Saturday, 30 September 2023


Having been to Mallorca on a number of occasions Desert Psychlist can honestly say that it is a place close to our hearts. Relaxation and recouperation were the reason for our visits then and we have to say that searching out the island's underground rock scene was not high on our agenda of things to do, however having had our eyes and ears opened up by labels like Spinda Records and Discos Macarras Records our next visit might well be for that very purpose. Queen Marsa, are one such Mallorcan band that would definitely be on out list for checking out, if only to see if their live shows live up to the promise shown on their studio output. Queen Marsa, Manuel Pintos (vocals)· Xavi Cárceles (guitar); Jaume Rado (guitar); Juan Bonet (drums) and Toni Coronado (bass)  first came to Desert Psychlist's attention when Dani Audi, head honcho at Discos Macarras Records and drummer for heavy rock band Memest, messaged Desert Psychlist suggesting we should to check out the bands self-titled debut EP "Queen Marsa",which given Dani's impeccable taste in music we immediately did, what we heard was a band with a real feel and understanding of 70's hard rock but also knew how to mould that sound to appeal to a modern day audience. That was three years ago and things went a little quiet for a while causing Desert Psychlist to fear that Queen Marsa was another of those bands that had not come out of the other side of the worlds Covid crisis. Those fears were allayed however when Dani once again got in touch to inform us the band were releasing a full length album entitled "I Am The Land" (Discos Macarras Records), so it looks like that Mallorcan trip could still be on the cards.

"Guagameia" kicks things off, an old school hard rocker packed solid with everything you loved about rock before the the size of a bands hair become more important than the quality of their music, grinding crunchy guitar tones, bass lines played on more than one string, drumming that swings as much as it thunders and vocals that combine power with melody. "Made For Lovers" follows, a song with a title that suggests balladry but is in fact a swaggering stuttering tour-de-force with more hooks than a cloakroom. Three songs in and you might be thinking its time for a change in tempo and that is exactly what you don't get, unless you count the songs slightly bluesy middle section but even that hits harder than a heavyweight boxer. "The Trick Is You Don't Mind" is a driving rocker with an element of psychedelic headiness sitting in its centre and leads into title track "I Am The Land" a song with a groove that routinely shifts between a restrained chug and a sudden explosion and boasts a vocal melody so catchy it demands the wearing of a face mask. If you are a fan of Australian rockers Electric Mary then you cannot fail to enjoy "Stop Dry" as it has that same dirty bluesiness and thunderous drive that has become that bands trademark. A touch of southern bluesy swagger and wah pedal drenched funkiness informs "Treat Me Like You Do" combined with excellent guitar solos and another of those superb throaty vocal performances while "The Truth (You Don't Want To Know)" throws a little proggish texturing into ring just to show this is a band with more than one string to their collective bow. "Outlaw On The Run" brings things to a close in furious style, circular twin guitar motifs and palm muted riffs swirling and crunching respectively over a tight, tight rhythmic groove decorated with a gritty but uber melodic and powerful vocal.

Stoner rock fans  and hard rock fans share a love of riffs, driving rhythms and searing solos but whereas it is the riff that is often the deal breaker for stoner rock fans, and any furnishings around that riff are a bonus, your hard rock fan is a much more discerning listener who demands catchy choruses and hooks big enough to hang a sky on. Queen Marsa's "I Am The Land" is an album that WILL appeal to the stoner rockers but is first and foremost aimed at the latter group. 
Check it out ...  

© 2023 Frazer Jones

Thursday, 28 September 2023

TUSOC ~ ÉTER .... review

Desert Psychlist has something a little different and more than a little special to bring you today, that something is an album from an Argentinian combo calling themselves Tusoc and the album in question is called "Éter" (English translation: ether). Tusoc, Fabián Lugones (bass); Guillermo Lambrisca (guitar); Alberto Lugones (drums) and Fernando Morelli (vocals), formed in Rosario in 2020 and in 2022 they released their debut album "Un cipr​é​s en llamas". The bands sound is an enticing mix of heavy.psych, post rock and proggish metal flecked with elements of stoner grittiness and Latin swing, it's a sound that sits a little left of centre of what we usually post here on The Psychlist but its one well worth hearing.

Things begin fairly gnarled and heavy with opening track "Altiplano" but that initial heaviness soon settles down and the band slip effortlessly into a groove that sits somewhere between alt-metal and post-rock around a clean vocal (Spanish) edged with just hint of grittiness, its a sound that is easy on the ear yet gnarly enough to get the blood pumping. This is followed by "Forastero" a song with a loud/quiet/loud dynamic, its louds powerful and crunchy, its quiets sweeping and serene both dynamics decorated in vocal tones so smooth you could spread them on bread. "Vertiente" is up next and finds Tusoc flexing their experimental muscles, droning noise the platform from which a myriad of guitar effects is launched."Errante" follows and is a song that is partly a gentle stroll through the meadows and partly a strident gallop into battle and proves to be just as superb on both fronts. "Mitico" raises its head above the parapets next and is the perfect song for those out there who like their grooves with a little meat on them, it is a raucous romp packed with chugging riffs and searing solos driven by a tight rhythm section, it also boasts the albums grittiest vocal. "Icaro" is for Desert Psychlist the stand out track of the album, a song that is as tantalising and beautiful as it is punchy and aggressive, shimmering arpeggios and fractured chords making way for searing guitar solos and thrumming riffs, restrained rhythm standing aside for thunderous percussive attack, the vocals effortlessly switches up from a saccharine croon to a melodious yell as the song progresses. Title track "Éter" makes its appearance next and sees Tusoc adding a little doomic dankness to their already impressive armoury, the guitar tones here are darker, the drumming more insistent, the bass growlier and the vocals a touch more sneery and snarly. Tusoc brings things to a close with "Poniente" a brief but quite engaging instrumental piece that uses wind like effects to frame the gentle picking of what sounds like a mandolin, the song is not something you would expect as a closing statement but we did say these guys were a bit different.

"Éter" is a stunning opus from a country whose music scene is fast growing in international stature, it is not a particularly heavy album nor is it one you could describe as being ambient but it does posses elements of both those dynamics. Tusoc's sound is an embracing one, it is a musical hug that wraps around you and pulls you in, and we all need a hug sometimes.
Check 'em out ...

© 2023 Frazer Jones

Wednesday, 27 September 2023


Orbiter, not to be confused with the Florida metal outfit, the Norwegian stoner metal combo or the New Haven post-rock duo (all of whom bear the same name) are a collective of musicians hailing from Helsinki, Finland who jam doomy grooves blended with elements of psych and alt-metal. The band, Carolin (vocals); Alexander (guitars); Tuomas (bass) and Sami (drums) have been doing their thing since 2017 but first came to Desert Psychlist's attention via their 2020 EP "The Deluge", a collection of Sabbath inspired psychedelic tinted doom fronted by exquisite and quite unique vocals. Three years and a pandemic after "The Deluge" the band return to grace our ears off with some new music, this time in the form of a full album entitled "Hollow World".(Argonauta Records)

Beneath artwork, that reminds Desert Psychlist of paintings often found gracing the walls of British middle class households in the early 70's, lies a music that has that rare quality of being heavy yet strangely soothing. Opening track "Silence Breaks" is the perfect example of how Orbiter achieve this heavy but soothing balancing act, the songs heavy pounding rhythms and thrumming dank riffs are exactly what you would expect to hear from a band who have thrown their collective hats into the doom metal ring but are offset by a vocal that is an intriguing mix of monotonic and ethereal. Orbiter move into slightly more uptempo doomic waters for next track "Beneath" still dank, still heavy but somewhat more strident, a stridency matched by vocalist Carolin shifting her delivery up a gear and adding a touch more soaring urgency into her vocal attack. Third song "Kolibri", is a beautiful instrumental piece for guitar that works both as a standalone track and as a companion piece to title track "Hollow World" where we find Orbiter once again balancing moments of powerful heaviness with moments of lilting serenity, an element of lounge lizard jazziness sneaking into the songs undulating dynamic in places. Orbiter bring a touch of Nordic folkishness into play for next track "Raven Bones" with Sami laying down a tribalistic drum tattoo behind Tuomas' low liquid bass lines and Alexander's thrumming darkened riffs, Carolin adding the cherry to the cake with a vocal that shifts between fragile smokiness and mournful majesty . The band go down the instrumental psych route for next number "Transmissions", Sami and Tuomas laying down a circular rhythmic groove over which a variety of  electronic effects burp, burble and blip, if that sounds a bit weird it's because it is, but it is also very enjoyable. It seems that everyone gets their moment in the sun on this album and "Under Your Spell" is Carolin's moment, backed by a lone guitar she sings a tale of secret passageways and tangled roots in lilting tones that sit somewhere between folk(ish) and jazzy. Closing song "Last Call" finds Carolin reverting back to the slightly monotonic delivery she employed on the albums opening track against a backdrop of atmospheric groove that in its initial stages boasts a low slow and heavy dynamic but gradually increases in tempo as the song progresses towards its dark droning finale.

Elements of psych, occult rock, folk and doom can all be found floating around in the music Orbiter bring to our ears with "Hollow World" but in truth they are not really one or the other, they have a sound totally unique to themselves, a sound that is as refreshing as it is different.
Check 'em out ...

© 2023 Frazer Jones

Tuesday, 26 September 2023


 That mysterious essence that seems to inspire so many Swedish bands to create quality heavy music appears to have once again made its way into the Swedish water system this time infecting four guys from Gothenburg working under the collective title of Stone Of Duna. The band, who at the time of writing this review have not yet set foot on a stage, have just released, via Bandcamp, their debut album "Moonsplitter" a promising and most enjoyable blending of fuzzy stoner/hard rock, prog metal and psych that we guarantee you are going to love. 

"Dirge For Fallen Giants" opens things up, its doomic intro, dark and throbbing, soon making way for a stuttering stoner metal like groove made strangely effective thanks to its understated but totally in the zone drumming. The songs lyrical content,  mythological and poetic, is delivered in powerful clean tones that possess a soulful clarity not usually the norm at the heavier end of the rock spectrum. "Deathbright" follows and sees the band bringing a little prog-like texturing to the table along with some nice grunge/alt-metal like vocal dynamics and off the scale guitar pyrotechnics, its understandable why they chose this as a single as it hits on every level. The proggish texturing of the previous track comes into its own on "Stygian Slumber" with crunching chord progressions, growling bass lines and thunderous drum patterns sharing space with gentle arpeggios, liquid low end and restrained but still swinging percussion beneath a vocal that soars and swoops with melodic muscularity. Desert Psychlist may be swimming against the tide here, as people are already making comparisons with TOOL, but we hear an element of Dream Theatre in next song "The Seven Aspect Snake" albeit slightly more thundersome and doomic and fronted by vocals that do not possess an annoying wobble. Final number and title track "Moonsplitter" sees Stone Of Duna going large, a ten minute plus opus that allows them to put all their musical eggs in one basket, crunching heaviness, grungy dynamics and prog complexity all blended together to create one epic wave goodbye that will leave many wondering what a second Stone Of Duna album may one day bring.

Comparisons are already being made between Stone Of Duna and some of the big hitters in the prog-metal genre but these guys are more than just another prog related metal outfit, they also incorporate the grittiness of stoner rock,  the dynamics of alt-metal and the dankness of doom into their sound. "Moonsplitter" is not just an album for prog metal fans it is an album for anyone who appreciates good, well played and well written rock music. 
Check it out ....

© 2023 Frazer Jones

Monday, 25 September 2023


Australian sextet Astronomie came into being in 2017 when guitarist Bean and bassist Kenny Slessor decided to combine their love of sci-fi with their love of slow heavy music and then proceeded to recruit musicians who could make that vision. a blending of space rock swirliness and heavy doom sludginess, a reality. The band, which also includes James Webster (vocals); Anna KG (backing vocals); Glen K (lead guitar) and Android (drums & percussion), call what they do "sublime heaviness" a statement Desert Psychlist finds very hard to argue with.

Opening song "The Infinite" begins just how you would hope any heavy album would open, a brief intro and then straight into the main riff, a chugging heavily fuzzed out riff driven by low booming bass and thunderous drum patterns enhanced by occasional searing lead breaks. Now that would already be enough to catch the interest of any discerning fan of heavy music but then Asronomie up the ante by decorating those resulting grooves with vocals that are a mix of mellow, yet strong, lead and powerful harmonies before finishing things off with some Hawkwind-esque swirliness, its a powerful opening statement. We have already mentioned Hawkwind, it is hard not to when discussing space themed rock music, and next track "Galactic Jack" is pure Hawkwind worship from its Nick Turner like vocal delivery right down to its space boogie type dynamics and Michael Moorcock flavoured lyrical content. Things take a darker turn for title track "Interstellar Nomad", the song still retaining an essence of that sonic vibe borrowed from Ladbroke Grove's finest  hippy space rockers but this time twinned with a touch of doomic dankness. We are offered a brief but quaint interlude with "Syzygy" then its back to the heavy for "Moondozer", the song boasting a low slow dynamic more akin to stoner doom than it is to space rock. Things get a little sludgy for "War Eternal" the songs dark lyrics telling of "the deaths of a billion young men" is mirrored with dank heavy guitar tones and mournful vocal melodies while final song, "Sea of Thirst" paints a lyrical picture of  a dying universe against a musical backdrop that incorporates everything from crunching doomic riffs to swirling bluesy solos, its vocals delivered in a weird but effective meter that's not quite rapping but not quite singing either, more a melodic shout.

