Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Band to Burn One To: The Playlist-Volume 3

Welcome to another edition of the "New Band To Burn One To" playlist. This week we have a whole new batch of killer tracks for you to check out. New songs from Black Tusk, Venomin James, Wo Fat and Monster Magnet as well as songs from some incredible new bands such as Floodriders, Iron Swan and The Ruiner. So cue up this bad boy and prepare to have your face melted off. Thanks for listening!
TRACKLIST:

Black Prism-Satan's Country
Black Tusk-In Days of Woe
Chiefs - Tomorrow's Over
Dead Canyon - Just Enough Rope
Electric Lords -Messiah
Far Away Town -Surreal
Floodriders -We Know Stuff
Iron Swan -Fuzz Witch
Magma Rise-The Man in the Maze
Monolith -Hole
Monster Magnet - The Duke (of Supernature)
Solar Corona - Samara
Sonora Ritual -Child Of The Sun
The Ancient Secrets Of Levitation - Protozoic
The Ruiner -The Bull
The Valley -Clearwater (2007)
Venomin James -Sailor's Grave
Volto! -Tocino
Wo Fat -Electric Hellhound
Yidhra -Witch Queen

Please remember, if you like what you hear go to the band's page to get information on how to purchase their music and merchandise. Most are available through Bandcamp!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

LP Review - "Let It Come From Whom It May" by Tyranny Is Tyranny



Tyranny Is Tyranny are from Madison WI and describe themselves as a post-noiserock band focusing on dynamics, repetition, and the dismantling of capitalism, featuring former members of The United Sons Of Toil they lay down long-form slabs of bleak dynamics and left-wing outrage. The 7 songs on this album bring angsty yet well considered politicisms ranging from the furious punk rock howls of "Down the K-Hole" to the post-metalist atmospherics of "Apostasy ".

Kicking off with "Manufacturing Truth" the stage is set with a song which is, I think, aimed at the mainstream media's tendency to twist information and even outright lie in favor of any given political agenda but this is not a wild rant but a righteous song that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. There is some simple but very highly charged riffage and riotous fist raising noiserock-outs with surly growls that point an accusatory finger at the MSM, and rightly so. "Owned by Thieves" follows in a similar vein but this time in the form of an anguished lament to the state of affairs we now find ourselves in; so tragically fooled by a parasitic few.

"Down the K-Hole" lays on howling and dirty noiserock that is as punk as Tyranny Is Tyranny get on this album with throaty slurs and energetic bashing of instruments that builds the tension with head nodding riffs, pounding bass and frantic drumming bringing the track to its inevitable conclusion.

"The Haze of Childhood" brings a mournful ambient instrumental with soft tones, sweet twangs and sparse percussion that could be mistaken for the intro to a 40 minute post-metal opera but the song lies down softly and drifts away into an introspective drone at 4:46 which leads to "Apostasy." This song builds with soft  notes and thoughtful vocals until the meat of the track heaves in at about the 1 minute mark with a heavy riff  interspersed with feedback screeches. The song then takes off into stirring post-metal, piling on the emotive nature that the song has and creating the image of a man in despair at the realization that he has been fooled by a book.

"The American Dream is a Lie" opens gently until guitar, bass and simple drumming tease with repetitive notes that build towards an unleashing of heavy riffs and a declaration that a whole nation has been lied to. I'm in no position to comment on such a statement as I'm from the UK but we have our own, equally dire situations of establishment corruption, the gradual eroding of our rights and an ocean of lies that stinks to high heaven. I can sympathize with the sentiments of this song which can easily fit into the situation on any westernized country. No, scrap that, any country around the world which has a government.
Finally "Always Stockholm, Never Lima" concludes the album with some catchy experiments in noise rock and a comment on a political situation that I am afraid I know next to nothing about but as a song, it is a great way to end this great first album from Tyranny Is Tyranny.

Highly recommended to fans of Cult of Luna, Isis, Fall of Efrafa and Light Bearer and equally recommended to those of you who like politically charged music, Tyranny Is Tyranny's "Let It Come From Whom It May" is due for a vinyl release in October but can be streamed in its entirety at their Bandcamp now.




Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Cult Of Occult - "HIC EST DOMUS DIABOLI"



Call yourself an expert all you want, Dr. Griffis, but distinguishing between "cult" and "occult" based on a mail order degree from some phone book university doesn't qualify you to tell me the difference between a puddle o' sludge and a puddle o' shit. Your right arm is God, your left arm is Satan. Full moons, pentagrams, numbered sequences, dismembered bodies... Ah, hell. I don't wanna get into this with you right now, Dale. It's Sunday morning, you've already done a fine job of pissing me off, and I just need some doom to go with my coffee.

Zac's Double Dose introduced us to Cult Of Occult more than a year ago, pumping the French sludge/doom quartet's self-titled effort as "deafening repression." On HIC EST DOMUS DIABOLI, the band's second release in as many years, the wrought toil and scabbed senses stretch and stain between thick slabs of crushing riffs and pagan rhythms. Is there any significance to the fact that this album contains three tracks? Well, not nearly as much as what these three tracks deliver.

Squeaking and squalling between grinding teeth, In Vino Veritas soaks its bones with long-opening feedback. Cult Of Occult take their time boiling a gnashing buzz that sticks like sweet, pureed spinach. But calling their sound "doom" is a vast understatement, evident by the harrowing filth and shrouded, cavernous vocal clubbing. The bookends of hums and raining flames can't keep the anguished licks from stealing center stage. This sound won't appeal to anyone looking for destroyed hope; it's likely to entice those who never held any hope in the first place.

Where many bands seek to exorcise demons, Cult Of Occult welcome malice and ask if it needs any help. Requiem is carved hollow at its midsection, slowing from a trickle to a drop-by-drop struggle. Labored breathing and a cracked sternum may form a relatively good day as the band lights up and singes elemental distinction. When the track rises to an enraged second wind, you'd better have your path figured out. Light a candle? Curse your darkness? This track does neither. It's too busy cudgeling your skull to consider your disposition.

