May 31, 2013

Ghost - Infestissunam (2013)

Infestissunam has been released for almost two months now, and everyone who knows me is probably aware of the fact that I've been expecting this album like the second coming of (Anti)Christ. To be perfectly honest, I was kinda afraid that Ghost was going to be a one-hit-wonder and that a second album would never come. Thankfully, I was wrong and, since its release, I've been listening to it almost daily. Surely, that must mean it's good, right?

Short answer: yes. 

The long answer is a bit trickier to formulate and it has to do with how uneven the first and second half of the album are. The first half is, for my mind, the weak part of Infestissunam. After a glorious intro of religious choirs proclaiming the rule of the Devil and some sweet guitar work, there's nothing particularly interesting to hold your attention. Secular Haze, Per Aspera Ad Inferi and Year Zero are too long, too repetitive and never really go anywhere (although the latter has a cool surf rock feel to it), while Ghuleh/Zombie Queen is also long but it's Daniel Witchfinder's favorite song and it's really not bad, so I'm not gonna complain.

Guess I'll just have to DEAL WITH IT.

However, among these unremarkable tracks lies the gem called Jigolo Har Megiddo, which is an amazing song, bathed in a lavish, divine atmosphere and lots of unholy eroticism. I've literally had this song stuck in my head for one entire day and I couldn't help myself from humming it as I was walking down the street. I'll tell you right now, Papa Emeritus' vocal parts and naughty lyrics will cause abundant moisture in your panties. Like, check out these lyrics, they make my nipples tingle: 

I am the one who preys on weak
I offer everything they seek
And I am the one who comes richly endowed
Harvesting crops of fields that other have ploughed

The second part of Infestissunam is made up of some unreasonably catchy songs which have been pretty much burned into my brain during these last weeks. Let's see, we have Body and Blood and its wondrous chorus; we have the groove-laden Idolatrine, again with a magnificent chorus and a particularly exciting moment where Papa's voice hits an orgasmic high that will make you quiver in your pants; we have the evil Depth of Satan's Eyes with its infernal imagery and rocking guitar lines; and finally, the perfect album closer, Monstrance Clock, which starts out as a malicious little lullaby, morphs into a heart-aching Satanic anthem and ends with a beautiful male and female choir inviting us all "to come together for Lucifer's son". I couldn't possibly think of a better way to close off this album. 

Despite a few not-so-memorable moments, Infestissunam is one hell of a sophomore album. It veers off into pop-rock territory even more than Opus Eponymous, which isn't a bad thing at all, and the atmosphere is luxurious, erotic and unsettling, all at once. Sure, a few songs may drag out without a satisfying conclusion, but, throughout the album, Papa Emeritus' unmistakable voice (I swear it's even better than on their first album) and the excellent instrumental work will help you forget all about that. 

Was it worth the wait? You bet your sweet ass it was! Infestissunam is definitely one of my favorite albums of 2013 and I know I'll be listening to it for a long time to come. My only concern is that Ghost's novelty may significantly wear off by the release of their third album, but somehow I'm confident that Papa Emeritus and the Nameless Ghouls will manage to keep things fresh, interesting and, above all, blasphemous. Worship!

May 30, 2013

KADAVAR "Abra Kadavar" (2013)

Bussiness in the front, beards in the back.
After the astonishing self-title debut from german psych-rockers KADAVAR a.k.a."That Beard-Triangle Band" have returned with another assault of pure riffage and cool attitude. Look at them! How can they not be cool?!! As for the album, I'm gonna be direct here, this album is good, but not nearly half as good as their first effort, for the sole purpose that "AK" lacks feeling, whereas that first album could take you places without even trying drugs in the first place. 

"Abra Kadavar" tries to be a little heavier and faster than the first one, and it succeds, but it always feels like it's hollow on the inside. It's got no core, just like the cover. They could have done something a lot cooler, at least throw an electric guitar in there, because we've already seen their psychedelic lumberjack faces on the self-title.

In order to put this in perspective, I give you my alegory for both the Kadavar records: the first album is a calm swamp, filled with ghouls and goblins underneath the full green moon, never knowing what to expect from the hazy, yet scary wilderness. The second album is a sormy desert, cool in itself, but the more you sit in it the more redundant and rough it becomes. It's not very pleasant, but you can deal with it for about ten minutes. The desert is cool in itself still, but compared to the swamp, it doesn't stand a chance.

7/10 dude

May 29, 2013

A TZEEEAC INTERVIEW: Seb Painchaud (Tumbleweed Dealer)

(Sometimes, interviews don't turn out the way you expected. I had originally written 500 questions for Seb of Tumbleweed Dealer and they were profound and really hit at the core of what it means to be a musician in this time and age. Unfortunately, though, this big bird flew in through my window and stole most of the pages I had written the questions on, leaving me with only a handful of pages I had tucked away in my drawer. Obviously, I forgot what the really deep questions were, so I only have some questions about Seb's band, getting high and watching TV. They strangely stop at question number 420... )

410. HEY. So nice of you to agree to take part in this friendly conversation. You are the second Canadian band with which we’ve had the pleasure to chat with, after the satanic rock’n’roll warmongers You Handsome Devil. Why do you think Canada is such a great breeding ground for kickass rock and metal bands? 

Not sure, might have to do with how spread out the population is here. It’s like all the major towns are all microcosms and have their own scene and sound rather than just one Canadian sound. Might also have to do with the better quality of weed we have up here too… 

411. Your first EP Death Rides Southwards was available on the wonderful Moshpit Tragedy label, which is how I found out about Tumbleweed Dealer. What made you choose Moshpit Tragedy as your launchpad?

They actually approached us. At that point, we weren’t planning on doing anything overtly serious with this project so we agreed to let them release it on line. Was a great decision and we ended up having a great relationship with them. 

412. Your social media game is pretty strong. You have a nice way of engaging your fans by constantly updating your Facebook page with news and photos from the studio. I especially liked the way you kept everybody up to date with how the new album was progressing. Who’s in charge of your Facebook account and how important is this interaction for your band?

That’d be me. We’re a 2 man operation, with me writing all the music and playing guitar and bass, so this is really my baby. In the past I was never the main writer in any of my bands, so it really feels like this is my first baby, and like a first time parent, all I wanna do is talk about it and show pictures to people! 

413. Dopethrone’s drummer Carl Borman is also in your band, which is pretty damn cool (wasn’t Dopethrone’s latest full-length fucking DOPE?). How did you convince him to join your gang of troubadours? 

Dopethrone’s III was definitely fucking dope that’s for sure. I’ve been friends with them since the beginning. Dopethrone formed at the same time as Vatican did, in which I played bass and Vince from Dopethrone played drums, so I’ve seen that band grow up. Victor, their bassist, has been a good friend for over a decade, and was a long time student of mine back when I gave bass lessons. Also, Vince’s place (where they also jam) is 2 corners away from my place, so I’m over there every Friday getting drunk and high while they jam. I always hit up Victor for smokes, I thought the next logical step was to hit him up for a drummer! Carl didn’t need any convincing, he really liked my tunes and was more than happy to join

414. All of your songs have a loose, jamming structure which, along with that sweet-ass guitar tone, makes them sound very chill. Also, despite being instrumentals, you take the time to weave stories for your songs. How do you come up with song ideas and new music? I’m guessing it involves a lot of weed and beer. What’s your favorite beer, by the way?

Weed yes, beer not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I drink, but if I’m alone at home writing songs, weed is my intoxication of choice. My favorite beer is Grolsch ‘cause it’s good yet inexpensive, and sold everywhere here. 

As far as coming up with song ideas, it depends. I have written a lot of material in the last couple of years for projects I tried to get started that just died, so I have a lot of material lying around. Sometimes I’ll work off of that to make a tumbleweed song, mostly the darker ones because I’m working off of stuff that used to be extreme metal. “Dark Times A Comin’” is a re-written version of a song we used to play live with Nefastus Dies, a black metal band I fronted a few years back. I rip everything down til I’m back down to the framework of the song, a few chords and a melody, and build them back up into a tumbleweed song. When I write from scratch, I’ll just play the first riff on my looper, let it loop while I get high, and then dick around on the guitar ‘til I find something that goes over that, record it, then repeat the process ‘til I have 12-13 guitars over each other. 

