Tag Archives: doom

Underground Sounds: Summoning – With Doom We Come

Label: Napalm Records
Band: Summoning
Origin: Austria 
Summoning is a must-listen band for anyone who feels strongly about black metal and Tolkien, but Silenius and Protector have long since left behind their musical roots. The band stands apart, thanks to their programmed, composed sound. On ‘With Doom We Come’, that is once more extremely clear and within the dungeon synth world the band is hailed as if they’re venerated, liberators. Unfortunately, the biggest impact this far from their new album came through an interview with Noisey. Well, as long as they talk about you.
Summoning was born out of musicians from Abigor and Pazuzu (and many others), started out as a fourpiece playing black metal, but switched to their current approach in 1995 (two years after starting). Since then the members Protector and Silenius are responsible for the sound of Summoning, which is much more sountrack-like and composed rather than created in a rehearsal space. On the side they duo occupies themselves with some side projects. Silenius plays black metal with Amistigon and industrial with Kreuzweg Ost. Protector occupies himself with Ice Ages, creating EDM.

‘Tar-Calion’ is the epic story of the last king of Númenor, told in solumn progressing tones. Spoken passages and grunts illuminate segments of the tale. The song is highly repetitive, which immerses the listener into the unhindred and fatalistic path of this Tolkien-saga figure. A journey towards ultimate doom. That is the overlying theme for this record, the doom-laden parts of the Silmarillion and other writings, with electronically enhanced music, featuring flutes and heralding trumpets. The music is sonorous, slow and never really building to any sort of climax. Vocals are hoarse whispers, grittedly spat at the listener on tracks like ‘Silvertine’ (a reference to the place where Gandalf battled the Balrog, that even movie watchers must know) or ‘Carcharoth’ (Silmarillion).

A swelling sound can be heard on ‘Herumor’, where a choir appears to sing over the meandering, ambient-like metal of the Austrian band. It’s a noteworthily more expressive part of the record, amidst the static sound of the group. They never seem to really waver much from their flowing music. Generally, the atmosphere oppresses and sounds dense and hazy. This is of course one of the main reasons why this band appeals to the dungeon synth genre-fans so much because it clearly bridges between the two worlds. Playful melodies now and then create interesting nuances in the songs, filling the gaps between the vocals on a tune like ‘Night Fell Behind’.
On ‘Mirklands’ we get a bit grimmer, mostly thanks to the vocals, but the song stays synth heavy. With over 10 minutes of music, both this tune and the title track are powerful compositions that evoke Tolkienesque visages and imagery. ‘With Doom We Came’ offers the doomy, grand finale of the album. The voice is raspy, but clear, a bit like Rob Miller from Amebix/Tau Cross. The highlight of the album for sure.

Aleksey Evdokimov, Author of Doom Metal Lexicanum

Cult Never Dies and Crypt Productions are soon releasing a book that has been rightly called a behemoth: The Doom Metal Lexicanum. This is the work of endless lost hours in late evenings and forgotten nooks and crannies in the life of Aleksey Evdokimov.

The impossible undertaking slowly took shape and Aleksey found the right people to collaborate with to get this passion project out there. Dayal Patterson, known for the fantastic series of books on black metal, is releasing this under the banner of Cult Never Dies Productions. There have been books on death metal and black metal, but doom metal seems to have been overlooked… until now.

I got in touch with Saint Petersburg inhabitant Aleksey to ask some questions about this massive undertaking, which he was kind enough to answer. If you are already keen to get your hands on the book, make sure you order it now!

The Scribe of Doom: Aleksey Evdokimov

Hey Aleksey, how have you been?

Hi Guido! Much better now, because we’ve finished with this. Now only this interview and two more for Esquire and Men’s Health stand between me and long-awaited relax time.

Can you tell a little bit about yourself?

I live and work in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I listened to metal since my school days, and back in the late 90s, I was a real fanatic, reading every magazine I could find here, translating songs’ lyrics and etc. I work in the field of electrical engineering, but I write for different e-zines, blogs and sometimes magazines since 2006. I have few interviews dated 2004 and 2005, but it wasn’t serious. In around 2010 I’ve joined the doommantia.com crew, then was TempleOfPerdition, few interviews for Doom Metal Front magazine, SludgeLord and PsychedelicBaby e-zines. Nowadays I write for doom-metal.com, nocleansinging.com, OutlawsOfTheSun and bi-monthly magazines InRock (Russia) and Fire (Italy).

Aleksey originally suggested a picture of him dancing amongst the tombstones, but time restrictions made this the result.

So, what got you attracted to doom metal in the first place, what was its appeal to you?

Originally it was death doom metal: Tiamat with Clouds, Paradise Lost album Icon, a few videos from the “Beauty In Darkness” compilation like Celestial Season and Substance For God… Some bands who played doom in their early years like Anathema, Cemetery Of Scream, The Equinox Ov The Gods, Silent Stream Of Godless Elegy and so on. From some point onward I was satiated with this aesthetic and here Reverend Bizarre and Abysmal Grief appeared! I already knew Cathedral, but Reverend Bizarre is a turning point. II: Crush The Insects appeals me both with its instrumental and lyrical components. I guess that I always give my attention to songs with good lyrics. In a case of Abysmal Grief its grim sepulchral atmosphere, it’s impossible to resist.

You’ve mentioned that your motivation for starting this project, was mainly that there was simply no book about the genre. Is there really nothing?

As far as I know there was only A-Z of Doom, Goth & Stoner Metal by Garry Sharpe-Young in 2003. The scene has changed a lot over these last 14 years, and its name speaks for itself, right? Two years ago when I started working on the Lexicanum, it seemed to be right time for another one. I really don’t know why no one has written it before me, I don’t pretend to be the mister Know-It-All. I just knew how to do it, I wanted to pay some respect to the bands I like, and I wanted to finish with my time-consuming and free hobby of doing reviews and interviews with one final work.

When you started out, how did you imagine the end result would look. What was your initial approach to this daunting task?

In 2015 my friend had shown me Bible Of The Devil, a self-released encyclopedia written by Italian enthusiast Alberto Bia. I even wanted to write it together with Alberto, but we have different methods of work, so that wasn’t good idea. I’ve written down the list of bands I suppose to fit in the book, and I’ve checked how many interviews I already had with these artists. There were about 550-600 names in this list, and I interviewed less than 200 bands from this list.

I decided to limit myself to the traditional doom scene and sub-genres related to it because it would be impossible to include also death doom and funeral bands in one book. Big bands deserve more space, and when you have Candlemass, My Dying Bride and Pentagram in one book, you barely find space for new outfits with shorter discographies. For the same reason, I tried to avoid pure stoner bands, though if you’ll take a look at bills of Doom festivals, then this genre is a big part of the scene. Nevertheless, purists probably will be disappointed. Well, they’re free to write a better thing. I did talk with Sami Hynninen, the General Doom Puritan, and he points that if he ever managed to write a book about doom scene, then he would include there 5 or so bands. Also, don’t forget that none of the doom legends even knew that they played “doom” until some journalists told them they did.

My vision was to have a book built up out of articles which combines reviews and interviews; I prefer interviews because they allow artists themselves to express what they really mean, the reviews are subjective thing… And speaking about discographies: I tried to mention in the articles every release bands have, but I only mentioned LPs in the discographies section. If I started to list all smaller records of Reverend Bizarre or Pentagram, that would be a nightmare.

Most of the project you did by yourself, how did you manage to keep yourself motivated and did you experience any noteworthy things with the bands you were writing about?

At some point, I just know that there’s no turning back. Also, I worked together with Mike Liassides (editor of doom-metal.com) and Tana Haugo Kawahara (Eternal Elysium’s bass player), I couldn’t tell them: “Thank you for your job! I prefer to stop!” My English is far from perfect, and they both edited all my bad grammar, scanning the texts I send them. It would be impossible if Mike and Tana didn’t lend me helping hand back then.

Also, I had the plan, I knew how to fulfill it. The only thing that I usually didn’t have was enough of time. But strict planning and love of the doom genre motivated me enough.As for noteworthy things… Communications with some bands are an interesting thing in itself most of the time.

Did you experience any setback during the writing?

One of my goals was to have an interview’s quote in each article, a direct speech from each band I write about. I have interviews done for one big part of my list, and I intended to interview others bands as well. That means I did send requests for interviews to each band you find in the book. And if you don’t see the direct speech in the article about some band, that just means that interview never happened. Few bands didn’t reply, few promised but didn’t answer in the end, with few big bands I almost organized interviews through their managers but it didn’t happen too. People are people… Anyway, I had a chance to interview a lot of excellent bands, which really counts.

