Italian stoner rockers Oreyeon release their third album Equations For The Useless (Heavy Psych Sounds), a potent mix of stoner, grunge, heavy rock, and lengthier progressive compositions. This album notably draws on the influences of years gone by not only in style but was also recorded live, an approach to a recording I’m very much a fan of.
The Happy Soul were aptly named, as they exuded a chilled-out happiness on stage at Club Academy in Manchester. With a psychedelic backdrop of them looking happy and smiley to add emphasis to their live feel. Not much movement on the cramped stage and not much banter they very much let their music do the talking, they seemed too busy smiling to be honest.
I’ve been a fan of Townes Van Zandt for some time now after a chance hearing some years ago of ‘Pancho & Lefty’ on a movie or film I’ve long since forgotten the name of. This combined with a love of all things Yob eventually led me to Mike Scheidt’s contribution to Vol. II of this wonderful series of tributes released in 2014 also on Neurot Recordings and My Proud Mountain: needless to say, I was hooked. Eight years on, I wasn’t expecting a Vol. III but I’m very glad that it has arrived.
Luminous Vault consists of guitarist/vocalist Mario Diaz de Leon (Oneirogen, Bloodmist) and bassist/vocalist Samuel Smith (Artificial Brain, Aeviterne), and, as is a current common theme recorded, this pre-pandemic, with the fascinating results only now seeing a release.
Now, I’ve been looking forward to this gig since I first saw the poster and immediately begged the editor for a photo pass. I’d been meaning to catch Sheffield’s Hidden Mothers for a while, and headliners YOB are a band I would never consciously pass up the chance to experience live.
Dälek (pronounced ‘Die-a-leck’) returns with a new album Precipice on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records. In what is becoming a common refrain of recent times, the album originally planned for 2019 has been completely overhauled because of the pandemic, and the chaotic times we currently find ourselves in. The duo of MC Dälek and DJ Mike Manteca felt that the originally planned album wasn’t strong, angry or heavy enough for the times we have endured. The added strength, anger and heaviness are indeed defining features on Precipice.
Heading up to Club Academy, for the first time in a number of years and I had forgotten how cramped the stage was. The seating around the venue though is a welcome change from most of the other academy venues, it is the most intimate of them, although down in the bowels of the building the phone signal was non-existent.
The concept Abhorrent Expanse debut release Gateways to Resplendence (Amalgam / Lurker Bias) is indeed a fascinating one. All the tracks have been improvised, and the whole thing was performed as a continuous take. Nothing specific was discussed beforehand except for the pairings of who would play each section and how long they would last, it all being tracked by a stopwatch. The result of such a challenge is interesting if a polarized hit-and-miss affair. Continue reading
Consummatum Est (Messor Grandis Productions) by Grand Harvest, a band once described as ‘Sweden’s most underrated metal band’ debuting a mix of melodic death and doom, with some touches of black metal I was quite interested to hear this. Continue reading
It’s a sight to behold the lengthy queue of hairy Viking looking metalheads snaking around Manchester Albert Hall, assuming of course the snake in question was quite hairy and dressed like a Viking, which I feel is probably stretching the metaphor a bit too far. You’d assume that said hairy, mead quaffing snake (alright, I’ll stop now) was going to be finding its way inside to some sort of very loud and very metal sort of gig. You’d be wrong, as indeed despite the roots of the headliners in Black Metal group Gorgoroth the queue is in fact for the mesmerizing solo cellist Jo Quail, and Nordic Folk legends Wardruna.