Not nearly as self-indulgent as it sounds is a seventeen-minute emergence of assured and expanding depravity on Magna Eripe. Slow, piss-puddle caution quickly relents and your sermon is destroyed. Body-doubling riffage sends all convention and expectation due South, darkening all it encounters and shoving a bootheel into your larynx. The ungodly thickness spirals into viral filth, coagulating only to be slowly ripped apart again. Massive walls collapse and the disc's denouement is a sonic shroud of weathered submission. It all led up to this, y'know?

Years ago, a band like this would have been marginalized, left to carry out their aim in secluded woods and hidden caves. Cult Of Occult don't seek to masquerade Satan as an angel of light; we're fully advised of what's happening, and this band shoves it down our tender throats. The rhythms are slow, the riffs are absolutely gigantic, and the altar is denigrated and defiled at the hands of otherworldly sludge. Forget symbolism and suspicion; focus more on what's readily apparent: this evil isn't hiding from anything.



Friday, July 26, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: ZOM

HEAVY PLANET PRESENTS...ZOM!


BAND BIO:

ZOM is a powerful mystic entity that exists only to destroy. This extradimensional force is of unknown origin but resides in eternity beyond all worlds, beyond all time. ZOM was momentarily imprisoned but has been freed from the amphora and the chains of living bondage to begin the rampage and bring down the temple.

ZOM is a brand new project from experienced music vets Gero von Dehn (Pittsburgh, PA) and Andrew D’Cagna (Martin's Ferry, Ohio). These two multifaceted musicians have played in multitudes of bands over many years and toured the nation from Seattle to NYC. Gero von Dehn has most recently led the rock n’ roll outfit, Shovel Duck (also with D’Cagna) sang for groove-heavy metallers, Von Dane and fronted Fear Itself before that. D’Cagna can also be heard playing bass for the buzzworthy occult rock act, Brimstone Coven. Prior to that D’Cagna showed off his vocal chops in the true metal band Dofka and ripped the 6-string for the ultra groovy Wilderkin.

These two have combined forces once again to create ZOM, a monstrous force of heavy rock n' roll full of stinky, stoner grooves and grab-you-by-the-throat hooks. ZOM goes straight to the gut and doesn't stop its relentless attack until the album ends. The debut self titled album was recorded and mixed at D’Cagna’s Sacred Sound Studio in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. Anxiously awaited, the debut release from ZOM is sure to meet, if not exceed its high expectations.

Additional notes: Special appearance by Justin Wood from Black Plastic Caskets (guitar solos on "Alien" and "Gifters") and album cover artwork by Creighton Hill.

THOUGHTS:

"It's always cool when you discover a band that is based in the city you live in. This band simply known as ZOM is currently based in Pittsburgh and consists of two metal veterans. The band plays a scorching brand of stoner metal. With an infectious groove, tight riffs and metal attitude the band electrifies on their latest self-titled EP. The EP opens with the heavy groove of "Nebulos/Alien" followed by the mud-slinging southern stomp of "Burning". The vocals are raspy and powerful and coalesce with the music very well. The track "Solitary" is a gritty and emotional slow-paced ballad with melodic harmonies and a killer build-up. The EP ends on a high note with the crunchy metal rocker "There's Only Me". 
Fire one up and give these dudes a listen!" 

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

EP Review - ".​.​.​And Bear Witness To The Colossus​.​.​." by Winters.



 "…And Bear Witness To The Colossus…" retells the story of the 1969 moon landing in an alternate universe and ends with the demise of all humankind. It has space travel, religion, death, destruction. Thematically, it's everything you could want from an aggressive band aside from nautical."

Winters could be classed as a mix of Hardcore, post-Metal and Sludge and what these 5 Scots have produced with their debut EP is some seriously heavy, noisy and downright pulverising forms of those 3 genres. The subject matter is very interesting indeed and a quote from their Bandcamp states Winters are "Born from ideas and concepts over months and years" with those ideas and concepts being drawn from various musical styles, film, television, history, comics, games and anything else that manages to bleed into their songs. 

The 3 tracks on this brilliant EP are right in your face making it impossible not to sit up and take notice. The barrage of noise is beautifully relentless, reminding me of some of the work from the likes of Black Sheep Wall; the guitars and bass being tuned low, razor edged double kick drums where appropriate, passionately growled HC style vocals all played at a hectic pace with section changes so quick that if your ears could blink you would miss them. I was quite simply enthralled by the experience of hearing this EP and I came away feeling amped up, full of energy and determination, exactly how these 3 songs are played.

As much as I love ultra heavy and super slow doom and sludge, I find it refreshing to come across a band like Winters that stick to a mostly Hardcore sound but add huge weight to the songs they have crafted. If you like fast paced Hardcore with elements of post-Metal with a hint of Sludge then Winters is where it's at.

Grab their EP now from their Bandcamp where it's available as a "name your own price" download. 



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Zac's "Double Dose": Chili Cold Blood / The Devil Rides Out


Chili Cold Blood: And Now The Dawn

Chili Cold Blood aren't new to the pages of Heavy Planet. Introduced as a NBTBOT back in 2010 Chili Cold Blood were then an eight year old Texas blues rock project with over a handful of releases under their belt. Getting a stealth message via email from Chili Cold Blood's own guitar ace, I was informed that the fellas would be releasing their seventh album and celebrating ten years of heavy, southern-fried, blues rock. What can you expect from the Austin, Texas based gang with their upcoming release? Well, all I can share at this time is a killer cut of a raw recording for Drivin' Rain, a single from the unnamed and upcoming album. Like a stoned and completely fuzzed out form of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Texas blues Chili Cold Blood inject a good measure of distorted grunge into Drivin' Rain. The vocals appear as abrasive as the sandpaper RIFFS and the track soon transitions into the Superstitious inspired Chasin' Amy. Check it out below and hit up Chili Cold Blood at facebook or any place you can reach them.