I really like to get a basic idea of the feel of a song, have the chords layed out, or just a melody, and then find the title and then it just makes a scene pop into my head. Sometimes it’s from something I’ve seen, sometimes it’s made up, but I always have a little mini movie in my head I want to try and attain when I’m fleshing the tracks out.

The only specific scene from something pre-existing I can point out is for March of The Dead Cowboys. It’s from the comic book PREACHER, 9th book towards the end of the story, when he wakes up the Saint Of Killers by disturbing his grave, and attempts to make a deal with him. The saint looks out into the night desert and says “Can’t you see them?” and Jesse, the main protagonist in the comic book asks “See who?” to which the saint answers “Well I guess you didn’t kill them” and hands him his guns he made by melting down the angel of death’s sword, then Jesse sees this whole town the saint butchered in his origin story, all these pilgrims and cowboys with half their heads shot off, even children with no legs dragging across the desert floor towards them slowly, THAT is exactly the scene I wanted to convey in that song.

415. Speaking of weed, Pineapple Express is one of Marco and I’s favorite movies ever. We like to think of ourselves as younger versions of Saul and Dale, although we haven’t yet decided who should be who. Do you watch any stupid movies and/or TV shows? What are some of your favorites?

I was disappointed with Pineapple Express honestly, I think it’s when Seth Rogen’s stuff started going downhill. But I get the vibe you guys like, especially if it hits home within your friendship. My favorite movie EVER is Clerks. I’ve seen it over a hundred times, I know the whole thing by heart. And in all my friendships, I’m definitely Randall. I’ll screw over my buddies at the drop of a dime if I think it’ll make for something funny! My favorite show right now has to be Breaking Bad, and I also really like Sons of Anarchy (which is why I HAD to include the word SONS in one of the song titles… I’ll have one dedicated to breaking bad on the next album). 

Besides that, I enjoy some of the more typical sitcom shows, like How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory, and some stuff from when I was a kid, I just got done re-watching Malcolm In The Middle from beginning to end. One thing I adore, and I’ll fight anyone over it if they think it makes me unmetal, is Buffy The Vampire Slayer, it’s just a great fucking show written by a genius. I also enjoy some of the more off the wall comedies, like It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and right now I’m watching the new season of Arrested Development. Just so many good shows, I spend my time off work getting high and watching TV shows and writing music. I’m a hermit. As you can see, if you wanna start a conversation with me, just come over and ask what I’ve been watching lately I’ll talk your ear off for hours.

Seb reppin' the Sons

416. Your full-length album seems to draw on many different musical influences, especially late-Earth. What are the bands that have inspired you and molded your sound?

Earth of course. Also, Horseback, especially their The Invisible Mountain record, fucking love it, it’s the first time I had heard western sonorities mixed with metal and it just hit home. Some space rock too, big fan of 35007 and The Cosmic Dead. And song structure wise, early Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Moya is still to this day one of my favorite songs ever.

417. Are you planning to take these songs to the stage? How would you envision a live Tumbleweed Dealer show in terms of atmosphere, accompanying visuals and so on?

We’re going to start working on getting stage ready as soon as Carl comes back from Dopethrone’s European tour. Felix, my buddy and fellow The Last Felony graduate, who programmed the drum machine on our EP and has always been in the backround helping me with the band, will step in as a stage bassist. Since I end up with 15 guitar tracks at a time, I play with a looper. We’re still figuring out all the logistics but we’ll find a way to recreate this on stage. 

I keep having this discussion with people, since the music is mellow, everyone thinks we should play with dimmed lights, freaky light shows, or movies projected on a screen etc. but I’ve always been a fan of being in the fans faces during live shows, having a lot of back and forth, putting out lots of energy. I know this music is mellow but I can envision us taking to the stage like we were The Dillinger Escape Plan and just creating havoc while we play these songs… we’ll see when we get there I guess! 

418. I know you guys live pretty much halfway across the world from me and postage rates are outrageous sometimes, but what are the chances of seeing some Tumbleweed Dealer t-shirts and other merch in the future?

