Wednesday 27 January 2016

Black Tusk - Pillars Of Ash

Black Tusk are back after the tragic events of 2014 and 
have returned to play some heavy based sludge punk with 
some elements of metal thrown in to make sure you are not 
getting too comfortable.

The tracks are primitive monsters, light on solos but fucking heavy
on the riffs. If early Discharge covering High On Fire
floats ya boat, keep on reading this.

The sonic production is awesome - thick, aggressive and full of
low-end battering to shake your pretty little eardrums to bits.
Fuzzed guitars have the distortion dial on 11 but never so far 
up in the mix that the bass and drums get lost.

With song titles like "Born Of Strife" and "Bleed On Your 
Knees", you need a vocalist who sounds like a rabid dingo
tearing at the corpse of clean singing while drinking moonshine
 lager mixed with the dregs of a hundred used bongs - and guess
what - they have!

Black Tusk are back and stronger than ever. 

This is the good stuff - get it now.

Thanks to Relapse Records for promo copy.

Tuesday 26 January 2016


Guest writer - Doug E Dogg

This is quite frankly fucking awesome !!.....a 4 piece...
from the Midlands of the UK....very hairy.....vocals, guitar bass and drums
.....massively heavy and doom sounds like I'm describing 
Sabbath doesn't it ?...but No. Fair enough, there are more than the usual 
amount of comparisons to be drawn but with this genre of music if there 
aren't some then it wouldn't be properly heavy would it ? Its plain to the 
listener that this band love early Sabbath and also have Electric Wizards' 
"Dopethrone" on repeat play in the tour bus....and also have an 
appreciation of Hawkwind circa '71 to '73....I'll explain that shortly.

Lets have a look at the 4 great tracks they have created for our 
head nodding entertainment...

1. Retronauts - 8 minutes of the very highest quality doom space 
stoner containing massively enjoyable riffs that just burrow 
into your brain and refuse to get out again ! Having been listening 
predominately to Lemmy's output from the late 60's to date for the 
last week or so, this track has a certain Hawkwind-ish feel to it 
with the big repetitive riff, vocal phrasing and overall driving 
sound not dissimilar to the long sprawling live tracks on the Space
 Ritual album from '73. Absolutely fact if this track 
was just extended by say, half an hour, I'd be even happier !

2. The Ultra Wizards - as it starts it appears to be a slightly more 
upbeat number being more stoner than doom but then halfway 
through a mega heavy doom riff is introduced which takes it down
 into a very dark place indeed. Mmmmm !!

3. Witchrider - This has the pacing and feel of Sabs "Fairies Wear 
Boots" and bowls along like some unstoppable force, all the time 
seemingly picking up speed and getting nastier the longer it goes 
on. A brisker than usual take on doom...apologies for the constant 
Sabs references but I like classic old Sabbath very much and view 
such comparisons as a complement rather than anything derogatory 
when the band concerned have produced something so good.

4. Damavand - Ahhh...16 minutes....that's more like it.....Nice 
gentle intro gives way to a brutal all instrument assault which 
could be used as a soundtrack to a film about a medieval siege where 
the attackers have a massive battering ram with which they are trying
 to get into a castle ! The early riff most satisfyingly morphs into 
the stuff of dreams then all of a sudden we have an atmospheric
 eerie section to get our collective breath back before it all starts up 
again before finally fading out with whining feedback ringing in 
our ears......Phew !
I suspect the recording studio floor after tracks 1 and 4 were 
completed was covered in shredded plectrums, lumps of finger 
tip flesh, blood, pieces of fractured cymbals, broken drumsticks
 and discarded drum skins !!

I just have one minor quibble....its only 36 minutes long......

The Ones I Missed

Up in Maim Towers, I get sent a lot of stuff to listen to.

And hey, some top notch albums came after I had
compiled my life-changing and indeed, mind-
altering Best of 2015 list. Below are albums that
should of been way up near the top.

Serpent - Nekromant

Pigs - Wronger

Egypt - Endless Flight

Yuri Gagarin - At The Centre Of All Infinity

Saturday 2 January 2016

Soundtrack To My Year 2015

As usual, although most albums have been released this year,
if something has blown my mind and is "new' to my ears, it
will also feature here. Because I was mainly absent this year,
a lot of reviews have been taken from reviews I did for
Stoner HiVe or the Doom Charts.

