Sunday 30 November 2014

Meshuggah - The Obsidian Trek (Album Review)

Album Type: Live DVD/Blu-Ray/CD
Date Released: 29/9/2014
Label: Nuclear Blast

“The Ophidian Trek” track listing:

1. Swarmer (1:58)
2. Swarm (5:22)
3. Combustion (4:21)
4. Rational Gaze (5:03)
5. Obzen (5:20)
6. Lethargica (6:04)
7. Do Not Look Down (4:56)
8. The Hurt (5:45)
9. I am Colossus (4:48)
10. Bleed (7:20)
11. Demiurge (5:18)
12. New Millennium Cyanide Christ (5:08)
13. Dancers To A Discordant System (10:14)
14. Mind's Mirrors - In Death - Is Life - In Death - Is Death (14:10)
15. The Last Vigil (4:09)

Meshuggah is:

Jens Kidman I vocals
Mårten Hagström | guitar
Dick Lövgren | bass
Fredrik Thordendal I guitar
Tomas Haake | drums


Meshuggah. One of the most influential bands in heavy music releases their second live album/concert dvd/blu-ray combination. Whenever you throw on a live album the only real important question is, does it capture the feel of the band live? The answer here is a resounding yes, having seen Meshuggah personally several times, their unique blend of polyrhythmic wizardry portrays a fury live that I've never seen equalled. This album successfully captures the intensity of the live performance and Jens Kidman's voice sounds almost better then recorded in a studio. The manic Thordendal solos really shine throughout the album, as well being a soloist who never shied away from deviating from the studio versions; his live soloing is as exceptional as his song writing.

The recording quality is pretty insane for a live album, indeed if you put this on not knowing it was live you would assume it was recorded in a studio. It literally sounds that good. This is just another example of Meshuggah pushing the benchmark of what is expected, other bands take note of the quality of this release.

A nice sampling of different stages of Meshuggah's career, “Ophidian Trek” does skew towards the more recent releases being somewhat ‘Koloss’ and ‘ObZen’ heavy. Including fan favorites “Rational Gaze,” “New Millennium Cyanide Christ,” and the stellar trio “Mind's Mirrors – In Death – Is Life – In Death – Is Death”, the glaring omission on this their second live release is “Future Breed Machine”.  It bit of a bummer for fans that haven't seen Meshuggah live, because it was not included on the previous live release “Alive” either.  It really is an exceptionally fun song live and I can only hope they include more from “Catch-33” as well, on future live releases.  That being said the highlights of this album are difficult to pinpoint but I'd say "Lethargica" and the Catch-33 Medley stand a bit above the rest, the bridge section of "Lethargica" is a little bit different here and sounds really good.   

Continuing their now tradition of being the band everyone else is trying to catch up with “Ophidian Trek” is a great capture of where Meshuggah is in their journey. It accurately chronicles one of the greatest metal bands of all-time at the peak of their art and is a fitting substitute for fans who have been unable to see them live. As we depart the madness of Meshuggah I am left with one unanswered question. What makes a trek ophidian?

Words By: Chris Tedor

Available Literally Anywhere Music is Sold

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Live Review: Anaal Nathrakh @ Boston Music Room, London. November 5th, 2014

Anaal Nathrakh always claimed never to be a touring band. For their recent album releases however this has changed, so to my delight as a long time Anaal Nathrakh fan they came over to London to play a show at the Boston Music Rooms in Tuffnel Park, a venue infamous for holding concerts for a great number of metal acts.

Starting off the evening with the groove orientated intro track from the new album, I have to say, I was shocked at how sloppy they were. Literally none of them were in time with each other, worst of all was the drummer who just couldn’t seem to get any kick’s in time. Surprising as I was told he plays to a click.

Moving on though, the night did improve, but it struck me that perhaps they didn’t warm up before hitting the stage, big mistake for a band that doesn’t play a lot of shows. After the second song the band went into full swing and really got into it, the grindy madness was tighter and more controlled.

The singer was definitely the best part for me. He was consistently spot on, whether shrieking, growling or belting out the operatic choruses. He was also a great front man in the sense that he knew the songs well enough to put emphasis on crowd participation in just the right spots. Also he looks like one mean motherfucker!

