Saturday 31 March 2018


One definition of the word cosmic is something that is "inconceivably vast" and that is exactly what you can expect from Berlin, Germany's purveyors of the lysergic and trippy Cosmic Fall. The band, Daniel Sax (drums), Klaus Friedrich (bass/vocals) and Marcin Morawski ( guitar) describe themselves as a psychedelic jam band so the question is can a band who have a tendency, and need, to go off on tangents into the unknown be confined by the parameters placed upon them by studio time and album length, well I guess we will find out by giving their latest release "In Search of Outer Space" a listen.

Deep rolling distorted bass backed by solid insistent percussion introduces first track "Jabberwocky" and is then joined by wailing low pitched guitar only for it to all fall away when the vocals enter. Not wishing to sound rude or of stereotyping a particular style of singing but Friedrich's vocals do have a distinctive Germanic tone, a tone often associated with the work of  Kraftwerk, an almost robotic baritone delivery that at first listen sounds slightly at odds with the swirling psych that surrounds them but after their initial shock dissipates seem like the most natural thing in the world. Whether your a fan of Friedrich's vocal stylings or not the real meat and potatoes of Cosmic Fall's sound is their ability to take a groove and twist and bend it into any shape or form they desire, taking off on tangents into hyperspace one minute grooving on the dirtiest of riffs the next while shoehorning elements of jazz, metal, funk and good old fashioned rock into those grooves along the way. Musically these guys are firmly on point with Friedrich holding down the bottom end on songs like "Narcotic Vortex", "Lumberjam" and the aforementioned "Jabberwocky" with a mixture of liquid funky and fuzz heavy distorted bass while Sax's drumming throughout is nothing short of breath-taking, especially on the laid back "Purification" where his jazzy chops are well and truly to the fore. Morawski meantime takes elements from such guitar masters as Gilmour, Hendrix, Page and Holdsworth and blends them together in a mish mash of styles that comes out as pure Morawski, using elements, drawn from a wide musical spectrum, to paint swirling brush strokes of scintillating lead over Friedrich and Sax's ever shifting rhythmic textures.

The title of this album is "In Search Of Outer Space" and they say that the search is half the fun, if they are having this much fun just searching imagine the fun they will have when they finally find what they are looking for
Check it out ...

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Friday 30 March 2018


Greek mythology tells us that from the demise of the legendary Phoenix another will rise from its ashes and take its place, well that legend when applied to Oxford based doomsters Indica Blues has a ring of truth to it. When cult Oxford doomsters Caravan of Whores called it a day fan Tom Pilsworth, a guitarist/vocalist with a love of Kyuss and Electric Wizard, approached CoW's now out of work guitarist John Slaymaker and invited him to a jam, the pair hit it off both musically and personally and after recruiting Andrew Haines-Villalta on bass and Ed Glenn on drums (Glenn has since left the band and has been replaced by Rich Walker) Indica Blues were born.
The current line up have just released the follow up to their well received debut "Ruins On The Shore" entitled "Hymns For A Dying Realm". ( Releases April 21 2018. available to pre-order from their Bandcamp page now)

Doom, as a genre, is a many headed beast sprouting a myriad of sub-genre faces snapping and snarling at each other from a dark powerful neck so the question you may be asking now is what doomic face does Oxford's Indica Blues wear? Well the answer to that question is not as straightforward as you might expect as Indica Blues are as prone to travelling the traditional route as they are to travelling down more diverse roads, the band blending elements of  old school grandeur with those of a more lysergic and stonerized nature while at the same time tipping their caps to the Sabbath's, Budgie's and May Blitz's whose proto-metal endeavour's unwittingly and unknowingly kick started this whole doom thing. The old school elements of  Indica Blues sound are well represented here on "Hymns For A Dying Realm" by the albums first two songs "Cosmic Fall" and "Knight's Return" both of which are driven by pounding percussion and throbbing deep bass lines then overlaid with clean. slightly stilted and gothic vocal tones around which overdriven crunching riffs and swirling dark solo's are weaved. If the grandiose doom of the likes of Candlemass and Reverend Bizarre are your thing then you may now be thinking you've opened the door to your own personal heaven but there is more to Indica Blues than just big riffs and big vocals as can be witnessed on the album's next track,"Reigns End", which not only raises the albums tempo up a notch or two but also sees the band experimenting with touches of goth rock texturing. Here the big riffs and pummeling percussion, employed on the songs verses, are fractured by shimmering chordal voicings, on its chorus, and give the song a feel that would not have sounded out of place on one of The Cure's (British goth rock band) darker, early career, albums. "Scum River" follows and finds the band back in low, slow territory but this time salting their sedate refrains with a sprinkling of heady lysergic flavouring with scorching blues infused lead work swooping and swirling over a backdrop of grainy doom groove. "Pearls In The Ash" and "Island of Hate" follow in very much the same vein with heavy riffs, thundering percussion and psych drenched solo's the frame around which mournful clean vocals tell their stories of  woe and wonder before the band bring things to a close with "Psychedelic Haze" a huge atmospheric tome infused with bluesy colourings and proto doomic dankness that takes off into the stratosphere in its final third courtesy of it's spine-chilling, jaw dropping guitar solo.

