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’.

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‘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

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Craneón – Hacia El Sol

Hailing from Madrid in Spain, Craneon are a heavy psychedelic rock band comprised of Juanjo de Latorre (Vocals / Guitars), José Luis Serzo (Drums / Backing Vocals) and Javier Schoendorff (Bass). The band has shared the stage with stoner rock stalwarts Karma to Burn as well as Pendejo, Deville and Been Obscene.

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‘Hacia El Sol’ which means ‘Towards the Sun’ is the next release from Craneon and was recorded by Christophe R. Moure at Conladiva Studios. The album was mixed and mastered by Manuel Cabezali.

Craneon’s sound is an enthralling mix of the progressive alt-rock stylings of Porcupine Tree, the soaring vocals and experimentation of Opeth and the strange psychedelia of 70’s psych progenitors such as Hawkwind.

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The instrumentation is excellently mixed, with heavy riffs and softer melodic lines blending into one another and intertwining with various vocal harmonies. The bass and drums add a solid foundation to this, fading in and out from heavy to light giving the band a real sense of dynamism.

For me, by far the best song on this release is ‘Romo’, an epic seven minute blend of psychedelia and almost post-rock style composition with occasional glimmers of sludgey heaviness.

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The artwork for ‘Hacia El Sol’ was created by Santiago Talavera. It’s a really surreal scene that uses parts of instruments and gear to create an excellent landscape. Cymbals are used as both the sun and clouds (or spaceships depending on how you view it) and the microphone standing on a cab is almost like a table where the viewer looks out upon Craneon’s genre breaking music.

Even if you are not a Spanish speaker, make sure you grab this album; it’ll definitely grab you. There’s not much to dislike about ‘Hacia El Sol’ if you’re a fan of the more experimental side of things. Craneon bring the psych in bucket loads while still retaining that heavy sound, almost like a Spanish Mastodon.

http://craneon.es/

https://www.facebook.com/craneon.es

https://twitter.com/craneon

False Gods – Wasteland

False Gods is a four piece sludge metal band from New York in the USA, with a big hardcore influence bubbling under the surface. The band consists of Mike Stack (Vocals), Greg March (Guitars), Paulie Stack (Drums) and Brian “bro town” Kaminsky (Bass).

‘Wasteland’ is their debut EP, recorded at Full Force Studios in Ronkonkoma in New York with Joe Cincotta (This is Hell, Suffocation, Incendiary) late last year.

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False Gods don’t really fit into any sort of category and really can only be labelled as ‘extreme’. There’s heavy, groovy riffage in abundance and you might be tempted to label them as doom/sludge which, for the sake of categorisation I’d say is where they’d fit best. Having said that, there’s a solid hardcore foundation going on behind the scenes and this is especially apparent with Mike’s raspy, unrelenting vocal attack. Aside from the obvious, there’s also a hint of atmospheric/post-metal going on, which can be heard at the end of Wasteland, the title track.

The production quality on this EP is fantastic and really manages to capture the rawness of False God’s core sound. The band utilise dissonant chords to great effect and the mix makes them sound absolutely punishing. A good example of this is the beginning if the final track, ‘I Can See You for What You Truly Are’.

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The artwork on this EP is extremely haunting, depicting some sort of spectre gently cradling an unconscious woman. This adds to the vibe of total nihilism that this EP gives off.

All in all, ‘Wasteland’ is a great introduction to False Gods – a band that I am sure we will see much more of in 2016. Full length please!

False Gods will be self-releasing ‘Wasteland’ on April 22nd 2016. As always make sure you support the band by following them on social media and buying their EP!

https://falsegods1.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/falsegods1/

Flicker Rate – EP

Flicker Rate is a solo project by the incredibly talented Hastings based multi-instrumentalist Spencer, who at just 16 years old has just released his first eponymous EP. Billed as ‘instrumental atmospheric post/math rock’ the EP does indeed hit elements of all these genres in just 12 minutes and 42 seconds. It’s one of the most impressive things to come out of Hastings since Spike Milligan.

