Saturday 26 March 2022

Overlooked gems series ..... PLANET CACTUS - DOUBLE RAINBOW ..... review

 # First of an occasional series of future reviews looking back at albums that might of slipped under the radar

South Australian combo Planet Cactus describe their sound as "intense stoner rock fused with dirty psychedelic raga and grindy doom", they also go on to ask you to "imagine if Enya got kidnapped by Charles Manson, Lemmy and Bhagwan and they formed a heavy psychedelic doomy grunge band", sounds intriguing doesn't it and that's because it is. Planet Cactus, Michael Field (drums); Rebecca Lyon (vocals/rhythm guitar); Ross Martin (synth); Liam O'Sullivan (bass) and Sean Tilmouth (lead/rhythm guitar), hail from Adelaide and jam a slightly off kilter groove that is sometimes heavy, sometimes heady but is at all times breath-taking, something their debut album "Double Rainbow" will attest to.

Things kick off like a barfight in a western with "Hunter S", the songs raucous guitar tones, grizzled bass lines and pummelling drum patterns create a groove that has a sludgy hard/stoner rock feel, a feel further enhanced by its synthesised undertones and scorching blues tinted lead work, however, what you might not be expecting are the vocals accompanying that groove. Rebecca Lyon, who also doubles up on rhythm guitar, is not a growler, screamer or crooner, her voice is not the strongest you will hear fronting an underground rock band but what she lacks in power she makes up for in tone, her vocal delivery possessing a lilting feyness in its middle register rising up to a waifish rasp at its upper limits. Lyon's middle register really comes into its own on the epic title track "Double Rainbow" her voice wafting serenely over a backdrop of eastern tinted grooviness buoyed by Martin's synthesised flourishes and only just anchored to earth by O'Sullivan's boneshaking bass and Field's solid thunderous drums, Tilmouth filling in the spaces with superbly crafted solos that soar and swoop around Lyon's vocal with a lysergic liquidity. It's back to the riff heavy hard rock for next track "Mongrel" with Lyon's reverting to a more aggressive vocal tone while locking her guitar in with O'Sullivan's bass and Field's drums to deliver a stuttering stop start groove over which Tilmouth peels off another of his fret-blurring solos. "Banana" follows and is a song that can't decide if its an angsty punk rocker, a heavy blues or a psychedelic lament so settles on being all of them. Penultimate track "Mono" is a slow burning torch song with an occult rock(ish) feel in its initial stages that gradually builds layer by layer until finally exploding into a hard rock/heavy psych wigout that sees Tilmouth shredding like a man possessed. After a few brief moments of silence we are presented with a reprisal of the albums hottest track "Double Rainbow" only this is a more compact version, whether this is a bonus track not intended for a vinyl release Desert Psychlist doesn't know but its a tune well worth hearing again.

 Planet Cactus' sound is made up of many elements pooled from a vast array of influences, they are a band who can be raucous just as much as they can be transcendental, the one thing they can't be however is ignored. Despite its sometimes ethereal vocal tones and its propensity to take off on lysergic tangents there is a pleasing sludgy rawness to "Double Rainbow" that is highly addictive and equally enjoyable.
Check it out .....   

© 2022 Frazer Jones

Friday 25 March 2022


We all love us some of that gritty desert rock, it is the perfect soundtrack for a road trip, be that road trip through parched desert landscapes or urban concrete jungles. Desert rock is not a convoluted or an overly complicated form of music so you might think that all you really need is a few quality effects pedals, a few amps, a few instruments and a decent level of skill to play those instruments,.... if only it was that simple. If things were that easy then everybody and their dog would be in a desert rock band, to really be able to pull this music off successfully you need to also understand things like song structure, dynamics and lyrical context and even when you got that all down you have to make the resulting music GROOVE! Now this is so much easier when your band is a quintet, quartet or a trio but if you are a duo ... well it gets a little bit harder.
Indianapolis' Dual Fighter are such a duo, consisting of Greg Osborne (guitars/vocals,/drum arrangements, editing and programming) and Andrew Funke (bass), two musicians who jam highly addictive grooves that recalls, in parts, early era Queens of the Stone Age and Josh Homme's Desert Sessions project but at the same have their own unique signature sound, as you will no doubt discover for yourselves when giving their debut "Mean Machines" (Galactic Fire Records) a spin.

