Monday, 23 December 2013

THROW ME IN THE CRATER - "Throw Me in the Crater"

Hailing from Eindhoven and Tilburg (The home of Roadburn) in Holland comes a new sludge doom quintet by the name of Throw Me in the Crater.

Self released back in May of this year their self titled four track album is doom with a lyrical content of an all together different angle. Apocalyptic vision is of course nothing new in metal of all sub-genres but as the band name will imply these Dutch doom lords take an interested in a very specific area... volcanic activity and more broadly natural disasters, as well as the suffering and untold misery that they create.

Opening with "Year Without Summer" which I presume may refer to the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland which deposited ash over most of Europe and ironically severely effected the running of that years Roadburn Festival. In Iceland of course they may well have suffered a sky where the sun was blotted out for months on end, a year without summer! Of course I may just be reading too much into things.

Musically Throw Me in the Crater are a truly monolithic beast to behold! reverb practically drips and oozes off of the guitars whilst desperate, aggressive vocals ring out in pained, anguished fury! Proceeding slowly at first things soon gain speed and momentum. In doing so a catchy fuzz drenched melody is meted out yet always things stay raw, positively charged with a static filled tension and the constant rumbling thunder of the bass and drums which combine to create a truly doom like cacophony! As things descend into an almost lava like crawl the band sound truly oppressive, a slow drawling juggernaut of impending doom savagery!

I'd say that "Streams of Lava" is a lot more self explanatory and sees TMITC adopt a far more aggressive tinge to their already abrasive and belligerent sound! If I was to choose a style of Metal to put into music the concept of and the misery suffered by a volcanic eruption it would be sludge and doom and not just because of what the word doom implies. There is something about sludge, something truly malicious and foreboding, an untapped source of kinetic energy in musical form and many of these traits can be partnered with those of a volcano.

With more of a historical theme "Pompeii" has a sinister and cold blooded feel too it. Agonizingly slow, crushingly intense and seriously vitriolic, this is the band at their rawest and most lethal! With a dense methodical sound, their pent up anger is also thought provoking whilst still being a colossal force of nature! Things end with "I Am Your Crater", and bring to a conclusion one of the most original concepts for an album I've ever come across. Being true entertainers the band end on an upbeat fast paced number, still a sheer act of force yet with a more personal introverted vibe.

Be sure to put this LP on your Christmas list, its certainly on mine!


Monday, 26 August 2013

BELL WITCH - Longing

Finishing off today's doom trilogy I have traveled, in a sense, to Seattle in the US of A for the debut album of sludge/drone doom duo Bell Witch entitled "Longing".

As if the immaculate artwork for "Longing" wasn't enough, opening track "Bails (Of Flesh)" has been one of my favourite songs for the best part of this year when I first heard Bell Witch. It's long drawn out notes, the darkness that it shrouds itself in and the very subtle colder guitar tones that permeate the track giving it a depressive, despondent aura are simply breath taking. Never in a rush to get from the start to the finish, things crawl painstakingly along until the first roar of the anguished growled finally pierces the gloom which the band hath made! 

There is a dense under laying ferocity about Bell Witch, a deep cavernous sense of foreboding that increases progressively as the music continues along it's blackened and withered path. Yet with extreme heaviness also comes great subtlety and grace and in places this doom duo dispense with the bombardment and offer up a more melodic interlude or two, almost peaceful as the atmosphere changes overhead to one of hope mixed with a melancholy sorrow, the burning anger for the time being laid dormant under the surface. If I have one criticism of this album and it is only the one, I'd say whilst I see the need for cleaner vocals in places to mirror the bands style changes, they do need to be of a better quality than what is currently on offer, at least in places. At others they seem well executed and it may be a problem in production. 

Luckily cleaner vocals are in the minority on this album, an album which as any decent drone influenced affair does amount to epic track lengths and hence as they are in the minority my one and only gripe is a small one and can make way for the adulation of a truly superb body of work! An album of contrasts is what "Longing" serves up, from the darkest recesses of their collective minds comes a hint of light in places. In an ocean of undulating and churning ferocity comes an interlude of peace and reflection, yet at all times the sheer quality shines through!

