With bands taking so much time between studio albums these days, it’s astonishing to believe that in the space of just three years, between 1970 and 1973, Brummie icons Black Sabbath released no less than five of the most important records in the annals of heavy metal.
Australian rockers Hands Like Houses have dropped a new stand-alone single – ‘Space’ with an accompanying video on their label UNFD’s YouTube channel. You can purchase and watch the clip below. Continue reading →
Finland is one of the capitals for Metal in the entire world. No surprise that larger than life doomsters DÖ have created an epic of cosmic proportions with their new album with Astral Death Cult! The new album releases this Friday, September 20th, on vinyl via Lay Bare Recordings, all digitals platforms, and eventually on cassette, via Mercyful Tapes (great name!)! Blending a mix of stoner, doom, sludge, and psychedelic elements with hints of death and black metal, Astral Death Cult an instant earpeeler. Stream it now here at Ghost Cult! As the band likes to say, Hail Cosmos! We’re all döömed!Continue reading →
Holy Shit (Heavy Psych Sounds) is really the album title you want to go with for your fifth LP, Nebula? Okay, I can dig it. Do you know what else I can dig? The sheer variety of riffs and leads being traded around by Eddie Glass and his groovy cohorts. It’s like if the man had been stockpiling sweet licks in a fallout shelter since the band’s inception in far more innocent 1997. Continue reading →
When a band describes themselves as a ‘New Wave of Heavy Psychedelic Spacerock’, it really is hard not to be intrigued. Cue Black Space Riders, a five-piece band from ‘Space’ (well, actually Muenster in Germany, but I guess ‘Space’ sounds cooler). The psychedelic band formed in 2008, and Refugeeum (self-released/Cargo) is their fourth album.
Opening track ‘Vortex Sun’ is a fusion of progressive and psychedelic music, sounding unlike anything else in the music scene at the moment. Their unique style may seem strange, however, there is no deny that BSR are extremely talented. You may think that they would appeal to a rather niche audience, however, their music has been well-received by fans and critics alike.
It is hard to compare Black Space Riders to any other band in the music scene at the moment, however, it is clear that they are influenced by bands such as Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, mainly due to the heavy yet mind-blowing riffs. It is almost as though they took a space-like/psychedelic twist on the classic metal genre.
It is easy to instantly dismiss music that sounds completely different from anything that you would usually listen to; however, if you enjoy unique and powerful music, then Black Space Riders may be your new favourite band. There is almost a stoner metal/doom element to their sound, which could easily appeal to fans across the progressive metal genre. Although their persona may seem strange or even tacky, Refugeeum is testament that you should not judge a band by their appearance: you may regret it.
It has taken John Mitchell several years to see his Lonely Robot project come to fruition, during which time Mr. Mitchell has been involved with a handful of gold-plated prog projects including It Bites, Frost* and Arena. Lonely Robot seems to be a very personal endeavor; one that Mitchell has been able to throw his unique insights and personality into. One gets the impression that when listening to Please Come Home (InsideOut) we are peering through a window into a man’s soul.
The noticeable trait of this album is the classic science fiction tone; it is permeable through each of the benevolently hewn songs. One of the aspects of space that has always intrigued humanity is the endless vacuum, the vast loneliness that engulfs its sparse inhabitants. While Please Come Home has elements of this, the spasmodic positivity ensures that the album isn’t too dense. Mitchell’s now distinct vocals bring a sense of comforting warmth, and are reminiscent of ‘Map of the Past’. Featuring the likes of Craig Blundell (drums) and Nick Beggs (bass) Mitchell and his comrades have the ability to tingle spines and reduce even the hardiest men to tears. ‘Airlock’ is an instrumental track steeped in classic sci-fi, with vintage synths from Frost*’s Jem Godfrey. Possibly the most captivating all the tracks on Please Come Home is the compelling ‘Man vs. God’. It wouldn’t be out of place in a movie soundtrack, inspiring countless thought of rockets, celestial pioneers and something otherworldly altogether.
Please Come Home will no doubt feature on many Top 10’s at the end of 2015, and deservedly so. All music aficionados, no matter their musical leanings should give this a listen. It transcends categorization and showcases John Mitchell at his finest.
As concept album’s go, Russian Astro-Doom quintet Below The Sun’s debut album Envoy (Temple of Torturous) tackles quite a big one: the enormity of space itself. But the band manage to tackle the big black with a big bleak album.
The anonymous group – who all go by names like Void, Vacuum, Quasar and Lightspeed – deal in a space-themed combo of doom, post and black metal. Apparently the album concept revolves around a personified narrative of Voyager-1 – the first man-made object to leave our solar system – or as the band describe it “humankind’s first step in fulfilling our destiny – transcending the Solar System and paving our way to the stars.”
From the opening chords of ‘Outward the Sky’ to dark melody of final track ‘Earth’, Envoy is a slow, sparse and atmospheric listen. It’s hard to pick standout moments mostly because everything blends into one black mass and doesn’t really lend itself to individual observation. The music on offer is often understated, but hauntingly melodic at the same time.
The 10-minute “Alone” is probably the album’s centre-piece, building from light atmospherics to a swirling mass of chords, blastbeats and screams of the title over and over. If the band is trying to recreate the desolate, isolated nature of outer-space, they do a pretty good job. Feedback, reverb and whispers feature throughout, and it’s a surprisingly eerie listen at times, but isn’t afraid to smack you with a crushing riff and guttural screams to shock your system.
With its six songs – averaging around ten minutes each and half of which is purely instrumental – Envoy is a bleak soundscape epic in scope. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it really captures the mood of how it might feel to float alone in space for eternity.