Monday, 31 July 2017

DVNE - Asheran (Album Review)

Release date: July 28th 2017. Label: Wasted State Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Band Members:

Victor Vicart - Guitar, Vocals, Keys
Dan Barter - Guitar & Vocals
Dudley Tait - Drums
Allan Paterson - Bass

Guest Vocals

Jenni Sneddon - Vocals (Edenfall)

Asheran – Tracklisting

The Crimson Path
Viridian Bloom
Descent of the Asheran
Sunset's Grace
Rite of the Seven Mournings


To achieve something new and vibrant in the world of metal is hard. Yet DVNE clearly succeed with just that in their latest effort Asheran. Songs layered with vocal harmonies, growls and heavy down-tuned instrumentation makes this an instant win.

The vocal delivery is something that truly sets DVNE apart from other similar outfits. While it's hard to not draw comparisons to the trio of singers in Mastodon, Victor and Dan never tread on old ground. High soaring choruses and serene verses only to be followed with an aggressive growl as seen in Viridian Bloom is what makes this music an absolute joy to listen too. Diversity and dynamics is key, and DVNE knows this.

The album is produced in a way that it easily holds its own when held next to other hallmarks in the genre. No easy feat, but the clarity and presence of the drums along with crisp guitars and a low rumbling bass makes Asheran pure sonic bliss.

High points for me is the bad-ass mix, highlighted when the band slows down and clears up, such as in tracks like Thirst and Edenfall. This is where DVNE is at their best and make it clear that their years of efforts are paying off in their songwriting.

It's impossible to not drop your jaw at some of the riffs contained within Asheran. Rite of the Seven Mournings deliver a black metal inspired frenzied dissonant flurry of chords, soon to be followed by what can only be described as an epic bridge where they slow down and bring total YOB-worship to the forefront.

The number of times where i sat back in my chair listening to Asheran, wanting to get up and clap my hands after a song ended is embarrassingly high.

Had I not heard Elder's Reflections of a Floating World before hearing this, I probably would have crowned this my album of the year. Mastodonian post-metal/sludge/doom at it's finest, listen to it at all costs.

Words by Simon Ohlsson


Saturday, 29 July 2017

LowFlyingHawks - Genkaku (Album Review)

Release date: August 25th 2017. Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Genkaku – Tracklisting

3.Virgin Witch
4.Space Wizard
7.Sinister Waves

Band Members

Dale Crover - Drums
Trevor Dunn - Bass
Buzz Osborne - Vocals and Lyrics on Tracks 1 and 4
Toshi Kasai - Vocals, Fx and Guitar on Track 4
AAL - Guitars, Vocals
EHA - Guitars, Lead Vocals


LowFlyingHawks makes a welcome return with Genkaku. LowFlyingHawks released a monumentally stunning and heavy album almost two years ago with Kōfuku. On that album multi-instrumentalists AAL and EHA were helped on their sonic quest by Dale Crover and Trevor Nunn of the legendary group The Melvins. 

Their debut album was produced by Toshi Kasai. Now the band have returned with those key people intact but this time they have brought King Buzzo along for the ride and he provides his incredible talents to some of the albums best moments on Smile and Space Wizard. Though I'm getting ahead of myself.

Genkaku is a different sounding album compared to their debut album. As that album was more drone based compared to this one. Genkaku sees the band stepping back from the drone based noises and opting for a more riff driven affair. As LowFlyingHawks deliver a more involving highly emotional affair.

Opening track - Smile - is a psychedelic sludge/doom/noise rock odyssey with the vocals being remarkably heartfelt and full of remorse. The lyrics are quite emotional with the music containing dark moments of gloomy riffs. The distorted sounds from their debut album make a welcome return but are played for minimal effect in the background. King Buzzo makes an appearance on this track and you his razor sharp vocals add a more decidedly heavier approach. The song becomes heavier and perhaps more Melvins sounding for the first time. Though LowFlyingHawks main members still hold their own against their famous pals.