   

 *Great news, after writing this promo up I stumbled onto Chili Cold Blood's bandcamp page where their seventh release, entitled And Now The Dawn, is streaming in its entirety. Be sure to check out the studio recording of Drivin' Rain, now sounding much fuller with a bit of 80's thrash attitude and a steel guitar.

Members: 
Dave Wesselowski - Bass 
Doug Strahan - Guitar // Vocals 
Ethan Shaw - Pedal Steel // Vocals 
Matt Puryear - Drums

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The Devil Rides Out: The Righteous Walk [Single] 

This week's second 'Dose are an Australian four-piece full of blues ignited hell-fire. Welcome The Devil Rides Out and their latest single The Righteous Walk from their Ugly Creatures EP. Normally producing a down-tuned and heavy-as-hell form of stoner doom The Devil Rides Out take a step back and release an eclectic blues track. Boasting a Johnny Cash inspired swagger The Devil Rides Out trample the pavement below their feet with a resolute confidence in this experimental sound. Adding a soulful character the band implement a harmony from the keys, which lie under the tremendous crunch of the rhythym section. Joey K's gravelly and passionate vocal delivery are robust and top off the musical masterpiece flawlessly. Check out the official video below and if you find you need more than a single the entire Ugly Creatures EP is up for grabs at bandcamp now.

 

Members: 
Andrew Ewing - Guitar // Vocals 
Joey K - Vocals 
Nathan Sproule - Drums 
Scott Paterson - Bass


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Band to Burn One To: The Playlist-Volume 2

Last week we tried something a little different with Tuesday's edition of the "New Band To Burn One To". We decided to feature a playlist of some new songs by known bands as well as some by bands we believe you should know. Anyhow, the response was pretty damn good by being played 163 times thus far. This week we have another awesome playlist featuring new songs by Brutus, Elvis Deluxe and the legendary Chicago doom lords Trouble.as well as some killer tunes from newcomers Super Snail, Ol' Time Moonshine, ZOM and many more. So fire up your favorite device and feel the fuzz!
Bone Thrower - Ct Burning
Brutus - The Witches Remains
Church of Misery-Brother Bishop
Earthen Grave - Death Is Another Word . . .
Elvis Deluxe -Out Of Life
Lion Farm - Spirit Of Evil
Loading Data - Double Disco Animal Style
Lost Realms -Indifferent Oblivion Woolslayer
Ol' Time Moonshine -Devil, Doctor, Demonseed
RA DOG -The Holy Demon
SCORPION CHILD - Liquor
Sierra -Control Folly
Super Snail-Sunset Fuzz
The Armiger - Two Guns
The Devil Rides Out - Burn Again
Trouble -When the Sky Comes Down
Valient Thorr -Manipulation
We Buffalo- We'll Head West
ZOM-Burning

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: TEMPTER

HEAVY PLANET PRESENTS...TEMPTER!


BAND BIO:

Year 2011 Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. In the shadows demons hear the call of the Tempter, the representatives of the dark have been elected and the agreement has been signed, Samoan Cazares and his soulless rithms, Cadaver Zermeno lord of time and Calavera Serrano decaying strings invoke the congregation and set in motion the epilogue to the present era of man. Shortly after the call comes to the voice of Waterfalls Hernandez who joins the covenant, and with his brothers carry the melodies of sin and damnation. 

So far Guadalajara has been the epicenter of the rites of initiation, the time has come, the fallen have to rise and proclaim their rightful place, the throne belongs to the Dark Lord and his sound is the gift to mankind.

Samoano Cázares - Bass
Cascadas Hernández - Vocals
Greñudo Serrano - Guitar
Cadaver Zermeño - Drums

THOUGHTS:

"Incorporating equal parts stoner, sludge and thrash these 4 dudes from Guadalajara, Jalisco, México know how to bring the heavy. Channeling their inner demons, Tempter conjures up a swirling mosh pit of tar-glazed riffs, shredding metal groove and head-banging fury. Tunes such as the aptly titled "D" (which I assume stands for Demon/Devil) and the heavy blues of "Lady Stoner" show the band's penchant for all things evil. Throw in a some psychedelic sound effects and an obsession for eighties metal and you have the makings for  one hell of a five-song skull-bashing. Fun times!!

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Khünnt - "Dead Eyes"


Apparently there's nothing wrong at the neighbor's house. I could've testified to hearing someone being brutalized just across the driveway considering the screams and chaos emerging from an unpinned source. That's the problem with any decent pair of headphones. I find myself ripping out the buds and pausing for fifteen seconds to make sure there isn't some primitive beast darting up my stairs. Even if the old dude next-door enjoys the company, I still feel like a tool for my 1:00am visit to ask if he's been stabbed.

As it turns out, Newcastle's Khünnt were the source of confusion. The off-shot bloody Barbie doll being clawed to shreds was the band's vocals. Two tracks on Dead Eyes chew up thirty-six painfully awesome minutes and, depending on your pain threshold, can prove to be either the best or the worst half-hour of your day. Soiling everything with a medieval meld of sludge, drone, doom, and noise, Khünnt deliver a crushing couplet of dried blood and cracked femurs.

Boiling down to a simple Side A and Side B format, these songs celebrate misery and misanthropy. There's no good son / bad son dynamic to be found; these sordid "experimentations" burn with malice aforethought. Side A, numbing with a long-opening Peterbilt rumble, screech and hum just long enough to nurse hope before an agonizingly slow smoke-soaked descent. Burning fuzz saturates the ice-pick barbs, riffs are too fucking gargantuan to trivialize in a wordy weekly column, and rhythms drop like a slow-motion jump from a jagged cliff. Watch your footing, dipshit. If the fall doesn't kill you, the anaphylactic shock and peeling flesh will. At times we're drowning in drone. At others there's one lost vocal crying out for another, eyeless and stunned stupid. A drumkit is flattened behind an endless reel of mayhem, while listeners are more than a little troubled.

