Friday, September 22, 2017

Blues Funeral - Awakening



Blues Funeral sure didn't rest on their laurels after releasing their fantastic debut, 'The Search' back in July 2016. Move forward one year and their sophomore album, 'Awakening' has seen the light of day and I am thrilled beyond words because what they created on the debut has been moved to a whole new level. Call it natural progression, or whatever you want, Blues Funeral is one of those bands you need in your life. Why? Well, read on and I’ll tell you.

Few bands can make a good smooth transition between the debut and the follow-up. Most times either albums aren’t bad but they are either too similar or too far apart. This is not a problem whatsoever for these Texans. Not only have they stepped up from their excellent debut, they have moved past it. None of the previous characteristics are gone, on the contrary. Instead they are infused with more prowess and fantastic compositional skills. Best of all though, the guys seem to have had a blast creating ‘Awakening’, and that alone is worth so much.

Going full tillt on opener ‘Shadow Of The Snake’ it is heavy on the Hammond. Hints of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep with Yngwie appearing in the guitar solos. Love it, wave riders! This bring back memories to the stuff I grew up on and man, Blues Funeral crushes! Next up is the title track, ‘Awakening’ and it is big on riffs, harmonies and melody. The twin-axe attack and solos are amazing where the fantastic rhythm section gives those parts so much room to breathe, which in turn elevates it to grander things. ‘ Illusions Of Reality’ is probably my favourite song on ‘Awakening’ – which is a bold statement since all songs are outstanding. However, this one brings in NWOBHM in the shape of Tygers Of PanTang with a touch of blues here and there. Won’t get much better than that, you hear?!
On ‘Firedrake’ Blues Funeral walk down a different path. Doomy in the vein of Candlemass meets Jex Thoth with Jon Lord or Ken Hensley on the Hammond. Kelly Cousins Adams provides the vocals and what can I say? Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. ‘Casimir’ is Yngwie racing with Al Di Meola on the Spanish Highway with Messiah Marcolin singing. I’m blown away, there’s no other way to put it! ‘The Gathering Dust’ ends this amazing recording and continues the Candlemass influences. The duels, harmonizing and solos between Jan and Maurice are so refreshing and downright brilliant. As they take center-stage, Gabe and Cory leads the song through all it’s emotions on bass guitar and drums respectively.

Bands, new and old alike, take inspirations from this Texas quartet. Why? Well, the way Blues Funeral has moved from album one to album numero dos is how you do it. Blend your own ideas with the influences you have and have fun doing it. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box because the end result will amaze you. Blue Funeral has technical excellence in all departments which they rightly use, however, they don’t over-do anything. Call it brilliance within modesty…or whatever, what I mean is they never over-indulge in anything. Dear waveriders, if you love heavy rock, metal et al Blues Funeral is for you and then some. Doesn’t get much better than this, so get your hands on this one, as well as their debut ‘The Search’.

*Band pic courtesy of Grooverock Photography*



-Swedebeast


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Monolord premieres "Dear Lucifer" from forthcoming album via Revolver Magazine




"Universally beloved... Swedish doom royalty." -- Noisey

"A truly modern sound: recognizably doom, but with glistening production values and adventurous songcraft." -- Consequence of Sound

"The Platonic Form of doom...perfection... faultless." -- Echoes & Dust

"Monolord's records have only gotten heavier, and now the band has taken a turn for the catchy (yet still crushing)." -- Metal Injection


Gothenburg, Sweden trio Monolord share a new track from their highly anticipated third album
Rust today via Revolver Magazine. The track "Dear Lucifer" is available to hear and share HERE. (Direct link via YouTube and Bandcamp.)

The band previously released the title track, which also features John Gamino (Mondo Drag) on keyboards and Trevor Church (Beastmaker) playing a guitar solo at the end of the tune. Hear and share "Rust" via YouTube. And, album opener "Where Death Meets the Sea" dropped last month HERE.

Monolord is a rare breed: A band both encompassing and transcending genre; a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase in short order since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band's third full length, truly exemplifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom.