Any desert flavoured rock album worth its weight in sand will kick off its account with something raucous and fuzzy and after a brief Hawkwind-esque intro that is exactly what opening track "Planet One Showdown" delivers, its stuttering riff and strident groove, coated in a clean and just the right side of mellow vocals, is pure desert rock and recalls a time when bands like Kyuss and Yawning Man hooked up their equipment to battered generators to play gigs in an actual DESERT! Following track "Fireball" is no less raucous or fuzzy than its predecessor and lyrically utilises yet another of those staples of the early stoner/desert scene, fast cars, Osborne pitching his lyrics from the viewpoint of  a racing driver intent on winning despite his vehicle and his own body being engulfed in flame. "Wake The Echoes" changes things up slightly, the groove still strident but with the vocals taking on a more restrained meter, Osborne's voice pitched lower and a touch mellower. Up next is "Sparks Fly" a song tailor made for those long drives mentioned in the earlier part of this review, the songs addictive chorus and hard driving groove just screams to be played while speeding along a black tar highway with the top down. Title track "Mean Machines" sees Dual Fighter adding a little heavy psych colouring to their repertoire, Funke's booming bass locking in with the drums to create the perfect framework for Osborne to not only hang his vocals on but also his bluesy lysergic laced solos. "Hear The Eruption" mixes up its stoner rock with a little punk rock urgency while "Psycho Blue" is one of those songs that you know will become a crowd favourite when, or if, it gets played in a live environment. The duo sign out with "Renegades" a  tranquil acoustic number with a well delivered vocal, a strange choice for an outro but nevertheless a good song.

"Mean Machines" is one of those albums that will sit in your collection for years and years, routinely dug out for those times when your mood needs a little lifting. In a scene full of bands trying to bedazzle us with complex concepts and brain twisting themes its nice to come across a band like Dual Fighter who just want to rock out on a fuzzy groove and put a smile back on people's faces.
Check 'em out .... 
© 2022 Frazer Jones

Monday 21 March 2022



Mount Saturn are Cody Barton (bass); Ray Blum (guitar); Josh Rudolph (drums) and Violet Vasquez (vocals), names that will probably mean nothing to you at the moment but will do by the time you have finished reading this review and given the bands mind -blowing new album, "O,Great Moon", a spin.

Opening number "Astraya" tells you everything you need to know about Mount Saturn, the songs dark doomic groove is heavy but not brutal and its loud/quiet/loud dynamics, cleverly placed guitar motifs and scorching solos not only ramp up its atmospherics but create an immersive effect that gives the listener the feeling of being somehow inside the music and not just a spectator looking in from the outside. Factor into this equation Violet Vasquez's distinctive and powerful vocals, her cavernous tones cleverly mixed a little back in the mix so as not to overpower the music, and you begin realise you are listening to something very special indeed. Now there are some albums, and we have all probably experienced this, that will open with a barnstormer then proceed to flicker and die unable to live up to the promise of that initial spark, but not this one, "Sword Fist", "Sandcrosser", "The Knowing", "Haunt (Me)" and "Crooked Bones" maintain, match and sometimes eclipse the levels of intensity, musicality, atmosphere and emotional gravitas shown on "Astraya", each track passing the baton to the next with no fear of it being fumbled or dropped. We have already discussed the power, tone and  emotion Violet Vasquez brings to the table with her huge and distinctive vocals but a voice needs a platform to launch itself from and Barton, Blum and Randolph provide the sort of launching pad any singer would give their right arm for. Randolph's drumming is tight and loose in equal measure, thunderous at times restrained and steady at others, Barton's bass playing brings to the party a mix of dark liquidity and feral growl while guitarist Blum channels a love of Thin Lizzy, The Allman Brothers, Earthless and Motorhead into his swirling solos, exotic motifs and crunching riffs, these four musicians combining their skills to create a sound that is dark, dank and intense yet is, despite its heaviness, both accessible and melodic.