Indica Blues, with "Hymns For A Dying Realm", have taken traditional doom back into territories the genre was heading towards, before the stoners, droners and black metallers hijacked it and diverted it down new paths, and have done so by not blinkering themselves to those other forms and styles but by amalgamating some, but not all, of those forms into their own sound, creating a sort of hybrid that has is roots in the traditional but it's head in the clouds.
Check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Sunday 25 March 2018


Two six-string guitars, one set of drums might suggest a lack of bottom end in a bands overall sonic impact but Quebec based Canadian psychonauts Cleophuzz, Alex Sabourin (rhythm guitar), Joe Poitras (guitar/vocals) and Joseph Grenier (drums), have no problems with putting "the low" into their particular brand of desert tinted, blues flecked psychedelic rock as can be witnessed when giving the bands eclectic debut EP "Wizard of Phuzz" (releases March 30th 2018) a spin.

"Wizard of Phuzz" opens its account with "Sandstorm" an instrumental that begins its life in Colour Haze flavoured style, moody, atmospheric and drenched in fuzz. The song crawls and drags itself slowly along on this experimental, highly atmospheric dynamic, embellished with clever little sound effects,  gradually gaining in momentum before climbing to its feet and suddenly exploding into a heavy psychedelic/desert groove pushed by Grenier's pummelling percussion and Sabourin's grainy, heavily effected rhythmic guitar and overlayed with swirling lysergic colouring courtesy of Poitras' hugely distorted lead work. "Mirage" follows and although very much in the same ballpark soundwise as the previous track this time the band introduces a little laid back bluesy swagger into the equation, a swagger that is further emphasised by Poitras  throaty, slightly weary but totally effective vocal melody. Next track " Half Moon Ritual" finds Cleophuzz exploring their spiritual, transcendental side with an achingly beautiful instrumental that has a strong Arabian/Indian influence and sees Grenier providing a strong backbone of tribalistic percussion around which Sabourin and Poitras weave a smorgasbord of diverse, exhilarating and majestic glistening arpeggios, fractured chords and swooping solo's all competing and complementing each other against a backdrop of mesmerising eastern rhythms. It seems fitting, given the Cleophuzz's obvious desert rock influences, that they should brings things to a close with "Walk of Shame" a song that ties all the elements of the albums previous songs together in one place and adds into that mix a touch of Kyuss-like Palm Desert swing with Poitras very much channelling the raw spirit of John Garcia in his strong powerful vocal delivery.

Desert rock is a term and genre that covers quite a wide and varied spectrum taking in the experimental explorations of bands like Causa Sui, Colour Haze and Sungrazer right through to the raucous riffery  of Kyuss and Unida, Cleophuzz with "Wizard of Phuzz" have found a place for themselves in a middle ground sitting somewhere between those dynamics, a place that allows them the freedom to experiment and rock out in equal measure, a place you should most definitely visit.
Check 'em out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Friday 23 March 2018


Desert Psychlist are not the first site to review Green Druid's debut album nor we suspect will we be the last and in reading the reviews  from our colleagues in the undergrounds free press (for research reasons, no plagiarism here) there seems to be a lot of Sleep, Electric Wizard comparisons being made with regard to this Denver based quartet. Now for some that may not seem a bad thing others may well disagree but whatever your stance there is no denying that the bands first full length album "Ashen Blood". (Earache Records), is something that certainly makes its presence felt.

They say "big is beautiful" and it has to be said that although beautiful is not something Green Druid were specifically aiming for with "Ashen Blood" big is certainly something they have achieved. What we have here are seven dank slow, low and heavy tomes, six of which span from just under nine minutes to an epic eighteen plus, with only one "Nightfall", an eerie collection of drones, scraping metal and cawing bird effects, falling under four minutes. "Pale Blood Sky" opens proceedings and begins with the band laying down a swathe of grizzled, grainy low slung riffage that suddenly falls away when the vocals appear. Up to this moment it is fairly easy to understand why those comparisons with Sleep and Electric Wizard have been made as there is a similar level of relentlessness and raw depth to the riffs and rhythms executed here, however the addition of guitarist/vocalist Chris McLaughlin's voice to the mix takes things in a whole new direction. McLaughlin's vocals, whether singing clean and mellow or growling harsh and feral, have a certain uniqueness that is hard to describe, there are times, like on the quieter moments of the superbly schizophrenic "Dead Tree", when his voice almost wanders into indie/alt territory, his harsher delivery is also just as unique with him avoiding the usual low guttural approach and opting for a far more manic larynx shredding roar, while on "Ritual Sacrifice" his heavily phased vocal gives the song an almost otherworldly feel. McLaughlin's diverse array of vocal tones throughout "Ashen Blood" are what gives Green Druid their edge over similar sounding bands and helps elevate the albums songs to a level they might not have attained if the band had employed a vocalist of a more generic doom nature  McLaughlin's voice and guitar contributions are superbly backed up by Ryan Skates growling, grumbling bass and Ryan Sims powerful, relentless percussion the pair combining to lay down huge arrays of thunderous groove on the albums heavier sections yet able to lay out considerate and supportive on its quieter, more lysergic moments, creating the perfect rhythmic platform for guitarists Graham Zander and McLaughlin to decorate with their mix of crunching down tuned power chords and dark swirling, psych drenched solo's, their guitars weaving around each other to fill the spaces Skates and Sims leave with swathes of dank but vibrant six-string colouring.

Those fans of Sleep and Electric Wizard brought here by those reviews, mentioned in this pieces intro, will no doubt revel in the heaviness and remorselessness of the grooves found within "Ashen Blood" but those with a more discerning palette, who may find the more progressive/psychedelic, yet still as heavy, leanings of the likes of Elder and Spelljammer more to there taste, will also discover plenty here to drool and slaver over too.
Check it out .....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Thursday 22 March 2018


Whoever came up with the idea of pairing Irish riffmeisters Slomatics with that of Welsh heavy psychonauts Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard deserves a hearty pack on the back, MWWB's ethereal fronted heavy psych grooves are a perfect match for those gnarled monolithic riffs and distanced vocals Slomatics bring to the table, as the two bands recent split "Totems" (Black Bow Records) can testify.

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard get first crack of the whip on "Totems", contributing two epic songs, the first, "The Master And His Emissary", a massive twelve minute plus opus packed to the rafters with swirling guitars and haunting vocals underpinned by a throbbing slow rhythmic groove. The second "Eagduru"(an Anglo-Saxon/Celtic word for eye-door or window), is a much more diverse affair , shifting through a series of undulating heavy doomic grooves counterbalanced by sweet almost honeyed vocals.
Slomatics, who have often bemused and confused Desert Psychlist by tending to lean a touch too far towards the repetitive drone end of the doom spectrum, here redeem themselves with three of the best songs they have probably ever recorded. "Ancient Architects" throbs with latent malevolence, its intensity almost tangible, it's shifting rhythms and riffs overlaid with clean powerful vocals all combining to pin you down like a butterfly in a collectors case. "Silver Ships Into the Future" sees the band experimenting with progressive ambience, a lone piano comping out a series of single notes against a background of swirling electronic noise, its tranquil, haunting and strangely beautiful. "Masters Descent",  Slomatics final contribution and EP closer, is a doomic tome enriched by thick sludgy riffs and slow pummelling percussion over which dark droning guitar solo's are laid as well as those already mentioned powerful, slightly distant vocals. Dark, dank and majestic it's the perfect finish to a perfect split.

