Haeva – One

Haeva is a one-man post-rock/metal project by Wouter Petrens, hailing from Belgium. ‘One’ is the first album from Haeva, following on from the debut EP entitled, ‘Pyramids’.

a3643455877_10.jpg

‘One’ has been completely self-produced and features ten tracks (nine plus one bonus track) of ambient post-rock.

The sound on this album is quite dynamic, ranging from sparse, ambient passages to heavily distorted, powerful chords. Most post-rock bands build their sound through layers upon layers on heavily reverbed and effects-laden lines – Haeva goes for the reverse which works just as well; the listener is often treated to near-silent sections, save for jagged guitars and muffled rimshots before building into sludge territory distortion which creates a spine-tingling atmosphere.

In terms of production, this release is mixed well and while it lacks the extreme polish of some commercial releases, the drums are still snappy and the guitars have a nice crunch to them. Where Haeva really shines, in both production quality, as well as song writing, is the softer, ambient sections that lull you into a transcendent state – its super relaxing!

Fans of bands such as Isis will enjoy Haeva, however this release will appeal to all those of a ‘post’ persuasion. The album is free to download on bandcamp, however as always we suggest helping the artist out with a donation if you can. Good things are definitely in the cards for this band, and we can’t wait to see how they grow in their next release!

Words by James Crozier


https://twitter.com/HaevaBand

https://www.facebook.com/haevaband

Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

Raging Speedhorn is a name that for many of our readers needs absolutely no introduction. This band is quite literally a stalwart of the UK heavy metal scene; their reunion and subsequent gigs reaffirming their place at the top of the pile.

Lost Ritual Artwork.jpg

For those not in the know, or just out of the loop, Raging Speedhorn are a six-piece sludge/alternative/hardcore outfit from Corby in the UK. The band expertly blend the fast-paced, raw stylings of ‘proper’ hardcore with monolithic, sludgey riffs and a relentless dual-vocal onslaught. The band have supported the likes of Slipknot, Rammstein, Slayer and Cradle of Filth to name but a few.

Speedhorn have been accepted back into the live scene in the UK with open arms, especially by the burgeoning stoner/sludge/doom cohort. This influence seems to have rubbed off on them (a great thing for us riff consumers) as ‘Lost Ritual’ leans far more to this side of things than their earlier releases.

Having seen Raging Speedhorn plenty of times since their comeback (the Halfway to Hell t-shirt has been sported on many an occasion in the last year and many times on stage!) and hearing a few of the new songs played live, I knew that ‘Lost Ritual’ would be an amazing album. I’m pleased to say that this is true and without disrespect to their earlier work, it’s by far the best thing they’ve ever produced by a million miles.

‘Bring Out Your Dead’ is the perfect track to open with; chugging guitars and ferocious vocals set the scene for the rest of the album. Raging Speedhorn relentlessly spit their unique brand of heavy into your ears for a further eight blistering tracks before the finisher, ‘Unleash the Serpent’ which is a monolithic slab of sludge. While the band certainly have a distinct style, this album never gets stale – despite being ten tracks long, listening through the whole way felt like a few minutes which is a sign of a great album.

A special mention has to go out to Dominic Sohor, the creator of this record’s artwork. Dom is the go-to man these days for stoner/sludge/doom artwork and it’s not hard to see why. While I could list all the great bands he’s worked with, it would probably dwarf this article. Suffice to say, he’s an insane artist and you should check his work out.

All in all, ‘Lost Ritual’ is a stellar album by a killer band. Just as the scene was becoming swamped by Down clones, the true masters of modern British heaviness have returned with their best work to date and you’d quite frankly be a fool not to go out and buy this record on the day it comes out.

