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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. Find your next favorite band at Heavy Planet. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Oxxen

Had I just driven east a bit further, I could've avoided all this shit. Last weekend's road trip to Memphis brought along an accidental stumble into a hip-hop joint, countless panhandlers begging for leftovers, and a saucy southern couple that I'm pretty sure wanted to trade weird sex with my wife and I. We returned with countless stories, but what I didn't find was anything that would interest the Sunday Sludge faithful. But hey, I maintained my curiosity on whether there was some toxic Tennessee thickness I may have missed. I went lookin' for trouble, and I found Chattanooga's Oxxen.

The band's loose-hipped, bong-ripped self-titled triptych of southern stoner-sludge is fat with varied tempos and rattled groove. Fans of Orange Goblin and High On Fire are gonna rub their gums with Oxxen's long-cut blend of silt and glowing embers. Boasting 24 minutes of shifts and stomps, this EP is damn-near impossible to sit through without destroying your musty basement bedroom.

The slow stoner buzz of This Shit Ain't Exactly Thunderdome wears off with a medieval drop of repetition and ominous rhythms. Smashing everything in sight like a punctured cement balloon, this lead track establishes a tone of unpredictability via low bass dregs and lurid, grounded drum patterns. Bill Robinson's guitar buzzes above the slugs, while his vocal is raw and varied. Oxxen have us pinned with splintered sticks to the bottom of a steaming bog.

The High On Fire influence is fierce and immediate on the double-kicked, flesh-bubbled Stoic Men Under Ancient Lord. Passages of buzzing fans initiate a difficulty swallowing, a sort of looming mothman fear. Heavy on cymbals and long on shit-hot guitars, a choppy tightening of the reins pares down this cruiser. Intense glances precede a slow, sludgy mudfight. The beasts have circled and you've got shit in your pants. Luckily, everything around you is equally caked with hot filth.

I didn't figure the EP's eleven-minute closer could match its midsection, but goddamn... Riddle Of Steel is a crunchy, full-flavored grip on shifting stoner-sludge mastery. With as mossy and dense as this track is, I'd advise it can only be fully appreciated at maximum volume. The vocal has echoes of noise metal, while Dimebag's Washburn pullback is summoned and celebrated. Tom Thrash Childers thumbs slower and slower at a club-footed stomp around a fire, a fire built for a doom-dicked Sturgis send-off. The eleven crushing ticks reach an agonizing curb before the scratchy pepper of shrapnel returns. Increasingly frayed but somehow bound together by twigs and burlap, this is one track to keep hot and brand on your arm.

It appears Oxxen have been at this for a while. Calloused and weathered aren't the right terms, simply because they manage to sound fresh and open-ended among all the overgrowth. To be succinct, we can simply say these three tracks burn hot. You don't know where it began or how it'll spread, but it's that good, slow crawl toward an elusive buzz that makes this EP so enticing. Like the first shot, the first deep hit, or the first full-out fucking dive into the fire, Oxxen craft a blazing blend of stoner-sludge metal that numbs your senses.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nuclear Dogs Atomic Split: Polkadot Cadaver - "Last Call in Jonestown" / Egypt&Wo Fat - "Cyclopean Riffs"

Summer is fun season, it goes without saying. Warmth and sunshine give way to an unending array of pleasurable things to do, only one of which I will mention here. Hell, I don't even have to mention it, you already know what it is. It's why you came to heavyplanet.net today, just as you came yesterday, and why you likely will come tomorrow. It's not for my writing, I'm aware of that, but perhaps it is for what I write about and what my fellow reviewers, awesome dudes one and all, write about. You came to immerse yourself in the soul fortifying power of stoner rock, doom metal, and psychedelic grooviness, because it's FUN! The array of merriment on hand today is unique and deeply satisfying for we will get to plunge into a deep, classic avalanche of gargantuan guitar, while pummeling down a mountainside of sound, just as we will steep ourselves in the koolaid of ingenuity with a clever, cunning cascade of brilliance in metal form. So cast your brilliant smile, if you will, to the sun and soak up the sonic wave of summertime splendor on tap this incredibly fun day.


Inventiveness, cleverness, carefully crafted melodies, rhythms in perfect time, lyrics of depth and substance, harmoniousness in deep degree, all couched within gargantuan, low tuned riffs, dexterous solo runs, savvy drums, and a tightness borne of ability and sweat. Gawd this album is chock full of magic and spice. And that's not counting the surprise appearance of a bonified rock legend on the penultimate track. Don't miss Track 11, "Transistors of Mercy", for a guest monkey in the Polkadot barrel.

Polkadot Cadaver aren't really a conventional metal band, crafting unique, intriguing, and savvy melodies bursting at the seams with alluring, arousing components cobbed together in such a way as to provide an experience like no other. There will be interludes of beauty, light and airy, deft and nimble, segueing into avenues of power and volume. Various and multifarious keyboards are used throughout the album, but there isn't a taste of electronica to be had, only blood thick metal measures and compositions borne of inspiration and insight.

These rockers hail from Rockville, Maryland, a fitting moniker for home base. Their ranks include the members:

Todd Smith - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Jasan Stepp - Guitar, Keyboards, Programming, Cello
David Cullen - Bass, Keyboards
Scott Radway - Live Drums

The title track opens the album and delivers a memorable melody of tight metal mayhem, fast and sharp, in your face brutality, that thrills with its razor sharp hooks and vicious melody. This song will find its way onto favorite playlists for ages to come. "Phantasmagoria" follows with a thrilling, soaring  journey of spice and danger. "Touch You Like Caligula" is a labyrinthine, dark tale of smoldering power. Intricate, ascending movements, soaring in and out of sweetness and rancor, both thrilling and emotional, are hallmarks of the series from "Sheer Madness" through "Animal Kingdom". And then comes "Transistors of Mercy", a song of incredible joy, not the least of which is due to the infallible, indefatigable Neil Fallon of Clutch fame providing his legendary vocals to this treasured track. Fallon's voice is a beacon in the murk, deep, dark, and delicious in its delivery.

Polkadot Cadaver are currently on tour promoting their recent masterpiece, so with any luck you can make it to a show and be overwhelmed with one of this summer's finest, funnest experiences, but even if all you can manage is a download from iTunes or Amazon your summer will still be merrily, memorably metal.

pc yt here

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What can be more fun that an all out sortie from two of doom metal's premier bands? Egypt and Wo Fat have teamed together for a split EP, two blistering, smoldering, smoking hot tracks each, for half an hour of deep dive immersion into the intoxicatingly murky depths of guitar madness.

