Monday 31 December 2018


Enguerrand Dumas (bass and backing vocals), Florent Michaud (guitar and lead vocal) and Christophe Hogommat (drums) are collective from Lyon, France working beneath the slightly odd name of Wizard Must Die. Who this wizard is and why he must die is not made exactly clear but what is crystal clear is that the music this trio create is something quite special and unique, something listening to their stunning debut album, "In The Land of the Dead Turtles", will more than testify to.

If we were forced to play the genre description game then Desert Psychlist would have to say that Wizard Must Die's musical attack probably falls between that of psych laced stoner rock and prog but even that description doesn't really do justice to the sonic platter Wizard Must Die lay before their listeners. There are times, during "In The Land of the Turtles", that the listener maybe reminded of Steve Wilson's Porcupine Tree and then others where elements of All Them Witches cerebral psych-blues may come to mind however those moments are fleeting and probably just our ears trying to get a familiar handle on a sound  that is refreshingly unique and sonically a little different. From first track  "In The Land", with its gentle dirge-like acoustic folksiness, to the slow building and heavily lysergic "Odyssey", with its eastern tinted motifs ,Wizard Must Die take their listeners on a journey that although dives into a variety of differing waters never stays submerged in one place long enough to get thoroughly soaked, the band cleverly avoiding any musical cul-de-sacs by taking each of the seven songs, that make up "In The Land of the Dead Turtles", off on a myriad of exciting tangents and directions. Add into this heady mix ,of prog- like complexity and swirling psychedelic looseness, mellow lead and backing vocals and you arrive at a sound that is not only intelligent but is also rocking!

Take a stroll "In The Land of the Dead Turtles", an album that maybe lacking in turtles but more than makes up for in musical excellence.
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Thursday 27 December 2018


Just out of interest , and a little boredom, Desert Psychlist decided to Google the definition of "heavy in music" the first answer we got was "a type of rock music characterized by a strong beat and amplified instrumental effects, sometimes with violent or nihilistic lyrics". Now that definition does not exactly cover everything we may consider "heavy" these days but it does perfectly nail the sludgy. doomic grooves currently being laid upon us by Australian duo Lucifungus on their debut release "Akuma Kin".

Citing among their influences such icons of heaviness as Electric Wizard, Sleep and the ever present Black Sabbath it should come as no surprise then that the grooves Lucifungus bring to the table are those of a dark, dank nature. Big thick slabs of distorted riffage combined with incessant pummelling percussion is the order of the day throughout the six songs that make up "Akuma Kin" but this is not to say that Lucifungus are another of those bands content to crush their listeners with their non-stop relentlessness (though they do try).There is plenty of light and shade to be found hiding among all the heaviness on "Akuma Kin", those elements of light and shade presenting themselves not in moments of swirling ambience or folky acoustic interludes but in the form of  ever shifting dynamics, DD (vocals/guitar and bass) and B Rad (vocals/drums) utilising an array of subtle changes in both time and volume to keep the listeners interest and add elements of both  depth and girth to the sonic impact of their tunes. Vocals, throughout "Akuma Kin", are used sparingly and on the most part are shared between the two musicians, gritty clean harmonies that although few and far between nevertheless add an extra level of lyrical authenticity to the thick down tuned dankness of the bands punishingly loud and heavy sludge drenched doomic grooves and certainly add extra credence to that nihilistic element mentioned in Google's definition of "heavy".

Two people should not be able to make music this loud, this heavy and this vital but thankfully Lucifungus, somehow, manage to do just that.
Check 'em out …..

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Wednesday 19 December 2018

. ~ 57 DOWN ...... review

Desert Psychlist has always approached bands that execute their grooves without the use of a lead/rhythm guitarist with a little trepidation, we suppose it has something to do with our growing up in an age when the instrument, wielded by the likes of Hendrix, Clapton, and Page was king. Strangely enough, and having made that statement, it was only when we were halfway through ".",the sparkling new album from Lincoln, UK's 57 Down,that we realised, to our surprise, all the string work was being executed on two basses!

The lack of any six string action on 57 Down's "." is more than made up for by the incredible fat stringed prowess of both Matt Chapman and Billy Law-Bregan, the two bassists combining with Daryl Hockings superbly powerful percussion to not only drive this EP's four songs but also to prove that the lack of a guitarist in this day and age is not a disadvantage but can actually be a positive. Factor in the superb mixture of power and grit that Johnny Mittens brings to the table with his vocals and the lack of screaming solo's is almost forgotten. Groove combined with strong song writing are the foundations on which "." is built, from the absolutely enthralling torch like dynamics of "Crown of Thorns" to the prog tinted stonerish attack of  closer "Stockholm Calling" there is, among the grumbling basses and pummelling percussion, an element of swinging melodic swagger to be found that is as refreshing as it is exciting.

Those of you who out there who live for that moment when the bass and drums drop away to allow the lead guitarist to take flight are going to be surprised by 57 Down's "." mainly because those soaring flights are still in place they are just a little deeper and a lot more grizzly!
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Monday 17 December 2018

SKUMA ~ VOL, [0] ...... review

There is nothing wrong with a little pop sensibility and an ear for a good tune in rock music as long as the music is delivered with passion and conviction, which is why when Greek stonernauts Skuma asked Desert Psychlist if we would be kind enough to review their latest release we jumped at the chance. Let's get things straight though, when we say pop sensibility we are in no way saying Skuma are a "pop" band, far from it, it is just the fact that although the band have riffs and rhythms to spare they also have melodies and arrangements that could very easily see them crossing over into rocks mainstream. The band, have recently released their first full album "Vol.[0]" so give it a listen and let's see if they are too commercial for the underground or a tad too heavy for the mainstream.

Grunge loud, quiet, loud aesthetics and thick stoner/desert fuzz appear in abundance throughout "Vol.[0]" but then so do things like melody, harmony and song structure. Skuma cleverly combine all these elements, as well as a few that you might otherwise expect coming from artists working in the pop and indie rock fields, to create a quite unique blend of crunching underground rock and easy on the ear groove. Skuma straddle that middle ground between commercial mainstream rock and that of the more raucous underground variety but don't dismiss them for their pop sensibilities these guys know their way around a good riff! . From the self titled opener "Skuma" through to closing track "Null" the listener is treated to a non-stop tsunami of short, sharp and delightful groove that utilises every aspect of rock's rich tapestry yet never once sounds contrived or played by the numbers.

That Skuma are a band with much the same crossover potential as Boss Keloid,  a band who could as easily support Monster Magnet on the live stage as they could say Coldplay or U2, speaks volumes for these Greek riffmeisters and is reason enough to....
Check 'em out …. 

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Sunday 16 December 2018

MISTY GREY ~ CHAPTER II ....... review

That master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock probably scared the pants of more people with his movies than many of today's directors with all their CGI and other special effects, movies that still stand the test of time 28 years after his death. Strange then that more underground bands/artists, who toy with dark edged themes, have not used his movies as inspiration for their grooves.
Spain's Misty Grey redress this unbalance with their latest release "Chapter II" (Topillo Records) an enthralling blend of occult(ish) rock and proto-doom based around seven of Hitchcock's most celebrated films.

