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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!

Monday, October 28, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: The Playlist V11

This week since I had a little extra time I decided to go with a tad different format. Since we are Heavy Planet, I wanted to show you where each band on the playlist hails from. I will also feature each song under the band description so you can listen to it individually if you prefer. The usual MixCloud player will follow as well for listening while on the go. I hope you enjoy this playlist and possibly discover a new favorite in the process. This is an awesome playlist this week and is guaranteed to make your entire body tremble. 

Alphatross-Hard Rock/Stoner/Metal from Oslo, Norway

Brick Sun-Stoner Metal from Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Bruto-Stoner Metal from Santiago, Chile

Cloud Catcher-Classic/Psychedelic/Doom Metal band from Denver, Colorado

Doctor Smoke-Occult Stoner Doom Rock from Mingo Junction, Ohio

Domovoyd-Psychedelic Stoner Doom band from Seinäjoki, Finland

Dust Blenders-Stoner Rock from Lyon, France

Elephant Riders-Stoner Rock from Vélez,Málaga

Fungus-Psychedelic Stoner Rock from Madrid, Spain

Hemisferia-Stoner Rock/Heavy fuzzed out rock from Mar del Plata, Argentina

Iron Sword-Stoner/Doom/Sludge Metal band from Burlington, Vermont

Linear North-Psychedelic/Garage/Heavy Blues from Albany, New York

Mountain Thrower-Psychedelic Stoner Rock from Wilmington, North Carolina

Oxcross-Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal band from Salt Lake City, Utah

Plainride-Stoner Rock 'n' Roll from Cologne, Germany

Sinister Haze-Psychedelic Stoner Doom band from Richmond ,Virginia

Space God Ritual-Doom Metal from Portland, Oregon

Swamp Devil-Hard Rock/Stoner/Doom Metal from Portland, Oregon

We Hunt Buffalo-Dirty, grimy, stoner rock from Vancouver, BC

Yuri Gagarin-Heavy Space Rock from Gothenburg, Sweden

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Demo Review - Barbarian Fist

Norwegians Barbarian Fist are a power trio doom metal band and according to their bandcamp blurb they, "Consist of equal parts downtuned fuzz guitar, used up riffs, and sexual innuendo, this power trio strives to make music that will make you less inclined to take a bath, more likely to ingest large amounts of beer, as well as instantly grow a magnificent beard(regardless of gender)."

There are 2 songs that make up this demo EP with "The Whorelord Cometh" being the first and which opens with a sample from Conan the Barbarian and Arnie, after having been asked what is best in life replies, "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women." A soft groove then teases before an almighty fuzz is turned up to supreme and drops with all the fuzzed out glory of anything by those weedian priests we know as Sleep. The similarity to Sleep stays through much of the first half of this song with vocals that drip Sleep-ness but half way things turn blissfully psychedelic with soaring riffs and licks that had me thinking of Astroqueen and their catchy riffed and ultra-fuzzed brand stoner metal.

"No Brakes on the Rape Train" has some solo guitar work that takes a few leaves out of Colour Haze's book before the chunky fuzz riffs and thundering drums are unleashed to reveal a hazy blend of Kyuss and Colour Haze style riffs blowing with an air of breezy positivity that lead to hugely satisfying guitar lickery towards the end. Licks so satisfying in fact that despite this track being an instrumental, I still managed to sing along.

There is little new or unique in Barbarian Fist's sound but what stands out for me is that this band take used up riffs and meld them with their own to make some very pleasing stoner/doom metal and I very much hope to hear more from this band in the future.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Sludge: 30,000 Monkies - "Somewhere Over The Painbow"

So Halloween is here. Actually, no... Halloween celebrations are here in the form of pumpkin beers and girls flying their true slut colors. It's the same shit every year. Dorothy goes knees-to-the-sky for some douche in a pimp outfit while your best friend spends Sunday morning posting embarrassing pictures of you in a torn costume and smeared mascara. Your kid's carved pumpkin somehow made it into the street and he's asking if Old Man Thompson is really gonna put staples in the sweets.

Well, perhaps timing is everything. Belgium's 30,000 Monkies chose this October to release their second album, Somewhere Over The Painbow. Both the band's name and the album's title scream Wizard of Oz, but otherwise these four tracks are as far as one could get from the wondrous colors and delightful strangers of the perennial fall classic. The weird, violent experimentations won't make your child's holiday special. In fact, I'll issue the warning now that you listen with headphones and ask your folks to babysit. Like shards of glass and an open bottle o' grain alcohol, these sounds have no place where children live.

If you're prone to nausea, avoid the jagged opener, Imerial Staches. The cavernous drums give way to hollow rhythms, heavily punctuated with fret descent. The screams are hardly surprising, but the balance of brevity with the brutality bounces with a stop-start bonus that'll leave you nodding in frantic "Yessir!" fashion. Bottom line, it's two minutes of fiery, hellish sludge-noise that leaves no wiggle room.

Follow that with spacey panning and uncoiled aggression on Amazones, odd and thick with flowing bass-led passages of meet-me-at-the-flagpole beatings. There's something technologically otherworldly snarling between the passages as choppy guitars hover with uncertainty. All kinds of lurches, lunges, churns, and spewings coat any expectations until the pace lifts on stoner-sludge passages. A staggering drunk finally collapses, but not before collecting loose-trash treasures all the way home.

Czarring pulls no punches and never masks the malice. Puzzling as the track is, you're never confused by its intentions. Slow-swelling evil draws us down a path coated with fuzz and cartoonish disdain. The vocals are clearer here, a highlight amid the odd chants that assist in clouding comparisons to other bands. A brief dance with wood shop guitars is interrupted by eerie Speak & Spell static and handclaps from hell's cheerleaders. With every quirk comes a thick dose of discomfort.