One glaring problem was that the lead guitar was far louder than the rhythm. The rhythm guitarist had a much more controlled tone in comparison, and in a band that plays as fast and distorted as AN, he deserved to be turned way up in the mix. Although all this is true, it did make the lead parts absolutely shine, with the tremolo picked melodies sounding ultra brutal.

Crowd involvement was at its peak for the shows and there was at any one time at least two people on stage and then diving off two seconds later. The band actively encouraged it too, with the rhythm guitarist asking for more stage diving in between one of the songs. Hilariously at one point, some dude tried to hug the singer in between a song. The singer wasn’t very happy about this and shoved him away, looking unbelievably pissed off. This dude then had the cheek to get up multiple more times throughout the night and throw himself into the crowd.

Overall it was a pretty good gig. Definitely not the best gig ever, and considering my expectations were pretty high because I love the recordings, it could have been a hell of a lot better. But maybe it was an amazing gig, and maybe I was too far back or not in the right mood? Sometimes when you see a band you really love and come out disappointed, you have to take a step back and ask yourself if you are the correct audience for the show. The majority of people there were getting really stuck in and going absolutely nuts, which at a grindcore/ black metal show I’m sure is the norm. I’m just not that kind of guy though, so for me it was just a tad disappointing.

Thanks for reading Y’all!

Words by: Asher G. Alexander.

Interview with Whalerider

Whalerider's debut album is an intriguing and stunning mix of Sludge, Stoner, Doom, Ambient, Grunge and Experimental Rock. It's not a straight forward album by any means. Thanatos is a complex and mysterious journey you have to fully experience for yourself.

I said this about their debut album - “Thanatos. The debut album from Whalerider. A band that have a strange and original sound all of their own. Whalerider are very much an experimental band as they play different sounds through the almost 60 minute running time of their debut album.

Whalerider describe themselves as an Alternative/Sludge Rock Band. Sure that is one way to describe them but there is so much more to Whalerider's sound than that brief description. They also add elements of Grunge, Hard Rock, Stoner, Doom, Ambient and even Post-Metal on the album for one crazy complex ride. Whalerider should be applauded for doing something different with their sound. Thanatas is an outstanding debut album. Whalerider are a band to keep an eye on in the future.”

Whalerider have kindly agreed to do an interview with ourselves. So lets see what they have to say.

Q1 – Hi guys. How are things with you all today.

SAHBA : Everything is cool, I just went to an ENT-physician today, the first thing what she said to
me was that long beards were quite „in“ and popular....but only in the 70ies.

Q2 – Can you give a brief history to our readers of how the band came about and where it is today.

SAHBA : Phheeeew, I'd say that everything went down the usual way. One goes to concerts, you get to know each other and then you build up a band which is based on a corporate level and vision. It took a bit of time till we all found our musical identity and our way of exploring how we work each other best.

PATRICK : We played festivals, experienced many cool shows with cool bands. The joy of making music with the band is still high.

MAX : As a result of being completely D.I.Y, we are now much smarter and more experienced than in the beginning.

Q3 – Why did you choose the name Whalerider. Any specific meaning to the band.

MAX : The name refers to the New Zealand movie Whale Rider. The film is about traditions and how you can even break them. We do have a similar motive in our music and in the band.

Q4 – How would you describe your own sound. As I feel it's best coming from the band themselves. Plus you have tons of different vibes going on.

SAHBA : Rock in the broadest sense ? We stopped thinking in genres at one point and we didn't want to feel the pressure or the need to belong to one genre or scene or to care what people think of our music or which expectations certain scenes or people might have. We write songs which feel most exciting for us and if a grunge song uncovers itself as an alternative song and ends in doom, then that's how it is... Maybe this explains the different vibes that you mean.

MAX : Atmospheric, fuzzy, dirty, dark....

PATRICK : Dreamy ? Heavy, we need the word heavy !

DANIEL : It's a hybrid of many different genres. Whalerider is not just another stoner, doom or alternative band. It fuses many different styles and many kinds of music.

Q5 – We have to talk about your new album – Thanatos - So are you excited, nervous or thrilled what people are going to make of it.