8/10 - Luke Hayhurst

WIZARD'S BEARD - Four Tired Undertakers

I hail from the city of York at present in the north of England and one town over, just a few miles away in Leeds the music scene is thriving! One of the better bands to come from this seething metropolis of metal is the sludge doom four piece known brilliantly as Wizard's Beard, a band I happened to see live some months ago in the cellar of an school working class pub in Leeds. Let me tell you the rumble and thunder these lads churned out was mightily impressive and so leads me on to today's second review of three, Wizard's Beard's sophomore full length album releases entitled "Four Tired Undertakers"

Slowly and surely opening track "Subirse El Muerto" rises from the peace and quiet with deep, calculating guitar tones, firm but placid drum beats before a crescendo is reached, the clash of symbol rings out and harsh, half growled half screamed vocals permeate the tranquility as Wizard's Beard's heavy drawn out drawl and absolute doom laden ferocity is unleashed!

If the words crushing, destructive or monolithic were formed for one purpose only it would be as adjectives to verify the intense and heavy nature with which Wizard's Beard go about the task of churning out simply breath taking doom! Splendidly catchy in places, devastatingly thunderous in others, the band hit home and hit home hard again and again and again with all the grace and mercy of a category five hurricane, aftermath included! 

"Abandon the Wolf" is a pure thoroughbred of catchy riffs, a track that demands your head be banged and your mind me lost as the bands blanket you in a shroud of intense beats and thoroughly groove drenched melodies yet still packing in a few moments of slowed down ferocity as huge drum beats, riffs and growls are thrown up high to come crashing back down to earth with the strength and impact of a neutron bomb!

As the long drawn out ending to "Abandon the Wolf" reaches it's climax the aura around the album is an oppressive fog, alleviated momentarily by the opening bursts of "Daemon" which increases the easy going nature the band occasionally dabble with whilst tempering this style with more angry bursts of catastrophic heaviness with which Wizard's Beard seem so adept at! As things progress this song gets progressively darker, slower and more brooding as befits the subject matter at hand and by the end the band have you mired in a thick swamp of riffs and an evil lurking intent! The aptly named "Seeth Inside" starts with subtle tones that has you on the edge of your seat waiting for the explosion of heaviness you know is sure to come and true to form these lads don't let you down!

Heading towards the end of an album you simply don't wish to end and the band batter and pulverise their way through penultimate track "Accursed" with all the grace and subtlety of a brick to the face as this cathedral of noise and ferocity leads into the albums epic, an eleven minute finale entitled "Harbinger" that sees Wizard's Beard bring this montage of doom and filth to a well executed finish! Nothing creates the mindset for doom like being from Yorkshire and here is one example of exactly how to tap into that frame of mind. A must own album from a band you have to experience!

9/10 - Luke Hayhurst

NIGHTSLUG - Nightslug Demo

I apologise for the length of time it has taken me to post anything upon the Domkyrkan pages of late but goings on with Destructive Music have kept me somewhat busy. Domkyrkan, my doom side project however lives on and has not been forgotten, nor have the bands who are to feature. Therefore today I am treating all my faithful readers to a trilogy of doom, starting with the debut release from German sludge outfit Nightslug and their 2011 released self titled demo, later re-released on cassette by the excellent Cosmic Tomb!

Opening this three track demo is the song "Nightslug" which kicks things off in a deliberately slow, methodical manner and possessing all that you require from any decent sludge band, crushing down tuned riff-age, a solid back-line of thunderous crawling drumming and a thick meaty bass line, topped off with grime covered vocals, dripping with filth and aggression. Oh yes, this is a good start.

The drawl and groove of Nightslug's slow, ponderous and menacing sound is simply superb and oozing with a masterful display of technicality, as well as a huge amount of monolithic riffs that makes you think more of America's deep south than it does of Dusseldorf, Germany. Starting with the massive fuzzed out licks of bass play before the crashing of drums and ferocity of riffs kicks in, "The Curse Reborn" is a much shorter offering but oh so potent none the less! Much more of a groovy little number, this one still packs a real punch when Nightslug open the taps and lay down a solid line of crushing riffs, intense and brutal drumming and scorched vocals as "THE CURSE REBORN" is growled out over and over again!

