The Blacktones – The Day We Shut Down The Sun

If a band name was ever perfect for the music it represents, The Blacktones is at the head of the field. The Italian outfit create a fusion of alternative/melodic metal and sludge thick stoner rock awash with the heaviest darkest shadows and emotions. It is invasive yet inescapably infectious as it snarls and ruggedly seduces in equal measure and especially magnetic within the band’s latest album, The Day We Shut Down The Sun.

Though in some ways feeling like a concept album, the band says The Day We Shut Down The Sun is “not a true concept, but every song represents a step by step journey to the losing of all the qualities of a human being. Following the tarots (starting with the pope, the fifth card) we represent the losing of faith, wisdom, genius, knowledge and finally, trough the Mage, we become the Fool, embracing the primordial chaos.” It is an alluring feel across the release bound in a thick collusion of hungry riffs, muscular rhythms, and melodic and vocal dexterity. Not always boldly unique, it is perpetually a proposition with individual character and enterprise which grabbed keen attention.

The band itself hails from Cagliari, formed in 2011 as an instrumental encounter by guitarist Sergio Boi and bassist Gianni Farci. Subsequently the line-up and creative intent evolved with the addition of drummer Maurizio Mura and vocalist Simone Utzeri, debut EP Distorted Reality arriving in 2012 before Aaron Tolu replaced Utzeri as frontman two years later. Their well-received self-titled debut album with guitarist Paolo Mulas bringing the band to a quintet drew potent interest with its release, as now its successor, via Sliptrick Records in 2015.It sowed the seeds for the richer and more rounded proposition of The Day We Shut Down The Sun and its more individual escapades.

Throughout the album, there are experimental darkly atmospheric intros, each counting down to the end of existence; the first in V – The Pope drawing ears and imagination into the waiting jaws of The Upside Down. Immediately a tide of sonic and vocal ferocity launches at ears, an instincts sparking groove infesting body and appetite within as rhythms pounce. Tolu’s vocals are just as rousing as the sounds around him, riffs adding a swing to their rapacity to match the tenacious endeavour of the increasingly contagious groove. Adventure and unpredictability blossoms as the song continues, bold sound and voice shaping one striking incendiary slab of metal.

The following Ghosts unveils a less imposing introduction but just as compelling with its suggestive intrigue and musical temptation. Down like grooves spread their lures from within the growing incitement, more aggressive traits emerging in all aspects but equally a tantalising melodic suggestiveness in guitar and harmonics which lures the imagination deeper into the ever present shadows.

The album’s title track makes an equally ear grabbing entrance, a predacious one as it prowls the senses with doom loaded rhythms amidst a slow tenebrific groove. Deep in its clutches you feel the lack of light, its thick weave a suffocating enveloping of the senses yet everything about it is contagious starting with Tolu’s ever enticing vocals. There is something certainly familiar about the excellent track yet plenty more fresh aspects in its trespass to demand praise carrying attention before Not The End backs its power up with its own pleasure brewing tempest. With a tinge of One Minutes Silence to it at times, the song twists and turns with an irritability in tone and sound as much a threat as it is a tempestuous seduction with stoner bred grooves and carnivorous basslines entwining for an even bigger lure.

Alone Together crawls over the senses, lumbering grooves and primal riffs enticing before dissipating for the melodic heart of the track to coax even closer attention. When they return with even greater weight and intensity as well as imagination, a lustful appetite was reeled in and only increased by the expressive and inventive journey taken while I.D.I.O.T.S. creates a web of stoner veins around metal antipathy to keep enjoyment just as intensive. Infectious and corrosive, the track is a great blend resembling Corrosion of Conformity meets Clutch and another highlight of the increasingly enjoyable album.

The Day We Shut Down The Sun is brought to a just as potent and mercurial conclusion by Nowhere Man and Broken Dove, the first a scorched and searing proposition as virulent in its calm predacious stroll as in its senses broiling blaze with its successor a more restrained but no less volatile collusion of sonic and emotional dissonance aligned to its own sonic furies. Both songs leave ears and pleasure entangled in their creative roars and each reinforces greater keenness in The Blacktones growth.

With a final pair of cards leaving the listener lost in the void, The Day We Shut Down The Sun is a release which should be checked out. It certainly grabbed attention first time around but really blossomed as an experience and pleasure thereon in.

