Monday, 30 June 2014

Choice Cuts: The Stooges - S/T (1969)

The Stooges (1969)

The Band:

  • Iggy Pop | vocals (credited as "Iggy Stooge")
  • Dave Alexander | bass guitar
  • Ron Asheton | guitar, vocals
  • Scott Asheton | drums
  • John Cale | piano, sleigh bell on "I Wanna Be Your Dog", viola on "We Will Fall"


Released in 1969 during the meltdown of the peace and love counter culture movement that had swept across America during the mid - late 60s.  Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, The Stooges were a full stop to a generation of high hopes and big let downs, but more importantly The Stooges were the beginning of something that would eventually spearhead a whole generation of disaffected youths, especially in the US and the UK that would by the late 70s be known as Punk Rock.

The album kicks of with ‘1969,’ A soundtrack to a generation that has come to terms with its defeat in the face of war and conservatism, with Iggy snarling “Well it's 1969, OK all across the USA. It's another year for me and you, Another year with nothing to do" cementing a new reality of youths feeling that the party was over and had very little future.  The star of the show however, is guitarist Ron Asheton, armed with a guitar tone that could literally melt a thousand speakers, Wah-wah drenched fuzz riffs, standing alongside the simplistic repetitive rhythm section of Dave Alexander and Scott Asheton driving the song like no other rhythm section could.  The song comes to a crescendo with messy Wah-wah and Iggy shouting “It was 1969 baby!!" As a foreclosure to a generation heading for turmoil

Track 2 is the punk rock classic "I Wanna Be Your Dog"  probably The Stooges' signature song, led by Ron Ashetons fuzz-bomb blues meets middle Eastern drone riffs and a unchanging rock solid backbeat from his brother Scott Asheton.  This song encapsulates what The Stooges were all about!  Iggy Snarling "So messed up I want you here" with the repeated chorus "Now I Wanna Be Your Dog".  The Stooges manage to update the blues with ease as well as creating a new attitude.

‘We Will Fall’ is a 10 minute psychedelic-drone mantra led by producer John Cales mournful viola playing, and Iggy's shamanistic chanting accompanied by Ron Asheton's lulling Wah-wah guitar lines.  This is a rare side of The Stooges that never really got explored again, but it showcased the bands dexterity.  Indeed despite being slated by muso's for not being able to play, they were seemingly missing the point of what The Stooges were all about.

Next song is ‘No Fun’, another Stooges classic, again led by the fuzz-sludge of Ron Asheton, with Iggy a new voice for the Dissatisfied generation spitting out " No fun to be around, freak out, for another day".  This song was so proto-punk that the Sex Pistols used to cover it back in their early days.  ‘Real Cool Time’ and ‘Ann’ are garage rock standards, leading into ‘Not Right’ and ‘Little Doll’ which loop up this fantastic debut nicely

The Stooges released 2 more albums, 1970s ‘Fun House’ and the 1973 classic ‘Raw Power’, all 3 including ‘The Stooges’ are now heralded as Rock classics, despite not selling any records at the time.

The bands real status belongs in its eventual influence on any band that chose attitude over technique especially in Punk and Grunge, but The Stooges influence also branched out to metal and Stoner Rock. Bands like the Sex Pistols, Nirvana, Monster Magnet, Slayer and Queens Of The Stone Age have propped The Stooges as a major influence.

The Stooges got back together in the early 00s and finally tasted some success that they had always deserved, but with the deaths of both the Asheton brothers it looks likely that The Stooges have come to the end.  Even if this is the case, Iggy and co can walk away with their heads held high, knowing that they had a massive impact and influence on rock and roll, which to this day means more than selling a million records.

Words by: David Oglesby

Album Details:

‘The Stooges’ is the self-titled debut studio album by American rock band The Stooges, released in August 1969 on Elekra Records.  On August 16, 2005, Elektra and Rhino Records  jointly re-issued the album as a double CD, with a remastered version and second disc which include alternative and original mixes of the record.  Rhino Records again released the album in their "Handmade" series as a collector's package including two CDs, a 7" record, and a 7"x7"-sized booklet. The first disc features the main songs, the single version of "I Wanna Be Your Dog", and all original John Cale mixes of the songs. The second disc, and both sides of the 7" single, contain the previously unreleased "Asthma Attack”.

