The blues lies at the root of much of what Noise River bring to the table, but do not go expecting anything remotely traditional or straightforward as what Noise River serve up is a twisted and warped version of the genre spliced with elements of stoner rock, sludge, doom and space that is in turns heavy, trippy and at times quite brutal. The bands blend of lysergic cosmicness and heavy bluesy bluster is no better exemplified than on opening track "Lost In Universe" a mesmerising hotch-potch of hazy psychedelics, thundering percussion and crunching riffage decorated in slightly one-dimensional, but hugely effective and powerful, clean vocals that tell of "an eternal void", "gravity slaves" and the coming of "four horsemen". Next up is "S.O.R." a song that in its initial stages is a pummelling sludge/stoner metal riff-fest over which cool flowing vocal melodies and occasional bluesy guitar colourings hold sway, but is in its second stage a low slung doomic dirge decorated in sampled narration. "Heartless Voices" rears its head above the parapet next, a schizophrenic mix of hazy lysergic laced bluesiness and feral stoner metal that routinely swoops and soars back and forth between these two dynamics before finally signing out with the two-guitarist attempting to outdo each other in a battle of squealing, squawking six-string dissonance. Noise River save their best for last with "Shamanic Rites and Preacher's Lament" an enthralling, mostly instrumental, ten minute opus built around what is essentially a short lyrical prayer to higher forces. It is a song that is in parts ambient, in parts spiritual and in parts heavy and thunderous yet traverses these differing dynamics without feeling disjointed or like it was an amalgamation of song ideas forced together for convenience, a song that flows from one dynamic to another with consummate ease and no lack of musical competency and serves as a fitting finale to what is a highly enjoyable debut.
Friday, 30 September 2022
NOISE RIVER ~ NOISE RIVER EP .... review
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
BLOODSHOT ~ SINS OF THE FATHER ... review
Wednesday, 21 September 2022
KHYBERNAUT ~ EP .... review
Thursday, 15 September 2022
WITCHSNAKE ~ WITCHSNAKE .... review
Desert Psychlist has spoken on these pages previously of our suspicions that bands hailing from the Italian acid doom/scuzzy metal scene are maybe somehow connected, that bands like Demonio, Sonic Demon and Black Spell may actually have evolved from a small pool of Italian musicians who routinely furnish us with vague information regarding their personnel etc. As we have already said this is just a suspicion, but that suspicion was once again ignited by the recent release of another slice of fuzzed out distortion drenched Electric Wizard worship flying under the banner of "Witchsnake" by a band of the same name. Witchsnake are a band who utilize not only a similar reliance on partly buried in the mix vocals, devastating distortion and furious fuzz as those bands mentioned earlier but also have a similar penchant for late 60's flavoured soft porn/horror movie artwork as well as that same vagueness regarding their individual identities. Desert Psychlist will probably never know for sure if our suspicions are founded but then again it doesn't really matter because be Witchsnake the creation of an Italian collective or a band in its own right their new album is a masterclass in doomic acid gnarliness.
Make sure you are holding on to something firmly planted in the earth when dropping the needle/ pushing play on opening song "Full Moon Wizardry" because the force this song comes out of the speakers at is something that can only be measured on a Richter scale, the levels of fuzz and distortion applied to the guitar tones here are of such a tangible quality that you don't just hear them you actually feel them. Add to this whirlwind of noise drumming that goes beyond thunderous and becomes a sound man has yet to find words for and its highly likely that if you didn't take our advice and hold on to something solidly fixed to the ground you will now be laying outside your place of abode looking back at the hole in your wall this song has just blown you through. If this is the case then please, for your own safety, do not re-enter your home, it will be safer to listen to the rest of this album from the relative security of where the opening song has just deposited you, especially as songs like "Weed of the Witch/Black Trip", "Hellrider 666" and "Green Serpent Rising" do not get any less gnarly, filthy or impactful and any movement towards those sounds could only endanger your life further. Are there vocals we hear you shout from your temporary shelter of rubble and stone, and our answer is yes there are vocals, but you will not be able to discern a damn word of them such is their placement in the mix, but worry ye not as this won't matter a jot as those vocals serve as just another layer of gnarliness to this maelstrom of sound that has blown both your mind and most of your home away.
© 2022 Frazer Jones
Wednesday, 14 September 2022
TRIPPELGÃNGER ~ THIRD TRIP ...... review
Trippelgänger, Nicklas Lind (guitar/vocals); Tobias Jacobsen (bass) and Christoffer F. Moland (drums/vocals), hail from Aalborg, Denmark and have, over the past year and a half, been steadily assailing our audial cavities with a series of EP releases which they dub as "trips" and today we are reviewing the third, and latest, in that series the appropriately titled "Third Trip".
Monday, 12 September 2022
SPELLBOOK ~ DEADLY CHARMS .... review
We have described SpellBook as being "retro" but this band are not just about recreating the past, there is much to be found within the nine songs that make up "Deadly Charms" that is fresh, contemporary and relevant to today's underground rock, metal and doom scene. Whether you like to get your rocks off listening to the grainy proto doom of early Black Sabbath or its Ghost's current stadium filling melodic occult rock that floats your boat SpellBook's "Deadly Charms" has something for you.
Friday, 9 September 2022
WOE ~ CZERNOBOG ..... review
Sunday, 4 September 2022
ELEPHANT IMPRESSION ~ DAWN OF DOOM ... review
Back in the day doom used to be defined by its atmospherics, its grandiose themes and its huge gothic tinted vocals but doom comes in many flavours these days, flavours that s range from low slow and heavy to harsh strident and technically complex with a whole gamut of interesting and diverse variations in-between. Germany's Elephant Impression, Marcel (guitar/vocals); Flo (guitar); Josué (drums) and Felix (bass), are a band whose grooves inhabit that "in-between". with their doom being an amalgamation of luscious heavy psych, gritty stoner metal, and textured post -rock tinted with an unexpected alt-rock/grunge like edginess. It is an intriguing blend and one that makes their debut album "Dawn of Doom" a worthy and rewarding listen.
Title track "Dawn of Doom" kicks things off and sets the scene for the rest of the album, its intro of slow pounding percussion, palm-muted arpeggios and droning guitar textures combining to create an insidious and menacing atmospheric that runs through not only this song but also the rest of the album, the band jamming a groove that is most certainly doom-ic in nature but is also so much more than just that. As the album progresses so does its appeal the bands guitarists laying down a mix of dark crunching riffs and shimmering post-rock guitar colourings beneath which the bassist and drummer have to routinely alter their rhythmic approach so as to accommodate each songs shifting dynamics. If this was an instrumental album Desert Psychlist would still not hesitate to recommend it to our readers, such is the quality of the musicianship on display, but there are vocals, and those vocals are of an equal quality to the musicianship that surrounds them. Vocalist Marcel is not a singer in possession of a rock god roar and apart from the occasional growl you won't find him going overboard on the harshness what he does possess however is a powerful and melodic vocal range which he uses to the utmost effect, soaring and pristine in the upper register dropping to a hushed semi whisper at the lower end, his distinctive vocals bringing extra dimensions of colour and texture to songs like " Walking Among Mammoths", "Stop the Time" and "Death" that they may well have lacked with a vocalist of a lesser talent'