Tuesday 30 April 2013

Uncle Acid and The Deatbeats - Mind Control (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 15/4/2013
Label : Rise Above Records

Mind Control, album track listing:
1. Mt. Abraxas
2. Mind Crawler
3. Poison Apple
4. Desert Ceremony
5. Evil Love
6. Death Valley Blues
7. Follow the Leader
8. Valley of the Dolls
9. Devil’s Work

The word of mouth phenomenon of 2011 returns... When a band comes out of nowhere and produces an album as atmospheric and intriguing as “Blood Lust” questions are then posed of those involved and the expected follow up. Those questions, usually along the lines of: Is it any good? Can the band cut it live? Was the last one just a flash in the pan? While annoying, are begging to be answered. Yes, the new record is good. Yes, the band are good live (I saw them at one of their recent Garage shows in London). No, not just a one trick pony as Blood Lust has been followed up in the time honoured tradition of a sidestep rather than a static carbon copy or progression per se.

“Mt Abraxus” opens in fine doomy style. The track is long and well sustained by excellent riffs with that classic Doom-played-on-a-Gibson-of-some-description sound. There is a garage-esque vibe to proceedings this time around, but not in tune with the Hammer Horror Theatrics of last time around. The record is somehow more... rock n roll. Think Sabbath AND The Stooges; not just Sabbath.

“Mind Crawler” featured a driving riff and worthwhile clave style percussion driving things along nicely. The vocals retain their almost Beatles with a murderous intent delivery- a fine feature of UAATD musical arsenal. There is even a hint of classic 70's era Judas Priest (shame on you if you are not familiar with their classic period!).

“Poison Apple” has probably been heard already by many reading this (if many do actually read this). It is closer to in tone to Blood Lust, perhaps and provides a strong refrain to go with the hooky riff.

“Desert Ceremony” features more percussion and a slower tempo that allows the vocals to breathe nicely while the guitars ring out ominously.

“Evil Love” kicks off with a riff and tempo that would not be out of place on  Gentlemen's Pistols record and then  caries on up that trail with perhaps a dash of vintage Witchcraft thrown in. There is a bit of early Maiden in the latter stages, too. Lovely.

“Death Valley Blues” gives a guitar intro that conjures up the feel of the geographical location of the title. Things take a doomier turn after that with the oddly boxy and muffled drums working well with the bass to push the track along. The album titles gets a mention here too.

“Follow The Leader” kicks off with a psychedelic droning style that is complimented well by the spacey vocals. As I am listening to the album on the first genuinely warm day of the year, I can honestly say that the release date of this record is perfectly timed. While “Blood Lust” conjured up images of villages in the winter in middle England and the paranoia and loathing that goes with them, the atmosphere here is altogether more... summer-y. No, not California exactly; think Manson and you've got it.

“Valley of the Dolls” represents the album's longest track and is a doomy one, full of dinosaur riffage. The guitars wind together well as that warm sound washes over you. Again, the atmosphere is spot on and Uncle Acid (or the frontman channelling his essence, or what have you) delivers an excellent vocal. The solo is well written and double tracked very nicely, too.

“Devil's Work” is as dark as the title suggests and the pounding drum tattoo is offset nicely by the crooned opening vocal. Rhythmically simple for a time, things open up for the chorus before the four on the floor stomp carries on. Perhaps if Iggy and the Asheton brothers had grown up in Cambridge they might have sounded like this?!

The verdict: an excellent follow up to an underground classic. The vibe is different, but no less sinister. The production values are improved, but are still quirky and fit the material well. If you enjoyed Blood Lust then you will enjoy this. If, however, you wear seventies styled clothing, enjoy calling gigs “rituals”, don't own the Iron Maiden Back Catalogue (preferably on multiple formats) and see metal as being something different to the “Occult Rock” you currently listen to, I wish you would fuck off. Music fans only, please. Hipsters use the back door.

Words by : Richard Maw

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available now on Rise Above Records and Metal Blade on May 14th.

Blood Tsunami - For Faen (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 8/3/2013
Label : Indie Recordings

For Faen, album track listing:
1. The Butcher Of Rostov
2. Dogfed
3. The Rape Of Nanking
4. In The Dungeon Of The Rats
5. Metal Fang
6. The Brazen Bull
7. Grave Desecrator
8. Unholy Knights
9. D.T.K.
10. Krokodil

The crimson tide rise again! And this time it comes across as more ferocious and devastating than ever before! Blood Tsunami's new album "For Faen" shows a band that has stripped their metal to the bone. Harder, meaner, dirtier and way more aggressive! This album is a relentless sonic beating. The songs are thrown at you, one by one, with an infernal speed that threathens to rip off chunks of flesh from your whole upper body. Rampant dogs is jumping out of your loudspeakers, daggers and bullets comes at you like a wall of horizontal rain. This is metal the way it was meant to be. Totally vicious and utterly dangerous!
"For Faen!" What the hell does that mean? Well, it is Norwegian! "Faen" is probably the most frequently used word in Norway and directly translated it means "Devil". It can also be used the same way as "Fuck" in English. "For Faen", directly translated, gives us the title "For The Devil" but it also means "For Fuck's Sake". Not bad you say? Well, it's Blood Tsunami for Fuck's sake!

"For Faen" is a monster of an album that will break your legs off by the knee and use them to beat the skull straight off your spine. You are in for some sickening tales from the dark side of humanity. Grotesque stories about some of the worlds worst serial killers, detailed information about horrendous ancient torture methods, war crimes, mass murder and chemicals, addiction and rotten human skin. It's all in there... 


Blood Tsunami are back, baby! Thrashing around like a radioactive shark in Norwegian waters. Their latest slab of evil intentions is called 'For Faen', and the good people at their native Indie Recordings are guilty of exposing us all to this. Kind souls, those lot. Let's rage!