‘The Stooges’ original track listing:

1). 1969 04:05
2). I Wanna Be Your Dog 03:09
3). We Will Fall 10:18
4). No Fun 05:14
5). Real Cool Time 02:29
6). Ann 02:59
7). Not Right 02:52
8). Little Doll 03:20

Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here - EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 15/4/2014
Label: Deathwish Inc.

Cult Leader – ‘Nothing For Us Here’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

1). God’s Lonely Children 01:39
2). Flightless Birds 02:19
3). Mongrel 02:37
4). The Indoctrinator’s Deathbed 02:10
5). Skincrawler 02:53
6). Driftwood 06:06


Cult Leader are the next evolutionary leap forward for three-quarters of Gaza, arguably one of the best metallic bands of the last decade. After the early 2013 dissolution of the aforementioned band, remaining members Michael Mason, Casey Hansen, and Anthony Lucero were joined by bassist Sam Richards to form this brand new beast.

"Nothing For Us Here" is a complex crusher as you would expect. Brilliantly heavy, technical musicianship complimented by Anthony Lucero's new found brutal vocal delivery (previously he played bass in Gaza). All of it coming together as an unconventional tangle of metal/hardcore/punk wreckage. Proving that even in their primordial state, Cult Leader are capable of standing as contemporaries Converge and Coalesce as new monsters of the aggressive music genre.

The Band:

Michael Mason
Casey Hanson
Anthony Lucero
Sam Richards


Utah’s Cult Leader have been hurled at me like a flurry of sludge-tipped arrows on a defenceless hippy encampment.  Formerly known as Gaza, Cult Leader have had to reshuffle their line-up and have, like all the best warriors, gotten back up and re-entered the fray.  With new album ‘Nothing for Us Here’, this quartet have created something which is dark, riveting, and scary as hell.  No wonder the first time I listened to it, it felt like a sneak attack of sound… but when you’ve re-armed and readied yourself for another metal attack from this album, it will reward you with a magnificent sludge-bellowing battle that will leave your ears ringing and your pulse pounding. 

If you were to cut any one of these four gents, I’m finding it difficult to believe that blood would pour from them.  Actually, I think it’d be much more plausible that feedback would instead gush forth from their veins, they are so at one with it.  Their sound is a grinding, slithering mass of anger: part Slipknot, part EyeHateGod, all aggression, these six tracks are an outpouring of guttural emotion.  Anthony Lucero (formerly the bassist of Gaza) has stepped up to the plate as vocalist and hit a veritable home run with his brutish, wall-demolishing throat. 

‘The Indocrinator’s Deathbed’ is a primo example of Lucero’s banshee-shouts, coupled with Casey Hansen’s rollicking drums and the snarling, punch-drunk guitar and bass violence emanating from Mike Mason and Sam Richards respectively. 

With each track there’s this weird percussive vibe, almost as though Cult Leader are always just inches away from hitting something with their fists.  On album closer ‘Driftwood’ – the longest song by a fair margin – it sounds as though these guys have reached the end of their tethers and are smashing, breaking, crying out against the world.  It is a song of dark regret, a masterful blend of feedback, riffs and rage distilled into a fine, heady wine of noise. 

With its sinister, glowering opening riff and Lucero’s rasping statement of ‘I am a loyal dog’, ‘Mongrel’ pounces on you with ragged claws and a mouth full of rabies.  Mike Mason slinks around the fret board with a base cunning, each thumping note hitting you square in the chest with a bruising intent.  Of all the tracks on offer here, this is my favourite: for it’s simple, uncompromising march of a riff and its barking, wild lyrics.  Better put on a grimace and let ‘Mongrel’ sink its teeth into you. 

Cult Leader is a band that has been through some crap in the past, but has certainly put it behind them.  These guys are looking to the future, and ‘Nothing for Us Here’ is a big ‘fuck you’ to past bullshit and a big ‘fuck yeah’ to new horizons and new possibilities.  Become part of a brighter metal cause: follow Cult Leader.