Second track - Uncool - opens with a distorted heavy guitar riff with drums being added at a very slow pace. The psych based sounds come swirling into the background and the vocals echo from far way. The song is a twisted and melodic version of Sludge/Stoner Rock with elements of Doom and Noise keeping the mood going. The album has a more progressive edge than their debut album and this song ranks as another one of the albums standout tracks.

Genkaku is a very dark album and the first two songs deliver on that promise with supreme confidence. The next two tracks Virgin Witch and Space Wizard - move the album into heavier sludge/doom waters with the band settling into a confident rhythm as Virgin Witch has some of the albums bleakest lyrical content with the music being the star attraction yet again.

Space Wizard sees King Buzzo making another appearance on the album and they create the albums standout track. The song does indeed have a familiar spaced out sound with moments of harsh distorted riffs. The vocals are once again moved to the background with them becoming the centrepiece of the song as time passes by.

The final three songs on the album - Hallucination, Twilight and Sinister Waves follow the same musical path with LowFlyingHawks sticking to a winning formula. They do try their hand at heavier riffs as the album stays remarkably exciting and fresh. Even down to the last final moments with the band leaving you wanting more. Genkaku is a very hard album to describe as LowFlyingHawks play so many elements of different music.

It's a much more accessible record than their debut album but it still manages to be a complex and dark sounding album. The production with Toshi Kasai involved is first rate. As Toshi brings up distinctive noises to the forefront of the album as only Toshi can.

Genkaku is one of the most daring and best albums of the year.

Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Magnetic Eye for the promo. Genkaku will be released on CD/DD/Vinyl via MagneticEye Records from August 25th 2017.

An Interview With Cory McCallum from OLDE

Canadian Sludge/Stoner Metal mob – OLDE – will be releasing their excellent new album Temple via STB Records (Vinyl) and Medusa Crush Recordings (Cassette) on August 11th 2017.

Temple is a different beast compared to OLDE's debut album “I” released back in 2014. As OLDE include harsher vocals and riffs on this album. It's more progressive but that hasn't stopped OLDE remembering to play melodic Sludge/Stoner Riffs to rock out to.

As with all STB Records releases, Temple will be released on a variety of different vinyl packages that STB Records are now legendary for.

I managed to catch up with Cory McCallum (Bass) from OLDE where we discussed the evolution of the band and the new album.

Can you give a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today.

None of us really knew each other very well or at all yet we all had one major thing in common: at some point in the past we had all recorded in other projects with Greg Dawson at his BWC Studios.

After Greg had recorded Ryan in Sons of Otis a few years back, he wanted to put together a unit made up of people he had enjoyed working with and focus on playing more deliberately slow, low and heavy in order to be able to really concentrate on tone and dig in to the riffs and the grooves. So, he reached out to the various members who have been with the band ever since and really sold the idea with a simple "it should be great, and even if it isn't, it will be fun". And he was 100% correct.

What can people expect with your new album – Temple.

The album, to me, is a really good indication of what we do, both in the grand scheme of things and as a live band. It is actually very simple, straightforward, sincere, blunt...There aren't a lot of studio tricks or extra bells and whistles. This is what we wanted the band to be when we started, this is what we wanted the record to sound like while we were making it. There's not a lot of posturing or any type of stylistic attempt to be anything other than what we are as a unit. We want it to be a given that when people here "Olde" they invariably think "heavy" with no hesitation.

What are the underlying themes of the album.

Doug really wants people to read the lyrics and make of them what works for them in their lives. That's not to say the lyrics have no meaning; far from it.

For me, "Temple" is about a lot of things surrounding the survival of modern man. Who and what are we battling? Why is it so tremendously hard to just get by? Who is the pulling the strings? What do those puppet masters have to do to their own souls, what do they tell themselves at night to be able to sleep?

