Monday, 25 October 2021


Germany's Redscale, Christian Reuter (guitars); Henning Claussen (vocals/guitars); Martin Stabler (drums) and Grant Price (bass), are a band who consistently deliver the goods and we can confidently announce that their new album "The Old Colossus" (Majestic Mountain Records) continues that tradition. If for some unknown reason you are unfamiliar with Redscale then let us tell you that this is a band who jam a metallic groove influenced by70's heavy rock and 90's stoner/desert rock, it is a sound built on raucous guitar riffs and insistent rhythms and it is one that will appeal to fans who like their rock to ROCK!

"On The Run" opens proceedings and employs that old standby of verse/ chorus/verse, something that is becoming increasingly rare these days, the song is a strident foot to the floor romp decorated with ear catching hooks, a duel guitar attack and powerful full on vocals, those that regularly moan on social media about stoner rock and metal becoming stale and one-dimensional obviously haven't listened to these guys yet. Having already got us on the ropes with their opening number Redscale proceed their assault with title track "The Old Colossus", lyrically the song has similarities with Nick Cave's "Right Red Hand" and Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" but with a more politically aware message, musically it is crunching riff monster with a groove so infectious it should carry a health warning. Stoner rock has always had an affinity with punk rock, many of the leading lights of the 90's desert/stoner scene cut their teeth in punk bands, and for "It's a Death Cult, Baby" go back to their punk roots with a song that is as furious as it is fun. Up until now its been full steam ahead assault on the senses but next track "Tabula Rasa" marks the beginnings of a pulling back on the reins with a song that could be described musically as a torch song, due to its undulating intensity, but lyrically deals with much darker subject matter, ambiguous lyrics that could be describing anything from the sudden cold shock of birth to the slow crumbling of a once fertile mind. "Hard To Believe" could almost be the sister piece to it's predecessor the song having much the same levels of intensity and torch-like dynamics only this time we are presented with lyrics that point to a more disturbed mind, someone with "secrets dark and terrible" who promises to "show you what’s there to find behind the curtain". Instrumental, "Wall of Bricks", ups the tempo slightly and allows the band to don their heavy psych caps while "Of Wealth and Taste" finds the band mixing up their stoner with a smattering of doom. "At The End" is a for most part a vehicle for voice and acoustic guitar its folk/Americana feel broken only by a brief but soaring lysergic section. The album signs off with "The Lathe of Heaven" a mid to up- tempo number with a to die for groove this is packed to brimming over with crunching power chords and searing solos backed by tight solid drumming and deep low bottom end all of which is decorated in forceful vocals edged with an element of anger.

There are many describing this album as "pure" stoner rock but to Desert Psychlist's ears there is much more to this album than a few of fuzzed out riffs and hard driven rhythms, Redscale have a real understanding of songcraft and dynamics and how to pace a song so as to maximise its impact and for us, and maybe you, that places "The Old Colossus"  in "classic rock" territory.
Check it out ...

© 2021 Frazer Jones

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