Sadly, since I’m funding this band out of pocket and we have no shows to make revenue off of, merch will have to wait for me to be able to put up the money for the first batch. But it’s something I want to get to ASAP, I really want shirts out there, and we just made a small batch of posters which is already sold out, but I plan on making a bigger batch and offering it up to the fans. 

419. Finally, a burning question courtesy of TZEEEAC reader and friend Meetzer: Are you ever going to make a song about roaming the great American plains, the deserted highways of Arizona and New Mexico, riding the dragon toward the crimson eye, flapping the wings under Mars red sky, discovering a new reality under the hood of the American muscle-car you’re driving, in the embers of the blunt and in the stars which light up one by one in the dark night sky like so many dreams waiting to be dreamed by all the people who seek to find a beautiful world through music?

I was just gonna write a concept album about Unicorns but that sounds a LOT better… 

420. As we usually do, we leave the last question up to you, so you can say whatever you want. Thanks for talking with us, keep making great music and see you around Facebook!

Can we just go back to shooting the shit about tv shows? I love interviews when I discuss anything but the band! Comic books, TV shows, obscure 70’s prog and jazz, indy and japanese pro wrestling and stand up comics are my favorite subjects, so to all the potential interviewers out there, just stick to that! 

To anyone who hasn’t heard our music yet, roll a fatty, sit back, go here and press play and let the wave of greeny goodness just crash over you .

Useful links:

May 28, 2013

Kristina Si - Ну ну да

Just some russian chick singing about hell knows what. I can't understand shit, but it's pretty catchy. I guess she's all about not being slutty and attracting men through brains, not looks. The revealing clothing and ''yeah I'm such a bitch'' attitude confirms that.

If you dig it, you know, go learn Russian or something, I don't give a fuck.

May 25, 2013

LO! and behold: Jonathan and Chester swim into THE OCEAN to join the CULT OF LUNA - A four-handed show review

Following a simple (yet complicated) turn of events, I managed to salvage what was left of the 29’th of April and bought myself a ticket to go see The Ocean, with hopes they would play something from the first half of their catalogue. Alas, to render on stage the work done by a sufficient number of people able to spawn across five bands seemed rather implausible, so they didn’t. But more on that later.

Responsible for the opening act were the lads from Lo!, roaring and churning their guitars and vocal chords, building up atmosphere and being rather straight forward with the crowd, all of  the fifteen individuals present in the front of the stage (well, it could have been a bigger number, but it seemed as such to me). From what I could comprehend, they play a mix of hardcore/sludge/whatever which in theory should work, yet it didn’t. Not on that stage, not with that sound anyway. Curiously enough, the last song they played (which they said it was from their newest album) turned the tides around and hit everything with the force of a crumbling brick wall: a monstrous post-metal rendition up there with the best of them, including a breakdown to die for, after which I was left to wonder how in the world their previous songs were so boring and the last one so damn cool. Anyway, I made a mental note to check on their latest release and bought myself a Lo! t-shirt (14 euros? A steal!).

Up next were The Ocean, and my fears of what I was to hear all turned true. If you’re aware of The Ocean’s music, you know what they sounded like at the beginning. If you don’t, go and listen to Precambrian and then get back to this review. Anyway, for the era following Precambrian (pun intended), The Ocean settled into a normal band formula and released Heliocentric, a ‘miss’ record, one that I couldn’t bring myself to listen for more than five times.  After that there was a small (yet still insufficient) redemption in the form of Anthropocentric:  it had its highs and lows, but it was listenable at least.

And now Pelagial, another oceanic concept album meant to sweep the rug from under our feet, yet as soon as I heard the wails of Loic’s clean vocals, I cringed. It felt like Heliocentric all over again and I couldn’t shake that feeling for any of the songs they’ve played. The only high point of their repertoire was the track ‘Roots & Locusts’ from Anthropocentric, but even that one was barely recognizable. A second mental note was made, to listen to Pelagial from the comfort of my home and see if anything feels different, thought I highly doubt it.