It would seem the disc's first three tracks offered enough jarring experimentation to allow the album's closer to breathe Transylvanian elements into ticks and belches. Batteram moans prophetically under spooky keys and totally fuckin' weird lyrics. The closest comparisons one might make to this doom carnival would be Ghost B.C.'s Secular Haze or or more likely Marilyn Manson's Shitty Chicken Gang Bang. Just three minutes in, however, we again meet gargantuan sludge-doom via drums and riffs in sync. The pendulum sways with abandon, the vocal is primal pain, and scratchy guitars may as well stab you with Lee Ranaldo's screwdriver. As a whole, the track is a steady stream of buzzing hornets and sluggish pauses, hollow pockets peppered between surges and screeches. The track is soaked in reverb, you're soaked in blood and sweat. As for those disembodied screams... Well, they weren't purchased at Halloween City.

Before the grinding repetitive troubles leave you cutting your own face and grinning with insanity, wait for the fever to pass. Somewhere Over The Painbow is devilishly harsh and addictive. If the band put on a mask, they certainly never bothered taking it off. Don't get in the van. He doesn't have a puppy, and candy doesn't go well with a side of calculated torture. The previous six paragraphs will tell you nothing about this band or this release. Approach with caution and tuck a key under your knuckles, guy. These sludge experiments are testing you as much as the sounds.

For fans of: Sepultura, Evil Superstars, Melvins
Pair with: Evil Dead Red, AleSmith Brewing Company

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Band To Burn One To-GLORY OWL



Glory Owl is a five piece stoner-metal combo based in Trieste, Italy. Formed in early 2012, the band shortly put up a convincing setlist for their live appearances and two promo songs home produced -The sky is black now; Trainwreck- the latter being published in Kornalcielo Records' compilation: Trieste Rock City.

The band hit the studio during summer 2013 to record their first, self titled, EP, wich is to be released in digital format in late october 2013.

Glory Owl is Gian (voice), Papa (bass, backing v), Moka (guitar, backing v), Toni (guitar) and Tenagliato (drums).

The band is currently unsigned and searching for a label.


"First off let's get right to the point that Glory Owl is not out to reinvent the wheel. What this four-piece band from Italy does is rock your face off with heavy riffing and unbridled enthusiasm. This 4-song self-titled EP was released in September and is just a taste of what this band is about to bring to the masses. The highlight on this EP for me is the track "Gretta". The song is heavy as fuck and has a blood-curdling breakdown that will snap your neck, plus how can you beat a song that starts with the lyrics..."Lucifer My Friend"?

If you want a quick jolt of heavy energetic rock, then look no further than Glory Owl!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Heavy Planet Unveils Album Artwork For Upcoming Compilation

Today we unveil the artwork for our upcoming FREE compilation "Bong Hits From the Astral Basement Volume 2". The artwork was done by our very own staff writer The Nuclear Dog. The compilation will be released on January 1, 2014 and will be comprised of some of the best new and upcoming Stoner/Doom/Sludge bands on the planet. If you are familiar with our last compilation, then you know what I am talking about.

If you are in a band and would like to be included on this massive compilation that will be downloaded and heard by thousands of people I suggest you get in on the action now at the link below. Do it now and do it early because we stop taking submissions on November 30, 2013.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: VIRUSES



Viruses is M. Vitali (guitars, electronics), Jeffrey Smith (bass, electronics), and Rocco DiDonna (vocals, electronics). Popdust was recorded in Chicago and New York and was released through Magnetic Eye Records (MER018).


"Who says you need riffs and distortion to burn one, eh? I couldn't possibly be succinct in pushing the debut release from VIRUSES, an ambient-electronic three-piece stringing together nine spacey barbs on Popdust. Ethereal, entrancing, and at times deceptively dark, this is one strange, gorgeous detour splintered by arresting digital distractions.

Opening on the tense and lush Glow (Forever Fangs), we're introduced to alternating layers celebrating the organic and the synthetic while child-like distraction grows with every delightfully sporadic blip on the equally taut Earth Family Immortal. The vocal haunt evident on Lago d'Orta (Those Who Feel) channels Isaac Brock, churning and spitting with gorgeous devastation over an atmospheric drone.

Industrialized stomp and primal caution somehow marry here. There are those detectable improvisations, fueled less by mind and more by heart. But just how free is this band? Subjecting themselves to no fine-tuning and relying solely on impulse seems to work pretty well, even when smoothed-out loungescapes (Landmines) evolve into peppered blasts of pixelated shrapnel (Revanans). At the end of the day, we're walking past her house. Reflecting, regretting, and yearning.

The juxtapositions should be impossibly difficult to execute, but somehow they're not. The über-modern and the traditional, the patient and the impulsive, the dark and the hope-laden. Maybe they're not tip-toeing with streetside icy sadness; maybe they're cautiously crossing a frozen pond. Their destinations and motivations matter to them, sure. What matters to us is how captivating such questions can be."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Album Review "Wood & Wire" split with Coma Wall and Undersmile

This latest release from the Shaman Recordings camp brings together Oxford UK's Undersmile and their acoustic alter-ego Coma Wall on one release.

Although this is Coma Wall’s debut, they’ve already gained fans after playing sets at Desertfest 2012 and supporting Dylan Carlson (of Earth) on his first ever solo show.The 3 songs, "Summer", "You Are My Death" and "Cutter's Choice" that are offered here are fine examples of stripped down and bare acoustic doom folk jams that are very down tempo with moody riffs, plodding percussion and solemn but transcendental vocals full of earthly and wet forest atmosphere. With elements of dark and bleak folk in the same vein as dark folk bands such as Fearthainne and the desolate and lost driftings of Earth, Coma Wall create a sumptuous sound that is laid back and introspective and is as close to true acoustic doom that you will hear, with this particular genre being somewhat rare, unless I'm missing all the good stuff.

The next 3 songs are from the mother band of Coma Wall; Undersmile. Having enlisted the engineering skills of Justin Greaves (Iron Monkey, Electric Wizard, Crippled Black Phoenix), Undersmile deliver 3 songs of slow and low doom that come in the form of "Soil", "Killer Bob" and "Hives". Each track is just as bleak as the songs from their Coma Wall persona but with a much heavier blackness. The vocals are dark but transcendent and are delivered in a monotone like chant over monolithic and crushing riffs that take their time to pulverize. The drums are sloth like and sparse but when hit they are as earth shaking as the riffs are crushing. Mixing some of their influences such as Swans and Babes in Toyland, Undersmile produce a cold bleakness drawn from the well spring of atmospheric doom that is all at once depressing and invigorating, a paradox that works very well for Undersmile.