 Anyone who invested time listening to Mount Saturn's debut EP "Kiss The Ring" will know what a powerful statement that release was, it was an EP that showcased a band whose approach to the doom genre came from a whole different angle to that of many of their contemporaries, a band whose utilisation of elements of space, psych and the blues added an atmospheric and emotional edge to their music, an edge made even more atmospheric and emotive by the power and timbre of the vocals that spearheaded its sonic attack. After such an impressive debut things could of gone one of two ways for Mount Saturn, their next release could have been a lacklustre disappointment, unable to live up to the expectations of its predecessor, or it could be a triumphant leap to a whole other level of good, thankfully the bands first full album, "O, Great Moon", falls very much into the latter category. 
Check it out....... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

Sunday 20 March 2022


If a band state that their musical influences range from Pentagram and Black Sabbath to Windhand, REZN and Mastodon then you can bet a pound to a penny that the band in question play music that is going to be of the heavy variety and most probably sitting somewhere on the doomic spectrum. Well this is exactly the case with Cologne, Germany's Purple Dawn BUT, and it is a big but, Purple Dawn also bring to the table, along with all their modern heaviness and doom, the swagger and strut of 70's proto-metal, hard rock and heavy blues, moulding these various musical elements into something perfectly suited to today's underground rock scene yet at the same time carrying an essence of rock's past glories, something the bands latest release "Peace & Doom Session Vol. II" (Electric Valley Records) will attest to.

Those of you already on board with Purple Dawn will know that the "Vol. I" to this "Vol. II" was an in the moment live affair recorded in what the band call their "doom space". The release contained four songs plus an intro and an outro with the each piece running into each other with the only breaks between songs being the band speaking amongst themselves and whoever was in the room at the time.. Despite the slight rawness of its production "Vol. I" showed a band fully on top of their game even though they had only been together a short time before it was recorded. 
For "Peace & Doom Session Vol. II" the band have jumped in bed with Electric Valley Records and although the music looses none of its raw edge the production on the new album is a little slicker and a touch more polished.
Instrumental "Bonganchamun" opens "Vol. II" and although Desert Psychlist has no idea about the origins of the songs title we are going to take an educated guess that it may have something to with the partaking of something herbal (tea?), but don't quote us on that. Whether we are right or wrong the song is a highly enjoyable proto-metal romp packed with crunching riffs and ear catching eastern guitar motifs driven by growling bass and a tsunami of percussive might. "100 Years A Day" follows and here we get our first taste of bassist Patrick Rose's forceful vocals, his voice is BIG  and powerful and possesses a gritty edge perfectly in tune with the equally gritty and full on musical onslaught that surrounds it. Rose's bass and Florian Geiling's solid tight drumming lay the foundations that drive this song but lets not underestimate the contributions guitarist Timo Fritz brings to the party, his array of riffs ,bluesy licks, and wah drenched solos are the icing on what proves to be a very tasty cake indeed.  Next song "Old Fashioned Black Madness" begins with one of those stuttering riffs we have all heard a thousand times before but never get sick of before erupting into a groove that mixes its dynamics between old school hard rock and proto flavoured doom, the band paying tribute to bands like Mountain and Cream as much as they are  Pentagram and Black Sabbath. "Power To The People" is basically a heavy blues rock number that boasts a quiet/loud/quiet dynamic fronted by suitably grizzled vocals and enhanced by scorching guitar work while "The Moon Song" is one of those songs so good you'll never want it to end, its addictive groove, superbly delivered vocal melody, lysergic middle section and swirling guitar solos will have you reaching for the repeat button over and over again. "Death To A Dying World" is up next and opens with a guitar motif not too dissimilar to that which opens (Australian proto-metal legends) Buffalo's "Shylock" then erupts into a groove just as powerful, however where Buffalo were content to just jam on a riff in the middle section of their song Purple Dawn prefer to take things into a more heavy psych direction, Rose laying down deep grizzled bass over Geilings subtle restrained drum patterns and Fritz adding appropriately psychedelic guitar colourings and textures. Finally we arrive at "Bongnchamun Pt. II" an extended reprisal of the opening instrumental that serves as the perfect rounding off of what has been a truly enjoyable 40 plus minutes of quality rock music.

