Italian Stoner Doom band Tenebra will release their stellar new album Moongazer, this week via New Heavy Sounds and Seeing Red Records. Pre-orders are live at the link below. The band is on the verge of breaking through in a crowded scene, sharing their killer grooves, psych rock moments, and hypnotic hooks that fans have been enjoying for years! Not only can the band hang with the best on their own merits, they have a guest guitar spot on “Moon Maiden” – the album’s closer, in theform of none other than Gary Lee Conner of Screaming Trees fame. Read our review here. Ghost Cult brings you this exclusive stream here on the eve of release, so roll one, light it up, turn the volume up high, and enjoy Moongazer!
Tenebra – Moongazer (New Heavy Sounds / Seeing Red)
There is something evocative about the retro / occult rock of Italian quartet Tenebra that is encapsulated in a most vigorous way on the third track of Moongazer, ‘Black Lace’. A steady, spacious build from jangled, careful chords that takes its time gives room for the powerful smoke-and-whiskey vocals of Silvia to take centre stage, before a Zeppelin-esque vocal-led coda closes things out. It is not the only, nor possibly even the best, song to do this, but as a drawing together of the best elements of the Tenebra sound perhaps serves as their best showpiece. Continue reading
Providence, Rhode Island Stoner Doom duo Coma Hole have streamed their debut EP, releasing this Friday, April 22nd. The group has been building up to this moment for years, building on the foundation of vocalist/bassist Eryka Fir’s dynamic voice and weighty riffs, and drummer Steve Anderson’s strong drumming. Look out for our interview with the band coming this week. Stream the full EP now!
Emma Ruth Rundle – Orpheus Looking Back (Sargent House)
On the back of 2021’s exceptional Engine of Hell release, melancholic song-writer extraordinaire Emma Ruth Rundle cannot resist but cast one last longing look over her shoulder at the material prepared, written, and relating to that period, which included the break-up of a significant relationship – the subject of her previous, delicate, powerful full-length.
Consisting of three songs, each different in sound and style that didn’t completely fit with the dynamic of Engine…, Orpheus Looking Back nonetheless brings beauty in its wistful minimalism. ‘Gilded Cage’ is a strummed acoustic piece, ‘Pump Organ Song’ a spontaneous creation during the recording sessions on, well, a pump organ, while ‘St. Non’ is a breathy, guitar / vocal reflection.
While the format is less immersive than the previous full-length, Orpheus… is further example of Rundle’s class as a song-writer and ability to transfer emotion to bare music.
7 / 10
Emily Jane White – Alluvion (Talitres)
Taking a fuller approach to production, singer-songwriter Emily Jane White is reflecting on loss, grief and the impact of recent events on Alluvion, her downbeat and reflective sixth album.
Coaxing a gothic beauty to the underlying synths and minimal instrumentation, there is something of a gentle electro-pop feel to tracks like ‘Show Me The War’ and ‘The Hands Above Me’, a song that introduces subtle guitar peals and swells, and a hint of folk and shoegaze – as does the cello-backed ‘I Spent The Years Frozen’. ‘Mute Swan’ mixes in a repetitive eighties synth refrain with a comforting and underplayed vocal, and the standout track ‘Heresy’ is an ominous and effective duet with Darkher, with sparse chants recalling elements of Chelsea Wolfe.
There is plenty of scope in this reflective offering, as White’s intimate and open tones sit softly over the lush arrangements of multi-instrumentalist Anton Patzner and offer not just escape but hope amongst the darkness of our current situations.
7 / 10
Eight Bells – Legacy of Ruin (Prophecy Productions)
Patience is indeed a virtue, and good things doth verily come to those who are prepared to take their time dwelling in anticipation. It may be six years (and an overhaul of the supporting cast) since the last Eight Bells release, but the progressive, introspective vehicle of Melynda Jackson (guitars, vocals) is all the better for it. The addition of Cormorant’s Matt Solis works as a perfect counterfoil, either with harsh blackened backing vocals, or when chanting in unison with Jackson’s haunting, melancholic intonations. Solis also pops up in the spaces with as some interesting meandering bass runs, working intuitively with the atmospheres that Jackson creates.
This request for patience bears out in the individual tracks, too. Opener ‘Destroyer’ walks us through hints of progressive metal, psych, sludgy tones and touches of blackened cascades, before using a sparse guitar refrain to take us home and into the doomier, eleven-minute sprawl of ‘The Well’. Dynamically as a whole, this is further played out with the mid-album conjoined dreamy pair of ‘Torpid Dreamer’ and ‘Nadir’ combining and paying off; the former dark and doomed, with the latter bringing us through a moment of reflection to peace with its integrated dual vocals, at times reminiscent of a heavier Fleet Foxes – a feeling which is continued into ‘The Crone’, before the blackened elements of the Portland natives arsenal are unleashed.