Misty Grey divided opinion with their debut "Demon" and follow up "Grey Mist" in that there were many who found the bands Sabbath/Pentagram inspired proto-doomic grooves very much to their liking but just could not get a handle on. original vocalist, Malicia's distinctive witch/crone like tones (personally we quite dug them). Malicia and Misty Grey have since parted ways and with "Chapter II" the band introduce us to their new vocalist Bea and although not too dissimilar to Malicia in tone Bea does bring a wider range and less abrasive edge to the bands sound. Bea's wider vocal range and the bands more mature and focused approach pays huge dividends on the albums first track "Spellbound", its classical tinted intro exploding into a swinging proto-doom groove, enriched by an equally swinging vocal melody, fleshed out by a series of both subtle and drastic time changes.. Next track "Strangers On A Train" mirrors Hitchcock's movie plot, of two men meeting (supposedly) randomly on train and discussing how to commit the perfect murder, in both its chugging riff heavy groove and its lyrical content. "Psycho", probably Hitchcock's most famous movie, is well represented here with thundering percussion pounding beneath slow, heavily distorted, riffage the foundation over which dark tales of a "sinister house rising from above" and "strange shadows moving thru windows lights" are told. Hitchcock's take on Daphne Du Maurier's "Rebecca" had a very fitting gothic vibe and Misty Grey perfectly capture that vibe by going for a more epic doomic feel with their musical adaption.," Frenzy" on the other hand, in keeping with Hitchcock's chosen London location for his film, has a very English feel, its slow atmospheric blues groove owing somewhat of a debt to Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused". "The Wrong Man" finds the band back in more familiar Sabbath/Pentagram territory deviated from only in its swinging melodic chorus. "From Among The Dead", a slow atmospheric dirge that then shifts into a Sabbath-esque mid tempo swagger, closes "Chapter II"  using the English title of Boileau-Narejac's novel "D'entre les morte", around which Hitchcock based his movie "Vertigo".

Misty Grey's "Chapter II" is "old school" without being "retro", an album that celebrates melody as much as it does riffage, an album with a concept that is not overthought or over complex, a tribute to a movie icon but also a damn good listen.
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Wednesday 12 December 2018


Well the underground rock scene has once again provided those of us who worship at its gnarly altar yet another bumper crop of stonerized grooves, doomic delights and lysergic laments. The following list of 30 is compiled from Desert Psychlist's favourites of 2018, yours may differ but at the end of the day its all rock'n'roll! 
Some eagle eyed readers will notice that some of Desert Psychlist's choices were actually released in 2017, these choices qualify due to them being released after Desert Psychlist's self imposed deadline for last years "Best Of"

Grajo have been slowly chipping away at that glass ceiling looming over them for a few years now, trying to reach a wider audience and break their music onto a more international market, "Slowgod II" just might be the album to do that..

Stunningly beautiful at times, rocking and raucous at others "Hope?" is an album that delivers on its title, giving "hope" to those that believe good, well played intelligent music will always rise to the top and be noticed not only for its technical prowess but also for its emotional impact.

If doom is your thing but you sometimes feel the need to escape from the more cloying elements of intensity and darkness, the genre is known for, then you can't go far wrong by giving Alms "Act One" a spin, Desert Psychlist guarantees you won't be disappointed.

"Free The Witch" sees Green Lung considerably upping their game and adding to their armoury a deeper, fuller dynamic, If the bands demo "Green Man Rising" whetted your appetites for their brand of classy, fuzz drenched intelligent occult rock then "Free The Witch" is gonna blow you taste buds to smithereens

All in all THAL have, with "Reach For The Dragon's Eye", created an album that had it been released before the New Year would most certainly have made Desert Psychlist's best of list for 2017, an album that will only not make our best of list for 2018 if 30 better albums are released in this coming year and that my friends is going to be a very tall order!

Who remembers nights hiding behind a cushion watching old Italian horror movies? Ok if you watch them now they are not so scary and even pretty laughable but back in their day they were guaranteed to give you sleepless nights and have you jumping at every creak and groan of your old wooden floorboards. Haunt, a trio from Central Illinois, with influences that range from The Beatles to Voivoid, rehash those days of wide eyed panic and bedclothes pulled up high to the neck with their self recorded, self produced debut release "Haunt" a stunning mix of 60's style vocal harmonies and retro flavoured horror inspired hard/classic rock and metal,

"Sentinelsfollows 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.

"Gran Muro de Coma" is an astonishing album put together by a band who have, like the space craft in this album, travelled a long, long way to get where they are today. So was it worth all the heartbreak and tears, breakups and reformations that La Iglesia Atomica have been through in their twenty year life span? Well on the evidence of this album the answer to that has to be a resounding YES!


