Things start off a little weird with the brief intro piece "Prelude" but then get really interesting with "Get In The Trough" a song that perfectly exemplifies Gamma Goat's penchant for mashing up grunge/alt-rock with doom and metal, the song boasting thick swathes of low tuned riffage underpinned by pummelling percussion over which the vocals are a trade off between bear-like growls. anguished screams and clean mellow croons before the song finally signs off on a wave of screaming feedback. "Sea of Flies". follows and is an absolute MONSTER of a song that jams a doom flavoured groove but decorates that groove with a a vocal melody that utilizes a mixture quiet/loud/quiet dynamics and Chris Cornell-like vocal pyrotechnics as well as including a lysergic mid-section over which spoken narrative tells of "valleys of the moon" and "desert plains" before erupting into a maelstrom of squealing guitar motifs and thundering rhythms.to take it to its finale. This is followed by "Interlude I" another brief experimental piece that leads into ""An Offering" an ever shifting blend of strutting grunge/alt-rock and stoner metal around which an array of vocal stylings are employed. "Drying Up The Bones" is up next a spitting spluttering full on metal/grunge hybrid that borrows flavours from both Soundgarden and Alice In Chains but comes out sounding pure Gamma Goat. "Interlude II" comes and goes in just under 39 seconds and opens the way for final number "Underwrath" a song that finds the band channelling the spirit of all of grunge's finest bands in one superb musical piece while at the same time adding into that mix their own signature stoner fuzz and metallic bluster.
Friday, 29 July 2022
GAMMA GOAT ~ INTERLUDE .... review
Tuesday, 26 July 2022
REALM DRIFTER ~ REALM DRIFTER ...... review
One of the most important elements of doom as a music is probably the one that gets overlooked the most, you may have the low down-tuned riffs, you may have the slow ponderous and pummelling percussion and you may have the dark lyrical tales but if you can't create the dank brooding atmospherics that pull everything together and are such an essential component of the genre then you might as well forget calling what you do doom. Fortunately Fort Worth, Texas quartet Realm Drifter, Jayson (vocals/guitar); Richie (guitar); Lee (bass) and Daniel (drums), do not have this problem their songs are absolutely drenched in atmosphere, as you will no doubt find out for yourselves when you give the bands self-titled debut "Realm Drifter" a spin.
You probably could not ask for a more atmospheric opener than "Fire for Wolves" its intro of liquid deep bass and solid drumming leads into a groove that sits somewhere between slow and mid tempo and boasts scorching blues tinted guitar solos that soar with dark majestic grace over a gritty edged vocal that borders on harshness but manages to retain an air of clarity. "With No Name" follows and has a slower more doom-ic dynamic and finds Jayson tempering his vocal almost to a croon in places, something that ramps the songs impact up several notches and gives the song added depth especially when set against the mix of crunching riffs and reverberating almost surf -like guitar textures that accompany it. Lee gets to introduce next song "Feeding Shadows" with a low growling bass motif which is then joined by Jayson and Richie's guitars in a low, slow heavy groove expertly anchored by drummer Daniel's powerful rhythmic patterns around which Jayson fashions a slurred hazy vocal melody that occasionally erupts into a feral roar, the song finally closing its account with a dank dark and atmosphere drenched jam that sees the guitarists trading off swirling solos and screeching feedback against a backdrop of deliciously dark doom-ic groove. "Sound of an Owl" sees Realm Drifter stepping into psych territory with hazy filtered vocals and twanging guitar tones routinely being interrupted by sudden bursts of low slung metallic mayhem. while final track "Realm Drifter" retains both the twang, haziness and quiet/loud/quiet dynamics of its predecessor but this time when it erupts it erupts like a volcano.