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The EP starts off with ‘Valhalla’ which, after a short build-up goes into the song proper, which is a 2 sectioned slice of post rock. The first half is quite laid back with more of a focus on the main guitar riff while other guitar parts float over. This adds a bit of flavour and interest to the track. The second half has more distortion and creates a growing sense of unease about the track with a more ominous chord sequence, a growing overarching synth and more math rocky/ guitars over the top.

‘Evident’ is definitely a step into post/math metal with a more distorted guitar tone, ethereal spikey guitar lines over a heavier riff. The combination of the heavy (almost sludgey) tone and the bass, does make it a more headbangable track than the rest of the album but the real core of the track for me is the higher guitar part which continues almost unchanging throughout the song. Towards the end, something bizarre happens as Spencer appears to have mixed in a small element of glitch using VariFi (or a similar effect) to make it sound like a tape machine stopping and starting. This leaves you wondering what just happened at the end of the song, and more importantly wanting to hear it again.

The next track ‘Small Sun’ is probably the most straightforward of the EP, being based around two riffs – the first a more basic stoner riff while the second is a separated power chord rhythm while chords play over it. Nothing technical or mathy about this track however the drones over the top of the whole track give it a bizarre feeling much like the end of Opeths’ ‘Heir Apparent’.

The EP rounds off with ‘Elusive Rain’ which begins quite sparsely with a single guitar playing a delayed riff. This continues unchanged until beyond halfway, as more guitars and other layers are added to keep the listener interested. The track as an entity is built around this riff as the only change happens just after halfway when the guitars become heavier and the drums kick in with more of a punch than their previous appearance on the track. There is some interesting lead work which again echoes to a post metal and math rock influence as the lead lines are both piercing and angular. The tune is bookended by the ‘main riff’ of the song played on the delayed guitar which gives a sense of completion to both the track and the EP.

My overall impression of this EP then is this: Spencer is clearly some sort of wizard as besides some of the mixing perhaps, I cannot comprehend how he managed to create such a solid solo effort at 16. The tracks are great, the tones are great and work really well with the tracks, the drum parts fit nicely and every aspect appears to have been well thought out. Definitely an artist to watch as if he’s this good at 16… well he can only get better.

As always, the EP is available on Bandcamp. Like, follow and share Flicker Rate on all the usual social media hotspots!

https://flickerrate.bandcamp.com/

https://twitter.com/flickerrate

 

Words by Ollie Smith

IZŌ – Self Titled

IZŌ is a 4-piece instrumental sludge/doom band from Lecce, Italy, made up of Paolo and Maurizio on guitars, Francesco on bass, and Luca on drums. Influenced by Sludge and Doom heavy hitters such as Sabbath, Electric Wizard and Mastodon, their overall sound is reminiscent of a more psychedelic Kylesa, flawlessly combining sludgy riffage with up-tempo stoner segments and hypnotic clean passages. Their self-titled debut offers an impressive set of tracks which are well worth the listen.

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After a short and to-the-point intro provided by the first track, IZŌ(Intro), the main portion of the album opens with “We Are What We Are”, setting the tone with a hard-hitting and relatively straightforward sludge/stoner track in which influences from bands such as Yob are readily apparent. Though perhaps the most simplistic track of the album, “We Are What We Are” is by no means boring – the track expertly straddles the line between sludge and stoner rock, keeping the listener on their toes with a number of changes in pacing and mood. The drumming is especially noteworthy, and while this remains true for the extent of the album, this track in particular allows drummer Luca to really let loose.

The next track, “Hikikomori”, is where the album really starts to come into its own. Opening with a clean intro that would be right at home in a Cult of Luna release, it takes a brief tour through post-metal territory before returning to another section of powerful stoner riffage. This then transitions into an extended clean passage which showcases IZŌ’s artistic versatility and solidifies “Hikikomori” as a personal highlight of the album – a series of jazzy post-rock guitar lines driven by a catchy bassline which build up into a spectacularly heavy outro riff.

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Track number four, “Kikusai” opens with meandering psychedelia-soaked guitars accompanied by sparse drums and background ambience. The length of the intro passage works in the track’s favour as it lulls the listener into a trance before snapping them back with a series of ballsy riffs, heavily evocative of bands such as Kylesa. This track is probably the best representation of IZŌ’s sound as a whole, offering a perfect balance between calm psychedelia and pounding riffage.

Track five, the intriguingly named “EuTONEsia”, brings another shift back into the realms of post-metal, if only for a moment, with a neatly-executed atmospheric intro that paves the way for a blistering crescendo of incredibly catchy stoner riffage. The sheer power behind the last few riffs makes this track another personal highlight of the album.

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The final track, “MudMut”, while labelled as an outro, is also a great piece of music in its own right. Following a more simplistic formula than previous tracks, it offers a condensed reminder of just how hard IZŌ’s riffs can hit – just in case you had forgotten in the brief gap between tracks five and six.

Overall, IZŌ’s debut is an extremely solid album, and is highly recommended for those who like a bit of psychedelia in their sludge. Each track has a distinct, recognisable character of its own which makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable. This is an album that demands to be played at maximum volume.

As always, you can find the album on bandcamp. Get it here from the band’s label (released 26 February 2016):

https://acidcosmonautrecords.bandcamp.com/album/izo

https://www.facebook.com/Izoband/

 

Words by Stephan Carter of Landforge

Renate / Cordate – Growth

Renate / Cordate are a psychedelic infused post metal band from Oulu in Finland. The four piece, made up of Antti-Pekka (Drums), Aki (Bass), Samuli (Guitar, vocals) and Ville (Guitar) consider themselves first and foremost as a live band and have shown off their heavy soundscapes supporting such bands as Blood Ceremony, Weedeater and Naam. Despite this, in 2013, they recorded their first full length release, ‘Growth’, and it is frankly astounding.

coverTo describe the band’s sound is difficult, but it can be vaguely alluded to as a genre splice between psychedelic ‘stoner-esque’ rock and post-metal. In terms of actual sound, Renate / Cordate have a semi lo-fi guitar tone that’s still seriously heavy, underpinned by expansive drums, all lurking below the ever-present surface of swirling lead lines, full of delay and reverb.

Each track on this release has its own definite ‘personality’ within the piece as a whole, which helps to make the album much more of an ‘experience’; listening over one sitting is highly recommended if you have the time (three of the four tracks are over ten minutes in length). Having said that, the opener: ‘Evolve, Submit’, is definitely a microcosm of Renate / Cordate’s core sound.

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The track begins with swirling, ethereal, guitars and feedback over an almost militaristic drum beat before introducing heavy lo-fi guitars playing bombastic riffs like a stoner rock tune played through a radio full of interference from other stations. The lead lines then slowly morph into more post-metal-esque melodies that support a set of sporadic, frenetic vocal lines. Gradually, the heaviness fades and gives way to a haunting clean break made up of beautifully layered guitars full of delay. It doesn’t last long however, as the heavy guitars explode back into life. The riff here is exquisitely simple with only three chords but Renate / Cordate make every one count. The band riff on this chord progression until the conclusion of the song; it gets progressively more and more evil in its sound.

Overall, Growth is a fantastic release worthy of any post-metal / psych fan’s collection. Fans of heaviness in general might find this album hard to digest due to the length of the songs, but persevere, and the reward is sublime. As always, if you dig the music, please support the band as much as you can.

https://renatecordate.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/renatecordate

Projet RL – Earthburnt

Projet RL are a lo-fi doom/post-punk four piece from Quebec, Canada. The self-produced ‘Earthburnt’ is the third release from the band and is a great amalgamation of the best parts of their earlier work.

Projet RL EarthburntTo truly appreciate the brilliant sound that Projet RL has created, listening is paramount; simple words struggle to do it justice. There are two genres here – folk tinged post punk and retro doom metal – in an eternal battle, fighting for prime position on the record as a whole, as opposed to a hybrid of both each time. Most bands would struggle to pull this off, but Projet RL seems to be able to flick between the two with ease.

The actual instrumentation and tones are polarised but still blended in a cohesive way. Fuzzed-out, rounded off bass is attacked by the jagged guitars and lo-fi vocals, all underpinned by drums that wouldn’t sound out of place on a 70’s psych record.

Earthburnt, along with the band’s other releases, is available on Bandcamp. If you’re a fan of lo-fi genre melding fuzz worship, make sure you pick this record up.

https://projetrl.bandcamp.com/album/earthburnt-2015

https://www.facebook.com/projetrl