation of track two Deny The Absolute. Within moments Deny The Absolute solidifies Pelican as THE definitive instrumental musicians of this generation. Noticeable is the reflection of their past and pivotal post metal releases, music that created a genre all its own. Deny The Absolute has the gusto to entertain even the most unlikely listeners. The Tundra and Immutable Dusk bring back memories of their mammoth 2005 release The Frost in our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw. These tracks emit monstrously heavy wavelengths of sound that create an avalanche between the ear drums and mind. The album fully ascends with Perpetual Dawn, a culmination of everything that is Pelican, a distant reverberation of electric buzz transforms into mind tingling riffing within the first thirty seconds. The nine and a half minute micro-symphony follows a formula that only Trevor and the crew know, twisting through the most tangled of sonic forests and quiet caverns. The tracks final five minutes dynamically shift in ways that aren't describable, you just have to experience it. In the end that is what every Pelican album is... not so much music or notes strung together but a life experience. Thanks guys for staying true.

 

Members: 
Bryan Herweg 
Dallas Thomas 
Larry Herweg 
Trevor Shelley de Brauw


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Indian - "From All Purity"


The most wonderful time of year just took a shit on our carpet. I'm not gonna waste anyone's time with an anecdote or a lead-in or some hazy bullshit diatribe. Your uncle's gonna be here in about three days, drunk, newly divorced, and ready to jizz off some stupid jokes. I won't smile as I share my thoughts on Indian's fifth full-length. But let's be honest; it's not out of courtesy. I'm simply too fucking battered after sitting with this release for forty minutes. My face hurts.

Indian have spent a decade slowly snuffing out listeners utilizing an incendiary, spiteful cocktail of misanthropic sludge, primitive doom, and an agonizing blackness that'll sink your hope-filled chest. From All Purity descends into depravity immediately and completely, six torturous tracks clouded with hatred and hardly caring to wonder if you're gonna be okay. 2011's Guiltless etched Indian into the ranks of the doom elite. January's From All Purity demonstrates their commitment to the cause.

The aptly-titled Rape is slow-motion sonic assault, splicing dull ache with sharp pain. But from the onset, the abrasions are what stand out. Screeching licks and organ-shredding vocals arrive with blatant malice, the rhythmic patience of slow dirge acting as a structural bonus. Timing and execution is a clinic here, precise and testifying to a band knowing exactly where to funnel their punishment. Under tapestries of shrill noise and weathered doom, Indian make no haste violating your frame at every level.

As you realize you won't be clubbed out of your misery, the shrouded chops of The Impetus Bleeds are just another extension of the distant, cavernous anguish. With the pulse of a murder factory, there's no catharsis accompanying this repetition. Indian slug at consciousness without allowing for numbness, just drawn-and-quartered brutality. Eternally evident is the stomp of sludge, punctuated by the piercing noise. As the album hits its stagger, Directional steadily sprays violent dust, buzzing with the descent of doom and drawn-out churns. A grindhouse aura of permeated spite greets slow-burning rhythms, guiding us as marked sheep.

Rhetoric of No is relatively amped, splitting sludge with a deceptive vocal vulnerability among sludge-doom riff mangling. Guitar embers brighten, revealing a heaving presence, squealing ans scratching at hope. The track is as untameable as it is undeniable, and we're being slowly buried. As tailing technology drains all sense on Clarify, an unsettling intermission breathes only shrill disturbances, scoffing at all things synthetic.

As this crusher sways to a close, gazing through dead, lifeless eyes, the metered and calculated devastation stays set on its target. A strange solemnity finally punches through after poking holes throughout the album. Plates shift and Indian's swarming sound envelopes all. Guitars buzz like hornets and double-kicks wrangle our ankles toward a death-drubbing. Atop your dying breath rests a cloud of despair, mocking your uncertainty.

If you've made it this far and struggled through all these descriptors, maybe you've found the digressions far more painful than you'll find Indian's breed of doom-drenched noise. The jagged glass that's been stomped into your cavities is just a whisper of what Indian offer with From All Purity. This is a band wringing their dirty hands and tossing bricks, but they're hardly aimless. These six tracks hit the spite-nail straight on the head, driven directly into your senses. I didn't think anyone could improve upon Guiltless. Somehow, these dudes have even less remorse than they did years three years ago.

For fans of: Minsk, Electric Wizard, Wolves In The Throne Room
Pair with: Accumulation White IPA, New Belgium Brewing



Thursday, December 19, 2013

EP Review - "King Goat" by King Goat


King Goat hail from Brighton UK and they have recently released their second EP of the year with their debut, "Atom" released back in March. With this s/t EP they continue in the same progressive doom metal vein they began with and they shine just as brightly; even more so, even. The doom on display on "King Goat" is masterfully delivered and is packed with gratifying nods to trad-doom riff work which will leave any doom metal fan most pleased with the riffs on offer from King Goat.

The EP opens with "The Final Decline" with some windy ambiance and cold but psychedelic softness which sets the tone for sparse but big thumps of percussion and a long droning throaty chant that gives an air of the mystical as the track unfolds and uplifts. The psychedelic jam turns heavily transcendental half way lifting you ever higher into a sky full of colors but it all quickly turns black as a barrage of classic in the making doom metal riffs and big gruff vocals breaks the hypnotic psychedelia and leads the way to horns raising guitar lickery and confident vocal work from the lead singer. The song twists and morphs towards the end with pace changes and interesting variations on the riff and all delivered with a serving of a trad-doom metal triumph which had me thinking of the likes of Candlemass, Saint Vitus and Reverend Bizarre.