It's a damn shame that this demo has to finish but at least it has the good grace to do so with a flourish as the quickened opening moments of the aptly titled "Roars of Rage" soon settle down for another bout of steely determined German sludge, raw, aggressive and down right heavy! You'll be pleased to know that this year sees the release of the bands debut full length album going by the name of "Dismal Fucker"... On the strength of this mere demo I'd say it's going to be a must own!

9/10 - Luke Hayhurst

Monday, 17 June 2013

TROLLKRAFTT - Bogs & Brimstone

Trollkraftt are a new UK blackened sludge quartet who have recently released their debut demo entitled "Bogs & Brimstone" which has been released through the label Cosmic Tomb.

Opening track "Trolls of Doom" starts slowly with sounds of the bog filtering through your speakers before the band kick in with full force, fast, grimy and raw. Oozing groove, Trollkraftt play hard and play loud, their sound is thick and viscous, murky and filth ridden. As well as that they are catchy, unbelievably catchy! Everything about the band from the music to the artwork screams putrid filth and decay and their blackened sound just rolls out oh so effortlessly. 

Amusingly entitled "Dragonslag" the bands second song brings the pace right down for some dangerous sounding sludge ferocity, packing an intensely ominous and oppressive feel, an out right aura of doom and death through down tuned grime encrusted riffs, savage gurgling vocals and a thick rumbling bass/drums line. Finishing off this impressive debut demo is the title track "Bogs & Brimstone" which features heavily prominent bass play and an increase in the bands already drawling sound. It isn't a quick demo that's for sure but soon enough you'll be glad of that fact as Trollkraftt pummel and manipulate you for well over half an hour of messed up blackened sludge brutality! Cracking little demo this!

9/10 - Luke Hayhurst

Saturday, 1 June 2013

SPACEGOAT - Spacegoat EP

If I'm honest I do have a fair few releases in my Domkyrkan 'To Review' folder but in a session of mindless bandcamp browsing I came across this little gem from Mexico and thought to hell with it, this is perfect for the blog! Say hello to Spacegoat, a psychedelic doom/heavy metal band who will, if you are like me and heavily into female fronted doom such as Jex Thoth, Witch Mountain or Blood Ceremony, completely capture your heart and soul! This is the bands self titled and debut release, a five track EP self released in 2012 and as a debut offering it one of the most accomplished and heart warming releases you are ever likely to hear! 

Take the opening track "Silver Swamp" whose deeply grooved and hypnotic riffs blend effortlessly with the rumble of the bass and drums and then wrap themselves around the beautiful and mesmerizing vocals of front lady Gina Rios! As the track trundles along pleasantly with far reaching atmospheric vibes and nuances you'll find yourself in a relaxing doom laden bubble before the more energetic "Thin Line" kicks in and Rios's vocals increase their intensity and a catchier, bouncier style of riff-age comes into play. Within moments the bands heavenly sounds and easy to pick up lyrics will have you singing along and before you know it you are gliding effortlessly into "Cosmica" and Spanish lyrics which roll off the tongue and add a far more exotic air to proceedings, as does the fast paced more heavy metal leaning sound.

Moving into "Black Glow" and another high temp number moving back into doomier territory and back to English lyrics as the band unleash one of their heavier and groovier tracks, with of course another healthy dose of soaring graceful vocal work. All good things must sadly come to an end but in finale track "Without Ceremony" the band make you want so much more with this huge slice of ramped up psychedelic doom rock goodness. If you have not yet had a taste of Mexican doom lords and lady Spacegoat then get on their bandcamp page and experience tis awesome band for yourself.

[8/10 - Luke Hayhurst]

Friday, 17 May 2013

Interview with Brief & Pia of Swedish Sludge Doom band SERPENT OMEGA!