Monolord's enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, it's a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that's more total environment than collection of songs. Together, guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as its fourth member.

"We've always been inspired by great band musicians - as opposed to technical solo peacocks," Willems says. "Because that force of a band really playing together as one single unit is incomparable. At its best, it's just unstoppable." And, Monolord is truly unstoppable, on record and on stage. "A heavy groove that contains both bombastic overkill and a lot of dynamics is what we always aim for in Monolord; in playing, in song writing and arranging, in recording," Willems says.

Album opener "Where Death Meets the Sea" perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks with a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but Monolord uses subtly to spur the song's skull rattling rhythmic core ever onward. Jäger's watery vocals glide over ominously building verses that erupt with the song's insistent refrain. Being such a tight rhythmic unit, it sounds almost like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. "Dear Lucifer" squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover pummel with chasm like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album's title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro as Jäger sings, "you are the reason that I lied/ You are the reason that I cried/ Please don't wait until tomorrow/ There's only pain, hate, grief and sorrow." Suddenly, the band kicks in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives down the guitar neck as the drums hammer down for the kill. Elsewhere, tastefully understated guitar harmonies elevate the behemoth churn of "Wormland" and apocalyptic album closer "At Niceae" simmers in a slow build of rumbling guitars and rolling drum triplets.

Monolord formed in 2013, quickly recording their 2xLP debut Empress Rising, which RidingEasy Records released in April 1st, 2014. The second album, Vænir, followed April 28th, 2015. The 2-song Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP was issued in late 2016 amid the band's relentless touring schedule in order to tide fans over until the next full length. Vænir landed on countless Album of the Year lists in 2015, and Rust is poised to open an entirely new range of possibilities for Monolord.

Rust will be available on LP, CD and download on September 29th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available at RidingEasy and Bandcamp.


Artist: Monolord
Album: Rust
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release Date: September 29th, 2017

01. Where Death Meets The Sea
02. Dear Lucifer
03. Rust
04. Wormland
05.Forgotten Lands
06. At Niceae

On The Web:


Australian hard hitting rockers "The Ugly Kings" sign to Kozmik Artifactz!




We are proud to announce the signing of Australian hard hitting rockers "The Ugly Kings" and will be releasing their first full-length record early 2018.

The Ugly Kings are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background. They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. The catchy riffs and foot stomping rhythm lay the foundations for the deep reaching and soulful emotive vocals.

Having 1 mini-album (Of Sins) under their belt already, they are thrilled to sign with Kozmik Artifactz for the release of their debut full length album in early 2018.  The Ugly Kings have supported Airbourne on their successful sold out east coast Australia tour in January 2017 with great reviews. They also supported Rival Sons in 2016 on their first Australia headline side-show in Melbourne during the Black Sabbath 'The End' World Tour.


"Loud, heavy, slightly-sludgy classic rock meets blues with a modern bend, played by a band that swaggered about the stage with a distinct, but subtle, air of cool. By the end, Sydney was more than happy to learn words on the fly and sing along when the front man held his mic over the mosh. The Ugly Kings are well-versed in the art of restraint, they know when to move and make the crowd get on their feet, and when to step back and let the music do the talking." - Australian Guitar

"It’s not often you see a band have the crowd so excited and receptive by the second song in the way The Ugly Kings do with such an original sound. Only to be described as The Ugly Kings!" - Ryan O’Keefe (Airbourne Drummer)

"Great show! The Ugly Kings have really got their own thing going on and it rocks! I love all the dynamics, pushing and pulling and then always smashing it out. Great intensity and power." - Joel O’Keefe (Airbourne Frontman & Lead Guitarist)

"Thick, groove induced chords, deep baritone vocals and a harden-the-fuck-up ethos" - Phantom's Way

"Promised Land, a four-minute beast that sounds like the Rival Sons and the Graveltones going head-to-head with John Bonham and Jim Morrison. With multiple riffs and deft twists and turns, it sounds fantastic.." - SonicAbuse

"Promised Land ..bounces, pushes and crawls like a wounded beast treading through a boneyard. Well, that is, right up till the scream of rage as a flock of vulturish guitars is disturbed beyond all reason. This is an interesting and clever composition." - Raw Ramp

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Xroadie Files



Briqueville - II
AKTE V has dark grinding guitar and a solid beat.  The song begins with lots of noise and feedback that worms its way into your brain.  This is kinda like pissed off old Pink Floyd or some of the more obscure progressive rock bands from the 70’s but heavier.  AKTE VI is very slow and almost silent.  Slowly building in volume the guitar has some very emotional playing, then it kicks you in the teeth with intensity and volume.  It sounds like a cross between stoner and psychedelic music.  AKTE VII is another slow building song that is very space rock oriented at the end and it has a very middle eastern feel.


Midnite Hellion – Condemned to Hell
Drew Rizzo – Drums, Rich Kubik – Bass/ Vocals, Mario DiBartolo – Guitar

Black and White starts with an old radio changing stations.  Then an awesome speed metal style of riffs kicks in with thrash style vocals.  Death Dealer continues the metal riffage like fast Judas Priest with some excellent tempo changes.  Cross the Line is classic fast heavy metal that makes you want to just get up, throw your fist in the air, and then mosh.  Enter The Nightmare slowly builds with acoustic guitar and some chimes then an excellent speed thrash song.  It reminds me of some of the Exodus stuff.  Soldiers Of Hands is a fist in the air head banger that will have the entire crowd moving.  The Fever is another Judas Priest inspired song.  It's a great fist in the air, sing along metal anthem.  RIP It Up has an Annihilator style to the music and vocals along with some excellent guitar leads.  The Morrigan is just pure classic heavy metal, maybe the best riff on the album and that’s saying a lot.  Another just pure metal song.  Teenage Bloodsuckin’ Bimbos has spoken words then another excellent riff, some awesome bass, and some chanting sing along vocals to end this excellent metal festival of sounds.  


Monster Magnet - Tab (Reissue)
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals/ Guitar, Tim Cronin – Vocals, John McBain – Guitar, Joe Calandra – Bass, JonKlieman – Drums

Tab is an almost 34 minute space rock odyssey of sounds.  Mix Hawkwind, older Pink Floyd, and some more slow space rock from the 70’s and this is what you get.  Kick back, close your eyes and get ready to trip.  25 takes you to the outer places in your mind, then kicks into a MC5 style of song, and maybe like the original Amboy Dukes.  Longhair is more straight forward hard space rock, maybe with some Ziggy Stardust influence.  Lord 13 has the sound of a bar crowd mixed with a band tuning up which starts to play over the crowd noise.  Strange and different.   


Monster Magnet -  Spine Of God (Reissue)
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals/ Guitar, Tim Cronin – Vocals, John McBain – Guitar, Joe Calandra – Bass, JonKlieman – Drums

Pill Shovel has an excellent drum intro and then the fuzz guitars kick in.  This takes you back to the psychedelic late 60’s.  Medicine has a very Grand Funk Railroad style of riff with lots of awesome musicianship.  NOD Scene starts out very much like older Pink Floyd with fuzz guitars and strange sounds.  Then it kicks into a Black Sabbath style of riff, then goes back and forth.  Black Mastermind is a stoner Sabbath style of riff and rhythm with some excellent drum and bass playing.  Zodiac Lung takes you back to the days of maybe a cross between Frigid Pink and The Animals.  Spine Of God slowly builds with some very spacey sounds and guitar, then a slow plodding Black Sabbath style of riff kicks in, then back to the spacey melodic stuff with some spoken word continues till the end. Snake Dance has an excellent riff and drums to move to the beat with and also trip to.  Sins a Good Mans Brother is a cover originally done by Grand Funk Railroad.  I like the original better but this is a very good cover worth listening to.  Ozium takes you back to the 60’s and early 70's.  It's just slow, trippy, and moody with lots of emotion.  They end the album with the demo version of Ozium, slightly different but still as trippy.


