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My world of music - est. 2013

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CD review GOZU "Equilibrium"

Veröffentlicht am 20. April 2018 von Markus W. in Gozu, News, CD Review, Metal Blade, Stoner Rock, Heavy Rock, Hardrock, Alternative Rock

CD review GOZU "Equilibrium"

(8/10) It isn’t an easy thing to place Boston, MA-based Gozu into a certain category when it comes to style and sound. The quartet builds their music on various sources of inspiration, leading to songs that are exciting from beginning to end.

2018 is the year of Gozu’s newest delivery. The album is entitled “Equilibrium” and features eight songs. What doesn’t sound like a lot of songs still leads to a running time of almost 50 minutes due to the length of each of the tunes.

Mentioning the length of song immediately brings us to the last track on the album. “Ballad of ODB” is with eleven minutes an epic closer of this record, showcasing all the influences Gozu builds their music on. The general vibe of this well-crafted epos is a psychedelic one. Especially in the first third of “Ballad of ODB” some calmer 60’s classic rock dominates the sonic pattern. The tunes gets louder along the way with the general mood being the link that keeps things together.

Moving from finish to start means talking about “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat”. It’s a killer riff that kicks-off the track and the album. It’s stronger stoner rock breeze that comes with the opener while the solo parts are reminding of classic rock. The tune is an excellent start into the album and is followed by the slower paced “The People vs. Mr.T.”. By the way, song titles of this longplayer are really unusual ones, but you probably recognized this already.

Another track that comes with a doomy vibe is the really cool “Manimal”. The tune is a slowly grooving riff monster that peaks in a melodic chorus.

“Equilibrium” is an album that brings joy by its warm and organic expression. Nothing feels forced on this longplayer, with eight songs securing a brilliant flow. It’s the totality of 50 minutes being the pleasure of an album that should also be listened to from beginning to end. Each of the songs is a little highlight in itself, but it’s all together that creates enthusiasm.  This album contains honest music for fans of hand-crafted rock music with an irresistible ease.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

  2. The People vs. Mr. T

  3. King Cobra

  4. Manimal

  5. They Probably Know Karate

  6. Prison Elbows

  7. Stacy Keach

  8. Ballad of ODB

 

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Stoner-/ Classic Rock 

Release Date EU: April 13th, 2018

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CD review ENHAILER "Dumb Enough to Care"

Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2018 von Markus W. in Enhailer, Dumb Enough to Care, News, Doom Metal, Sludge, Stoner Rock, CD Review, Burnout Records

CD review ENHAILER "Dumb Enough to Care"

(7/10) Enhailer is a 2014 founded metal outfit that’s very much into doom and sludge. The guys debut in 2106 with “Grisaille (Gra-sigh)” and release an EP entitled “Dumb Enough to Care” in 2017. I have to admit that I missed this EP that gets now again on my table since it will be released in vinyl.

“Dumb Enough to Care” is basically one song, not more. However, this track is 18 minutes in length and features down-tuned guitars, heavy riffs, some edges and intense vocals. I was surprised when I heard the song, that also benefits from a dynamic production.

Fans of Crowbar should check out this album.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Dumb Enough to Care

 

Label: Burnout Records

Genre: Doom / Sludge

Release Date EU: June 14th, 2018

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CD review EARTHLESS "Black Heaven"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2018 von Markus W. in Earthless, Black Heaven, News, CD Review, Nuclear Blast, Classic Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, Stoner Rock

CD review EARTHLESS "Black Heaven"

(8/10) Earthless, a rock band hailing from San Diego, California, started in 2001 by Isaiah Mitchell, Mike Eginton and Mario Rubalcaba. The trio shared a common passion for psychedelic rock music and German Krautrock, which built the base for a debut that was published in 2005.

The trio released two more records and also has live recordings on their list of releases to date. The most popular one is “Live at Roadburn” when the band performed a 90 minutes set with knowing that the show was recorded. This gave the album a very authentic touch, an approach that maybe should be used more often.

Even though Earthless is in business already for such a long time the guys still premiers when it comes to a few things on the new longplayer “Black Heaven”. First of all the newest longplayer will be released via Nuclear Blast, which is the first newness. Secondly the trio, that usually is an instrumental one, added vocals to the new songs.