So as it goes in typical Tsunami fashion the whole thing is just pure face melting, shredding badassery. It's like dragging the best things about the 80s metal scene kicking and screaming into the future light. And then pouring petrol on it. And setting a grenade off right next to it. Fire and excess is the general aim here.

'The Butcher of Rostov' starts things off in fine fashion, hyper speed guitars and chainsaw noise, all accentuated by drums from the depths of hell. It's so fast at times it's like a laser battle is happening just behind your eyes. The whole thing is an absolute fucking riot.

'The Rape of Nanking' may well be charming enough to remove the paint from the walls and the birds from the trees, but it's also a real pedigree ripper. Slayer vibes echo throughout, like back in the early days when they were at their peak. And their most violent. This is so aggressive it probably has a restraining order in place against it.

'Metal Fang' screams bloody murder and then commits it upon your ears. Circle pits are a certainty, especially when the track slows into a perfectly timed groove at the mid-point to slam to. The solo at the end will finish off what's left of your brain, after liquefying it in your skull. Sorry bro, can't tip my head too much - got liquefied brain syndrome. True story.

'B.T.K.' has a filthier vibe surrounding it (the fact that it's about a serial killer helps), a dirty, punkier jam with no less impact or sharp corners to be concerned about. Tremendous.

The album closes in impressive and final fashion with 'Krokodil', an audio kick in the teeth that doesn't play well with others. Terrific soloing guitars and more lightning thrash drums, replete with chugging, glorious riffs towards the close. It's the soundtrack to rebellion, before it was cool to have a soundtrack to rebellion.

I love this album. Perfect for slamming an ice cold beer to, along with your head. The best aspects of the heyday of 80s thrash, without a 'throwback' feel to it. That's all very well and good, but this feels legit, and it only benefits the more from it. Check out 'For Faen' immediately.

Words by : Matt Fitton

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available now on Indie Recordings. Thanks to Andy @ Indie for hooking us up with the record for review!

Anciients - Heart of Oak (Album Review)

Album Type  : Full Length
Date Released : 16/4/2013
Label : Season of Mist

Heart of Oak, album track listing:
1. Raise the Sun
2. Overthrone
3. Falling in Line
4. The Longest River
5. One Foot in the Light
6. Giants
7. Faith and Oath
8. Flood and Fire
9. For Lisa

Canada is famous for its own brand of illegally distilled spirit, commonly known under its tell-tale moniker, "white diesel". Yet aged in wooden casks this whisky will grow in taste and maturity while acquiring its golden quality by being given a "Heart of Oak". The stunning full-length debut of Vancouver's ANCIIENTS proudly bears this name as well as sharing many characteristics with the beloved liquid. Its songwriting is simply intoxicating. The sound has a warm flow, solid earthiness and beautifully dark undertones. "Heart of Oak" comes with a delicious blend of Rock and Metal, which places their emotional and unique style close to like-minded fellow musicians such as QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, KYLESA, BARONESS, THE SWORD and HIGH ON FIRE. Founded in 2009, ANCIIENTS feature former 3 INCHES OF BLOOD live member Aaron "Boon" Gustafson on bass, who is flanked by excellent guitarist and vocalist duo Kenneth Paul Cook and Chris Dyck churning out a host of crunchy riffs. Drummer Mikey Hannay adds steady power from the back with his relentless push of intricate beats. The Canadians captured immediate attention with the release of 7" EP "Snakebeard" (2011), which put them on the road to supported the renowned likes of HIGH ON FIRE, GOATWHORE, BORIS and THREE INCHES OF BLOOD. Based solely on ANCIIENTS' first output and impressive live presence, influential and prestigious American print magazine Decibel magazine has already branded "Heart of Oak" as "one of 2013's most anticipated albums" in an early commitment. Take a deep draught of this classy distillation of traditional heavy ingredients and nuanced modern expression, which ANCIIENTS gracefully serve you with "Heart of Oak"!

Kenneth Paul Cook: Guitar, Vocals
Chris Dyck: Guitar, Vocals
Aaron "Boon" Gustafson: Bass
Mikey Hannay: Drums

There's something stirring in Vancouver, something monolithic. It could be some toothy beast, but luckily for western Canada it's more likely to be their very own Anciients, who are unleashing their first full album, 'Heart of Oak'.

Anciients deal in a distinctly melodic yet morosely heavy blend of doom and sludge. Think Opeth, Baroness and maybe even at times a little Kylesa, all strewn together to make an almighty racket. it's a highly varied racket at that, one that continuously demands your attention.

'Raise the Sun' kicks the record off in a pleasant enough manner with light guitar flourishes, but it progresses soon enough into an old school battle royal. The riffs are galloping on this thing, giant affairs that crash into each other like waves on rocks. The drumming is also top notch, with just as much bombast attached to it as it's six stringed brethren.

'Falling In Line' is another slow burner that just builds into another stormer. The love of authentic and classic 70s rock is clear and present within the group's collective heart, all the better for it's inclusion into their style. The constant mix of clear and rough vocals fits exceptionally well. If you could ring this LP dry, there is no doubt that the liquid that poured forth would be addictive in nature. I'm thinking some kind of hallucinogenic mercury. That's right, it's metal.

'The Longest River' is pretty epic. I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing to say, it either is epic or it isn't - it can't be 'pretty' epic. But it is; at nearly 10 minutes it winds and redirects multiple times without ever losing your interest. Credible song structuring, with a killer chorus. It aint Bon Jovi in a stadium in New Jersey, but it is magnificent in it's own way. Which is the way that we all probably prefer. No disrespect to the Jovi, like.