Egypt are known both for the brilliant 'Valley of the Kings' EP of 2003 (re-released in 2009) and the recently released monster "Become the Sun", with the former holding a special place in the hearts of many on it's haunting, hooky metal melodies, and the latter a slight change of direction that has pulled in multitudes of doom loving metal heads to its deep, dark deliciousness. The 2 tracks chosen for "Cyclopean Riffs" follow the recent rumbling formula of the January 2013 release, unloading stygian volleys of staggering power and force, each on a decagonal trajectory of immersion and deep, biding experiences.

"Blood Temple Hymn" kicks off the low tuned expedition with measured intent, steady and true in power and force, slowly, surely, inexorably portaging your consciousness away from the light and into the deepest recesses of an internal subconscious universe. Moving directly through the dark territory attained on the previous track, "Ancient Enemy" dives ever deeper into the black recesses of a bottomless cognizance, evincing hypnotizing dexterity on mesmerizing riffs of murky, dark power.

The Fargo, North Dakota threesome are quickly establishing themselves as a phenomenon of doom, opening  deep, dark portals of distortion and grace with their latest releases. Aaron Esterby on vocals and bass, Chad Heille on drums, and Neal Stein on guitar meld incredibly rich, authoritative metal narratives that take their place among the best doom metal of the decade.

Joining the Fargo boys on the split are the boys from Dallas, Wo Fat, who have relentlessly unleashed onslaught after onslaught of stoner doom treasures over the last few years onto the thirsty masses of lo-fi fuzz lovers the world over. Just as Egypt has recently released a full sized LP, Wo Fat topped the stoner/doom charts of 2012 with the phenomenal "Black Code". On "Cyclopean Riffs" there is no skimping on quality and euphoria as the dual delivery of mutant metal matches anything released in recent years in quality and enchantment.

Nearly a quarter of an hour of primal enrapture kicks off the deep, dark duo from Wo Fat as "Nameless Cults" opens with the heavy impact of tribal rhythms, merging effortlessly with white hot poker brand solos and large caliber cannon fire of exquisite doom licks and forays of melting lava metal. "Electric Hellhound" slowly breeds its brand of mudslide magic, growling, grumbling, roaring, and rolling along in a resounding roar of low fuzz and distorted power, thrashing powerlines along the way in flashes of white heat and released electrical fury.

Wo Fat have become a recognizable ambassador of stoner rock and doom metal in the underground world of guitar laden nirvana, and rightfully so. Any release that includes their music immediately becomes a must have item. Kent Stump on vocals and guitar, Tim Wilson on bass, and Michael Walter on drums combine once again to put forth mammoth magical metal. Adding the doomslayers from Fargo, Egypt, to the mix only enhances that maniacal quality. This is an EP for the ages and likely the only source for the four quality tracks chosen to embody the sound and experience that only high caliber bands such as these two can provide.

Egypt facebook || Egypt bandcamp || Wo Fat facebook || Wo Fat bandcamp

Friday, June 28, 2013

Flashback Friday - Comes with the Fall

You know, Flashback Friday has become a sort of on again, off again affair for me as a writer here at Heavy Planet.  Every so often, I just get that urge to dig back into my record collection, wipe away the dust, and groove out to the shit that got me here.  Today just happens to be one of those days and it all started with me spinning the latest Alice in Chains album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.  You see, I'm a huge fan of that band, both the past (with Layne Staley) and the present (with William DuVall), and one of the things I really admire about them is how gracefully they dealt with the death of the former while still maintaining their core sound and vision with the latter.  But Alice in Chains isn't who I'm here to talk about today.  Instead I'd like to revisit the band that led Mr. DuVall into the ranks of of that esteemed rock and roll franchise and catapulted the career of another musician (drummer Bevan Davies) into another.  Today I'd like to talk about Comes with the Fall.      

To begin, we need to rewind to 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia where it all started with the dissolution of DuVall's art-pop/jazz-rock project No Walls.  Perhaps looking for a simpler outlet for his musical vision, the singer/guitarist joined up with Davies, guitarist Nico Constantine and bassist Jeffrey Blount, to form…of all things…a glam-pop band.  This lineup released two records in the mid-to-late 90's under the moniker Madfly before Blount decided to leave.  Upon finding their new bassist in Adam Stanger, the band abruptly changed their name and more importantly their sound and alas, in 1999, Comes with the Fall was born.

Within a year, the new band had written and recorded their self-titled debut, which was a noticeably heavier, darker effort that combined massive riffs, powerful vocals and virtuosic melodies (give a listen to "The Three Wishes"…hell, give a listen to any of it).  Needless to say, things were most definitely happening and on the brink of album number two, Comes with the Fall decided to relocate to Los Angeles in an effort to further the reach of their music…a decision that would ultimately pay off through their friendship and eventual collaborations with Jerry Cantrell.  

But first, the band released their sophomore record The Year is One, which they had recorded as a three-piece after the departure of Constantine in 2001.  The album built on the foundation that the band had established with their debut and received acclaim and praises from most who heard it, to include the aforementioned Jerry Cantrell.  If you listen, it's easy to hear not only the voice, but also the incredible guitar work that would eventually put DuVall front and center with Alice in Chains.  In fact, Cantrell was so impressed with Comes with the Fall at that point, that he subsequently invited them to not only open for him on his 2001/2002 tour in support of his solo record Degradation Trip, but to also pull double duty by performing as his backing band.  

A live album (Live 2002) was recorded during the tour and released later that year, but it would be the last output from Comes with the Fall for quite some time.  In 2003, Bevan Davies would be the first member of the band to be "recruited" for lack of a better word, scoring a high profile gig as the drummer in Danzig (he would go on to play on that band's 2004 album Circle of Snakes).  Then, in 2006 DuVall was asked to play a series of benefit shows and eventually a full tour as the fill-in vocalist/guitarist for Alice in Chains.  Throughout all of this success, both he and Davies maintained their status as members of Comes with the Fall however, releasing The Reckoning EP in 2006 and another full length, Beyond the Last Light in 2007.

By 2008, DuVall's status in Alice in Chains was solidified and the following year that band released the excellent Black Gives Way to Blue, with him on vocals.  The always busy Bevan Davies sat in for short stints with Static-X and Bloodsimple, before teaming up with Bloodsimple bassist Kyle Sanders and former Torche guitarist Juan Montoya to form another Heavy Planet favorite, MonstrO (whose debut album was produced by none other than William DuVall).  As for bassist Adam Stanger…he was last heard playing in a band called The Young Royals.  

To my knowledge, Comes with the Fall has never officially disbanded, so there's hope that we'll still hear new music from the trio.  With that said, you should certainly seek out any of the albums (as well as the EP) that I've mentioned in this piece, if for no other reason than to sample a band with so much talent that they were literally picked apart by their peers.  Enjoy.