The blurb on the Purple Dawn's Bandcamp page bears the legends "worship the riff" and "praise Iommi"  and although we agree with both statements the latter might suggest, to some, that the grooves they will be hearing on "Peace & Doom Session Vol.II" will be of a Sabbath-esque nature, this is not the case. Black Sabbath may have been one of the influences in shaping this German trio's sound but it is not the overriding one, the bands sound is formed from amalgamation of all their influences from both the past and the present. 
Check 'em out ...... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

Thursday 17 March 2022


Desert Psychlist has been championing the Italian doom scene for some time now and especially those bands like Demonio, Black Spell and Wizard Master who, rightly or wrongly, are being dubbed as "Italian acid doom" or "scuzzy". The subject of today's review, Fat Greasy Beast, Lord Vepar (guitars/vocals); Lady Slovenly (bass/vocals); Lord Bradikardios (drums) and Lady Filthy (keyboards), may not be as "acidic" as those bands mentioned or as "scuzzy" but they are Italian and they do jam grooves of a doomic nature as you will discover when giving the Turin quartets debut release "Bloom of Doom" a spin.

Fat Greasy Beast bring a different flavour of doom to the table from that of many of their Italian contemporaries, our first thoughts on hearing opening track "Bloom of Doom" were not of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard or any of the other usual suspects but of British Goth rockers Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy as FGB's grooves share a similar feeling of brooding atmospherics and simmering malevolence in their sonic attack, something that becomes even more evident when you factor in guitarist/vocalist Lord Vepar's vocals which are closer to those of Bauhaus' Pete Murphy than they are of any of doom's more celebrated vocalists.  Throughout the album Vepar shares vocal duties with bassist Lady Slovenly her slightly sweet and ethereal tones the perfect counterbalance to Vepar's more clipped goth -like delivery, she also delivers some pretty impressive low growling bottom-end to the proceedings locking in tight with Lord Bradikardios' tight solid drumming and Lord Vepar's crunching guitar riffs to give each of the albums songs a strong sturdy rhythmic spine. For us at Desert Psychlist the real star of this album is the good Lady Filthy whose dark neo-classical keyboard flourishes and fills on songs like "Devilgod", "The Djinn" and "Pasu Dharma" ramp atmosphere levels up to a whole new level of good and make this album stand out that much prouder than it might have done without them.

This is Fat Greasy Beast's first release so expect a little naivety here and there but having said that this is a highly enjoyable debut packed to brimming over with dark atmospheric doom from a band with a ton of potential for the future.
Check 'em out ...... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

Tuesday 15 March 2022


Desert Psychlist had often wondered what might of came about if the Weedian triumvirate of Sleep, High On Fire and OM had merged the sound of all three bands onto one album, the Black Sabbath worshipping stoner riffs of Sleep and the harder edged sludgy doom and stoner metal of High On Fire blended with the Floydian flavoured eastern tinted psych of OM would certainly have made an interesting listen. We suspect that the resulting mix of styles might have sounded not too dissimilar to that of Achachak's new album "Planet Hashish".
Achachak are a stoner/doom quintet hailing from Vučipolje,Croatia consisting of Ante Kodžoman (vocals), Patrik Zelenika (guitar), Luka Gobin (guitar), Lovre Gobin (bass) and Milan Mijač (drums), the band have not always walked the Weedian path in fact their previous release "High Mountain" was an enjoyable if somewhat eclectic mix of styles and dynamics. This year however the band seemed to have found something stronger to smoke and have seemingly gone fully Weedian!