Monday, 25 July 2022
PARALYZED ~ HEAVY ROAD ...... review
Friday, 15 July 2022
BLACK CAPRICORN ~ CULT OF BLOOD .... review
Desert Psychlist has probably bored some of you rigid with our slavering appreciation of Italy's scuzz rock/acid doom sub-genre but we refuse to apologise for promoting the likes of Black Spell, Demonio, Sonic Demon and others because the lysergic laced fuzzed drenched doom these bands explore is something we think deserves your attention. The sound these bands bring to the table obviously owes a huge debt to Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard (especially the latter) but it also possible it owes a debt to a band living literally almost on their doorstep. Black Capricorn hail from the island of Sardinia and although their early sonic attack leant more towards doom of a traditional flavour there was always an element of grainy fuzzed out "scuzziness" about their sound,. The band, whose current line up consists of Rachela Piras (drums); Virginia Piras (bass) and Fabrizio Monni (guitars/vocals), briefly disbanded in 2019 only to reconvene again in 2021 whence they almost immediately started working on new songs , those songs have now been finished, recorded and are now ready for consumption via the bands fifth album "Cult of Blood" (Majestic Mountain Records), an enthralling mix of old and new school doominess tinted with just a hint of good old "scuzz"
Things start off suitably "scuzzed" out and fuzzy with "Secret Society of Seven", Rachela and Virginia Piras laying down an impressive grainy bedrock of rhythmic proto-doom over which Monni layers distorted guitar refrains and searing guitar solos while also telling us in clean melodic and ear catching tones of some of the "Seven's" nefarious dealings and ritual practices. Some will be reminded of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats in the way that Black Capricorn blend this songs blustering heaviness with a hook laden vocal melody but for their new albums next track, "Worshipping the Bizarre Reverend" the band pay homage to another band with a song referencing the traditional doom and heavy metal of Finland's Reverend Bizarre, the band dispensing with the grainy stoner-like fuzz of of their opening track and opting for a thicker denser dynamic that alternates between strident and galloping and low, slow and heavy with Monni's vocals taking on a deeper darker tone. It is the previous songs lower slower dynamic that informs next song "Giants of Prama" , its atmospheric dirge-like groove, driven by Rachela's steady pounding percussion and Virginia's growling fuzz drenched bass, is given extra atmospheric gravitas thanks to Monni's crunching power chords, tasteful blues infused solos and monastic like vocals. For "Godsnake Djamballah" Black Capricorn opt to go instrumental and experimental and manage to pull it off surprisingly well, the Piras sisters laying down a low slow doomic groove over which Monni layers a smorgasbord of effects and guitar trickery. We are back in Uncle Acid territory again for "Snake of the Wizard" with Black Capricorn once again successfully balancing melody with might on a song that walks a nice line between scuzzy proto-metal and traditional doom while for "Witch of Endor" they re-enter the realms of low slow and heavy but then take the songs enjoyment level up several notches by adding a little heavy psych texturing and colour into the equation. Black Capricorn close "Cult of Blood" with "Uddadhadder" a hypnotic opus with exotic undertones that boasts Arabian guitar textures, eastern rhythms and droning bass motifs over which mantra-like vocals are reverentially intoned, the song serving as a bewitching finale to a totally captivating album of quality Italian doom.
© 2022 Frazer Jones
Wednesday, 13 July 2022
LES NADIE ~ DESTIERRO Y SIEMBRA .... review
Gather around Ladies and Gentlemen for today, for your entertainment, we present a marvel of the modern age, a a two headed beast from the depths of the Southern Hemisphere that will cause you to swoon in amazement and gasp in wonder. This dual headed phenomenon has resided in the Argentinian province of Córdoba for many a year and up until now has been kept a closely guarded secret, its existence known only to a chosen few, but now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we can reveal its identity to the world. This beast goes by the name of Les Nadie and the sound emanating from the two heads that make up its whole is one that can cause mountains to crumble and buildings to shake and if you don't believe us then listen to this recording of this beasts roar which has been released for your listening pleasure beneath the title "Destierro y Siembra"
Tuesday, 12 July 2022
SAMÁN ~ II. MONTAÑA ROJA .... review
Samàn, Iván Rodríguez (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Santiago Mora (guitar); José González (bass) and Ricardo Silva (drums), will already be known to those that invested time and/or money in their 2017 EP " La Caída del Ancestro", a pummelling blend of stoner metal bluster and doomic dankness shot through with elements of old school heavy metal and heavy psych, but even those familiar with the band will not be prepared for what they are about to hear via the bands debut full length album "II, Montaña Roja"
Sunday, 10 July 2022
OBIAT ~ INDIAN OCEAN ..... review
London based quartet Obiat should be no strangers to those who prefer their grooves to have a leaning towards the progressive end of the underground rock spectrum or those partial to to some sludge-like heaviness. The band first came onto Desert Psychlist's radar via their debut "Accidently Making Enemies"(2002) a stunning mix of crunching sludginess and stoner metal fuzziness shot through with elements of heavy psych and prog which was followed up three years later by "Emotionally Driven Disturbance" (2005) an album that saw the heavy psych and prog textures of the previous album taking a more prominent role in Obiat's overall sound. Four years later (2009) the band released "Eye Tree Pi" which followed much the same path as its predecessor, an album that continued the bands mission of balancing out of their love of a meaty riff with their equal love of complexity and intricacy. Its been a long time since Obiat last released an album but despite all the line-up changes (Raf Reutt is the only member to have played on all the bands releases)) and the long periods between albums the bands music has continued to develop and evolve, the bands latest release, "Indian Ocean", with the current line up of Alex Nervo (bass/guitar/keys and FX); Neil Dawson (drums/percussion); Sean Cooper (vocals) and the ever present Raf Reutt (guitars/keys and FX), is testament to that ongoing evolution, ok it may have taken thirteen years to arrive but believe us when we say the wait has been worth it.
Monday, 4 July 2022
PARISH ~ PARISH ..... review
"Pastoral" is a word that can either mean "land used for the the grazing of sheep and cattle", "spiritual advice from clergy" or "the portrayal of an idealized life in the country via literature or music", so given that London, UK proto-metal power trio Parish describe their music as having "pastoral" themes and (as far as we can make out) seem to have no connections with either farming or religion we can only assume that it is the latter that has the greater influence on the songs that inhabit their debut self titled album "Parish" (Crypt Of The Wizard).
Ironically enough, for an album called "Parish" by a band called Parish, it is a song called "Parish" that kicks things off, a song that perfectly encapsulates the albums, and for that matter the bands, "pastoral" approach to their music. "Parish" is a song that possesses all the riffs and rhythms you could possibly ask for in a rock song but never goes overboard on its heaviness or gets needlessly over raucous in its musical attack, this is not to say heaviness and raucousness are elements that this song lacks it just they are somewhat tempered by the bands more considered and somewhat light-handed approach to their art, something that is also reflected in the songs vocals which are sang with clean clarity and possess just the merest hint of mellow huskiness. The relaxed, "pastoral" approach of the first track is something that runs right through the albums ten tracks, songs like "Lucinda", "Soil and Scythe", "Pilgrim's End", and "Poseidon Song" all contain their fair share of crunching riffs, growling bottom end and punchy rhythmic patterns but the band utilize these elements in support of their song writing rather than in an attempt to hide any lacking in that department. The band also cleverly keep their songs short sharp and to the point, you will find no meandering ten minute jamming on this album, each song, apart from Sabbath-esque "Gaolbreak" is kept under the five minute mark and each benefits greatly from this approach with each song feeling that bit more immediate, focused and impactful. The real "pastoral" element of "Parish" (the album) can be found in its lyrical content the band filling their songs with references to demons, witches curses and Puritan fire set in rural landscapes of an age long past. Quite what led three London based rock musicians to explore such rural themes is unknown to Desert Psychlist but given how well they integrate those themes into the retro flavoured proto-metal grooves that are the backbone of "Parish" we are pleased they did, this is one seriously good album!