"Wood & Wire" can be heard and purchased now from the Shaman Recordings Bandcamp where you can also hear their previous release from UK doomers Black Magician.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Sea of Bones - "The Earth Wants Us Dead"

I can't say I didn't see it coming. Every asshole in the office managed a sneeze, a cough, and a day off work via this sinus garbage being shared. When every channel connecting my ears, nose, and throat needs the benefit of a stiff plunging, it's likely hard to imagine the bleakest of hazy sludge metal providing any measure of comfort. I'm gonna play up my assumption that the drone I've enjoyed for the last twenty-seven minutes is credited to today's Sunday Sludge rather than the ringing ears that kept me up half the night.

Halloween marks the second release from Connecticut's Sea Of Bones, an atmospheric-doom collective committed to slowly snuffing your hope on The Earth Wants Us Dead, the trio's first release since 2007's The Harvest. Six tracks cover ninety minutes, an expansive amalgam of industrial sludge metal and droning soundscapes that ensures your mood won't improve much.

Not a damn one of these six tracks is anything you can zoom through (the shortest clocks at just over seven minutes). But this isn't an album that leaves you staring at the clock. You might just shake your head at how painfully real these mists can grow. Opening on The Stone The Slave And The Architect, we're at times offered an industrialized, churning sludge that slams us from side to side within a rough concrete corridor. At a snail's pace we're drawn and quartered atop a bed of fuzz. Boiling to the surface are vocals likened to charred pleas barbed with scars, delivering prophetic finger-pointings and dragging shit-caked feet.

Much later, on The Bridge, industrial filth is again realized. Starting on unsettling panning from side to side, the track rubs its eyes, slowly rises, and slaps itself into sobriety with cold palms. There's an absolutely devastating breed of sprayed soot, a stained outlook that evolves to rattle skulls on what is now the disc's heaviest hitter. Under the weight of incessant cymbal crashes and splintered guitars, the sound somehow seems to expand and implode all at once.

Where Sea Of Bones find their bearings is within tempo shifts and breathy transitions. Black Arm moves more quickly in a steady stream of chaos, like machines losing their rivets and spitting beyond control. You'll bite your inner-cheek trying to execute these tight turns, but barren earth is just ahead on Failure Of Light and Beneath The Earth. Call it the most complete track on the album, you might initially find Failure  relatively sunny, while the slow lakeside pluck of Beneath may provide catharsis, reflection, and a half-smile. On the former, the smooth lilt of guitar marries the gentle introduction of rhythm, but slowly emerging is a pensive sludge bounce. The structure has more movement and richer tones, while the mood sternly glares upward at mounting odds. Wearing many masks, the slow-slugging beast lumbers, caking skin and leaving behind thick clouds. And Beneath finds the band at their most abrasive as we quiver under jarring licks and splashing drums. You're blinded and shuffling on all fours.

The long drone exercise of the closing title track is ominous and eerie. Reverberations move in and out, shifting between rooms with barely a hint of immediate detection. Your ears play tricks and the band is asking that you remain patient. You're frozen stiff, so you don't really have a choice. Agonizingly viscous are the heaves and swells, and you won't know what to make of the distant chatter. Close your eyes and find an escape.

You're not gonna hit play, pound your chest, and grunt "fuck yeah" with this release. You're gonna drift, drop your shoulders, and collapse under the veiled intentions. Imagine a world without color and an existence without comfort. Sea Of Bones present realizations via broad strokes and slow drags. On The Earth Wants Us Dead, they assert rather than suggest. These sludge atmospheres are bleak, sure. But someone's gotta be straight with us.

For fans of: Rwake, Primitive Man, Neurosis
Pair with: Double Mocha Porter, Rogue Ales

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nuclear Dog's Atomic Review: Sasquatch - IV


Like any musical genre Stoner Rock has its giants, those gifted artists and exceptional bands that produce a product easily recognizable as superior in many ways. The second half of 2013 will witness some of those giants - known giants, up and coming giants, and obscure giants of an obscure genre - releasing new and heavily anticipated music. One of those Stoner Rock giants, in the minds of fan and critic alike, is in the top two or three currently active bands, and could very well retain that lofty status once their music has been consigned to history. This is a band recognized far and wide for the quality of original fuzz it has produced over the course of a decade and change, sporting music of gargantuan riffs and melodic song structures, consisting of a three man line up that has seen only one member change over that time. It is a line up consisting of all-pro rockers, supremely talented, motivated, and passionate to their fuzzy metal cores.

I am talking, of course, about the behemoth band Sasquatch, who have recently released their fourth album on Small Stone Records, aptly and succinctly titled "IV", following after the timeless "III" of 2010, the jaw dropping "II" of 2006, and 2004's self titled notice of arrival.

The lineup for Sasquatch includes the newest member, Jason Casanova, who has been with the band now since just prior to the release of their monster third album. He has not only seamlessly fit in, but has perhaps brought a higher level of intensity and musicianship by wielding his bass like a wild-eyed, claymore brandishing berserker, full of fury, passion, and, above all, skill.

Providing tectonic reverberations is the timeless Rick Ferrante, equally ferocious in his impeccable wood on skin pummelings, perpetuating the same excellence as has been demonstrated on all previous releases, and providing timeless and unmatchable continuity throughout the band's legacy of fuzz.

Providing the meat, the origin, and the monster riffs that define Sasquatch is the incomparable Keith Gibbs, a bona fide artistic giant, whose song writing skills and masterful six string manipulations are powered by his unique musical gifts and a heart as big as the hairy beast for which the band is named. Add to that vocals of perfect pitch and power and you have an artist of exceptional chops.

"IV" has been heavily anticipated, with a festering fervor brewing through the three year gap since their last album was released, an album that was highly, and rightly acclaimed as a hallmark achievement of supreme musicianship and quality. That kind of success, along with the sustained success over three great albums in a decade, breeds both anticipation and apprehension. Anticipation for what surely will be another superb rendering. Apprehension for sustained quality, perhaps. We expect lightning to strike yet again. But there is always that little kernel of . . . not doubt necessarily, because there is no reason to doubt it . . . trepidation, maybe, that our good fortune with the Sasquatch lottery might run out on this ticket.