SAHBA :We are now very happy to have all the hard work and the physical product in our hands. The origination process of Thanatos was very educational for us. One can say that we all grew together as people and musicians while facing death. I like Thanatos with it's rough edges, up's and down's. That was the most important thing for all of us : to make an album where we'll still stand behind in 20 years. And of course, we're all feeling glad when people like it. We will surprise ourselves with what Thanatos might bring to us in the near future. The good thing with a debut record is that you do not need to fulfill certain expectations.

Q6 – Was it a hard or easy album to write and record for. As it's a complex and progressive album which I didn't expect at all.

SAHBA : Well, to be honest, recording sessions were already finished 'till we realized, that we all wanted more than just another solid rock album. We wanted more depth and variety. We wanted to make an album that is like an adventurous journey. A trip through every state of mind. So, we all sat down again and started to experiment with the songs but without any kinds of strain and without any thoughts of crossing borders of genres or if we all have to fulfill any hopes.

DANIEL : As Sahba already said above, we all learned a lot during the recording process. We all grew up in certain senses during the recording sessions for Thanatos. It was not an easy record to make and it took quite a long time to finish it, but if you have high expectations on yourself, you need to fulfill them. Thank God that we didn't shelter. We started pre-producing the record in September 2012, a very dark time of my life but even that time inspired me and I put a lot of strength, blood, sweat and tears into the record to make the drum sound as good and the drumming as interesting as possible. Needless to say that the other guys made the same as well! For example, they nearly spent 4 months for polishing the songs....

Q7 – What influenced you when writing and recording the album.

SAHBA: Everything influences us. A conversation with a certain person can end up in song like the records that we all like to listen to. Even films and books inspire us. Max works in a psychiatric hospital and processes the absurdity, the actions and the obscence into our songs.

Q8 – Why did you choose the name Thanatos for the title of your album. Does it have any specific meaning to you as a band.

DANIEL : We all gave some thoughts during the pre-production about the artwork and title of the record. Sahba worked on a graphic for a BLACK SHAPE OF NEXUS album at that time, an illustration with a grim reaper who stands on the surface of the moon. B.SON decided not to use it and Sahba made the suggestion that we could use it for our own record. I looked for names for the grim reaper, Google is like our everyday friend, you know? And then one word appeared : Thanatos. I liked the sound of the word, it sounds very mystical, dark and menacing. I suggested it and the guys liked it. We didn't use the artwork anyway, you can now see the graphic on WALL's self-titled record.

Thanatos cover art

Q9 – Who designed the fantastic album cover. It perfectly captures the mood of the album and how much input did you have into the overall design of the album cover.

SAHBA : The album cover was completely designed by Lars Henkel, who is one of my heroes when it comes to illustrations and who has one of the big names in Germany's „land of art“. He is incredibly talented. I first stumbled over his name in 2008 through the B.SON & Crowskin SPLIT LP where he made the artwork. I can still remember how nervous and jittery I was when I asked him if he wants to do the artwork for Thanatos. I still hold on to the opinion that no one is more able to visually capture the mood for the record than Lars Henkel. There were no instructions. We trust him 100%. Needless to say the he is also a really great guy. I love you Lars !!!

Q10 – Which bands and artists influenced you all as musicians. Any particular album that stands out that made you decide to become a musician.

SAHBA : I grew up with Punk and Hardcore, stuff like the Descendants, Bl'ast, Circle Jerks and noisy stuff like Unsane, Ulme, Helmet and Jawbox. I still like to listen to Indie Rock today. I incredibly love The Breeders ! They had a huge influence on me. Then I discovered classic rock music for me. I started listening to ZZ-Top's Degüello and Deep Purple's Machine Head endlessly. And I think without Tom Petty's Into the Great Wide Open and Soudgarden's Badmotorfinger, my life would have taken a different direction....

MAX : I grew up with David Bowie, Beatles and Kraftwerk and I grew, from a musician's point of view, with stuff like Tool, Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. There wasn't a certain record that changed everything, it was my older brother who gave a bass guitar to me and wished me a certain amount of fun – that was the beginning of the noisy time.

PATRICK : I discovered music quite lately and after some lovely affairs with the Foo Fighters and QOTSA, I enjoyed listening to Post-Hardcore and Math-Rock stuff. The Fall of Troy (especially the Doppelgänger record), Tera Melos and Minus the Bear influenced me and the sound that I'm struggling for.