Words by: Chris Markwell

You can get it here

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Mastodon - ‘Once More 'Round The Sun’ (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/6/2014
Label: Reprise Records

Mastodon - ‘Once More 'Round The Sun’ track listing:

1). Tread Lightly 05:14
2). The Motherload 04:59
3). High Road 04:15
4). Once More ‘Round The Sun 02:58
5). Chimes At Midnight 05:32
6). Asleep In The Deep 06:12
7). Feast Your Eyes 03:23
8). Aunt Lisa 04:08
9). Ember City 04:59
10). Halloween 04:39
11). Diamond In The Witch House 07:49

The Band:

Troy Landers | Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Brann Dailor | Drums, Vocals
Brent Hinds | Guitars, Vocals
Bill Kelliher | Guitars, (B) Vocals

Review :

The best metal bands have a handful of classic albums each. By my count, Iron Maiden has six. Metallica have five (yes, I count it). Black Sabbath have eight across two line-ups. Judas Priest has four. Slayer has two as do Megadeth and Pantera. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there. Mastodon, prior to this latest album had three... Will they improve on this tally? Read on to find out my opinion.

The observant amongst you will note that Mastodon were placed into a paragraph among what many consider to be the “classic” metal bands. Sure, other bands have classic albums too and some are classic bands within a sub-genre, but the above bands are the true behemoths of the form. It is my view that Mastodon have joined this elite- they are forward thinking, risk taking, musically dexterous, unique in their sound. When you hear them, you know who’s playing. For me, ‘The Hunter’ did not make the “classic” bracket. By some distance. I found it to be lacking in what I love about Mastodon and somehow lacking the fire of earlier albums- or even the prog-weirdness of ‘Crack The Skye’. I desperately wanted this to be a return to the days of ‘Leviathan’ - which is my favourite metal album of the first decade of this century.

Opener ‘Tread Lightly’ is tight and crisp with snappy drums but oddly muted guitars, I thought. What is immediately clear is that the album will not be a re-tread of their previous work. The vocals are clean and well delivered. ‘The Motherload’ has a snappy Dailor intro and then we are into the riffing. More clean vocals but the track and album are more upbeat than ‘Crack The Skye’ by far. The positivity of the chorus is infectious and packs a memorable refrain.

‘High Road’ is a superb track- catchy and heavy. Great riff, perfect choice for an album primer... and surprisingly straightforward. Don’t get me wrong, this is not The Black Album- but it is certainly less cluttered than previous offerings. The title track clocks in at under three minutes (!). It is again strangely upbeat and focused on the song as opposed to the riff but there is some superb guitar interplay to be had in between verses.

‘Chimes At Midnight’ is an altogether more sombre beast. Sparkly guitar on one level and mournful work on another. An excellent riff replaces this and the band groove away in familiar Mastodon territory. ‘Asleep In The Deep’ represents something of an album high point. Epic and mournful in delivery (great bass tone) it is trippy, jazzy and progressive in the best ways possible. ‘Feast Your Eyes’ is another three minute wonder. Up tempo and almost punk like in approach, but of course there are time changes and frenetic percussive passages. ‘Aunt Lisa’ is dexterous and light on its feet and features god guitar work and vocals. ‘Ember City’ follows with a kind of Mastodon does Maiden approach- galloping it is, metal it certainly is too. Great solo, strong hook.

‘Halloween’ is not a Misfits cover, but allows Hinds and Kelliher to extend themselves well- a nice feature of the album generally is the way that the guitars weave together- I guess years of writing and touring will do that. ‘Diamond In Witch House’ is the close to eight minute album closer and starts with acoustic, then electric and then the band start to build up. Slow and crushing in its own way with dark musical passages too, it is a brooding way to finish what is an oddly happy record in places.

The verdict... Well, this is a good album. Maybe even a great one- it could well be a grower. Mastodon remains head and shoulders above the competition and the vast majority of bands. However, for me, the classic tally still stands at three.

Words by: Richard Maw

You can get it everywhere now

For more information:

Skinfather – ‘None Will Mourn’ (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/4/2014
Label: Streetcleaner Records

Skinfather – ‘None Will Mourn’ track listing:

1). Ordeal by Fire 03:34
2). Drown in Black 03:43
3). Born of Despair 02:36
4). Hellish Grave 04:19
5). Atraxia 02:14
6). Dead Still 04:07
7). Calloused 02:46
8). Planes of Ruination 02:55
9). Impaled 04:31


Brandishing a name inspired from one of the genre’s best bands in their prime, Dismember, the fairly new outfit, SKINFATHER,is unapologetically heavily inspired by the act and their fellow 1990’s Stockholm counterparts, delivering an only slightly modernized version of what that scene’s infinitely influential early supply of death metal provided. With a slick, antagonistic approach, SKINFATHER has decimated audiences around their locale over the past three years, having released several singles and EPs. Now in 2014, the band is taking it to the next level on both the live and release fronts, with new tour actions and the news of their debut LP now upon us.

On April 22nd, SKINFATHER will release its debut album, None Will Mourn, on 12” LP via Todd Jones of Nails’ DIY label, Streetcleaner Records, and on iTunes/Spotify. The album dispatches nine hard-edged hymns delivered with a cool, calculated, cavernous production, but not without an undercurrent of raging insanity buried under the onslaught of downtuned riff devastation. None Will Mourn was engineered by Taylor Young from Nails, and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and features equally bold visual aesthetics courtesy of Raul Gonzalez.

The Band:

Gred Chacon | Bass
Taylor Nichols | Drums
Scott Fahey | Guitars
Anthonie Gonzalez | Guitars
Stephen McCall | Vocals


Skinfather, So-Cal's finest death metal export return with this brutal slice of aural dismemberment.

Heavier than a tonne of lead, ‘Ordeal by Fire’ conjures up the spirit of Gothenburg, circa 1995, and brings the metal. I have to say, it is a little odd knowing that the band is American... they sound so Swedish! I am not complaining, mind- this is cracking stuff. ‘Drown in Black’ ups the tempo nearer to Motorhead with a cool cyclical riff and then slows things to a bang-your-head pace of the finest order, before that chainsaw guitar lifts the pace again.

The vocals are perhaps an acquired taste - it is not a death growl and not an impassioned screech either and kind of falls mid way between the two. Certainly brutal, but if you are not convinced at first, you will be by the end of the album. ‘Born of Despair’ is just over two and a half minutes of chugging death, complete with faster sections and bass drums rolling to good effect here and there.

‘Hellish Grave’ boasts a foreboding intro and creeping pace- complimented by a tar thick production.
‘Atraxia’ has an unusual and cool build up opening and then gives us two minutes of instrumental doom/death before ‘Dead Still’ kicks in with hammering snare and mid tempo stomping riffs.
‘Calloused’ rings the changes with varying tempos and riffs- lots of ideas. The band bring dynamics to the record in this way- kind of like a smorgasbord of Dismember's career, perhaps, varying from the pacey to the mid tempo and back to the pacey... and all in one song!

‘Planes of Ruination’ is a three minute punch in the face, as subtle as... well, a punch in the face. Brutal and uncompromising, I cannot see how any death metal aficionado would not enjoy this. 

‘Impaled’ stretches to four and a half minutes with a nice guitar lick to start and then doom for the first section. The mid tempo bludgeoning continues thereafter and normal service is resumed with tempos coming thick and even a bit faster. It's good to hear a death metal band NOT obsessed with
“Faster” and instead going for head banging rhythms and brute force.

The album is strong throughout and most definitely quality death metal without the annoying incessant blast-beats that some bands seem to fixate on. Great band, great album. If you enjoy Entrails, Entombed, Dismember, Paganizer and so on you are guaranteed to enjoy this.

Words by: Richard Maw

You can get it here

For more information:

Act of Impalement – ‘Echoes of Wrath / II - Hyperborean Altar’ (Review)

Album Type: Compilation
Date Released: 6/6/2014
Label: Caligari Records

Act of Impalement – ‘Echoes of Wrath / II - Hyperborean Altar’ track listing:

1). Echoes of War 03:51
2). Heathen Omens 02:57
3). Atrocities & Spiritual Rape 04:43
4). Necromancers Theme 04:04
5). Teutoburg Forest 03:05
6). Upon the Hyperborean Altar of the Triad Gods 01:57
7). No Viking Funeral for Betrayers 00:53
8). Inquisition (of the Innocent) 02:36
9). Northumbrian King 04:42
10). Rise, Ancient Pantheon 03:08

The Band:

James De Rais | Bass
Vlad | Drums
Dark Druid | Guitars, Vocals


Nashville’s Act of Impalement is a golden example of the power that a fairly orthodox band can still have in a “post-everything” age. It’s simple, straight forward, filthy and strong and everything on tap is 100% post free. It’s a potent concoction of doom and mid-tempo death metal, without taking part in the Incantation worship that a lot of folks – including me – have been into for the last several years. This release is a cassette-only compilation of 2013’s ‘Hyperborean Altar’ and the ‘Echoes of Wrath’ EP released earlier this year, and while there are some differences in the production once ‘Echoes of Wrath’ ends and ‘Hyperborean Altar’ begins, the sound difference won’t put you off at all. This is a band that knows what it ought to sound like.

The material on ‘Echoes of Wrath’ occupies a space with a bit more life to it, starting with “Echoes of War” which gallops and swings like Celtic Frost or early Moonfog era Darkthrone, though this is much more death-infused than either of those bands ever were (save Darkthrone’s debut of course). In fact, it might be a good time to point out that despite their being obvious influences, Act of Impalement doesn’t strike me as derivative at all.

You’ll hear Celtic Frost, Autopsy, Winter, all with a guitar tone on the grizzly side of the Sunlight Studio sound popularized by Dismember. It’s a healthy mix to be sure, and one that yields some top quality results without question. The ‘Echoes of Wrath’ portion of things wraps up with “Atrocities & the Spiritual Rape”, and song that opens with a lurching, barbaric chug before building to a much speedier climax at a speed more in line Motörhead or early Entombed. After that pays off, it settles into a solid and deliberate grove, which sets the stage for last year’s ‘Hyperborean Altar’.

Generally, the “Hyperborean Altar” material finds its home in a generally slower tempo than “Echoes of Wrath”, though there are some violent speed outbursts; most notably on “Inquisitions (of the Innocent)”, which breaks suddenly from its deathly ‘Panzerfaust’-style crawl into a nasty, slow-grinding blast. By the time I got to this point on the compilation, it became clear that there weren’t going to be any real weak spots on this tape. That’s not to say that Act of Impalement couldn’t stand to embrace a bit more variety in terms of riff structuring or drum beat choices, but the whole thing is strong start to finish. “Teutoburg Forest” in particular is an example of what I think their blueprint should be going forward. It starts off as a headbanger; like some corroded, mutated and pitch-shifted version of Mayhem’s “Pure Fucking Armageddon”. Then it drops into a note-bending doom fest, with a palm-muted, stuttering collapse before the riff resets. It’s like the doom metal version of a rusty machine falling apart, which to these ears is a beautiful thing.

Although the cassette format isn’t for everybody, you’re not going to want to sleep on this release. If you aren’t interested in the cassette, try the Act of Impalement Bandcamp page for a digital download. Caligari Records have a great find on their hands, and if you like the idea of doomy death metal laced with black metal at its most primal, Act of Impalement should be pretty high on your list this year. 

Words by: Daniel Jackson

You can get it here

Thursday, 26 June 2014

TILTS - Cuatro Hombres - Album Review

Cuatro Hombres cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: June 24th 2014
Label: Robotic Empire

Cuatro Hombres - track listing:

1.Brown Gum 04:31
2.Kobra Kommander 02:56
3.Axel's Rows 03:50
4.The Chunge 04:33
5.Thomas Jefferson II 02:57
6.Titanium Falcon 03:49
7.Touchdowns 03:23
8.Skeletears 03:31
9.Down Days 03:21
10.The Sleepover 07:22


The dudes of Tilts have known each other a very long time. Long enough to be like brothers n' such. Features ex-members of Shame Club, Riddle of Steel, and current members of Torche, The Blind Eyes, The Balloons, The Lovely Lads, Superjam, Avalon Chimney and Lamar Latrell among many others.

