Sunday, 18 March 2018

Rongeur - An Asphyxiating Embrace (Album Review)

Release date: 09th March 2018. Label: Poacher Records, Ampmandens Records, Aonair Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

An Asphyxiating Embrace – Tracklisting

1.Weltschmerz 03:12
2.Special Needs 01:49
3.Fiendesliebe 03:37
4.Wellpisser 05:44
5.The Deconstructionist 04:04
6.Mr. Hands 03:08
7.The Weight of Guilt 05:36
8.Chained to a Dead Horse 03:14


Dag Ole: bass and vocals
Ken-Robert: guitar and vocals
Jon: drums and vocals


So this is what happens when you merge the post-whatever bleakness of Neurosis with the bombastic sounds of High On Fire and Kvelertak. Rongeur are a very much band creating a bleak and dense Sludge/Stoner Metal sound. Their debut album An Asphyxiating Embrace is a nightmarish sound told through the power fast-paced Sludge/Stoner Metal sounds but with a frenzied Doom Metal approach.

The whole tone of the album is very lo-fi and that allows Rongeur to unleash a darker sound than you would expect from a band such as this. The songs are very fast-paced with all the band members providing vocals on the certain songs on the album.

Standout songs on the album are Weltschmerz, Special Needs, Wellpisser, Mr Hands and The Weight Of Guilt. The album is not the produced sounding album but it sees Rongeur continue with their rough and ready approach to their music. The post-metallic vibes is what makes this album standout. As you shouldn’t really a “Neurosis” style sensibility on this album but Rongeur deserve credit for trying something different.

An Asphyxiating Embrace is a dark musical odyssey where Rongeur make the listener feel very uncomfortable at times. So if you’re expecting an upbeat album then I recommend you look elsewhere for your musical fix. This album is for the more adventurous Sludge/Stoner Metal fan who like their music that little bit darker and with intelligence as well.

The instrumental work is superb throughout with Rongeur showing true creativity on the later stages of the album.

Embrace the madness as Rongeur have unleashed a heavy pounding beast of an album….

Words by Steve Howe


Saturday, 17 March 2018

Astrodome - II (Album Review)

Release date: March 04th 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: Cassette/CD/DD

II – Tracklisting

1.Mirage 10:07
2.Secular Fields 06:12
3.Dawn Gardens 05:41
4.Sunrite 12:06
5.Atlas 06:27


Going back to late 2014, a newly spaced-out band coming from the beautiful city of Porto (Portugal), Astrodome, come on the scene with their charge of psychedelia, fuzz and that seventies aftertaste that never hurts.

Their fist appearance on the scene, Live Demo, although raw in its production and execution (it is still a direct hit during a live) let us guess the potentialities of the Portuguese quartet. With their first self-produced debut album (Astrodome), things immediately became clear. Instrumental psychedelia of high levels with a chilling rhythm section. Listen to the drums on Coronation and I will tell you.

But now, after a line-up change, with Kevin (Big Red Panda, another band to absolutely check out) replacing Pedro at the guitar, they return with II, an album that marks a remarkable dose of maturity compared to previous ones.

While remaining firm to their original sound, the band in this album managed to create something really interesting. The bass/drum rhythm section is something monstrous, able to create that hypnotic background where the guitars and the masterful use of keyboards complete the work for a product that is pure psychedelic, seasoned with the right dose of fuzz and more ' doom ' moments, able to elevate the product towards something wonderful.

In this album the influence of bands like Causa Sui, Weedpecker and also My Sleeping Karma becomes even more evident, while maintaining a certain originality, adding layers of spaciness to their music.

What I really appreciate in this album is the maturity of the band, which should be taken as an example of constant improvement. Probably the charm of a city, beautiful and decadent at the same time, allowed Astrodome to evolve in an excellent way over the years. From a wonderful city a wonderful band.

Words by Bruno Bellisario


Sons Of Nibiru - Hellspirit (Album Review)

Release date: December 16th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Hellspirit – Tracklisting

1.The Signal 03:53
2.Arrival 06:33
3.Preachcraft 08:32
4.Pulsar 05:08
5.Hellspirit 08:16
6.The Journey 05:58
7.Star Sailors 14:19


Khshemo - vocals, bass guitar
Quoda - guitars
Caspah - drums


Psychedelic Stoner Rockers Sons Of Nibiru debut album - Hellspirit - doesn’t get off to the most exciting of starts with the opening track - The Signal. Almost four minutes of slowly played drum beats and a didgeridoo with a hint of psychedelic noises. It doesn't really go anywhere as it constantly goes on without ever coming to anything. That's my only criticism of the album as from this point Sons Of Nibiru actually start to create some interesting noises of their own.