"Totems" showcases two bands who sit a little left of centre from the other bands residing in the halls of doom, both bands prefer to keep things slow, psychedelic and a little intense and both bands prefer to balance their grinding heaviness with vocals of a sweeter cleaner nature. As Desert Psychlist has mentioned before ,in past reviews, split releases can be tricky affairs but when they work they are not just a novelty item showcasing two bands to a wider audience, they are, like "Totems", an essential purchase.
Check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Wednesday 21 March 2018

SUNNATA ~ OUTLANDS .... review

Poland's Sunnata caused a bit of tremor to resonate around the stoner/doom community with the release of their 2016 album "Zorya", a stunning collection of psych drenched tunes infused with both doom and post-metal textures that had reviewers falling over themselves to heap praise upon. Some called it spiritual and transcendental, others called it mind expanding and brave, either way you looked at it Sunnata had with "Zorya" announced their arrival as a major player on the underground scene.This year (2018) the band return to once again expand our minds and re-spin our chakras with their latest offering "Outlands".(Releases March 23)

"Outlands" begins with "Intro" a series of deep disonant droning effects backed by chiming percussion that slowly segues into "Lucid Dream" an eastern tinted opus based around a deliciously liquid bass line over which eastern tinted guitar motifs are weaved backed up some superbly restrained but totally effective drumming. The song has a strong spiritual feel which is made to feel even more so by the use of clean, mellow cantilated style vocal melodies. more intoned than actually sang giving the song an almost mystical feel. This spiritualistic approach is prominent throughout "Outlands" eight tracks with many of the songs having an almost devout feel, albeit with a heavy doom/post-metal bias, the band blending elements of grunge, sludge,stoner, psych and even Indian raga into songs with titles like "Gordian Knot" and "Hollow Kingdom" , stirring these elements together in one big melting pot to create something that is as exciting as it is unique

Sometimes brutal, sometimes beautiful, sometimes challenging, sometimes simple but at all times totally intruiguing and immersive "Outlands" is an album that delivers on all levels.
Check it out .....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Sunday 18 March 2018

OKWAHO ~ OKWAHO .... review

In the realms of doom and sludge metal "atmosphere" can be almost as an important factor in defining your sound as the strength of your songs and instrumental prowess, there are many ways a band can ramp up a songs atmospherics but by far the best and most effective way is by tuning low and playing your grooves at a sedate, almost pedestrian tempo. Athens based Greek sludgemeisters Okwaho, Andreas (drums), Bob (bass) and George (guitar/vocals), are one such band to use this technique, combining their low slung riffage with almost equally low slung vocal tones  all underpinned by pummelling slow and heavy percussion, as can be heard on the bands self-titled debut album "Okwaho"

It is unlikely that the music Okwaho create is one that will cause a continuous outbreak of swirling moshpits to erupt at their live gigs, the more likely scenario is one of long haired heads nodding as one to the slow deliberate heavy grooves being laid before them. If Desert Psychlist were to use an analogy to describe Okwaho's sound then it would be to say that the bands groove is akin to an old grizzly bear, a growling, lumbering mass of muscle and teeth that although is not as fast as its younger brethren is nonetheless still as highly dangerous. This feeling of lumbering menace is perfectly exemplified right from the off with title track "Okwaho", a grumbling low, slow and heavy tome that crawls from the speakers driven by slow thunderous percussion and rumbling bass. Overlaid with thick gravel throated vocal tones and a mixture of crunching sludge guitar riffage and lysergic infused solo's the song drips and drools with a latent malevolence and menace and perfectly sets the tone for everything else to come. It would be wrong however to say that "Okwaho" is just a long procession of doom and despair as there are many moments of bright shinning light to be found among the dankness and gloom of the albums seven songs, such as on the superbly atmospheric "Bitter Taste of Betrayal", where in the songs last quarter the curtains of doom are briefly parted and the listener is treated to a blistering blues drenched guitar solo backed by an almost proto(ish) hard rock groove, and the chugging "Stray Hound" with its, albeit vastly slower, stoner rock feel. Blending melody with brutality is no easy thing but Okwaho have managed to balance the two superbly by offsetting their heavy riffs and rhythms with brief but strategic moments of bluesy swagger and lysergic colouring and in doing so have created a highly enjoyable and well rounded album.