Band Members

Shawn Hart - Bass
Ken McCray - Drums
Andy White - Guitar/Backup Vox
Andrew Elstner - Guitar/Lead Vox


Tilts are ready to ROCK OUT with their new album – Cuatro Hombres. A thought provoking tale full of nightmarish visions that shows you the true horrors of the world. This album will change your outlook on life forever.

REALLY!!! – NAH – Am just fucking with you all. Tilts are a band raised on a steady diet of 70s/80s Classic Hard Rock with bands such as Black Sabbath, Van Halen and ZZ Top. This album like their S/T debut is built on good old-fashioned Rock and Roll with funny as hell lyrics matched with blazing riffs that will leave you with a huge smile on your face.

Cuatro Hombres is a fresher sounding album than their debut. It seems TILTS have actually started to put some serious effort into this record. While their debut was more about partying all the time. Cuatro Hombres is all about growing up and embracing the good times that your life may lead to. Well actually the album is about - "It's about a wizard getting fitted for Air Jordans at a Footlocker in Middle Earth." I am not fucking with you. From the guys themselves when I recently interviewed them.

The album opens with the stunning track – Brown Gum – that starts with a slow-paced riff before TILTS bring the music to the masses as a heavy psych riff gets the party started. Front man – Andrew E – is on fine form through out. His vocals have definitely improved since the first record. Maybe it’s time spent with his other band – Torche – but he is more confident on this record. His vocals sound crisper and a lot fresher.

Though TILTS is all about the musical brotherhood as these guys have known each other for a lifetime. You can tell from their music these guys have such a close bond. And that is a good thing as the riffs are freaking awesome from start to finish. 2nd track – Kobra Kommander – carries on the frantic pace that TILTS are known for as the band unleash some serious angry riffs they have not played before. It has a subtle punk energy, which makes it one of the albums standout tracks.

The third track has one of the funniest song titles on the album – Axel’s Rows. Showcasing the bands sense of humor. Though the song is a more straightforward rock song played at a slower pace compared to the opening two tracks. Don’t worry though as TILTS still have plenty of tricks up their sleeve.

OK lets gets straight to the point. I could go on forever describing every song on the album. So I am not going to do that. Cuatro Hombres is an album that takes all of the good vibes and memories from the last 4 decades of Hard Rock and gives it a 21st century Stoner Rock makeover. It may not sound very original but Tilts do not really care. All they want to do is party and entertain the heck out of everyone who listens to their music. In my opinion, they succeed on every level as Cuatro Hombres is a brilliant ride from start to finish.

Though the main surprise of the album it the epic last track – The Sleepover. An instrumental Stoner Metal track that I did not expect at all. It is quite progressive in parts, which TILTS have never really ventured into. It has a slight Torche vibe to it but still stands as one of TILTS finest ever tracks they have written. Play this track heavy and loud. The way it is meant to be played.

Cuatro Hombres is a must have record for all you Hard Rock/Stoner Rock fans. Buy this now. You won’t be sorry.

Brilliant stuff.

Cuatro Hombres is available to buy on DD via BandCamp and Vinyl from Robotic Empire Records.

Check The Band From Links Below

Written by Steve Howe

ORDOS - S/T - Album Review

Ordos cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 01 November 2013
Label: Self Released

Ordos - S/T - track listing:

1.Hounds of hell 06:00
2.Crossing over 05:14
3.The Witch 08:20
4.Rise up 07:02
5.Mother Mary 04:36
6.I 06:56

Band Members

Emil - Vocals
André - Guitar
Magnus - Guitar
Martin - Bass
Max - Drummer


Here is another awesome album that I have somehow missed. Ordos are are a kick-ass Fuzz laiden Sludge/Stoner Metal Band from the Motherland of Sludge/Stoner Metal – SWEDEN.

Their S/T debut album is blast of action packed riffs which grabs you right from the start. First track – Hounds Of Hell – takes you to Sludge/Stoner Metal paradise than hell as it has some great riffs to check out. Emil's vocals have a slight Truckfighters quality to them to begin with but wait until he shouts some Doom and Gloom vocals to the mix that literally come out of nowhere.

2nd track – Crossing Over – is one of the albums stand-out tracks as the band throw superb riffs your way to chew on. By now you won't be able to get enough of this great band. It's a stunning mix of modern Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs mixed with classic 70's Hard Rock dual guitar worship. Always a winning combination in my book.

Ordos slow things right down with epic 3rd track – The Witch – that starts very quietly before the band slowly build the atmosphere with loud noises and vocals for one heavy as fuck experience you will need your wits about you. The Sludge Metal is piled on thick here especially with the riffs towards the end of the song. You maybe playing this song for quite some time as it's a fucking brilliant track to listen to over and over again.

If you want an album to blast your hearing to smithereens with intense Sludge/Stoner Metal riffs then this is the album for you. Obviously with the band being Swedish they can't help bringing the FUZZ to the party and it's a blast from start to finish.

Just do yourself a favour and download this brilliant album now. It's available on BandCamp Buy Now Download. You wont be sorry.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Check The Band From Links Below

Written by Steve Howe

Heterodox - Elixir Of Lethe - Album Review

Elixir of Lethe cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: June 27th 2014
Label: Self Released

Elixir Of Lethe - track listing:

1.Elixir of Lethe 07:28
2.Qualm 12:15
3.Imageless 04:41
4.Amorphous 07:56
5.Ascent 13:41


Heterodox are a gritty blend of heavy tones. Specializing in Heavy Doom-Groovin' tunes. 3-piece band from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Band Members

Luke Burns - Guitar, Vocals
Floyd Pepper - Bass, Vocals
Jared Green - Drums


Heterodox is a band from New Zealand. Their debut album – Elixir of Lethe – is a very hard album to describe. Parts Doom and Stoner Metal mixed with a heavy progressive rock vibe holding everything together.

Elixir of Lethe is one of those albums that you will enjoy from the very first listen as Heterodox have delivered a stunning debut album packed full of different ideas to entertain you with. The album does have a slight Tool influence especially with the vocals are concerned.

First track – Elixir Of Lethe – start weaving their psychedelic magic onto an unsuspecting audience as the band add different elements of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal at different stages of their music. The song starts very heavy before slowing down to a soothing hard rock riff with storming lead vocals from Luke come into play. The instrumental work features some beautifully played heavy riffs towards the end of the track.

Heterodox 2nd song – Qualm - is probably my fave track on the album as it where the album fully comes to life with the band laying down more riffs that are impressive that once again crosses between Progressive Rock, Stoner/Doom Metal. The dual vocals of Floyd & Luke add a sinister touch near the middle of this epic 12-minute track. The band even adds some 80’s Hard Rock/Heavy Metal guitar shredding to change the mood and atmosphere once again. However, it works as Qualm ventures from one mood to the next. It may put some listeners off when first listening to the album but give it time as these sonic riffsters write intelligent music you need time to experience the full effect.

Third track – Imageless – is a more straight up Hard Rock/Prog Rock track with the band using TOOL inspired riffs. It’s the album’s most accessible track as it has a superb sing-along chrous to sing you heart out to. Though do not worry people – the Psych Doom/Stoner Metal riffs are still there waiting to be discovered.

Maybe Heterodox can be called a Progressive Stoner Metal band as they embrace that style of music for the last two songs – Amorphous and Ascent, which takes up the final 20 minutes of this epic album. The band once again blend Doom, Stoner Metal and Prog Rock for a non-stop onslaught of superb riffs that still make this band very hard to categorize. Maybe I should stop worrying about what genre they fall under and celebrate the fact Heterodox have dared to do something different within the Doom/Stoner Metal scene. You need to hear this album for yourselves as you are missing something truly special here.

Elixir of Lethe is a must-have album. Do not let this album pass you by. An incredible debut album.

