Black Elephant – Cosmic Blues

Italian stoner quartet Black Elephant don’t usually plough that expected furrow, instead burning with a desire that evokes a rock club night rather than the chilled vibe of the desert. Sophomore album Cosmic Blues (Small Stone), however, sets off down a spacier path, with opener ‘Cosmic Soul’ full of psychedelic swirls and wonderful lead histrionics, all underpinned by a riff reeking of engine oil. A thundering rhythm section creates a blues-boogie coda, which leads nicely into the dirty groove of ‘Helter Skelter’: Caravelli Alessio’s whiskey-soaked throat oscillating around a sultry riff which does things it shouldn’t to the ears, a sleazy solo finishing off the ecstasy. Continue reading

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell – Keep It Greasy!

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is one of those bands you just have to like – it’s ruckus great fun and Keep It Greasy (Rise Above) is a shit kickin’ fun album. I like it because I can head-bang and two-step to it. The track ‘Tired N Wired’ is this mish-mash of chunky bass driven black metal with thick twangy guitars of southern rock mixed with 1970s epic guitar solos. It makes me want to find a pole, put on my hooker heels, a pair of Daisy Duke’s and just dance my wee heart out.  Continue reading

NOIZ All-Dayer, Rebellion, Manchester UK

Noiz Alldayer ghostcultmag

He was so deeply huddled under a blanket that it took a while to locate the source of the voice hollering my name. Eytan Wineapple, curator of the rumbling beast that was the NOIZ All-Dayer, initially celebrated its second incarnation looking like death warmed up. After a long couple of days, with Wineapple escorting eventual headliners Dukatalon to Sheffield and back, they eventually bedded down in today’s venue. “They got here around 3 a.m., and I tucked them all in!” joked Rebellion manager and event collaborator Hayley. Five minutes later, the flat-capped Wineapple was bounding around like a madman: putting to serious shame Ghost Cult’s scribe who, twelve hours later, and still nearly three hours from the denouement, interviewed said host in a rather weary and addled fashion…

NOIZ is not your average festival. Displays of album-style art and guitars in various stages of completion (one of which is raffled off later in the day) stand beside the S.O.P.H.I.E. merch stall in the upper level of the club-style venue. A dedicated handful, meanwhile, witness the pulverising Industria of openers Khost: looking for all the world like a couple of local scallies bumbling about on a stage, yet laying waste with a mystical power which deserved a better slot and much more attention. The Birmingham duo’s ambient, crushing set, its implosive chords and guttural scours blending with a wonderful and passionate line in Middle-Eastern vocal samples, ended bang on time: a courtesy that some of the festival’s other performers could have tried harder to match.

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FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Behold the Riff: NOIZ All-Dayer, Manchester Rebellion Next Weekend

Noiz Alldayer ghostcultmag

Saturday 2nd April sees the latest all-day event to grace the UK city of Manchester. The NOIZ All-Dayer is the brainchild of Eytan Dorron Wineapple, a popular and passionate figure of the local Metal scene, and this third such event sees an incredible Low-end bill decorated with other displays, including an art exhibition. While Brit heavyweights The Wounded Kings, Witchsorrow and Hang the Bastard are arguably the biggest names of the fourteen bands on show, of equal note is Israeli outfit Dukatalon’s first appearance on these shores.

The Wounded Kings (33)

The Wounded Kings, by Rich Price Photography

Despite the predominance of the monolithic chord, the packed lineup shows variance: Birmingham Industrial duo Khost and Psychedelic Heavy Soul trio Vodun make mouth–watering appearances, whilst the occult groove is also present in the form of Sussex-raised Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. It’s a bill reflecting Eytan’s love of crushing strings, but also reflects his desire and devotion to bring the best acts to his local area: “Yeah, I’m really happy with the lineup”, he says, “It totally delivers on our promise of big riffs and heavy tones.” It seems the inclusion of the fabled Dukatalon, meanwhile, is a testament to networking and to the curator’s dedication and hard work: “This is their first UK tour. I got in touch with the band through a mutual Israeli friend and went from there.”

So does the strength of the bill create headaches for future events? Eytan doesn’t think so. “I wouldn’t say it adds any pressure. It’s just a natural thing to want to make things bigger and better than previous times. For sure this lineup is bigger, and the production will be slicker. No doubt the same will be said about the next one, however, so no, there’s no pressure.”

Encouraging words for the future, then. This is a festival with something a little different: a host of visual and audio delights to ensnare the senses, smack-bang in the centre of Town, and at £12 a ticket it’s as good as a free gig. You know what to do…

PAUL QUINN

Roadburn Festival Announce New Additions

roadburn festival 2015 logo

Roadburn Festival has new additions to their 20th edition of the festival, taking place April 9-12, 2015 in Tilberg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn 2015’s curators Wardruna’s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik and Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson have almost completed the line up for their event on Friday April 10. Loop main man, Robert Hampson and Swedish psych heroes, Agusa will both perform alongside Focus, Death Hawks, Sólstafir and others. BardSpec – the Ambient project/band from Enslaved composer/guitarist Ivar – will also perform at the event. Einar will present a workshop which will delve into his approach to music and the extensive creative concept behind Wardruna´s ongoing ‘Runaljod’ trilogy as well as his approach and study of the runes and other Norse esoteric arts. He will demonstrate a selection of the oldest Nordic instruments, play fully accoustic Wardruna music and there will also be time for questions from the audience.

Other bands added to the event include:

Briqueville
Moaning Cities
Your Highness
King Hiss
Tangled Horns
Ashtoreth
Miava
Gnaw Their Tongues
Abrahma
IZAH
Hypnos
Verbum Verus
City of Ships
Big Naturals
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
Death Penalty

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