Second track - Arrival - sees the heavy Desert/Stoner guitars appear and you can finally become connected with this album. The sounds from the opening track are still there but there immersed with a heavier psychedelic stoner sound that veers on the progressive side as well. It's has quite an action-packed FUZZ sounding centre as the band moves from different sounds with relevant ease. The guitars are what keep the vibrant mood alive as the band keeps the song purely instrumental. The later stages of the song offer some of the heaviest sounds on the album with Sons Of Nibiru settling into a confident rhythm. The overall sound of the album is influenced by the usual round of Stoner Rock legends.

Third track - Preachcraft - sees the welcome addition of superb "Ozzy" inspired vocals from Khshemo. The whole atmosphere of the album becomes more "doom" based as a result. The bass guitars are quite heavy and distinctive on this song as this song bursts through the eight minute mark with superb creativity. The music is distorted at times but this allows Sons Of Nibiru to create a more expansive sound. The drumming and guitars have a dominant echo feel. The song drifts towards heavier levels of FUZZ style feedback.

Fourth song - Pulsar - lives up to its title by opening with drone/sonic style sounds that has echoes of seventies style stoner/doom experimentation. Sons Of Nibiru drift further into the psychedelic cosmos with this song and it feels slightly OTT at times but given the whole nature of the album it never feels out of place.

The final three songs on the album - Hellspirit , The Journey and Star Sailors - sees Sons Of Nibiru probably unleash the heaviest and doomed out psychedelic sounds on the album. Though the band still find time to include a wide range of different Stoner, Desert Rock and Fuzz based sounds. The vocals are very dominant when they appear but it's the music that holds your attention.

The final song on the album Star Sailors lasts for an epic fourteen minutes and it's no doubt the best song on the album. Apart from the first track which I had issues with, Hellspirit is a very cool sounding album with the immense production giving a real dynamic to the band's overall sound.

If you haven't heard this album yet then I recommend you correct that situation now as Hellspirit is a thunderous and highly energetic experience.

Words by Steve Howe


My Diablo - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: April 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

My Diablo – S/T – Tracklisting

You Never Learn
Fallin’ Man
Peddlers Of Hate
New Age Sin
Pound Of Flesh
Going Down (Hard Like An Anchor)
Faces Of Forever


Lee Cressey - Guitars
Dave-O - Drums/Vocals


My Diablo is the new band formed from the remains of sadly missed Psych/Hard Rock/Stoner Rockers - Mother Corona. It’s good to have Lee and David-O is back performing music again with My Diablo and it's good to hear his powerful vocals yet again. And to hear Lee’s blazing guitar sounds yet again.

Though My Diablo is a different band to Mother Corona. As the band incorporate elements of Punk Rock, Garage Rock, Hard Rock, Stoner Rock and even a Funk based sound. My Diablo have more in common with Clutch than Mother Corona.

Their self-titled debut album is a very curious affair. It's a good sounding album though it does take a few attempts to get use to the many different sounds and influences that band have included on the album.

Opening track - My Addiction - is an upbeat guitar sounding number though the lyrics delve deeper into darker subjects. The song has quite a cool alternative sound with the Stoner elements interacting superbly well.

My Diablo play a fast-paced style of music that would sound fantastic and ground-breaking back in the nineties and early noughties. Today not so much but My Diablo play to their strengths on this album and that's with the music being direct and powerful sounding vocals.

Second track - You Never Learn - has an early-Clutch sound with My Diablo creating a highly energetic and fast-paced sound. I will admit I was head-banging along to the music on my first listen to the album as My Diablo has such a huge likeability factor within their music. They have a real insight for writing bleak lyrics and matching it against almost upbeat and soulful Doom based Stoner Rock vibes.