It's a deeply personal trip, and I think Doug is bang-on when he maintains that listeners can almost have a psychological conversation with the material. What keeps you going in the face of certain destruction? How do you not tell your children you are giving them an entirely broken planet? What mask do you have to don every morning to be able to even open your door and not have everyone immediately recognize that you are just hanging on, a trembling and shaken and angry human being, too smart to not see what's going on but too stupid to turn away towards ignorant bliss.

It's dark, it's vicious, its's pretty hopeless material.

Musically, it's our job to make sure the music delivers the appropriate sonic setting for these themes and balance that against wanting to still deliver a song that people enjoy listening to.

It can't just be a total misery trip.

What influenced you when recording the album and was it hard album to write and record for.

Musically, this band listens to and loves such a ridiculously-wide swath of styles that it would actually just confuse things if I bothered to list them.

In terms of heavy/metal, some of our collective favourites are Entombed, early Rollins Band, Trouble, Melvins....standards like Sabbath and Priest. Thin Lizzy. Saint Vitus. Trouble.

However, to a person, I don't think a single one of us is actually trying to ape any of our influences when writing our stuff. We want the next Olde song to be the next Olde song. We want it to be influenced by our previous material, staying true to what we are but also trying to point the band and our fans down new alleys and side-streets.

We have influences, of course, and we love those bands....but we want to make these songs our own, we don't want to be "the new this" or "a heavier that".

It’s very different to your debut album. It’s a lot heavier especially with the vocals. Was that the plan to release something different.

The vocals on this record are, for me, one of our weapons. Doug is a shredding bludgeoning beast on the mic. In my opinion, he's doing stuff that not many in this scene can do, or choose to do. He is attacking each song with malicious intent. Love it or hate it (and we love it), Doug is simply one of the things that makes Olde unique. If we had a smooth Ozzy-replicant, would we get more stoner shows? Maybe. Would that new-Ozzy be able to impart the same level of dread and desperation and flat-out scene-setting emotion that Doug puts into each syllable? I doubt it. That's just me.

As for music, we wrote heavier. We jammed heavier. We recorded heavier. Everything we do, and I say this in all seriousness, we are conscious of the heavy-level and how and where we can push it. I am 100% certain the next record will be heavier again, because we will want it to be. We'll find a way.

STB Records is releasing the album. Did you have any other record label offers to release Temple. Or was it a no-brainer to stay with STB Records.

There were some sniffs and offers, but when Steve contacted us it seemed like a great fit for us and we did our due diligence, a little research, we were quite happy with what we found and we felt comfortable enough to stop looking and sign on.

The artwork for Temple is incredible. Who designed it. Did you have much input into the overall design of the cover.

Joshua Wilkinson at created it. We were hooked up with him through STB as he had done great work for them already and Steve said let's give Josh a crack first. So, we tossed around some pretty vague ideas...more than anything we gave him some words and thematic lynchpin ideas and he ran with the visuals.

There was some back and forth where he would show us a draft and we'd make little suggestions, we mocked up a few ideas (me in MS Paint, what a nightmare) which he then very adeptly turned into things much more beautiful and solid. It was definitely a new experience for us, to give away that level of's hard. You have ideas in your head that you can't put words to. Sometimes you can't say what it is, but you certainly know what it is NOT when you see it.

We try to be really respectful and thankful to the graphic artists we work with. What a shitty situation us bands can put them in. Hey, draw this thing I'm thinking of that I can't describe too well....NO! THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!

What does the artwork mean to you as a band and for the album in general.

We are getting pretty picky about how we want our stuff to look. It's important. You want people who don't know you to look at your stuff and say "Damn...who is that?" and have a pretty good hypothesis in what general area you are coming from. You also want your own fans to see your stuff and think "Yep! THAT Is Olde, THAT is gonna CRUSH!" Again, it's hard and it can be a chore getting it right. But it is worth getting right. We are learning as we go along. That's right...old metalheads can learn new things!