Words by James Crozier


https://www.facebook.com/ragingspeedhorn

https://twitter.com/Speedhornuk


13100919_1158618347516414_869939495319131599_n

Stone Machine Electric – Sollicitus Es Veritatem

Stone Machine Electric is a duo from Texas. With their downtuned, slow guitar playing they have made absolutely sure that there is no need for bass in their sound. There is plenty of low-end on this record which is provided by Dub (guitar, vocals) and Kitchens (drums, vocals, theremin, synth). They were formed back in 2009. Since then they have recorded ‘The Garage Tape’ and ‘The Amazing Terror EP’ as well as this year’s ‘Sollicitus Es Veritatem’ (their first full length album). This release consists of five lengthy songs, ranging from seven to almost nineteen minutes and is their finest offering to date.

12729017_10153237693202511_1481913593991642426_n.jpg

The opening track, ‘I Am Fire’, starts with a slow-burning haunted touch to it. You can hear their Sabbath roots when the first riff kicks in after three and a half minutes and from there on its pure riff ‘n’ roll at its finest. A complimentary fact here is their smart vocal use and the rest of the album is based on the same formula as well. You get the feeling that Dub’s vocal duties kick in exactly and only when the song demands it. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for the last two minutes of the song because they let their riffs and cymbal smashing do the talking.

In the next song, ‘Dreaming’, the atmosphere builds up slowly until, as the lyrics say: ‘I’ll take you down and take you further’. The tempo picks up pace and they show their ‘jam’ side with a three minute guitar solo and heavy drum pummelling.

‘PorR’ is the next track and right from the start it has this ‘stoned, room full of smoke, huge reverb on the guitar’ kind of feel to it. The melody is one of those that you think you’ve heard it thousand times already but actually, it’s just that good that it sucks you right in. For some it may have that ‘Planet Caravan’ vibe which I’m sure no stoner rock fan would mind. Here again there is just a ton of excellent guitar solos accompanied perfectly by the drums. ‘PorR’ is my favourite track on this album for sure.

10390484_443066569171745_7623736851329080294_n

A riff and cymbal explosion is the perfect start to longest track on the album called ‘Demons’. After the headbang-worthy first section, they start to slow it down a bit and here you can actually hear how low they tune their guitar when only a single note is being played without any effects; it sounds just like bass and the drums follow in that old school ‘rim shots’ way. They mix it back and forth until almost halfway through the song. At this point, the style shifts to an almost drone, noise style interlude. A couple of minutes after, the song gradually continues its second half with beautiful soloing that keeps on going and going and here is the perfect time for the listener to close his eyes and just relax. About 3 minutes before the end you are snapped out of the trance when the riffs start growling again. A great touch at the end of this song is liberal use of a flanger-style effect!

Unfortunately, every album has to end and in this case it is with, ‘I Am Fire (Slightly Burned)’.  The sog begins with a bunch of synths, theremin and who knows what other effects and sounds. This is their psychedelic side shown in majestic way. I wonder how it would sound if Stone Machine Electric ever decided to record a pure psychedelic rock album – I would be very much interested in hearing that! The last couple of minutes really reminded me of bands like Ufomammut, Monolord, Zoroaster and other psychedelic doom champions.

10590645_691995834275205_2226793909336518042_n

The production and overall recording on ‘Sollicitus Es Veritatem’ is done flawlessly. It’s really clear and powerful from start until finish. That however is not surprising at all after you find out that the man behind it is Kent Stump of Wo Fat fame!

In this genre its really easy to fall under the surface and sink as there is a million bands all over the world playing the same music, having the same idols, playing on the same gear as everyone else etc. This is not the case with Stone Machine Electric. Is it because how tight they two play? Is it because the riffs are never boring and always move in all kind of directions? Or maybe because of their unique psychedelic interventions when you least expect them? It’s all of that and much more. What a great record and a great journey.

A word to Wo Fat: bring these guys to Europe with you on the next tour please!