And all of this is with the hulking presence of standout track, and album closer, ‘Premonition’ still to come; a summation of all the previous parts. Tremolo refrains scythe under a merging of howls and chants, before things settle, breathe and expand into a stately, melancholic close to moody, yet welcoming album.
8 / 10
Hangman’s Chair – A Loner (Nuclear Blast)
Tags and sub-genres, when misapplied, can be quite detrimental at times to bands. Not only are they misleading and mis-set expectations but can lead to people who would embrace and celebrate an act missing out on something that would be a perfect addition to their collection. France’s Hangman’s Chair have been labelled as Stoner and / or Doom (which in itself has a couple of different applications), yet there is nothing Desert or Weed-based here, as their sixth album A Loner continues the evolution and progression of their sound, and is a gorgeously reflective album of downbeat, shimmering Downer alternative rock, laced with moments of shoegaze.
Where there is anything sludgy, it is in some of the Stephen Carpenter / Deftones style looping, rolling low-slung supporting guitar moments, such as on ‘Cold and Distant’, a track that demonstrates Hangman’s Chair have a neat line in understated chorus, too, as does ‘Second Wind’. Moreover songs such as with the aptly titled ‘Supreme’, underline a Type O Negative influence that runs throughout, building in Life of Agony melodies and moments. Cédric Toufouti deals in layered vocals and lines of harmonies to support a voice that sits perfectly floating on top of the cinematic music, at times (‘Who Wants To Die Old’) reminiscent of Kristoffer Rygg.
Atmospheric and considered, the pairing of ‘Pariah & The Plague’ – a beautiful, layered non-vocal piece of music with tinkling guitar effects and brooding electronics – and the melancholy title track sum up the strengths of this unsung album.
8 / 10
Monolith On The Mesa: Music And Art Festival returns to Taos, New Mexico September 16-17-18, 2022 with a killer lineup and experiences. Once again taking place at Taos Mesa Brewing The Mothership, the first wave of bands for the fest includes Mars Red Sky, The Obsessed, Warhorse, The Otolith, Duel, Love Gang, Red Mesa and visual magicians: Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show. This year the festival will be open-air and focused around the “earthship” amphitheatre which holds 1,500 people. Upcoming festival announcements will detail efforts to make the event more eco-friendly, with less single-use plastic and other disposables. Passes are on sale now at the link below. Continue reading
There may not be a “classic” doom metal genre, officially (is there really an official subgenre list of heavy metal?), but when I think of the classic doom metal sound, I think of the UK style. Super beefy guitar riffs, slowed down tempo, lyrics about the occult and psychedelics, and of course, clean high end pitched vocals to tie it all together. Friends of Hell does just that on their self-titled debut album (Rise Above). Tas Danazoglou (Satan’s Wrath/ex-Electric Wizard), and vocalist Albert Witchfinder (Opium Warlords/ex-Reverend Bizarre) are the driving force behind this doom machine and seems like that is all that is needed.
The Wellmont Theater in Montclair NJ was burning inside when Ministry, Melvins and Corrosion Of Conformity took the stage on Saturday night.
The theater itself seats about 2000 people with general admission on the floor which is perfect for a swirling mosh pit. Built in 1922 as an old vaudeville house, it was enovated and reopened in 2008. Now under the Live Nation umbrella, it hosts some major acts and The Montclair Film Festival. It should be noted that if you are going to a show there, plan to arrive early as parking can be a challenge of Herculean proportions.
“Hell yes…!” Those were my very first thoughts upon hearing the new Konvent. This new cut Call Down The Sun (Napalm Records) grabbed right from the beginning.The new offering is an awesome blend of doom, black and death all wrapped up in a brutal display of metal prowess.
Alex Vinci, Brasko, and Conal Murphy of The Last Vinci have released a lovely album in The Revolution is Made Together (Narrow Door). The album is like happiness flying through the clouds. The songs on The Revolution is Made Together have a pleasant, even keeled feel.
From the swamps of Louisiana, legendary New Orleans sludgelords Crowbar return with another collection of songs so uncompromisingly heavy that each one arrives with its own gravitational pull. As entirely expected, Zero and Below (MNRK Heavy), the band’s twelfth full-length studio release pulls absolutely no punches, delivering even more high-quality riffage with the same single-minded determination that saw them smash their way onto the scene over thirty years ago.