If your a fan of Dopelord, Weedeater and their ilk but also partial to the likes of Egypt, Goya and Electric Wizard then you might just find "Okwaho" is the album for you
Check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Saturday 17 March 2018

SuuM ~ BURIED INTO THE GRAVE .... review

Old school doom à la Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Reverend Bizarre is becoming a bit of a rarity of late replaced by a much harder more abrasive form of the genre with harsher style vocals, thankfully though that classic doom sound of yore can still be found if your willing to look hard enough. One band still keeping the old school doom flame burning are Italian quartet SuuM, Mark Wolf (vocals), Painkiller (guitars), Marcas (bass) and Rick (drums), who take the traditional approach to doom, pioneered by those bands already mentioned, but bring it up to date by salting it with elements found in doom's present, something they do to great effect on their new album "Buried Into The Grave"   ( Endless Winter for CD, Hellas Records for tape).

Traditional forms of doom require, above all else, a vocalist capable of delivering tones that are a little bit gothic, a touch grandiose and a whole lot powerful and in Mark Wolf SuuM have found a vocalist who ticks all those boxes. Wolf's vocals range from Bela Lugosi-ish sinister and operatic to harsh, growling and feral while retaining both power and clarity in both, his voice as much an instrument as those played by the rest of the band. Big vocals need big music to compliment them and SuuM provide huge swathes of dank, atmospheric doom to do just that,  Marcas and Rick laying down a massive foundation of heavy grumbling bass and tumultuous percussion around which the wonderfully named Painkiller weaves a mixture of crunching and swirling dank and dark guitar textures. The seven songs on "Buried Into The Grave" stay very much within traditional doom territory with songs like "Black Mist", "Seeds of Decay" and "Shadows Haunt The Night" all boasting huge grooves of atmospheric doom coated in gothic tinted vocals but the band are also prepared to step out of their traditional doom comfort zone and blacken up their sound with a little modern harshness as on the excellent title track "Buried Into the Grave".

The beacon of traditional/classic doom may not be burning as bright today as it was back in the day but SuuM are making sure, with "Buried Into The Grave", that there is still a vestige of flame still flickering brightly among its ashes.
Check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Friday 16 March 2018


Cybernetic Witch Cult, Sergeant Thunderhoof and Steak are just a few UK bands making their presence felt not only on their own home turf but also further afield, sitting proudly at the forefront of this little British rock revolution are a little five piece combo from Oxford going by the name of  Desert Storm. The band, Matt Ryan (vocals), Chris White (guitar), Ryan Cole (guitar), Chris Benoist (bass) and Elliot Cole (drums), have been steadily building their reputation as a mean, lean riff machine via an almost insane touring schedule and the release of a series of absolutely essential groove drenched albums, the latest of which is entitled "Sentinels" (APF Records)

"Journey's End" may seem a strange title for the opening track of a new album but then Desert Storm are not a band who like to do things straightforward and conventional as the songs diverse shifts in mood,dynamics and tempo will testify. The first thing to hit you about "Journey's End" and the subsequent nine tracks that follow it is in how far this band have come in both instrumental prowess and sonic impact since the release of their self titled 2008 debut "Desert Storm", an evolution that has arisen from an almost constant touring regime and hard work spent in the rehearsal room. There are moments during "Sentinels" that, if it wasn't for Matt Ryan's powerful, thick sludge bellow, you could almost be convinced you were listening to some Swedish progressive metal band rather than a sludge based rock band from a city in England, especially on tracks like "Too Far Gone" and "King Of Horns" where Chris White and Ryan Cole's excellent guitar interplay, expertly supported by Chris Benoist's big booming bass and Elliot Cole's tumultuous percussion, take things to another level entirely. Fans of Desert Storm's raucous origins need not fear the band have evolved too far away from their heavy stoner /sludge metal roots however as there is plenty here that will satisfy their needs such the hard hitting "Gearhead" with its heavy/light/heavy dynamics, the swaggering "Drifter" with its southern tinted edges and "Convulsions" with its initial doomic beginnings gradually making way for full on sludge metal bluster.

"Sentinels" follows on pretty much where Desert Storm's last album "Omniscient" left off except this time around the band have slightly shifted their focus towards a more complex and progressive attack, still as intense and bludgeoning as before but with subtle shades thrown in to add relief and contrast.
Check it out ...

