7stbaby – Horses

7stbaby - Horses Single Cover

Following up their impressive and acclaimed album Control, British rockers 7stbaby are poised to unleash their new single Horses. A track as voraciously aggressive as it is melodically seductive, Horses easily reinforces the presence and already in place anticipation of major success for the band ahead.

Formed in the autumn of 2013 by Kyle MacKenzie (vocals, guitar) and Ben Martin (vocals, bass) but an idea already long in place but held in check due to the work and success of their other band Static Plan, 7stbaby swiftly gripped attention and praise through the diversely flavoured Control. Merging the richest and rawest essences of stoner and heavy rock with grunge and progressive metal spicery, the Guildford pair along with drummer Greg Webber, also of Static Plan, set a high startling plateau for the project with their album. Taken from Control, the new single confirms and pushes further that impressive start, its mesmeric and muscular tenacity a cauldron of sonic invention and unbridled passion.

Released on Got Wrong Records as the album, Horses immediately fills ears with punchy beats and almost grizzled melodic grooves over scarring riffs. It is an intensive start given further weight by the vocal growls and increasingly gripping twang of the guitar’s grooving. As mellower tones move in to welcome the fiery chorus, there is a definite Life of Agony groove and emotion to the song which only adds to its flavoursome adventure and blossoming fascination. A slip into a more progressively honed stoner twist loses some of the song’s snarl but adds greater intrigue before the track erupts back into its compelling antagonism and captivating melodic enticement.

Horses is an outstanding provocation for ears and imagination as well as a potent doorway into the similarly terrific and impressive body of the band’s album. Think Queens of The Stone Age meets Deftones and the aforementioned Life of Agony after being filtered through a heavy vat of Electric Wizard and XII Boar and you get a sense of 7stbaby. British heavy rock is at one of its most exciting periods right now and this band simply adds more substance to that claim.

Horses is released on September 26th via Got Wrong Records with an accompanying video.

https://www.facebook.com/7stbaby

Read our interview with Kyle from 7stbaby @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/melodic-fire-and-raw-passion-an-interview-with-kyle-mackenzie-of-7stbaby/

RingMaster 23/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Doomster Reich – The League For Mental Distillation

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The League For Mental Distillation is a warts and all proposition which offers a compelling and unpredictable collision of seventies heavy metal with psychedelic and doom bred metal. The debut album from Polish metallers Doomster Reich, it is raw, passionate, and unafraid to show its flaws alongside the band’s dramatic enterprise. Equally it unveils an organic freedom to its invention, more than once suggesting that the Łódź quartet strapped themselves into their instruments, plugged in, and unleashed whatever was in their heart at the time rather than having a predetermined journey for a track. It is an encounter which ebbs and flows in its success it is fair to say, but one leaving ears and imagination riveted and happy to learn and hear more.

Doomster Reich was formed to the rear of 2011, with the foursome of guitarists Voytek and Markiz, drummer/vocalist Rasz, and bassist Radek settling down to write and record the songs making up The League For Mental Distillation the following year. Its recent release via The End Of Time Records gives the album a broader landscape to persuade, and whilst it may cause raised eyebrows at times, the album is a captivating and skilled blaze of heavy psychedelic doom which becomes more convincing with every listen.

Ears are wide awake and anticipation lit as soon as the opening strains of John Woe sets the album in potent motion. The guitars wind around the senses with a fiery and magnetic touch matched by the throaty tones of the bass and even heavier swipes of beats. It is a transfixing start teasing like a mix of Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard. The striking and also unpredictable vocals add another enthralling element to the mix, the tones and notes of Rasz at times wayward in delivery yet never harming the dramatic adventure around him, mostly adding to that theatre even in his less convincing vocal moments. The song itself continues to stalk and sway seductively before ears, guitars expelling flames of ingenuity and absorbing melodies as rhythms add rich shadows and intimidating weight to its proposal.

The following I Ate Some Desert Diamonds flirts with an expressive blues seeding in its introduction before stretching muscles for a lumbering gait, within which dramatic urges break free to ignite feistier passages of energy and vocal cddoomster_reichexpression. Also equipped with a thoroughly contagious web of hooks and acidic grooves, the track takes all the strong essences of the first to another engrossing level; strong vocals painting guitar sculpted walls of sonic intrigue against a heavy rhythmic canvas colourfully. It is a richly satisfying and evocative creative emprise swiftly matched by the maelstrom that is Comfort of Conscious Demise. Driven by an early thrash seeded charge, the track releases atmospheric smog of sonic oppression before opening up trails of urgent riffery and infectious grooving within the suffocating air. It is a glorious rampage, as savage as it is bewitching, and the best track on the album.

