Wednesday 20 March 2013

Desert Storm - Horizontal Life - Review

Desert Storm is a Stoner Metal Band from Oxford, UK

The members are:

Chris White: Guitar
Ryan Cole: Guitar
Chris Benoist: Bass
Elliot Cole: Drums
Matt Ryan: Vocals

I will say this now that Desert Storm are my fave band currently from the UK Sludge, Doom, Stoner Underground. Their blend of Blues based Stoner Metal has won then a whole range of fans and admirers within the scene. I originally reviewed their superb debut album – Forked Tongues – back in 2011, which I rated very highly indeed.

Well fast-forward 2 years later and Desert Storm are back with – Horizontal Life. A 12-track opus that runs for 64 mins or so. Has anything changed? You betcha….

For a start, the guys are louder, heavier and better than ever before. This is an almighty leap forward into the unknown for all Desert Storm fans as they venture into genres they haven’t been to before. Space Rock and Mastodon based Sludge territory. Yes, that’s right folks. Desert Storm have now ventured into the realms of Outer Space with the album. Check out the superb album cover to show you what to expect.

I will advise listeners now there are 8 brand new tracks and 4 old tracks, which have been re-recorded and remastered from the original versions. I don’t know which sings they are and I don’t care. I know I could check but I consider all these tracks as entirely new tracks.

First track – Word To The Wise Man – features the band in familiar territory with a groovy Stoner Metal riff blending a Clutch style vibe as well. Vocalist Matt is on fine form from the start. Shouting out at the top of his lungs that match the great riffs on show. Desert Storm are a band on a mission. To play as many pulsating riffs that is possible. A great start to the album.

Second Track – Shadow Of An Eagle - follows the same path as the first track. Fast-paced Stoner Rock riffs with Matt loudly preaching to the world of the trials and tribulations the band is currently going through. You will start to hear little notes and melodies starting to creep in that will take this album into another direction later on.

Third Track – Astral Planes – is where the band start to bring in the Space Rock vibe into play. Maybe not with the riffs as such but more with the vocals and lyrics that Matt sings with much passion. The lyrics even have a slight Mastodon vibe from Crack The Skye. One of the albums true standout tracks.

Fourth Track – No Slave To Master – is where the band are starting to grow into their new hard rocking persona. A newsflash advises people what is happening in Desert Storm’s world. It provides a great clue on what type of riffs and moods to expect for the next 5 mins or so.

Next track - Mr Strongbatch carry on the riffs that were laid before it but with a more bluesy rock feel to show the listener they can mix their old and new style of sounds to great effect. This is where the album turns into something else altogether. Desert Storm become a whole new entity altogether.

Enslaved In The Icy Tundra – has Matt in sparkling demonic form with the rest of the band backing him up on riffs that could rip a whole in the cosmos. Hard-hitting riffs proving that Desert Storm have truly embraced the angrier edge of their music. Loud riffs and Matt’s angry vocals seem to put Desert Storm on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This is probably the loudest you have ever heard them.

Lunar Domes is a 3:26 minute blast of insane loud heavy riffs with a cool Space Rock feel. It has an almost psychedelic feel where the vocals and lyrics are concerned. I don’t know Matt has been reading a lot of science fiction books but it feels like he has. As this track has an out of this world feel to it, you don’t hear much of. Though it works amazingly well to the bands favour.

Up next is the best track of the album – The 11 minute epic - Titan. This is the track that I consider Desert Storm’s best work to date. It features some very trippy vocals and lyrics with amazing cosmic space rock riffs to rock out to. You will easily find yourself immersed with the world that the band are creating. A song full of too many great moments to mention. The band have thrown their heart and soul into Titan. Matt floats in and out from the 5th minute. The other guys in the band show what they can do by blending ambient-based rock with hints of sonic tones to comfort the listener in the quieter periods of the song. But give it time, as the louder Stoner Metal riffs will soon take over. An awesome track. Period.

After Titan – you have 4 more tracks to rock out to. Tracks such as Gaia and Hoffman prove that Desert Storm are about to lay their claim as one of the UK’s best Stoner Rock/Metal bands. Horizontal Life is a calling card to the world of Stoner Metal that Desert Storm have arrived in a big way.

Brilliant and Highly Recommended. – You can buy the album from Blindsight Records from April 2013. Or from the band themselves on their current UK tour with Honky. 

Thanks to the band for sending me a promo CD to review. And for including me in the list of Thank You’s in the albums notes.

Check Out Desert Storm From the links below