DANIEL : The song that changed my whole life was Another Day In Paradise by Phil Collins. I can still remember the day when I went shopping with my parents and I wanted that 7“ vinyl. Jeez, I was two years old back then. Phil is my idol when it comes to drumming. He was an incredible drummer, listen to Brand X if you don't believe me! Shortly after Another Day... I started to discover Genesis, my favourite band of all time. I got The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway as an easter bunny present with four years I think, definitely my favourite record of all time. I also like to listen to bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or Deep Purple, real classic rock stuff. Another Top 3 band of mine is Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson in general is a true genius when it comes to intelligent and contemporary music. I also enjoy listening to real 70ies Prog, Krautrock and electronic music like Plastikman, Leftfield or Underworld. Collecting music is also a hobby of mine, no matter if it's CD, Vinyl or BlurRay. I'm really addicted to limited deluxe edition boxes....

Q11 – Your album is being released via DD/CD. Are there any plans to release this on vinyl in the future.

SAHBA, Yes, there are plans but we need to finance it on our own because we work without a label.

DANIEL : We definitely want to do it. But it really costs us a lot of money to make the vinyl that we want. Most bands tend to release their record on wax by all available means, even if there is not much money on-hand.. As a result, the whole packaging process of a record falls completely under the table, as the customer only gets a boring slip case cover, made of thin paper and a vinyl which has some minor flaws and feels like a frisbee. As always, Whalerider wants to do things right. The packaging needs to cope with Lars' artwork, you know? We want to make a thick and heavy gatefold sleeve with printed and padded inner sleeves and press the music onto 180gramm vinyl with a few colour options available.

Q12 – Crowdfunding gets bit of a bad reputation at the moment. Where bands and artists ask people to donate to help fund their latest musical project. Would you ever go down the crowdfunding route.

SAHBA : Generally, I wouldn't say no. But it depends on how useful you use such possibilities. What speaks against the fact that people can have access to a good project and where bands don't have to go down the tube because they do not have the moneys? I don't think it's reprehensible to elude a financial risk and to make a project happen that wouldn't be possible without the finanicial capabilites.

Q13 – Do you perform regular gigs in your home town. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform regularly.

MAX : Mannheim is a very musical town with many different cultures and subcultures. There is a big Punk and Hardcore scene which has their festivals. And there is the Mannheimer Brückenaward where Doom, Rock and Post-Metal is performed live by bands. But there are also Jazzfestivals like the Enjoy Jazz Festival or the increasingly popular Pop/Rock festival Maifeld Derby. There are really many opportunities to present our music, even so many that we decided not to play in Mannheim that often.

PATRICK : One can't speak of regular gigs in our hometown. There are bands who play at least one time per month here and no one wants to go to any of their shows anymore. That's why we try to stay a bit “exclusive“ and why we prefer to play shows in the whole country. We drove 1700km for our five shows in November, which keeps it in reasonable limits.

Q14 – What is your musical setup when playing live or recording new material. Do you have an advanced setup or basic setup.

MAX : We have a basic setup for live shows which fits to the songs. Our equipment changed a lot since the beginning of the recording sessions for Thanatos because we experimented a lot with amps and cabinets and tried a lot of miscellaneous effect pedals. Everything which influenced the song or made the sound of a song better found the way in our basic setup. We love effect pedals ! It doesn't necessarily mean that we hide behind them, the songs were basically written on an acoustic guitar without any kinds of effects. We'll then look for the right setup based on the mood of the song and we'll then polish it during the recordings. It's a continuous process, something that we will keep in the future.

PATRICK : Concerning guitar and bass : we all like old vintage tube amps (Hiwatt, Sovtek, Matamp) whose sound build the basis for everything. In the studio, Jens, the engineer and co-producer of Thanatos, had many old Amps available, which we all tried out while looking for the best sound. The variabilty comes from many effect pedals with way too huge boards, which take – and strain a lot of space on stages.... During live gigs, we also use a sampler to get as close to the album sound as possible.

DANIEL : I don't have a basic setup, I play whatever sounds best for my taste. I'm really no brandfanboy. I started restoring vintage drums over the last couple of years and I use a lot of different drums and snares to get the drum sound that I have in my mind. I'm currently in love with my old Premier concert tom kit, a real Phil Collins mock-off set which I completely restored. And I love my old Remo Encore Acousticon kit. But I played something completely different on the album sessions though.....