     Pornosopher’s Dream emerges under sultry skies coloured by sonic turbulence but it is a tempest restrained in its voracity and tempered by smouldering flames of coarse melodies and provocative sonic hues. With portentous spoken vocals and the bass pushing heavy shadows into the radiance, the track is as fascinating and gripping as the last with again thrash bred riffery aligning itself to the heavy metal ferocity hanging around the senses scorching designs of the guitars. Its lingering success is followed by the potent if less successful presence of I’ll Shoot You Down, a more sinew driven slab of sonic aggression. Vocals again vary in success but only add to the unique character of the song. The track proceeds to bine ears in excellent guitar play amidst strong rhythmic bait but does lack the spark and ingenuity of previous songs to certainly please but not make an imposing impression.

Closing track In Storms epitomises the album across its thirteen plus minutes. At times it leaves senses basking in scintillating craft and individual enterprise and at other times flirts too much with predictability and expectations feeding ideas, which stand out more because of the shining invention of other parts. Nevertheless despite it’s over long presence, another slight issue, the track is a rich end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. Certainly at times The League For Mental Distillation makes some wrong moves but it is easily compensated by the attention grabbing skills and inventive sounds within the release. It is not the most impressive release you will hear this year but an enjoyable one announcing Doomster Reich as a band more than worthy of close attention.

The League For Mental Distillation is available now via The End of Time Records.

https://www.facebook.com/doomsterreich

8/10

RingMaster 12/09/2014

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Witch Charmer – The Great Depression

Witch Charmer

Raucously majestic and seductively intimidating, UK band Witch Charmer prove that not only was their previous acclaimed EP not a flash in the pan but that it was only the teaser to greater things with debut album The Great Depression. Five tracks which roar and hazily smoulder from a gripping fusion of doom, stoner, and heavy metal, the album is a riveting and scintillating incitement which musically stands out from the crowd but vocally sculpts a corner of its own to transfix from. Led by the magnetic vocal talent of Kate McKeown and assisted rather than backed by the grippingly individual tones of the band, it is an unpredictable and intriguing mix which only accentuates the raw and elegant extremes of the compelling sounds around them. This style of music is quite rich and thick in quality bands right now but the Sunderland quintet easily push themselves to the forefront of the masses with their exhilarating release.

Formed in 2012, the band consists of drummer/vocalist Dave McQuillan, guitarists/vocalists Len Lennox and Adam Clarke, and bassist Richard Maher alongside McKeown. Debut EP Euphoric Curse of last year drew in eager attention and acclaim with its stirring and intensive mesh of weighty rhythms and tantalising grooves aligned to pungent riffs and their compelling vocal mix. It proved irresistible to a great many but was just the base from which the Tony Reed (Mos Generator, Stone Axe) mixed and mastered The Great Depression has grown to greater heights for a heady captivation.

Themed around a “dark satirical view of this world gone mad”, album and band take little time in enslaving ears and imagination with opener Suffer. From its first breath it is spilling an enthralling groove which is soon surrounded by imposing rhythms and a sonic intensity which in turn sparks that initial lure to expel a greater flame to its potency. Just as swiftly the dramatic and impressive voice of McKeown joins the evolving narrative of the track, hot melodic designs alongside flirtatious grooves wrapping her rich tones. A brawling call from one of the band brings another thick texture to the song, his raw vocal squall the extreme opposite to the charm of McKeown but an impressing companion which seems to ignite another bout of virulent urgency and aggression in the sounds. Sharing the lead of the track for a fair portion, the two vocalists grab the attention but not enough to detract from the addictive enticement of the grooves and the sonic enterprise raging around them.