I have to give my two thumbs up to 'Faith and Oath' though. Exploding into life with a killer riff that wouldn't be lost in any black or death metal band's arsenal, the drumming is also a cacophonous noise that compliments said riff perfectly. What follows is a master class in progression, build and true weight. There's a hint of Mastodon in there somewhere, but they make it notably enough their own entity. The real beauty therein however commences at about the 4:20 mark, when the song begins a long bow out to some of the most doom-laden grooves this side of a haunted forest. Incredible stuff.

'Heart of Oak' is a must, a genre-straddling behemoth that speaks persuasively, but with an iron will that cannot be ignored. At times melodic, at others heavy as hell, submit unto it without delay. There's little point in resisting the sound of Anciients. Your time will be spent far more rewardingly by absorbing it.

Words by : Matt Fitton

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available now on Season of Mist. Thanks to Gunnar @ Season of Mist for hooking us up with the record for review!

Von - Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 22/3/2013
Label : Von Records

Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves, album tracklisting:
1. They Have Come (3:23)
2. Ancient Flesh of the Dark Gods (10:09)
3. Hands of Black Death (6:14)
4. Dark Gods (2:59)
5. MONSTER! (5:32)
6. DevilWhore (6:02)
7. iAmInHuMan (6:03)
8. RawRot (7:40)
9. Black Eyes (6:07)

Summon The Darkness...Dark Gods will rise! In the cold path of darkness, among the dread and pain deep within us, it is the will of the dark ones to enslave us. Dark Gods manifest around us, besides us, inside us. Seven Billion Slaves delves deeper into the cold and dark minds of VON. VON's creator and mastermind VENIEN!!! has tapped into his inner psyche and has willingly summoned many dark tales and ruthless hymns for the world’s seven billion slaves

Dark Gods is only Von’s second, official, full length album. Their previous discography is a collection of live albums/tracks, demos and EP’s dating back to the late ‘80’s. All of these recordings harnessed a cult following in the black metal world. The catalyst for the band beginning to record more prolifically after they reformed, was a one off show in 2010.

The latest long player opens up with the ominously titled ‘They Have Come.’ This is essentially an album introduction which sets the tone for the album and the darkness that waits. As the track fades, ‘Ancient Flesh of the Dark Gods’ follows. This is a ten minute onslaught of hellish proportions. The same, slower tempo of the introduction is upheld before some of the most guttural vocals I have ever experienced are unleashed. The track moves along at a very doomy pace. Slow drums that fail to resemble a recognisable beat at some points are backed with a repetitive guitar sound. Around the mid point of this opening, the band flexes their black metal muscles. The same repetitive guitar sound is retained; however the blast beat drums completely dominate the sound. This is an unbelievably good track.

As Dark Gods progresses, the album flits between traditional black metal and a more doom style (see Hands of Black Death, RawRot) however the title track and ‘MONSTER!’ are as black as it can get. The vocals sound alien like and yet again the drums are punishing. ‘MONSTER!’ is completely unrelenting aside from a couple of ‘breathers’ during its 5 minute duration.‘DevilWhore’ has no such breaks in it. This is a track that is ferocious and pummelling throughout.

The aforementioned ‘RawRot’ is a monster of a track. I imagine that if getting smashed in the face with a set of knuckle dusters, this should be the sound track to it. From the mid point of the track to the end, the hypnotic guitars and hammering drums are bludgeoning and savage.

Album closer, ‘Black Eyes,’ is a slower and calmer affair, however the haunting and sometimes depraved mood is still prevalent. The album fades out to hushed piano tones that just let you take stock of the assault that your ears have just taken (should you listen to the album!)

Overall, the album is a triumph. It is relentlessly heavy and demands your attention through its ferocity. Dark Gods is music for a dark, dark room. Be warned!

Words by : Dominic Walsh

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available now on Von Records Thanks to EarSplit PR for hooking us up with the record for review!

Cardinals Folly - Strange Conflicts of the Past (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 13/6/2013
Label : Shadow Kingdom Records

Strange Conflicts of the Past, album tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. The Right Hand of Doom
3. Rasputin (The Mad Monk)
4. Serpent Nights
5. Opening Ceremony
6. Blood Axis Raider
7. Cardinals Folly
8. They Found Atlantis
9. The Model
10. Transmission From the Mad Arab

Cardinals Folly have been quietly one of the best Finnish Heavy / Doom Metal bands to date. Their early material is all out of print and impossible to get. This is a fine package of all of their early works and arguably their very best material. The tracks 1-3 are from the "Heretic´s Hangover" EP, which was released in early 2008 as the first release under the name of Cardinals Folly. This release was just few hundred copies and was sold out pretty fast. They left out the last track of this EP, "Uncharted Seas" because that was already on the debut album. We wanted to give some unreleased stuff instead. Tracks 5-8 are from the "Orthodox Faces" EP (2009), which was also sold out quickly and received a notable welcoming in the doom circles. Tracks 4,9 and 10 are unreleased tracks from the same era of these two EP´s, also recorded in 2008-2009. Track 4 was featured on The Coven´s 2006 demo-EP "Beltane", but this version of the song is much better, as it´s recorded in 2008 with the Cardinals Folly line-up