So, what is the verdict for the fourth album from a bonifide Stoner Rock giant? In a word, magnificent. Talent in all areas meets passion in the same, generating a cascading onslaught of gargantuan, heavy, beefy, fuzzy riffs, beats, hooks, and melody. THIS is what you want a stoner rock album to be, an intoxicating experience of sound that permeates through every pore and infiltrates to every cell, leaving you lusting for an immediate repeat injection.

One of the coolest aspects of Sasquatch's music is that none of it feels calculated beyond the simple intent of playing what they've made, which, given their immense talents in songsmithing and song execution becomes an intensely enjoyable experience, especially when played loud, and, for my preferences, up close and personal through high quality headphones.

Many of the songs on "IV" represent growth for the band as they explore new paths just outside the boundaries they set on the first three albums. They do not deviate from their strengths so much as develop new muscles of deep stoner fuzz that build upon that strong foundation. The album, though, also contains a smattering of tried and true Sasquatch tunes, so take heart those who fear change. It's an album with the best of all worlds, standard tracks that deliver that comfortable old fuzzy cardigan, songs with fresh direction generating excitement and deep energetic release, and songs that are signature Sasquatch capable of sliding into I, II, or III, as well as giving IV that deep blues rock grounding for which this threesome is known.

"I've Got a Message" opens the album with energy and fun, delivering a song that's a little like a steamroller barrelling full force just out of control down a steep San Francisco boulevard.

Next up is "Eye of the Storm", a tour de force in radioactive output and exposed nerves, in which the band veers away a bit from what has been their signature style without abandoning any part of their tried and true sound. If anything, the tandem strings of Gibbs and Cas deliver larger caliber munitions in a cacophony spray of distorted ecstasy driven relentlessly forward by Ferrante's feral roar of lumber on skin. This song is heavy with anguish and pain, intentional or not, with gargantuan heart and unimaginable skill providing one of the most satisfying tracks of the year from any and all rock sources.

What follows next is a series of songs that demonstrate for the fourth time in a decade the brilliance and thrill of the blues rock riddled, distorted, fuzzy riff rages of one of rock's most talented threesomes, who both go a far piece to define a genre while rumbling loud and long within its own craggy niche. From "Sweet Lady" to "Me and You" are five sagas of anguish, betrayal, and pain as relayed through fuzz boxes and high caliber amplifiers in the employ of a trio of warlocks of distortion. Joining in on "Smoke Signal" are Mr. Small Stone, Scott Hamilton on guitar, and Gozu's Marc Gaffney on vocals, slathering juicy relish onto what was already a juicy, meaty morsel of soul stomping sound.

The penultimate track, "Corner", is a brilliant uptempo full speed tank ride, straight ahead, powerful, constructed and executed to perfection. The only knock on this song might be it's too short! Of course, it's the perfect length, I just hated to hear it drop to silence after a frenetic 3 minutes. Sasquatch more than make up for it on the closer, "Drawing Flies", an eminate slow burn of unyielding intensity that bores its way through to the very core of the listener's tribal origins, striking a long lying primal chord with harmonic perfection.

The threesome of Sasquatch each demonstrate the highest levels of musicianship and craft on this album, especially in service of low tuned and slow burning musical intensity. Gibbs' guitar is power and brilliance, mining the depths of blues fueled fuzz with passion and grace. Casanova is a marvel of booming reverberations dexterously executed. Ferrante yields a smooth, effortless, yet vigorous prowess with his virtuoso performance on drums. Gibbs, too, is a master singer whose vocal instrument is exceptional on every note, every nuance, and every inflection. All is blended together and perfectly executed in the service of inventive, perceptive, and resourceful song writing. This is an album of note, perhaps made all the more so when considering it's the fourth in line of exceptional releases, a position that for many would expose a threadbare vein of artistic provender, but for this band, instead, reveals new direction, incredible passion, and songs for the ages.

facebook || bandcamp || Small Stone || flog || lyrics

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Album Review: Polvo - Siberia

Polvo were always the masters of the unexpected. There is not one genre to place them in. No other band sounds like them and they never move backwards. Their albums always continue to surprise. Weird musicians being weird can be entertaining, but it’s rare to find a band this weird and passionate about their songs. They write songs that hold a perfect balance of unpredictability and emotion. Siberia is their second album since their hiatus and a better and more focused record than the previous- In Prisms. A band this cerebral would take a record or two to get back in the swing of things. These tracks are smoother, the overall vibe of the album is concise and the vocal melodies are some of the best of their career. 

It opens with “Total Immersion”, a song reminiscent of the Celebrate the New Dark Age record. They are in top form with zany dueling guitar riffs, wild drum patterns, and innovative melodies. Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski sound the same. Their voices haven’t changed much over the years. This is one of their darker records, although there are some catchy melodies throughout, but the underlying vibe is a heavy dark tone. 

“Blues is Loss” continues with the signature Polvo sound of the 90’s, very progressive, much like the critically acclaimed Exploded Drawing. This is a whole different kind of prog than Rush or Yes, and they’re not exactly like their detuned peers Sonic Youth, who they have been compared to in the past. The band seems to be in their own world musically. One can argue that the music isn’t influenced by anything at all. It’s hard to pick out any specific influences or similarities. So why is this better than the last Polvo record? The next song is one example. 

“Light, Raking” begins with a John Bonham type hard hitting groove that leads into a new wave synth chorus that’s the catchiest song the band’s ever released. But the fact that it’s poppy does not stop them from tripping you out with other-worldly sound effects and complex compositions. None of these songs have simple song structures. It makes you wonder how long do they actually take to write this music. Does it come quick to them? Do they spend years? Bottom line, they have honed in on a sound that only they can execute. 