-Xroadie

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM'S THRICE WOVEN NOW STREAMING IN ITS ENTIRETY - ALBUM RELEASED VIA ARTEMISIA RECORDS THIS FRIDAY




"...the band delivers its most stunning work in years, a true blast from its thunderous roots." - Outburn

"True to its name, Wolves In The Throne Room has always painted between the lines of barbaric and regal. For over a decade it has been this between-space that has driven WITTR's power; burning black-metal riffs communing with mystical folk and ambient music." - NPR


This Friday, September 22nd, one of the most potent and highly regarded bands in heavy metal today -  Wolves In The Throne Room - will open a portal into their mythic ethereal heathen landscape with the release of Thrice Woven, via their own label Artemisia Records.  On Thrice Woven, WITTR re-imagine black metal as an ode to rain storms, wood smoke and the wild energies of the Pacific Northwest; it a glorious return to the blazing and furious Black Metal that they alone can create. Listen to the album in full today via Noisey.

Thrice Woven begins with "Born from the Serpent’s Eye" a true thrashing black metal epic that is bisected with a haunting northern lament sung by Swedish star Anna von Hausswolff.  "The Old Ones Are With Us" opens with the crackling of a fire and the voice of Steve Von Till (Neurosis) invoking the springtime thaw.  It then storms into a dirge inspired by 90’s Finnish doom with lyrics that celebrate Imbolc, the holy day which marks the end of winter and the first stirrings of spring. Figures from Norse mythology intertwine with personal heartbreak and rebirth in the bleak "Angrboda."  The song is named after a frost giantess who birthed Fenrir Wolf, a beast who was destined to destroy the world and murder the gods.

A raven’s wings stir the air in the interlude "Mother Owl, Father Ocean."  Anna von Hausswolff returns in a duet with Turkish harpist Zeynep Oyku, forlorn industrial atmospheres haunt the mix, Hausswolff’s lyrics, sung in Swedish, echo over a barren grey seascape. "Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon" is the classic Cascadian Black Metal epic, the third eye opens to see holy rivers being born from the ice on the tallest peaks, the lyrics offer blessings to the waters of the earth as they flow from the high places to the source of darkness, the ocean. 

Catch Wolves In The Throne Room on tour across Planet Earth throughout 2017 in support of Thrice Woven:

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, ON TOUR:
September 29  Boise, ID @ Neurolux
September 30  Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
October 2  Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
October 3  Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
October 5  Houston, TX @ White Oak (downstairs)
October 6  New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
October 7  Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
October 9  Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
October 10  Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Hell
October 11  Richmond, VA @ Capital Ale House
October 12  Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
October 13  Brooklyn, NY @ Villain
October 14  Pittsburgh, PA @ Villain
October 16  Cincinnati, OH @ The Taft Ballroom
October 17  St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
October 18  Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St. Collective
October 20  Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
October 21  Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
October 22  Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
October 23  Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 24  Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 25  Olympia, WA @ Obsidian

November 12  McDade, TX @ Sound On Sound Festival

November 15 Zagreb, HR @ Vintage Industrial Bar
November 16 Innsbruck, AT @ PMK
November 17 Dresden, CZ @ Beatpol
November 18 Wroclaw, PL @ Firlej
November 19 Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu
November 20 Moscow, RU @ Volta
November 21 St Petersburg, RU @ Opera
November 22 Helsinki, FIN @ Tavastia
November 23 Stockholm, SE @ Kraken
November 24 Oslo, NO @ Bla
November 26 Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall
November 27  Bochum, DE @ BHF Langendreer
November 28 Utrecht, NL @ Pandora
November 29 Tilburg, NL @ 013 Popcentre
November 30 London, UK @ Heaven
December 1 Manchester, UK @ Rebellion Club
December 2 Glasgow, UK @ St Luke's
December 4 Dublin, IRE @ Whelans
December 5 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
December 6 Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
December 7 Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
December 8 Paris, FR @ Glazart
December 9 Limoges, FR @ Festival de Noël #25
December 10 Toulouse, FR @ Le Rex
December 12 Bern, CH @ Dachstock - Reitschule
December 13 Schorndorf, DE @ Club Manufaktur
December 14 Leuven, BE @ Stuk
December 15 Athens, GR @ Gagarin 205
Thrice Woven, track listing:
1.  Born from the Serpent’s Eye
2.  The Old Ones Are With Us
3.  Angrboda
4.  Mother Owl, Father Ocean
5.  Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jacqui L - PLANET PARALLEL 5


Self-released


Australian prog artist Jacqui L has released her debut album that is a conceptual piece that has ten tracks of intriguing music that will capture your attention. She states that she is a scorpion/alien from the planet PP5, but let’s not hold that against her.

Starting with an a capella that did nothing for me, I thought that this was going to be a hard listen, but then comes the first song with its Middle Eastern sound and then it started to happen, “Frankenstein” got into my head and I had to hear more. “I’ll Covet” has a great chorus and is a pretty heavy track that I just loved from the start. As I continued to listen, the songs became better and better, maybe this alien was corrupting me through her music, you never know. With great songwriting and tight playing, this was continuing to draw me in and then I got to “Cold” which had a great ‘70s vibe to it and almost a Supertramp sound to the keys.

I was thinking that this was going to be some sort of pretentious tripe, but it really was a fantastic album from start to finish. The people from planet PP5 are coming, and they can take me as their slave, as long as I can listen to this over and over again. 

-Rick Ecker


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Katla (ex-Sólstafir) Premieres New Song "Nátthagi"




Katla is an Icelandic band featuring ex-Sólstafir drummer and visual artist Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and singer/multi-instrumentalist Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson (Fortíð, Potentiam). Named in tribute to one of Iceland's greatest active volcanos, Katla creates powerful, panoramic music where shimmering guitars, crushing melodies and atmospheric density meet dark, entrancing power. Katla's debut album, Móðurástin, will be released on October 27 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, Dool).

In advance of the record's release, Katla debuts the new song "Nátthagi" which features "dark, post-hardcore vocals from Guðmundsson", "strong hooks" and "a unique, entrancing quality." Hear Katla's "Nátthagi" at THIS location (via Metal Injection).

Móðurástin, shines a spotlight on Katla’s hook-heavy, horizon-stretching sound. The lyrics tell tales of living in a country of contrasts; a land where fire and ice co-exist and dark winters are offset by the summer’s midnight sun. Iceland: a country where insular existence has spurred a rich and vibrant culture. Móðurástin, Icelandic for (a) Mother's Love, might seem like a strange title for a metal album, but Katla dares to be different. What on Earth is stronger than a mother's love? Nothing. Not hate, not lust, not greed.

Another taste of Katla's power can be sampled now as the band has also released the new track "Hyldýpi". Hear it now at THIS location.

Katla has shaped a towering sound sharpened by experience and forged for fans of heavy, atmospheric music. It is time for Katla to erupt again!
   
Track listing:

   1.) Aska
   2.) Hyldýpi (listen HERE)
   3.) Nátthagi (Metal Injection premiere)
   4.) Hvila
   5.) Hreggur
   6.) Kul
   7.) Móðurástin
   8.) Dulsmál

Móðurástin will be available as digipak CD (with 24-page booklet), gatefold LP (on black and limited dark green vinyl) and as a collector's 2xCD art book edition (28x28 cm, 72 pages, with art photography of Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and a full-length bonus CD featuring remixes of all album tracks). Pre-order Móðurástin at this location.

Follow Katla on Facebook.

"Pálmason's talent and experience from his Sólstafir days found its way into Katla. The duo's music certainly shares a similar ethereal shape. The main difference stemming from their dark and shimmering take on Iceland's beauty. The project aims to convey the natural radiance of their homeland through expansive and atmospheric metal." - METAL INJECTION
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