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Tuesday 13 March 2018


Sweden, that hub of so much of that which has become essential listening within our ever growing underground community, once again delivers something special. Fungus Hill a five piece band from Umea have just released what amounts to a sci-fi themed concept album consisting of ten deliciously diverse songs, seamlessly stitched together in one fifty minute suite entitled "Cosmic Construction on Proxima B"

Fungus Hill, Erik Sköld (guitar), Nils Mörtzell (drums), Gustav Orvafors (guitar/vocals), Tom Westerlund (bass) and Jenny Isaksson (vocals/percussion), tell. over the course of forty nine minutes twenty three seconds, a story of  mass exodus from a dying Earth in order to build a new life on a distant planet. Not an exactly new concept you might say, there are many songs and albums that have explored similar territory, where Fungus Hill differ however is in the way they have laid out their tale. Using snippets of sampled dialogue in strategic places to tie everything together the band have created an immersive experience, much like a well written novel, whereby the listener is placed within the story as opposed to being stood outside merely listening in, an almost rock opera approach that combines story and music in a unique and quite exhilarating blend. Musically the band have slightly shifted from the stonerized heavy blues and psych of their previous full length release, "Creatures", and moved into more progressive territories, the band salting their grooves with a mixture of  jazz-like colourings, lysergic textures and complex prog flavourings, filling out their sound with these elements while at the same time keeping a firm grip on those hard earned stonerized rock credentials that first drew many to the band's musical vision in the first place.

Intelligent, enthralling and highly enjoyable "Cosmic Construction on Proxima B" is a concept album, a space opera and a sci-fi novel all cleverly wrapped up in one and is something you need to check out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Saturday 10 March 2018

AUX ERA ~ AUX ERA ... review

Very rarely does Desert Psychlist come across an album that has us struggling with the words to describe it, usually with the vast majority of albums there are reference points whereby the humble reviewer is able to point their readers towards something similar sounding so he/she can get a rough idea of a said albums sound, dynamic and genre. This is not really the case with Brooklyn's Aux Era's self titled album "Aux Era" the band, Dylan Ricards (vocals/guitar & keys), Tommy Orza (bass) and Jeff Stieber (drums), having created something sonically unique and quite wonderful.

Spacious is a word that comes to mind while listening to "Aux Era", there is an uncluttered feel to the music being heard, a feeling that everything is bigger than it actually is, this may be due in part to the albums excellent crisp production but also in part to the fact the music is allowed to breath. In conventional rock the emphasis is often focused on tightness and solidity with riffs and rhythms filling up every available space, a tsunami of sound coming at you hard and heavy. Aux Era's approach however is to allow their music to have a lot more fluidity and ambience a place  where a second of  silence has as much impact as the dirtiest of riffs. Fans of progressive experimentalists The Mars Volta will lap up Aux Era's diversity of sound but then again so will those of  "The Bends" era Radiohead's alternative rock, especially as Ricards vocal contributions have a distant echo of both Cedric Bixlar-Zavala's impassioned howls and Thom Yorke's fractured phrasing.

Experimental, angular and challenging, "Aux Era" is an album that is sure to divide opinion, there will be those that love its diversity and applaud its bravery and there will be those that will point the finger and call it pompous, overbearing and indulgent and should have no place on a site dealing in the harder edges of underground rock music. Whatever side of the fence you think you may fall on the ball is  now very much in your court and you really won't know until you check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Friday 9 March 2018


Wytchgoat hail from Virginia and have just released their debut album "Kult of the Wytch Goat" and that is the full extent of the information Desert Psychlist can reveal to you at this present time, not because we are trying to keep their identities secret or trying to shroud them in an air of mystery but because that is all the information that we can find on them ( or even he/she as for all we know this could well be a one man/woman project).