For those of you who have followed this blog from its inception, you’ll know about its origins and where its name hails from and whilst the translation may not be one hundred per cent exact, Domkyrkan felt right! Why is this relevant for this interview? Well the name was taken from a short interview in Zero Tolerance with a band that has come to dominate my thinking and my attention, that being Swedish Sludge Doom four piece SERPENT OMEGA!  With their debut self-titled album released on vinyl via English label Mordgrimm the band are on the promotional trail and as you’ll know from my review it really is the full package from the eye catching artwork to the filthy sludged out tunes that lay beneath said cover, waiting for you to sample and feast upon its dark,  aggressive delights! Now though I feel it is time to move beyond the music and get to know the four individuals who have collectively created something truly outstanding and so I put together some questions and these amiable Swedes very kindly unloaded their thoughts.

Hails to you all and thank you for taking the time to speak with me. First of all I’d like to discuss the band’s name.
How did you come across and decide on Serpent Omega?
Your artwork and logo have very serpentine characteristics, are snakes and serpents something that means something to you all, or is it just a damn cool name for a Doom band?

Brief: Me and Jonsson decided on this shortly after we started the band, we wanted a name that meant something to us and reflected our music and we both immediately thought of the Ouroboros, but in our own words Serpent Omega wasn't far away after that.
You are pretty new onto the scene under this moniker having formed in 2011. Can you tell me what other projects you have been a part of and what kind of backgrounds, musically speaking, you all come from?
Brief: I have played heavy metal, stoner and punk since I was 13 in different constellations. i'm still involved in a few other bands but we don't rehearse that much.
How old were you all when you first got into the heavier side if music and which bands popped your cherry as it were?
Brief: When I was a kid I was really into heavy metal and I listened to bands like kiss, sabbath and judas priest. However, I was totally blown away by the rising stoner-scene that emerged in the early 90's and one album in particular made me realise what heavy was all about and that was sleep's holy mountain. I still listen to that record every day. when the Jerusalem bootleg came out that was it for me, nothing could top that I thought. but then sleep released dopesmoker a few years later.
Pia: The same goes for me, but you can cross judas priest and kiss off the list. I've always listened to heavy music in different forms, but it was Sleep and Sabbath that changed my world.
What bands would you say influence the Serpent Omega sound? Are you conscious of the influences that work their way into your sound and do you embrace those influences or are you always aiming to be as original as possible?
Brief: I wouldn't say we aim at sounding in a particular way, the sum of our separate influences create something grotesquely swelling and overpowered. as you probably can guess from the previous answer my biggest influence is sleep and just sheer volume  you should not only listen to music, you need to feel it.

How did Serpent Omega come to fruition? Were you all friends who decided to start a new project and see where it took you or was there a structure in place from the start where one person decided to start a band advertised accordingly?
Brief: Me and Jonsson has know each other a long time and we used to play in a few bands together before. I had an idea of starting a drone/sludge/metal-band when I moved to Stockholm in 2008 but the circumstances wasn't right at the time. I did have Jonsson in mind then already because he called and asked if I wanted come to Gothenburg and lay down some vocals for a crust-project he was involved with. Anyway it didn't happen then, but I went to visit him in the summer of 2010, we got really drunk and we said that we were going to start a band and that he had to move to Stockholm  eventually he did and we started out with another drummer who was involved in the first three songs (warmachine, red sun and smoke ritual) but that didn't work out and he left. we were rehearsing in this small place with really crap gear so we decided we'd go all in and turned every coin we literally had and bought lots of huge amps. With all the gear and right sound in place we tried out some vocalists but none of them felt that special. Jonsson knew Pia from before and she came to our studio to try a few songs. Eventually she pulled out something fierce and raw which we were really impressed by. We had no drummer at that time and since good drummers are exceptionally rare and Sakke is my brother in law we decided we'd give him a try and everything fell in place.
Moving on to the album, you decided to keep things simple by making it a self-titled record and also you made the decision that other than MP3’s which seems to be the standard these day, the album would be released on vinyl only. Can you explain how both decisions came about? Why not some long fancy name that involved witches serpents and all manner of doom related words? With regards to the vinyl only release, were you not worried that album sales will be lower as a lot of people tend to only listen to CD’s in this modern age?
Brief: I wanted it either to be self-titled or called volume one, the only options really.
Pia: Not having a name on the album was something we just felt was right for our debut. It would have been too pretentious to call it something, and at this point we want the music and the artwork to speak for itself. Can't explain it more than that really... And since vinyl is THE best way to experience an album (expect for live of course), both when it comes to the music and the album art, it was a simple choice. However, the album will be released on CD later on this year. As far as "sales" goes… We don't think in those terms…. But I believe that If you're into this kind of music you support the scene, and you will get it on vinyl because you know vinyl kicks ass. So no, we are not worried.
The album has been released via Mordgrimm from here in the UK. How did contact with the label come about and how soon was a deal done? Were their other labels interested and how is the relationship with Mordgrimm?
Brief: Mordgrimm contacted us, and they really liked what we were doing. A few other labels were interested but they were too slow and the deal with Mordgrimm was very generous we felt. The relationship couldn't be better i'd say.
You have played live with bands such as Grand Magus and more recently the increasingly popular Hooded Menace, what live show that you have been involved with stands out for you as you’re most enjoyable? Do you have a set track list for live shows or do you go with the flow and mood of the night?
Brief: For me, definitely those two shows you mentioned. the first one for sheer energy since it was one of our first shows and the latter one for the great support and atmosphere we got from sharing stage with Hooded Menace.
Pia: Same here. I think the gig with Grand Magus probably was as good as it gets. Everything was just perfect that night, and the bookers at Club Deströyer are such cool people. The sound was wicked and really - really - loud. The Hooded Menace show was amazing too... mainly because they kicked ass and we got along really well drinking mead in the middle of the night in some shady pub.

From the photos I've seen from your live shows there is often an eerie ambiance to the lighting and the mood on stage, helped by the antics and appearance of front lady Pia with her maniacal stares and corpse painted antics! Is there a lot of work and thought that goes into your live appearance or is it once more very much a go with the flow kind of attitude?
Pia: Everything that happens on stage is just an extended part of our music. It all goes together. I wouldn't say we put a lot of effort in to it, it's not like we have pyro or stuff like that. Haha! It all comes natural really, and we just happen to have a very primal and raw appearance live I think. It comes with the music and it rubs off on both us and the crowd.
Going back to the new album what kind of response have you had locally and also in the international press?
Pia: We're a bit blown away by all the positive response we've gotten so far, especially from international press. We've been well received in Sweden too, but I think fewer magazines and blogs have picked up on us here.
Now that ‘Serpent Omega’ is finished and out there you are able to take a step back and with the weight of creating and recording your first album now lifted from your shoulders how do you honestly feel about the music you have created? Are you happy with the album as a whole or is there parts and moments you’d like to change or tweak for next time?
Brief: It feels good, like something has landed but there are always things you want to improve, small things here and there, but I think that since we did all of it ourselves, it has a really cool dynamic to it. I think we need to always record and produce our own stuff, not let someone else do it, then we will lose energy and momentum.
Pia: I totally agree. Even though the DIY thing is fucking hard work, it suits us. I don't think anyone understands what we want to do better than ourselves, and it would be seriously difficult for an outsider to be a part of that and try to interpret the undercurrents of the band… Having said that, who knows what the future holds.
How did you find the recording process? I understand that Andreas [Guitar] did all of the production and mastering for the record, did this add extra pressure to get things perfect or did things go more smoothly having one of your own at the helm?
Pia: You know, for us it's natural to do everything ourselves, and since Jonsson has real hands on experience in both recording, mixing and mastering, it was an easy decision who would record our album. But since we're all perfectionists it took us a while to get it right. We were looking for a heavy but raw sound that was well produced but not slick. Jonsson spent a great deal of time, with us hanging over his shoulder, to make it sound the way we wanted it to. We think it turned out really well.
Finally, what plans do you have for the band now that the album is out? Are preparations for a new release in the pipeline and how about a tour of the UK? Any plans?
Brief: haha, we just released our record! so, no. the next record will take as long time as it needs to feel complete as well. the plans right now are just to play and write new stuff when and if we feel like it. The uk-tour is planned for 2014 in the spring!
Pia: Yeah, I think the music gets another layer of heaviness to it when we play live, so the primary thing is to get out and do that as much as possible. Bookers out there can feel free to contact us.