It is a mighty start but soon shown a clean pair of heels by the thrilling presence of The Cull. A more predatory gait is revealed by the track, its slow doom bred crawl an oppressive yet welcoming shadow through which McKeown’s voice WITCH CHARMER - COVERshines like a beacon. It is the vocal alliance which grips ears most of all though, certainly initially, the bruising growl heard in the first song returning with other allies bringing a punkish squall and a clean presentation to dual and flirt with the superb presence of the front lady. The track shows it is not just about that though, that like the release it stands out just as potently through its grooves and scorched atmospheres to create a riveting maelstrom of beauty and intimidation. Like a mix of Jess & the Ancient Ones and Electric Wizard with Triggerman, the track is a blistering provocation soaked in a smouldering blues haze and ferocious heavy psychedelic metal.

Both A Watching Of Wolves and …To Death (I’ll Drink) keep the temperature and might of the album ablaze and the passions aflame, the first arriving on a hypnotic stride of thumping rhythms within a humid tapestry of sonic invention. It takes little time to clad those lingering lures in a thick swamp of dark grooves and rapacious intensity which in turn is veined by melodic mystique enticing and infectious virulence. It is a merger of darkness and light, of brooding emotions and joyful revelry which is seamlessly entwined to create an incendiary incitement for thoughts and passions. Its successor is scintillating; the bass with a delicious bestial twang to its tone leading ears and thoughts into a haze of sonic expression and addictive rhythmic baiting. The song proceeds to lap the senses in waves of energy and seductive enticing, its potency never wavering in success and strength as grooves, riffs, and vocals weave and tease like an adulterous temptress with only eyes for its victim. The rhythmic imagination of McQuillan is inescapable as he frames and veins the track with unpredictable and engrossing bait matched by the delicious vocals.

The best track on the album it is soon rivalled by the closing Stare Into The Sun, a slow enticement which is even more of a salacious temptation than its predecessor in moves and grooves at times but ultimately is a persistently changing and evolving groove fest across a landscape of burning melodies and caustic riffs under a rhythmic thunder. It is a stunning end to a sensational release, though the album does have one final brief treat in hidden acoustic track Architects of our own Existence.

The Great Depression has everything fans of the likes of Black Sabbath and Goatsnake through to Electric Wizard and Blood Ceremony would devour in a second but also much more to bring a fresh air to doom and stoner flavoured heavy metal. Witch Charmer is a major force in the making and their album the first slab of irrepressible evidence.

The Great Depression is available from September 1st on Argonauta Records and at http://witchcharmer.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/witchcharmerband

9/10

RingMaster 01/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cardinals Folly – Our Cult Continues!

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It is fair to say that Finnish doom metallers Cardinals Folly is a band you are going to take to or not. Certainly there is a middle ground too where intrigue keeps attention and thoughts embraced in interest and indecision over the band though listening to new album Our Cult Continues!, it seems to demand adoration or avoidance with little in between. Cardinals Folly is not a band to just soundtrack an hour of simple listening pleasure is soon obvious as the band’s second album challenges the senses.

Released via Shadow Kingdom Records, Our Cult Continues! is a dark trespass of ears and thoughts with a generally crawling pestilential persuasion which at times ignites the imagination as forcibly as it violates the senses. It can be a riveting intrusion with imposing heavy riffs and deeply permeating rapacious grooving but also a lingering threat which loses its potency through the length of songs, a seeming aversion to spread its creative wings, and the daunting challenge of the vocals where notes are often dishevelled and squeezed of flavour. As mentioned it is not going to be for all but it must also be said that it left a compulsion to investigate the release again and again and is definitely likely to lure the appetite of those with a passion for bands like Reverend Bizarre and Electric Wizard. For sure it needs time to make its persuasion a full argument, with still no guarantees of success, but if band and album clicks with wants it has the potency to make for a unique test and enjoyment.

Formed in 2004 as The Coven and called Cardinals Folly since 2007, the Helsinki based trio of vocalist/bassist Mikko Kääriäinen, guitarist Juho Kilpelä, and drummer Sebastian Lindberg soon made an impression with their first pair of EPs, 2008’s Heretic’s Hangover and Orthodox Faces the following year. Two years on the band signed with Shadow Kingdom and unleashed debut album Such Power is Dangerous!, again to strong responses which the new release is sure to emulate with those holding a taste for the band’s distinct takes on doom metal.