Thursday, June 27, 2013



Since our first introduction to Switchblade Jesus back in 2011 as a "New Band To Burn One To" , this Corpus Christi-based band has found a place in our hearts here at Heavy Planet. This five-piece band has been tearing up the local scene since 2010 with their blistering live shows, been featured on a few killer compilations from Doommantia and The Soda Shop and came in a close second in our March Bandness competition with The Soda Shop back in 2011.

The band has gained some favorable reviews including one from our very own Nuclear Dog. Here is what others have had to say about Switchblade Jesus:

---"all I can say is, what Switchblade Jesus has to offer is some cutting-edge, blood-boiling, head-nodding, riff-rocking beast of a stoner rock strain, distilled from pure-bred trailblazing attitude and adrenaline junkie art. As glorifying as that might sound (or I tried to make it sound) I have no doubt in my mind that Switchblade Jesus will impress us with their full-length. Check these guys out. If you’re into rock at all, you won’t be disappointed, and if you’re into stoner rock, this is your thing, and if you like your stoner rock filth-encrusted and larger-than-life, it’s your drug. 10/10, keep it up."-Sarp Esin, Doommantia

---"The songs on the EP are heavy and hard rock with some metal moments. They’re fast paced and in your face, well in your face if it’s still there after the melting that Switchblade Jesus is capable of doing." Bill Goodman, The Soda Shop

We have been waiting patiently for the band's first full-length debut and are honored to present it to you in its entirety. The album will be available in much better sound quality on their Bandcamp page beginning on Friday June 28th.  Now without further adieu, get ready and crank this mutha up!

Heavy Planet thanks you Switchblade Jesus for letting us be a part of your impending success.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Zac's "Double Dose": Black Wizard / Cosmonauts Train Trip

Black Wizard: Young Wisdom

With a pure metal attitude Black Wizard emerge from the cold and damp wild-woods of Western Canada like a sleazier, Nordic version of Guns 'N Roses. This four-piece are simply looking for a drink, some smoke, and the right outlets to plug their amps into... and I think the 'Planet can provide those necessities. After experiencing some delays over the past two years Black Wizard have recruited Anciients' guitarist and vocalist Kenny Cook to cover the Wiz's axe-duty. With this welcome addition, maestro and main-dude Adam Grant and company pressed forward and are set to release their debut full length Young Wisdom this Friday (28th June 2013). Want a preview? Well, the Double Dose is the place for you then... 

Beginning with a patient ambiance Black Wizard doesn't so much break the ice, but melt it away gradually, leaving your unassuming conscience in a state of unprepared complacency. Young Wisdom's opening track, entitled Spacer, has an initial movement that unwinds much like a peaceful post-rock intro. Storming through the peace a lone guitar blazes followed by the gallop of the rhythmic cavalry, quickly eliminating your supporting structure. Black Wizard's overall sound is strongly influenced by hardened stoner rock but scrounge scraps from the punk plate, which surfaces deep in their sound in the form of raw vocals and blistering RIFFS. H.U.G.H., landing at track four, was released last year as a single, giving a lucky few a sampling of Young Wisdom's genius. Black Wizard lay the RIFFS on thick with a slow jam, southern inspired tempo. Grinding RIFF after RIFF, H.U.G.H. builds into a ferocious dual guitar onslaught. The repercussions includes mind-numbing head-banging and a party sing-a-long as the instruments fall back into a steady, stoner friendly pace. Danger Dances gives Young Wisdom a dynamic turn. Implementing falsetto vocals and a rolling waltz quality Black Wizard create a light reprise in the very midst of the album which, in turn, create a very Radiohead-esque vibe. Black Wizard roam the many facets of the punk and rock terrain, stopping at RIFF-city in Something Sweet and scaling immense cliffs to the plateau of Wicked Wander

Like a sucker-punch from the frigid north Black Wizard surprised me (much like Black Cowgirl did last year). This time, I'm glad I didn't sit on the chance to get the promo published! With phenomenal artwork and a solid thirty-five minutes of rugged stoner rock you will not want to miss Black Wizard's Young Wisdom. Stoked or not, get over to bandcamp, because the dudes decided to stream Young Wisdom in her entirety!

Adam Grant - Vocals // Guitar 
Eugene "Eug" Parkomenko - Drums 
Evan Joel - Bass 
Kenny "Kendo" Cook - Guitar

I bandcamp I facebook I web


Cosmonauts Train Trip: Dust & A Sunbeam

In a similar vein of Romania's The :Egocentrics, this weeks second dose, Cosmonauts Train Trip, produce a psychedelic breed of [mostly] instrumental rock that will transport listeners on an emotive, hyperspace journey. Cosmonauts Train Trip call this post rock inspired, interstellar vehicle Dust & A Sunbeam. Ignition is engaged with a press of the play button and Lunar Lander, an eight minute mega-track, initiate our maiden voyage. Beginning with a heavily computerized vibration, a sensation of preparation sweeps over us, as a voice speaks over the radio describing the view from Dust & A Sunbeam's cockpit. As the vehicle continues to warm up the solitude and quiet diminishes and a rush of atmosphere suddenly appears with the entrance of the bass, drums and guitar. Now that we've acclimated to this new environment Cosmonauts... have us skippin' galaxies and solar systems. Enjoy two tracks from Dust & A Sunbeam streaming at bandcamp or if you are interested in purchasing a copy for yourself, contact the band direct here.

Heiner Asmus - Guitar 
Henri Seel - Bass 
Jonathan Schmidt - Drums

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: DOCTOR DOOM



DoctoR DooM is a Rock band, based in Ariège (Midi-Pyrénées, France), formed in 2011.

From a Metal background, the guitarists came together through a shared interest in 60s and 70s music, in particular some of the legendary Rock bands. Soon they were joined by a rhythm section, and put together a set comprised of covers and originals, going between Blues and Hard Rock.

After a series of gigs in 2012, DoctoR DooM finished their 1st EP, « the DoomO », featuring the first 3 originals by the band, available in full for streaming and free download on the band’s Bandcamp page.

Greatly inspired by the recent wave of Scandinavian Stoner/Rock bands (Graveyard, Witchcraft, Spiders, Asteroid …) and the foundational bands of this genre (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Coven …), DoctoR DooM’s music is firmly rooted in Rock culture, combining a vintage sound and heavy riffs while using song structures more typical of Progessive Rock.


"Here at Heavy Planet we take a lot of pride in introducing new bands to the throngs of people that make up the Stoner/Doom community. A community that goes without saying simply knows what the rest of the world is missing out on. The band that we introduce to you today is one that we think you will enjoy immensely. The band I am referring to is doomy blues rockers DoctoR DooM. With a devilish affection, the band conjures up a foggy brew of wicked blues and righteous stoner rock on their latest 3-song EP "DoomO".  First track "The Sun" starts out with a sizable fuzzy doom riff which then transcends into a vintage upbeat hard rocking blues rhythm. The roots-rock continues with the frolicking organ-infused epic "Relax You're Dead". This track is absolutely killer! The EP unfortunately comes to an end with "Stuck in the Past" a song with a driving beat and terrific soloing. DoctoR Doom cleverly unite a wide range of influences, creating a sound that sounds both vibrant and refreshing."

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Monday, June 24, 2013

In Case You Missed It: Cough/Windhand - Reflection of the Negative

It wasn't all that difficult for me to discover that I'd missed this split from two of Richmond's heaviest exports, because the stench from this kind of filth just grows stronger with age.  Apparently this mold covered masterpiece has been festering and fermenting since its release back in April, so now seems like the perfect time for me to feed it to you good people.  Featuring a single, sickly saga from Cough that clocks in at over eighteen minutes and two equally depressing dirges from Windhand that, when combined, span the same, Reflection of the Negative contains enough disheartening doom to keep you looking nervously over your shoulder for the foreseeable future.   

Let's start with Cough's offering, which is an epic monstrosity called "Athame," appropriately named for the ceremonial dagger used in rituals and witchcraft…in case you were wondering.  Joey Arcaro's colossal drums open this calamity, setting the tempo of a snail's march, before the unmistakably chilling sounds of an organ's grind creep into the mix.  Guitarists David Cisco and Brandon Marcey enter the fray with suffocatingly heavy riffs, as does bassist Parker Chandler (the common link between these two bands) whose ghastly gurgle completes this wretched refrain.  Collectively, Cough lulls you into a coma for the first half of the song's run time and then violently shifts gears by altering the rhythm, adding ample amounts of feedback and distortion that become more ominous as Chandler chants, "the time has come for sacrifice."  The apex of this heinous hymn is reached at around thirteen minutes (appropriately), when the band lurches into a bonafide groove laced with enough wickedness to leave Electric Wizard cowering over in the corner.  You're gonna want to check this one out.   

While just as foreboding, Windhand's contributions to Reflection of the Negative are less gradual, which is simply to say, they get right to the point.  Other than a brief introduction of feedback and reverb from Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris, "Amaranth" boils over immediately when the guitarists' down-tuned riffs combine with the rhythm section of drummer Ryan Wolfe and of course, bassist Parker Chandler, to create a gloriously demented rumble that could easily wake the dead.  Dorthia Cottrell's ethereal vocals emerge as if through a haze created by the band's dense and heavy sound and the resulting amalgam is astounding.  "Shepherd's Crook" is the second track from Windhand, and its both longer, at nearly eleven minutes, and more unsettling than it's predecessor.  Opening with a buzzsaw guitar that drills its way into your conscience, the band eventually settles into an unsettling drone that'll leave you trance-like, until a guitar solo takes shape in the foggy chaos and you latch onto it like a lifeline.  Cottrell's muffled moans reach at you as if from the grave and before you know it, Windhand have you thinking bad, bad thoughts.  This is the sound of doom my friends…dirty, filthy doom.  You should do your best not to miss this one.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Lycus - "Tempest"

Depending on a multitude of circumstances, funerals can unfold any number of ways. If the dead has fulfilled his tenure and died peacefully in his sleep, services can operate more as a celebration of life. On the other hand, an untimely passing or long bout with illness can make for some dark reflections. Your mother is draped in head-to-toe black, your father is staring at his hands trying not to wince, and somewhere in the back is brewing a drunken diatribe from your aunt blaming everyone but herself.

What's the weather like in Oakland? Given the three haunting, mournful passages on the debut full-length from Lycus, you'd doubt they came from anywhere that ever sees the sun. Formed in 2008, the band has endured lineup changes, a full break-up, and a relocation to bring us current with the July 9th release of Tempest. How's your summer? Well, it's about to get pretty bleak. Melding a barrel of dirge with buckets of tears, Tempest is arriving just in time to keep you from taking anything for granted.

From the album's onset, the hollow thumps of Coma Burn predict no break in the procession. With drone riffs and doom pacing, there's no pretense and no deception. This is somber and pensive. The chants and growls are equally pained, more rueful than aggressive. Downward riff-mangles are split by eerie echoes, but we can only watch and wait as the gurgle meets the mire. Tin-drum space guitars wrap screeches in a sullen, smoky whisper that's slow and reflectively sad. Winds entwine the track's canopy, channeling what no longer walks. Hell... channeling what no longer breathes.

Engravings is an exercise in slow sonic extraction. The track is melodic and fluid, even when the drums spit and spurt against guitar-drawn mists. Via the hollow bounce of combating elements, the disc's theme is by now cemented in the dirty, frozen memory that's gonna ache like hell. The doom riffs here are massive, but there's an evolving, carnivorous filth that's drug out. Lycus may as well be smoking the bones of the long dead, shaking by a funeral pyre just trying to warm themselves.

The disc's title track is a twenty-minute crusher, but the clean mist of morning is an expansive introduction. Growing into a skittish, paranoid trek down a splintered-wood trail, Tempest is hooded and commanding. The strings begin to steal the show, but what's surprising is that they're neither distractive or extraneous. The elemental swirl progressively breathes and builds on a veil of choppy doom. There's even an odd thrash break, but the sway returns as guitar licks provide an awesome ambiguity. The thick contemplations realize a heady potential at the track's agonizing close. The buzzing transition from this world to the next pares down to little more than a lonely, icy stumble strewn with cobwebs. Don't bother looking back.

Lycus find their corner with an unsettling breed of dread that doesn't rely on explicit fear. What was feared already arrived and stole what was sacred. Heaviness comes in many forms, but a heart swollen and crushed may take the greatest toll. The passages are long and filled with questions, while the sporadic outbursts are natural and easy to forgive. This is one awfully, beautifully dark record. Wholly and unrelentingly painful, Lycus walk into grief with thick skin and mud-caked fists. Sit with the feeling, they'll tell you. It's the only way out.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Estoner - "The Stump Will Rise" / Motherslug - "Motherslug"

The Stoner Rock world is chock full of magnificent, electrifying music that bests anything, ANYTHING, played in mainstream forums. It amazes me that none of the publications I read, whether online or in print, seem to be aware of what goes on in the world of low tuned fuzz. Queens of the Stone Age gets prominent billing for an album that is a shadow of anything Kyuss ever produced save, perhaps, their initial release. Black Sabbath returns after several decades with a worthy effort that has everything but perhaps the heart of what once was, heart that now reverberates throughout the Stoner Rock world with bands that have taken up the mantle, trying desperately on one hand to achieve what the Black Sabbaths of the world have already achieved while simultaneously achieving what those aging bands no longer can. Heart is the key, and hunger is the driving force. Without hunger heart can't live. Without heart, hunger is absent. Perhaps the music we review on Heavy Planet reaches a small and passionate audience, one whose nearly matches that of the architects of the sound we crave, but I believe we have keyed into the absolute best music alternating current has to offer. If mainstream hasn't clued in on that fact . . . well, then they're relegated to listening to the Kanyes and Lumineers on offer, and pity to them, I guess. I'll take Estoner and Motherslug, today's featured Stoner Rock generators, any day, any time. I'm thankful it's there to take.


Okay, I'm late to the party on this album. It was released in October of 2012 and I have only recently become aware of its dulcet tones. Hah! Dulcet tones. Yes, but in a low, fuzzed out, distorted, shredded scrap metal sort of way! Estoner grind and slice through thick slabs of iron and steel with twin guitar shredders and a vocalist for the ages.

Hailing from Talinn, Estonia  band members include:

Corey Tomlins - Vocals
Ralf Vinkler - Guitar
Kristian Vallikivi - Guitar
Jaanus Luka - Bass
Anton Veeremets - Drums

Estoner became a full band in 2011 and spent months on the road honing their sound. A mini release of 3 songs during that time quickly sold out and gave the band impetus to create this septet of massive, deep metal melodies of psychedelic tendencies.

The sound Estoner have created is brilliant and unique. They employ a superfecta of unique, spine chilling vocals, multi shredding twin guitars that lay down the thick, jagged  pile of metal tapestries, brilliantly crafted melodies chock full of sharp steel hooks, unfolding and engrossing story lines, and engrossing rhythms.

The album opens with the superb "Greenseeker", a perfect representative of all that's great with "The Stump Will Rise", nearly 9 minutes in length, heavy, low, and deliberate, and showcasing both melody and Tomlins' unique, haunting vocals. Nowhere on the album is the mammoth driving power of Luka's bass more present than on track 2, "Meet the Abyss". "Darth Vader Has a Hangover" opens with an incredible duet of synchronized stoner rumble and a serene, almost acoustic treatment that morphs quickly into sheer power and monstrous driving riffs in an ode to the timeless space cowboy classic. "Stump" is an incredibly intriguing mix of deliberate driving power, and wild, nearly incongruous sounds dashing in, out, and around the methodical onslaught of the master melody. "Level 5 Wizard", as you might expect, takes a more ethereal, spiritual journey, while never leaving behind the heavy machinery on an extended trip of color and emotion, while "LSD Vampyr" continues the smoky, hazy journey of metallic fuzz, neither song to be outdone by the mega trippy, ultra shaggy "Mindweasels".

This album is one of a kind and if you are a fan of the fuzz and an appreciator of metal melody, as well as relishing singular vocals, you should find this album a cut above most. I regret not finding this jewel last year because it most certainly would have made my top 20 end of year list. It's the kind of album that gets better each time you listen to it, and sounds better with high quality headphones cranked up beyond what is healthy for these old rock and roll ears.

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Whenever I see that a band is a five piece I tend to get excited because most of the time it means dual guitars, which is certainly the case once again today with Motherslug. Guitars are what set the great music of the Stoner/Doom/Psychedelic world apart from all others because guitar is used to perfect effect much of the time, cranking out low, loud riff rhythms while shredding the dark energy of the universe with searing light beams of power and brilliance. Motherslug do that in spades, as they say. The guitars permeate to the core, to the very essence of existence in this powerful half hour experience.

Motherslug hail from Melbourne, Australia, having formed very recently in 2012 with what began as a mutual admiration of the music of Kyuss by

Ferg - Rhythm Guitar
Nick - Drums

who began jamming together and discovering a propensity for the low end heaviness of stoner rock, and so decided to add to the mix

Matt - Lead Guitar

who brought incredible depth and dexterity. It took some time for the fledgling band to find

Cyn - Bass

to round out the instrumental sound. It took several months more to find the right fit for the final instrument, but then along came

Cam - Vocals

a unique and perfectly matched talent whose vocal abilities are supreme and immediately evident when you first listen to Motherslug play. While his pipes are reminiscent of many of rock's great wordthrashers it retains its own unique and incredible sound.

This is a band that displays it all in their songs, and while the starting point for them is this self titled 4 track EP, it is very much massive in content and quality, providing riveting and explosive low end brilliance.

The opening track, "Symptoms (of the Human Race)" hearkens back to classic sounds of seventies metal as well as evoking the nimble melodies of high desert masters of the nineties and beyond. "Rollin'" carries the gargantuan sound forward with a classic blues rock theme married beautifully to massive metal riffs and licks of gargantuan proportions, overwrought with spacey, haunting laser beam solos. The deliberate, "Devils Rise" is a slow rolling river of sound forcing its current of monstrosities to carry you along until you succumb to its dark depths, while "Space Man" lives up to its billing with a psychedelic din that sits squarely on top of your chest threatening to interrupt the natural rhythms within with an intruding enormity of decibel distortion, leaving your only recourse to yield to the mercies and vagaries of its low tuned capriciousness.

"Motherslug" hits the mark dead center with their maiden release, providing a worthy collection of massive stoner melodies. I look very much forward to their first full length album, but I also simply look forward to once again spinning this beauty up once again.

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Friday, June 21, 2013




We are called "While A Mortal Albatross Makes Noise" and formed last year.
All of us are Nanzan University students and are in our twenties.

Akihiro Ito (Bass and Vocal)
Ryosuke Okubo (Guitar)
Sou Yoshizawa (Drums)

We like Doom/Stoner rock. For example, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, Black Sabbath, Halfway to Gone and The Heavy Eyes. 

Here are our songs.


"All I have to say is two strong and inviting words...FUCK YES!!. Over the past 5-plus years we have never featured a "New Band To Burn One To" from Japan on Heavy Planet. Well the time has finally come! We knew that some great bands existed in the land of the rising sun (Boris, Corrupted, Church of Misery) just to name a few, but somehow the country of Japan has eluded the hallowed pages of Heavy Planet. Today we introduce the muddied blues doom of While a Mortal Albatross Makes Noise (pretty badass name huh?). Their latest EP is filled with nasty down-trodden heaviness that will leave you in awe. First track "(Kill With The) Gauntlet" starts out with a steady bass line. The song gradually progresses with a snapping snare and a heavy fuzz that  leaves your ears ringing for hours. The fuzzfest continues on the unwavering stoner rocker "Black Hawk Down". My favorite track "F.A.D." is up next,  a heavy blues jaunt complete with a great groove and sing-a-long vocal that  is totally infectious. The tone is absolutely absurd around the three-minute mark. The EP unfortunately has to come to and end but not until you are blasted by an aural explosion on closing track "Outsiders". The lyrics are sung in the band's native tongue which adds to the regionality of  the band's sound. This is heavy music as heavy music should be played. Highly recommended for those looking for some new Stoner/Doom." 

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

LP Review - Toner Low "III"

Toner Low are a band from the Netherlands that formed in 1998 and their latest release "III" is their 3rd release, of course. They say you should never judge a book by its cover and I suppose the same could be said for a CD, tape or LP, but with Toner Low's latest, the cover is quite telling and very inviting indeed.

Continuing on from 2008's "II" with tracks simply titled "Phase 1-5", "III" contains tracks "Phase 6-9" and what Toner Low bring here is more of their ultra heavy psych-doom with a low end tone that is so damn low and driving that it bores a hole right into your chest like a 1,000 ton tunnel boring machine. I had an actual complaint from my landlord that the bass was too heavy and was rattling his windows downstairs so I waited until I knew he would be out before I cranked this mother of an album up, fired up a bowl or 3 and immersed myself in the very heavy weight frequencies laid forth by Toner Low on "III".

"Phase 6" begins with backwards percussion leading to churning and tumbling riffs and thunderous drum work with a sonic weight behind it all that is so resonant that it rattles everything within a wide area. Distant cries call from within the bass onslaught and heavily effected and grimy guitar licks squirm in and out as this huge monstrosity of a track breathes in and out vast clouds of thick green smoke.

"Phase 7" hangs on some electronic hum for a brief moment before plunging and hypnotic riffs take the tone lower still, the track sloths along in no hurry at all, giving the listener the chance to savor every rib rattling frequency. There are fleeting calmer moments but soon the massive throb returns but this time adding even more weight showing that explorations in heavy music are not limited by anything but imagination and Toner Low show here that theirs is of a kind fixed firmly on experimenting with the low tone. This track ends in a chaos of twisting psychedelic noise that had me thinking of a Butthole Surfers live show with Gibby and his "Gibbytronix" in all its full on bad trip splendor.

"Phase 8" opens with vague and droning organs and plodding drums followed by atmospheric and moody bass and guitar jams that float dreamily, lulling the listener into a peaceful trance. The tracks drops to the organ drone for a moment before the huge plunging bass heavy riffs are unleashed with the organ sounding out louder to aid in an almost evangelical praise at the alter of the riff within the church of the heavy. Godly chants sound out a cosmic prayer while relentless riff delivery gives pleasing massages to the soul. It is so easy to get lost within the trance that Toner Low induce so when they have unexpected breaks in their groove, one is woken from the trance suddenly where Toner Low lay on even heavier and hypnotically groovy riffs with which to savor. It's a very clever move by Toner Low as it kept me interested in what I was hearing.

"Phase 9" drifts from silence towards a catchy bass line and quiet radio interference and drifting feedback. A lazy swaggering riff and complimentary drum thuds and smacks kicks things into gear to unfold a heavily stoned behemoth of depth dwelling noise. Creepy echoing guitars sneak in to give an uneasy edge before descending into filthy sludge dregs that pushes my bass cab to its limits. I had to turn the bass down a bit for fear of my windows cracking or me getting a nose bleed. This is Toner Low at their most dark and repressive and is easily on a par with the horrifying bleakness of bands like Moss and Cough. The singer turns his voice to eerie choir singing that adds an ancient vibe of mysterious monks chanting in the cold stone darkness of some long forgotten crypt. The chanting vanishes to leave a barrage of weighty and memorable riffs that culminate in an instrumental freak out which then drops to lone bass line followed by a quietly weeping piano melody which ends the track in an emotive send off for Toner Low's "III".

Get over to their Bandcamp now to purchase this landmark and essential release in the world of heavy music.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Zac's "Double Dose": BUMMER / The Ravenna Arsenal


BUMMER: Young Ben Franklin EP 

This weeks first 'Dose are new to the pages of Heavy Planet and new to the scene. Bummer, huh? No! The name of the band is BUMMER and please don't let the idea of inexperience fool you, because it could cost you. Why? Simply because these guys are angry. Plain angry. This Kansas City based trio create an aggressive model of "neanderthal" noise rock. Implementing measures of sludge and punk rock BUMMER clarify in ten minutes what it has taken "shrinks" years diagnose and solve regarding anger management problems. Let it out and the issues could be cleared up in a matter of minutes... and that is exactly what you'll get here on Young Ben Franklin EP. Three songs, each running approximately running two and a half minutes. Just enough to break a sweat and forget about whatever it was that pissed you off in the first place. Check out my favorite track Good News and drown in all that thick and juicey bass. Then head over to BUMMER's bandcamp page to download the EP... it's FREE and who the hell doesn't have the need to release some of that tension?

Matt Perrin - Guitar // Vocals 
Mike Gustafson - Bass 
Sam Hunter - Drums


The Ravenna Arsenal: I. 

This weeks second 'Dose are not new to the pages of Heavy Planet. The Ravenna Arsenal were introduced as a NBTBOT a couple years ago and the quartet of progressively minded music melders have caused a whole lot of panic in Eastern Ohio. Having opened for the mighty Karma To Burn and playing gigs with other local Ohio and Pennsylvania bands The Ravenna Arsenal hit the studio to record their debut effort I. I. was released this past February heralding a concoction of experimental stoner rock, a constant evolution of sound. From the moment track two The Wild Dogs of Giza begins listeners will find what sounds like a familar and friendly stoner jam session. The song soon after transitions to some flamboyant classic rockin' and then onto what sounds like a take from Queens of the Stone Age type desert session. The Ravenna Arsenal then go full doom on the very next track The Desert Shows No Mercy. The doom doesn't last too long before they are manipulating The Desert... into a post-rock soundscape. Strange and dis-jointed at times, but I. leaves this listener in utter surprise at each twist and turn. Even the most seasoned music fan won't be ready for the metamorphosis of The Ravenna Arsenal throughout I. As we stretch deeper the musical progression continues to evolve, from the clashing cymbals and machine gun drumming found on Fire Moth to the distorted garage crunch and the rousing poppy hooks on The Pregnant Void. Hell, there are even moments during The Pregnant Void that I hear influences of The Darkness... The bloody Darkness! Strange indeed. Don't miss The Pregnant Void below and if you feel you need to keep on guessing spin the rest of I. at bandcamp.

Aaron Shay 
Bill Govan 
Ken Royer 
Mike Shea

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Exclusive Song Stream: Rozamov Announce New EP Details and July Tour Dates

Boston sludge metal quartet Rozamov have announced July 2nd as the release date for their second EP Of Gods and Flesh. The EP will be self-released digitally and on CD through Bandcamp before the band embarks on a tour of the Northeast and Midwest (dates below). Of Gods and Flesh was recorded and mixed by AJ Peters (Batillus, Summoner, Olde Growth) at Q Division Studios in Somerville. Pre-Orders are now available for physical and digital formats with a vinyl release planned for later in the year.

Rozamov was born in the fall of 2011 by guitarists Matt Iacovelli and Liz Walshak, bassist Tom Corino and drummer Will Hendrix. The band recorded their debut self-titled EP at Black Coffee Sound with producer Clay Neely (Black Pyramid, Elder, Vaporizer) in February of 2012. The EP was self-released in March 2012 for free download, which created a buzz in the doom and sludge blogosphere.

Tour Dates:

July 11th- Brooklyn, NY @ The Acheron w/ Jucifer & Vaporizer

July 12th- Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Sunburster & Vaporizer

July 13th- Silver Spring, MD @ Joe’s Record Paradise w/ Akris, Wall of Sleep

July 14th- Frederick MD @ Lallo’s w/ Akris & TBA

July 15th- Columbus, OH @ The Summit w/ Ves & Torgor

July 16th – Louisville, KY @ Magbar w/ Great Floods, Crippled Tongue & Empira Vultura

July 17th- Rockford, IL @ Disastr House w/ Porno Horse, Hot Mess & Evidence of Arachnids

July 18th- Chicago, IL @ Grandbar w/ TBA

July 19th- Appleton, WI @ TBA

July 20th- Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class w/ Venomin James

Now, prepare to have your eardrums caved-in as we debut the lead track "Famine" from the soon to be released EP "Of Gods and Flesh" by Rozamov exclusively right here on Heavy Planet! Blast this shit!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

In Case You Missed It: Across Tundras/Lark's Tongue - Split LP

A couple of weeks ago in his Double Dose, Zac reviewed Electric Relics, the latest slab of Americana inspired doom from Nashville's Across Tundras.  And given that I was a huge fan of the band's 2011 effort Sage, I jumped at the opportunity to hear what he so eloquently described as "the soundtrack for the traveling lonely en route to desolation."  So you can imagine my surprise when I opened the band's website in search of said album and discovered yet another new record, itself barely three months old.  Turns out…back in March, Across Tundras teamed up with a heavy psyche band out of Peoria, Illinois called Lark's Tongue and released one hell of a split LP.  Of course, as the theme of this feature suggests…we quite obviously missed it, and now I'm here to remedy that unfortunate oversight.

Featuring two tracks from each band and a run time of over half an hour, this is more than your typical split 7 inch.  Beginning with the Across Tundras contributions, the album opens with a lush expanse of droning guitar that eventually gives way to a twangy lumber and Tanner Olson's whisky soaked warble…"in the ruins of the house of the rising sun."  This is the epic "Low Haunts," which by itself, easily makes up a third of the LP as it rumbles in and out of gorgeous guitar flourishes and never once forsakes the ponderous plod of its rhythm or the resonance of its honky tonk textures.  This you gotta hear.  "Crux to Bear" is the second offering from Across Tundras and it provides a glimpse into the band's heavier side.  While still managing multiple shifts in tempo, the track is a much more straight forward affair that even sneaks a catchy hook into the mix as Olson sings…"if the stars ever align, I'm as good as gone."  

As I mentioned, side two of this split LP is dedicated to Lark's Tongue, with whom I was not familiar prior to hearing these songs.  On "Follow Your Nightmares," the band introduces themselves with jangly guitars that merge with ethereal effects and a resounding rhythm section, creating a depth of sound that continues to expand as far as your mind will allow.  The atmospheric stamp of post-metal is evident, so it should come as no surprise that Lark's Tongue features a couple of the guys from avant-doomsters Minsk.  And if the dichotomy between the beautifully harmonized vocals and the demented doom found on "Aluminum" is any indication, then this is most certainly a band that Heavy Planet will be keeping a very close eye on in the future. 

So how about that?  Zac writes about one killer album…I go in search of it and discover not only another killer album, but a new killer band to boot?  Now that's what I call a double fucking dose.  So on behalf of my colleague, I'd like to say to heavy music fans everywhere…you're welcome.  Enjoy.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Grime - "Deteriorate"

Spells of sobbing and flickering tics of anxiety weren't on the menu this morning. I awoke to discover a developing tandem of nausea and disorientation while a dullness masked the grim reality of what's really happening. I hit the showers thinking I'd feel better after scraping and scrubbing at the awful, scabbed memory of torment and violation. Nothing seems to be helping. I suppose I'll just disassociate, crawl into poor health, and fantasize on some form of violent vengeance. But let's be serious; you don't just move on from something that just crushed your faith in humanity.

We first featured Trieste, Italy's Grime more than fifteen months ago, caking our flesh with their self-titled bouillabaisse of filth, fire, and sickness. Well, things have only gotten worse, and the end result is devastating and delicious. Welcome back their unsettling audio plucks and screeching track transitions, but try not to gape as you witness Grime's depravity as a swollen, snarling beast. Torturous riffs, barbed rhythms, and more than a soul's share of induced vomiting mark Deteriorate as a gigantic sophomore stride.

Damn, this feels so dirty. The skull-splitting hatred of Burning Down The Cross is heavy, lumbering, and organ-piercing. The guitar squeals may as well be the cries of the masses, damned by fate and blackened with fire. Marco's vocals operate as both victim and offender, throwing a gurgle that can't be fixed with green tea and honey. The churn and the chortle dig through graves, all the while grinning through Chris' black-toothed drum stomp. Relentless and heavy-handed, Grime are as vile a band as you'll find.

Down By The River Of Dreg fills a room with thick smoke, a slow suffocation of the world you've known. The repetition is coated in tar, caked with blood, and by now you've realized there's no reprieve here. You're knee-deep in shit, and shifting to a slow-motion catapult pointed at the killing fields is met with the last hope that your neck snaps on the way out. There's more rhythmic movement on Deep Cut, hinting at blues until the mallet makes another crack. It's unbearably slow, demonstrating Grime's patience with their own death rattle.

