Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Smoke:Doctor Smoke-"The Witching Hour"


I've grown into this, you could say. When I took this gig, it was all sandy descriptors, Sabbath nods, riff worship, and clouds of smoke that should've gotten me evicted. The journey's been littered with thorns, the expanded consciousness clouded by genre tags and limitations I've placed upon myself. Fuck. Tonight my wife tried dissecting my anxiety. She's no mental health professional, but she's also no stranger to my perks. These limitations, these rules... they're all self-imposed. They're all also quite fucking meaningless. You may have noticed these Sundays are lately more than just sludge. Today's feature is a perfect example of why I can't limit myself.

When Heavy Planet featured Ohio's Doctor Smoke last October, we met a quartet of stoner occultists going thick on soiled riffs and channeling an inner Bobby Liebling. Just a year later, the band offers not only an expanded tracklist, but an overall improved approach to the craft. The Witching Hour's nine tracks (six of them entirely new) illustrate Doctor Smoke's stomp into their own skin, shedding their reliance on doomy fuzz and trusting themselves more as songwriters and musicians.

We know three of these tracks. And rather than serving to fluff the run-time, they actually create a broader scope when sidled next to the newer tracks. Relentless and baleful, The Willow kicks off the immediately punchy, rollicking backwoods descent. Blood and Whiskey is still a smoker, sweat-soaked and groove-smacked. And those rhythms still flirt with evil and never get old. When The Seeker pops through before the album's final push, it's of course slow, dirt-caked, and the album's rawest offering.

Most notable on the new tracks are the self-realized, perfectly-structured lyrics. Evil Man is mossy doom, swaying and split with chafed licks, ultimately exploding into revved groove and guitar-pissing in all directions. But the plunge of the slow, murky vocal veil traps every-Goddamn-thing beneath it. The Toll emerges from soggy earth to find a torrid clip, pacing unpredictably and matching the erratic lyrical accusations. The whole of the album's thorax is a trip through a thorny, overgrown pass. Choppy, jostled, and pushing ever-deeper, these spilt-swill snags hardly heel the quick-twisted, punchy cruises. Doctor Smoke now have a hook in your lip.

Where the band's amped proficiency is most notable, however, is on the closing tandem of This Final Hour and Permanent Night. The former boasts as a heavy-hearted trench throttle, rattling you back to clarity with tempo shifts and sweaty rock-n-roll. The track progressively expands under a rueful mood, gently wheeling the track into pensive plucks. And by the time Permanent Night's bleak subject combines with the collection's deepest, grainiest groove, you won't know which elemental showcase takes the blue ribbon. The licks are more than just a sidecar, the throwback is more than just creepy, and the balance is more than you could ever want.

And The Witching Hour as a whole is so much more than a steel-toed stride. Eerie, distant malaise has never had such a pull. These songs creep among a thick timber until rhythmic deviations introduce a gleeful, punch-drunk vertigo. Guitars, vocals, lyrics, those low rhythms... ALL have their moment of showboated flexing. But where posturing would murder lesser bands, Doctor Smoke manage to make one another sound better. Collectively, the sounds never stumble. We're not sure exactly what corner of the woods we'll end up in. More importantly, we don't care. Hit me with another, drag me where you will... "My masters, pull my strings."



Monday, December 22, 2014

Albums Of The Year 2014: Pete's choices

I started off with the intention of simply doing a Top Ten, but when I sat down and looked at what came out over the past 12 months, the list soon grew and grew. There are so many great new bands coming out all the time that it's hard to keep up, but we at Heavy Planet are striving to make sure the best of the new underground crop are brought to your ears. Also what's great about this list is that it's truly international with bands from Mexico, Germany, USA, Wales, Greece, and French-Canadian all rocking to the same beat, whether it's Sludge, Stoner, or Doom, it's a sound that unites us all. 

Anyway, here's my favourites from this year, plus look out at the end for my favourite artwork of the year.

20. Grifter - The Return Of The Bearded Brethren 
The ever brilliant Grifter returned with their grooviest most solid record to date. There weren't many better records which made me dance my ass off this year!

19. Black Khox - AKAB
Tremendously aggressive assault to the senses from Quebec City's latest aggressors started the year off on a high note and has stayed in my senses ever since.
18. Sigiriya - Darkness Died Today
 Superb husky vocals coarsing through thick heavy riffs was exactly what we needed to hear, and Sigiriya delivered with ease. Only great things to come from these guys.
17. Planet Of Zeus - Vigilante
Opening track 'The Great Dandolos' has made its way into every playlist i've created throughout the year; just simple, great, thick, rock. Nice!