Side B is at once the album's more malevolent and more merciful number. Rusty chains and glowing eyes decorate this hollow corridor, poking and bleeding out a bleak streak promised on Side A. Scorching guitar squeals, frayed strings, and a dance with crashing planes are just a few highlights among the swells of feedback. Call it cockeyed sludge-doom intoxication, buried tempos choke on loosened earth and dive headfirst into an archaic violation of the innocent. Riffs outlast the drone, but that commanding vocal torment again gives pause. The quickest of churns emerges only briefly, giving in and immediately going knees-to-sky for the heavy drone element at track's end. The squelch acts as the final snuff in a series of death-rattle gasps, closing the record and extinguishing the agony.

I'm shaking my head. The sounds merge and split and splinter, leaving listeners with no road map on what to expect. Through and through, Dead Eyes is relentless and crushing, drawing out fears through means of improvisational extraction. Recommended for listeners with a strong stomach, this sludge goes a step or two beyond just being dirty; this is disassociative clamor rupturing your insides with a carving fork. I'm not telling you to ignore your instincts and assume the din is Khünnt's doing, I'm simply saying you may need to leave on your nightlight.




Saturday, July 20, 2013

Album Review: Miss Lava - "Red Supergiant"


MISS LAVA - "RED SUPERGIANT"

After a scorching 2012 in which Small Stone Records had released well over a dozen new albums from their superstar stable of rockers, 2013 has started off a bit more slowly, until now that is. New signing Miss Lava is on the verge of releasing their second full length album, and first on the Small Stone label, "Red Supergiant". This album should become an instant classic in the stoner rock world, filled to the gills with eleven finely crafted throwdowns that epitomize quality metal music.

Miss Lava hails from Portugal, a country not necessarily known for its stoner rock breeding grounds but one that might surprise you with the community of low tuned metalheads rocking to the rumble and roar of real rock, with Miss Lava undoubtedly leading the way. In fact, the sound this quartet of talented torchmongers have crafted for "Red Supergiant" is top shelf incredible, blending the best of low tuned mega riffs, scorching solos, booming bass undercurrents, and memorable hook laden melodies. These gatos maniaco know how to both forge music of the finest craftsmanship, as well as to execute their handiwork in a display of impeccable showmanship. To top it off, out of eleven songs on the album, these rockers have managed to craft more than a few, or even a handful, of high caliber numbers, creating a full contingent of mouth watering exploits to be regularly and thoroughly enjoyed.

Band members:

Johnny Lee - Vocals
K. Raffah - Guitars
S. Rebelo - Bass
J. Garcia - Drums

While Miss Lava do not, in any way, sound like some sort of Kyuss cover band, the sound they have crafted is of a similar type, one that blends perfectly the heavy rumble and roar of classic stoner sounds with clever musicianship exemplified by striking melodies and memorable hooks. To top it all off they have managed to bat a perfect .1000 on "Red Supergiant" by including eleven songs in which each stands on its own as a beacon of rock quality.

The album opens with "Desert Mind", immediately demonstrating their penchant for both the rumble and roar of mega riffs from guitar and bass while vocalist Johnny Lee leads the way on melody and memories. "Lay Down"  and "Feel My Grace" keep the tempo at a brisk pace, putting those growling guitar riffs through their paces. The overarching tone on "Ride" is more somber than its predecessors as the stoner sound comes through in a huge way. "Crawl", too, creates a dire atmosphere of smoke and darkness permeated by distant thunder. One of the most poignant, well crafted, and memorable songs comes in the form of "Hole to China". The tempo picks back up in a big way with "Catch the Fire" a romp of monstrous proportions. "Murder of Crows" and "Motel Neon" blast and bomb away with a force of joyous fury, while "Yesterday's Gone" deals another haunting jaunt through bog and mire. The closer is the title track "Red Supergiant", which wastes no time in proving worthy of the gargantuan moniker by dealing out mammoth licks that grow in intensity as it builds to the inevitable climax to song and album.

Small Stone Records has a knack for finding quality bands and sharing their tunes with those of us that enjoy the lower, richer end of the metal sound, but also enjoy quality melodies and memorable stretches of music. Miss Lava are a welcome addition just as "Red Supergiant" is a welcome rendition.





facebook || bandcamp || last.fm || website || smallstone

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: ASTRAY

HEAVY PLANET PRESENTS...


BAND BIO:

Astray are a rock band based in Thessaloniki Greece. They were formed in 2007 with purpose to work their own material and make live appearances. In 2013 they released their first EP. Recorded and mixed by Kostas Kofinas and Kostas Tsagaris at Sin City Studios,Thessaloniki,Greece. Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music,New Windsor,New York. Artwork made by Alex Bastard. After that they are preparing to record their first full length album.

Astray are:

George - Vocals
Kostas - Guitars
Jellys - Guitars
Tolis - Bass
Apostolis - Drums

THOUGHTS:

"One thing that I love about summertime is the Greek Food festivals in the area, unfortunately I missed our local one this year. Stuffed grape leaves, spanakopita, gyros, etc. dominate the menu. Well, now that I made everyone hungry, here is another product of Greece to whet your appetite. Heavy rock with rumblings of stoner groove is what Astray is all about and damn do they serve it up good on their debut 3-song EP, "Low-Life". First track "Cast My Stone" has a crunchy guitar leading the way. Once the vocal enters the song I hear a vague John Garcia resemblance. As the EP moves forward the music gets heavier and angrier, such is the case on the doomier "Idle Conversation". The EP comes to an unfortunate end with the smoke-filled hard-groovin' track "Newsto". The band stays true to their metal influences and ignites the fire with just the right amount of stoner groove and infectious melody to create a very gratifying listening experience. 

This is meat and potatoes rock people!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Album Review: Lightsystem - Lost Language


Progressive Rock has become a very confusing genre of music these days. The idea of being “progressive”, is to be ambitious, experimental, usually composed by the musicians of the musically elite. Lightsystem fits that description. This is ultra modern, heavy prog rock. The influences of bands of the 1970’s such as King Crimson or Rush are there, but this is further down the road in the evolution of the genre. The songs go in extended movements, like classical pieces. The guitars are angelic and airy while the rhythm section plays through a plethora of odd time signatures and patterns. The instrumental jams are as interesting as the songs themselves, of which there are a lot of. The vibe of the album is like a musical score to fit a science fiction road movie. It’s apocalyptic, chaotic at times, but always composed. 

Lightsystem hails from Los Angeles, California. I haven’t heard a band this impressive from L.A. in a long time. Actually, I haven’t heard a band this good from anywhere. They are ‘overachievers’ in their musicianship as well as their songwriting capabilities. Lost Language opens with a track called- “Glossolalia”. At first, there are chiming guitars and repetitive motifs similar to the Daydream Nation days of the 90’s. Bands like Sonic Youth and Polvo come to mind. It blends into a futuristic ambient backdrop setting for the mood of the album when vocalist Danny Byrne comes in. “Plurals” is a ferocious hard rocker to kick off the album, entering unknown territory with wild guitar arpeggios over  tribal drum grooves, rhythmic beats Jimmy Chamberlain would play. Notable tracks are the instrumental "Untold" which is predominantly synth driven with different sounds of feedback and noise coming in and out. “Mirrors” is outer-spacey, droning in luscious minor scale riffs. The rhythm section is minimalistic, very interesting in the way they use the ‘less is more’ theory, especially after presenting their musical prowess for most of the record. They make minimal sound maximal. I like how the rhythm section plays as much an important role as the lead vocal melodies. Byrne’s vocals are softer than the typical heavy prog singer, making them unique and different from the screamers, whether a band like Soundgarden or Dream Theatre in comparison. His voice is closer to Roger Waters or the British psyche folk singers of the 1970’s (e.g. Tim Buckley, Michael Chapman). But it’s new, a personality unlike any of the singers of today. I love the mix of atmospheric movements and high energy rock songs, which seems to be their thing when listening from start to finish. 

I would purchase this album if you’re into musicians‘ music, or experimental psychedelia, or modern progressive rock, as they suit either category quite well. Art rock, or landscape architectural rock, whatever you call it, it’s intense, intelligent and emotionally moving. They clearly have a vision of their own, placing them apart from the 'new prog' you hear about today, The Mars Volta or Coheed and Cambria. Lightsystem is paving their own way and who knows, might inspire a significant change in the genre to move even more forward theoretically and instrumentally. Years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were conducting an orchestra to go along with this music.

Band Members:
Danny Byrne: guitar/vocals/electronics 
Jason Greenly: bass/electronics 
Matt Johnson: synth/keys 
John Kyle: drums/electronics


Album Review- The Distortion Field by Trouble


The last couple months have been pretty good for fans of Doom metal. The mighty Sabbath released an excellent comeback album, Cathedral offered up their brilliant swansong, and now Trouble have put out their first album in four years.

A lot has changed since the band's last studio release, 2007's Simple Mind Condition. Original vocalist Eric Wagner is out, again, and new vocalist, Kyle Thomas of Exhorder, is in. For purists this is sacrilege, but for some folks (I know a few), it is a blessing. Wagner's vocal stylings take some time to get used to, and in Thomas Trouble has found a powerful vocalist minus the quirks of Wagner. Both vocalists are great, but the Thomas approach is more accessible.

And the riffs? They speak for themselves. The album is full of heavy grooves and chiseled leads, just what you'd expect from these legends. Solos abound as well, with each tracking boasting an impressive highlight of the guitar skills of Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin. There are some surprises on this album, Have I Told You is a grungy ballad that might alienate Doom fans who refuse to acknowledge Changes as a Sabbath tune, but including a song like this on the album shows the band is willing to take chances, not content to keep the wheel they invented spinning in the same direction. But, lest you fear that Trouble have branched out too far beyond the genre they nurtured, just listen to the video included below. They can still rock heavy.

The band sounds reinvigorated on this album, and fans of traditional Doom will rejoice, but not for too long, 'cause they're Doom fans.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Zac's "Double Dose": Lilium / Skeletons In The Piano



Lilium: Black, Dear 

Italy is a growing power-house in the down-tuned and ethereal music department. Most notable of the Italians are Ufomammut and their perfected vision of doom, drone, and psychedelic metal through the 2012 dual releases Oro. Here to carry another beacon of the Italian interpretation is Lilium, a band that has a snug-fitting form of post-metal influenced sludge that leaves the listener inseparable from the piece of music they've just experienced. Not so much like the mud caked sludge that needs a pressure wash for removal. Lilium leaves more of a warm, in utero ooze, which although can be wiped away easily, leaves an enduring and psycho-emotional bruise that lingers. 

Now, word in the underground is that Lilium will be releasing their debut record, entitled Black, Dear, through Taxi Driver Store sometime this year. However, the band decided to issue a couple singles along the road to release, starting with the track Solitude last October. Toting some sincere lyrical content behind an eerie intro Solitude packs a post-metal punch through a gravely style of singing in the vein of Isis. The use of synths on this four minute song accentuate the atmosphere immensely surrounding the guitars and rhythym instruments. More recently Lilium released a second single entitled Oak Tree. Like watching an inescapable storm steadily toil over the open sea Oak Tree approaches with a distant and peaceful thunder concealed by a pleasantly picked measure. More so, adding to the peaceful inception, lead singer Filippo's softly whispered and over-dubbed lyrics broadcast a Deftones, Chino Moreno vibe. By the time three minutes of Oak Tree have elapsed the outer walls of the storm have suddenly appeared at your head, pouring sonic waves through your body. Check it out via youtube below and keep posted for the full length release.