The highlight of the album for me, is an acoustic track- “Old Maps”. They are not known for recording much with acoustic guitars, but this song is so unique sounding, I’d love to hear acoustic renditions of all their songs. There are some interesting time signature changes with cymbal washes and chimes rolling over the music. It really does sound like they spent more time on this album than the last, or perhaps they had to bang In Prisms out to get their full-on mojo back. In summation, this is one the best Polvo albums in their discography. It will grow in your brain the more times you listen, and it will thrive and get better every listen. Making boring music is not something this band does, whether you get it or not. And if you’ve never heard Polvo, open your mind and see what’s intriguing about them. The reward is worth the curiosity of time invested. And like other bands of this breed of pioneers, a new Polvo album will make you want to go back and revisit their other records in a new light. Perhaps someday, they will achieve the notoriety they deserve in the mainstream. Till the rest of the world catches up, they remain a cult band for listeners with elite record collections and exquisite taste.

The members of Polvo are:
Ash Bowie - Guitar, Vocals
Dave Brylawski - Guitar, Vocals
Steve Popson - Bass
Brian Quast - Drums

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Zac's "Quik Drag": Supervoid-Filaments

Supervoid - Filaments 

Some of the Heavy Planet crew, including myself, had the chance to catch Supervoid live in Pittsburgh at the 31st St Pub this past August. This local five piece got started back in 2012 and have been bludgeoning audiences with what Heavy Planets' very own Tobias Maximus described as a monumental mash-up of Lamb of God meets Mastodon. Having never listened to Supervoid previously, I had no idea what to expect. However, I was reassured by the band's tee shirt propaganda (Baroness, Immortal and Mastodon) that these cats were educated in the heavy and were going to deliver a hefty helping to the minute crowd that particular summer evening. 

Since that ear fuzzing and spine numbing evening, Supervoid have completed their debut release Filaments and given Heavy Planet the chance to preview it. First off, the wait was worth it and second, everything I was engrossed in at the smoke filled 31st St Pub has evolved into an interstellar road trip that you won't mind giving up shotgun, you'll just want to be part of the trip. These five musicians play off one another with such fluidity that the music becomes a cosmic river, rolling through both organic and man-made structures, eroding what was and transforming it into something new. Supervoid employ a sludge-coated trod at the core of their tunes and compliment the lows with a starry ascension. This creates a sort of ebb and flow very similar to the instrumental post-metal genius' Pelican and Red Sparrows, except here listeners are getting lashed with a diverse style of vocals, part Randy Blythe part Jeff Martin (Lo-Pan). Filaments does not simply rely on atmoshpere and ambiance, the group dive into the record like they were late for the party of the century. Coat of Luminous, our album opener, is full of fast strumming, catchy licks, and plenty of chances for everyone to sing a long. Quite a contrast to the space rock inspired, progressive side of Filaments. Stand out track for this listener is Wake of the Smoke Jumper. Implementing some steady bass drum thumps Wake of the Smoke Jumper quickly mutates as the lead vocals appear as an all devouring mouth monster gulping down the very ground before you. Some powerful female vocals (ha ha found out this is actually Brian) soar over-top the gritty male vocals in the chorus and the song recedes back with some cleaner plucking only to be overtaken again in a golden napalm shower. 

Filaments is a dynamic and surprising debut for these Pittsburgh'rs. Fans of progressive sludge titans Mastodon and the film Star Wars will certainly be smitten from the galactic style artwork with thematic gems hidden on the cover, the low n' slow burners and elephantine percussion.  Filaments is available now as a name your price download.  Be sure to get your copy or if you will be in the Pittsburgh area catch the release show with the mighty Orange Goblin at The Rex Theater [October 26th].         

Brian - Vocals 
Dave - Guitar 
Greg - Drums 
Joe - Guitar 
John - Bass

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Demo Review - "D​.​F​.​F​.​L" by Alucarda

Alucarda is the name of a Mexican horror movie released in 1978. It had more blood, loud screaming and nudity than any other horror film made at the time of its release, and for some years after that. It is one of my all time favorite cult horror movies that not very many people have heard of and is up there with other mostly unknown gems of 70's horror like Tombs of the Blind Dead for example. I learned about these movies from reading Electric Wizard's front man Jus Oborn talk about his influences and as any true fan would do, I went about devouring as many obscure and low budget foreign language horror movies as I could. No doubt I wasn't the only one.

Now there is Alucarda the band from Copenhagen who have released a demo featuring 4 slabs of dirty grimy doom punk that is heavy on the Electric Wizard style riffs and lyrics and seething with raw as fuck and angry punk. They sound like a gang of insane and murderously be-demoned bikers with mohawks and beards charging about on deafening hell machines and sparing no lives as they go about their wanton destruction and it sounds fucking awesome!!

Their demo opens with "Electric Tower" from big black feedback and into even bigger growling doom riffs slathered with essence of Electric Wizard until the track takes off into savage and violent doom punk that is in the same camp as the likes of Satan's Satyrs. The song tares along swinging its fists about and smashing everything in its way until it drops down into harsh and crushing doom half way only to get back up and continue its angry punk smash down until the very end when there seems to be nothing left to smash.

"Nosteratu's Doom" carries things on with face melting doom punk that is loud and obnoxious and not the kind of music your gran would appreciate being subjected to for more than a few seconds before fouling herself. Further on the song slows into very sleazy wha'd riffs tuned very low and is as soul crushingly heavy and hypnotic as any Electric Wizard track you've heard.

"Wicked Sabbath" begins with stoned and lazy Sleep meanderings until an evil laugh mocks you just before a drop into monolithic Sabbathian riffs of concentrated doom. The track is an instrumental but features voice samples from horror movies here and there but for the most part the track towers above with massive EW style riffs and hooks that capture you in brain melting doom shivers until the evil cackling laugh returns to see the track out.

The final and demo title track that is "D.F.F.L" begins with a long sample from a movie that I don't know yet and a hippy giving grief to a cop because of the grief the cop gives to the likes of him with his long hair and pot smoking and gazing at the stars and writing poetry in the sand. Then the track kicks you in your face with blazing and rolling heavy punk rock full of dirt and spite and angry energy. The riffs come large and fast with tumbling chaotic drums and freaked out guitar and Wha lickery Electric Wizard style. The track tares along like a heavily damaged juggernaut trailing flames and thick plumes of black smoke until it is slowed temporarily by a huge wall of doom before the blazing heavy punk returns for a final tare up until the end.

