PODCAST: Episode 61 – Per Wiberg Talks New Solo Album and Other Projects

Ghost Cult caught up with progressive metal legend Per Wiberg for a new interview on the Ghost Cult Podcast! Per had made a career in bands such as Candlemass, Spiritual Beggars, Opeth, Clutch- Bakerton Group, Switchblade and Kamchatka and more, but never as a solo artist. Now he has released his debut solo EP, Head Without Eyes! We chatted with the multi-instrumentalist and producer about working as a solo artist for the first time, how he composes, his influences and favorite artists and more! Continue reading

Former Opeth Keyboard Player Per Wiberg To Release Debut Solo Album In 2019

Per Wiberg (Opeth, Spiritual Beggars, Kamchatka) has announced his signing to famed metal label Despotz Records, for the release of his debut solo album in 2019. Per released a statement about launching his solo career and what to expect from the album. Continue reading

The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough

Formed in 2006, and including members past and present of Soilwork, Arch Enemy and Spiritual Beggars, are The Night Flight Orchestra. Despite their heavy origins they are anything but, this Swedish sextet are enamoured with the sounds of the late 70’s and early 80s – so expect big riffs, huge choruses, corny lyrics and artery-clogging amounts of cheese. Continue reading

Insatia – Phoenix Aflame

Formed in 2009, American/Canadian Power Metal act Insatia have hardly been the most prolific studio band, with only the independently released (but fairly well received) 2013 début, Asylum Denied, to their name after four years in existence. Another four years and an almost complete overhaul in personnel later, the band return with impressive sophomore offering, Phoenix Aflame (Pitch Black). Continue reading

My Regime – Deranged Patterns

Formed last year, this Swedish metal band features members of Spiritual Beggars, Kayser and The Mushroom River Band including singer/songwriter Spice. After the splendid title track drum solo showcasing the dextrous talents of Bob Ruben, we are lead into Deranged Patterns  (Scarlet), the second release by My Regime – a vicious Thrash Metal record of Slayer-esque proportions. Continue reading

We Hunt Buffalo – Living Ghosts

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Imagine, if you will, the offspring that would be conceived by a three-way between A Perfect Circle, Spiritual Beggars and Mastodon. That’s pretty much what we have here, and it’s wonderful.

Living Ghosts (Fuzzorama) is the second LP from Vancouver cab torturers We Hunt Buffalo. They bill themselves as exponents of “Dirty, Grimy, Fuzz Rock” and they ain’t lyin’, brother. Well not about the fuzz, anyway. Whilst the eponymous first album ticked all three boxes, Living Ghosts has had a lot of the dirt polished off, and sounds tremendously better for it. With fatter bass and some actual use of the mid sliders, the upgrade from self-production to a full studio producer (Jesse Gander of Rain City Recorders) is telling. It has transformed this band from local battle of the bands runners-up into a serious prospect for tours with the likes of BaronessThe SwordKvelertak or even the mighty Mastodon.

The first track ‘Ragnarok’ is a beautiful, expansive extended intro for the majestic prog of ‘Back To The River’, ‘Prairie Oyster’ is a sludgey fuzzfest with huge echoey vocals while ‘Hold On’ backs off the fuzz for a return to the prog vibe featuring a strident guitar line and choral vocals that are simply captivating.

‘Comatose’ features a riff that’s inexplicably (and pleasingly) reminiscent of Big Country. ‘Fear’ is a slow stoner classic and ‘The Barrens’ gives us more country vibe, opening out into what’s clearly their stoner/prog comfort zone. ‘Looking Glass’ is a very on-trend 60’s homage (complete with Hammond organ) that leads us to the last track of the album: ‘Walk Again’ – an introspective piece of shoegazing that, given the strength and context of what’s gone before manages the small miracle of being engaging and fitting rather than tedious.

A theme running through this album is familiarity – it gives the feeling even on first play-through that you’ve rediscovered an old favourite. Sombre yet uplifting, distorted yet clear, it delivers an almost transcendent experience that very few bands can manage.

If you’re a Canuck, you’re in luck – these guys are stomping the hell out of the home grounds. I hope those of us in the rest of the world are lucky enough to see them on tour some time soon.

 

8.5/10

 

PHILIP PAGE

 

Sweat Lodge – Talismana

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Ye gods! Somebody in this band fucking loves a bit of Black Sabbath! Hawkwind and Deep Purple too I’d wager. Now, I’m not normally one for Stoner, Doom or Space Rock, but this album is quite charming, as it has a certain Southern (as in New Orleans, not New Cross) sensibility about it that stops it from descending into the sludgey pit of boredom that bands of those genres so often inhabit. Think of it as Corrosion of Conformity with Ozzy singing and Monster Magnet producing in the early 1970s. Then chuck a bit of Hawkwind at it and you’re done.

The problem with revival bands like this is that they can often struggle to find their own identities. I think Sweat Lodge‘s Talismana (Ripple) suffers a little from this tendancy, as it can often sound like a 70s rock compilation that’s been chopped up & stirred together. On the other hand, their love for that period is obvious and they clearly know their history (only 9 tracks!). The sounds, effects and hooks are all perfectly pitched and it’s frankly astonishing to hear something like this being recorded today. Impressive. So if you like your 70s rock & metal, you’ll love this. Also, if you like modern revival and mid-fi stuff like The Sword, Spiritual Beggars or Wolfmother it should likewise give you an earection.

The album opens with somewhat derivative but wonderfully named ‘Tramplifier’. Standout tracks are ‘Bed of Ashes’ (this could almost be Sabbath), ‘Phoenix Ascent’ (Deep Purpletastic and my favourite), ‘Heavy Head’ (great riffs, lots of layers, varied vocals, a spacey midsection and a cheeky tease of an ending) and ‘Banshee Call’ (a Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac intro that opens out into straight up Diamond Head – lovely).

Top job from a clearly talented and passionate band.

 

7.5/10

 

PHILIP PAGE