16. Mothership - Mothership II
It may have only been released at the very tail end of the year, but with these riffs and songs about suprise transexuals, there was no way it wasn't going to make it onto this list. It'll probably kick in just how good this album is once 2015 is fully under way.

15. Horsehunter - Caged In Flesh
There isn't a great deal of Doom on this list, but the debut record from these Australians is too stunning to disregard. Search for a dark place in your soul to bury it.

14. MuckRaker - Karmageddon
 Politically charged Helmet-inspired riffs have had me thumping my way around my work and home-life for the second half of the year with great pleasure. RISE UP ALL YOU LOGGERHEADS!

13. Monolord - Empress Rising
Long relentless driving riffs; what more can you ask for?

12. Leather Lung - Reap What You Sow
Thrown my way courtesy of Seth's Sunday Sludge, these Bostonians tick all of the right boxes, so long as those boxes are marked dirty, angry, and full of weed.

11. Gurt - Horrendosaurus
Gurt have the knack of making you feel extremely violated with their demonic vocals and down right dirty guitars. Horrendosaurus was a record i needed to play with the curtains closed.

10. Sumer - The Animal You Are
This record stands out on my list as it's essentially post-rock (just a bit heavier), a genre which no other record this year in the genre has stood out from. Sumer are the new leading light in the British scene, and The Animal You Are is a spellbinding listen.

9. Face On Mars - Face On Mars
Another recent release which has had such an impact on me, knocking many other stoner psych rock records out of the park, and with just being their debut, it makes their effort all the more praise-worthy.

8. The Picturebooks - Imaginary Horse
This visceral blues record from the German duo is a soul clenching record which focuses heavily on vocals and stripped-down laid back sounds that becomes a mesmerising listen. It encompasses your body with every listen. Essential is an accurate description.

7. Cardiel - Local Solo
When this South American duo's debut full-length kicked its way into my ear drums, it was impossible to shift, blending ferocious elements of punk, stoner, psycho-dub, it became an eternal ear-bleeder which brought you back for more and more and more.

6. Rhin - Bastard
Full of sledgehammer riffs and venemous vocals, Rhin's Bastard is a record so full of potential and experimentation that it's suprising it can be contained. Echoing the early excitement of a young Melvins, Rhin are sure to be covering patches on everyone's leather/denim jackets the rebel world over. Awesome record!

5. Bar De Monjas - In Fuzz We Trust
The best Fuzz record to come out this year, by far. Packed full of frenetic head-banging party riffs, Bar De Monjas saw their potential flowing through their demo and grabbed it with both hands (well four of them, they are a duo afterall). Often showing as many pop elements as rock, In Fuzz We Trust was the party record of the year.

4. Mother Corona - Reburn
The Oxforshire bands' second record has been a huge grower on me, having initially made a solid impact with their heavy 70's stoner riffs, repeated listens have revealed greater levels to their musicianship with great songwriting and layered instrumentation that makes Reburn the complete stoner rock album this year.

3. Whalerider - Thanatos
Thanatos is a record dipping its toe into stoner and grunge circles, while carrying psychedelic tendencies, and basically it's brilliant. A proper album that you need to fully divuge yourself into. The German group's debut full-length has raised the bar for every band, for them to basically put up or shut up: Thanatos is that good!

2. Hark - Crystalline
Always to be linked back to the missed genius of underappreciated Welsh rockers Taint thanks to frontman Jimbob Isaac, Hark arrived at the beginning of the year like a breath of fresh air to the rock scene, full of intelligent riffs, mind-bending time changes, and songs that can beat you to a pulp. Their sound is youthful, interesting, and hypnotizing. Crystalline is a game changer.

1. Rodha - Welter Through The Ashes
Again back to Seth's Sunday Sludge for putting Rodha on my radar when they released their demo Raw back in 2012, so i've been waiting for this record for two years, and it is everything I had hoped for: aggression, emotion, driving-rhythms, destructive riffs, heartfelt vocals, raw power. It's not just the sludge record of the year, it's my complete album of the year as it encapsulates everything I love, not just about Heavy Planet, but everything I love about music. Own this record!


Top 5 Album Artwork of The Year
Here's a short appreciation of some of my favourite artwork this year.

5. Okkultokrati - Night Jerks

4. Moss -Carmilla (Marcilla)

3. Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestite

2. Monster Magnet - Milking The Stars: A Re-imagining of Last Patrol

1. Grifter - The Return Of The Bearded Brethren
Just look as this sexy bastard. Enough said!


 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Sludge: Jucifer - District of Dystopia


So that walk home really sucked. I'm not terribly fond of interacting with law enforcement, so those flashing lights interrupting my route evoked that fight-or-flight retort. Fuck it. I'll take the long way home. And fuck them.

Oh, these new Jucifer sounds... It's not only unfair to scream "departure," it's also categorically inaccurate. The ever-ambulant duo have never allowed particular descriptors to stick, so calling their nine-track thrasher District of Dystopia a change of pace isn't fair. But it also doesn't fit their sticky-flogged mold of gigantic, expansive noise-doom. The largest head-turn here results not from the sound, but from the message. The duo would roll over in their roving bunks if they knew you'd given a listen and failed on realizing the larger fucking point. Turns out they care less about amped cabinets and more about what's just.

From the quickly disjointed onset of Non Gratum Anus Rodentum through the blackened grindcrust of the swamp-ridden The Object of Power, Jucifer exercise a legislative muckrake from the bottom up. A soldier's misfortune, though partly pinned on his own poor judgment, also points to higher powers recruiting, promising, lying, and never giving a single fuck about the boys in queue. With honesty comes pain, and the band's brutal, scabby pace sets sights on capturing lo-fi consciousness with the hope that this audience digs deeper and pays attention to more than rattling speakers. More than metal, this is rebellion.

Quick, low-slung filth immediately puts light years between these sounds and the droning marriage of metropolitan doubt and teen angst lacing their previous work. It's as if these two intentionally gave a fistfuck to production and hope these runes get marquee billing. Utilizing no shortage of fuzz and Edgar Livengood's intermittent but never absent drummed violence, stop-start chops form swarms of hornets that encase the senses. Sure, the fur gets as saturated as you'd expect. But we're in trouble... When Jucifer pull a burlap sack over our heads and a breaching hammer makes its blows, we know this flaming gaze has a purpose. More importantly, though, it has a heartbeat.

Gazelle Valentine's vocal remains, at times, breathy as you'd expect. But these wheels come off quick, essentially gnawing with an overt aggression directed at D.C.'s representatives. The unrelenting spite is wholly infectious, so perhaps the duo's objective remains more clear and accessible than the sounds. Oh, you weren't expecting this? Did you hear Jucifer's LAST release?! The shifted tempos hide the lyrical depth, but there's a LOT to absorb here. And that this couple finds its mark in well-under thirty minutes is their exercise in hazy, shrouded brilliance.

District Of Dystopia will remind you of those demos your buddy handed you in ninth grade. More raw than the sound, though, is the sense that something's not right. Jucifer take that sense, smack it sober, and shove it in your face. It's revved and uncompromised, devoid of restraint and any second guess. Don't bother getting uncomfortable when your uncle brings up political incompetence as you're chewing Virginia Christmas fat. For those with any virtue, this album is little more than an adjunct argument. For the uninitiated, this sludge-thrash exercise is Insurgency 101. It's also one of 2014's most compelling releases, front to back.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Quick Hit: Space Guerilla-"Boundless"

Due to time constraints and our busy lives, we sometimes don't have the time for a full-on review. With shorter write-ups we hopefully will be able to give more bands the exposure they deserve. Therefore, we have decided to start a new feature we like to call "Quick Hit". I hope you guys enjoy and are able to find a new favorite band.



Today's soundtrack includes freak-out guitar solos, solid Stoner riffing, a panicked astronaut spoken-word vocal and the ethereal feeling of floating through outer space courtesy of Space Guerilla from Brazil. Their 5-song EP "Boundless" was easily one of my favorite EPs of 2014. With that being said, let's pile into the space cruiser for a spiraling, cosmic journey through the galaxy. Strap on your moon boots and let's go!



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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Sludge Bouillaisse Volume III


Give it six months, and I'm gonna find that certain ennui. Submissions form a steaming pile, holiday obligations further tug at my sleeve, and by midnight I'm snarling and struggling to explain that these sounds are my sanity. I know, I KNOW! Scan the queue, pick and choose, draft your praise, close shop, shift back to parenthood. It's maddening. So maddening that I sit with a list of incredible bands and albums that I worry will go unnoticed. We thereby offer the acts you need to hear this Sunday in one setting, course for course matched with slug for slug.

Slug Salt Lava

Three crunched releases find their marquee on Radiated Soundscapes, a five-track EP of post-everything, essentially dialing pensive, buoyant repetition and stoner-sludge maturity that few young bands can boast. Patience chips and chops at lumbered riffs and the lingering cool buzz finds nostalgia, the oft-rejected (sometimes blistered) hot-mist soulmate so few embrace. Try it. You'll be stunned.




Kurokuma

The overt violence echoes Grizzly and the goof element whispers of Big Dumb Face, but don't be fooled. There's a structured, distant puncture lacing this tandem. Something bigger is happening here, something primitive and unapologetic. Thump, burn, bubble toward a blister... As raw as this is, it's difficult to imagine polished production. Kurokuma mock compromise, hovering under strange, perfect swirls that move neither back nor forward.

Comacozer

This Aussie trio weaves lilted, warped psychedelia and far-East hypnosis, all risen from sonic patches of hot sand. Patient, confident, and at times coated in beautiful filth, this triptych leads us into progressively back-breaking gazes toward monumental marriages of endearment and deception. You won't be able to keep your eyes open or your mouth from gaping.




Monte Resina

The five tracks offered on this EP shoot instrumental stoner sludge without offering a chaser. The quick-trotted fuzz is spiked with drum slugs and driven due South via grunge, groove, and gnarl. Monte Resina snatch victory from the soil, and peering into the clearing only offers brief gasps on this otherwise staggering, nut-dragging smoke stomp through the timber. Fuckin' awesome.



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The Stone Eye

Yet I Feel So Fine is merely a one-track introduction to this Philadelphia duo, and it's a fine one. A sonic duality demonstrating the band's broad scope with a pair of all-too-quick strokes, the divide abandons only to return full-circle. Burning slow-motion rises and falls take us from dirt to cloud, all the while laced with a haunting vocal that somehow never makes us uneasy. Quite the contrary, in fact. This could open or close any Sunday, if you ask me.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

LP Review: 'Garage Tape' by Stone Machine Electric


Garage Tape is WYSIWYG—What you see is what you get. The creative duo from Texas known as Stone Machine Electric performed and recorded the release in a garage and you can feel the reflective overtones oozing from the analog tape. Although the nostalgic cassette release revival probably won’t rival the vinyl one, don’t miss the point. Mark Kitchens and William (Dub) Irvin lay down righteous, hypnotic riffs without the need for vocals or overly polished production. There’s even a bit of Texas boogie-woogie seeping out beneath the expansive soundscape.

Garage Tape does not have songs, only an “A” side and a “B” side. Both contain long, sultry jams with enough flow to keep you listening, but not so much to wear thin.

Stone Machine Electric has a minimal online presence. They probably don’t need one. If you know about the band and like what they’re doing, you’ll find what you need. I only wish I lived closer to the Lone Star State.

I enjoy what Stone Machine Electric is doing because it’s based on solid, tasty riffs. I’ll be curious to see where they go next.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Band To Burn One To: Gévaudan




You ever get that feeling of your guts being pulled out by the fistful by a thousand savage beasts? Of course you do, but if you’re not fully sure, listen to the riffs pummelling through the heartline of Gévaudan, and you’ll have a fair idea of the intensity that the made-up situation preceeding describes. Gévaudan are a mighty doom/metal from Befordshire/Hertfordshire, UK, perfectly echoing the legend of the beast from which their name stems (Man-eating wolves or wolf-like animals terrorised the former province of Gévaudan, in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France between 1764 and 1767. Victims were often killed by having their throats torn out). The four-piece are at times brutal, and at times mesmerising, they can suck you in to gentle heavy stoner rock playing, and then the waves of Doom pin you down, as their metal savagery rips your throat out.

The band are releasing their debut EP Message For The Damned on Dec 13th, three tracks of intense dark heavy brutality that carry a mighty sound that comes through many years and many records, so it’s all the more impressive to hear such an assured start on the band’s debut EP. The vocals of Adam Pirmohamed carry hints of traditional English doom, almost powerful classic rock tendencies, that is until the demon inside him spews forth and the modern metal overlord bellows out the deathly overture, all this is perfectly intertwined with the pummelling, relentless, riffs that is the glorious definition of the band.

Gévaudan keep their influences close to their heart, with the domineering spirits of Black Sabbath, Goatsnake, and Electric Wizard forming a steady pallet, but with the combination of the face-melting riffs, and gloriously unsettling vocals, Gévaudan are carving out a little foot hole in history of their own. Watch this space!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Cinema: XV - 15 Years of Ufomammut


"Seth, where's the bin with all the Christmas decorations in it?"

Is she serious? I set aside a few hours this morning to saturate myself in the heaviest of Italian sludge cosmos and she's doing her damnedest to create a distraction. It's been a long time comin', but I've finally carved some time to dig into Ufomammut's DVD retrospective, XV. Countless extraneous variables contributed to this delay, but none more joy-bursting than the sound of my better half barking stupid questions about anything and damn-near everything.

Fifteen years? Hardly seems like it. These spacey sludgers have spanned an entire career evolving, innovating, and preparing lesson after lesson on how to structure and craft what amounts to a marriage of the ethereal and the unwritten. As the film points out, Ufomammut initially sought to fuse space with prehistoric men. Extracted relics have, for years, been slung beyond our galaxy's man-made bounds. They've drawn dyads so distinct, one of distance and staggering intimacy, one so exhausting that it's hard to believe it's also so immersive. This peek into the band's magick parallels Ufomammut's objective as well as it explains it.

Consider first the live twelve-track performance, a grainy, snuffed context accompanying the galactic sludge-doom infancy of early tracks like Superjunkhead and Zerosette. Filtered through black-and-white and sepia masks and laced with disorienting lumbers, you'd think you'd stumbled into a club's back gate and struck psychedelic gold. Over time, though, you're privy to an ongoing chemistry few acts can boast. Urlo, Poia, and Vita rip the same page and inflict the same glaze, performing as if they either don't know or don't care that viewers are having their senses raped by Helter-Skelter imagery. Throughout their tenure, Ufomammut have steadily swelled the importance of visually-stimulating sidecars. Here they blur lines between band, fan, and stagehand. And when Poia offers a warm smile at Stigma's end, we know that they know: they fucking nailed it.

On the documentary's end of things, the band's formation and initial lineup changes quickly give way to explanations on why they've remained a power trio. And when one former keyboardist sounds all at once vain and jealous while another dons a Lucha Libre mask and offers odd praises, it's hard to argue the band's decision to keep the fat trimmed. But where the doc most excels is not in what it historically explains, but in how it offers the explanation. Malleus delivers simple, straightforward, and chronological reflections on Ufomammut's evolutions. Much like their songs and, later, their albums, Ufomammut developed slowly over time. Godlike Snake was rough, they say. Snailking was an extension that received no promotion, and Lucifer Songs offered the band a chance to transition their sound. But oh, what followed...

This is just as Ufomammut has always been. The commitment to evolution and progress is evident throughout their catalog, and this is both directly and indirectly outlined here. Even as they discuss their early works and the accomplishments therein, the band is quick to acknowledge their shortcomings and resulting strides. It's also refreshing to learn a band as accomplished as this is open to criticism, is engaging with audiences of any size, and holds true to the roots they set down fifteen years prior. They honor fans and touring support as much as they honor their own sound, and they insist on doing it all them-fucking-selves. Awesome.

XV essentially offers two films. Magickal Mastery Live is low-slung sludge jams laced with a visual haze dripping from every moment's borders. At times, the band appears swallowed and any epileptic should turn back now. Jumpy, nervous, and laced with ancient symbols, there's no better supplement to one of the world's finest psychedelic doom acts than these eighty minutes. The visuals blanket the sounds with malevolent imperfection, crafting a full-circle experience that's a trippy cocktail of dark warps and burned retinas.

Of course the interviews are more sobering, though they're hardly less interesting. The band's DIY ethic runs a ribbon through 2012's double-album Oro (Opus Primus / Opus Alter), essentially one riff expanded into ninety minutes. The band delves deepest here, and not because the double album is their most recent. It's assertively their most complex and mature, another in a series of statements and stomps forward. Vocals are another instrument, something most Heavy Planet readers would acknowledge. But it's the visual element that's developed into the missing link, the emotive corner the band truly polished over time.

For fifteen years, Ufomammut have strung a series of increasingly expansive and fluid sounds, all interwoven and fortified with the threads of unmatched heaviness. So when the band's members deflect accolades and attempt to acknowledge the luck they've experienced, it's difficult to buy. These three men have become Ufomammut, and Ufomammut has become these three men. They set out to "play the heaviest stuff in the world." XV holds three-plus hours of footage illustrating just how they managed to pull this off.



Friday, December 5, 2014

Sixty Watt Shaman to Debut New Material and You're All Invited


If you live within driving distance of Baltimore, Maryland then get off your ass and come party with some of the East Coast's heaviest hitters tomorrow night at Metro Gallery.  

Come see the legendary Sixty Watt Shaman debut long awaited new jams alongside well known classics.

Co-headlining the evening will be another stoner rock legend, Dave Sherman, and his latest outlet for grooves and ganja, Weed is Weed.  

And don't be late, because the riff slinging starts early when local boys (and girl) Foghound take the stage, followed by sets from Washington DC's Borracho, and Volume IV all the way from Atlanta, Georgia.

The heavy is happening in Baltimore on Saturday night.  See you there!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Triple Threat

Whalerider - Thanatos


Mixing elements of stoner, grunge, psychedelia, and some cool ass classic rock, comes Germany’s newest rock titans Whalerider with their debut riff heavy record Thanatos, an album full of maturity and layered heavy rock songs, that keeps you attached to the journey, that mythical beast of an actual album, rather than a few songs and some filler; Thanatos is something which you have to listen to from start to finish, no skipping.

Easing you into the record with a bit of dubstep feedback, the album begins in earnest with riffs aplenty on ‘What’s In Your Head?’ showing signs of things to come with faded spaced-out vocals mixed with some heavy pounding drums and guitars leading the way. It’s the combination of spaced out jamming and gut-busting riffing that becomes Whalerider’s signature move. Singer Max Feibel shows off a great vocal range throughout, especially when growling “Let me be your entertainment” on the heavy-psyched-out ‘Feed My Affection’. His vocals are a glue which links the ranging musical styles together so well, easily switching the heavier with the slower with the trippier, and back to the heavier again. The underlying moments of Whalerider lie in their stoner rock mentality, roaring through a track such as ‘Self-Destruction’ with seemingly effortless joy and power.
Thanatos is an excellent album which may find itself high up on anyone’s end of year lists.





Sumer – The Animal You Are

A slightly different beast for Heavy Planet here, but one that we couldn’t let go unnoticed.  Hailing from South-Eastern England, post-rock-metal-progressive newcomers Sumer have released not just an fantastic debut record, but a journey which encapsulates your very being, gripping and tightening with every riff, pulling you in every direction of laid back spaced out jamming to full throttle heavy-on-the-riffs destruction.

The band have echoes in their sound from the likes of Pelican, Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster, and Tool all rolled into one enormous acid trip, but yet there is something about Sumer which makes them stand out from their predecessors, whether it’s the joint vocals of Ian Hill and Tim Bonney, or the compact instrumentals of ‘Progenesis’ that twist round your soul in a death grip. Perhaps it is the band’s ability to carve out an album of heavy-light-heavy songs which never meander off from their course and into self-righteous unnecessary warbling: Sumer keep things tight, with a technical ability that is an impressive sound to behold.  

Songs can be isolated and highlighted, in particular tracks such as ‘Pinch, Cut’ has particular heavy passion screaming out, but it’s vital that The Animal You Are is heard as a collective sound, as it was intended. Take your time and lose yourself for a while in the technical audacity of Sumer, but just remember to take a breath now and again.

The Animal You Are is released through Wild Heart Records.


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Mage – Last Orders

Stoner-Doom can be too heavy a beast for many, the sheer thunderous destruction of the sound can collapse many young bands in the practice room, crushed under their own riffs. Not for Leicestershire, England’s own Mage however, on Last Orders they become the gods in the clouds that weild the whip, rather than those who feel its wrath (in other words they’re really good at what they do).

Getting no further than two tracks in and already the pummelling will have weakened out the herd of pretenders and passersby, working in elements of sludge and metal riffing into their arsenal, Mage are a scary beast to try and control. The band state that they are compelled by the power of the riff and black magic, and it’s abundantly clear on Last Orders as a track such as ‘Beyond’ feels like a planet is lying on your chest as waves of thick sludgy doom swarm at your feet, it’s often a suffocating listen: a record for the sadomasochist in us all.

Mage’s second record as a band is dark, heavy, venomous, crushing, but all-in-all, quite majestic. Crush your bones!

Last Orders is available through the ever increasingly brilliant Witch Hunter Records


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