I am an immediate fan of this band, not just because of their name or because they have very successfully bound together some truly doom inspired riffs right out of EW's book with violently roughshod and teeth grittingly dirty punk rock but because of that. Yes, it is because of that. They play as if they are Electric Wizard playing punk rock which works very well and although they don't seem to have a Facebook and only a Bandcamp page where you can listen to their demo but not buy and download it, I really hope to see a release of this demo very soon.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Deuil - "Acceptance/Rebuild"

"But the trees in Stephen's Green were fragrant of rain and the rain-sodden earth gave forth its mortal odour, a faint incense rising upward through the mould from many hearts."

You're just in a state of shock. Give it a few days until the realization of total loss throws you to the floor in bawling fits. Everyone is expecting you to break down; just do your best to keep it from happening in public, mate. There are stages. This is normal. Assert all you want that it's not fair and doesn't seem real, but that can't change the fact that you've been left alone and the backbone you thought you had suddenly needs tightening.

"Deuil" translates to mourning, so perhaps the tight-lipped side-stares could've been expected. But Belgium's blackened funeral-sludge quartet offer an atmosphere of total loss and wash it down with angst and an audience of cautious observation. Acceptance/Rebuild responds to that knock on your door with slow tempos, tightly-threaded swirls of haunt, and skyward glances hoping to prevent tears from streaming south. That being said, it's gonna take a few listens before you're fully willing to start the grieving process.

Two tracks totaling twenty-seven agonizing minutes, eh? Trust us, it's pretty good. The tracks seem to execute exactly what their names suggest. Acceptance employs disembodied chants and a cloud of floating-static riffs to distract from the impending slow-sipping sludge stomp. Layers emerge and mournful sobs breed skin-scratching crackles, all under the canopy of inwardly-directed anger. Rueful violence splits at the edges and reveals a self-hate that just might block this "acceptance" from ever truly happening. Massive walls of regret swell and sweep with processional droning as backmasked memories linger and tick. The seventeen-minute opener is melodic and melancholy, completely exhausting in all its thick grief.

But if there's any hope of forward-thinking, Rebuild provides it. Consider it a white-winter gaze at what's left and what lies ahead. Hollow guitars expand with accompaniments of fuzz and slow tempos, but they find their steam and build under suspicious progressions. The guitars remain distant and guarded, but the track remains ever-confident in its promises of new life. The post-metal rhythms elevate and send us into a total warp of perception. The ultimate sludge-drone field of churning doubt where we lay our heads is, quite simply, another world.

Deuil channel their hurt in a direction that saturates and completely submerges anyone nearby. Acceptance/Rebuild isn't gonna let you stuff down the pain. The wholly-unsettling manner through which they deliver this sludge leaves little time to notice the dirt; you're focusing on the dead. When you do find a way to cope, Deuil are gonna be directly at your side. It seems they've done this before. Hell, this album could serve as a clinic on loss, mourning, and how the fuck you move on.

For fans of: Rorcal, Mournful Congregation, Lycus
Pair with: Über Sun Imperial Summer Wheat, Southern Tier Brewing Company

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: DOCTOR SMOKE



Heavy smoked out rock and roll from Ohio!

Matt Tluchowski - Vocals/Guitar
Dave Trikones - Drums
Steve Lehocky - Lead Guitar
Cody Cooke - Bass


"I know, I know, it's been a long time since I wrote up a "New Band To Burn One To" post but due to a conflicting work schedule and a much needed vacation, shit happens. Anyways, while I was on vacation I received this little gem in my inbox. I couldn't let these guys stay buried in my never ending pile of band submissions. Hell no! And the fact that they are from my neighboring state of O-high-O heightened my interest. 

With so many bands riding the Occult Doom Rock wave these days or shall I say in this case cloud of smoke, Ohio's Doctor Smoke is about to prove the naysayers wrong. Starting the EP off is the muddied riff-driven rocker "The Willow", the song chugs along with a soul-clutching rhythm and ear-splitting fretwork. Matt Tluchowski's nasally and sinister vocal are the guiding force which cast the spell among these four doom-laden nuggets. The riff fest continues with "Blood and Whiskey" and is once again highlighted by some sensational lead guitar work. The band slows things up a bit with the skull-rattling buzz of "The Seeker". The riff is absolutely blood-curdling on that track. The band finishes up the EP in grand style with their rendition of Pentagram's tune "Sign of the Wolf".

  Doctor Smoke is a great band through and through and you owe it to yourself to give them a listen. The band is currently offering up this little slab-o-doom for free, that's right FREE on their Bandcamp page. 

Enough said, the doctor is in!"

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

LP Review - "Concrescence" by Gonga

Gonga have been around a long time and like any ancient druidic kings, they have appeared in several different incarnations over the aeons but brothers George (guitar) and Thomas (drums) Elgie, have always been the stomp and riff that makes up the meat and potato of Gonga.

I became a huge fan of Gonga when their first S/T album was released back in 2003 and since then have looked forward to hearing what these Bristolian riff masters would release next. It has been a long wait since 2008's "II:Transmigration" and during that time they have evolved from a lyric and riff based outfit with the now solo singer/songwriter Joe Volk providing solemn and harmonious words to crushing doom and bluesy stoner riffs, to an instrumental band that focus primarily on further explorations of their musickal Hermeticism and a learned masterful weaving of their adept riffcraft. Now settled with bassist Latch Manghat, Gonga have been locked away in the low vaults until the world was heavy enough for their third full length release that has come with the name "Concrescence." It has been worth the wait.

From approaching gritty feedback comes the first crush of lowend that opens the album and first track "Miasma", a 10 minute 17 second traverse through the mountains and valleys of Riffdome. The first section has some catchy trad doom exaltations that come right out of Blood Ceremony's grimoire of 70's inspired occult metal until things take a decidedly heavy psychedelic and chugging crunch turn with an acid drenched and thick fuzzed riff that has the smell of Gonga all over it. "Miasma" evolves into a blazing sun dazed freak out with an involving riff that keeps your attention throughout and which reminds me a little of some of Colour Haze's best work.