"Cult Obscene" follows with a catchy bass riff and effects laden guitar noise while hard hitting drums herald more horns raising moments of prog-doom riff work and vocals. Pace changes and searing guitar licks tickle the back of your head as the vocalist belts out his words and wraps them around your head and a big stomping riff that is driven home by drum smacks that add more weight to the already weighty riff. The changing sections throughout "Cult Obscene" grab your attention and keep you listening as variations on the riff are explored and those hair and horns raising guitar licks take pride of place and provide much doom metal satisfaction. 

Lastly is "Melian's Trance" which immediately demands a double raising of horns with big Sabbathian riffs that lock you into a head nodding groove as the vocalist belts out his words again in a Rev Bizarre style of old timey doom. Mid way the song drops down into distant and gentle guitar plucks before an onslaught of big doom riffs gives the song a solid groove that catches you in a torrent of masterfully delivered and highly enjoyable prog doom metal.

This is a solid release from King Goat and you can hear this self titled now at their Bandcamp where you can also listen to and download their equally impressive debut release "Atom".




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fuzz Self Titled Review


It's been a long couple weeks of playing catch-up with school work and prepping for exams. Luckily, I've been able to spend a lot of time getting familiar with some of this years awesome releases, albeit from behind a textbook. I've also been squandering a lot of potential study nights at local metal shows, but that's about what I expect from myself. Bluesy riffs also happen to be my favorite subject, and arguably the most important one. One of the bluesier releases I've been spending an exceptional amount of time enjoying is San Francisco psych-rockers Fuzz self titled debut.

True to it's name, Fuzz is laden with furry guitars and fat, numbing bass lines. While the album is particularly striking on the first spin, it certainly leaves a lot to be discovered for future listens as well. Drummer and vocalist Ty Segall is no stranger to the genre, and has made his high-pitched, punky vocals a trademark of many solo tracks and albums. On Fuzz, Segall's vocals combined with heavy psychedelic grooves are reminiscent of Tweak Bird and, at points, Les Claypool. Some tracks on the other hand, play up the trio's punky, proto-metal vibe and are easy to compare to retro rock legends like Iggy Pop or MC5.

Album opener “Earthen Gate” leads you very gently into the frantic, nasally "Sleigh Ride” which reflects the mood of most of the album. “What's In My Head?” may be the most interesting song on the album. Slow, thumpy and harmonic verses give way to a giant, crunchy and aesthetically poppy chorus. The track is extremely raw and spacious sounding; never leaving you with the emptiness of overly-clean guitars or doctored drum tracks. The album as a whole is very punchy and natural, which is really something to be desired when listening to a good psych-rock album.

From "Hazemaze" on, Fuzz power through the rest of the album; marrying familiarly sludgy riffs with a feel that's all their own. Fuzz is, put simply, Rock n' Roll done right. The 8-track LP never has a dull moment and stays consistently catchy throughout. The record has a certain sentimental feel as well. I'm sure that in years to come, I'll find the unmarked copy I burned for the car stashed away somewhere and pop it in. I can only hope that all this shitty exam week stress doesn't come flooding back to me.

Fuzz is out now and can be purchased from In The Red Records

Favorite Tracks: Loose Sutures, Raise, What's In My Head?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: LIZZARD WIZZARD




One album that has been furiously buzzing around in my head lately is the new self-titled album from Brisbane, Australia's Stoner/Doom crushers LIZZARD WIZZARD. While maybe not new to some of you, it has recently caught my ear and I have decided to share this glorious slab o' doom with all of you. It's all here folks...ten ton hammer riffs, resonating feedback, slow and hypnotizing groove and a grimey vocal barrage. My head is still abuzz from all the fuzz. Key tracks include...."Twilight of the Terminator", my favorite track "Bong Dive" and a cover of the Game of Thrones theme cleverly disguised as "Game of Cones". This album is graciously offered at a name your price on Bandcamp, but I encourage you to help these gents out by generously throwing in a few bucks.

For fans of - Sleep / Weedeater / Dungeons and Dragons and Riffs

Pair with this fine beverage... Bayern Dragon's Breath 




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Monday, December 16, 2013

Review of Blackfinger's Self Titled Debut


"Hey there, it's me" sings Eric Wagner on the opening track to Blackfinger's debut, and this proclamation is most welcome to fans of Doom. Since his days leading Windy City doomsters, Trouble, Eric's voice has long been one of the most unique and interesting- not just within the subgenre, but in heavy music in general. And as fans sadly know, that voice has been awfully quiet on wax these days. Since Eric's last appeareance on a proper album in 2007, he's only toured a bit with The Skull, we've had to make do with our old copies of Run to the Light, or whatever your favorite album was.

But with the upcoming release of this self titled debut, you can give those classics a rest. And you won't be doing those early Trouble albums a disservice, because this album stands toe to toe with those beloved classics.

And while the term Doom keeps being tossed around, because of Trouble, and because of the album's mood, this isn't a straight-a-head Doom record. There are heavy moments, for sure, but if you ONLY want layers and layers of brain numbing dirges look elsewhere. There are light moments of texture on this album that accent the mood and allow the power chords to rest. Just listen to the Autumnal vibes on "For One More Day" to see what I mean. This tune is influenced as much by Wish You Were Here era Pink Floyd as the mighty Sabbath.

Lyrically, Eric Wagner hasn't lost a beat, singing and pondering the highs and lows of the human condition. Each new listen lends a new interpretation to the words. I'm sure after a few more listens I can make a case for this being a concept album, and I pray that the album comes with a copy of the lyrics.

The powers that be are understandably playing this release pretty close to the vest, so you'll have to whet your appetite with this promo for "All the Leaves Are Brown". It's a grungey rocker that should do more than enough to pique your interest. Enjoy. And remember this one this time next year, when those best of year lists roll around again. Blackfinger will be near my top. A bold proclamation, sure, but once you listen to the album you'll agree.