Words by Vedran Stimac


http://www.stonemachineelectric.net/

http://stonemachineelectric.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/StoneMachineElectric

Farflung – 5

Farflung are absolute stalwarts of the heavy space rock scene and have shared stages with some great acts such as The Melvins, Voivod, Fu Manchu, Nebula, Amon Duul, Hawkwind, Silver Apples and have collaborated with many more. This Californian band consists of Tommy Grenas (Lead vocals, oscillators, synths and guitar), Michael Esther (Guitar, synths and vocals), Paul Hischier (Guitar), Abby Travis (Bass, vocals and keys) and Chris Nakata (Drums, guitar, bass and vocals).

cover.jpg

‘5’, the first full length from Farflung since 2008’s ‘A Wound in Eternity’ was recorded at Saturn Moon Studios, Tarantula Ranch and Rancho De La Luna. It features guest appearances from the likes of Nik Turner (Hawkwind), David Catching (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal) and Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal).

As you would expect from a Space Rock band, this album is chock-full of psychedelic, effects-laden synthesizers and swirling guitar overlays intertwined with frenetic, varied vocals. This chaotic slab of noise is underpinned by some brilliantly tight instrumentation. The rhythm guitars, drums and bass all work together to provide a solid foundation, never getting too complex which really allows the psychedelic aspects of this release to shine. It’s the sign of a good band that know how to write parts that benefit the song as a whole.

FF Man for Mikey V1.jpg

Heavy Psych Sounds’ releases always boast absolutely stellar production and ‘5’ is no exception. The drums are snappy yet natural. The guitars and bass are chunky and heavy without and muddiness and the vocals and synths glide effortlessly above it all, always perfectly audible with some great panning work.

Pretty much all the songs on this album have sections where the whole band seem to simply wash into a psychedelic, spacey jam and back out again like an ebbing tide. This can be heard on ‘044MPZ’, a song that literally sent shivers down my spine towards its end.

The artwork for this release is some kind of misty shoreline, which really sums up its sound as previously mentioned. This is Cosmic Rock at its finest.

Make sure you grab this release on May 27th via Heavy Psych Sounds and catch the band on tour (poster below).


https://www.facebook.com/Farflung-official-Site-21088343878

https://twitter.com/Farflungmusic

http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/


Farflung-EuropeanTour2016_poster.jpg

Pensevor – Klothod

Pensevor are a four piece band from Farnborough in the UK. This hypnotic sludge-doom collective is comprised of Mark Jennings (Vocals), Patrick Hopkins (Guitars), Ky Hopkins (Bass) and Richard Fennings (Drums).

‘Klothod’ is the full-length follow up to Pensevor’s 2013 self-titled debut EP. This latest release was recorded and mixed by the band’s drummer, Richard and then given to Danny Page to perform the rite of mastering!

pensevor.jpg

Pensevor, who are currently competing to win a coveted spot on the lineup at Bloodstock Festival this year, are absolute purveyors of melancholic drone-doom. The original EP was a very sparse affair in terms of instrumentation and while it’s nice to see that the band have added some more variety in to their songs, they still retain that brilliant atmosphere of complete doom-ridden hopelessness.

The production on this album is a bit of a double edged sword. At some points the lo-fi sound does help add to the atmosphere of each track; however I can’t help but wish that there was more weight to the low end to really bring out the crushing riffs that have been crafted by Patrick and Ky. Nevertheless, the actual songwriting on this album is great with the right mix of slow doom and drone sections that mean this album never gets too repetitive and that’s what really matters.12347849_800751700053454_8537583244237992630_n.jpg

My favourite track on this album has to be the aptly named, ‘I Despair’. It’s just shy of eight minutes long, making it one of the longer tracks on the release and it’s a fantastic slab of totally forlorn doom. This tune is like a gigantic, remorseful troll struggling to its feet, surrounded by those it has just killed.

‘Klothod’ is a masterclass in the kind of Doom only the British can produce. It’s foreboding and deeply morose. I very much look forward to the next release from this brilliant band!