"Calumet Alter" has an aire of the medieval as it rides effortlessly over deep dark plains towards celebratory guitar licks and riffs that fly the Gonga flag for all to see and hear. Slimy dirt is added to the triumph with a thick and crunchy bass line driven onwards by warring drums that power the charging hordes of Gonga, aiding them in their righteous battle for the flawless riffstone.

What comes next is "Another Day Gone" which comes in immediate waves of warm vibed riffs and finely sharpened and energetic smacks and stomps that lead to a gradually thickening pool of exploratory stonerismses and an eventual darkening of the vibe to paranoid jazz metal that would be right at home as a sound track to a 70's occult detective horror movie with a be-flared and bearded professor and investigator of esoteric cults hot on the robe tails of the local aristocratic satanists.

"Mount Gonga" opens with a talking mountain that grabs your attention with bursts of fiery percussion and crunchy guitar thrummings and a stop and start Melvins style, until the track is unleashed and the riffs fly in columns of thick crunch punched along by Brother Thomas's laser tight and incendiary drumming. The riffs soon begin to descend and decay into grimy mycological ooze and a dark bluesy atmosphere that portents of a dreaded time ahead. Effects are laid on thick for an acid bathed growl of guitar that takes the tone to a nightmare trip where you're wandering alone in the woods at night, you're naked and you have blood coming out of your head and you have no idea how you got there. Doom is a surety and Gonga deliver it with pounding and destructive black waves of lowend and explosive drums that end this track in crushed devastation.

Excited muted guitar twangings open "Tungsten Gold" with a quick drop into classic Gonga riffs full of earth and moss and pine needles that morph and evolve and expand into shrilling bass effects and airy guitar licks that pave the way to a psychedelic rock out with finger work from Brother George that writes GONGA throughout the track in massive letters that can be seen and heard from the other side of space. The track ends in a thunderous tumbling of riffs and drums that sound out abruptly leaving only the sound of your own rapidly beating heart and the auditory ghosts of Brother George's finely crafted riffs drifting into your subconscious mind to be imprinted there forevermore.

To complete the hexagram is "Solar Maximum" that begins with a layering of gently building desert-ness that builds to a wind blown atmosphere of encroaching psychedelia bulked up with the thick fuzzy crunch of Gonga's guitar and bass-men. The track climbs higher and higher as it goes on with a blustery riff that takes us to a summit and onto a high bright tundra shining with dazzling riffs and hooks driven along by nifty bass work and the ever impressive beats of the Gonga drums-man. Razor sharp licks herald an ecstatic psychedelic rock freak out and a surprising twist to Gonga's sound that ends their third album and me hoping we don't have to wait so long for our next jaunt around Gonga's riff heavy world of doom/stoner/psyche rock.

"Concrescence" with its mystically captivating art work has been worth the wait for this patient and hopeful Gonga fan. If you are aware of their music and their previous releases you will not be disappointed in the slightest by this latest offering or if you happen to be a new Gonga convert then I must insist you go and listen to tracks from a large chunk of their previous work, which you can do at their Bandcamp right now.

                          BANDCAMP // FACEBOOK

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Band To Burn One To: The Playlist-V10

First off, I apologize for not having a playlist posted for the past few weeks, but a man has to take a vacation every once in a while. I guarantee that this week's playlist will not disappoint and instead of getting too wordy, I will just let the music do the talking. Crank it up and enjoy!
Track Listing:

Atlantic Tide -Way Of Living
Beehoover -Monolith
Bloody Hammers - At The Well Of Nazareth
Brimstone-The Mountain Witch
Captain Nowhere -Old Sword
Cosmic Wail-Boa Constrictor
Curse Of The North-Anne's Journey
Fuzz Manta -Sooner Or Later
It Came From The Desert -Curse of the Lucky
Low Gravity -Sexual Matador
Milkmaids -Up In Smoke
Misty Grey - Silver Bullet
Mooth -Skeletons
Palm Desert -Dusty
Sangoma - Into The Sun
Tallboy Drop -Starship Stoner
Tombstone- Evil Seed
Woodwall -King Stuste

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Sludge: No Gods No Masters

I'm not sure what kind o' back alley I've stumbled into, but things got sketchy quick. There's no light, no sign of exit, and the smell of hot shit wrapped in burnt hair is overwhelming. I'm not even certain what I thought I'd find down here, but I'm confident I can expect to get tossed around and come up bloodied. This isn't an ache. This is straight-up Sunday Sludge pain.

The Netherlands must be a sticky matrix of grit and wet fur. There's no other explanation for this self-titled EP from No Gods No Masters, a stomping southern-sludge act donning a NOLA mask and spitting shrapnel. Four tracks cover nineteen minutes, which is just long enough for your breathing to dip and your heart to stop. A groove this violent is sure to crack your sternum and fuck up your night.

Opening with incredibly dense fuzz on the slow-rolling Ni Die Ni Maitre, the hardening glaze of the EP is immediately evident. The chop is loaded with scorching spite, a Dimebag nod via guitar pullback slipping through the chops. In true backwoods fashion, the mud-slung stomp n' smear is fist-cranked, churning sludge that we haven't enjoyed in some time. Grainy feedback channels a phone booth freak out on Lie to Me, buzzing and scraping atop repeated strikes against bone. The seemingly endless surge leads toward an escalation of mood, swirling into lost footing and tumbling downward in thorny patches. Get up.

Balance is demonstrated on Lost for Words. Parting the knotty cruisers, the track is slower and mistier; ominous tones and cautious tempos forecast clouds with an 80% chance of total collapse. The pace lifts in the vein of Acid Bath's Dope Fiend, never quite leaving the sludge and never quite overdosing on double kicks. The drumwork chugs through any obstruction on this dark track, but the closer (Retired) is a greater storm of swollen riffs. Southern aggression here slams into weathered walls with smash-and-grab abandon. Guitars step away and lead closing sirens, leaving you to pass out as ants fight on your blaring television.

A sock stuffed with a padlock just kissed your jaw, a violent groove soaked in mud and reeking of antipathy. No Gods No Masters deliver blow after blow, but this is the beating you sought. Adhering to a strict sludge recipe of simmering filth and down-tuned animosity, the band presents one hell of an introduction. You thought they'd shake your hand. Turns out they just wanted to bust your nose, douse you with petrol, and light a single match.