The album comes out mid January 2014 on The Church Within Records.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

EYE OF THE STONED GOAT 4 ANNOUNCED

2 DAYS|20 BANDS| 20 BUCKS

EYE OF THE STONED GOAT 4 festival has been officially announced. The festivities are scheduled for May 3rd & 4th, 2014 at Ralph's Diner in Worchester, MA. and features the reunion of Classic Stoner Rock band Sixty Watt Shaman as the headliner. Heavy Planet along with Ripple Music, 313 INC Artist Management, Electric Beard of Doom and Grip of Delusion will be the proud sponsors of this epic event.  

Tickets on Sale: Jan 1st 2014 General Admission / 21+


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Sunday Sludge: Haast's Eagled


Though few and far between, I love opportunities (or duties, more appropriately) when I can pull away from a computer for a crisp breath and a skyward glance. My escape from forty weekly hours of glazed repetition is generally reserved for a morning stomp with the next Kylesa or a cleansing of the wicked via DVR catch-up with my wife. Now and then, these Sundays extend a crusty hand that yanks me toward gigantic, primitive buzz. I can't say it puts me in touch with the Earth or throws back my head with an outstretched tongue, but it certainly doesn't feel like these sounds result from digital files, compressed and re-configured through fabricated forums.

Bands bringing the medieval run the risk of tucking cheese into their pockets on their way to summer camp. But straight off the Judas Cradle by way of South Wales comes Haast's Eagled, an experimental, atmospheric sludge-doom act that limits comparisons and expands consciousness. The whole of their four-song self-titled debut EP stones and impales as much as it soothes and swirls. Stoner sensibilities wisp between pummeling sludge pendulums as death's snow taps at fresh graves, with gravity licking the heels of every note.

Setting off Viking is a somber softness, whispering a drone that breaks under electric doom riffs, stretching out to meet a bowel-dug vocal. The break into devastating stoner feedback is countered by classic-rock, Chris Cornell-esque lungs, creating an overall dynamic that's so seldom this successful. The slow stoner groove outlasts all other elements, encompassing listeners through powerful progressions and slow-motion sternum thumps. A trail of gold-flaked licks brightens a sooty sky as this introduction rolls like matted red carpet.

More reflective and somehow more primitive is the cavernous and somber pick of The Eye of God, a a reprieve only lasting until the stoner-doom again emerges and Norse, riff-laden passages unfold to absolutely crush. With a vocal that echoes Ronnie Van Zant on Simple Man, the midpoint is sullen until otherworldly black pit embers set off a slow spiral of flurried madness. So the deep South's influence has made one hell of a trip, seemingly reaching back to a time when only candles broke the darkness.

An intermission by comparison, Tracking the Footsteps of Goliath slowly drones, peeking through shaky samples and ominous cymbals. Oh, but that sludge dominates and smears the landscape, flattening and churning as if to introduce Cruithne Tide, the twelve-minute crusher that closes this all-too-short EP. The track as a whole is cool and melodic, but the loose echoes convey a sad, hollow cave trickle. As fire begins to rain and fiefdom villages collapse, the first track is bookended and the cycle appears complete. Drums join hands with warbled guitar whispers for a cold stroll through the ruins, slowly and deliberately lifting pace without a hint of rattle. Atmospheres, peeling layers, realignment, solos, hesher nods, drone cameos, and sludge cruises... I'd rather this never ended.

So is it lament or nostalgia? I know, it goes much deeper than that. But when I can't pinpoint exactly how I'm being taken to a time and place where I've never been, it's difficult to explain myself. Haast's Eagled weave a tapestry of sound that's as complete and comforting as any I've heard this year. Birth, school, work, death. This release mortars the cracks of life's cruel structure, providing a true sludge-doom escape that lays a breadcrumb trail while you lose yourself. Good thing, too. I'd love to talk about these guys again.

For fans of: Horn of the Rhino, Conan, Earth
Pair with: 8-Bit Pale Ale, Tallgrass Brewing Co.

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: Crypt Trip

HEAVY PLANET PRESENTS ... CRYPT TRIP!

BAND BIO:

Texas
Members:
Ryan Lee
Sam Bryant
Mario Rodriguez

THOUGHTS:

There isn't a whole lot of information out there about this threesome from Dallas, so all we can do is let their music do the talking. Which it does quite sufficiently. Crypt Trip include all the best elements of stoner, doom, psych, and retro rock into this 5 song EP. It's heavy, it burns, it hits all the right primal chords. Uptempo scorchers like "Phantasm", measured gloom like "Mrs. Absinthe", stoner fuzziness like "Wraiths" all rock your face off. So, turn it up and enjoy.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Stuntman - "Incorporate The Excess"


Aw, you wanted to take it easy this morning? Well, I'm about nine minutes sober and need to re-capture the buzz. Someone forgot to tell Jesus to turn down the heat last night and I'm pretty sure the teenagers up the street tore into the last of the beers in my garage. I needed a little wake-me-up that won't juice my paranoia. I'm not about to share coffee with the dusty old pricks at the diner, talkin' 'bout nothin' but gas prices and how "gott-damn" cold the weather's been.

Enter another French import from Solar Flare Records: Sète's Stuntman. On their third album, these tyrants spray steaming shit and cake a dulled landscape with seven tracks of jagged, jarring sludgecore noise that'll keep you outta your seat  like puddled piss. Incorporate The Excess is just under thirty minutes of blistering, spiteful torment, both inflicted and received. Consider it a "pay it forward" dynamic where the band wants listeners to experience a vicarious burn, stinging and soaking until skin drips from the bone.

The industrial crackle of Broken Mirrors Lacerate, unsettling and disorienting as it is, hardly preps us for the relentless auditory punishment of the remaining six tracks. The Patriot, The Elite, The Icon offers bulging neck-vein noise, pacing that blisters as it shreds, and loose chaos that somehow never succumbs to centrifugal non-promises. How elements manage to marry could only qualify as Satan's miracle. Slowing to a sludge trot only briefly, the split-lip fire of this slasher never wanders.

Releasing Bag Of Dicks as the disc's first streaming single likely provides listeners a fair glimpse of what to expect. More inflicted than delivered, the track is slow only in relative terms. Distant yelps perfectly complement gnarling, gnashing rhythmic lunges, so scornful and wholly defiant. This flagship track scorches despite its structural achievements and screeches despite its murky-motored pacing.

Finding groove appears to be the focus on Horn of Misery and Roll Your Skull, a slightly (only slightly) less vitriolic tandem of thrash-coated sludge-noise dysfunction. Horn falls as choppy and exhausting, sticking to your teeth like fresh tar peppered with sharp gravel. Roll has a more prominent groove, biting and putting a brake on the bark. Don't worry. Steady repetition leads toward a spiral of deliberate grief. You'll feel completely enveloped, but hardly comforted.

Clocking at two minutes, the album's award for most jagged and in-your-ear slab goes to the screaming Chaos Shepherd. You cannot sit down, you cannot stand still, and you absolutely cannot take the time to lick your fingers and savor this one. The rhythm never blinks, and the floored squelch is a symptom of atrophy. Hardly introductory, the song still serves as a contrasting lead-in to Scarecrow Warfare, an abrasive and patient true-sludge closer. Eating nearly nine minutes, this departure pits guitars against one another, lacing up and sparring between lumbering churns and piercing jabs to the eye. The weight of hatred has weakened your shoulders, while the descent of a drone blanket keeps your speakers rattling. We're steadily buried by layers of slow sludge, tracing thorny licks to map an escape route. But trust me, there's no way out of this awesome stickiness.

Stuntman inject a heave into their breed of sludge, tossing noisy, hardcore grenades with little regard for what ensues. If broken glass is bad for your teeth, then Stuntman are just as bad for your future. Punishment gluttons, line up. These seven sins don't even bother with a knock on the door. They know you're home and they know you're due for a slick beating. When sludge is this angry, you know you've fucked up. After these 27 minutes, your only choice is to play dead.


For fans of: Buzzov*en, Unsane, Soilent Green
Pair with: Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale, Southern Tier Brewing Company



Thursday, December 5, 2013

EP Review "Purist" by Purist


Purist are 4 piece from Memphis who recently released their 3 track self titled debut EP of psychedelic shoegaze doom and for a first release it's a powerful piece of work.

From the airy and drifting atmospherics that open first track "Feral Eyes" Purist launch into a sloth paced behemoth of triumphant doom full of crushing pressure and made with a sound so huge that it grabs your attention immediately and holds it for the duration of the EP. Did I say this is powerful music? It really is.

Track 2 "Rex" opens with a heart wrenching wall of riff that develops into almost uplifting doom with a riff and vocals that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. A soaring guitar lick gives "Rex" a touch of the post metal but with the light and dark play of riffs on display here the contrast between scary doom and encouraging post metal makes this track bittersweet to the ears. It is however anthemic in its dazzling glory and its sheer sonic power is enough to rend galaxies and create black holes. This track is now the soundtrack to my winter.

Lastly there is "Exodus" that opens with a cold but psychedelic breeze of guitars that soar and build tension towards the eventual collapse of body flattening riffs and desperately grr-howled vocals. After the outpouring of sorrowful doom comes a wintery pause of chilly psychedelia again that proceeds to increase the doom pressure to a psychedelic point of popping before a gradual fading of feedback and frosty guitar to lonely silence.

Purist have debuted with a solid EP of 3 powerful tracks that kept me interested throughout and with a standard as high as this already I am certain Purist's future releases will be mind blowing.



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SASQUATCH: The Heavy Planet Interview

Noted monster rockers Sasquatch, having just released their monstrous fourth album, "IV", have also taken the time to answer a couple of questions we posed to them about the album, their standing in the rock world, the overall state of rock from their viewpoint, their likes, their dislikes, what motivates them, and what they see the future holding for themselves and the band. With their responses this rock trio reveal a huge passion for what they do as well as a conspicuous ability and bearing in how they apply themselves to their chosen passion. Take some time, if you will, and get to know Keith, Cas, and Rick just a little bit and see what you might take away from having gotten to know just a piece of who these consummate rockers truly are. I open the questions with a reference to the song "Money", about an acquaintance who borrows a few bucks in an ongoing one sided relationship in which there is only one giver and one taker, a serious situation to be sure, but I had hoped to make light of it somewhat as an opening salvo, if you will. I was curious how they might respond to this question, and just as with their music, just as with the responses to the entire interview, they didn't only not disappoint, they tended to go the extra mile, because they can and, I suspect, they choose to. It speaks a lot to who they are. Ladies and Gentlemen . . . Keith Gibbs, Rick Ferrante, Jason Casanova . . . the incomparable Sasquatch:
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HP: Okay, I want to get the easy one out of the way first . . . can I borrow some money? Hah!

Keith: Sure, how much do you need?

Cas: Here at the First Bank of Sasquatch, we provide hassle-free short-term loans to all of our customers. No paperwork, no red-tape. You tell us what you need, and you’ll have cash in hand within minutes. Interest runs at about 20% per week and there’s no need to worry about receiving bills or sending in payments. We will have some nice men stop by your residence, remind you when payment is due, and they can even collect while on site. Think of all of the money you’ll save on stamps!

HP: Do you have any feedback yet on how well “IV” is selling out there in the world?