The album comprises of six songs, all benefiting of a warm and organic sound that was done at Rancho de la Lune with Dave Catching (Eagles Of Death Metal) at the helm. With the exception of “Volt Rush” tracks are rather long. Earthless incorporates all their experience and passion for jamming into each of the tracks on this disc. Longer instrumental parts clearly reflect the roots of this psychedelic rock outfit. It gives the album an unpredictable dynamic with the vocal lines adding the structure that holds together the creative instrumental section in a good way.

“Black Heaven” is great next album for Earthless and fans of psychedelic rock music. The album weaves together classic rock, Krautrock and some jazz to a great total that sounds authentic and won-to-earth. This is music for people with a passion for well-crafted and organic rock music that comes without frills and gimmicks.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Gifted by the Wind
  2. End to End
  3. Electric Flame
  4. Volt Rush
  5. Black Heaven
  6. Sudden End

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Release Date EU: March 16th, 2018

 

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CD review MUSTASCH "Silent Killer"

Veröffentlicht am 24. März 2018 von Markus W. in Mustasch, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, NWoBHM, Melodic Metal, Stoner Rock, CD Review, News, Sony Music, Silent Killer

CD review MUSTASCH "Silent Killer"

(8/10) Three years after Swedish metal outfit Mustasch released with “Testosterone” their latest longplayer, it’s “Silent Killer” that marks a next step of this powerful band from Gothenburg.

Active since 1998, the band released a debut entitled “Above All” in 2002, an album that was followed by another seven exciting records that established Mustasch as a constant player in the fields of stoner rock and metal.

Since 2015 the quartet is consisting out of Mats Stam Johansson (b) and Ralf Gyllenhammer (g/v), both being founding members of this powerhouse. Guitarist David Johannesson joined in 2008 and it’s drummer Robban Baeck who’s the newest kid in town by already being part of the line-up since three years.

Mustasch’s newest strike is entitled “Silent Killer” and it’s definitely a ‘killer’ but also less 'silent’. The band’s ninth album is a sonic blast and a 32 minutes adrenalizer. Gyllenhammer and dudes created an album that starts acoustic with “Givin’”, an intro that’s the calm before the storm. “Winners” is next in line and ends the calm, turning things into a metal twister. For me it’s the best track on the album since it has this merciless power, an excellent riff and a dirty metal vibe. It’s hard to not being fascinated by this song that combines different metal directions into one smasher.

The joy with “Silent Killer” is the fact that Mustasch varies their sound without giving a scattered impression. “Liberty” reminded me of classic rock a la Audrey Horne while “Barrage” stands for another highlight with an extremely cool chorus.

Even Metallica references can be found on “Silent Killer”. The start of “Grave Digger” reminds with its riffing very much of Hetfield and Co., leading to a well-crafted mid-paced tune with a good groove.

“Silent Killer” proves that also 32 minutes of rock and metal music can be a joyful thing, if, like in this case, things are boiled down to the essence of very inspired metal music. Two thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Givin’
  2. Winners
  3. Liberty
  4. Barrage
  5. Lawbreaker
  6. Fire
  7. Silent Killer
  8. The Answer
  9. Grave Digger
  10. Burn

 

Label: Sony Music

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: April 6th, 2018

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CD review NICK OLIVERI "N.O. Hits at All - Volume 4" EP

Veröffentlicht am 23. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in N.O. Hits at All - Volume 4, Nick Oliveri, Stoner Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Punkrock, CD Review, News

CD review NICK OLIVERI "N.O. Hits at All - Volume 4" EP

(5/10) OK, I think we can keep this one pretty short since it is part four of Nick Oliveri’s release series of cover songs. Like with the earlier records also this one comes with tracks that are a matter of heart for Oliveri. So far so good and actually the idea is great. Each of the longplayers features songs that never reached a wider audience and to re-energize them in such a way is cool.

Also this time Oliveri went for tunes that are somewhere between stoner, punk and garage rock. The sound is raw and basic without any reason for complaints. Songs like “Hanging Low” and “Suzy is a Headbanger” need this unpolished expression, adding liveliness to the entire album.

Main point of critic in the last review though was the fact that I have no idea why it took four records to publish these songs. One records with 45 minutes would have done the job too more than well. So, this time you get another 8 songs with a running time of 19 minutes for the price of a full-length release. If you see this as a rip-off or if you don’t care about it is something everybody needs to decide for his/her own, but for sure it’s little quantity and an average quality that is quite costly.