Members: 
Daniele - Guitar 
Davide - Synth // Sampler 
Enrico - Drums 
Filippo - Vocals 
Michele - Bass // Vocals 
Stefano - Guitar


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Skeletons In The Piano: Please Don't Die 

This weeks second 'Dose are a full five-piece ensemble (plus two belly-dancers) and call themselves Skeletons In The Piano. Performing one of the most diverse forms of rock 'n roll I've ever heard, Skeletons incorporate haunting lyrics and melodies in a strange operatic circus full of contrasting sounds. As their belly-dancers, Katarra [Peterson] and Tatiana [Morales], hypnotize on looking fans the musical foundation of Skeletons parallel these actions with dense sound waves. The convergence of the guitars, banjo, and violin erupt in an authentic gypsy celebration while lead-man Elijah [Hargrave] conjures his inner Mike Patton. It's not all cheery and psychedelic fun though. Skeletons dig deep with an extra measure of heavy and progressive metal character. Check out The Price Put On You below or pick up a copy of their latest release Please Don't Die at Magnetic Eye Records.


Members: 
Brad Thibodeau - Guitar // Banjo 
Dustin Alexander - Bass // Vocals 
Elijah Hargrave - Vocals // Guitar 
Eric Donovan - Drums 
Jeff Ayers - Violin // Keys 
Katarra Peterson - Dance // Percussion 
Tatiana Morales - Dance


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Band to Burn One To: The Playlist-Volume 1

Ok, something a little different for our Tuesday post. Starting today, each and every Tuesday the "New Band To Burn One To" will become a playlist featuring 20 of the best new bands from around the world. The playlist not only will feature new bands, but also new songs from bands that you may already be familiar with. If you have an iPhone or Android phone you will be able to listen to this playlist anywhere you go by downloading the MixCloud app. We opened our MixCloud account a few weeks ago with a few New Music playlists, a few Staff playlists (with more to come) and an exclusive stream of the upcoming album from Borracho and the response has been terrific. This is a great way for you discover new bands and for bands to receive excellent exposure as well. We think that you will enjoy the bands we have chosen for you today. So take a listen to the playlist and let us know what you think. 


TRACKS:

Ampacity - Ultima Hombre 
Blastronaut -  Down River
Bovine - Ghost Chair
Coat-Desertir
Cursus - Temples of Saturn
Deadweight Express-Root, Shoot And Electrocute
Desert Storm - Astral Planes 
Don Fernando-High Bankin Hell
EGYPT - Blood Temple Hymn 
Electric Ruin - Halberd
Geezer -  Ancient Song
GOATESS - Alpha Omega
Holy Mount -Alpic
Isak-Fuzzdrive
Lord Dying-In A Frightful State Of Gnawed Dismemberment
Mountain God - Experimentation On The Unwilling
Oxxen-Stoic Men Under Ancient Lord
Roadkill Soda-Oven Sun
Shroud Eater-Lord Of The Sword
Witchrider-Shedevil

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Monday, July 15, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: 88 MILE TRIP

HEAVY PLANET PRESENTS...



BAND BIO:

"The groundwork for 88 Mile Trip was laid down in late 2012 when Hugo and Darin, who were jamming across the hall from each other in their own separate bands (Lethal Halo and Entropia respectively) started talking about how they both were really into bands like Kyuss, Down and Black Sabbath, which eventually lead to them getting together for many riff writing sessions. The idea was to take the groove and catchiness of Kyuss and add some serious heavy to it. Thus you have the sound of 88 Mile Trip.

The search for band mates took a serious upswing when Casey and Dave answered an online ad for a singer and guitarist. Many inebriated ear bleeding jams would follow in the coming weeks, and songs began to take shape. The band then headed into Harbourside Studios in North Vancouver to record the debut EP with Mike Rogerson. The recording was done with no click track, no edits and no punch ins, totally live off the floor. Just real people playing real instruments, live rock n roll.

88 Mile trip are now set to hit the local scene as well as the road. With the addition of Eddie on drums, the band is sharpening the axes and getting ready to annihilate a stage near you!"

THOUGHTS:

"This heavy foot-stomping madness known as 88 Mile Trip emerged by way of an equal fondness for the band member's musical heroes. The music is filled with a plethora of fist-pumping metal, head rattling fuzz and free flowing flanged-out funky bass lines. Tracks such as "Cauldron Born" and "Swamp Disco" are the highlights of this awesome debut EP. An element to the music that I was not expecting is the powerful bravado metal vocals which at times reach an insane register ("Weeping Widow"). 

This is a shot in the arm of no bullshit heavy rock music played with authority and allegience. 

Got the beer...check, got the smoke...check, got the music...double check! 

((facebook||bandcamp||twitter))
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Sofy Major - "Idolize"


Imagine losing all you've built. One storm blows through and flattens homes, drowns boxes of memories, and removes all comfort and security. The death of one is a tragedy, they say; the death of millions is a statistic. But if you're not there to write or read about it, you're probably just there as a victim. So what's the feeling when you're on the other side of the television?

Brooklyn's Translator Audio recording studio was destroyed when Hurricane Sandy ripped the east coast from groin to sternum last October. Not so collateral was the damage sustained to France's Sofy Major, suffering a loss of all gear and recordings. So what's the definition of hardcore? Starting the fuck over and rebuilding one hell of a sludge-noise record, scrap by scrap. Bet your bottom dime there's more than a whisper of angst here.

Wasting no time and staring convention straight in its glassy eye is the band's sophomore effort, Idolize. I'll never know how these twelve tracks lace up against the original tapes, but the point is moot when it's thrust in your ear with such violent abandon. The opening tandem of Aucune Importance and Comment are equal parts jarring and filthy. These tracks don't chug and churn; they drag, twist, and separate limb from thorax. Jagged promises are delivered one after another like repeated, bony crunches. Sofy Major already have a hook in my lip.

Mathieu Moulin's prominent low-end threads saturate the disc with unapologetic thickness, bubbling toward a swollen burst on Slow and Painful. The noise relents so the sludge can take top-billing, though even the slurred tempos hardly provide relief. And if there's an air of familiarity to Steven the Slow, thank the guest-spotted Dave Curran of labelmates Pigs. Low, loose, and clouded with vitriol, the track is just one in a series of the album's tastiest, sludgiest moments.