Opening with the evocative and cinematic Chant of Shadows, the album makes an imagination poking entrance. It is not a hugely dramatic start, but an introduction to the dark realms and sinister devilry of the band which holds enough a2356633421_2coaxing for fans and newcomers to take the plunge into the hellish depths of Our Cult Continues! As its satanic call drifts away the following Morbid Glory steps forward and soon presses ears with acidic grooves and hollow but pushy rhythms. There is an immediate shallowness to the production which takes time to acclimatise to but is not as big a leap to embrace as the vocal tones of Kääriäinen. With a voice which flirts with melodies whilst infusing a monotone lilt equipped with tonal alienation, the bassist croons and serenades throughout the track and album with varying success. It is another aspect to get used to and will of all the things about Cardinals Folly, probably be the biggest test for many, but to be honest it is also something to gradually warm to and embrace in the singers potent moments and hold reservations over in their less momentous turns. The song itself lurches and lumbers with ravenous intensity and labour intensive predation to seduce ears and rile the senses.

The Black Baroness makes a greater impression than its more than decent predecessor with a carnivorous throat to the bass and sonic enterprise from the guitar. There is a punk air to the acidic strokes of Kilpelä, riffs an abrasing antagonism and the meandering chords bleeding whispers of Spizzenergi and The Pack. With a healthier contagion to its bait, it crawls potently through body and mind before passing over to the oppressive rapacity of the title track. A thick web of riffs and blunted rhythms, the track is appealing smog of sound and intent, a sonic cloud veined with an engaging raw groove and a moment of bewitching clarity. Vocally too the song is persuasive, Kääriäinen better in an aural crowd than providing a driving lead in many ways.

The virulent surging of Sighisoaran comes next, the song a torrential abrasion held on a slight rein as it rampages and an even shorter lead in its slow consumptive twist of primal voracity. As most tracks it is a proposition which takes time to explore and come to terms with in many ways but ultimately provides an uncompromising assault enhanced by the great guttural snarl of the bass and a keen repetitious incitement. Like the majority of songs it is also border line on whether outstaying its welcome length wise, though when things begin to labour the band does throw in a timely twist to pull back any negativity a little.

The pair of Walvater Unveiled and The Lover´s Crypt smothers the listener in a sonic causticity and vocal starkness to again challenge and solidly persuade. The first is a lumbering expanse of venomous riffs and demanding rhythms which from an underwhelming opening evolves with scorched grooves and another potently gripping bass temptation to enthral. Its successor brings a more classic heavy metal breath in its melodic toxins and healthy doom swagger on its way to sculpting one of the bigger highlights of the album. The song also invites a richer invention and imagination from the band which in turns flirts with the listener to greater effect as it creates another reason to give Our Cult Continues! time before deciding its fate.

Last track Fallout Ritualist provides, despite its far too long a presence, a highly convincing conclusion to the album, its Sabbath-esque swagger of riffs and incendiary grooves along with the previous track crafting the best part of the album with ease.

Even after numerous visits Our Cult Continues! still leaves us undecided; its raw production defuses as much as it enhances and with a vagueness of imagination at times, the album seems to be an adventure of missed opportunities. Yet it also makes for a compelling proposition to keep considering. Cardinals Folly is one for the individual and to be honest the only way to know if they are for you is to allow them a chance to challenge and convince.

Our Cult Continues! is available via Shadow Kingdom Records now @ http://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/our-cult-continues

https://www.facebook.com/cardinalsfolly

7/10

RingMaster 20/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Monolith – Dystopia

MONOLITH2 Photo by Fabian Sauer

It is very easy to have mixed feelings about Dystopia, the debut album from German doom rockers Monolith. On one hand it is so close to Black Sabbath in its sounding, with even vocalist/bassist Ralf Brummerloh offering a clone like Ozzy delivery as he unveils the individual narratives, that you struggle to pick out too much which makes a distinct and unique impact. Against that though, the release and songs are so magnetic and superbly presented that it is hard not to be compelled to indulge in its seventies seeded and sounding flight time and time again. It is an encounter which is sure to divide opinions but you suspect will persuade more than it disappoints.

Based in Bremen and formed in 2010, Monolith creates an atmospheric and sultry old school doom rock atmosphere which wears its heart and origins on every note and syllable expelled by the trio of guitarist Ron Osenbrück and drummer/backing vocalist Andre Dittmann alongside Brummerloh. Inspirations it is easy to assume include the likes of Electric Wizard and Pentagram but it is that Sabbath well where the heart and breath of the band’s first offering seems to be spawned from overall. With lumbering intensity and imposing predatory rhythms aligned to tightly binding grooves and searing psychedelic temptation, the predominantly live recorded Dystopia is a thick oppressive charm to easily enjoy, if probably not to be inspired by.