Q15 – What is the song-writing dynamic in the band. Is it down to one individual or a group collective.

SAHBA : It turned out to be productive and practical when I come to the rehearsal room with song ideas. But that's not the law. Everyone in the band is allowed to come with ideas. We then decide together if we want to work on particular songs or ideas. We like to experiment a lot and we also think about which sound fits best to the song. Many things occur during the recording process and a lot happens there and songs can also get a totally different direction. We're very flexible and very open for a new orientation. Max experimented a lot with soundscapes in the second recording phase of Thanatos, which gave the songs a very dark and melancholic feel. Additionally to that, he also arranged strings and horns which gave a new breath of life to the album.

Q16 – Apart from the new album release, what other plans do you have over the next 12 months or so. Anything exciting you would like to share with us.

SAHBA : I think we're going to to promote Thanatos in the next couple of months and we'll play as many shows as possible. And we'll also plan the next release simultaneously. We're even going to play some new tunes on the upcoming live shows.

MAX : To play shows outside Germany is on the top of our to-do list !

Q17 – Do you find it hard being in a band in today's current climate. If you could change anything about the Stoner/Doom/Sludge Metal scene. What would it be and why.

SAHBA : Well, we're not the standard sludge or stoner scene band, even though we always keep an eye on what happens around us. Nevertheless, I don't tell anybody what they have to - or should do and what not....

Q18 – With 2014 drawing to a close, what have been your favourite records this year.

SAHBA: in no specific order

Blitzen Trapper - VII
Mutoid Man - Helium Head
Baptists - Bloodmines
Nothing - Guilty of Everything
Bongripper - Miserable
Guided by Voices - Cool Planet
RVIVR - Bicker and Breathe
Andalucía - There Are Two of Us
Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

MAX : In no specific order :

Lalzlo Lee and the Motherless Children - Dirty Horns
Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Karnivool - Asymmetry
Dot Legacy - s/t
Archive - Axiom
PATRICK : In no specific order :
YOB - Clearing the Path to Ascend
Kill it Kid - You Owe Nothing
Blitzen Trapper - VII
Kamchatka - The Search Goes On
Tycho – Awake
Band of Skulls – Himalayan

DANIEL : In no specific order :

The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
Swans – To Be Kind
David Crosby – Croz
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar (Soundtrack)
Sun Kil Moon – Benji
Robert Plant – Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar
Aphex Twin – Syro
Scott Walker + Sunn O))) – Soused
Birdpen – In The Company of Imaginary Friends

Q19 – Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans.


Thanks to Whalerider for doing this interview. You can buy Thanatos from BandCamp now.

Words by Steve Howe and Whalerider

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KUROKUMA - Band To Check Out


The crushing weight of a world ending, a desolate hallucinatory trip through dystopia

The Low-Down:

Kurokuma are a weird as hell Doom/Sludge Metal band from Sheffield, UK. I saw these guys opening up for H A R K / Ken Mode on their recent joint UK Tour. Kurokuma impressed the hell out of me as their music verges on Avant-Garde/Experimental Rock with violent slabs of Doom and Sludge Metal being used just for the sheer hell of it.

Imagine a more fucked up and crazier version of early Mastodon with vibes of The Melvins and Mr Bungle appearing here and there for one complete head-fuck experience. That's the only way I can describe them. You should see these guys live on stage as they're even more crazier though with a menacing and intriguing stage presence. It's a good job that Kurokuma have a Soundcloud page so you can witness this damn craziness for yourself.

OK, the band only offer two tracks but don't blame me that I didn't warn you for one crazy as hell ride. 18.2 Tons and Ursus Thibetanus – proves that Kurokuma have the potential to be something special within the UK Doom/Sludge Metal scene. All they need now is to release a debut EP or Album of some kind. As I really want to see what Kurokuma can do with a proper release of some sort.

Kurokuma – are a band you all need to check out now. Even if you hate them just give them a listen to fuck up your entire world for 12 mins or so. What's the harm in that!!!

Words by Steve Howe

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Slug Salt Lava - Radiated Soundscapes (EP Review)

Radiated Soundscapes EP - 2014 cover art

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 19th November 2014
Label: Self Released
Radiated Soundscapes EP – Track Listing

1.Titans of the Wasteland 04:52
2.Unearthing of the Molten Men 04:53
3.Infested Mountain 04:09
4.Mad Clan Dance 04:29
5.Perished Shores 06:20


Slug Salt Lava is an instrumental sludge band from Istanbul formed in 2014. The music aims to create an ambient of post- apocalypse world in solitude with slow riffs and doomy atmosphere.


Slug Salt Lava is a sludge metal band from Turkey who are starting to gather quite a reputation within the Sludge/Stoner Metal community. Guitarist - Ersin Taş – has been a fan of Sludgelord and a friend of mine for a while. So I wanted to see what this band Ersin is apart of which is kicking up a storm on a few of my pals blogs.

Slug Salt Lava is an Instrumental Sludge/Stoner Metal band that manages to avoid the usual comparisons of instrumental rock/metal bands by forging their own identity. It's an action packed ride that is full of precise riffs with a menacing edge to them. Titans Of The Wasteland and Unearthing Of The Molten Men are the first two heavy fine offerings to pound your hearing into submission. Sludge and Stoner Metal riffs combine for an almost bleak and violent take on the instrumental rock scene.

If you're dig those two great tracks then the rest of the EP will speak volumes to you. Infested Mountain has to be my fave track as it strikes the perfect balance between soulful melodies to the more violent fast-paced sludgier riffs that gives Slug Salt Lava a dangerous edge.

Radiated Soundscapes is an expertly produced EP that shows what these guys can do. I am hoping a full length album will be released soon as an EP is not enough time to showcase what Slug Salt Lava can actually do. I want to hear more from this hard-rocking outfit. Until then this EP will have to do. Do yourself a favour and buy this EP now as it's a must have record. Another bonus point for me is now that I can tell my Turkish Step-Dad that Turkey now has a bona-fide Sludge/Stoner Metal Band that he can willingly disapprove of for being too damn loud!!!

Brilliant Stuff.

Words by Steve Howe

You can buy Radiated Soundscapes from BandCamp now.

For more information

Nelly Olsen - S/T (Album Review)

Nelly Olsen cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 21st November 2014
Nelly Olsen – S/T – Track Listing

1.Disharmonious Sun 11:16
2.Nightwolf Schizophrene 07:20
3.Self-Deception 12:01
4.Devil's New Boots 05:51


Nelly Olsen, a doom power-trio from Leipzig, Germany, have just released their first LP on SM-Musik and Negation Records. Founded in 2011, these guys have put a lot of effort in producing a massive riff based Heavy Metal/Stoner/Doom-mixture, that expands the usual pentatonic/blues-scheme by blending epic melodies and one or another Post Rock-part.

As if the deserts of Sky Valley had mated with Icelandic Prog Rock.


Nelly Olsen – Wasn't she a character from Little House On The Prairie. I was a bit sceptical of a band naming themselves after a character from a crappy tv show from my childhood. Though I decided to give them a shot and wasn't I pleasently surprised.

This Nelly Olsen is a rather bleak Stoner/Doom Metal Trio from Germany that creates a hypnotic blend of Doom, Stoner, Psych and even Post-Rock for one highly captivating and intelligent ride. Their S/T debut album runs for 37 minutes but within that time they have created some haunting moods with bleak vocals to match. Imagine a trippier version of Pelican jamming with Kyuss. Now if that doesn't intrigue you then I don't know what will.

Opening track – Disharmonious Sun – plays out like a classic Generator Party with the end of the world in sight. It feels all the worlds stoners, droners and doom-heads would meetup for one gigantic musical party with Nelly Olsen playing in the background. It's fast paced sombre affair that shows what Nelly Olsen are all about. As I have said it's a rather bleak and trippy affair that has a ton of great Stoner Metal riffs to check out.

Second track – Nightwolf Schizophrene – carries on the mysterious bleak atmosphere with creepy moments starting to show with the unsettling bass guitar only adding to the creepy vibe. It has a more lo-fi sound commpared to the opening track though Nelly Olsen add excellent vocals to the mix. The song feels it was created in the 70s as the track feels it's being discovered for the first time by modern day audiences. It's a great track to prove how versatile and creative Nelly Olsen actually are.