Third track - Nigthwatch - has a more direct heavy metal approach and even a post-whatever style sound before settling down to a familiar Clutch style of music. David's vocals are on point here with his style firmly rooted in the Grunge arena compared to other songs on the album. The back-up vocals from Lee are more boisterous and perhaps more direct compared to David's. This is a good contrast for My Diablo to have.

My Diablo carry on their Punk/Stoner hybrid sound on the rest of the album with songs such as Fallin' Man, Peddlers Of Hate, New Age Sin and Faces Of Forever offering the most exciting moments on the album. Peddlers Of Hate certainly impressed me with My Diablo's take on Psychedelic Fuzz Rock with a dark hard rock edge. The instrumental work throughout the album is fantastic and is perhaps one of the many strengths of the album. My Diablo's debut album is one of those albums you will never be tired of. As the band have created a record that's highly addictive from start to finish.

It's hard to believe that My Diablo is a duo. As they sound and feel they have more members within their ranks. If My Diablo keeping releasing great albums such as this for future releases then I can see them performing on the more prestigious UK/European Stoner based festivals such as Desertfest and Freak Valley. They have delivered an album that will hopefully establish them as serious Stoner Rock contenders.

Words by Steve Howe


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Below A Silent Sky - A View From Afar (Album Review)

Release date: 11th March 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

A View From Afar – Tracklisting

1.The Highest Shrine 09:05
2.Caverns of Light 08:51
3.Tartarus 10:28
4.Earthshifter 08:53
5.The Great Divide 18:29


Heinz// Drums
Christian// Guitar
Robin// Guitar
Diego// Bass


Atmospheric Post-Doom Rockers - Below A Silent Sky - new album, A View From Afar - is a complex sounding record that takes elements of Doom, Post-Rock, Post-Metal, Psych and heavy Sludge vibes for an unflinching approach to Post-Rock/Post-Metal music.

The album is purely instrumental and will no doubt appeal to fans of Pelican, Long Distance Calling and Russian Circles. Those bands are perhaps the most well-known bands within the Instrumental Post-Rock/Post-Metal world and Below A Silent Sky may cite these bands as major influences. As this album has an eerie familiarity to it. That's not a bad thing to follow.

As at least you have a starting point what to expect from this album. It's only after listening to the full record you recognise there a lot more to their music. Below A Silent Sky are way more aggressive with their music and they create a fine amount of heavy progressive noises that will impress the most jaded of Post-Rock/Post-Metal fans.

The opening track - The Highest Shrine - does a superb job of showcasing the bands talent of playing intricate and intelligent Post-Rock/Post-Metal progressive passages. Whilst maintaining an air of melody despite the lengthy running time.

Second track - Caverns Of Light - is a heavier offering with a "YOB" Doom/Sludge style sonic riff appearing here and there. Though the band add a few Post-Rock interludes that change the mood to a more positive approach. The music is still heavy with the progressive sounds and noises being played at a leisurely pace. Below A Silent Sky never forget their Sludge/Post-Metal roots and they slowly start adding heavier elements to their music. The instrumental work is impressive indeed especially the drums. Heinz builds up an almighty rhythm for his fellow band members to play their guitars against.

It's been a while since I've listened to a truly wonderful sounding instrumental Post-Rock/Post-Metal album and I'm glad this album has come along as I've been feeling slightly jaded by the scene recently.

Below A Silent Sky carries on the soaring progressive melodies on the other three songs on the album. Tartarus, Earthshifter and The Great Divide all equally proving A View From Afar is an exquisite sounding album. My favourite parts of the album are where the band decides to throw caution to the wind and experiment with their sound. Either by adding Psychedelic Noises or Ambient Post-Rock cinematic passages.

The standout track for me has to be the excellent third track - Tartarus. As this song shows what Below A Silent Sky do so well. Creating soulful grooves before exploding into a loud vortex of sound. The drone/post-rock style is a stark contrast to the later stages of the song. As the whole mood of the album becomes dark and very violent in places.

The production is another highlight with the sound being loud and dynamic from the start. A View From Afar is a thrilling and brilliantly entertaining album and is essential listening if you're a fan of Post-Rock/Post-Metal music.