The album immediately engulfs ears with deep pulsating riffs, gripping rhythms, and a growling almost carnivorous bass sound, the latter persistently pleasing bait across the whole of the release. Won’t Come Down is an immediate Cover Artwork by Rocket & Winkand sizeable tempting to start things off, not a particularly dramatic offering against subsequent tracks but a clear hint of what is in store. The song strolls with a heavy yet eager gait, grooves and caustic sonic flames holding a creative grin as they smart against the senses and imagination. The vocals of Brummerloh as mentioned also show their influence boldly, whether by choice or coincidence, but still make an enjoyable colour in the sultry scenery of the song and its swagger fuelled, contagious chorus.

The strong start is matched and pushed a tad further by the following Cosmic Fairy. From a delicious throaty bass coaxing and a swiftly joining blaze of seventies washed acidic guitar, the track holds a steady and even stride framed by similarly gaited rhythms. Though the song does not have the infectious lure of its predecessor, it burns and sizzles with striking designs of sonic venture from Osenbrück to certainly grip attention and awaken a keen appetite for the unfurling proposition.

The next up Hole roughly caresses ears with an initial hot scrub of fuzz filtered guitar and a dark bass tone with an almost demonic tremolo resonance to its malevolence. Smouldering in breath and citric in flavour, the track winds around thoughts and emotions with potent melodic and hazy hues, easily recruiting intrigue and enjoyment. Again though there is no escaping the comparison to the Birmingham legends which dilutes any chance of passions raging before its undeniable skilled and appetising incitement, something applying across the whole of Dystopia to be honest.

The dark uncompromising title track slowly wraps its heated climate around senses next, it’s slowly imposing doom sourced evocation a thick engaging swamp of ebbing and flowing enticement which pleases without sparking real fire in the belly. Its successor Acid Rain employs similar intrusive textures amidst entwining spirals of sonic tempting and a great incendiary flame of funk infused adventure, to explore a successful but barely lingering path.

The album concludes with two highly satisfying encounters, firstly the infectious hip swinging Sleepless Eye. With its transfixing addictive lures and expressively charismatic melodic web of invention, it is the best track on the album; a richly enterprising treat of a song which is unafraid to glide through energetic festivity to suffocating doom crafted shadows, every twist lit by scorching guitar play. The closing Rainbow provides an epic journey of seismic intensity and rhythms within virulent psychedelic smog of imposing weight and heavy metal structures. It is a predator of a track, stalking and preying on the psyche whilst unleashing a contagion packed net of rapacious endeavour. Monolith saved the best encounters to the rear of the album, a closing packed with potential and more originality than shown before but still within well-trodden avenues.

There is no getting away from the core recognisable sound of Dystopia and its inspiration but even with that Monolith provides a strongly enjoyable and easy to return to release which has to be classed as a success.

Dystopia is available now via Finalgate Records @ http://finalgaterecords.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Monolith.doomrock

7.5/10

RingMaster 09/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Electric Taurus/Prehistoric Pigs – 12″ split

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Split releases are invariably a gateway into new striking adventures and intrigue drenched propositions, the awakening of attention to artists seemingly more often than not lying in shadows away from attention. They can be the beginnings of great sonic friendships and in the case of the Electric Taurus/Prehistoric Pigs split from Go Down Records, the announcement of important emerging forces. Consisting of three tenaciously imaginative and vivaciously inventive soakings of stoner/hard/psychedelic rock, the release is a mouthwatering encounter to invigorate the senses and stoke up the passions.

 

First up is Irish band Electric Taurus with their sixteen minute epic Behind The Sun, a glorious exploration through a space rock landscape with ever shifting and expanding scenery. Formed in 2010 as a recording project by guitarist/vocalist Matt Casciani, the Dublin trio went through numerous line-up changes before finding stability with the addition of bassist James Lynch, and drummer Mauro Frison. 2012 saw the band sign with Moonlight Records for the release of debut album Veneralia, a well-received encounter bristling with the inspirations of heavyweight like Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple with those of underground bands from the same era such as Buffalo, Leaf Hound, Iron Claw, Primevil, and Captain Beyond. It is only one shade of their sound though as evidenced by Behind The Sun, the sultry sizzling flavouring from bands such as Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Electric Wizard, and Orange Goblin, adding to what is a refreshingly distinct conjuring from Electric Taurus.

Their contribution to the split embraces ears in a sonic web, a spatial entanglement which teases and stimulates the imagination and senses. It is also an intimidating enticement but one with charm and bait to inspire a hunger to dive in deeper, especially when a flirty stride of rhythms burst out of the thick mist with mystique wrapped, fuzz kissed melodies riding their lure. Now within an evocative premise still revealing its intent with unpredictable twists and diversions, the track steadies its pace and experiment to slip into a potent blaze of stoner fuelled sonic endeavour and melodic blues acidity. Binding the ears in rich grooves, provocative rhythms, and a great doom groan, the song paints an emotive journey, which finds its strongest trap for the passions with the entry of guest vocalist Barbara “Babz” Allen of Irish blues rock titans Crafty Fuzz. With a delicious growl to her riveting tones, air and thoughts are brought into a sirenesque harem of syllables and melodic incitement. Her presence also sparks a stronger flame to the sonic thrust and tenacity constantly weaving through the track, resulting in one searing blaze. Again though it is just one turn in the emprise, the song continuing to colour and bewitch ears for a voraciously creative and thrilling escapade sculpted by the skilled and magnetic exploits of each band member. It is a stunning track setting a formidable task for its release companion to match.

Italians Prehistoric Pigs more than put up an enjoyment equalling effort with their two tracks, even if personal tastes does just plump for the previous track as the pinnacle of the impressive release. Hailing from Mortegliano, the trio of guitarist Juri Tirelli, drummer Mattia Pi, and bassist Jacopo Tirelli employ inspirations from the likes of Kyuss, Jimi Hendrix, Sleep, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin into their instrumental incitements. Their sound is a sludge rock rich mix of bracing doom soaked psychedelic alchemy, an earthy mix which paints the imagination and strokes the emotions for individual sonic paintings, as presented on Wormhole Generator, their excellent album of 2012. The Perfection Of Wisdom presents the perfect evidence of their potent weave of sound. Starting with a lone bass lure beneath whispered calls of the song title, the track shapes a compelling ambience with precise melodic hues of guitar, their presence gentle and unhurried as they colour the increasingly smouldering breath of the emerging track. It is a seductive unveiling of the full weight and terrain of the ever impressing piece, rhythms gaining intensity as the sonic enterprise ebbs and flows in insistence before unleashing a voracious flame of imagination and ingenious texture.

It is an enthralling provocative flight of sound and creativity swiftly backed by 79360 Sila-Nunam. Its entrance is subdued and slightly muffled in comparison it its companion but ready and eager from its reserved poise to escape into a climactic burst of intensive sonic wind and rhythmic demands. Grainy in its air and scorching in its touch, the track sizzles with the heat of a Karma To Burn upon Kyuss like desert rock, every note and riff igniting thoughts and emotions for a thoroughly captivating and somewhat corrosive treat.

Electric Taurus and Prehistoric Pigs come together for one of the best split releases in recent years and one of the most exciting psyche/stoner heavy rock releases in recent times. It is an essential doorway into the worlds of two extremely talented and imagination inspiring bands which deserve the fullest attention possible.

The Electric Taurus/Prehistoric Pigs Split is available now on 12″ vinyl format through Go Down Records @ http://www.godownrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/electrictaurus

https://www.facebook.com/PrehistoricPigs

9/10

RingMaster 20/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Holy Mountain – Ancient Astronauts

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Binding the senses in grooves which show no restrain or mercy in their insatiable temptation and plying that slavery with riffs which voraciously gnaw and smother all before them, Ancient Astronauts the new album from Scottish metallers Holy Mountain, is an unstoppable juggernaut of sound and intensity. It is a heavyweight antagonist merging stoner and doom metal into a suffocating tsunami of intense and exhaustive sounds, but one which veins and sears it all with at times corrosive but always incendiary magnetic grooves and melodic causticity. It is quite simply an encounter which lovers of the riff will devour with greed.

