If you don’t know Texas sludge and stoner rockers Switchblade Jesus, you better recognize! The band crushes eardrums with a blistering style of rough riffs, grooves, and great vocals. The band is working on a new as yet untitled album for Ripple Music, but recently debuted a new song ‘Behind The Monolith’ live. Ghost Cult is stoked to bring you this live video premiere of the track, and we can’t wait to hear more!
A cosmic haze surrounds everything from Texan duo Wo Fat: their chunky, thunderous rhythms swelled by fizzing riffs as suffocating, as implosive, as the vacuum of space. Despite having lost long-time bassist Tim Wilson, sixth long-player Midnight Cometh (Ripple Music) shows no signs of that trait discontinuing.
Though unabashedly Stoner, the Blues melodies and leads of opener ‘There’s Something Sinister in the Wind’ are shot through with added pace, urgency, and no little mysticism, blowing away the blubber often encasing such offerings. Sure, you could hear this kind of stuff down the local Rock pub but not with this power, this weight. The way the dreamy leadwork joins forces with a tight, rampant rhythm section from the mid-point is joyous: whilst the oscillating riff of the denouement, repetitive and swelling, crushes in indolent yet savage fashion.
‘Riffborn’ again provides nothing new, while Kent Stump’s gnarled vocal doesn’t incite the listener to any high emotion. Yet there’s something strangely electric, even comforting, in the fact that such traditional Heavy Rock can still force you to get down and boogie. Stump’s guitarwork is king here, the leads and riffs duelling with lightning dexterity yet retaining their corpulent girth. ‘Of Smoke and Fog’ meanwhile, creates atmospheres in keeping with its title: leads wailing and growling, permeating vaporous wisps as the cabs groan beneath the volume: whilst a rumbling bass and Michael Walter’s drums gradually creep in like a curious rhino, suddenly appearing and looking a little mad to see you on his territory.
That 70s Rock undercurrent is built to the fore during ‘Le Dilemme de Detenu’ and ‘Three Minutes to Midnight’: a shabby, hairy mob on The Old Grey Whistle Test embodied by the harsh, ZZ Top-style verses. Both tracks are enlivened by those fierce guitars, the latter’s moody centrepiece torn to shreds by a dazzling solo. Closer ‘Nightcomer’ meanwhile, is a Psychedelic crush of threatening Groove and pulsing swell that leads to a suitably huge finale.
Comparisons with both Kyuss and Orange Goblin abound for these guys, yet Wo Fat plough their own reverberating furrow. Sometimes the old-fashioned ways are still exciting.
The last place you’d expect the seeds of evil to come from are the great southern state of Texas. But as the sun sets below the trees, and sinks for the night, a haunting melody creeps from the shadows. That melody belongs to none other than Epic Death. Their release Witchcraft (Self-Released) was produced by Stephen Bogle, and these guys aren’t just a bunch of knock offs from a Cradle of Filth clearance sale. They are the real deal.
From the depths of darkness ‘The Vendetta’ creeps like fog rolling through a cemetery and into your eardrums warning you not to turn out the lights. ‘Dragon’s Blood’ follows that up taking you on a mystical journey that only Epic Death can keep you safe during. Weaving its incantation of evil and black magic the solo from Nathan Chance on the title track ‘Witchcraft’ speaks in tongues.
‘Poison’ is a familiar yet original cover of Alice Cooper’s treasured track that does it more than justice. In ‘Screams from Valhalla’, the Vikings have returned their death march apparent in the opening moments of the track. As the thunder crackles, Becky Demona sends you to the ‘Eye of the Storm’ with her fingers weaving around the keys in dizzying spectacle. Lead vocalist Denis Dorsett puts some strain on his vocals, but it’s nice to hear something dark and melodic that you can understand the words to.
This album may be a little thin here then there, but it certainly doesn’t mislead from the band’s name as the journey is certainly one of Epic Death.