Rest assured though, each and every one
of the following has made me jump up and down or at the
very least, transported me from the dreadful, humdrum
existence of reality to a place of passion, dreams and worship
of the dark, damp underground music that raises my spirits.

1. Moon Curse - Spirit Remains

Throbbing, majestic slabs of psychedelic doom.

2. Abrams - Lust, Love, Loss

A heady mix of stoner and hardcore.

3. High On Fire - Luminiferous

Leaving all comparisons of Sleep behind, Matt Pike and Co
gave us an album for of searing solos, alien mind control
and riffs that shook my fucking soul.

4. Black Rainbows - Hawkdope

Heavy, groovy, unstoppable with hints of space rock expansiveness 
combine with driving Stoner song structures to make each track 
sound like a classic cut on first hearing. Hints of fuzz electric blues 
are scattered throughout with searing effect and yes, it does 
make me want to drive faster with my arm hanging out of the window, 
music blaring from the speakers on the way to some humdrum place of 
work, having my soul lifted by this potential masterpiece.

5. Miles Davis - Live In Tokyo 1975

Unreleased broadcast recorded 10 days before the Agharta and 
Pangaea concerts, this has a rawer sound and has Miles and the two
guitarists trying to outdo each other in a war of wah-wah pedals.

6. Acid King - Middle Of Nowhere, 
Center Of Everywhere 

This is Stoner, Fuzz-laden Doom Blues with a palpable feeling 
of tripped out vibes that is rarely heard these days.

7. With The Dead - S/T

Expectations were high with this doom "supergroup".  Guess
what? It lived up to the hype - dense, raw and infused with a 
feeling of suffocation. Nice.

8. KEN mode - Success

Thick, dense and brutal  - hardcore/noise rock that cut
through the fog in my mind.

9. Windhand - Grief's Internal Flower

Misery and doom has never sounded so beautiful or haunting.

10. Bersaerk - Mulm

Bersærk take the stoner template and stomp all over it with
a hardcore attitude giving you 9 tracks that start off fast and
furious and that do not stop until the end. Hailing from Denmark, this 
has had the same effect on me when I first heard Kvelertak - 
jumping up and down with a stupid grin on 
my face.

11. Goya - Obelisk

Big hypnotic grooves give you a trip into the more psychedelic 
realms of doom by riffing to an almost mantra like refrain that lodges 
deep into your cortex fluids on a primal level to make your body slowly 
jerk and move to the primitive and shamanistic tunes that have clearly been 
spawned by unclean thoughts and in-pure impulses to damage people 
with slow, fuzzed guitars and low-end tuning.

12. James Brown - Sho' Is Funky Down Here 1971

All instrumental and full of heavy fuzzed-out guitars in a jazzy 
psychedelic rock style, resembling the first records by Funkadelic.

Or as LK Ultra said " It's a bit like MC5 scoring a soft-core porno 
in places. I can see a man with an afro and a mustache in a turtleneck 
stepping out of the driver's side door in the middle of an intersection 
on a hot afternoon. He pulls up his sidearm and shoots from the hip, 
blinking as he does so. Across the street a clean-shaven guy in a blue, 
open-collar dress shirt, gold chains and bright yellow pants throws his arms 
up after being hit. He then spins backwards and falls face first against 
the wall which he slides down very, very slowly. The man with the 
mustache and afro blows the smoke from the tip of the gun, then casually 
gets back into his car and finishes his turn. Never once does this man show 
any emotion."

13. Dopethrone - Hochelaga

Sludge stoner doom with riffage stolen from Hell. Swamp
blues weighed down with menace and power.

14. Gorgantherron - Second Sun

Heavy, heavy metal stoner that rocks like a bastard from
start to finish with swagger and beer.

15. Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats - 
Night Creeper

I have had this album on repeat and find myself drifting into the 
coldness of a foggy London night as twilight descends upon you and 
the dark, dank shadow shrouded streets beckon with hints of strange 
pleasures or the kiss of a razor blade only to be jolted out my fevered dream 
state with a fuzz filled solo and find my head is slowly nodding to the 
majestic songs that are starting to feel like the best thing I have played for ages.

16. Coliseum - Anxiety's Kiss

Hardcore that takes the AmRep template and runs with it - 
heavy without being brutal ...beautiful pain.

17. Witchskull - The Vast Electric Dark

These Aussie rockers have come up with a compelling and 
addictive slice of heavy sounds that just gets better the more 
you play it. NWOBHM rubs shoulders with Motorhead and Trouble 
giving them a template from which they launch blistering salvos of 
hook laden riffs and fist pumping tunes. This is rumbling Stoner/Doom 
with it’s own identity – not just another band ripping off some shit from 
the past and thinking that is enough.

18. Mammoth Salmon - Last Vestige Of Humanity

This is Doom that has enough venom and raspy vocals to veer 
into Sludge with vicious intent. The fuzzed bass is up front in the 
mix and powers the songs along as an anchor to the drums that sound 
like they are being attacked with hatred.

19. The Black Wizards - Lake Of Fire

Huge sounding and massive, The Black Wizards play Classic
Rock and Stoner with authority and power. Add some Proto-
Doom and all is well.

The riffs are as Sabbathy as you like without being
too obvious which of course means they fucking rock
like a mountain avalanche. Mid paced songs morph into
slow hymns of despair but the melodic and fuzzed solos stop
any signs of wrist slashing  - instead you have the uncontrollable
urge to start nodding and foot stomping.

20. The Shrine - Rare Breed

Lip smacking, fuzz stomping, amp humping,
solo shredding, MC5 riffing, crowd surfing,
bass throbbing, beer drinking, drum pounding,
drug snorting, sweat flying, fist punching,
head banging, chorus shouting, throat straining,
foot stomping, Flying V playing, ear bleeding,
rabble rousing fucking rock'n'roll.


I cannot be be arsed to do this anymore so here is the
rest in list form - no real order, they are all immense
albums and depending what mood I am in will change places
every day. And to be honest, I am only really playing the 1st
3 Motorhead albums at the moment anyway.

Ecstatic Vision – Sonic Praise
Psychopunch – Sweet Baby Octane
Shining – International Black Jazz Society
Jess & The Ancient Ones – Second Psychedelic Coming: 
The Aquarius Tapes
Lumberjack – Land Of Decay
Rukh – Tickets For A Second Round
The Who – Live In Hull ‘73
Beerwolf – Oracle’s Prophecy
Out Of Earth – S/T
Six Organs Of Admittance – Hexadic
Captain Beefheart – Mirror Man 1974
Killer Boogie – Detroit
Shepherd – Stereolithic Riffalocalypse
Lacertillia – Crashing Into The Future
Rifflord – 26 Mean And Heavy
Mathusalem – Revival
Lord Montague – The Cave
Satori Junk – S/T
Witchsorrow – No Light, Only Fire
Space Probe Taurus – Mondo Satan
Ufomammut – Ecate
Luna Sol – Blood Moon
John Cale – Sabotage 1979
Atomic Bitchwax – Graviton
Hard Action – Sinister Vibes
Silent Snare – Darken
Barbarian Fist – The Whorelord Cometh
Seedy Jeezus – S/T
Glowsun – Beyond the Wall Of Time
Ruby The Hatchet – Aurum
Prophets Of Saturn – Retronauts
Kadavar – Berlin
Savanah – Deep Shades
Disenchanter – Strange Creations
Brain Pyramid – Magnetosphere
The Bottle Doom Lazy Band – Lost N’Drunk
Lizards Exist – S/T
Huntress – Static
Lowburn – Doomsayer
Swamp Ritual – Ritual Rising
Plainride – Return Of The Jackalope
We Hunt Buffalo – Living Ghosts
Wizard Eye – S/T
Beggars – Devil’s Highway
Dreadnought – Bridging Realms
The Heavy Eyes – He Dreams Of Lions
Ponamero Sundown – Veddesta

So now you know what my brain sounds like.

This post is dedicated to Joop.