Holy Mountain, its name taken from the Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 movie La Montana Sagrada, was formed in 2009 as an improvisational duo by guitarist/vocalist Andy McGlone and drummer Pete Flett. Two years after emerging, the Glasgow band enlisted bassist Allan Stewart and went almost straight into the creation of debut release Earth Measures. The mini album found its release in the May of 2012 welcomed by strong responses and acclaim, a reaction sure to be replicated and taken to greater levels by its impressive successor. Recorded with producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, Franz Ferdinand), Ancient Astronauts is a giant leap if not for mankind certainly for Holy Mountain as they explore all the qualities unveiled on their previous release far more intensively and inventively whilst casting new wild and expansive endeavours.

LV-42666 brings the journey into view, cruising in on a sonic breeze before stroking the imagination rigorously with thrashing rhythms, Holy-Mountain-Ancient-Astronauts-300x288rapacious riffs, and addictive grooves; rogue vocals adding to the celestial mystery and adventure. As urgent as it is heavy, the track strides boldly as sinews bare their muscular appetite and melodies seduce ears with the guile and irresistible lures of a wanton temptress. There is also an unmistakable psychedelic pop romp to the encounter which only accelerates its submission of the senses and passions.

The following Luftwizard instantly brings a darker and heavier suasion but again it is lit by scorching melodies and also this time vocal harmonies which flirt and tempt the imagination as potently as the sounds. The voice of McGlone is fed through a Roland Space Chorus across the album bringing a spatial quality to his tones and the general air of songs, something equally inspired by the majestic pungency of accompanying keys. The thick imposing riffs of the song provide a deep texture to the affair which almost groans in its intensity and rapacious wrapping of the sonic maelstrom within. It is a masterful adventure guiding the listener through a union of dark and light, a mutual rather than combative merger but one with plenty of imposing shadows to its exultant fire.

The title track comes up next exploring cavernous sceneries with doom bred prowling riffery and rhythmic provocation whilst short but virulent grooves lance the thick smothering air, their strikes beacons through the appealing murkiness as the song heads into an explosive contagion which bursts out with urgency and sonic radiance. The track touches the darkest depths and brightest highs in tone leaving the senses exhausted and rewarded by the riveting ascent, their recovery given no respite as Star Kings from a rhythmic draw swiftly courted by a highly tempting bass stroll, feeds another strenuous passage of ravenous riffs and fuzz surfaced enterprise. The vocals are a little further forward and carry stronger clarity within the tempest of sound, though they still feel pleasingly immersed in the overall flood of the experience rather than being an overlying presence riding the waves. It is an aspect which is as potent and important as the riffs and rhythms in making the album the immense proposition it is, they and the ridiculously contagious toxins which the band also casts into the creative rabidity.

Not necessarily the best track, so hard to choose one, but a definite favourite here is Tokyo which comes next. A bestial vicious voice and growl to the riffs drives the track initially whilst the bass with its throaty appeal makes the good guy in the confrontation, its smiling grooves the temper to the predacious guitar grizzle and the trigger to the flirtatious sonic temptation and boisterous vocals which revel in the overwhelming devilry of the track. It is a siren of a song which is matched by Gift Giver, the danger which usually accompanies such a tempting and arguably missing in its predecessor, an open stalking at the start of the song. Its slow pacing is soon ignited as riffs escape their shackles, a punkish urgency taking over whilst the drums hold a little restraint in attack if not power. It continues to switch between extremes bringing a scintillating and unpredictable soundscape to play with and explore, a post punk severity adding its taunts from time to time in the lulls between unbridled sonic blazes. The instrumental is riff heaven and groove manna thrown into an aural alchemy and corruption to bask in.

The album is completed by firstly the seventies seeded psychedelically enhanced 100 Years A Day and lastly the smouldering expanse of Hollow Hill which alone encapsulates all you need to know about Holy Mountain in sound, skill, and imagination, as well as influences with a range of twists and enterprise which pull up references to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Electric Wizard, ones you can apply to the whole of the album even with its distinct presence. Ancient Astronauts is a magisterial slab of psychedelic rock/metal and Holy Mountain a band poised to stake their claim for a seat on the top table of the genre we suggest.

Ancient Astronauts is available now through Chemikal Underground digitally and on limited edition vinyl.

http://www.holymountainband.co.uk/

9/10

RingMaster 17/04/2014

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