Cardinals Folly may not have the most original sound imaginable, but they have a few identifying markers which make them stand out in my mind.  One is their distinctive bass tone which positively waterboards the listener with buckets of heaviness that must be played on the thick ropes of fate itself, that the Elder Gods pull behind the curtain of reality, outside of time.  The second is their highly energetic performance. Spontaneous outbursts of exclamation and vigorous playing that few bands capture on record aren’t always present on their full-length (‘Such Power is Dangerous’ Shadow Kingdom Records 2011) but they are here.  Through it all, the band sounds as though they are enjoying themselves and that goes a long way to creating an enjoyable albeit maniacal listening experience.  The third factor is the manly vocal tone which originates purely from the diaphragm and belches out a gothic tone or horror much in the style of Abysmal Grief (see review), in many respects a fairly typical Finnish style of vocal but rarely done with such gusto as the listener finds here.  These are all check marks in the plus column.  Indeed the band is Finnish, producing a sound that could only have arisen in the hard and frozen north.
The opening trio of tracks are taken from the band’s first recording as Cardinals Folly (before then the band had been known as The Coven).  An intro and two longer tracks which stomp and bite with equal ferocity.  Blood thickening riffs atop a ground shaking drum foundation with that bass-soaked heaviness create an almost claustrophobic sensation in the listener.  You’re not two minutes into “Right Hand of Doom” before you realize you have just become a fan for life.  From there things open up into the more expansive and perhaps less oppressive atmosphere of the group’s second EP,  ‘Orthodox Folly’, featuring a less raw performance altogether, with more blistering leads, presaging the controlled atmosphere of the band’s full-length.
This thing can easily be broken down into three distinct parts, but it doesn’t need to be.  Taken as a whole, it’s a solid album, even though it wasn’t intended to be so during the various stages of its recording.  Of the three previously unreleased tracks, only one of them is a typical ‘song’, the other two, “Opening Ceremony” and “Transmission from the Mad Arab” are an intro/interlude and an ‘outro’.  Both produce interesting soundscapes in their own right, especially the latter track but are also both quite short, neither one breaking the two minute barrier.  The only unreleased ‘song’ was left on the shelf for obvious reasons.  Not because it’s a bad song, it’s actually a great tune, but because it sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the discography and is the only one of these ten cuts that can be seen as disrupting the surprisingly album-like flow of this compilation record. 
The song in question, “The Model” is a Kraftwerk cover, and as such not something you might expect to hear on this kind of album, but the band does a convincing job of dooming it up.  The lyrics aren’t typical doom fair, but the downtuned guitars really do the trick here.  It’s a good song and if you didn’t know it was a Kraftwerk cover, it would never occur to you because Cardinals Folly makes the tune their own.
 ‘Strange Conflicts’ charts the progress of the band in their early days.  On this record you can hear a good band develop and really start to find its niche in a relatively short period of time, starting as an energetic doom band before turning their souls over entirely to the dark lords of traditional doom epicness which comprises the latter half of this disc. Although the difference is only slight, it’s given bolder relief due to both EPs playing side by side on this record.

Words by : Lucas Klaukien

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available on 13 June from Shadow Kingdom Records.  Thanks Clawhammer PR for hooking us up with the recordo for review!

Melvins - Everybody Loves Sausages (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 29/4/2013
Label : Ipecac

Everybody Loves Sausages, album tracklisting:
1. Warhead (Venom) Guest, Scott Kelly of Neurosis
2. Best Friend (Queen) Guest: Caleb Benjamin of Tweak Bird
3. Black Betty (original artist unknown, a popular version is by Ram Jam)
4. Set It On Fire (The Scientists) Guest Mark Arm
5. Station to Station (David Bowie) Guest: JG Thirlwell of Foetus and others
6. Attitude (The Kinks) Guest: Clem Bure of Blondie
7. Female Trouble (Divine, written by John Waters)
8. Carpe Diem (The Fugs)
9. Timothy Leary Lives (Pop-O-Pies)
10. In Every Dream Home a Heartache (Roxy Music) Guests: Jello Biafra and Kevin Rutmanis
11. Romance (Tales of Terror)
12. Art School (The Jam) Guest: Tom Hazelmeyer
13. Heathen Earth (Throbbing Gristle

"This record will give people a peak into the kind of things that influence us musically," explains Buzz Osborne. "We REALLY like all of these songs along with the bands who actually wrote this stuff because first and foremost we are HUGE music fans."

In a decidedly Melvins approach to a covers album, the band not only selected a unique assortment of songs to cover, ranging from Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home A Heartache" to Queen's "Best Friend," they also enlisted several friends to take part including Mudhoney's Mark Arm joining them for The Scientists' "Set It On Fire" and Neurosis' Scott Kelly pitching in on a cover of Venom's "Warhead."

While the release is billed as a proper Melvins' album (featuring the line-up of Osborne, Dale Crover, Jared Warren and Coady Willis), there are a handful of songs recorded as the Melvins Lite incarnation of the band (Osborne, Crover and Trevor Dunn):  "Female Trouble" (Divine a.k.a. John Waters), "Timothy Leary Lives" (Pop-O-Pies) and "Romance By Tales of Terror" (Tales of Terror

I'll start this off with a fair warning: this may well be the most biased review you will ever read in your entire life. It's gonna focus on volume, fuzz and pure electric awesomeness incarnate.
I fucking love the Melvins.
I don't even care. I'm actually wearing a Melvins shirt right now, as I write this. I'm grinning like the cat that was baked and THEN got the cream. The cat is high, in the weird situation just then - that's what I was going for. Whatever. I really like the Melvins, that's the long and short of it.
And so, here we are with the very Melvinsy titled covers collection of 'Everybody Loves Sausages'. Nothing about that makes sense, and that's just one of the many reasons they rule. If you're here and you're reading this then no doubt you will probably recognise the band as the outright godfathers of Sludge. They pretty much birthed the blueprint for the sound of your favourite band's favourite band. But even they had their influences, and Buzz, Dale and co. have always been quite open and frank about the groups and songs that they love and the part that they played in leading them to where they are today. So let's take a look under the lid then.
As far as genius openers go, the band's take on 'Warhead' by Venom is downright spectacular. It's so heavy it runs real risk of shifting the Earth off it's axis, or dispelling gravity altogether somehow. The only thing that could possibly make this any better is if Scott Kelly was drafted in for vocal duties. Wait, they did? He is? That would explain why I just flew off the planet.
Another diamond is the stone cold classic that Ram Jam made famous, 'Black Betty'. Buzz fits into the vocal style perfectly, and that riff had to be partially conceived to be covered by this band. Loud, fuzzy, riotous and very rock n' roll.
'Station to Station' is obviously amazing, and Bowie is a creative dynamo. That same energy runs deep here, and 11+ minutes of pure mind blowing structure means I need a mop to wipe up what just flew out the back of my skull. My office floor is a mess. That rug is ruined.
I really quite dig Roxy Music, and Bryan Ferry is the fucking mack. He's a smooth operator and the archetypal frontman. Long time Melvins collaborator Jello Biafra puts in a very fine performance on 'In Every Dreamhome a Heartache'. Dale pounds the skins as per (with 100% conviction), and Buzzo assaults that damn guitar to the brink of extinction. AGAIN.
As always there is plenty of leftfield stuff on a Melvins record, and the curveball contained here is the Throbbing Gristle track 'Heathen Earth'. Like a John Carpenter soundtrack to a really tense scene on the moon, it's insane and makes little sense as the closing piece. Which is totally what you would expect. Brilliant.
In closing, 'Sausages' is a covers album by the Melvins. It's heavy, loud, weird and completely excellent. Everything you would expect and more. That's really all there is to say.

Words by : Matt Fitton

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch.  This record is available everywhere now.  Thanks as always to Lauren @ Rarely Unable for the hook up. 

Monday 29 April 2013

Kamikabe - Aberration of Man (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released: 28/8/2012
Label : Unique Leaders

Aberration of Man, album tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. Leprous Divinity
3. The Rot
4. Sufferer
5. The Process Within
6. Interlude
7. Nefarious
8. Magure
9. Only the Dead Rest
10. Ungoliant


Founded in 2003 and hailing from Pittsburgh, PA the band brings many new elements to the tech..., death metal scene while still keeping power and extreme intensity. With years of grinding under their belt and the successful release of their EP "Aporia," Kamikabe are ready to unleash their sophomore effort "Aberration of Man" on the masses via Unique Leader Records.

Line up

Max Short - Guitar
Jake Smatana - Guitar
Matt Rucinski - Bass
BJ Sarnese - Drums
Matt Grossi - Vocals

Review:... more

Kamikabe’s debut album ‘Aberration of Man’, released by Unique Leader Records on the 28th of August 2012, is a storming, riveting listen, with pummelling drum blasts and terrorizing guitars that simply drag your mind from the mires of indifference onto the battlefield of attention. When you put this on for the first time, put on your war face and get ready to roar.

The introduction is a guitar overture, a subtle, rising little piece that makes the hair stand on the back of your neck and gets your mind amped for the carnage to follow. And it does follow with gusto: ‘Leprous Divinty’ is heavier than the Iron Giant’s balls, and just as terrifying to behold. It’s a Gatling gun of a song, reminiscent of Gojira and Deicide, and most definitely worthy of any death lover’s time.

But this is only the beginning, and there are eight other riotous offerings to batter your eardrums on this album. ‘The Rot’ is a throttling, monster-truck of a track that hurtles through your speakers at you at 100 miles per hour, with squeals of pinch-harmonics and spitting, seething vocals. It’s quickly followed up by ‘Sufferer’, a sweeping, pounding rager so relentless in its aural assault it’s less a song, more a call to arms to those who deem themselves brutal enough.

After the onslaught that is ‘The Process Within’ comes a brief respite. ‘Interlude’ may only clock in at 1 minute 29 seconds, but it is a haunting, beautiful instrumental that allows you time to rest and recuperate from your auditory battering. It’s only a brief respite, mind you: consider ‘Interlude’ the eye of the musical storm and, once it passes, ‘Nefarious’ slams into you with all the subtlety of a shotgun blast. I almost feel sorry for BJ Sarnese’s drum kit: the poor thing takes an absolute smashing on this magnificent track, all the while guitarists Max Short and Jake Smatana and bassist Matt Rucinski continue their mighty musical onslaught.

‘Magure’ is the second longest song on ‘Aberration…’ and it’s a behemoth, bellowing and breaking all asunder with its hammering riffs and Matt Grossi’s venomous voice. The breakdowns sound like trees being uprooted by a giant and thrown through buildings. It’s proceeded by the truly terrifying ‘Only the Dead Rest’: Kamikabe’s breakneck ode to Cannibal Corpse’s ‘Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt’. It’s so fast, so out-and-out unforgiving it’s like being strapped into an electric chair and given the juice.

Then we reach the pinnacle. This is the final song on the album. ‘Ungoliant’. Personally speaking, this is my favourite: it’s a breathtaking, mesmeric epic, the musical equivalent of staring out onto the battlefield after your forces have won and the crows are picking at your enemies’ broken bodies. It sounds to me like Kamikabe wrote this as a reward to the listener: you are worthy of this album, here is your victory march. Stride forth, proud conqueror: join the ranks of the Kamikabe faithful.

Words by : Chris Markwell

As always show your support to the band. You can buy the record here

Earthling - Dark Path (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 7/5/2013
Label : Forcefield Records
Dark Path, album tracklisting:
1. Dark Path 4:49
2. Resent 2:58
3. Losing Sight 6:40
4. Soldier of the Fortunate 4:37
5. Wilderness Throne 6:28
6. Pass into Beyond 6:55



Richmond, Virginia-based Forcefield Records confirms the pending Springtime release of the debut LP from local hellbrigade, EARTHLING.

Formed in early 2009 as a project between Harrisonburg natives Alan Fary (guitar/vocals) and Brently Hilliard (drums), following several member shifts solidified the EARTHLING lineup with Praveen Chhetri (guitar) and Jordan Brunk (bass). Having released a pair of three-song demos, a split 7” with the mighty Valkyrie, and having extensively inundated their local DIY music circuit, the band has crafted a crusty, blackened, thrashing hybrid of metal drawing influences from across the spectrum of extreme music.