Thanks to the band for sending me a promo to review. Elixir of Lethe will be available to buy on CD/DD on BandCamp from 27th June.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Steve Howe

Pale Horseman - Mourn The Black Lotus - Album Review

Mourn The Black Lotus cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: July 7th 2014
Label: Self Released

Mourn The Black Lotus - track listing:

01 Evidence Of A Severe Stoning
02 Conquistador
03 Whispered Wings
04 Running For The Caves
05 Grudgulence
06 Black Lotus
07 Clairvoyant
08 Fork In The Road (Justin K. Broadrick Remix)


PALE HORSEMAN is a four piece sludge metal band hailing from the South suburbs of Chicago, US. The band blends depressing sludge heaviness, pummeling riffs, and dual vocals with an industrial vibe to draw the listener in with a misanthropic world view and lyrical themes influenced by apocalyptic and paranormal subject matters.

The quartet, which is comprised of vocalists/ guitarists Eric and Flesh, bassist Rich, and drummer Chris, was inspired by the works of legendary names such as GODFLESH, NEUROSIS, CARCASS, AUTOPSY, SLEEP, HOODED MENACE, ENTOMBED, OBITUARY, SEPULTURA, THE MELVINS. Since its formation in early 2012, the band has been performing continuously and self-released their debut album “Pale Horseman” on April 18th, 2013.

Band Members

Eric Ondo, Rich Cygan, Chris Pocius, Flesh


Pale Horseman first inflicted sonic warfare on my entire being back in April 2013 when I reviewed their epic 62-minute debut album. It’s blend of noise, sludge, doom and post-metal carnage marked them out as a band to look out for within the burgeoning Sludge/Post-Metal scene. I was not the first one to take notice either as Sludge/Noise Metal overlord – Justin K. Broadrick has taken notice too but more about that later.

Roll on July 2014 and Pale Horseman are about to release their even more dangerous and brutal 2nd album – Mourn the Black Lotus. It is another 62-minute epic for Pale Horseman to pound your soul into submission with. Pale Horseman is more comfortable with their heavy destructive surroundings. As they expertly ooze confidence on opening track – Evidence of a Severe Stoning – where they unleash their blend of ambient based Doom/Sludge/Post-Metal warfare upon to the world. A dark and violent offering paints the bleak scene for the next hour or so. Lead vocalist is your main guide into the dark atmospheric world where pain and misery thrive with each passing moment. Heavy atmospheric sludge riffs combine with doom and gloom vocals reminiscent of Neurosis when they first created the entire Post-Metal genre.

Second track – Conquistador – carries on this dark dangerous tale into heavier progressive metal territory with vibes of Mastodon slowly creaking in. Pale Horseman grows ever more confident with each passing moment as they lay down epic riffs that ventures between moment of light and dark. It is another sinister tale that will open your eyes to the horrors of the whole story of the album. Pale Horseman has excelled themselves with the dark lyrical content as it easily grabs your attention making it very hard to look away.

With Mastodon venturing further into commercial hard rock territory we need bands like Pale Horseman to show the world what Progressive Sludge Metal is really all about. Pale Horseman don’t change course with their music as they play through a set of stunning tracks such as Whispered Wings, Grudgulence, Black Lotus which will leave you a shivering emotional wreck. However, wait until you hear the incredible 17-minute epic – Clairvoyant – which actually takes you on a mysterious journey full of thrills and spills you will not be able to get enough of. It is a sprawling and violent progressive sludge/post-metal odyssey where the band unleashes dark riffs to show the music world a truly important band has arrived.

If you need more convincing remember at the start of the review when I told you that Justin K. Broadrick was a fan of these guys. Well he remixed a track from their debut album – Fork in the Road – which Justin gives a more industrial based feel compared to the original version. OK it is not a new track but not many bands get the chance to have their work remixed by a legend such as Justin K. Broadrick. It's a much more disturbing and nightmarish version compared to the original but it fits in perfectly with the bleak tone of the new album.

Mourn The Black Lotus is once again recorded, mixed and mastered by Dennis Pleckham from Bongripper and he does a fantastic job here. Pushing the band to new limits and heights, this will only further enhance Pale Horseman’s reputation within the Sludge/Post-Metal world.

Thanks to LSW Music Promotions sending me a copy to review. Mourn The Black Lotus will be available to buy on DD/CD from BandCamp on July 7th 2014.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Steve Howe