Along with those stronger smoking materials Achachak seemed to have also invested in some quality effects pedals because the fuzz that emanates from their amps on many of the nine songs that make up "Planet Hashish" has an almost tangible quality, especially on title track and opening number "Planet Hashish". It is almost impossible to stop your feet beating out an impromptu tattoo along to this low tuned slice of accessible and groove heavy stonerised doom with its incessant plodding rhythms, crunching riffs and hooky guitar motifs especially when those elements are twinned with a vocal that is delivered in a voice that suggests the singer might have been enjoying his time on this particular planet a little more than is probably healthy for him. "Breathe" follows and has a groove, feel and vocal attack very similar to it predecessor but hey you won't find us complaining as we could listen to these grooves all day long and still never get bored. It's all change for next track "Celebration For The Desert" a song that sees the band dipping their toes into lysergic waters with glistening arpeggios and eastern guitar motifs tiptoeing over a bass line and restrained drum pattern that has OM written all over it. Things get a tad heavier on "Orange Moon" both musically and vocally, the singer still sounding like he has been hitting the bong hard but with an added gritty edginess in his voice. "Weed Wagon" is up next and after a spluttering stuttering intro explodes into a punkish blues groove only this is a blues groove unlike anything you may have heard before. "Shamans Horse" is the perfect example of why we made comparisons with Sleep, OM and High On Fire in the first part of this review as here we find the band utilising the echoed vocal dynamics of OM over a repetitive riff (Sleep) and then exploding into full on stoner metal attack in the last quarter (High On Fire). For "Desert Eye" Achachak grab their water bottles and sun hats for an enjoyable stroll through desert rock territory while "The Hasheesh Eater" sees the band jamming a stop start groove enhanced by some scorching lead guitar work. Finally we arrive at "Fishermans F(r)iend" a delicate tale of mishap and death on a whaling expedition played out to a backdrop of gently picked acoustic and lilting electric guitar before the song finally erupts into a tsunami of thunderous drumming, growling bass and crunching guitar riffs in its final moments.

Heavier and more focused than its predecessor "Planet Hashish" sees Achachak jettisoning some of the more eclectic and diverse aspects of their sound and fully embracing the darker heavier side of their sonic attack, it is a brave move but one that works really well for them.
Check it out .... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

Monday 14 March 2022


Storytelling via the medium of a whole rock album is nothing new The Small Faces (Ogden's Nut Gone Flake), The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) and The Pretty Things (S.F. Sorrow) all, to differing extents, wrote and released albums loosely based around central themes or "concepts", however it was The Who's "Tommy", a tale telling of the rise and fall of a pinball playing deaf, dumb and blind boy, that really captured the public's imagination and took the "concept album" to a whole different level. We as people love a good story and we also love a good tune so when The Who's Pete Townshend combined the two together in what he described as a "rock opera" we lapped it up. Unfortunately we as a people also have a tendency for taking things a little too far and when the prog bands of the mid-seventies threw their hats into the concept pool things started to get a little too highbrow and over complicated. Despite the excesses of the seventies the art of storytelling albums has remained popular to this day and especially within the confines of our own doom/stoner/psych scene. 

New Jersey's Troll Teeth love to tell a good tale and in 2020 they released, to much acclaim, "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing" a sci-fi themed opus telling of a doomed mission to a distant planet laid out like the pages of a book, a story with a beginning, a middle and an end with each song working as a chapter in that story. This year the band return with "Hanged, Drawn & Quartered" an album not concerned with giant spiders and a failing space crew but one that asks us to question our place and role in society and also that of our leaders.

