Many a hessian shed manly tears in 2012 at the realization that Unearthly Trance were no more. Within 12 years they gave us five rock solid LPs and roughly 4,000 split releases. Not too shabby, right? But as it turned out the New York power trio still had fight and riffs in them. And now, less than two years since reuniting, Unearthly Trance are ready to drop Stalking the Ghost (Relapse). Continue reading
He Dreams Of Lions is the third album from Memphis based heavy psych/blues rock trio The Heavy Eyes, taking what they did with 2012’s Maera (both Kozmik Artifactz) and adding more definition to their rough and reverberated retro-sound; a sound which they described as being similar to “a skeleton driving a speedboat on a flaming Mississippi river headed back to 1969”… which to be fair is an image fully deserving of the accompanying t-shirt!
The album flows with distorted heavy fuzz and echo which comes together in order to shape a substantial sound, especially for a trio. This is most notable on stand out tracks such as the stompy ‘Smoke Signals’ and ‘Hail To The King, Baby’ which sounds more like Clutch than the Duke Nukem expected from that title.
Throughout the album there’s a nice heavy stomp of Blues riff n’ groove coupled with a raw feel, particularly on tracks like ‘Saint’. Given this is Ghost Cult the use of heavy of course is subjective, for their genre The Heavy Eyes are indeed fairly hefty especially on the heavy ‘Z-bo’ in the rhythm section: courtesy of Wally Anderson on bass and Eric Garcia on drums. Some of the tracks skirt around the 1969 feel of Sabbath or Zeppelin, with some hints at elements of proto-sludge.
The music is satisfying, but it can feel quite similar at times, and the tracks seem to flow into one another sometimes a little too fluidly and it’s notable that at times there’s a disconnect between the lyrical content and the music, particularly on tracks such as ‘Old Saltillo Road’ which, despite being one of the stand out tracks on the album, has possibly the most dissonance between the lyrical content and the accompanying music. Like a stoner watching a fire rather than anyone with any particular sense of urgency. This is followed by the title track; another strong outing with some nice heavy riffs juxtaposing nicely with the woo-hoo-hoo chorus and multiple phases of tempo and intensity, held together with yet more great rhythm section work.
This is a good album with some genuine highlights, and yet by the same token a significant similarity lies throughout out which allows the overall album to flow together very nicely indeed, but can also be a bit samey towards the end, though it is easier to get hooked into the strutting vibe of the album as a whole rather than any particular riffs or songs.
Los Angeles rock trio Kyng has made waves across the scene with their brand of straight forward, gimmick free, hard rock sound that has been a breath of fresh air within a glut of either retro whatever or (fill in the blank) core music that has a cooler tag than the music they produce.
Burn The Serum (Razor and Tie) are eleven tunes that hit hard upon first listen while maintaining its melodic aspects at the same time. Musically, its mash up of heavy Sabbath-driven riffs with melodies resembling classic Soundgarden and the occasional fast tempo-ed metallic parts, without attempting to nosedive completely towards either a desert rock or grunge direction.
Vocalist Ed Veliz’s singing makes the real difference on Burn The Serum, as his vocals work well with their energetic sound. Songs like ‘Big Ugly Me’ and the acoustic song ‘Paper Heart Rose’ showcase a different side of Kyng, with his strong vocal performances blending in well with the music. Plus the fact that they are a trio is even more amazing, as they sound much bigger than what they produced on this record.
Working with Reverend Jim Rota (Fireball Ministry) this time around helped elevate their sound from the debut, and sound a lot more mature as well. Songs like ‘Lost One’ and ‘Electric Halo,’ display back to the roots of rock music, without compromising anything along the way.
Overall, it isn’t a fluke that Kyng has received all of these high praises from the likes of James Hetfield (Metallica) and Rex Brown (Kill Devil Hill). Burn The Serum is an awesome rock record that is the missing in the void that is the music scene today. It deserves a lot more attention and their luck could soon change.