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Walk On
  2. Identify, Isolate, Manipulate
  3. Endless Vacation
  4. Hanging Low
  5. Fuck You Up and Get High
  6. Super Hero
  7. Don’t Believe
  8. Suzy is a Headbanger

 

Label: Heavy Psych

Genre: Stoner /(Punk) Rock

Release Date EU: February 23rd, 2018

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CD review SHIT THE COW "Cavelord"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Shit The Cow, Cavelord, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, News, CD Review, Stoner Rock, Noise, Self-Released, Fuzz, Garage

CD review SHIT THE COW "Cavelord"

(8/10) It was few years ago when a mail reached my mailbox, talking about a band with a very unusual name - Shit The Cow. That such a name creates attention is no-brainer but do these guys have more in the offer than a crazy name? They do.

Before we go deeper into the new longplayer we need to stand still for a few more seconds with the band's name. The origin of this moniker is based on one of the first songs the band wrote. It was a track about a character that was half man and half cow, called 'Shit' by everyone. And since it was such an absurd story and such an unconventional name, the guys decided to use it for their band. Shit The Cow was born.

After having released some EP's, of which "Rissna" is still the best one, it's "Cavelord" that acts as the debut album of the guys from Mid-Sweden. I was curiously looking forward to this album and after having given the album some loops I must say that it easily lives up to expectations. 

"Cavelord" comprises nine new songs, all with a kick-ass attitude. What I like with this longplayer is the liveliness that comes with it. "Cavelord" is build on passion for music that's authentic and real. Shit The Cow isn't about music that's written for commercial success or a wide fanbase. These four guys follow their dedication for heavy rocking music in their own niche of rock, stoner, garage and alternative. 

The band describes the album as being" heavier, noisier and more melodic at the same time", a statement I can agree with a 100%.

The starting point is called "Resolve / Resist", a song that reminds during the first seconds of Metallica. After such a start it's a roaring bass that pushes this noisy tune to its limits. "Twist and Shout" follows, representing the stoner aspect of Shit The Cow's sound. The fact that the vocals are shared, with Alexandra Lindqvist supporting the guys, gives the number some new nuances before the title songs unveils the band's furious side. Talking about furious songs means also to mention "You Bought a Knife". This is the hardest tune I've heard of the band up-to-date. A hardcore vibe characterises this merciless number which is almost a counterpart to the calmer "Shelter" which is the final track on the album. Acoustic guitars kick off the tune before some noise outbursts break the silence. The two things that are fascinating with the closer are the simple but effective groove of "Shelter" and the saxophone part which adds another dimension to Shit The Cow's sound. 

"Cavelord" became an excellent full-length debut. Shit The Cow is a damn cool rock outfit from Sweden. These guys celebrate rock music which each tone played. "Cavelord" feels like an album they did for themselves and if there are more people out there, appreciating the effort it's more an extra win than the original aim. Cool stuff.

 

(8/10) 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Resolve / Resist
  2. Twist and Shout
  3. Cavelord
  4. Burning Man
  5. The Gathering
  6. Changing of the Gods
  7. You Bought a Knife
  8. Gamma Sunrise
  9. Shelter

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Stoner / Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: December 7th, 2017

 

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'JägerMusic Kneipentour' by BRETT

Veröffentlicht am 14. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Brett, Rock, Stoner Rock, Live, Tour, Jägermeister, Hardrock, Alternative Rock

Hamburg-based rock outfit Brett shows that intensity is not a perfume - it's about sweat and adrenaline. The guys are on a short tour which they put under the header of 'JägerMusic Kneipentour'. Here are the dates:

'JägerMusic Kneipentour' by BRETT
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CD review THE QUILL "Born From Fire"

Veröffentlicht am 5. September 2017 von Markus W. in The Quill, Metalville, Stoner Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Doom Rock, Heavy Rock, Rock, News, CD Review

CD review THE QUILL "Born From Fire"

(8/10) Swedish rock and metal has, to a big part, a homebase in either Gothenburg or Stockholm. The Quill doesn’t call any of these cities their home. The guys founded the band in Mönsterås which is smaller town at the Swedish East coast.

The guys aren’t new and you’ve heard of them quite regularly. The quartet was founded back in 1990, after having been around four years under the flag of Quil. Things started to increase in speed during the mid 90’s when stoner rock gained momentum with bands like Kyuss being the spearhead of this genre. In their wake other bands got into the spotlight too and The Quill was one of them.

The debut came up to surface in 1995 and six more longplayers lined up, with Tiger Blood”, the latest record, being released in 2013. Four years later the next The Quill beauty delights fans of stoner rock as well as it’s a treat for ears of heavy rock fans.