Given that "Hanged, Drawn & Quartered" is inspired by Achille Mbembe's book "Necropolitics", a tome that theorises about those in power keeping certain populations in a state of subjugation in order to control and then eventually eliminate them, it is clear that this is not going to be an album packed with happy clappy songs of love and peace. Having said this, "Hanged, Drawn & Quartered" is not an album weighed down by by its theme, yes the lyrical content is dark, sometimes accusing, often angry but the weightiness of those lyrics is not always reflected in the music that surrounds them. Songs like "Hand Me Down", an angry tirade aimed at those who hold the power by one who holds an empty belly, the superb "Expect Nothing, Receive Nothing", with its beautiful acoustic section and sweet but mournful vocal, and the jazz tinted "Your Hands Are Red" all have moments where the gloom and doom suddenly lifts and rare glimmers of light are allowed to seep through, those moments often coming courtesy of Peter "Pretty Boy" Trafalski's fleet fingered guitar work, his solo's drawing mainly from the blues but also from many other sources. Trafalski's, crunching riffs and sterling lead work are perfectly matched by J.W. "Moe" Eccles mix of growling and liquid bass as well as his superbly delivered vocals, which are as clean and clear as they are powerful, while Kyle "Thuds Mackenzie" Applebaum lives up to his nickname by supplying Bonham-esque percussive thunder to the albums heavier moments and jazzy subtlety to its quieter periods. Together these three musicians bring a musicality to a story that might otherwise have been dragged down by its heavy subject matter the band using elements of the blues, hard rock and prog(ish) metal as a musical framework for what is an extremely intelligent and thought provoking concept. 

Political, intelligent and provocative lyrics framed in grooves that are heavy but never brutal, "Hanged, Drawn & Quartered" may not be the sci-fi sequel we might have been expecting as the follow up to "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing" but it is a story that needs to be heard and one that may make you look at your world, and your place in that world, in a whole new light.
Check it out ....

© 2022 Frazer Jones

Friday 11 March 2022

DOPE DEFAULT ~ DIVISION ....... review

Thessaloniki quintet Dope Default will be no strangers to those who regularly visit Desert Psychlist as we have covered two of their releases on these pages and hope to cover many more in the future. The band, John Campbell (vocals); Dimitris Kolimvanos (guitars); George Kontouris (guitars); Makis Georgiou (bass) and Thodoris Anastasiadis (drums), started life jamming a groove that blended elements of alt-rock and grunge with elements of stoner/hard rock and metal but by the time they had reached their second album "Imprisonment" the grunge had taken a bit of a backseat and the rock and metal seemed to be in the driving seat. This year the band return with their third album "Division" so lets see who's got the wheel this time out.

Well the answer to the question posed in the first part of this review is that Dope Default are once again balancing their metal with their alt-rock but once again with the metal having the upper hand. Having said this you might well begin to think Dope Default had gone "doom" after hearing the low slow and heavy intro into first track "Midnight Mass", however, things get back to some semblance of Dope Default flavoured normality when the doomic intro subsides and makes way for a fizzing and fuzzy stoner riff over which clean powerful vocals tell tales of sacrifice and ritual beneath which the drums and bass lay down an appropriately strident rhythmic backdrop. "Future Without" follows and boasts juddering guitar riffs and thundering rhythms beneath a vocal that lyrically splits its time between looking back with regret and looking forward with gritty determination while next track "Duplicity" finds the band tapping into their grungier side with a nicely paced number that would have the feel of a ballad if it were not for its angry lyrical content. Its back to metallic riffing with "Down to Pieces", the songs stuttering groove is anchored by powerful  industrious drumming and deep growling bass and is further enhanced by an ear catching vocal melody and a brief but nonetheless scorching guitar solo. If there is one song on "Division" that will get repeated listens from the heavy rockers out there then it has to be "Saint of Killers", a song that among other things employs Alice In Chains style slurred guitar motifs, crunching palm muted riffs and a perfectly pitched and powerful vocal, the oh so brief guitar solo is none too shabby either. For next track "So Far Away" Dope Default opt for one of those slow burning laments that builds from humble beginnings and grows into something epic and all conquering, shivers of pleasure running up and down the spine are guaranteed to occur while listening to this. "One More Time" and "The Hand of Midas" follow in quick succession, both strident rockers and both superb in their own right with the former just shading it, for us at Desert Psychlist, thanks to its ear catching chorus, you can just see audiences fist pumping along to its "one more time" vocal hook. Title track "Division" brings things to a close, a constantly shifting groove monster with a thinly veiled political message that blends Dope Default's underlying alt-rock dynamics with their more upfront metallic leanings.