What’s the song-writing dynamic within the band. Is it down to one individual or is it a group collective.

Greg wrote the first record and pretty much ironed out any arrangements with Ryan, the drummer, as they recorded the beds.

"Temple" we completely wrote together, in a room, looking at each other, measuring everything in the moment. Greg still wrote the lion's share, but Chris and I each have a song on there. Even with Greg's songs, it was a lot more organic, more collaborative, more democratic than ever before. Ideas given, criticisms, do THAT again moments. I really think that change of process is what makes "Temple" soooo much different than "I".

Will you be touring this record heavily or will it just be individual, one-off shows such as festival appearances.

We would love to tour, but where we all are in our personal is highly doubtful. We do intend on getting better and more consistent with our weekend warrior Two-ers (two night tours; we just did a great Two-er with Dragged In, one of Canada's best punk bands).

As for festivals, absolutely, we want to play more of them. Everywhere. Anywhere. Anyone out there reading this who knows the secret to cracking that festival code....please holler. Maybe this next album will help us get onto the Festival Radar. It's a tough scene to crack. So many great bands out there want the same thing.

Do you guys get the chance to tour regularly. Or is it only on certain occasions.

Mostly just weekends in places we can feasibly and realistically make it to and from and be back to work for Monday. Canada is huge; there's a lot of klicks in between the major show spots. Playing all the tiny spots can be great fun, but you need more time and energy than we can devote to pull that strategy off. That's a great way to build your following (play EVERYWHERE) but it's a young person's game. We have to choose our spots and just make sure that we hit those spots with such ferocity that word spreads and drags people in from the smaller locales.

What have your been high points and low points being with OLDE or your musical career in general.

For me, opening for High on Fire and just chatting with Matt Pike as a peer was pretty awesome. I've been playing out for a long time and I don't get too star struck, but Pike is a legend and deservedly so. He was great, we had a cool little chat. He was also pretty honest, saying that he tried to catch nap through our set because he had no idea who we were! I laughed. Hell, every band who plays late will admit to doing the same thing!

Low's all been pretty good. There's been some shit shows (Hamilton, I'm giving you the stink eye) that make you regret leaving home that night, but the next show comes along and you have a mint time and things are all good again.

We all know that STB Records always release incredible vinyls. Are you happy with the packages that Steve STB has put together for your album. Did you have any say into the design or colour scheme of the vinyls. Or did you leave that all to STB Records.

We're leaving that all to Steve at STB. He has that stuff on lock-down, that's his bag. We had the little bits of say here and there in the cover design phase in regards to colour, and Steve uses some of that aesthetic in the vinyls themselves. We're pretty confident that he's going to make it look extremely bad ass.

Does OLDE have an advanced equipment setup when playing live or recording new material in the studio. What equipment do you use to get the trademark OLDE sound.

Various stacks, various heads, we've tried a slew of different pedals....nothing too out of the ordinary. Classic or at least pretty traditional BIG amps and resources pushed to their limits. We jam loud as all get-out, same with our records and the live show. You can tell on the records; it's nearly every song that begins or ends with some feedback that we can barely control. Ryan has two kits that he loves and we try to use them exclusively for all of our stuff, definitely in-studio but even live. We share gear when we can to make everyone's life a little easier, but we are not going to sacrifice our sound to do it.

Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

We sincerely hope that you give our new record a listen. We hope you dig it. If you don't, thanks anyway; that's all a band can hope for, and we consider ourselves lucky and honoured to be able to reach so many already. Stay gold.

But if you do happen to like what you hear, we are quite pleased to have you along for the ride. Get CRUSHED.