Now on the heels of their split 7" with Valkyrie (a band who shares guitarist, Alan Fary), Earthling has finally captured their corrosive sound on record, and now prepares to unleash hell upon its own kind with their ominous Dark Path on CD, LP and digital May 7th, 2013. A diverse, premier debut offering which will undoubtedly appeal to fans of all things ripping, Dark Path is a coarse display of the band's terrorizing spirit; a ravenous force that has guided the group through countless shows, relentless demo recordings, and over five years of sheer sacrifice. Recorded by Garret Morris (Windhand, Cough, Parasytic, Bastard Sapling) and mastered by Mikey Allred (Inter Arma, Hellbender, Across Tundras), one can rest assured that this album is well versed in sonic mayhem. Earthling naturally teamed-up with seasoned local label, Forcefield Records, who now boasts the album as one of its most gripping releases, and EARTHLING as one of its most promising bands


Line up:

Alan Fary-Guitar&Vocals
Brently Hilliard-Drums
Praveen Chhetri-Guitar
Jordan Brunk-Bass


Earthling are a blue collar heavy metal band from Harrisonburg, Virginia. Equal parts doom and rock, with the odd splash of BM thrown in for good measure. It's a potent cocktail, and one that is sure to show you a good time with minimal repercussions. These are some classic sounds laid down in a righteous way, and their debut album is called 'Dark Path'. Strap on your best shit kickers and let's take a stroll...
First thing that you notice is the retro doom feel about the recording vibe, and the album-titled opener is absolute proof of this. Born in the hills and descended to terrorise the town folk, it's very Wino in it's early approach - which is surely a sign of quality to any doom riff fiend. It certainly is to this one. The curveball however is the Black Metal drumming - it's never out of place though, and it never feels unorthodox. The band intersperses it with some nifty and traditional metal solos, and there's even some thrash elements on display. All of this is very pleasing to the ears.
'Losing Sight' is a rager that had me nodding along from the get-go with stellar, hyperspeed guitar work and ominous, almost occult vocal stylistics. Very dark, and very menacing. There is a chunky breakdown part midway through that compels you to bang your skull, and a solo so morose it should probably be relocated to the nearest graveyard post-haste, as it's starting to stink up the joint and the neighbours might begin to ask some uncomfortable questions. Glorious stuff.
Another sumptuous track here  is 'Soldier of the Fortunate' with it's classic metal feel. The riffs are top notch and never relent, the solos land like warheads and the drums are blistering. More of the same, please.
My top cut award however goes to 'Wilderness Throne'. It doesn't start how it means to continue, and while I am a fan of 99% of things fast and lethal, I would place myself firmly within the battle camp of the obesely slow and the morbidly heavy most of the time. And it's when this track drops to the depths that it really lands home. Purest doom, black as the driven ash. Images of sacred smoke dancing through the air are conjured up to such a degree that you can almost smell it, almost taste it. The end of the track is so heavy in a classic, soulful way. It doesn't need volume to necessarily speak volumes. Pure bliss.
Earthling will make you want to chug beer and throw up horns in every sense. These are some tasty backwoods barnburners that have been submitted to tape, dark in form and nature yet uplifting. Crank them loud and proud.
Words by : Matt Fitton

As always show your support to the band. You can buy the record here from 7/5/2013. Thanks to EarSplit for the hook up as ever.


Friday 26 April 2013

Interview with Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel

Today on Sludgelord it I am interviewing one of my current fave Stoner Rock Bands – Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel – who have just released their brilliant album – Arcane which I reviewed recently and fucking loved the hell out of.

These highly talented and insane French Stoner Rockers have been blazing a trail of great riffs for a few years now. And I decided to catch up with them to see what they are currently upto. Apart from surviving a Zombie Apocalypse as described on their excellent new album.

So lets get started with those cool Zombie Slayers - Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel.

Q1 – Hi guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today.

Very well and thanks to you for this interview. 

Q2 – For people not in the know, can you give them a brief bio on how the band came about. And why the name - Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel?

LDDSM exist since 2007. At the beginning, it was not a really serious project. We were just friends but playing in different bands together. Bobby and Johnny had a punk rock band, Billy and Sonny a heavy metal band and Sonny, Johnny and I a Metal band. We all wanted to play something different. Stoner wasn’t so popular at this time in France but Bobby and I were already QOTSA fans. So, one day while we were listening together Rated R, we just said “hey, let’s have a Stoner band”. We had Sonny, Billy and Johnny in our contacts and this is how it started. 

There was a little time during which each one of us had 2 bands, so one day Bobby’s mother called us “the dissidents” and we found it cool. After a little brain storming after a jam, we chose Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel to invocate the Latino side of America, the road movies, all this specific culture linked to this music. We knew that it would be hard for people to remember our name but we even knew that it would let nobody indifferent and this is the most important. You can notice that none of us can speak a single word in Spanish!

Q3 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians?

The very first influence of LDDSM was QOTSA, like many of us playing in this scene. But today, it’s not so evident. We have extended our field of listening and try to do our own music. For me, the 2 bands who influenced me as a composer are Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and as a guitar player, I would say Pantera and Metallica. I’ve learned music by trying to transcribe their songs.

In the new album, we tried to develop the vocals harmonies and many people find some Alice In Chains influences in it, which is probably true, cause I’m a big fan.

In the pure Stoner scene, we love Fu Manchu, Clutch, Down, Kyuss, Red Fang, COC, Goatsnake…

Q4 – So you have just released your excellent new album – Arcane. And it's a tale of a Zombie Holocaust unleashed upon the world. Or is there a deeper meaning to it?

Thank you. ARCANE is more about occultism in general. Yes, “Z” speaks clearly about a zombie invasion, but the rest of the album talks about many things. We wanted to tell stories about myths and legends (Kraken), ghosts (Ouija), Voodoo (Mojo), shamanism (Journey), death (Santa Muerte), immortality (Death proof) etc… Death is present nearly in every song of the album with different views, and always with a big part of fun, ‘cause this is what we are. We don’t want to be a serious band in our messages.

Q5 – Who came up with that crazy insane and brilliant idea? 

We always have the same processes of writing: first the music, then the lyrics. So we are guided by the riffs, the environments, the sounds that we create and then, Bobby or I principally, imagine the lyrics inspired by it. So, we realized month after month, while we were composing the new album, that it was darker and heavier than our past songs. So it came naturally to talk about dark things. And so, we said “why not make a whole album about the occult?” and this is what we did.

Q6 – Was it an easy album to write and record for? And are you happy with the final product?

When we arrived at the studio “Le Cube” we thought that 90% of the album was written. We always keep a little part of improvisation on the spot during a recording, but time is money, so you have to be ready when the sound engineer says “OK man, record!”. We took about 2 years to write the songs I think. Many of them were set aside, because they were not consistent with the rest. 

We wanted something compact and just keep the best songs we had. So we were very prepared for this recording. We worked very hard to get our level up to a next step. But when we started the recording, we realized that we had still a lot of work to reach the quality we were looking for. We knew that going in this studio, would put us in danger, but this is what we wanted. Break our codes, our way of recording and find some new inspiration and this is exactly what we found with these 2 killers (I mean the sound engineers)! 

One is a true self-made man, he doesn’t know about music theory, he just let his mind, his ears and heart speak and have always crazy great ideas. The other, is the total opposite. He’s a great musician and a music teacher. So he knows the theory very well. Together, they can answer to all your questions and find the little thing making a good part an excellent part. It was in incredible experience working with them and we learnt a lot. We are very proud of this album. This is the best thing we’ve done since the creation of the band. The production is great and totally consistent with our live sound.

Q7 – I first noticed you with your debut album – Soundtrack From The Motion Picture – Great album which had loads of great humour. Though on Arcane it has been replaced with a darker black comedic tone. Was that the plan for Arcane? Do something that little more dangerous.

Yes but as I told you, it came naturally. The truth is that we really wanted to give a new vision of the band. It’s important to evolve and offer something new to your audience. We toured during 3 years around Soundtrack’s universe, it was time to give a new image of LDDSM. Maybe we were just attracted by the dark side of the Force?

Q8 – You have received some great press from the Stoner Metal community over the last few years or so. Has that been a big help in getting your music across to a bigger audience?

It’s always difficult to quantify this. We cannot tell, “yes we’ve 10 more fans thanks to this new review”. But Internet has clearly changed the way to discover bands. When I was a kid, if I wanted to know who the new cool bands were, I had to buy rock magazines and go to the music store of my city. Today, we have everything with one click.

Getting a bigger audience is something you win year after year, with a regular work. We have to warrant a good communication across the social networks, the webzines, the blogs and of course on stage! Tour, tour, tour and tour!

Q9 – I love the video for Z. Probably one of the best videos you have done so far. A great mini-horror movie with awesome riffs to match. Was that a cool video to make?

Oh yes! Really great! We did it in 3 evenings only with a small budget but with passion like everything we do. It’s a very good friend of us who directed the video, Mathieu Garcia. He did some other clips from it, but this one is the longest and probably one of those who asked him the most of work. You know, 9 minutes is already very long for a video editing! 

It was really funny to make it, cause we were only in little team of friends and we didn’t know what it would look like at the end but we laughed a lot. The fake blood was so disgusting man! And we felt so dirty at the end of the filming, you can’t imagine! Prosthetic in latex glued on our face, dust and flour in our hair, and of course a lot of sweating take after take, oh I really loved the shower that followed! But we are very satisfied of the final cut! It really kicks ass!

Q10 – Is there a gig scene for you guys to perform regularly in France or do you have to travel further to perform live? 

We are from North-East of France, a region called Alsace, so it’s naturally the place where we play the most, but we tour mostly everywhere. We’ve made about 200 gigs in 7 years so, you can imagine that we moved a lot. I think the only area where we didn’t play in the real center; otherwise, I think we made the floor tremble in all the French territory.

Q11 – Have you toured with any famous bands or artists? If so who have been your favorite?

Yes, we opened for The Smashing Pumpkins in Colmar (it was such a big show! 7000 people! And we were very young at this time. A Hard but incredible experience). We played 4 times with Red Fang, 2 times with Karma to Burn, 2 times with Ufomammut and many others, Valient Thorr, Crucified Barbarra, Tokyo Sex Destruction, Saviours, Danava, Dagoba, Deville and in some festivals too, Hellfest, Eurockéennes, DesertFest Berlin... We never tour for a long time with a famous band but we did it with French bands that you maybe know, Abrahma, Water Pipe Cult, Flashfalcon… These 3 bands are awesome and the people playing in are very nice persons. We spent incredible moments together on the road.

Q12 – Are you guys full time musicians or do you all have regular jobs to pay the bills. 

Unfortunately not. We all have a regular job next to the music activity. It’s always a hard choice to make. If we really wanted, I think we could live from music, by playing in several bands and doing the roadie for big bands, but it means, being on the road all year-long and especially a precarious situation. In France, you can’t play rock and live comfortably from your music ! I think it’s about the same everywhere today isn’t?

Q13 – What is the song-writing process in the band? Is it a group collective or is it down to one individual?

It’s globally always the same. I write the base of the music alone at home. Sometimes, it’s nearly finished, sometimes just some ideas and then we jam together on this base. Each one grafted and offers some ideas. We record every rehearsal and we take time to listen to it before the next one to have enough perspective on what we wrote.

Sometimes we know immediately that it works, sometimes it takes time and sometimes it’s shit! For the lyrics, it depends of what the music inspires us. Most of time, it’s Bobby and I who write the lyrics and from time to time all together. But for the next record, we will try to work differently. Compose all together and not in a linear way, song after song, but more in a parallel way with several songs in the same time around a global idea, to see if we can get something more continuous. We’ll see…

Q14 – What are your favorite bands around at the moment? Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Doom Metal.