French men playing South American themed grooves with a sound born from the deserts of North America that will be enjoyed by people from all over the world!

"Chapter II - Of Earth" is an album that shows a band moving in the right direction, maturing in both writing and arrangement yet maintaining their sense of fun by not getting overly complicated and intense, a band still preparing for the end of the world by ordering another round of drinks

 In an age of sex scandals, fake news and games of political smoke and mirrors its nice to come across music that still has an element of honesty and integrity about it. Ironic then, given these days when we can no longer rely on the media for those elements, the music in question comes from a band going by the name of The Age of Truth.

"New York, New York so good they named it twice" go the words of the song, well if that's the case the collective of Chuck Berrett (vocals), Jordan Melkin (guitar), Dave Maffei (bass/percussion) and Chris Enriquez (drums/percussion ) should maybe of called themselves HAAN, HAAN!

Burn Ritual's ability to create mesmerising, hypnotic songs that worm their way into the deepest recesses of your psyche is one that works to great effect throughout "Blood of the Raven", the band jamming trippy, trance like heavy psychedelic dirges that capture, captivate and enchant in equal measure

Kyuss shaped rockets flying at speed over a bedrock of insistent grainy groove and hitting their marks with an unerring level of consistency

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.

Only three songs but "River of Gore" will take you on an uncompromising, unswerving and unapologetic journey through the darker recesses of a world that we all try to deny is there but all have to deal with on a day to day basis.


"Juggernaut" is possibly Dollar Llama's best album to date combining as it does an undercurrent of gnarly southern strut flecked with elements of raucous stoner/sludge riffage and bluesy hard rock swagger. Add in to this equation the fact that these guys can not only lay down all the grizzled and gnarly refrains you could ever possibly desire but are also not averse to filling their songs with such occasionally outdated notions as swing and melody.

Some bands celebrate their bluesy influences others prefer to deny them and some bands like Crypt Trip take them and use them as a launchpad into newer waters, twisting the blues around and around like an old flannel wringing out their essence to add to a melting pot full of other essences to create something new and exciting that although rooted to the past is not defined by it. "Rootstock" is an album born from that melting pot.

Massive sounding doomic grooves shaded in psychedelic hues and coated in a sheen of metallic prog intricacy make "Rift" not only one of the most anticipated albums of the year but also one of the most enjoyable.

Imagine taking some of the finest musicians from the psychedelic/prog crossover days of the sixties and seventies and placing them in a modern studio, with all its bells and whistles at their disposal, and telling them to make an album, the results, just might, arrive somewhere close to the sound Druid have achieved with their latest album "The Seven Scrolls"


Muscle and melody delivered in equal measure, no one does it better than these guys.

The fact that the band have simply called their new opus "Witch Mountain" speaks volumes and tells us in two words that this is the beginning of a new chapter in Witch Mountain's story, it is the band's way of saying let's not forget our history and what previous members contributed to that history but let's start anew, this is our fresh start, our "ground zero"

Black Elephant, Alessio Caravalli (guitar/vocals), Max Giacosa (guitar), Simone Brunzu (drums) and Marcello De Stefanis (bass), a quartet from Savona, Italy in whose hands the blues have found a safe and loving home

A damn fine rock record based around a brilliantly funny and thought provoking concept that combines both story and music in a unique and highly enjoyable way.


The Necromancers not only repeat the success of last year's album Servant of the Salem Girl" they surpass it.

Some things in life are worth waiting for especially when those things turn out to be as spine tingling wonderful and as essential as "Holy Grove II"!

A Storm of Light tell us of an end coming, not one led by a horned fallen angel but one led by those wearing Armani and Prada, those in shopping mall fashions and those in charity shop hand me downs, in other words all of us, blind to the fact we leading our very own parade to oblivion and extinction.

Doom comes in many flavours these days from the gothic tinted traditional/epic through stonerized and occult all the way to the extreme and blackened but there are not many bands that touch base with all them...until now

Class is the first syllable of the word "classic" and classic is the first word of the term "classic rock" and what Sergeant Thunderhoof deliver with "Terra Solus" is some damn fine class classic rock

Desert Psychlist was privy to snatches of "The Wizard" before its release however those snatches in no way prepared us for the full picture that Merlin unveiled with the finished article. Brilliantly written and arranged with a sound and groove unlike anything they have done before Merlin's "The Wizard" is a genuine mini-masterpiece.


Well that's it folks thirty albums that over the course of one year Desert Psychlist has been compelled to return to again and again, of course there are many more great albums we could have added to this list but we had to put some sort of limit on things or you would be reading this until next December. It was a great year for the underground scene with many of the big hitters releasing killer albums as well as many new bands seemingly appearing from nowhere with new and exciting grooves, long may this continue.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Desert Psychlist over the last year, the labels, the PR firms, the bands/artists, everyone at The Doom Charts, fellow writers and bloggers and family and friends, Desert Psychlist wishes you all a ROCKING Xmas and a DOOM New Year!

Tuesday 11 December 2018


Apologies for arriving a little late to the party on this review but if hadn't been for fellow Doom Charts contributor, and Earmunchies writer, Adam Walsh Desert Psychlist may never arrived at all!
Mama Doom are a four piece band from Poughkeepsie, New York consisting of Mark Holtermann (bass), Chuck Salamone (guitars), Chris Wallner (drums) and Heather Salamone (vocals) who this November released their debut album "From Blue To Bone"

The human voice is a beautiful instrument when trained properly, an instrument able to convey everything from a banshee wail to a guttural rumble. Where the voice really comes into its own however is in that middle ground between the two extremes, a place where you can find anything from soulful and powerful to ethereal and sweet. It is in this middle ground and in that soulful and powerful range that the voice of Mama Doom's Heather Salamone can be found, clean clear with an intriguing mix of bluesy holler and heavy metal howl her uber powerful voice dominates every song on "From Blue To Bone" her impassioned strong tones a true force of nature that once heard can never be forgotten. Backed by some top notch musicians, who really know their way around a good groove, Salamone's voice soars, growls and bellows with unbridled abandon over songs with titles like "Bread", "Traveller", and "Leader", weaving her vocals around the crunching hard rock/metal grooves laid down by her husband Chuck, Holtermann and Wallner with such confidence and ease you could almost believe she was born with a microphone in her hand.

Mama Doom's groove exists in a middle ground somewhere between blues rock and old school heavy metal with little touches of doom and occult rock scattered here and there between the cracks to keep listeners on their toes, "From Blue To Bone" is a good hard rocking opus fronted by a truly impressive voice that will appeal to those who love their grooves hard rocking, gritty and sassy.
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Monday 10 December 2018


With six incredibly good releases already behind them it is surprising that Maryland's Faith In Jane are not as big internationally as say Clutch or Monster Magnet. Maybe its because the band regularly dip their toes into such fields as reggae and funk that they have not quite made that step up into the upper echelon's of the underground scene, Desert Psychlist doesn't know, but this is a band that deserves wider recognition. The band have just released their seventh album "Countryside" so maybe, just maybe, this is the one that introduces them to a wider audience.

A deep bass heavy groove rolls out the welcome mat on opening track "All Is All" and from there on in its hold on to your hats time as Faith In Jane take the listener on a thrumming rollercoaster ride of stonerized hard rock tinted with elements of proto-metal bluster and funky bluesy swagger. There are times on "Countryside" where the listener is transported back to a time when bands like Grand Funk Railroad and Sir Lord Baltimore were taking their first fledgling flights away from the comfort of the blues into heavier territories but also times that leave you thinking only a band of today could pull of this level of crunching yet soulful heaviness. That soulful element of Faith In Jane's groove is delivered in the shape of guitarist/vocalist Dan Mize's throaty ,clean and grittily powerful voice, his vocal tones sitting somewhere between a bear like roar and a smoky bellow. When Mize is not waxing lyrical he is chopping out crunching powerchords and tearing the air asunder with scorching solo's ably supported throughout by Brendan Winston's growling bass and Alex Llewellyn's solid, tight percussion, the three musicians combining to bring a high level of musical prowess to each and every one of  "Countryside's" eight songs.