While Jonathan was battling with the boredom, the sad thoughts and the disappointment, I was somewhere around the big city, enjoying a delicious gourmet burger and then some cake with a special lady friend. I figured Lo!’s music didn’t exactly blow me over, so there would be no sense in trying to rush to the show. Plus, I was sure it was going to begin at 10PM or something, which apparently wasn’t the case. - Chester

Enter Chester. I mean, literally, if he were to be a little more fashionably late, he would have missed the whole show (j/k lol, he actually caught the last twenty minutes or so of The Ocean). We had a beer, stared like two lunatics at the merch stand and talked about how we were cooler than anyone else around (not necessarily in this order), then I asked him his opinion about what he’d already heard. I don’t think he had any time to answer it, though, because I was babbling away like a little girl on crack.

So yeah, while I was rushing to the venue, I casually sent a text message to Jonathan, asking him if Lo! had even begun playing. When he told me The Ocean were already well into their set, I freaked out for a bit, but luckily I was pretty close. Unfortunately, the sound was pretty awful. I could barely make out the vocals and everything sounded muddy and confusing. This wasn’t what I had expected.

Which leads me to the following rant: Cult of Luna stepped on the stage and suddenly all the god-awful sound went away in an instant, leaving a crystal clear guitar delivery, crisp vocals and drum beats to rip away your chest. I absolutely HATE IT when opening bands are treated with the shittiest sound ever, especially when playing a club venue. I mean, when Lo! and The Ocean were on stage, the vocals were muffled to the point of being completely incomprehensible, the rhythm guitar had absolutely no volume and the bass was too mixed up with the drums. And then up comes Cult of Luna and everything is bright and shiny.  With that, a big FUCK YOU! to whomever decides these things, may you rot away in the attic of a mansion while you’re silently waiting for the return of Edward Cullen!

With regards to Cult of Luna’s show, may it be duly noted that I haven’t had the pleasure of delving into their music before hand, so you could call this ‘my first time with the lunatics’ (hey, it doesn’t sound that bad now, does it?). All in all, I liked about 80% of the stuff that they played, a short summary of my feelings towards them taking the form of the shouted line of ‘Bine bă, fir-ați ai dracu’!’ (which would roughly translate to ‘Great job, motherfuckers!’).

I loved Cult of Luna’s set, especially I: The Weapon, which sounded fucking great. The high point of their performance, apart from the excellent sound, as Jonathan pointed out, were the stage lighting effects. The band was simply drowned in light and all you could see where seven black silhouettes set against the white/blue light of the stage. Having said that, the show was insanely long and I felt it was never going to finish. After being on the road all day, interminable post-metal songs weren’t exactly what the doctor would have prescribed. Another interesting thing I noticed was that there were some screens in the left hand side of the venue, which were showing Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. The mix of Cult of Luna’s atmospheric post-metal songs and Fellini’s lavish masterpiece was almost psychedelic. And, seeing how I was about to leave for Rome in the following two weeks, it all seemed eerily coincidental.

And that’s about it. Me and Chester parted ways (as he was so tired that at times I could have sworn he fell asleep during the show) and I rode back all of the seventy kilometers to my home crib, where I indulged in a later-than-midnight dinner from which I haven’t yet recuperated. See you at Riverside, minions!

It should also be noted this was the first time Jonathan and I ever met and I just wanna say that he’s a sweet bro and I’m glad to have gotten the chance to chat with him. Miss u boo!

May 24, 2013

Purity Ring - Shrines (2012)

After I pressed my boyfriend with no results for a smart Purity Ring review, I decided I should do it myself, otherwise, there would be no review for this wonderful band, which, by the way, deserves to be more well-known. And yes, it is true that if I want it to be better-known, I should tell you what the band’s called – Purity Ring.

This right here would be the album cover, which suggests– you guessed it – a circular construct that inspires purity and safety. Yep, it’s the painted version of the band’s name. Or, on a second thought – you guessed it once again- it’s an uterus holding a child in a spiritual universe, the lack of the mother’s shapes and the random development of the child (and also the lamb’s) being considered a normal thing around there. Because fuck logic, that’s why.