Let me check my ipod… I love the last Loading Data album (very groovy and sexy stoner rock), the last Babylon Pression’s album called “Allez tous vous faire foutre” (I let you translate it via google ok?  ) the energy of this album is just brutal and the lyrics, really badass. The Bronx IV is really cool too and I think the last snap I took is for Earth Rocker of the mighty Clutch, fantastic album. Push the sky away of Nick Cave & The bad seeds is beautiful too. 

Otherwise, I’m a big fan of old classical rock, our fathers all, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd the magical trio! I love some extreme music stuff too, the classical, and the modern. I can name you some bands of different style, but not close to Stoner, like Converge, Gojira, Isis, Pantera… In France, I love Pneu and Mars Red Sky and there are just the 2 opposite! The first in really complex and extremely nervous, the second is heavy as hell and slow. I don’t have a typical kind of music, it talks to me or not, that’s all.

Q15 – What are your views of blogs featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? 

It’s hard to compare ‘cause the quantities of reviews are not comparable. We have about 20 web reviews for each mainstream magazine review… At least, it was the ratio for the first album; it may be different for Arcane. But generally, we have good feedback from music mags. The new big media is Internet today. The printed press has many difficulties to survive. Perhaps because they are not interested enough in the underground scene, I don’t know. It’s hard to say. But it seems to be logic that people choose how to get free information rather than pay for it. It’s sad but true. So today, the most bands focuse their efforts on the web promotion, despite the fact that magazines always bring good credibility.

Q16 – Now we at Sludgelord are massive fans of French Stoner/Sludge Metal music of late. Abrahma, Wheelfall, Huata, Watertank, Crown and yourselves. Seems to be a lot of great bands coming out of France. Is there a secret underground factory making great bands? Or is it just many great bands now starting to get the attention they fully deserve?

Haha great question man! I don’t know. But you’re totally right, the French Stoner scene is awesome! You know, we’ve been around for 7 years, so we were among the first playing this music in our country. I think, the really first ones were Glowsun and Loading Data and they are still here and always getting better. So we’ve seen the evolution of this scene, year after year, and I think we have mostly played with every French bands and they are globally all fucking good. There is a very good agreement between the bands. Everybody knows each other and supports the work of the others. 

There is no competition. Each band has its own identity. This scene is in an incredible expansion and gradually the audience grows up too. In Paris, you have the Stone Gatherings nights, in a little club; organized by Mathieu Yassef, the man that everybody knows and who knows everybody (big up Youssouf!). Every month, he books Stoner, doom and sludge bands from all over the world and it’s always a success. 

By success I mean over than 200 persons, which is very good for this kind of music in France. Our country does not have a Rock culture, so it’s a big performance! He has managed to retain its public only on the Stone Gathering name. Regardless of who is programmed, people go there because they know it is a guaranteefor a good quality show. So, we have the good bands, we have fans, all we need is a bigger support from medias, but it’s coming right now! Bookers, radios and magazines are becoming awareof the phenomenon and begin to take us seriously. The scene is quite young and has got a lot to show!

Q17 – What are your views record companies shutting down blogs and websites due to illegal downloading? Some people are for it and some people are against it.

I think our labels are like us, we are globally against. But, it’s impossible to struggle efficiently. This is how it works today ; you have to deal with it. The idea is to motivate your fans to buy your music, by giving them something more : a nice artwork, a good communication, a beautiful object (vinyl, digipack CD), goodies, live recordings etc… This is what we’ve done for Arcane. In another way, being pirated means that you’ve reach a new level of notoriety, so it’s not totally bad. 

At our level, being pirated is not such a catastrophe cause the most of our sales are made after the show in the merchandising and if people share your music to their friends, because they like it and it will bring new fans, it’s just frustrating because pirating small bands is not the solution! Sharing music illegally has always existed, the phenomenon is just bigger than ever due to the web effect. It’s the music industry’s job to adapt and offer a new cost-effective system for all artists.

Q18 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band? Obviously the reality of how expensive it is being in a band could be considered as a negative aspect.

Oh no, it’s globally a pure happiness. We are like a family and we live incredible moments together, that only music can give us. Being on tour is an exhausting but incredible experience. We meet cool people, visit nice cities and above all share our passion together. Creating a song, recording it and sharing it on stage is an amazing thing and all the sacrifices we do are here to live this. 

Obviously there are times when you want to stop everything because you leave such a huge energy for that passion, that force begins to fail and you're asking yourself a lot of questions. Why all this sacrifice? What am I doing here, far from my family? But when you take your guitar, plug it in your amp and let it scream with your friends, it’s always a kind of magic moment and the energy always comes. The day I’ll no longer feel this pleasure, I will stop but that day has not arrived yet!

Q19 – Apart from the album, do you have any future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so? Anything we should be excited about?

Yes, we have planned to work on a new video clip in the next 6 month. I think it’s gonna be very fun! We’ll open for Orange Goblin the 18th of June and will probably film the show. For the rest, it’s under construction, so I can’t announce anything officially. Stay tuned!

Q20 – If you could provide any advice to people wanting to start a band, what would it be?

Take the time to know each other and become friends before becoming just musicians playing together ; it’s the secret of longevity for a line up. The road is fucking hard and long so you better have trust in your partners! And just be yourself, don’t listen too much to what people say about your music, just do it your own way, with sincerity and hard work and you’ll find your audience.

Q21 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans? 

Thank you very much for your support. We wouldn’t be here without you. See you on the road friends!!!

Fingers up, head banging and Rock n’ Roll spirit!

Well guys thanks for doing this. Best of luck with the new album. Hope you crazy dudes make it over to the UK one time. 

Check out This Brilliant Band from the links below