Creating a sound that is both crushing AND spacious is no easy feat but with "Interstellar Nomad" Astronomie have managed to pull off that feat with unerring ease. As debut albums go this one's up there with some of the best.
Check it out ...  

© 2023 Frazer Jones

Tuesday, 19 September 2023



Desert Psychlist loves a good book and our favourite reading material is sci-fi and fantasy, now why do we need to tell you that you might ask, well the reason is that is the artwork for the album we are about to review is laid out very much like something that might grace the cover of such a novel, bold print over a painting depicting an alien landscape. The album in question is "Arrival of the Waves" by New Hampshire outfit Abel Blood,  Adam Joslyn (guitar/bass/vocals); Malcolm Salls (guitar/bass/vocals) and Jim DeLuca (drums), and the music concealed beneath that artwork is of an equally alien and otherworldly quality.

"Arrival of the Waves" is not typical of the albums we usually review here on Desert Psychlist, it has riffs of course but those riffs are not the prime driving force behind the music gracing its nine songs, it's vocals are neither stoner gritty or metallically harsh instead they possess a goth rock quality once the preserve of bands like Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy, and if that was not enough it's grooves routinely shift between spaced out and lilting and heavy and droning. "Arrival of the Waves" doesn't quite fit into any of the usual boxes we create for our music and that is its greatest asset, it's an album that melds together everything from doom to Americana, an album of music that'll tear your nerve ends to shreds with its caustic refrains one minute then gently wrap you up in a blanket of melodious swirling ambience the next. Tracks like "Kept Them Past", "Reflections", "Scrape The Dirt" and the epic "Mental Note" are not just songs they are audial experiences that both enrich and elevate and take you to places only really great music can and "Arrival of the Waves" is REALLY great music.

Abel Blood have broken the mould with "Arrival of the Waves" they have created something that speaks to its listener not just on a musical level but also on a spiritual level, a mixture of heaviness and transcendency that goes beyond  just being sound and becomes something almost tangible.
Check it out ... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

Monday, 18 September 2023



Today, due to dour weather and various health problems, Desert Psychlist was searching for something that might lift our mood and make us feel a bit better about our situation, something that met our heavy, fuzzy and doomic criteria but still had a bit of a feel good factor about it, and like a good nurse Bandcamp provided the medicine. The tonic we found came in the shape of a four song EP titled "Warriors of Doom" recorded by a four piece from Amsterdam going by the name of Fuzzard, an EP that despite its heaviness carried somewhat of an upbeat and joyous swagger in its gait. Some of you might remember the names Bas (guitar, vocals); Arianne (guitar, vocals); Tijmen (bass, vocals) and Niels (drums) gracing the line up of another Amsterdam band called Gaai and that would be because it is the same band but whereas with Gaai this line-up toyed with a more stoner/psych sound with Fuzzard they go all in doom. Now given that Fuzzard have hardly any presence on social media there is good chance they will never know how much their little EP has brightened up our day, let alone that it has moved us to pen a few words about it, but never mind we did it anyway.

Fuzzard open up their new release with "Subject #69", guitar tones dialled to fuzzy and rhythms pushing thunderous, now given that this is an EP with the word "doom" in its title you might be thinking this dynamic is somewhat par for the course but then in come the vocals and turn things completely upside down, instead of an Ozzy type nasal whine or a Dio-esque howl what we get is clean lead and shared harmonies delivered in an almost playful meter that are in perfect sync with the songs equally playful but nevertheless heavy groove. For next track, "Serpent King", guitarist Arianne steps up to the mic to tell us a tale of "emerald spires" and "lizards and snakes" in creamy smooth powerful tones, even throwing in a token growl at one point, against a backdrop of gnarly occult rocking doom. Title track "Warriors of Doom" is a song with its tongue pushed so far into its cheek its in danger of escaping its mouth entirely,  it's lyrics are a satirical overview of climate change and its effects on the planet delivered in an almost comedic and somewhat vaudevillian vocal style, it's a song with a serious political message but that delivers its message with an element of irony attached. Fuzzard bring things to a close with a cover of Ansley Dunbar's "The Warning" cleverly mixing the bluesiness of Dunbar's original with the more proto-doom version made famous by Black Sabbath while still managing to put their own unique spin on things.

Fuzzard's "Warriors of Doom" is one of those releases you fall in love with but are never quite sure if others will share your enthusiasm for, this may be because "doom" is a generally expected to be dour dank and dark with fun not something many fans look for in the genre. This EP however is both dank and dark AND FUN and if you don't like that then it's your loss.
Check it out ...

 © 2023 Frazer Jones