"Division" is a perfectly balanced tome that contains everything you could possibly ask for from a "modern" rock album, it has riffs, melodies, intelligent lyrics and grooves to die for. It is always good to see a band grow, evolve and take their music to that next level and with "Division" Dope Default have done just that, if these guys continue on their current trajectory their next album is going to be a very interesting prospect indeed, watch this space!
Check 'em out ..... 

© 2022 Frazer Jones

Sunday 6 March 2022


Dungeon Weed is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Dmitri Mavra, a project born from the Skunk guitarists need to create during a period of forced inactivity (Covid lockdown). Dungeon Weed is very much a one man show with Mavra handling the majority of the instrumentation (guitar/bass/vocals/synths), helped along only by a couple of fellow musicians, Chris McGrew (drums); Thia Moonbrook (vocals) and Rama (synths and assorted sounds). Mavra/Dungeon Weed's first release "Mind Palace of the Mushroom God" gleaned much praise on its release for its nasty sounding grooves and its off the wall concept so expectations were high for where Mavra might take things next, if indeed he did. Thankfully the favourable reactions to his projects first release has inspired Mavra to once again don his psychedelic wizard garb and record another chapter in the Dungeon Weed story and if you liked "Mind Palace of the Mushroom God" then you are going to fucking love "The Eye of the Icosahedron"(Forbidden Place Records).

With sixteen tracks making up "The Eye of the Icosahedron" it would be foolish of us to try and analyse each track individually so the best thing would be to give you an overall feel of what is going on and try to somehow convey to you, the reader, why we think this album should be in your collection. "Scuzzy" is a word that more and more seems to be associated with bands from the Italian doom scene, a word often used to describe the corrosive guitars tones and partly buried vocals that grace albums by bands like Wizard Master, Demonio and Black Spell, a sound that some have dubbed  "Italian acid doom", now whether Californian based Dmitri Mavra has some Italian blood running through his veins we do not know but the "scuzzometer" reading on the majority of these sixteen songs is definitely in the red zone. The concept behind " The Eye of the Icosahedron" follows on from that which informed previous album "Mind Palace of the Mushroom God", with our hero still trying to un-weave himself from his curse and servitude to Orcus, the Lord of the Underworld played out against a backdrop of gnarly sludge and devilish doom interspersed with segments of acoustic dreaminess and synthesized serenity, Highlights are many but for Desert Psychlist the standouts are the bludgeoning "Descent into the Psionic Abyss", with its Electric Wizard flavoured distortion, gruff deeply buried vocals and discordant guitar solo, the acid drenched proto doomic "Mesmeric Scintillations" and the Zappa-esque " Time Crash". In fact there is not a track to be found here that does not have its merits and that includes those dream-like segments that cleverly form a bridge into the albums heavier songs, 

" The Eye of the Icosahedron" is not an album for the faint-hearted, it does have moments of gentleness and and quiet reflection but those moments are just the precursor for some of the most gloriously scuzzy distorted and discordant doom and sludge you are likely to hear this side of the Apocalypse. The Psychedelic Wizard has a story to tell and we suggest you listen.
Check it out.... 

 © 2022 Frazer Jones