Anyhow, I’m here to talk about the music, not the cover, so I’ll write a few words about each song that found its way to my ears. The first one was Lofticries and damn, it’s one of those songs you can listen to no matter what mood you're into, whether you feel like staying in bed with somebody else or you feel like dying. Nah – this song just sets you for everything that’s yet to come. You cannot have any bad feelings while listening to this song, ‘cause it just makes everything easier.

Tip: If you have to give somebody bad news, make them listen to this song before and they won’t take it as bad as they would normally do.

 Lofticries is one of those songs that are best received in a unique manner. You can’t say it means something something in particular,  and that’s what they wanted to express through the song/album and case closed. You feel it has a message, and they combine words in a very natural way– unlike many presumably deep songs that are nothing more than a few words forced into a sentence and – oooh! Let’s shove in a bunch of metaphores that are completely absurd and pretend that our music is too deep for the listeners to understand unless their IQ is going through the roof. – Music nowadays, ladies and gentlemen.

The second song I listened to was Grandloves, pretty similar to the first one, but very different aswell (you only see how different these two are after listening to a one of them 30 times in a row and the other one for another 30 times and so it shuffles in a 2-song playlist until you get bored). Ah, also, I forgot to mention how the dudette’s voice sounds – brilliant. At first it was grinding my gears, but then I couldn’t imagine how the song would have sounded without her amazing voice.

It’s another song that you can listen to no matter what mood you’re in, because it connects you to something else, another world. Call it what you will, what I know is that I’m disconnected from everything while listening to these songs.

Next song -  Obedear, which just sounds like Pedobear to me, but thank God, it’s just an unfortunate similarity. This one is completely different from the first two I talked about. Its style reminds me of Olive’s You’re not alone we all know, especially towards the end of the song.

And, finally, Crawlersout.. that’s the song that convinced me that these guys are so chill that they could describe a murder in the most accurate details and they will still make you smile. I’m not sure yet if that’s a good thing or a psychotic one. Yes, it’s nice knowing that you’re part of the universe, just energy (that should be more zen) which has a shape that’ll get lost someday, but let’s keep it this way. I want my shape to get lost when it’s time to get lost.

Aaaanyway, I’m ending my review here. Those were just demo versions of the songs. Youtube is full and it’s free (too bad it also has ads). Give them a listen and convince yourselves whether they’re a sweet band or not.

Note: It might be a big thing to say, but for me, this band, along with Pink Floyd are the only two groups that are somewhere above and cannot be compared to anything else in music -  and that’s because of the energy they offer me. So yeah, they’re a cool group.


May 23, 2013

Sick YG - The Final Score Mixtape (2013)

Hey TZEEEAC enthusiasts, guess what I haven't written about in a while. Well, hip-hop, of course!

Now, don't get me wrong, I still listen to my usual hipster shit like, say, Justin Bieber's latest album which really, really blew my mind. But fuck that shit, right? Courtesy of one of our many fans who don't read our articles but, oddly enough, are interested in our site, I've come across this really cool dude called Sick YG. He's released a buttload of mixtapes/stand alone songs but is yet to release an official debut album. Uhm... why?

When you're about to review an artist, you usually choose an LP/EP because you want to keep everything contained and focused. You wanna take it step by step, starting with a brief introduction about the artist, his previous material, subjects, style and then slowly descending into the actual criticism. In Sick YG's case, I could've chosen anything because it still would not have made a difference. And that's what's really cool about this guy: you get a lot of diversity. I like my shit to be all over the place, otherwise I'd get bored out of my ass. Are you looking for sick rhymes spit on a sick beat? I Mean That, The Infinite Lyric and Turn the Party Dumb got that covered. Wanna know why he's doing all this? My Love To Music. Want something chill for a hot summer day? Listen to Hot. And so on and so forth.

So, you know, go check him out and all that.

May 22, 2013

This Routine Is Hell - Howl (2013)

Fast and furious metallic hardcore from the Netherlands. For fans of Converge, All Pigs Must Die, A Thousand Words, Mediocracy and so forth. They're currently touring Europe, so go see them live. I have a lot of stuff to do for school. I wish I didn't. I will now go back to my cave.

May 20, 2013

Tesseract - Altered State (2013)

I can’t keep track of every piece of music there is out there. Yes, this band has toured with Protest the Hero and yes, apparently they are quite known in the global prog scene, but that didn’t stop them from flying under my radar.

