BlackLab Shared New Video for ‘Insanity’, New Album Due Out this Spring

Witchy Japanese Doom band BlackLab will release a new album this spring, Abyss, due out May 8th via New Heavy Sounds. You can catch them at their first show ever outside of Japan at Desertfest London! The group has shared a new video for their new single ‘Insanity’, and you can watch it right now!

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Sky Valley Mistress Shares New Video for “Skull and Pistons”

Rising UK Stoner Rock band Sky Valley Mistress has shared a new video for their song, ‘Skull and Pistons’! The track comes from their debut album, Faithless Rituals, in March on New Heavy Sounds. The video was made at the studio Dave Catching (QOTSA, Iggy Pop) at his Rancho de la Luna studio where the band recorded with Dave. You can watch the video here where Dave also makes an appearance Check it out now! Continue reading

GUEST POST: Sky Valley Mistress – Top 10 Albums of 2019

It’s time for another Ghost Cult “End Of Year” Guest post! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe all month long! We welcome in Sky Valley Mistress! The Blackburn, Lancashire based band will release their debut album next year which they recorded with Dave Catching (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal, and Mojave Lords) at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California on vis special invitation! Their album is coming soon from the New Heavy Sounds label. Continue reading

GUEST POST: Cold In Berlin – Top 10 Albums of 2019

It’s time for another Ghost Cult “End Of Year” Guest post! We’ll be sharing lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the globe all month long! Today we are lucky to have a list from Cold In Berlin. The band released their new album Rituals of Surrender on October 11th, via New Heavy Sounds and released a new music video for the single ‘Dark Days’ too! Check out their list right now! Continue reading

BlackLab – Under the Strawberry Moon 2.0

 

What is it about Japan that means they can produce such good doom bands? Hailing from Osaka, BlackLab is made up of duo Yuko Morino (guitars, vocals) and Chia Shiraishi (drums).  Though technically the pair’s debut, the ‘2.0’ is to highlight the fact this is the band’s original demo give a polish and a re-release on a proper label. The core sound is still intact though; rough around the edges doom with plenty of creepy atmospherics. Continue reading

Grave Lines – Fed Into The Nihilist Engine

Whereas most of the genre plays well within the confines, being an avid fan of the gloomy genre known simply as Doom, I do find occasionally an artist or album that really pushes the boundaries. Grave Lines latest effort, Fed Into The Nihilist Engine (New Heavy Sounds), does just this with an eclectic mix of what I can only describe as Doom Metal with crescendo; post-Metal song structures that sprinkle in some Folk influences as well. Like the instrumentals, the vocals are all over the place too, in a good way. All the changes in sounds and vocals are meticulously crafted and placed to give the album a storybook feel with highs and lows. Continue reading

Black Moth – Anatomical Venus

Anatomical Venus (New Heavy Sounds), the third album from doomy Stoner Rock outfit Black Moth is the sort of album that can get those usually jaded rock critics very excited indeed. It has a number of leitmotifs that tick the proverbial boxes of listeners who tend to like their records to tick their proverbial boxes. If you think there is a “but” coming you’d be right as, for all the effort and invention, Anatomical Venus resolutely remains the sum of its parts. And that, somewhat disappointingly, is this record’s main problem. Continue reading

Audio: Free Music From US/Them Group

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Check out some new music courtesy of our friends at US/THEM Group below.

TRACKLIST:
01: Indian Handcrafts – It’s Late Queeny (Sargent House)
02: Bill Mountain – Let’s Get It Started (Bill Mountain Music)
03: Mylets – Trembling Hands (Sargent House)
04: Limb – Ghost Dance (New Heavy Sounds)
05: Slow Season – Heavy (RidingEasy)
06: Salem’s Pot – The Vampire Strikes Back (RidingEasy)
07: Ghost Against Ghost – still love [preview edit] (Our Silent Canvas)
08: Jad Fair & Jason Willett – The Greatest Power (Dymaxion Groove)
09: Boss Battle – Ride
10: And So I Watch You From Afar – Wasps (Sargent House)
11: Pink Frost – Striking Violet (Smart Like Virus)
12: Shooting Guns – Barnburner (RidingEasy)
13: Sons of Huns – An Evil Unseen (RidingEasy)
14: Birch – Halfway
15: Mothertapes – Aftermath (SELF Group)
16: Lowercase Noises – Death In A Garden
17: Monolord – Cursing The One (RidingEasy)
18: Spelljammer – The Pathfinder (RidingEasy)
19: Electric Citizen – Beggar’s Need (RidingEasy)
20: Elephant Rifle – Bone Voyage (Humaniterrorist)
21: Birch – Fighting Words
22: Mondo Drag – Shifting Sands (RidingEasy)
23: A Troop of Echoes – Small Fires

Limb – Terminal

Limb Terminal cover

If you visit their Facebook page, this London, England set of rabble-rousers’ bio simply states: “Tune it down, turn it up.” And now that I’ve given Limb’s new album Terminal (New Heavy Sounds) a few spins I have to wholeheartedly endorse that mantra.

For a band that’s only been around since 2011 the rattling guitar tone and stellar production sure sounds confident. Rob Hoey’s throaty barks serve as the perfect complement to Pat Pask’s downtuned blues and Tom Mowforth’s forceful but controlled work on the drums. In terms of sonic quality, these Londoners sound on par with most doom acts on imprints like Relapse or Profound Lore. It’s groovy enough to show to your dad, but has enough impact to satisfy the younger heshers.

Terminal starts off with ‘Three Snake Leaves’ and at a running time of 1:45 it sets the stage for the headbanging to come, but it also drove me to a realization. Compared to typical Doom or Sludge offerings the songs on Terminal tend to come and go very quickly. There are four tracks that are done and over with in or less than three minutes. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it won’t wear out its welcome, but it makes you wonder how numbers like ‘Mortuary Teeth’ would’ve turned out given a little more room to grow. Truth be told the best songs here like ‘Spoils of a Portrait King’ and ‘Cocytus’ happen to be the longest in terms of length and for slowing the tempos down to Jimmy Bower levels of guitar crunch. And I’m not saying that playing slower is the key either as ‘Down by the Banks’ has a Clutch level of self-assured heavy rock swagger.

I don’t want to make it seem like this is a bad record by any stretch of the imagination. Hell, there’s only one moment on Terminal that feels uninspired and it’s the appropriately titled ‘Sleepwalkers.’ It’s all just a matter of these young Brits adding some tweaks to the songwriting.

England started it all with Black Sabbath and kept that momentum going over the years with legendary noise merchants like Cathedral and Electric Wizard. Only time will tell if Limb are up to that task, but I like their chances.

7.0/10

HANSEL LOPEZ

 

Black Moth – Condemned to Hope

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2014 has been a ground-breaking, redefining year for doom, almost overriding the fact that many of the genre’s female-fronted outfits have produced some mesmerising music for a couple of years now. The unique qualities of Harriet Bevan‘s Leeds quintet Black Moth have been setting tongues wagging for some time and second album Condemned to Hope (New Heavy Sounds) reaffirms their particular status of a sassy, doom-rooted outfit whose satirical outlook is augmented with biting lyrics on modern life.

The colossal groove of opener ‘Tumbleweave’ lends gravity to whimsical lyrics about “porkers from the Daily Mail”, paper tiaras and burger queens, all delivered in Harriet’s laconic, incanting yet quintessentially English voice. Riffs crash rather than rumble yet still carry weight, with variations between trad doom and the stoner currents of ‘Looner’, whilst Jim Swainston‘s lead-work is flashing, emotive, and carved from the finest slabs of 70s heavy rock.

Atmospherics abound with the threatening fizz of amps during hushed moments of the stellar, sexy ‘The Undead King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’, resonant tub-thumping heightening the sinister effect and slower sections possessing a bewitching sway that’s difficult to resist. Guitars occasionally have shimmering pedal effects similar to those of The Wounded Kings Steve Mills, more often applied to the lead but muddying Nico Carew‘s riffs deliciously on the cascading, swirling ‘The Last Maze’, which is also graced by one of Swainston’s more memorable solos. Aside from those waggish phrasings other styles are infiltrated, with the indie-punk of ‘White Lies’ and ‘Room 13’ blending with a reverberating low end and complementing the Britpop feel of the lyrics and delivery. ‘Slumber with the Worm’, meanwhile, marries a Pulp Fiction-esque spaghetti twang with lead riffs verging on black metal.

This may not wield the same portentous mass as some of its contemporaries, and Bevan’s voice occasionally shows limits, save for some soaring notes on the hypnotic closing title track. All of this, however, enhances Black Moth’s charm and identity. They’re a little bit different and, in the quirky fashion of oddities from these shores, unmistakably ours. Quite frankly this rips, and deserves some serious investigation.

 

7.5/10

Black Moth on Facebook

 

PAUL QUINN