Words by Steve Howe and Cory McCallum

Temple will be available to buy via STB Records on Vinyl and Medusa Crush Recordings on Cassette from August 11th 2017.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

An Interview With Matt Harrington From CORTEZ

Boston based Stoner Rockers – Cortez – returned in a big way recently with their epic new album – The Depths Below. It's been 5 years since the band released their well-received debut album. Newly signed to Salt Of The Earth Records, their new album – The Depths Below – has been winning it's fair share of acclaim recently with Cortez taking on a more riff-centric and progressive Sludge/Stoner Rock sound.

I was asked recently did I want to interview Matt Harrington (Vocals) from the band and I jumped at the chance. Thanks to Matt for doing such a great interview which goes through the history of Cortez right up to the present day.

So sit back and read on......

Hi Matt, Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. Congrats on your excellent new album. Think you’ve outdone yourselves with this record.

Hey Steve, thanks for reaching out. You know, I can’t complain, man. Hope all’s well on your end, and thank you very much, that’s kind of you. We’re quite proud of it, and stoked that it’s finally out in the world.

Can you give a brief history of how the band came about and where it is today.

Happy to. Cortez came together in 2006, and released “Thunder in a Forgotten Town” on Buzzville Records in 2007. I joined the band in 2008, and we put out a demo in 2009 and started work on the first full length. We released our self-titled in May of 2012 on Bilocation Records. Shortly thereafter, Alasdair joined the group, and we continued the writing process for a lot of the songs that ended up on “The Depths Below.”

We released a split with our buds from DC, Borracho, on AM Records in 2014, hinting at a bit of a stylistic shift with our track “Vanishing Point.” We played the Eye of the Stoned Goat IV later that year as well, and began tracking the new album. We wrapped up recording in and mastering late in 2015, announced our involvement with Salt of the Earth in 2016, and “The Depths Below” was released at the end of June this year.

We recently welcomed Alexei to the group as our new drummer, we’re back to gigging out regularly, and we’re starting to demo material for full length #3. We’ve also got something in the works with Ripple Music that I can’t say much about yet, other than the obvious fact that we’re excited to be working with those fine people and can’t wait to share more.

What can people expect with your new album – The Depths Below.

I think folks aware of our previous work can certainly expect to be challenged a bit. Stoner Rock or Doom are certainly terms used to describe us at times, and for people going in to “The Depths Below” expecting to just get that, well…

What are the underlying themes of the album.

This one is a little different from the S/T, in that there is a loose lyrical concept that runs through the entirety of the record from “All Gone Wrong” to “Orison.” We also have a more overtly conceptual run in tracks 3-5 that perhaps take these themes to a more allegorical place. The main threads concern the power of influence and ideology, how people get swept up in both, what that might mean, and what comes next in terms of how we move forward as individuals and society.

What influenced you when recording the album and was it hard album to write and record for.

As far as the recording process goes, I have to give praise due to Benny Grotto for doing a phenomenal job and immediately/instinctively getting what we were after. We’re incredibly fortunate to have him in the Boston area, and Cortez is looking forward to booking time with him for the next one.

We did a lot of demo work for “The Depths Below,” and I give Scott credit here, since he has to listen to us for hours on end at home. We knew what we wanted to do when we went in, and we knew where we wanted to spend our time experimenting. Jeremy and Jay murdered it in those initial sessions, and it put us in a good place when it came time for tracking and overdubs.

As far as influences go, I was writing these songs between around 2010ish - 2015. The ongoing rise/entrenchment of social media definitely played a part, especially with regards to how that affects interpersonal and wider relationships, the belief systems and ideologies we cling to, the brands we allow to have power over us, and the reality tunnels we force ourselves into. Cortez is not a political band, but a lot of what I saw in the 24/7 global news cycle during that time was incredibly influential to me. I have strong personal opinions about civil rights, class, corporate welfare, government transparency, surveillance, the US military, and our plans to get the fuck off this rock.

It took a long time to be released. Five years after your stunning debut album. Why the long delay.

Shit, man, I’ve been waiting two years to play the finished copy in my car! I don’t know if there’s an easy answer here, honestly. Alasdair joined us a little bit after the album came out, and we knew wanted to spend some time writing with him so he could bring his influences to the material that ended up on “The Depths Below.”

The past several years have seen some significant and positive life events/changes for members of the band, a side project or two, some health issues, and we had to take a little time off here and there as a result. We also had a lineup change last year, recently welcomed Alexei to the band, and SotE had a few releases scheduled ahead of us, so it’s just sort of how it worked out.

Thanks for the kind words about the S/T, we’re definitely proud of that one too.

The album has been released and has been receiving some great reviews recently. Has is it surprised you how well it has been received.

I think any time someone puts themselves out there, there’s a little bit of trepidation as to how it will be received, particularly if they try to stretch themselves creatively. Honestly, I’m just really happy people are listening and enjoying what they hear. We went to some different places on this one, and it’s cool that people dig it.

Salt Of The Earth Records is releasing the album. How did you hook-up with them. Did you have any other record label offers.

Scott Harrington from SotE has been supportive of Cortez for a long time, and when he heard we had finished “The Depths Below” he reached out to us and we had a really good discussion about the plans for the label, some of the bands they were working with at the time, and how we fit in. We’re stoked to be working with a young label that has such an inspiring roster of bands. We had a cool show last year where a few of us got together to play at an amazing DIY venue called The Chürch in VT, and I’m hoping we can set up some more shows like that. There’s a tremendous amount of talent in this crew, and we’re honored to be a part of it.

Haha oh yeah, totally, man. It was like record label Thunderdome. You shoulda seen it.

What’s the song-writing dynamic within the band. Is it down to one individual or is it a group collective.

Very collective and democratic. Generally, someone will bring in a riff or a part and we’ll work from there. Every so often someone will have an idea that’s a little more fully formed, but no one ever walks in saying “here’s the song, everyone has to play it like this.” We try various ideas over the process, no one takes offense if the group collectively decides something doesn’t work, and no one is in a rush to declare “mission accomplished.”

We’re all really good friends and respect each other enough to be constructive and honest with criticism. One of my favorite parts of being in this band is that we all have diverse influences and challenge each other, but nothing ever feels like a compromise.

Some songs get wrapped up in a practice or three, some can take months of work, and another might get halfway there before we put it on the shelf for a while. We don’t try to force things, and there’s a very singular mindset within the group when it comes to song craft. It’s not enough for a song to have good parts, it has to all make sense together, flow well, and be sonically interesting.

While I wouldn’t say there’s a hard and fast method to how we arrange songs, I would say there are times we consciously try to subvert the idea of that.

The thing that I’ve noticed with The Depths Below compared to your debut is it’s a lot more progressive and has heavier moments with more emphasis on riffs and melody. Is that a fair assumption to make.

I’d say it’s spot on. The majority of these songs were written with Alasdair on board, and the five piece and twin guitar dynamics allowed us to explore some new territory and let everyone stretch a bit. Speaking personally, I focused a lot on trying to find interesting hooks and melodies in places that hopefully were a little unexpected.

Was that the plan to make something different to your debut album.

I think we always want to try new things and progress as a band, but I wouldn’t say we had a hard and fast idea that we were going to set out to make something completely different. For context, some of the songs on the S/T were more or less done musically by the time I joined the band, and that record was also finished about a year and a ½ or 2 years prior to its release. Adding Alasdair’s influences and having both he and I involved in the writing process for this one certainly brought some new ideas to the party, and Alexei is bringing new ideas in now as we get into the writing process for full length #3. I don’t know if it’s so much the plan as the natural progression of a band over an 11 year span together.

Were you worried that fans might have forgotten about Cortez in the five years since you last released your debut album.

You know, we’re really fortunate in that we’ve had a core group of people who have remained interested during the time since our last release. We put out a split with Borracho in the meantime, as well as released a cover of Deep Purple Mk 3’s “Stormbringer,” and we’ve been lucky enough to have people out there who pay attention, dig what we do, and help fly the flag for us.