“Born From Fire” is the title of the eighth studio album and it features twelve entertaining songs that combine the best of stoner and heavy rock. Regardless if it’s the mighty rockers like “Keep it Together”, the Sabbath-like “Spirit and the Spark”, the psychedelic “Set Free Black Crow” or the uptempo  “Snake Charmer Woman”, each of them gets out of the blocks very well and rocks in a spot-on manner. These songs outnumber and can easily compensate for the weaker “Revelation”.  Next to the well-done songwriting it’s also the sound of the album that’s powerful. Guitar and bass are forceful booming, which gives the album a warm and organic swing. It’s hard to not get caught by this album.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Stone Believer
  2. Snake Charmer Woman
  3. Ghosthorse
  4. Keep it Together
  5. Spirit and the Spark
  6. Skull & Bones
  7. Set Free Black Crow
  8. Electric Sons
  9. Hollow of Your Hand
  10. Unchain Yourself
  11. Revelation
  12. Metamorphosis

 

Label: Metalville

Genre: Stoner Rock

Release Date EU: August 25th, 2017

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MASTODON posted a new songs

Veröffentlicht am 4. September 2017 von Markus W. in Mastodon, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Stoner Rock, Rock, Hardrock

MASTODON posted a new songs
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CD review THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN "Cypress Ave."

Veröffentlicht am 8. August 2017 von Markus W. in The Midnight Ghost Train, Stoner Rock, News, Napalm Records, Rock, Hardrock, Alternative Rock, Southern Rock

CD review THE MIDNIGHT GHOST TRAIN "Cypress Ave."

(8/10) "Cypress Ave." is the title of The Midnight Ghost Trains' newest strike. It's the fourth full-length disc from Steve Moss and band, showcasing the trio more diverse than what we know from the earlier releases. 

Was it stoner rock and some sludge elements that built the framework for the last longplayer "Cold Was the Ground" it's this time variety that makes The Midnight Ghost Trains's newest longplayer to a special one. "Cypress Ave." includes the stoner rock songs as we know from earlier releases, but the Kansas-based band takes a wider approach for their newest record. 

In the beginning things look like this album's being a typical The Midnight Ghost Train release. "Tonight" and especially the power engine "Red Eyed Junkie Queen" reflects the earlier sound of the trio very well. Also "Glenn's Promise" and "Bury Me Deep" include the harsh expression with coarse vocals and heavily down-tuned guitars.

A first break comes with the bluesy and calmer "The Watchers Nest". Especially in the verse things get intense by pushing the stoner rock to the back. It feels like The Midnight Ghost Train puts a focus on groove by using many different styles, with the funky "The Boggie Down" being the most unusual The Midnight Ghost Train song to date. A rapping Sonny Cheeba and a dominant horn section are something you don't expect on an album of this rock outfit. I guess the tune will stimulate controversy discussions but I have to admit that it sounds great.

In general it's the second half of the album that shows another angle of the trio. Melancholic songs like "Black Wave" come with a lot of feel - and less anger. This doesn't mean that intesity became less on "Cypress Ave.". It's the opposite. Songs like "Lemon Tree" are as intense as the heavy stuff, just taking things from a different perspective. 

"Cypress Ave." surprised me. The Midnight Ghost Train had the courage to experiment with their sound and music. The album reflects the band a 100% even though the guys express themselves partly different. The Midnight Ghost Train doesn't stand still. The exciting journey continues, maybe in a partly unexpected direction which is the thrill of this longplayer.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Tonight
  2. Red Eyed Junkie Queen
  3. Glenn's Promise
  4. Bury Me Deep
  5. The Watchers Nest
  6. Break My Love
  7. Lemon Trees
  8. The Boogie Down (feat. Sonny Cheeba)
  9. Black Wave
  10. The Echo
  11. I Can't Let You Go

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: July28th, 2017

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CD review DUEL "Witchbanger"

Veröffentlicht am 13. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Duel, Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Doom Metal, Stoner Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Austin, Texas is the home base of doom rockers Duel. The four-piece band released a few weeks ago their sophomore album “Witchbanger”, an record that features eight brilliant songs. Classic rock elements meet Sabbath-like doom, that’s how you could describe what you get to hear with this release.

Knowing that singer and guitarist Tom Frank, together with Shaun Avants (b), have a history in Scorpion Child explains the musical background. After having left Scorpion Child the guys teamed up with JD Shadowz (d) and Derek Halfmann(g) and Duel was born.

The faster riff rocker “Devil” is the starting shot for this eight-leg race. This tune is a brilliant one, bringing back the late 70’s/early 80’s in an undusted way. Duel gets their inspiration from this early period of rock without blindly copying the days.

The title track comes next. “Witchbanger” is an awesome song with a galloping rhythm in a more moderate pace, followed by “The Snake Queen” where things get a bit more psychedelic, showcasing the dark side of Texas. This longplayer is a highly entertaining album with songs like the bluesy “Astro Gypsy” and the up-tempo rocker “Heart of the Sun”.

"Witchbanger" doesn’t contain any song that’s not worth to be on this record. “Bed of Nails” and the powerful “Cat’s Eye” are excellent psychedelic doom anthems, showing that this oldschool metal style can be done in a refreshing way by not loosing the old spirit and intensity.

The six minutes metal hymn “Tigers and Rainbows”, with its soulful middle section, ends a longplayer that should be checked out by fans of Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Spiritual Beggars, …. I’m very impressed by this record,

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Devil
  2. Witchbanger
  3. The Snake Queen
  4. Astro Gypsy
  5. Heart of the Sun
  6. Bed of Nails
  7. Cat’s Eye
  8. Tigers and Rainbows

 

Label: Heavy Psych Sounds

Genre: Doom

Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017

CD review DUEL "Witchbanger"
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CD review MAMMOTH MAMMOTH "Mount the Mountain"

Veröffentlicht am 22. April 2017 von Markus W. in Mammoth Mammoth, Stoner Rock, Rock, Hardrock, News, Heavy Metal, Napalm Records, CD Review

(8/10) A new album of Australian rocker Mammoth Mammoth is a like a cold beer that gets the dust out of your throat. It's a straight-on and refreshing experience that just helps to refresh and blow away the worries in daily life.

The quartet from Melbourne joined the race in 2008 with a first EP and an extremely powerful debut that saw the light of day one year later. Time went by and April 2017 is the moment of Mammoth Mammoth's fourth longplayer hitting the road. "Mount the Mountain" is the title of this eleven songs including records that can be seen as another energizer from Down Under.

The first thing that sticks out is the artwork of the album. It probably creates some attention but it would be worth nothing if the music of this longplayer couldn't live up to expectations too. In this sense it's not much more than an appetizer for songs that are pure rockn'roll.

The title track opens the doors to an album that comes in the typical fashion. Rough vocals, raunchy guitars and a steady beat characterize a tune that's good but also misses the final kick. I guess the rocking "Spellbound" would have been the better choice; a track with a dense sound, great breaks, an hypnotic beat and a kick-ass attitude. In general it's the uptempo songs on "Mount the Mountain" that are a blast. "Kickin' My Dog" is another one of these tracks and also "Hard Way Down" doesn't come with any compromises.

The true fun part of this longplayer comes at the end when the quartet takes Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" which is turned upside down - twisted into a typical Mammoth Mammoth rocker. It's actually quite hard to recognize the original hit.

The only things that's missing on this longplayer is a real smasher. Songs like "Hell's Likely" from the debut didn't make it on "Mount the Mountain"; an album that is still pure fun to listen to and the right background music for an upcoming spring and summer party. Cheers.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Mount the Mountain
  2. Spellbound
  3. Hole in the Head
  4. Kickin' My Dog
  5. Procrastination
  6. Sleep Walker
  7. Epitome
  8. Hard Way Down
  9. Wild and Dead
  10. Cold Liquor
  11. I Can't Get You Out of My Head

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Stoner Rock

Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017

CD review MAMMOTH MAMMOTH "Mount the Mountain"
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CD review FLOATING WIDGET "The Sound of Earth"

Veröffentlicht am 17. April 2017 von Markus W. in Floating Widget, Stoner Rock, Rock, Hardrock, News, CD Review, Voivod

(8/10) Is it global warming that brings a desert vibe up to Montreal? I don't know but it’s for sure a warm stream of stoner rock reached Canada. Floating Widget from Montreal were inspired by this vibe in 2015 and started to write songs for their debut album "Praises to the Riff Monolith".

Two years later the quartet comes back with a new release. This time it’s a five song EP that was recorded at Bad Ass Studio.

I haven’t heard of the guys before and therefore I wasn’t really sure what to expect. That changed since I had the opportunity to listen to this record several times and I must say that things sound quite good on this rocking disc.

“Rock & Roll Jubilee”, the opener, is a straightforward stoner rock song that brings you immediately in a good mood. “Psy Walker” comes next; a booming track that gets out of the gates very easily and song number three, ”I Am the Temple”, which is a continuation of this positive surprise. Also “Albatross (Nobody Loves an)” with its slower pace provides four entertaining minutes of rock before the closer “Spiderzilla” provides an extra treat. Not only that the number can easily handle a comparison with the first four songs; it’s Voivod’s Denis ‘Snake’ Belanger who does the vocals. These 2:41 minutes are an interesting mixture of stoner rock with Voivod-like vocal lines – an exciting experiment that sound really good.

I like this EP and in case you’re looking for something thrilling that’s coming from the Canadian music underground than I can recommend “The Sounds of Earth”. It's good stuff that's worth solid eight points.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rock & Roll Jubilee
  2. Psy Walker
  3. I am the Temple
  4. Albatross (Nobody Loves an)
  5. Spiderzilla (feat. Snake from Voivod)

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Stoner Rock

Release Date EU: March 2017

 

https://floatingwidget.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/floatingwidget00/

 

CD review FLOATING WIDGET "The Sound of Earth"
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CD review MASTODON "Emperor of Sand"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2017 von Markus W. in Mastodon, Alternative Metal, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, News, CD Review

(9/10) My Mastodon trip started with their sophomore album „Leviathan“. This disc made more than an impression and still belongs to my all-time-faves. This was 13 years ago and in the meantime the Atlanta-based band released many more records with an constantly growing supporters base.

„Emperor of Sand“ is the newest work of art, an album that was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio, produced by Brendan O’Brien who did already the 2009 release „Crack the Skye“. The band uses the story of a wanderer, who’s on a journey through an hostile to life desert and what sounds like a fantasy story is actually a metaphor for the effect and suffering of long-term sicknesses like cancer. In these kind of situations time gets very important, asking the first question: How much time do I have. Mortality becomes all of a sudden a beast that tries to catch hold of you.

The newest longplayer is the most mature one up to date. The four-piece band makes use of so many different styles, bringing them all together on an album that stands with 100% for Mastodon.

"Sultan's Curse", a pounding song, acts as the opener for the album. It's a mid-pace number that has quite melodic vocal lines, interacting with a guitar sound that alternates between heavy riffing and melodic leads. The latter brings a certain classic rock feeling to the table that's well embedded. The next masterpiece is entitled "Show Yourself" which is surprisingly melodic - almost a bit too catchy for my taste. It comes with an alternative rock expression that fits very well; for me the song is the one that’s the easiest accessible on the album.

A track that is very straight-forward too is called "Precious Stone", blending  heaviness and melancholy; all with a kind of late 90’s grunge factor. And if there was any ease in some of the earlier song, this is gone with the first riff of „Steambreather". The almost swinging approach of some of the earlier songs turns into a darker and gloomier one. A hypnotic riff builds the base for the track that belongs to the best ones on the album. You can almost feel the desert heat, making life of the wanderer to a threatening experience between life and death. The song is like a sonic Fata Morgana and belongs to the pearls on this record.

What comes next got the name of "Roots Remain" and it feels like the band going back to the roots. The number is harsher than the earlier ones and especially the beginning feels like going back to the band's roots. The rougher vocals, that makes this tune to heavy pounder, underlines this too. But Mastodon is more than all the mentioned. The band incorporates progressive elements as well. „Candestiny“ is such a song that uses a 70’s progrock vibe, strengthened by the inclusion of a Moog. And as of it should act as a brutal counterpart, it’s „Andromeda“ that stands for the most brute song on the album.

„Scorpion Breathe“ combines hard-hitting drums with immense riffs; all build on a pumping bass, before the first notes of „Jaguar God“ introduce the ending of this awesome album. An acoustic guitar starts off a song that gains intensity with getting really mighty towards the end. It’s a closer that shows again the potential and capabilities of a band that was constantly growing over the last years, permanently increasing their fan base.

“Emperor of Sand” is the expected big shot of a band that developed over time to one of the most influential ones in rock and metal.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Sultan's Curse
  2. Show Yourself
  3. Precious Stone
  4. Steambreather
  5. Roots Remain
  6. Word to the Wise
  7. Ancient Kingdom
  8. Candestiny
  9. Andromeda
  10. Scorpion Breath
  11. Jaguar God

 

Label: Reprise/Warner

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: March 31st, 2017

CD review MASTODON "Emperor of Sand"
Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

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