Serpent Omega's debut self titled album is out now through Mordgrimm!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WEED PRIEST - "Weed Priest"

It seems that the life of an Irish stoner doom band is one that moves along slowly at its own pace. Since their inception way back in 2008, Galway's Weed Priest have taken their time over material released and waited a whole three years before revealing their first demo. Since then the band have been honing their sound to perfection whilst mired in a fog of smoke, occult thoughts and long ago tales of witchcraft! Now in 2013 they have returned with their debut self titled studio album, six tracks of intense stoner doom riffs and melodies!

As always with me the first thing of note is the album artwork and the green and black stand out massively to my eye and give the whole release a very old school feel. On pressing play on the disc you are greeted by a cold droning tone and the dialogue from a session at a psychiatrists before a slowed down and heavy bass melody kicks in, leading effortlessly into down tuned riff-age which rises to crescendo before unloading it's weight  slowly and methodically. 

As the doom and intensity increases in come the harsh guttural howls of the vocals and finally each piece if the Weed Priest puzzle is in place and resonating with full force off of every wall and surface as 'Final Spell' casts it's magic upon it's audience.

As the crushingly heavy and immensely pleasing 'Final Spell' fades, so rises 'Erichtho' ... a track which retains the bands bass heavy feel whilst adding just a little bit more groove and funk but also never letting those heavy vibes drop for a second! Interestingly enough the echo like quality on the vocals reminds me some what of Domkyrkan favourites Serpent Omega and their track 'Smoke Ritual'... indeed the effects and mastering feel very similar to me. Equally as captivating and shrouded in mystery and layers of smoke filled haze is 'Walpurgia' whose eerie tones help Weed Priest further build their mystique and bolsters their heavy monolithic sound.

With a smooth feel  in tow it is easy to cruise along with 'Thy Kingdom Gone' as the band step up a gear once more for what is one of the stand out tracks of the album and one that leads onto the more abrasive title track 'Weed Priest'. Closing things out is 'Day Of Reckoning' which brings to an end an album that whilst not the most diverse is still an intense listening experience, slow, dark, troubling and creepy as well as drenched in old school doom charm very much along the lines of Electric Wizard. I for one will be keeping close tabs on this talented band to see what their next offering brings to the table.

8/10 - Luke Hayhurst

Sunday, 21 April 2013

SEDULUS + Moghul + Caravan Of Whores + Space Witch @ Gullivers - Manchester

Once more Submerge Promotions are descending upon Gulliver's in Manchester for an all out night of Doom! Headlining the show on Friday 10th May will be...


London's psychedelic Stoner Metal four piece currently have their self titled EP out now and it is available as a name your price download on their bandcamp as is previous EP 'Perseids'. Both are well worth getting a hold of a physical copy though so bear that in mind!

Also on the bill and currently promoting their 2012 self titled EP comes Birmingham based Sludge Doom band Moghul

Currently promoting their current EP entitled 'Road To Kurti'... Caravan of Whores are travelling up north  from Oxfordshire for this show to once more bring the groove and the riffs to those who crave it!

Last but not least is Space Witch from Stoke On Trent whose brand new EP 'The Alchemy Paradox' is out on 30th April!

Space Witch [Bandcamp]
Space Witch [Facebook]

If you can get down to this one and support the bands and the excellent Submerge Promotions! What better way is there to spend your Friday night?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

WARDENCLYFFE - Ordo Ab Chao [Demo]

I suppose it goes without saying but I am an avid music lover. I’m sure I am not alone in stating that one of the greatest moments for an Metal obsessed music connoisseur is to feast upon the first ever demo from a new band. Well that is what I have here and let me tell you it fills my heart and soul with joy to tell you it is an absolute stunner! Hailing from Sweden comes a Doom/Death Metal trio that really gets my blood pumping!  Wardenclyffe are a band to be excited about, very excited and their debut three track demo entitled ‘Ordo Ab Chao’ has the ability to bewitch and ensnare your mind within the first few moments of opening track ‘Orcadian Dream’!

Ah yes ‘Orcadian Dream’! If awards were given for the best opening moments of a release this one would be a real contender. A rumble of static and feedback greets you before eerie cold guitar tones rise slowly from the roaring fire of reberb. It is pure unadulterated Doom atmosphere at its finest and once complete leads into a slow, methodical and enthralling Death/Doom sound. With crushing intent Wardenclyffe set about their business in this opening track which tells a tale of Gomorrah, one of the cities in the Old Testament who had fire and brimstone reigned down upon it as punishment for man’s sin! Vocally Jacob Nordangard shares a striking resemblance with Nevermore singer Warrel Dane (In vocal style I mean) but it’s his lyrics that are so captivating…

“In the dreams of tomorrow lies the grief of Gomorrah, walk the path of destruction, the fall. Too few that heeds the warning, the fate for all is dawning, feel the nails got hammered through our hands”

Equally ‘Behind the Shadow of the Goat’ is fast to work its magic upon you with its quicker pace, darker connotations and its heavily occult moods! Again Wardenclyffe’s lyrical prowess is on show for all to hear and within moments you shall once more be singing along!

“Watch the flames consume the notion, walk the stairs to deep delusion, I now seek the true devotion, break the spell of the grand illusion”

As a grand finale you can’t go far wrong with the sluggish and monolithic ‘Macroshift’ which once more sees the band dragging the depths to bring forth monstrous and savage riffs, dark fearsome atmospheres and overall a tremendous sense of oppression in the form of cavernous tones! Wardenclyffe’s sound to date is of a demo band, this is not some polished and overly mastered piece of music that is to be mass produced and shrink wrapped for the masses, oh no, this is a dirty piece of Swedish Doom and the demo sound works wonders for the aura that it produces. I am certain that the time will come for Wardenclyffe to make the polished album that they deserve to make, but for now revel with me in the squalor if this filthy demo and its harrowing sound!

Luke Hayhurst [8.5/10]

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Interview with Simon from UK Doom lords GREENHORN!

As autumn dawned on 2012 a few good men from Dorset became one and formed the UK’s newest Doom force GREENHORN! It may have only been a short time but Greenhorn have already graced the pages and cover CD of Terrorizer and unveiled their debut EP ‘The Plague Doctors Mask’! So with such a quick and positive start I thought it was about time to delve into the bands thinking to see just how they feel about their progress so far!

Thanks for taking the time out to speak to me guys; it’s been a whirlwind first few months has it not?
It certainly has! It’s only been 6 months since our first show, where we lucky enough to support Earthtone9, but I feel like the band has come on a bit, and changed a fair amount since then.

In the space of just a few months you have released an EP, graced Terrorizer and picked up many fans both at home and abroad, has everything gone to plan or are you surprised at how well things are going so far?
I would say, we are pleasantly surprised at how things are taking off. The response since Terrorizer has been really positive and we were pretty blown away by the comments the made. That said, I do feel like we have worked hard to get ourselves out there.

Starting with your inclusion on the terrorizer CD, how did that come about?
We just emailed them a link to a track, and asked if they liked it! They did, and before we knew it, we were filling out release forms for the next issue!

Have you had much feedback from people following them hearing you on the CD?
Yeah, we have quite a lot of emails from people asking for copies of the EP and saying that they enjoyed the track they put out. I think, the fact that we have had some good feedback from them certainly hasn't harmed our cause!
You have also released your debut EP ‘The Plague Doctors Mask’. Where did the inspiration come from for this release and how did you choose the name?
The name came from an episode of “An Idiot Abroad”! Not very Doom at all! Where the guys dressed up at some ball in Vienna and Warwick Davis, wore a plague doctors mask. It kind of sparked an interest in it for me, and the more I looked into it, and that period of history, we just felt it was a name we really liked, and was a bold title, that hopefully people would remember!
My favourite track is of course ‘Witches Bridle’ which covers the North Berwick witch trials, a subject already heavily covered by bands such as Cathedral. What was it about this traditional Doom material that compelled you to go down this route?
It felt like our most “doom” song to date, and yeah, we aren't alone in covering it, but for me it is something i find fascinating. The song is based on the life of Agnes Simpson, who was wrongfully (obviously!) branded as a Witch and accused of treason. She was forced into a confession and we all know how it ended. Witches bridle is actually the name of one of the instruments they used to torture “witches” by forking their mouths open, holding their tongues down and so obviously they would confess just to try and find some relief.
I find this period of history so compelling, and when you think about it,. People, can be very barbaric, cruel creatures.

In your time as a band have you come across and bands that you’d consider friends? Bands that you’d share a stage with whenever possible?
Yeah I think so. I would name check fellow Dorset bruisers In The Hills, Dead Trails, and both the guys (and girl!) in Caravan Of Whores and Witchsorrow have been really cool with us.

What music were you all listening too as teenagers? Which bands popped your Metal cherry so to speak?
Shit, so many different bands! Probably nothing like what we listen too now! All the obvious NWOBHM bands, Nirvana, Biffy, even some punk rock. The good stuff, none of this New Found Glory drivel. That shit,offends me. Music for people, who don’t like music!

Which bands would you say directly influence Greenhorns sound?
The two bands that we mentioned to start with would have been Mastadon, and Iron Monkey. We LOVE Electric Wizard. I would say EW are more an inspiration, than an influence, as we aren't conventional Doom in the same way they are.

Finally can you tell me what’s next for Greenhorn?  Do you have any tour plans or another release planned perhaps? What can we expect?
As if you didn't know! There are some big plans, for next year. I think its fair to say, we are planning a tour, but we will keep quiet for now on who else might be coming out with us! Needless to say, I think it will be pretty special.
We have been in touch with a few promoters, and should have some good shows soon, but for now I think we a re keen to write and get a follow up to the EP out as soon  as we can.
There are a few other little surprises bubbling away under the surface, but were keeping that to our selves for now!

Be sure to check out Greenhorn and their 'The Plague Doctors Mask' EP at the bands Facebook page!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

NEWS: Serpent Omega/Greenhorn/Iron Hearse Releases Available & New Serpent Omega Live Vid!

For those of you not already in the know there is something special out there right now waiting for you to listen too it. I am of course talking about something filthy and aggressive from the nation of Sweden, the self titled debut album of one SERPENT OMEGA!

Released through English label Mordgrimm on vinyl only and sporting the superb artwork you can see above, this album features seven murky, dark and grueling tracks of dirty Sludge Doom with some Black Metal influence thrown in for good measure! This album will make you lose your mind so make sure you get a copy of the record, and if you don't have a record player, Get One! Or just buy the MP3's, you won't regret it! 

Not only that but from their show last week with Finnish band Hooded Menace is a video taken by one of the fans on hand to witness their crushing set...

If you don't believe me about just how good this album is have a listen to one of the tracks off of the album...  'Smoke Ritual'

In other news UK Doom outfit GREENHORN also have a new release out that is well worthy of your time and attention! 'The Plague Doctors Mask' EP features three excellent tracks the best of which 'Witches Bridle' harnesses the best elements of Doom Metal and evokes the memory of the witch hunts during the time of Cromwell.

Not only that but Greenhorn have featured on the Terrorizer CD so make sure you get a copy of that!

Last but by no means least there is a cracking new album out now from UK Doom Lords IRON HEARSE! Entitled 'Get In The Hearse' this is eight tracks of catchy old school Doom, Hard Rock and great tunes! Eight tracks of utter riff worship! Be sure to get your hands on a copy, you won't regret it! 

Once again if you don't believe me have a listen for yourself!

Monday, 15 April 2013

UNDERSMILE + Ishmael + Grimpen Mire + Bastard Of The Skies

Once more from Submerge Promotions comes another night of Doom!

Headlining at Gulliver's in Manchester on Saturday 1st June will be Oxfordshire based Drone/Sludge four piece UNDERSMILE whose new split release with their own alter ego Coma Wall 'Wood & Wire' is out now!!

Travelling up from Plymouth and acting as main support will be those dark and aggressive beings of Sludge Doom band ISHMAEL who released their debut album 'Hell Is Empty And All The Devils Are Here' last year!

Fellow UK Sludge Doom act GRIMPEN MIRE are also on the bill and are currently promoting their brand new album 'A Plague Upon Your Houses'.

Last but not least is the superbly named BASTARD OF THE SKIES whose 2012 album 'Tarnation' is a really cracking release!

I hope you'll all join me at this one as it's going to destroy all!!