Will you be touring this record heavily or will it just be individual, one-off shows such as festival appearances.

I think we’d all like to get back to Europe at some point to do a longer run, but we’ve tended to stick to weekenders up and down the East Coast over the past several years. We’re hoping to have news to share regarding festivals soon.

Do you guys get the chance to tour regularly. Or is it only on certain occasions.

Unfortunately not, but we’ll see how things look now that we’re back to full strength and starting to book out mid-late Fall.

What have your been high points and low points being with Cortez or your musical career in general.

I had a year or so in there several years prior to joining Cortez that was a pretty tough run. I was between bands at the time, and just not finding anything that gelled either creatively or personally with the musicians and bands I was meeting in Boston. I need a creative outlet, I love performing, and I really enjoy collaborating with other people, so it was frustrating for me not to have that after playing consistently for so long.

It was definitely a low during our recent drummer search, but finding Alexei turned that around pretty quickly for us. Between the recent release of “The Depths Below,” Alexei joining the group, and the fact that we’re back to writing at a good pace, I’d say we’re entering a high right now.

Looking back on your musical career so far, is there anything that you would change. Or any funny stories that have happened on your musical journey.

I had some opportunities here and there that might have gone somewhere, but maybe they wouldn’t have. I could have moved, and maybe I’d have found something else. I’ll be honest, I don’t really dwell on that sort of stuff. We can’t change the past, and we wouldn’t be right where we are right now, if we could. I enjoy now.

Haha I could tell a million of them, from various bands over the years, but most of them would get lost in translation. I think they might be better in person over a few rounds of beers, so I can punctuate the conversation with my obnoxious laughter. Hopefully we’ll hang sometime, man.

We have to talk about the stunning artwork for The Depths Below. Who designed the cover and how did you decide to go with that artist.

It turned out really cool, didn’t it? We went with David Paul Seymour this time out, and couldn’t be happier with it. We’ve been fans of his for a while, and knew he’d be a good fit.

Did Cortez have any input at all with the album cover. As it’s a great representation of the album in general.

Haha does sending the album tracks and trusting in the artist count? We wanted him to listen and see what he came up for as far as a direction or ideas. He instantly got what we were looking for, and zeroed in on the concept pretty quickly.

We agree, David nailed it, and we can’t wait to see it in a larger format when it comes time to release it on vinyl.

Before you go Matt, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Just thank you. Truly. I’m humbled by the response to everything we’ve done, and I can’t wait to share the new tunes we’re building right now. I think it’s some of the best work we’ve ever done.

Words by Steve Howe and Matt Harrington.

Thanks to Scott at Salt Of The Earth Records for arranging this interview and to Matt once again for doing this interview. The Depths Below is available to buy now on CD/DD from Salt Of The Earth Records now.


Official | Facebook | BandCamp

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Sasquatch - Maneuvers (Album Review)

Release date: June 20th 2017. Label: Mad Oak Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Maneuvers – Tracklisting

1.Rational Woman 04:04
2.More Than You'll Ever Be 03:44
3.Destroyer 03:42
4.Bringing Me Down 04:02
5.Just Couldn't Stand The Weather 06:27
6.Drown All The Evidence 06:26
7.Anyway 04:13
8.Lude 00:17
9.Window Pain 05:22

Band Members

Keith Gibbs - Guitar, Vox, Spaghetti Sauce;
Craig Riggs - Drums, Harmonies, Coffee Beans;
Jason Casanova - Bass, Paperwork


Ladies and gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California.....


After 4 years from their last killer album IV, released by Small Stone Records, this fucking heavy trio come back with a new stunning album that, certainly, does not disappoint the expectations of previous releases. Maneuvers (Mad Oak Records) confirms the attitude of the trio with tons of heavy fuzzy riffs seasoned by a monolithic rhythm section.

As in their style, the band took care of the composition of the songs in the smallest detail. The opener Rational Woman soon reveals is groovy beast character, where the bass enters overpowering on tons of riffs that almost cover the voice (simply amazing) of Keith Gibbs. Songs like More Than You’ll Ever Be and Destroyer are perfect moments where blues meets psychedelia, which is a constant throughout all the album, where the trio from Los Angeles carefully handle all the influences that have distinguished their previous work in a wise and never trivial way.

Tracks like Anyway, the short Lude and Window Pain, with their slow rhythm and the wise use of Hammond, make these songs a wonderful pieces of the seventies, highlighting once again and more than other songs the amazing voice of Keith, which remembers impressively our lovely Chris Cornell.

Compared to previous releases, Maneuvers is, in some way, the less stoner album of the band. The sounds get dryer, sometimes hard, but always seasoned with tons of fuzz and a pachydermic rhythmic section, with the bass to be a carrier. What impresses in this band is that, after thirteen years of honoured career, they remain constantly on the crest of the wave with productions always of very high quality.

In Maneuvers emerges a scratching soul that rocks its roots in the blues and hard rock, in an opera where, while softening the most striking characters of the previous productions, one and only thing emerges: the Sasquatch never miss a shot.

I strongly recommend the listener to recover not only this, but also all the previous productions of the band, to understand the true meaning of a band able to evolve while remaining loyal to itself.

Words by Bruno Bellisario
Thanks to Mona at Platinum PR for the promo. Maneuvers is available to buy now on CD/DD/VInyl.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Blues Funeral - Awakening (Album Review)

Release date: August 25th 2017. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Awakening – Tracklisting

Shadow Of The Snake
Illusions Of Reality
The Gathering Dust

Band Members

Jan Kimmel (El Janni) - Guitar, Nord, Vocals;
Maurice Eggenschwiler - Guitar, Vocals;
Cory Cousins - Drums;
Gabriel Katz - Bass


Blues Funeral new album - Awakening - is better structured and more focused than their debut album. Their debut album was all over the place but in a good way, as the band included as many different genres they could possibly lay their hands on. Awakening doesn't follow that approach as Blues Funeral opt for a more straight-forward seventies sounding Blues Rock/Psych/Heavy Metal sound.

There are still moments of stoner/doom metal riffs appearing throughout the album. Though this time Blues Funeral seemed to have settled on a more Deep Purple based sound. The lyrics are still way over the top but that's what you expect from an album such as this.

Opening track - Shadow Of The Snake - has a slight operatic and progressive rock feel with the band playing some cool heavy riffs from the start. The organs add a creepy and doom based psychedelic feel. The dual vocals Jan and Maurice add quite a classic heavy metal feel. Blues Funeral feel they grew up and influenced by a steady diet of classic seventies Hard Rock/Metal and the album is a testament to that love and knowledge of that era of classic music.

The rest of the album follows the same approach of Blues/Prog Rock driven melodic riffs being the centre stage of the whole album. You can expect epic guitar solos, OTT vocals and gloomy organs all combining for a brilliantly entertaining ride from start to finish. Songs such as Awakening, Illusions Of Reality, Casimir and The Gathering Dust all play to Blues Funeral strengths with prog rock solos that have passion, drive and determination not seen on their debut album.

The standout track has on the album has to be Firedrake as the superb vocals grab your attention from the start. The band slow the mood right down and that means you can immerse yourself with the doomy theatrical vibes being played around you.

I will admit I would like to hear more modern based sounds that their debut album included. Now, at least Blues Funeral know what kind of band they want to be and they excel in delivering good old fashioned Hard Rock/Metal with flourishes of classic Doom Metal holding everything together. The production is handled superbly well with the album striking the right balance between the quieter and louder parts of the album.

Awakening is a superb album and Blues Funeral should have no trouble in finding a dedicated audience within the Hard Rock/Classic Rock/Heavy Metal community.

Words by Steve Howe