I found out about Tesseract sometime last week and decided to give this album a virtual spin mainly because of two reasons: one would be that the band's/album's name is a dead giveaway for a prog release and two, the fact that Tetrafusion (of which I spoke of last year) has a record that is unshamefully labeled, well, Altered State.

So, to recap:

- Tetrafusion - Altered State (2010) and Tesseract - Altered State (2013)

- Both are sophomore releases

- Both bands play in a prog fashion

- Even more, the sound is so ‘cut from the same cloth’ that it’s borderline ridiculous.

What Tesseract is missing, though, is the focus and cohesion that Tetrafusion achieved with the release of their Horizons EP. I mean, the ideas are there and all the musicians know their stuff quite well, but the record just meanders around aimlessly to the point of it turning into background noise; it seems to be just another case of ‘we’re a prog band and we’re going to record an epic album’. It turned out decent enough, but decent doesn’t quite cut it when we’re talking about this type of music.

With that said, I’m waiting for them to release something like Horizons, a perfect example that ‘less is more’ is not just a saying, but an actual advice meant to be followed.

Meanwhile, here’s the free album stream; you’ll be the judge of it.

May 17, 2013

CHINA DOLL a.k.a. "How a band released just two songs in 1980 and managed to blow me away completely: The Review"

Well, way back in 1980, when the New Wave Of Brittish Heavy Metal movement was just starting to get big in the UK, fronted by bands such as Iron Maiden and Tygers Of Pan Tang, in some stinky gutter next to the penitenciary I imagine there was a 7" single lying in the dirt. No one had heard of it, no one ever will. Except for a bunch of people, over the past 30 years. I was lucky enough to be one of those people, people who have heard the pure greatness that is the CHINA DOLL "Oysters and Wine" single.

Two songs. TWO damn songs so amazing to me that they overcome about 80% of all the NWOBHM I have ever heard, and I've just about heard them all. I must've found this 10 minute masterpiece back in the autumn of 2012, when I was surfing the musical mothership that is the Cosmic Hearse blog, galloping through the NWOBHM section, downloading mediocre singles, all as unknown as this one. Finally, here is the review:

SIDE A: "Oysters and Wine"

The song pretty much begins with a simple and mellow riff that quickly bursts out into an awesome solo. Bass harmonies distinctively heard in the background, but then we have the vocals. Very good vocals. Very catchy lyrics, though a bit kitchy, you'll be humming them for quite some time. Amazing musical line, again, catchy as fuckkkkkkk. Solos everywhere, bass everywhere, it's just perfect.

SIDE B: "Past Tense"

Yeah, I know, lame title... so the B side starts off about 200% calmer, a ballad that begins with some sort of eerie chords and strange cowbell-like stuff in the background, and grows into a cool riff, with cool vocals, just as we'd come to expect by now. It's kinda like a trance for a couple of minutes, just sitting there and enjoying the shit out of the harmonies and the obvious bass in the background, then it all cools down, back to the intro bit, the freaky instruments, the slow chords. You are hit by hundreds of notes, just flying at you. It's a freaking solo, out of freaking nowhere. But boy is it cool, the kind that Acid Witch take and add ten fuzzy distorted effects and make it their own, and it works just as fine. The some more lyrics, then another solo. Then some more solo. Then it fades out.

Here you go.

May 10, 2013

Astronauts Really Fly - Astronauts Really Fly (2013)

Nope, this is not an artsy space rock album filled with trippy rhythms and cosmic journeys -  that’ll be Jonathan’s area of interest. Astronauts Really Fly is a kinda disco-friendly 4 track EP submitted by, you guessed it, Astronauts Really Fly.

So let’s cut to the chase and concentrate on the ‘’kinda-disco-friendly’’ aspect of the EP. I used the word ‘’kinda’’ because you can clearly see that it’s meant to be disco-friendly only from an instrumental standpoint. Lyrically speaking, it’s as depressing, gritty and blunt as it can get, and that contrast is what really drew me into it. There’s nothing like spitting rhymes about the ups and downs of life, painful break-ups, putting…  uhm, people into comas, overcoming depression and dark subjects in general on a friendly beat. Guys, if you ever decide to release a full album, can you make a song, in the same spirit, about the Nanking rape? I’m 97 % sure it won’t offend anyone if you use samples from My Little Pony. You know, radio-friendly. Just saying.