Rick: So far, pretty good. Small Stone would have more info though on how sales are doing. Getting a lot of thumbs-up so far. This is more of a direct approach. A “meat & potatoes” record if you will. People seem to like it; some miss the acoustic stuff and/or the intro-outro things we would do on some of the other records.

Cas: Rick misses the intro-outro things we do on some of our other records.

HP: How is the touring schedule for "IV" shaping up? Is it a difficult process to get one together?

Keith: We are talking to some European booking agents at the moment and hopefully we'll be touring sometime in April/May 2014. Touring the US is another animal. We would love to do it but getting guarantees is difficult since we usually book it ourselves.

Cas: Yeah, the US is tough. Demand and supply isn’t quite tipping in our favor. Can you make some calls and fix that for us? Great, thanks.

HP: Have you progressed enough in developing the tour to know who might tour with you, if anyone? Is there any chance of touring with a more well-known band? There is no one out there that plays better rock than you, but there are plenty of bands that are more widely recognized. Opening for some of those bands might garner a wider zone of interest from those folks who love meaningful rock. That's just me blabbering. Do you have an opinion on that sort of thing?

Keith: There are a few names being thrown around for Europe: UEMG (Ed Mundell’s solo project, Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, reviewed on Heavy Planet here: http://www.heavyplanet.net/2013/04/nuclear-dogs-atomic-split-ultra.html) and House Of Broken Promises, but nothing set in stone at the moment. We would love to go out on bigger tours as well but no takers as of yet. You would think it would be easier after four albums.

Cas: It’s a whole different ball game in terms of touring in the big leagues. From what I’ve seen and heard, it’s becoming more common practice that bands or their labels are buying on to these larger tour packages. Once again, “pay-to-play” rears its ugly head in a different fashion. Sorry, Debbie Downer moment.

HP: You guys have been together a decade now, and have released 4 very important albums (even if most of the world doesn’t realize it yet). How different was the process for writing the music on the first album from that on the last?

Keith: Very different. I had been a bit of a control freak on the first two, but now with the addition of Cas, I've let go of that. Rick and Cas both have great ideas, whether it be riffs or arrangements, so it's much easier to let go of total control. And I think that is very apparent if you listen to the progression of the songwriting on the last two albums especially.

Cas: I don’t really do anything. It must be the beard. Or Rick’s aftershave.

HP: Keith, can you describe to us a little bit of that process for creating songs? Do you start with the music, the lyrics, some combination of both?

Keith: It always starts with just a collection of riffs that I have in my head, then I bring it to the fellas and we arrange it together for the most part. As far as the lyrics, I've had a lot of ups and downs in the past five or so years and I draw everything from that. It's been a rough ride. My daughter, Riley, is a huge source of inspiration and she's also the greatest.

Cas: The writing part of it seems to be second nature for Keith. I just bring beer and watch the magic happen.

HP: Has it become more of a struggle over the years to write new songs, or do you feel like there is a pretty deep well there?

Keith: The well is very deep when it comes to riffs, thankfully; I have been lucky in that respect. There have been spaces of writer's block but that is usually because of drama in my own personal life.

HP: You mentioned Cas and Rick are now very involved in the writing process. As talented as they are as musicians I can only imagine they have a lot of deep understanding of song structure. Can you elaborate on what they bring to the table just a bit?

Keith: Rick and Cas are great when it comes to that. They each have different backgrounds in musical tastes so that really helps a lot. Rick loves old school Rock & Blues as well as Jazz, Psych, & Prog, but he is rooted there. Cas comes from more of an indie standpoint, which helps us to stay away from writing music to make money (as opposed to keeping our integrity). He also loves the old school stuff. I’m somewhere in the middle. Cas and I both love 80's thrash metal!

Cas: Keith brings the riffs. Rick then likes to get into the nuts and bolts of the songs as they come together; any and all aspects involved with the structuring, gear, and/or recording approach. The two of them get the songs to a point where it’s practically complete by the time I come in and add my parts. 

HP: Keith mentioned some inspirational sources, how about for Rick and Cas, where do you typically find your inspiration? Is writing a song something in which you have to flex a lot of mental muscle, or do the songs come somewhat easily? Or is it perhaps something in between?

Rick: Usually from a personal event or experience for the most part. Current & past world events maybe a bit as well.

HP: “IV” contains some incredibly well written music, both lyrically and melodically. I'm thinking specifically of "Eye of the Storm", "Corner", and "Drawing Flies". The thing that is inspiring to a fan like me is how fresh your music sounds, especially considering you've been cranking songs out for at least a decade. Is it a conscious effort on your part to create a specific sound or a certain feel for any of an album's songs? Do you struggle at all with trying to find a freshness in what you write?

Keith: We just write what comes out. I have kinda taken that AC/DC approach where I don't care what is going on around me musically, we just stick to our guns.

Cas: Yeah, there’s no real magic secret or concerted effort in the writing approach. It’s quite basic and to-the-point. It ends up typically being, “Oh, that’s a cool riff. Let’s make a song of that with that other cool riff.” Boom. Song done.

HP: Tell me a little about your playing, each of you. Has anything changed for you physically in the way you approach playing these days, whether it be for the studio or for a show. As you've aged a bit, has it had an effect on your ability to manipulate your instruments, whether positively or negatively? Do you guys find you have to warm up a little more these days before taking the stage or is the opposite effect where you've become so proficient at playing it's now second nature?

Cas: I can probably speak for all of us in that we have to warm up the fingers, stretch a bit, and get the pee break in right before set time. I think it’s important to go through the pre-show motions at any age, but it’s especially important now that we’re old fucks. My knees don’t function quite as well as they once did. The tinnitus also seems to be getting worse as I age, so I am trying to learn how to play on stage with earplugs. I tend to rip them out frequently because I want to hear everything at full volume. Yeah, I’m a dumbass.