‘Klothod’ is available on May 6th via Hibernacula Records

https://pensevor432.bandcamp.com/

https://twitter.com/Pensevor

https://www.facebook.com/Pensevor

Hollow Leg – Crown

Florida – The sunshine state; Home to Disneyworld, disturbingly large alligators and of course, swamp-stoners Hollow Leg. This riff-fuelled four piece is comprised of Brent, Tim, Scott, and Tom.

‘Crown’ is the follow up to the band’s 2013 release, ‘Abysmal’ and once again showcases the band’s own spin on riff worship! Fans of High on Fire, Weedeater and Crowbar (and of course the band themselves!) will feel right at home with this brilliantly heavy slab of Sludge-infused Stoner-doom.

HOLLOW-LEG---CROWN.jpg

This latest release from Hollow Leg was mixed by Sanford Parker (Corrections House) and mastered by Collin Jordan (Minsk). Such pedigree on the production side of things means that the album is stunningly well produced. While there’s heaviness in absolute abundance, the songs never seem ‘muddy’.

Guitars here are full of fuzz with a lovely rolled off style tone. This complements the solid bass and drums perfectly and means that when the huge, effects-laden lead lines come soaring in, they can really sing! Hollow Leg’s vocals have quite a unique quality about them.  The best I can compare them to is other hybrid growled/shouted vocals such as that of bands like Viking Skull – no bad thing at all!

hollow leg 2016 band picture.jpg

The majority of the tracks on this album are pure in your face sludge. Having said that, there are some points where the listener is given some respite (not that it’s needed when every song is so chock-full of amazing riffage). The middle track, ‘Atra’ serves as an interlude of sorts before the band launch right back into their unique brand of southern stoner-sludge.

All-in-all, ‘Crown’ is a fantastic addition to both Hollow Leg’s repertoire, as well as any stoner/doom connoisseur’s collection. There’s riffs upon riffs, all of which are as good as the last and you’ll be finding yourself putting this one on repeat for days. All my fingers and toes are now crossed for a UK tour because this release is astounding and I would love to hear the songs played live!

You can grab this album right now via Argonauta Records.

https://hollowleg666.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/hollowlegfl

Black Rainbows – Stellar Prophecy

Hailing from Rome in Italy, Black Rainbows are the boot shaped country’s answer to Fu Manchu. This heavy psych rock is made up of Gabriele Fiori, Alberto Croce and Giuseppe Guglielmino.

cover.jpg

‘Stellar Prophecy’, the follow up to last years ‘Hawkdope’, is the fifth full length release from Black Rainbows and is another perfect slice of sun-drenched, desert fuzz goodness. If Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Wolfmother and Hawkwind all drove together down a dusty highway, this would be in the tape deck.

The production on this release is just perfect. The drums lurk just under the surface of the mix, and are brilliantly solid and warm. The guitars and bass are like layers of an onion, stacked upon one another to create a larger mass that when coupled with the swirling, psychedelic lead lines and synths create an almost globe of trippy sound all the way around your brain. The vocals add to this effect and are creatively panned with heaps of delay, again layered to what seems like infinity.

DSC_1149

The tracks on this album are ordered brilliantly and just as you begin to drift off in your own little world, accompanied by the psychedelic almost meditational-like longer tracks, you’re pulled back into reality with huge catchy riffs. The album itself is around fourty-four minutes long but it feels like half that and you’ll find yourself spinning this one over and over again.

The artwork for ‘Stellar Prophecy’ is fantastic and lends itself well to Black Rainbow’s cosmic, fuzzy sound. Black Rainbows are wizards, performing the ritual of fuzz!

DSC_1159

 

All in all, it’s no surprise that this album absolutely rocks. Black Rainbows have been honing their craft for eleven years and it totally shows. You’d be mad not to grab this album when it drops on April 15th via Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

https://blackrainbows.bandcamp.com/

https://twitter.com/BLACKRAINBOWSii

https://www.facebook.com/BLACKRAINBOWSROCK

http://www.theblackrainbows.com/