UMPKK pts. 1 and 2 introduce a Melvins influence, creeping from a shipyard hum toward a Lizzy-style haunt. Seb utilizes the same strum to funnel into the weirdest vocal you'll hear today. Whether it was recorded in the far east or in your neighbor's kitchen is beside the point. It's troubling and yet somehow cathartic, stomping until the quick-footed Platini can hug the toilet and set fire to your innards. Sébastien Fournet's guitar is an unmanned flare on the track, spitting in every direction all the way through the album's blistering closer, Power of their Voice. Call it an homage or call it your introduction to seminal French noise punks Portobello Bones. Either way, Sofy Major has branded your skin.

I'll admit to pushing noise as much as sludge lately. The marriage is a tricky one to pull off, so to say Sofy Major need to be heard is a gross understatement. Were I knocked so flat, I can't say I'd get back up for another round. This was a record that needed to be made, meaning it's a record that needs to be heard. Idolize isn't asking for sympathy and its crafting certainly wasn't a silver spoon endeavor. You'll be too busy calming your shakes to notice all the blood, sweat, and piss that went into this album. There's no chance this won't remain among my favorites this year.



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Split: Wall of Sleep - "Mao's Gauntlet" / Geezer - "Gage"

Sometimes things, when first presented, don't jump out at you right away. Sometimes things seem vaguely interesting upon first encounter, but depending on mood or other mitigating circumstances perhaps what seemed somewhat interesting at first wasn't quite enticing enough to warrant immediate attention, so, perhaps, these things are set aside - physically, metaphysically, subconsciously, not to be explored further in lieu of other, seemingly more pertinent things  . . . at least for awhile. But something about these ignored entities doesn't quite allow for total disappearance into the void of forgetfulness, so instead they languish in their vacuous corner, surrounded by dark matter, building up dark energy, biding time, waiting for the opportunity to spring forth, to seemingly unleash upon their unsuspecting host a power and a fury of unsurpassed quality and content as to render said host apoplectic . . . and pleasantly surprised. How was such incredible content not noticed right away, for it is now obvious these things that had been closeted alongside the mundane and the unworthy not only are deserving of light and attention, but had been in danger of squander, a crime of unimaginable proportions.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we are in for a memorable experience in the world of real music, or stoner rock as it is often characterized, for languishing in the corner of old Nuclear Dog's pile o' music were 2 very exciting and enticing EPs that thankfully fought their way through the fibrous scar tissue of my deeper recesses and have now become features on the grand stage of Heavy Planet.
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WALL OF SLEEP - "MAO'S GAUNTLET"

Hailing from Silver Spring, Maryland - basically D.C. country - the three piece band Wall of Sleep have yet to make their mark on the webwide world in a noticeable way, perhaps, other than in one significant aspect, which is, of course, by creating some toothsome psychedelic stoner sounds in their relatively short time as music manufacturers. Forming in 2011 they have released three EPs, and are in the process of releasing another despite having just released the excellent "Mao's Gauntlet" in March of this year. Each of the EPs offers well crafted metal, progressing on each one in craftsmanship and insight, culminating in the superb quality and sound of today's subject album.

Band members include:

Drew O'Rourke - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Casey Minnick - Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Ben Perper - Drums

The four songs on 'Mao' demonstrate a significant progression in rendering and attention to detail from the band's initial Demo of 2011. The songs here are deep and soulful, capturing a magnificently haunting intensity accentuated by the rumbling riffs of the abyss and a melody ripped from haunted recesses of depravity. The shared duties between O'Rourke and Minnick on vocals and guitar provide an intriguing experience of varying execution between songs. The song writing on each of the four tracks demonstrates an amazing and almost lofty aptitude within the professed genre of stoner, psychedelic metal. The opening track provides memorable hooks ensconced well within gargantuan riffs, scorching solos, and mammoth drum runs. Perhaps the flagship song is O'Rourke's "Parallel", unfolding in a lengthy and memorable twelve minutes in which a melancholy and melodramatic overtone permeates throughout the clever construct. This gives way to the powerful "Seen Our Tomorrow", a slow, steady rumble of force and passion. "Summer Trip Suite" closes out the album in similar style to its predecessor, providing another expanse of primal musical satisfaction of interwoven intricacy and surmounting power.

All of Wall of Sleep's music is available on bandcamp and is well worth exploring, perhaps taking a cue from this fortunate reviewer by not setting it aside in some dark corner where it would be at the mercy of the whims of the universe, for this band's music has earned a significant place in the spotlight of the cosmos, without a doubt.





facebook || bandcamp
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GEEZER - "GAGE"

Geezer, too, have been together a short amount of time, forming in 2010 in Kingston, New York. But in the span between then and now they have developed an excellent reputation by putting out two incredible albums, the first being the wonderful "Handmade Heavy Blues" and the second one being "Gage", a four track anomaly of brilliance.

The plan for Geezer this past March was to record one new song for a specific event, but the creative juices were flowing that day as three new songs had been captured during their time in the studio, comprising the bulk of "Gage". To round it out the band included the recording of the only time the song "Dude, It's Molecular" was ever played by them.

Band members:

Pat Harrington
Chris Turco
Freddy Villano

The opening track, "Ancient Song", wastes no time establishing the haunting quality of the track and the album with a barbed riff that harpoons center mast on the heart. Massive bass and power vocals soon join in the unfurling of the massive, dark tapestry of this opening song where melody, hook, riff, and solo richly intertwine. "Thorny" kicks in with a power blues riff of an equally haunting and memorable quality. Next up is the awesomely titled "Ghost Rider Solar Plexus" in which the opening blues riff is a gutshot blast of salt and pellets. The melody is a memorable and hook laden adrenalin adventure romp. The bass is a leviathan of low end rumble, the blues guitar forging molten riffs of iron and steel, and the drum work massive and purposeful. The closer, "Dude, It's Molecular", the aforementioned one off, again displays a memorable, soulful blues rock quality seemingly forged in the blazing hot fields of a Mississippi Delta of eras past.

Incredible musicianship is the hallmark of Geezer's EP, a worthy, treasured, and indelible addition to any collection. Available on bandcamp alongside Geezer's LP, "Handmade Heavy Blues"



facebook || bandcamp || reverbnation

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Exclusive Stream/Review of Borracho-Oculus



It's no secret that we're big fans of Borracho's heavy riffs and stoner grooves here at Heavy Planet. Hell, we asked the guys to headline our CMJ Showcase in New York City last Fall and we're thrilled to be sponsoring their upcoming album release party at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC (that's next Friday, July 19th by the way). But perhaps most exciting of all, we're pleased as fucking punch to be offering you the very first taste of the band's new LP, Oculus…right here…right now. Yep, you read that right, the Borracho camp were kind enough to give Heavy Planet readers the exclusive opportunity to hear their new record in its entirety a full week in advance of its release. So settle in, hit play and come trip out with us as we get acquainted with what is sure to be the soundtrack to the rest of your summer. This is Oculus.

Now I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the underlying theme that seems to be infused into every aspect of this release, and that would be one of "addition through subtraction." Don't get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to original vocalist Noah Greenburg, who was excellent on the band's debut album Splitting Sky (and even better if you saw him live), but this marks the official debut of the band's leaner, meaner three-piece lineup that sees guitarist Steve Fisher stepping to the forefront, grabbing the reins so to speak, and taking Noah’s place behind the mic. So there's that.

But then there's also the more intrinsic fact that, despite its 38 minute run time, Oculus is comprised of only five tracks. Now as you and I both know this isn’t a style of music that places a value on quantity over quality and taken as a whole, these five songs combine to form an album that will transport you through a series of musical twists, turns, peaks and valleys all while paying tribute to the most important aspect of the genre…the almighty riff. For those familiar with Borracho this should come as no surprise, because at their heart, they’ve always been a band that demands the undivided attention of their listeners by way of extended jams that feature a multitude of time signatures and stylistic shifts. And from the very first note to the last fading remnant of reverb and through every nuance of the musical journey in between, such is the case with Oculus.

The album opens to the sound of a fluid bass line from Tim Martin that’s then joined by the heavy kick of Mario Trubiano’s bass drum and a delicate, yet psychedelic guitar lick from Fisher. And for what it’s worth, that’ll be the last time I use the word “delicate” in this review. A ghostly female voiceover hovers in the background adding depth to the buildup and then the hammer drops and the trio unleash the first of what will be many killer riffs to come. Collectively, Borracho grind out a solid, mid-tempo groove for the better part of this first track, entitled “Empty”, but then Fisher makes an abrupt turn into the fast lane and the song becomes an altogether different animal. It’s here that we get our first introduction to the guitarist’s vocal register, which you’ll immediately notice to be much cleaner, yet no less commanding than that of Greenburg. Also notable is the surprising range in Fisher’s delivery as he manages to slide up an octave, never quite reaching a scream, but carrying the song’s newfound pace through to its conclusion with an aggressive authority. “Pick up the pieces, try to move ahead…I won’t find my peace, ‘til he’s filled with lead”.

“Know the Score” throws a similar curveball at its start, with Fisher subtly (I told you I wouldn’t say delicate anymore) plucking at his Flying V before the rhythm section joins in and the three are off and running again. Less instrumental than its predecessor, this one will have you grooving to its serpentine rhythm and singing along as the vocalist advises “so light another cigarette…leave a message at the door.” The highlight is the surprising addition of an organ during the song’s bridge, which leads into a bouncing jam session chock full of fuzz and fury. At this point, Borracho are dialed in and assuming you have a pulse, you will be too. The song eventually comes full circle, back to the original rhythm that captivated you in the first place, and by the time it concludes you’ll be left with a sense of compulsive anticipation for what’s yet to come.

By design, the final three tracks flow together as one epic, stoner rock suite, beginning with “Stockpile”, which at nearly eleven minutes, is the album’s lengthiest song. This one rides out a patient pulse of propulsive rhythm laid down by Trubiano and Martin, who combine to unleash a combination of thunderous percussion, deafening crash and the lowest of low end harmonic foundations. But that’s not to say that Fisher’s guitar takes a backseat at any point on the album and in fact, he showcases his playing here with a considerably impromptu and altogether rad solo. Then in true Borracho style, the song shifts gears, becoming another upbeat romp through riff-infested waters before devolving into the haze and confusion of “Eye” (which oh by the way, happens to be the meaning of the word Oculus). Serving as a bridge between “Stockpile” and album closer “I’ve Come for It All,” this one melds static, feedback and ample psychedelic voice effects before the basis of the final song emerges from the chaos.

And oh what a finale it turns out to be. Deftly combining all of the elements that make Borracho what they are…that would be tradesmen in ultra-heavy riffs, rhythms and hooks, in case you haven’t been paying attention…the song opens with a steady build into another solid groove as Fisher croons…”darkness surrounds me, like a long lost friend…there’s no justice, only revenge.” Of course another shift in tempo is always right around the corner and that’s true here as well, when after a series of stop/starts, the band slows it way down…”you better run, you better hide…I’m coming for you.” And then the album concludes amidst the frenetic pandemonium of another monstrous solo from Fisher before the entire ensemble ultimately fades into nothing.

So there you have our take on the latest from Borracho. Now it’s your turn to take a glimpse inside of Oculus and you can’t do that anywhere else but right here at Heavy Planet. Go ahead…hit play and listen to the beginning of a new era for the band. Listen as they cement their status as a bona fide power-trio, all the while maintaining their commanding grasp on the power of the riff. Listen as they prove the timeless old cliché that less can in fact be so much more.-Toby Cole

We hope you enjoy Oculus as much as we do. Be sure to pick up the album when it's released next Thursday and if you're on the East Coast, you don't want to miss Borracho's upcoming tour dates with the mighty Lo-Pan (click the band's Facebook link below for dates). Finally a big thanks to Mario, Steve and Tim of Borracho for giving Heavy Planet the opportunity to showcase their kick ass new tunes.

 Cheers fellas!


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