For all their crushing, Grime also maintain plenty of control. Restless Man and Pills craft a zero-hour dual descent into depravity. Imagine being lifted from your feet and dangled above gnashing hounds. Riffs boil your bones and the vocal sets fire to dirty panties. Hazy and violently meditative, the album's second half is surprisingly just as unsettling as its first. Plunging deeper and chopping at your senses, Idiot God closes the album as a complete amalgam of all the band offers. Thick, malevolent, abrasive... sure. But more importantly, Grime seem to reject all that is mainstream and embrace what's utterly distasteful.

Deteriorate is one slow, steady drill to the skull as you choke on your own blood. Make no mistake, you're gonna feel degraded, sore, and ashamed of yourself for enjoying this one. Grime's rusty blade punctures your chest at a snail's pace, recognizing that the slow and dull is far more painful than the sharp and frantic. Take a shot o' whiskey and bite down on a twig. And good luck pretending this never happened.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Switchblade Jesus - "Switchblade Jesus" / Ten Foot Wizard - "Return to the Infinite"

If you're standing in the desert, and it's unbearably, insufferably, almost otherwordly hot, with no replenishing liquids anywhere in sight, nor have there been for ages, a condition so barren and sere you've had to settle for the occasional scrawny cactus and the fetid, malodorous secretions within that try to pass for true potability . . . because you thought that was all that was left after long ago leaving behind the life defining oasis brimming with cool, crystal pools, thunderous waterfalls, and rare, exotic entities awash with wonderment and awe, an oasis that infused you with sustenance, conviction, and a confident notion this must be only one such empyrean spot along a long and arduous journey. After a time it became apparent the oasis was a singular stop and so you sustain its memory across the treacherous expanses of banality and tedium, feeding occasionally upon the vapid tidbits that sprout sporadically along the way. But then, almost out of the blue, as you stoop to inspect a small cactus whose pulp in past burgeonings was mildly flavorsome, comes unseen, unsuspecting deliverance like an avalanche of pureness and enrichment, crystal blue refreshment that infuses and soaks you instantly in restorative waves of never before experienced magnificence, pummeling you in wave after wave of sheer pleasure and satisfaction. This oasis you will not leave because there is too much to ever fully experience. Each trip within unveils something new, something that will ultimately and completely satisfy your thirst for the purest, life sustaining libations.

That is stoner rock. An unending, quenching wave that recognizable no matter when or from where you fill your cup, providing the utmost quality and a unique refreshment that is deeply satisfying each time you partake.

Today we partake of two fine and splendid goblets of potent potation. Enjoy.


Upon first listening to Switchblade Jesus you may be hit with some conflicting reactions. They certainly play stoner rock and they sound like much of the rest of the stoner rock world available throughout the webisphere and beyond. But then you realize, hey, they play stoner rock and they sound damn good! There is deep, demonstrable musicianship and passion on each track. That combination is the hallmark of metal acceptability - the ability to not just play and sing, but to demonstrate a fierce, abiding aptitude as well as massively relishing the opportunity to play. Switchblade Jesus go decidedly deep down those pathways with the 8 tracks on this proud, prominent production.

Hailing from oil and tar country, these Texans from Corpus Christi include members:

Peter Quarnstrom - Vocals
Eric Calvert - Guitar
Billy Guerra - Guitar
Jason Beers - Bass
Jon Elizondo - Drums

The opening track is a sweet, melancholy introduction that segues beautifully into the first 'electric' song, "Bastard Son", a powerful blues rock romp that serves mightily as a launching point to the music that follows on both the song and the album. Deep and heavy riffs are overlaid by deft, delirious solos that pierce through the fuzz and distortion coursing through the airwaves. The tempo throughout the album is steady and compelling, always expounding an appetizing blues rock vibe while filling the air with thick filaments of low tuned, deep stoner fuzz. The vocals are perfectly matched with a massive tonal quality adept in range and volume while the twin guitars provide multi-faceted riffs and spellbinding rock licks. Big broadsword bass riffs rumble mightily through the album, while the drums provide buoyant clarity. "The Wolves" follows immediately upon the conclusion of "Bastard Son", hooking the listener deep into molasses thick melodies. "Sick Mouth", "Equinox", "Renegade Riders", and "Copperhead" carry you along on a knee deep river of whiskey, diesel fuel, and sludge, permeating deeply into your pores and setting you up for the climactic and beautifully rendered "Oblivion", a memorable and noteworthy song that easily takes it place in the pantheon of great stoner, blues rock songs.

There are a limited number of rock albums worth our fleeting time and limited resources and you can bet Switchblade Jesus have delivered something well worthy of both.

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Sometimes a one off project turns out to be so good, so popular, it must be carried further along than originally intended. Ten Foot Wizard is such a project, originally intended as a diversion for members of Manchester's Bisonhammer back in 2009 the band has since developed a major life and reputation as a live act of brilliance and heat, culminating in the 2013 release of "Return to the Infinite"

"Return to the Infinite" is a ten track package of dynamite and nitro, wrapped in a big fuzzy ribbon of whiskey soaked blue denim. All the markers are huge on this album. Melody? Yeah, the songs are catchy, hooky, and memorable. Great writing throughout. Vocals? Yeah, the reach and dexterity displayed on this album is a classic rock voice of deep quality and range. No yelling, no thinness, just thick and heavy, matching that of the riff laden guitars. Speaking of guitars - riffs, licks, solos, all incredible, athletic, sweet, and satisfying. Blues is the cornerstone. Fuzz is the echo. Retro, stoner rock is the label. Massiveness is the delivery, with a heaping helping of well done structure. Bass is a gargantuan weapon of thunder rolling reverberations. Drums blast away like grapefruit sized hail on a two by four structure of freshly started houses in the new addition to a classic rock neighborhood. Each song delivers a magnificent and mighty rock experience, beginning with a song straight out of the bicentennial decade, "Rise From Your Grave", with melodic delivery so thick and fierce you could easily envision the dead coming to life just to find tickets to the next live showing. The titles on these 10 songs are brilliant in and of themselves, but the cleverness and ingenuity doesn't stop at the monikers. Devilish, delightful rock tunes, crammed to the brim with thick, gravelly riffs and sunburst solos await you through "Vulture Bitches", "Real Love", and "Medicine". "Six Feet Rising" is eight minutes of slow burning buildup and avalanche delivery. Fun is represented perfectly on "Saturnalia" and "Fuck!", both tunes taking the reins and cutting loose, providing a devilish atmosphere of pleasure with a whiff of brimstone. Hooks aplenty abound on "The Storm", while mossy, sludgy blues swamp licks are hammered out in abandon on "End of the Line". The title track closes this superb album out with a nine minute psychedelic foray laden with a retro rock blues hammer that smolders and fizzes in a buildup of massive melody.

This album is quality and could very well be considered as a top album of the year once all is said and done.

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