From first track "All Is All" to closer "Dream Dealer" "Countryside" is a full on, in your face assault on the senses with only the psych drenched "Blues For Owsley" allowing for any respite, and even then only in its initial stages. Soulful, rocking and loud "Countryside" is an excellent album from an excellent band who deserve, not only on the evidence of this release but also their past endeavours, to be massive!
Check 'em out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Sunday 9 December 2018


Here, in Desert Psychlist's UK home, Denmark is mostly known for three things Vikings, bacon and beer and not so much for its underground rock scene but that all could change with the emergence of Tikøb based quartet Center of the Earth. Center of the Earth were formed in 2013 and deal in monolithic riffage and tumultuous rhythms overlayed with huge roaring vocals, all of which can be heard gracing their debut album "Tolkion". So let's grab a beer and a bacon sandwich and see what these Vikings have in store for us.

Thunderous is an oft overused word in music reviews but you would be hard pushed to come up with an alternative for the huge walls of noise Center of the Earth assail their listeners ears with. Crushing is another word that gets rolled out a little too often but again it is a word hard to avoid when describing the sonic impact of "Tolkion". Imagine if you can an amalgamation of Sweden's Vokonis and Poland's Dopelord and you might just come close to getting a handle on what Center of the Earth are sonically all about, we are talking riffs so thick you could walk on them, rhythms that could topple tall buildings and vocals that rumble like an Harley-Davidson engine with its baffles removed. Sampled narrative introduces first track "Black Blood of the Earth" then suddenly the song explodes into a low, slow and devastatingly heavy sludge/stoner doom groove decorated with swirling phase drenched guitar solos that set the stage for big grizzled, bear-like bellows to tell their tale of "a land of dead and salted soil". Around the midway mark the songs mood changes and the listener is treated to a strangely hypnotic sparseness with jazzy percussion and grumbling bass the platform around which bluesy guitar colouring is gently weaved before the hammer goes down again and we are hurled back into the songs initial sludgy low and slow groove. After the onslaught of the first track it would be difficult to imagine that Center of the Earth could get any slower. lower or heavier but with "Sons of Gaia" they manage just that, the songs groove akin to the sound of an avalanche of boulders rolling down a mountainside. Title track "Tolkion" follows, a sprawling instrumental that begins with Hawkwindesque spacial effects then morphs into a strangely funky heavy psych workout that then goes off on a myriad of differing tangents. "Doomlords" slowburns into life on booming bass, minimal percussion a low pitched guitar, the song gradually getting heavier and louder as its groove progresses that then, without warning, bursts into a chugging Sabbathesque stoner groove, albeit with totally un-Iommi like guitar solos's. Now for some bands that would be enough and a pretty good way to sign off on a song but Center of the Earth are not just "some band" and instead take the song off into a sludge heavy dirge with reverberating chords, droning bass and pulverising percussion laying the bedrock for a powerfully strong vocal calling for the "lords of doom" to "arise", the band once again slowly ramping up the dynamics before bailing out in a deliciously noisy, almost thrash like, crescendo. Center of the Earth wrap things up with "Cryodome" a doom laden opus brimming over with atmosphere and menace with vocals telling of wizards and devils over a backdrop of dank, dark and surprisingly up-tempo sludgy doomic attack, the band only dropping back into lower, slower territory for its heavy, grinding finale.

So how can we finish this review without resorting to those two words mentioned at the start of this piece? The answer is we don't, Center of the Earth's "Tolkion" is both thundersous AND crushing and the very reasons why you should...
Check it out …..

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Thursday 6 December 2018

ALUNAH ~ AMBER & GOLD .... review

When Alunah vocalist/guitarist Sophie Day announced she was quitting the band she had helped found and fronted for four albums to say it came as a bit of a shock would be an understatement. For a while fans wondered if it could be all over for the UK doom band but thankfully the remaining members, David Day (guitar), Daniel Burchmore (bass) and Jake Mason (drums), vowed to carry on and recruited into their ranks the visually striking and powerfully voiced Siân Greenaway to fill the hole left by Day. The band soon began writing new material to compliment the new dynamic Greenaway's arrival brought to the table the results of which can be heard on the bands latest release "Amber & Gold"

The transition undergone by Alunah in shifting from one vocalist to another seems, from the outside,  an almost seamless one, previous vocalist Day and new singer Greenaway both come from the ethereal school of doomic vocalising and both have a crystal clear clarity to their voices bu where Day had a slightly lighter, folkier tone Greenaway's is darker, stronger and wider in range. Musically Alunah are more or less the same animal with David Day crunching out massive reverberating doomic riffs over Daniel Burchmore's booming bass lines and Jake Mason's huge solid percussion, however the addition of a new singer seems to have brought out a new sense of purpose within the band, they sound fresher, bigger and heavier. First track "Mångata" teases the listener by relegating newbie Greenaway to a more supporting role the singer wailing mournfully over an atmospheric backdrop of low.slow and heavily psychedelic doomic groove decorated with an equally mournful guitar solo. Title track "Amber & Gold" follows and for the first time we get the full force of Greenaway's vocal chops her smooth dark tones swooping and soaring over the songs throbbing dark refrains and thunderous rhythms, her voice pitched deep and dark on the verses, powerful and melodic on the chorus'. "Awn" sees the band tinting their heavy doomic attack with subtle bluesy colourings and little twists of Celtic flavouring with Greenaway telling of souls being crushed and bones being broken, her sultry tones making even mutilation sound beautiful and something to look forward to. The band throw the listener a curveball to finish proceedings in the shape of a cover, Chris Issaks "Wicked Game" a great song in its own right, is taken by Alunah to a whole new different level and sees the band giving the song a doomic makeover its familiar melody given a glossy coating of moody edginess and doomy elegance.

"Amber & Gold" heralds a new chapter in Alunah's ongoing story and fans will be pleased to hear it is a chapter not too radically different from previous chapters, just a little darker and a little more intense, reason enough to...
Check it out ….

© 2018 Frazer Jones

Sunday 2 December 2018

LORD VAPOUR ~ SEMUTA ....... review

Those hairy beardos, Lord Vapour, from the Island of Guernsey in the UK's Channel Isles blew many of us away with their debut "Mill Street Blues" in 2016, this year they return to once again bring mayhem to our ear canals with their latest bluesy, hard rocking offering "Semuta",

Big riffs, big vocals and big rhythms are the order of the day throughout "Semuta", a huge sounding tsunami of raucous groove that comes at you hard and fast and takes no quarter. The fact that three men, Christian Mariess (drums), Henry Fears (guitar) and Joe Le Long (bass & vocals), create a noise akin to a jumbo jet revving up in a cavern is not only astonishing its is also outright mind-blowing but Lord Vapour are not just a huge noise and few choice riffs, buried beneath all the beef and muscle you will find actual songs. From the swirling alternative swampy blues of first track "Burning Planet", with it's wah drenched guitar, bludgeoning bass lines, thundering percussion and strong clean, yet gritty, vocals through to the heavy psych grooves of instrumental closer "Nasubi" "Semuta" is an album that resonates with melody, musicality and swing and ensures that this is an album you, the listener, will be coming back to again and again.

Lord Vapour's "Semuta" is a raucous fuzz drenched romp brimming over with powerful rhythms and crunching riffage that is bound to please those already familiar with their grooves but also win over those coming to the band anew.
Check it out …..

© 2018 Frazer Jones