Surrounding mystery aside "Kult of the Wytch Goat" is an album that slays from its opening note to its grainy fuzz drenched last, visiting along its way a myriad of differing doomic styles. If Black Sabbath's blues based proto-doom is the thing that rocks your boat then Wytchgoat have that covered, if the heavily distorted riffs of Electric Wizard are your particular chalice of poison then here you will find a cup with your name on, relentless circular riffage à la Sleep... you can tick that off also. Now it would be easy to think that given these references Wytchgoat could be accused of riding the coattails of their heroes and that "Kult of the Wytch Goat" is an album lacking in originality but you would be wrong, there is a freshness and vitality to the six songs Wytchgoat lay before the altar that although borrows heavily from the past is very much of the now. Grainy, heavy doom grooves, with titles like "Circle of Stoned Goats" and "Conan the Riff Lord", are soaked in differing shades of fuzz and distortion interspersed with scorching acid tinted guitar solo's then further enhanced by heavily phased vocals that sound, on occasions, as if they have been phoned in from another dimension, those vocal tones combined with the relentless nature of the grooves giving everything a delightfully sinister and malevolent edge.

Wytchgoat may not have exactly re-invented the wheel with "Kult of the Wytch Goat" but they most certainly have re-aligned it and put on a shiny new tyre
Check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Saturday 3 March 2018


Olomouc, in the Czech Republic, a city allegedly founded by Roman dictator Julius Caesar  is also the home of Greynbownes, a trio consisting of Lucas Slavik (guitar/vocals), Martin Benda (bass) and Jakub Macoszek (drums), who, like their famous cities founder, dream of world domination. The road to an Empire starts with small victories however and with "Grey Rainbow From Bones" Greynbownes may have taken a significant first step in what could be a most interesting campaign.

Greynbownes don't come at you from any specific musical angle with "Grey Rainbow From Bones" the band come at you from everywhere, integrating into their sonic attack elements from a whole gamut of rock music's genres touching on Kyuss like desert swagger ("Boat of Fools"), punkish aggression ("Madness"), alternative quirkiness ("Across The Bones") and blues tinted hard rock bluster ("Death Of Autumn Leaves"), the band criss-crossing between these differing dynamics with consummate ease never ever losing their own unique sound in the process, Slavik's vocals, combined with his excellent prowess on guitar, are joy to hear, his sometimes manic, sometimes angular vocal tones adding an extra dimension to the bands grooves giving them an off-kilter edginess that in places is wonderfully jarring in others delightfully smooth. No one is carried in this band either, Benda's superb bass lines and Macoszeck's mix of tight and loose percussion are integral components in Greynbownes overall sound and together they create the perfect platforms for Slavik to launch his vast array of solo's, riffs and licks from as well as those extraordinary vocal tones.

Quirky, angular and different yet having a foothold in that which we are already familiar with "Grey Rainbows From Bones" is an album that delivers on all levels, or as the band tell us in the lyrics of "Weight of Sky", "We have a gift from the gods"
Check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Friday 2 March 2018


When a band pre-describe their sound as "low, loud and lingering" followed by the words "evil assed riffs" well you've just got to sit up and take notice. Thankfully doomanauts Saturnist, a trio from Helsinki, Finland more than deliver on those claims with their intense and uncompromising debut "The Horns, Teeth & The Hooves".

Dank, cloying, dark and intense are just some of the words that immediately spring to mind as title track "The Horns, Teeth & The Hooves" crawls from the pit and makes its presence felt, its growling heavily distorted bass heavy groove enhanced by crunching low tuned guitar riffage and slow pounding percussion, giving the song a claustrophobic almost suffocating feel. Now that might sound a little daunting and off putting to some, especially when those elements of enclosure are twined with monotonic vocal melodies and relentless heaviness, but this is "doom" we are talking about here and this is exactly what we look for and applaud in this genre of music. There is plenty to applaud too as Saturnist take you by the hand and lead you down flame licked paths to a soundtrack of slow, low gnawing riffage and pummelling rhythms signposted with titles like "Graves", "Abyss" and "Mouth Of A Serpent", songs packed with uncompromising dark heaviness and intensity yet flecked with shards of brilliant sunshine in the form of blistering blues flavoured guitar soloing and heady lysergic experimentation.

Heavy is a word that often gets overused in the dictionary of the underground rock community, used to describe music ranging from blues rock to death metal. The Oxford Dictionary however defines "heavy" as something "of great density, thick and substantial" and if you take this definition as your starting point for musical reference then the grooves Saturnist bring to the table with "The Horns, Teeth & The Hooves" are damn near humungous!
Check it out ....

© 2018 Frazer Jones