I don't want to spoil the rest of the album for you with the remaining two tracks – Self-Deception and Devil's New Boots. Let me say if you dig the first two tracks then the 2nd half of the album is even more powerful and stunning than the first half. Nelly Olsen unleash more creepier and isane riffs to prove these guys are worth giving a damn about. Light up your favourite BONG then worship and bow down to NELLY OLSEN. A power trio with balls and menace to match.

Words by Steve Howe

You can buy Nelly Olsen S/T album on BandCamp Buy Now and Vinyl from Negation Records now.

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Space Fisters - Vol. 1 (Album Review)

Vol.1 cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 20th December 2014
Label: Self Released
Vol. 1 – Track Listing

1.Short Daze
2.Yellow Hills 07:10
3.Goddess Of Love / Priestess Of Pain


Space Fisters is a power trio of Heavy/Psych influenced by Sungrazer, Mars Red Sky, Earthless, Sleep, The Melvins...


Clément Baltassat : Bass/ Vocals
Robin Pruchon : Guitar
Léo Moraiud : Drums


Space Fisters are a band that came to my attention when I was carrying out my usual BandCamp research on which bands to feature on the blog in the future. I came across them as their debut album cover intrigued the hell out of me. I listened to the track – Yellow Hills – currently streaming on their BandCamp Page. It impressed the hell out of me. Loud, brash, epic Stoner/Space Rock riffs laced with high amounts of FUZZ.

I contacted the band for a copy of their debut album and they gladly sent me one right away. So I pressed play and Vol. 1 simply crushed my whole world. Vol. 1 is 36 minutes of bone-crunching Fuzz that will appeal to fans of Sleep, Earthless, Truckfighters and Kyuss. Opening track – Short Daze – is a 9 minute plus monster where the emphasis is primarily on LOUD VIOLENT SOUNDS. Space Fisters sound ventures from Desert Rock, Space Rock, Stoner Rock and Fuzz that is held together by a drone based jamming atmosphere. Clément's vocals are not your usual standard fare as he brings a more grizzled, spacier and trippier type of vocals compared to other lead vocalists within the genres. Space Fisters have the same sort of heaviness as their fellow countrymen – Mars Red Sky.

It's a great track to open the album with. From then on things only get better as second track – Yellow Hills – continues the bombastic approach of the opening track. The Desert Rock/Stoner Rock vibe takes centre stage with some fast-paced instrumental work to show Space Fisters know how to play those instruments they called weapons of mass fuzz-destruction. Clément's vocals take centre stage with strange tales of weirdness to take you on a cosmic journey. This song has a progressive rock feel to it as the music can be very complex at times. Or that could be the Psychedelic Rock vibes of the band coming to hypnotise you. No matter as this is one of the albums standout tracks. It's a weird as hell psychedelic mind-trip that demands your full attention.

Third track – Goddess Of Love – is an interplanetry Stoner Rock love song. Well I think it is but what the hell do I know. I can tell you it's another finely tuned song full of insane Stoner/Fuzz/Space/Desert Rock riffs to rock out to. The FUZZ effect will make even the mighty Truckfighters feel jealous. Space Fisters venture from slow-paced riffs to more dangerous fast-paced riffs which will leave you breathless. This song feels like an extended jam session between friends and where everything feels out of control. Just enjoy the ride as you're gonna need your wits about you for the final track.

Space Fisters leave the best track till last with the majestic and weirdly captivating 14:30 minute epic – Bozz. This is where Space Fisters throw caution to the wind and say – FUCK IT – with a ton of great riffs to impress you with. It's the albums most creative song as it ventures into murky psychedelia with elements of Doom being added for one final battle. Clément's vocals are so out there as I haven't clue what he is singing about at times. It feels that he is struggling to breath at times. Unsettling to say the least. Just enjoy the ride as this is work of insane and twisted genius. It may not fit into the conventional Desert/Stoner Rock mould but it does make for one thrilling and disturbing encounter.

The production on Vol 1. is first rate through out. Space Fisters have created an excellent debut album that I hope finds them many fans within the Stoner Rock/Metal scene. It showcases another great band to check out from the awese French Stoner Metal scene.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Space Fisters for the promo. Vol. 1 will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl from December 20th 2014. I have already bought my copy on Vinyl.

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