HP: Similarly, Keith, how have the years treated your vocal chords and your ability to sing in the all out full throated way you do for Sasquatch? John Garcia recently stated that age has not diminished his ability to sing like it seems to do for most frontmen, so I was wondering what your experience has been in that regard.

Keith: It's pretty much second nature, at least for me. We've never had a grueling touring schedule so things like tendinitis or vocal issues have never been a problem. I’m happy and sad about that because we would love to tour 6 months of the year, but I think it helps keep our longevity.

HP: What does the future hold for Sasquatch? Do you see yourselves making music for another decade or more (I hope)?

Keith: Sasquatch will keep putting our albums as long as we are able to do so. I'm pretty sure I can speak for the guys when I say that our number one passion in life is music.

HP: Your music is usually placed within the genre of 'stoner' rock, for better or worse. What are your thoughts on that aspect of the underground rock world? What are your thoughts on the state of rock and roll right now where thousands of extremely gifted bands and musicians remain deeply obscure, labeled as stoner, doom, high desert, fuzz rockers, but get little to no airtime or notoriety? How do you feel about the more popular rock artists currently garnering air time, bands like Foo Fighters, Black Keys, Godsmack, Nickelback, Disturbed, or whoever is out there these days? Any of them making music that is worth the time to listen to?

Keith: I would have to defer to the guys for that question. I really don't listen to anything current, it's just a personal choice. Bands like old Traffic, Blind Faith, Zeppelin, Floyd, any seventies bands are what I draw from. Cas keeps up with what is going on, you should see his CD collection, it's fucking massive! As far as the Stoner rock tag…it doesn't really apply. I think of us currently as a rock band with some elements of stoner rock. We are strictly alcohol driven these days. Ha!

Cas: Tough questions. No clear answers quite yet. There have always been those bands, genres, scenes that haven’t gotten the notoriety they deserve, and I don’t think that has really changed since I’ve been a wee lad. I do think that the playing field has leveled out a bit more with the digital age and what some consider to be the fall of the “majors”. The opportunities are still in flux though. Many of the bands (us included) are trying to figure out how to really embrace and take advantage of the technology and Internet-driven advancements. On one hand, our music is freely available to anyone that wants to steal it. On the other hand, if it weren’t for the youtubes, facebooks, and even myspaces of ten years ago, Sasquatch wouldn’t have the kind of global exposure that we do now. Hell, a majority of our online store traffic comes from Europe, but we’ve even been getting some decent response from places deep in South America, Australia, as well as South Africa. Kind of wild when you think about it. To answer your question about popular rock… yeah, there is mainstream stuff I like just as much as the next guy. Soundgarden falls on the top of that list. I also have a lot of respect for what Grohl and Homme have done to make a career of it. Same goes with the Black Keys. That other stuff you mentioned is a bunch of rubbish though.

HP: When you're alone, each of you, what tunes are you spinning in your car, your office, etc.? How about when you're together, either touring or in the studio perhaps, what do you listen to as a gaggle of musicians. Is it a gaggle? A horde? A pride? I'm not sure.

Rick: Gaggle! My iPod will have anything from Frank Zappa, Budgie, Mahogany Rush, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Funkadelic, Monster Magnet, Killing Joke, The Cult, The Guess Who, pre American label Loudness, Rory Gallagher, Steve Earle, Eric Johnson, Tony Williams Lifetime, Robin Trower…pretty diverse. We also dig our fellow Small Stone bands as well. We will take turns & throw on whatever: Cas? Keith?

Cas: When the three of us are touring in the van, there tends to be a lot of Stern and random comedy shows on Sirius. Otherwise, it’s driver’s choice. In the office, I tend to listen to mellower stuff. Exotica, jazz, classical. Something that doesn’t distract. Ya know, like a Red Red Meat or Martin Denny record hits the spot. On the commute, it’s rock time, and there are a variety of bands I started listening to in the early 90s that still stay in rotation on my mp3 player. I can spin a Barkmarket, Quicksand, or Shiner record, for instance, and it still sounds as fresh to me as the day it came out. We’re also lucky in that one doesn’t have to look much further from the label for good stuff to pass the time. Try cranking Mellow Bravo’s “Ridin” while you’re on the freeway next time. I had it on yesterday morning. It’s great for bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic going 80.

HP: What was the last album that stopped you in your tracks and made you take notice?

Rick: I like the new Killing Joke record MMXI as well as the new Clutch.

Cas: Re-Voltaire.

HP: Each of you have had experiences playing in other projects or for other artists, just as you've had guest artists on your own albums, notably Small Stone Head Honcho Scott Hamilton of Luder and Gozu's Marc Gaffney on "IV". Are there any other projects or supergroups coming up, such as when Rick played drums for The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and on which Keith had a guest spot? As fans of all three of you guys, as a group and as individual musicians, I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to hear whatever you produce, either as the monster group Sasquatch, as guest musicians for other bands, or perhaps as members of the trend of super groups that pop up from time to time.

Keith: Sasquatch is my baby and I really don't have that much interest in doing anything else right now except just guest spots. Hope that doesn't make me sound like a dick, it's just the truth. Cas is playing with our friends in Behold! The Monolith and I think he really enjoys it since they are much different than what Sasquatch does.

Cas: Yeah, I’m now splitting my time with Behold! The Monolith here in LA. We’ve known those guys for awhile (I think Keith and Chase have been bros for about 10 years), and I’ve been a fan of the band since Sasquatch had first played with them a couple of years back in Reno. This past Spring they lost Kevin (their frontman, bass player, and all around good dude) in a fatal car accident one week before they were set to leave on their first US tour. It’s been really tough on the guys, but after speaking with Kevin’s girlfriend and family, they decided to continue on. Anyway, I started jamming with them maybe in August just as they were getting back into it. It’s sort of a hybrid between sludgier doom, and fast-paced metal, something that I haven’t done since my early college days. It’s quite different musically than Sasquatch, so there’s a good balance between the two bands.
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So, there you have it, a little insight into three mammoth rockers, masters of the riff, who live for their music, are clever, gifted, and insightful, and conduct themselves with humor and wit. They are well matched as a threesome, each bringing a wealth of ability and heart to the music they make, and we, as their fans, are better off for it, even if, for them, it's a not insignificant struggle. Passion trumps strife, strife inspires art, we reap the rewards with the incomparable "IV".
















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Monday, December 2, 2013

LP Review- Mannequin by Sun & Sail Club

New Graphic
Here it is folks, the most controversial album of the year. And it's not the subject matter that might turn listeners away. No, with this album we're talking about a full on Bob Dylan goes electric stylistic shift. One listen to the album and you'll know what I mean.

You hear that? What's the deal with the vocals? That's a Vocoder folks, and its use on the album is pure rawk genius. I can't get enough, but I'm sure some of the more traditional rockers might disagree.

See...

Most of the music we listen to has one foot in the past. We feel it is more authentic than they synthetic crap that's pumped out by well groomed dudes who can almost play guitar. So, for fans of a genre that worships tubes and tape, the use of a Vocoder might seem like a cheap gimmick. From the future. But I'll bet a buffalo nickel that those listeners wouldn't bat an eye when some teenage longhair tries to sound like Ozzy himself.

Try to sound like someone else or be yourself? What's rock mean to you?

The voice behind the robot sound is Fu Manchu's Bob Balch, and he laid down the vocals figuring they would be redone by a proper singer, but when producer/bass rocker Scott Reeder heard the tunes he had the common sense to leave them in. The processed style makes the album stand out, as seemingly every town in the USA and beyond offers up a doom/stoner/occult/retro/whatever rock band, only one band pairs heavy riffage with robotic vox, making a sound all their own. And even if this ain't the album that spawns a million clones, at least the Sun & Sail Club made an album that sounds like them.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Hobo


A man once approached me as I left a convenience store. In a British accent, he asked if I smoked. I replied "No, sorry," but he clearly needed more than just cancer sticks. He was carrying a backpack and wearing women's shoes. Behind the mange of his beard and in cockney delivery he explained he was "in from Denver," his van had broken down, his dog had died, and he simply needed money. I gave him a quarter and he almost seemed pissed. That's the breaks, they say.

Seven months later, when the Earth had tilted in our favor, I was pumping gas and heard soft, sooty steps. This asshole. He was at it again, but the accent was gone and he was still "In from Denver." Y'know what, man? Fuck you. Gimme back my bullets.

Maybe California's homeless are different. Santa Barbara's Hobo provide an enticing sniff of the tattered lifestyle, employing riffs and licks atop four sludge rumblers that coat your throat like sweet, sticky syrup. The Southern stomp on the band's Demo 2013 celebrates concrete pillows and more than a fair share of Mad Dog 20/20.

Hardlyfe ducks and slugs with cymbal-heavy immediacy, cracking fuzz twigs and boxing your dirge-laden ears. The swampy viscosity and hollow-corridor assertions balance guitar licks buzzing in adjacent occupancies. When the rhythm breaks, so does the bounding light. Let's cruise before night falls. But where'd we end up? The good-ol'-boy townie bar that is Ammonia sways with a thick and thorny southern groove, spiteful yet deceptively inviting and accessible. Wrapping listners in ribbons of deep-fried Confederate plucks, this track nods, taps its foot, and unfolds amid progressions and re-emerging elemental contributions.

Halfway home and the cloudy eyes are sending us into the ditch. Buzzing sludge spirals upward on PissStank, a chewy, fermented de-evolution toward the 90's grunge bass-rollers of Tad and Paw. The hill-rod singalong is kept loose and limber, jacked with elixir and impossible to pin down. There's a soft patch of underbelly, but these cacklers waste no time in throwing it onto the engine to blacken over a muddy spit 'n hiss.

Mythical Beast boasts a guitar groping that would make most second-cousins jealous. The indulgence is short-lived and revved sludge smacks of ham-fisted reality. Hairs knot, the bumps bounce, and the band never stays in any gear for too long. That's part of the appeal: these guys won't stay still. Unraveling on a torrid bass clip and an avalanche of drum stones, this closer carves its name into pink skin and smiles with swill in hand.

You won't find the stretched-out, bony fingers of post-sludge meandering or the overzealous aggression typically pulsing from sludge-filled speakers. These stumps are quick, hot, and bound to burn. This bum thumbed his way from the bayou and lost his pants out west. Hobo cook up the most palatable of sludge, grooving and stomping without over-thinking things. Dig deep for those nickels and dimes. 'Merica has kept these guys honest.


For fans of: Tad, Melvins, Weedeater
Pair with: Stone Soup Abbey Ale, New Glarus Brewing


Thursday, November 28, 2013

LP Review "Hymn to Pan" by Obelyskkh


Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man! My man!
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady!
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and satyrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me.

(Hymn to Pan by Aleister Crowley)


Cloven hoofed and horned, Pan is the pagan god of nature. Half man, half goat; he is the sound of the wind in the trees and he is the smell of the earth. 

Dripping with black sludge and ritualistic doom riffs are Obelyskkh, a German doom metal band. All heavy, all crushing; they make a monolithic sound that carves cyclopean slabs of stone and erects them as temples to the nature god, Pan.

Obelyskkh play their take on Neurosis' earthy post metalist doom and crust like they are a hoard of be-woaden pagan warriors standing proud and fierce against an onslaught of Roman legions sweeping across and swallowing up their land mercilessly.

The opening and title track "Hymn to Pan" sets the tone with the gentle sounds of a spring morning. Birds are singing and the sun is warm while the golden silence is broken by the blowing of a pagan battle horn that drifts across a hazy valley. There comes then a solemn parade of mystical sounds that lures out of the earth a sudden heaving of heavy riffs that catches you instantly into head nodding worship. A pause arrives after a time with foggy atmospherics and earthy psychedelia and a chanted ode to Pan that brings back the gargantuan doom metal riffs in waves of flesh flaying pleasure. For the most part the tone is somewhat humbly solemn but "Hymn to Pan" evolves into determined and celebratory sludge/post metal that ends in a triumph of feedback and thus begins Obelyskkh's hymn to Pan.

"The Ravens" follows with a sinister and foreboding doom riff that rattles under rolling drums with vocals that tell of the awesome and terrifying sight of seeing a flock of ravens that pass you by. The track revolves and unfolds into anthemic rousings that seem to ever ascend until a pinnacle is reached and the song collapses into sorrowful and ponderous piano.

Next is "The Man Within" that opens with a vocal sample that kicks off a rolling torrent of sludge that soon falls into Neurosis like introspection and a gradual building of sludge metal tension. The track then snaps into huge slabs of black riffs that turn demented and worryingly scary towards the end so the squelchy feedback that the track falls into at the end is somewhat oddly comforting.

The squelchy, electronic acid feedback seeps into the intro for "Heaven's Architrave" but then falls into a droning ambiance that serves as a calm before the storm moment of stillness. Soft guitar wafts build a different tension to the last track, where that one was black this one is tragically full of sorrow. When the huge sludgy riffs fall I am crushed not only by the low end riffs but also by the lamentous tone that is delivered hymn-like and which seem to strike a chord deep within. The final section has the track turn savagely into rolling and tumbling sludge metal that keeps tumbling and rolling until the abrupt ending into silence.

"Horse" has some strange and unknown sound and a teasing voice that challenges warriors to "come out and play". Soon enough a huge sludge metal beast is unleashed which runs rampageous and violent with a dark, repetitive riff that morphs into a more triumphant and uplifting riff accompanied by guitar licks that take the song into some pleasing doom metal celebration.

Finally there is the last hymn to Pan that is called "Revelation: The Will To Nothingness" and a famous vocal sample from the Joker in The Dark Knight movie introduces this one. This is followed by massive sludge riffs once again but with a vocal sample from master occultist and Pan lover Aleister Crowley reading one of his own poems. The sludge is thickened up with a harsh and gravelly vocal and a hectic pace reminiscent of EYEHATEGOD until the pace drops quickly to drive the sludge deeper into your brain. The sludge subsides to leave an airy, psychedelic breeze of drifting, atmospheric mysticism which serves as a moment of meditation in which to prepare for the inevitable onslaught of doom and sludge metal. A riff creeps in before the ever monolithic sounds of Obelyskkh finally fall to unleash the sludge beast once again to leave none untainted in its wake. The song stomps along unhindered while a slaying guitar lick plucks the heart strings in a return to the solemnity that seems rote through much of Obelyskkh's work. The pace gradually quickens with ever more destructive riffs that build the track to a seething doom and freaked out sound effects that break the track down into psychedelic ruin. The Joker returns again at the end to drive the point home only for an insane gabble of sounds that twists your mind into something thoroughly sludge drenched and doomed. Listen out for the hidden piano track at the end which nearly had me in pathetic fits of weeping.

"Hymn To Pan" could very well be album of the year for me and I'm buying an Obelyskkh T-shirt forthwith.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sam's Opening Salvo - Heavy Virginia

Hello! My name is Sam. I am the newest and junior-most member of the Heavy Planet team. I am delighted to be a part of this fantastic site, and while anxious to dive into reviews and December madness, I feel that it is appropriate to first provide some background information about myself.

My hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, is far from a haven for any metal or hard rock - But with Richmond only an hour away, I can get my live doom fix most of the time. Charlottesville has, however, recently acquired a metal-friendly venue in the back of the downtown ice rink. While the “Main Street Annex” is basically just a strangely shaped concrete room, it makes for a fine bastion of Charlottesville's underground metal scene. Since it's opening, the Annex has hosted several collections of local Stoner/Doom bands, a few of which I'd like to quickly introduce!

Miami Nights are a three-piece doom outfit who show up at the odd local gig to demolish a few ear canals. Founding member and front-woman Maxx Katz busts out crunchy, blues-soaked riffs which she often interrupts with long, tense cadences that drip with feedback. The elusive trio boast only 3 brutal tracks on their soundcloud at the moment, but I certainly anticipate more recorded material from them soon.




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Horsefang are an instrumental sludge metal group that bring a little bit of solid groove to the scene, while also making room for slow, haunting intros and interludes. Horsefang have been a staple of the Cville metal scene for more than few years, and for good reason.While searching for a suitable live
clip of the band, I stumbled across this unusual gem and felt obligated to share it:



Myspace : Facebook

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Last but not least we have Harrisonburg's Earthling. These genre-blending rockers made waves in the Virginia metal community with the release of Dark Path earlier this year. The album combines an older demo and split with Valkyrie, along with two brand new jams. Best described as doom you can mosh to, Earthling also incorporate sludge, thrash, black metal and more into their unique brand of dark and heavy goodness.




These are just a few of the killer bands way deep down in ol' Virginia. Richmond of course, having just hosted Stoner Hands of Doom, gives me a lot of hope for the future of heavy music in Virginia!
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