Anyway, ARF’S self- titled EP has been out for a while now, so make sure you check ‘em out on Facebook and Soundcloud. Now.

May 9, 2013

Valfader - Whispers of Chaos (2013)

Following yesterday’s post about The Lone Crows, today’s featured album artwork is yet again dominated by a crow motif (or raven, I don't really know the difference), yet these guys opt to show the metal side of those big, bad, feathered birds.

Quoting their own words, Valfader are ‘three guys with valved amps, big drums and heavy riffs’, determined to pound their way into every metalhead’s skull, and then stay there and pound some more. Following a somewhat subdued intro (actually, forget subdued, it’s heavy as fuck) with the instrumental track Whispers of Chaos, it’s not until the second song that vocals are introduced and my god, do they fit well. I could have probably listened to the whole album only as an instrumental release, but it definitely wouldn’t have been the same. The somewhat ‘viking-ish’ touch these guys add to their vocal delivery makes every line sound like a war chant, and rightfully so: the third track, Death Meets Truth, takes the riffing to a whole new level and adds a blistering guitar solo to spice things up (not that the other tracks didn’t have any, I just liked this one more).

Closer track Sacred Spiral has a few mellow moments to it, but don’t be fooled: the riffs are there, bigger than ever, vox start showing some extreme influences and drums are louder than your mama’s fat ass when she starts falling down the stairs. I mean, the outro is made for pillaging villages, blasting open homes, raping women and killing children! With that said, there’s just one more thing I need to add this review, after I post their bandcamp page from where you can get this shiznit release:

“Long live the true King of the North, Valfader! May the Gods deliver back my hair so I can headbang joyfully to whatever they decide to release next. Amen!”

May 8, 2013

The Lone Crows - The Lone Crows (2013)

These lonely souls (pun intended) set out to rock the world aloud, and boy do they have the chops!

Mixing stoner rock, blues, psychedelic, some hard rock elements, all blended in furiously endless jam sessions, this self-titled re-release of the band’s debut from last year has the honesty and passion of a garage recording, yet at the same time shows the omnipotence of a mature band that has been doing gigs for half a century.

You’ll find in this album nods to musical styles that span from the 60’s to the 90’s, you’ll find a jam session taken straight from the rehearsals in The Ghost (as they  didn’t know they were being recorded) and you’ll find a clear homage to Santana’s ‘Black Magic Woman’ in track number three, Heard You Call.

With nearly fifty minutes of instrumental and vocal prowess, The Lone Crows manage to stuff together in one piece the best bits of rock music in existence, and for that we can’t thank them enough. What we can do, however, is listen to them indefinitely and recommend them to everyone.

Spread the word!

May 6, 2013

Relentless reveals new album 'Souls of Charon'

Newly formed Heavy/Doom Metal band RELENTLESS will release their debut album "Souls of Charon" via Do Or Die Records sometime in the following couple of weeks. Meanwhile, you better familiarize yourself with how they sound with a brand new promo video.

Infectious, right?

And a complete tracklist:

1. Trapped Underground
2. Better off Dead
3. United By Darkness
4. Final Wishes
5. Forever Damned
6. Souls of Charon

I’m happy to say it sounds stupidly amazing and I cannot wait to indulge in the whole pie. For more info check their facebook page or the DoOrDieRecords page.

Rock on!

May 5, 2013

Enemy Noise - No Control, No Parade (2012)

My hardcore listening days are few and far between, but lately I've been cranking the volume up to 11 courtesy of this joyful bunch from Long Beach, aptly titled Enemy Noise. They got a crusty sound, angry guitars, three-packs-of-cigs-a-day vocals and basically they entice violence where violence is due.

Listen to their EP for free at and may no windows be left intact in any of your puny mortal homes! 

P.S: The last chants of the fourth track went straight to my ears sounding something like "You can't escape the walrus!"