The Day We Shut Down The Sun is available now through Sliptrick Records and @

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

PigWeed – The Weight

Seriously magnetic and enjoyable from its first breath, the debut album from US metallers PigWeed nevertheless took its time to truly inflame our senses and when it did it had them burning with a lustful appetite. The Weight is almost like an album of two halves, the first richly satisfying but searching for that spark to ignite personal passions the second finding it and them persistently tapping in to its incendiary attributes. That though is definitely an individual thing as the band’s multi-flavoured ferocious blaze of sound is more than likely to put them on the broadest metal maps.

South Texas hailing PigWeed was formed in 2009 by guitarist/vocalist Mauricio Ortega and subsequently found its current line-up over time with the addition of vocalists David Magallanez and Fresh Rodriguez, bassist Justin Ervine, drummer Thomas Villarreal, and guitarist Danny Young. Swiftly and potently establishing themselves on their local scene, the San Antonio outfit has shared stages with a host of major metal and rock artists. Inspired by the likes of Korn, Deftones, Metallica, Tool, Staind, and Slipknot the band’s sound embraces various flavours of metal with punk, hardcore and progressive hues adding their company in a proposition seemingly familiar at times but wholly individual.

The Weight is a stirring introduction to the world of a band which has earned their dues over the past decade through hard work and creative adventure. It opens up with Eye of the Wasp and a rallying lure of beats and guitar which is quickly escalated by the Justas thick incitement of bass and second guitar. Riffs and citric tendrils are soon entangling ears, their bait leading to the grouchy heart and touch of the encounter. We cannot tell you whether it is David or Fresh providing the raw and melodic vocals or vice versa, but the gruff attack here sets the tone as much as the sounds before those calmer tones increase the enticement. It is an irritable, ear grabbing start to the album which maybe did not have us greedy but certainly wanting to hear plenty more.

Check Yourself is the first to provide, the song dancing in ears with grooves and invasive rhythmic coaxing before its melodic croon colludes with a Stuck Mojo styled trespass cloaked in groove metal dexterity. The band’s enterprising twists and turns continue to firmly entice and please before Fake For Now nags the senses with its grooved rapacity and rap nurtured vocals with Time Is Now straight after baiting ears with its own web of grooves, riffs, and biting rhythms as melodies entwine their temptation. The latter two both tease a lustier attention like offering the prelude of things to come which Needles only adds to with its tenacious endeavours.

It is from The Putrid though that our passions were truly ignited, the track a ravenous slab of predatory metal with an insistently addictive chorus within a persistently explosive surge of metal and heavy rock bred adventure. It is glorious stuff which where the previous tracks had the body reacting with contentment had it and vocal chords violently bouncing.

The spark we were unknowingly looking for was burning fiercely and just as potent within the following bruising rock ‘n’ roll of The End. With its predecessor, they set the pinnacle of the album whilst hitting our sweet spot dead centre; the first almost carnivorous in its swing whilst the second is a virulent roar cast from a tapestry of varied flavours and creative tenacity.

Ascending emerges from a dustily spicy blues rock air next, spiralling in its sultry suggestive grunge/melodic rock climate as vocals coax and seduce. Volatility lines the relative calm as more invasive sounds blossom in the inviting drama, those vocals especially magnetic in its emotive reflection and a brewing tempest which never really takes hold until late on. More of a slow burner than the previous pair, it reveals more of the adventurous potential of band and sound as it increasingly impresses whereas Mistakes shoves that promise and existing strengths through ears with boisterous intent. A fiercely infectious roar of metal, rock, and punk ‘n’ roll, the track is quite superb and just one more reason to eagerly keep Pigweed on the radar.

Before a certainly happy to receive Revisited version of the last track to complete The Weight, the album offers up the epic and mercurial journey across the emotionally and sonically tempestuous Suffer. Though arguably maybe a touch overlong with its final three minutes of storm stretching attention, there is no denying every second was a magnetic and fascinating proposal much as the album itself.

The Weight is a striking first look at PigWeed and the start of a keen and maybe lustful friendship between ears and creativity especially if its second half is the sign of things to come.

The Weight is out now via Pavement Entertainment across most stores

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright