Blackout – Blackout

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The delicate, almost tasteful indicator to hirsute naturism adorning the cover of the eponymous, sophomore full-length from Brooklyn crushers Blackout (Riding Easy) nods to a polite, MoR-infused Heavy rock; the trio of fresh faces seemingly hiding an element of wounded steel. It comes as a very pleasant surprise, therefore, to find that the sound within is a brain-frazzlingly heavy kaleidoscope which tips its cap toward these very shores.

From the outset the influence of the UK’s Doom and Psychedelic scenes is overtly apparent; the spaced vibe of London mindwarpers Hawkwind wedding with the morose horror of Electric Wizard. Roaring riffs crack open the skull and forcibly widen the mind whilst the low rumbling of Justin Sherrell‘s earth-shaking bass, first noticeable in the title track, exudes the multi-hooved thunder of Odin’s cavalry. Slightly more complex passages of ‘Sprites’ and album opener ‘Lost’ invite Kylesa to the party, with a slightly harsher edge to Christian Gordy‘s roars and screams evoking Phillip Cope’s cavernous utterances and adding to an already powerful intensity.

Gordy’s oscillating clean vocal brings to mind both the devilish haunting of Jus Oborn and the deep, vibrating incantation of The Wounded KingsGeorge Birch; a laconic moaning that coats the fuzzed, murky atmosphere in a warm yet nefarious candlelight. Taryn Waldman‘s drums, meanwhile, are slightly suffocated in the mix, surely to shield the listener from the titanic pummel that would damage the ears without such protection. Indeed it’s the colossal convergence of riff and rhythm where this album reaches its apex, as with the pulverising mass opening ‘Cross’ which is both euphoric and oppressive. The track’s leadplay is sparing but perfectly carries ominous melodies with consummate timing and suitability, while its coda’s closing swell is the album’s most expansive and definitive moment.

The phenomenal resonance and weight, best exemplified in the rolling crush, yelping roars and hammer blows of ‘Tannered’ and the sample-littered crush of closer ‘Human’, will prove irresistible to fans of Blackout’s aforementioned peers and proves originality isn’t always a byword for quality. Crunching, unnerving, yet capable of unforeseen subtlety, this is an intriguing and highly enjoyable set.

8.0/10

Blackout on Facebook

PAUL QUINN

Burnt Books Releasing Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire on March 20th

Burnt Books. Photo Credit: Sean Rayford

Burnt Books. Photo Credit: Sean Rayford

Columbia, SC ultra avant/eclectic punksters Burnt Books will be releasing their second full length album Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire on March 20, 2015 via Retro Futurist Records. They once again enlisted Phillip Cope (Kylesa, Baroness, Lazer/Wulf) to produce their follow-up LP, Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire, at The Jam Room Recording Studio in the band’s hometown. Having envisioned a musical scope of intense emotions and vitality within their songwriting and delivery, the group takes the listener on a musical roller coaster with Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire, blending their own mix of noisy hardcore, post-punk, mesmerizing and angular riffing and Lollis’ skin-crawling growls, wails, and mocking tones.

Stream “Stupid Game” here.

Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire Track Listing:
1. Escape
2. Shadow I Cast
3. Useless Emotions
4. Those Arms
5. Bridges
6. Stupid Game
7. The Harm We’ve Done
8. Burn Virgin
9. La Rosa

They booked a string of upcoming shows coming up.

BURNT BOOKS Tour Dates:
Mar 20: New Brookland Tavern – Columbia, SC (Record Release Show w/ Glittoris, UnInhabitable, more)
Apr 02: Milestone – Charlotte, NC (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Sea Of Storms, Pig Mountain)
Apr 03: Odditorium – Asheville, NC (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Sea Of Storms, Uninhabitable, Spliff)
Apr 04: 25 Watt – Richmond, VA (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Sea Of Storms, Slowing)
Apr 05: The Ottobar Upstairs – Baltimore, MD (w/ Crazy Bag Lady)
Apr 06: Legion Of Doom – Columbus, OH (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Checkmate)
Apr 07: Fifth Quarter Lounge – Indianapolis, IN (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Torturess, Voidweaver)
Apr 08: The Bishop – Bloomington, IN (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Torturess, Wounded Knees)
Apr 09: The Stone Fox – Nashville, TN (w/ Crazy Bag Lady. Sky Burial, Thetan, Subject/Rulers)
Apr 10: Poison Lawn – Knoxville, TN (w/ Crazy Bag Lady)
Apr 11: Caledonia – Athens, GA (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Cinemechanica, Harsh Words, Savagist)
Apr 12: New Brookland Tavern – Columbia, SC (w/ Crazy Bag Lady, Cinemechanica)
May 02: Caledonia – Athens, GA
May 19: TBA – Atlanta, GA

Retro Futurist on Bandcamp

Irata: New Song Premiere- ‘Semjase’

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Ghost Cult Magazine is pleased to bring you the premiere stream of the new song by stoner-rock masters Irata: ‘Semjase’, from their upcoming split with Solar Halos. The split is the debut release from the newly formed CrimsonEye Records (CER-001), highlighting the best new music from these two up and coming heavy bands hailing from North Carolina. On the strength of their recent EP Vultures, and their previous full-length, Irata continues to forge ahead; building on the foundation they began with. Their calling cards are unique vocals, psychedelic riffs, heavy beats, massive hooks, and compelling lyrics.

Stretching out from under the wing of their producer, Phillip Cope of Kylesa, ‘Semjase’ hints at the growth of the band and foretells where they are heading next. A sprawling, patient epic of a track, ‘Semjase’ has a mantra-like refrain that will latch on to you and not let go. Irata shares a lineage, with the avant-garde leaning, southern metal scene that has already birthed Baroness, Torche, Black Tusk, Monstro, plus adding in post-rock and prog influences for good measure.

Made up of members of Horseback, Curtains of Night, Caltrop, Fin Fang Foom, to doomy Solar Halos are no slouches either, so this split is really worth getting. The pre-order went live yesterday from CrimsonEye’s Bandcamp and Website. It comes out as a 10″ on July 22 in 100 coke bottle clear and 200 translucent red.

 

 

Editor’s note: We have removed our preview. Feel free to check out the links at the bottom of this post, and support an underground band.

 

Pre-Order the Split from CrimsonEye

CrimsonEye Records on Bandcamp

Irata on Facebook

Solar Halos on Facebook