Words by Steve Howe


Sergeant Thunderhoof - Terra Solus (Album Review)

Release date: 06th May 2018. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Terra Solus – Tracklisting

1.Another Plane
2.Stellar Gate Drive
3.The Tree And The Serpent
4.B Oscillation
5.Diesel Breath
6.Priestess Of Misery
7.Half A Man
8.Om Shaantih


Dan Flitcroft - Vocals
Jim Camp - Bass
Darren Ashman - Drums
Mark Sayer - Guitar


Greetings All,

2018 continues to see wave after wave of fuzz heavy, stoner rock records being released. With this almost constant deluge of music, it is becoming more and more difficult for a band to make their presence known. Sergeant Thunderhoof do not have that problem. The band kicks down the goddam door and demands you give a listen to their righteous thunder. Terra Solus is eight killer tracks of heavy psyched out stoner perfection with sprinkles of metal, doom, and space rock throughout. This is the Bath, UK bands third studio album and it is delivered stunningly. The execution and recording are flawless and the songs are some of the strongest I have heard in a while.

Another Plane opens the album with a sick drumbeat that opens the door for a monster riff that allows the song to kick in to a killer groove. The song is dark and doomy with a sweet little wah heavy guitar solo that soothes the aching soul. The next track, Stellar Gate Drive is a groove heavy rocker with somewhat metal inspired harmony vocals and some wooah-o’s on the chorus.

The Tree & the Serpent is the most stunning song on the record and my personal favorite. It has a slower tempo but some fragile, melodic vocals and a chorus that digs in to your brain with cymbal crashes and will not let go. This is honestly, my favorite song that I have heard so far this year. It is amazing!

The instrumental B Oscillation follows. It opens with a tasty fuzz bass that gives way to some astral based guitar that then morphs into some heavy ass riffage. Diesel Breath is a heavy multi-faceted rock song that opens hard and heavy and then goes in a few different directions, it has a classic rock sound with a definite melodic, metal edge to it.

Priestess of Misery is another solid track that brings a fuzzy, doomy swagger that doesn’t quit. Throughout the record I was constantly impressed by the vocals, they are strong and in no way one dimensional. Definitely one of the bands strong points.

The acoustic Half a Man follows with a hushed, dissonant sound. It’s mantra like sound reminded me at times of Alice in Chains and Neurosis while staying true to the band’s sound. The track melds seamlessly into the closer.

The mostly instrumental Om Shaantih. The track opens with a muted acoustic sound that gives way to some psychedelic guitar way surrounding the minimal and detached astral vocals before closing with a solid groove that puts a solid exclamation point on the record.

Terra Solus is my introduction to Sergeant Thunderhoof and I am damn happy that I am now acquainted with these fine fellows. Terra Solus will rightly hold its place on the top of most “best of” lists for the year, and for good reason. Do yourself the biggest of favors and get down with Terra Solus!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Thanks to the band for the promo. Terra Solus will be available to buy on DD/CD/Vinyl from May 06th 2018.


Monday, 12 March 2018

UK Tour News - Morass Of Molasses & Cybernetic Witch Cult Touring The UK


The Morass Of Molasses seemingly unending cycle of gigging since the release of their debut album ‘These Paths We Tread’ continues unabated with the ‘Cosmic Conquest Tour’. Once again they are joined for over half of it by Stoner-Rock-Space-Wizards Cybernetic Witch Cult. 

Due to start at the end of March, and go on through April, both bands will be road-testing new material to be featured on their next releases. 

‘Cosmic Conquest’ Tour Dates 

30.03.18 - The Carlisle, Hastings * 
31.03.18 - T-Chances, London* 
01.04.18 - The Hammer & The Anvil, Birmingham* 
05.04.18 - Bannermans, Edinburgh* 
07.04.18 - Temple of Boom, Leeds* 
08.04.18 - New Cross Inn, London* 
20.04.18 - The Rigger, Newcastle-under-lyme 
21.04.18 - The Underground, Bradford 
22.04.18 - The Firebug, Leicester 
27.04.18 - The Facebar, Reading 
28.04.18 - Rebellion, Manchester 

(*Shows with Cybernetic Witch Cult) 

Bones (vocalist & guitarist) had this to say; ‘Touring is our favourite proving-ground. It is where we try out the new ideas we’ve been throwing around in rehearsal. We never go into the studio, unless we’ve seen how the songs are received by an audience’

Morass Of Molasses links: 

My Leviathan' Video: 

Cybernetic Witch Cult links: 

Cult Of The Druid' Video: