Monday, 30 August 2021
Sunday, 29 August 2021
Let us introduce you to Sign of the Sorcerer, a trio from Knoxville, Tennessee consisting of Sky Brooks (guitar/vocals); Justin Hembree (bass) and Josh Watts (drums), who describe their sound as "downer rock" and "music for the grave" while also telling us that their debut album, "Obsessions of the Vile", has the propensity to "eat you alive and leave your veins dry".
"Necropsychodelia" kicks off "Obsessions of the Vile" its intro utilising orchestral samples, probably lifted from some obscure horror B movie, before then erupting into a dank heavily distorted slow to mid-tempo doomic groove spliced with choppy WAH drenched guitar textures and a vocal that sits somewhere between sinister demonic growling and throatily whispered narration. Any doom band worth their weight in grooves are sometime in their careers going to pen a tribute to the red dude with the horns and the tail and Sign of the Sorcerer are no exception to that rule and so we are presented with "Satan's Choice" a gnarly slice of psychedelic heaviness built around a rumbling bass and guitar riff pushed hard by thundering percussion over which the deeply buried in the mix vocals take on a more grainy tone. Up next is "Black Night 666" a stoner doomic juggernaut with recurring guitar motif's that sounds a little like something Welsh doomsters Dope Smoker might have attempted if they had swapped their weed for something a little more morphine based. "Meth Queen" follows and here we find the band ramping up the dankness and adding an extra level of menace by running the vocals through effects to give them a feeling of liquidity. Things are brought to a close with "Nosferatu" an epic blend of leaden stoner doominess and dank gnarly psych that allows the guitarist to show us the full range of his effects and that WAH pedals are not just the territory of the funksters, they can DOOM too!
Monday, 23 August 2021
Friday, 20 August 2021
Now we spoke of gritty rock'n'roll and we spoke of Sabbath-esque proto-doom and for first track "Ironico Maldito" Murdock put the two together and then top it all off with a strong throaty vocal and a guitar solo's straight out of the classic rock guitar bible, ok its not boundary pushing stuff but sometimes all you need are the basics. For next track"Ser", Murdock go full Sabbath, specifically the Birmingham bands "Master of Reality" period, however Sezoski and Rau's trade off solo's, that take the song to its close, are probably closer to Thin Lizzy's Robertson and Gorham than they are to Iommi's double/triple tracked efforts with Sabbath. "Pesadelo Acordado" jams an outrageously addictive groove that finds Murdock, in places, coming across like a doomic version of British hard rockers UFO while title track " Entre Tigres e Lobos" finds the band once again harvesting fruits from the riff laden orchards of Black Sabbath. There is a very slight change tack for "Vingança das Bruxas" a song that sees Murdock dipping their toes into bluesier waters, those waters still heavily doomic but with slightly more restrained dynamic and a slower more atmospheric feel. Final track, "Olhos Sinistros", is a remastered/reimagined version of the bands first ever release, the songs groove is more stoner than it is doom and sounds much more polished and immediate than it does in its original form, it is also a great way to sign of on what is a highly enjoyable little EP.
Like we said in in our intro "Entre Tigres e Lobos" holds nothing that you might call boundary pushing or ground-breaking but it is nonetheless a highly enjoyable romp that is a good reminder to us all that rock music was not always meant to be highbrow and deeply thoughtful and that it could be, and can still be, honest and fun to listen to.
Thursday, 19 August 2021
Ok we mentioned those giants of prog Yes in our introduction to this review and opening track "The Failure of Grief", with its neo classical acoustic guitar intro, does point towards a time when songs with titles like "Siberian Khatru" and "Roundabout" were accompanied by intricate musical passages that leant towards a more orchestrated classical sound but as this song progresses and the music takes on a heavier, more metallic dynamic we slowly come to the conclusion that maybe you the reader would of been better served if we had named prog metal giants Mastodon as an example. This revelation/realisation is given further credence when following track "Dying To Breathe" explodes from our speakers in waves of crunching distorted riffs and powerful incessant rhythms that lean towards the more heavier end of the prog spectrum. however what sets Terminus apart from Mastodon and other bands of that ilk are the vocals that the band employ, both on this song and throughout the rest of the album, dual harmonies delivered in clear clean tones that carry with them a vestige of pop commerciality. At first these vocals sound a little at odds with the heavy crunching grooves they decorate but as the album progresses, through songs with gnarly sounding titles like |"Lion's Den", "Origin of Fossils" and "Dawn of Fire", it soon becomes apparent that this amalgamation of sweetness and sourness is what makes Terminus' sonic attack of lilting melodies sang over grooves of gnarly complex prog metal and sludge such a unique and refreshing listen.