For fans of: Grizzly, Alabama Thunderpussy, Black Tusk
Pair With: Blatz stolen from your old man's garage.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Interview with Dave Chandler of Saint Vitus, cont.

Here's the last part of my interview with Dave Chandler of Saint Vitus. We talk about New Orleans super groups, punk rock, and some new bands he digs. 

Justin Gish (JG)- Outside of this tour, you guys are still going strong in Europe at the big festivals right?
Dave Chandler (DC)- Yeah those are really fun because that was something back in the 80’s we always dreamed of doing, and now it’s really cool to be able to do it. The only bummer is that if you do one you have to wait three years before you can do it again, and that’s just a weird thing. So it’s like if you play Hellfest in 2013, you can’t play again 2016, unless all the sudden you’re the best band in the world. Which, I understand Because they want to keep it different but there’s still quite a few that we haven’t done yet.
But those are hard to do, there’s some difficulty because there are so many bands, and there are road crews you’re not used to, and it’s really hard but it’s really fun when you walk out there and raise your hand all all these people are screaming, it’s a blast.

JG- I can only imagine. Are you seeing younger folks at the shows, thanks to the “Doom Revival” we seem to be in now?
DC- Yeah, and that’s a really cool thing that we dig. Apparently between the time that we ended and now you know there’s been like a couple generations and that’s really nice because parents are bringing their kids. I have pictures of me with little tiny kids with Saint Vitus shirts on and that’s really bad ass. And the old fuckers will say they only go see one concert a year and they get in their wheelchair or their hoveround and they go to our show.

JG- Must make you proud
DC- Yeah, and they come up to the stage with the shirts they brought thirty years ago.

JG- The fall is going to be a big month in Grand Rapids. Monster Magnet is opening their North American tour here, we get you guys, and Church of Misery-
DC- And Kylesa's been there we’re doing a tour kick off thing with them in Oklahoma.

JG- So do you work a lot with Season of Mist bands?
DC- It just kind of depends. LIke this one, we just did four days in Australia and that was with Season of Mist, one of their bands, which is Monarch. And then we did local bands who opened up, but this tour is kind of like we’re trying to work with new people to get more of a new crowd, so everybody was like okay, you need to do either this band or that band, which is Pallbearer and Zoroaster, and both of them couldn’t do the whole thing, so we split it up, because these are really big upcoming bands and we wanted them on. But usually we don’t care, the only thing we don’t want is a band who is going to make the stage messy, before we play because if we’re going to slip and fall, on something it is going to be our fault, not some Satan band’s fault.

JG- No pig’s blood?
DC- Yeah, if they want to play with us, we don’t care, we’ll just play before them. And they can mess up the stage after. That’s fine. We just don’t want to slip and fall. But that’s the only thing, we don’t really give a shit who we play with.

JG- Yeah, you guys were on SST and with the whole punk thing, you guys are no strangers to playing with bands that don’t exactly sound like you.
DC- Yeah, we played in front of numerous audiences that really couldn’t care less about us, and some really angry ones who really wanted us to get off the stage and showed it very violently.

JG- Just wanted you to play a little faster?
DC-And we didn’t which made them madder, but that got our rep going.

JG- And that’s punk rock, playing by your rules and sticking to your guns.
DC- Yeah, it’s funny you say that because we were doing an interview one night and this one guy asked Wino “how would you classify yourselves?” and Wino goes, “fuck doom metal, we’re actually a punk rock band, cause we don’t really rehearse and we just go out and piss everyone off.” And I thought that was great.

JG- Pallbearer is slow. They are really great.
DC- I’ve heard they are really outstanding. I’m looking forward to seeing them.

JG- And you're living in New Orleans, right? How’d you end up down there?
DC- I moved here to get married. Bottom line was I met my wife in California, we were both working in the same place, I was a bartender, she was a waitress. And it was going nowhere, it was just going to be absolutely nothing, and I was doing Debris, Inc which was our stupid fun band, and she said she could get us a place to live in New Orleans, would you be willing to move, and I said yes. There was nothing in California, the bar was going to fire me anyway, so I said fuck it and we moved. And it’s been great.

JG- New Orleans fits the Saint Vitus vibe.
DC- Yeah, and ironically, I moved here in 2005 and then Katrina hit. But we lucked out cause we first moved here we lived in apartments that were in a cemetery. Which was the highest point in the city, because they don’t want the bodies to float around, so our house was dry, we just had no power or nothin’. For a few months and we stayed in Chicago with friends.

JG- You ever run into Phil Anselmo down there?
DC- Not really, he lives way out, but when we play he’ll come out to the show. Main person from Down that I hang out with is Pat the bass player, he’s a good friend of mine and he lives close.

JG- It seems like in New Orleans it be real easy to put together a supergroup.
DC- Yeah, but everybody just kinda does their own thing. But me Pat, and Jimmy Bower were fucking around for a while but it wasn’t serious, we would just get real stoned and fuck around it was nothing super serious. And there’s a lot of people that do that around here, so it’s just not something I want to do.

JG- I read in old interviews that you don’t listen to new music, that still the case?
DC- Yeah, I don’t listen to music really unless I’m on the road. I listen to the music I always have, and I’m more of a TV person. I watch TV that’s my thing, and I get a lot of musical influences from that. But I do like some new bands, well, Red Fang and Devil aren’t new anymore, but I really dig them. And there was a band in Australia that opened for us that was badass called Zodiac, they remind me of Witchfinder General kind of, I just thought they were really good. And I asked them for their record and they gave me a cassette and I said I like you even more now. They really impressed me. And I don’t like bands where I can’t understand the singer. And I could understand them. It’s fine to have a gruff voice, I mean look at Lemmy, but you can hear what he says.

JG- The cookie monster stuff can get pretty old.
DC- Yeah I don’t like that GRRR GRRR UHHH GRRR GRRR. I’m just like sorry, I don’t know what the hell you said.

JG- So what television shows do you watch?
DC- Well I’m like an old TV fan. But newer shows I like Big Bang Theory, I watch a lot of Nickelodeon, iCarly is one of me and my wife’s favorite shows, and cartoons, and my favorite show on TV, of all time, is professional wrestling. 
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