Another problem I had is reviewing the albums. We cut some albums’ descriptions during the final proof of the whole text, yet anyway, you know – doom metal has its own rules, doom rock or stoner doom have their own as well. So when you write about 360 bands, you’re doomed (pun unintended, ed.) to repeat yourself when you describe their music. It’s not prog rock.

The problem to get proper photos with credits from the bands is another story… It seems that a damn lot of bands don’t care about it. Or in some cases, it was difficult to learn the name of the photographer from some band, from their label or even from their PR-crew. We couldn’t use photos without credits, we try to do it legally.

The big deal was to find a publisher. Really I was thinking naively that this part is easy (the doom community is a large family and so on). I wasted a lot of time since January 2017 until February to reach an agreement or even just understanding with few persons. So I was happy when I got in contact with Dayal Patterson of Cult Never Dies in March. And the last painful thing was the necessity to stop. Until very last moment I did want to add one more band, to write more about this or that album and so on. It’s good that Dayal stopped me.

Which parts are your favorites, or which bands did you enjoy writing about most?

Hard to tell… I would tell that I like how articles about Cathedral and Pentagram look. I re-listened their whole discographies in writing these parts. For example with Cathedral it was good to get comments from Adam Lehan and Mark Griffiths; it was the case when I wrote for every band’s members whom I could find including Dave Patchett and exclude Scott Carlson and few members who were there for one year or about that. But I’m disappointed that Dave Patchett didn’t reply, for me his artwork is one of most important Cathedral features. In the case of Pentagram I did interview Joe Hasselvander, originally I did it for Russian magazine InRock, and he’s right person to ask some tough questions.

But my favorite thing in this book, in general, is the fact that there’re such bands like Barabbas, Bevar Sea, Dreaming, The Hazytones or L’Impero delle Ombre amongst big names like Candlemass, Reverend Bizarre or Trouble. It was one of three main points for me – to spread the word about such bands that deserve more exposure and more attention from doom fans.

The original artwork as done by Mila Kiselava

Then at some point, you must have realized that this is really was happening? How did you get the right people to team up with?

When I started writing Lexicanum (autumn 2015), I regularly contributed interviews for doom-metal.com. So, I’ve just asked Mike Liassides if he can proofread my English, and he said “ok”. I guess that Tana Haugo Kawahara joined in June 2016. It was obvious that I had too many texts to put it all on one person (who did this entire job for free), and it was a miracle as Tana suddenly did agree to take part into this mournful labor. I’m endlessly grateful to them.  Also, I should mention Mila Kiseleva, she did the original artwork for the book in a period when I had no publisher yet. You can see it on the back page of the book, she caught my idea well.

You work together with Dayal Patterson and his Cult Never Dies company. How did you get in touch with him and were you familiar with his work on beforehand?

One gentleman from the band which story you can find in the book advised me to ask Dayal. It was March 2017, about 85% of the book was written. So, it was the right man. I see that I couldn’t find better publisher indeed. He got my idea, he did accept it wholly, he knew how to run the project (I already had the Facebook profile for Lexicanum, but he knows few more things how to promote such things more effectively). He was the bridge which leads to this brilliant artwork done by David Thierree, who not only caught my idea well but also perfectly fulfilled it in his painting. But no, I didn’t read Dayal’s books before.

Now, the pre-sale has started. Why should everyone get their hands on this book? What can they expect?

It’s a good Christmas present for doom fans. For people who’re totally into this, for those who collect vinyl. Those who still know how to deal with audio tapes… Like in Cathedral’s song “Cats, Incense, Candles & Wine”, you know? It’s a detailed and honest guide through the doom scene, it’s the right choice for those who want to learn more about doom genre. Also, I heard that it help to build relationships with fair ladies and to gain respect in high society.

What is the next project you’re ready to sink your teeth into?

As people ask, and the monkey on my back demands… It would be right to turn on more extreme doom territories. But it depends on few factors, and I suppose that in a month or two I’ll put my foot down.

Get your book here!

Underground Sounds: Mephistofeles – (((I’M HEROIN)))

Label: Creep Purple Promotion
Band: Mephistofeles
Origin: Argentinia

Allegedly, the doom scene in Argentina is booming and as far as I can judge from this release by Mephistofeles, this is absolutely true. The band from Parana in the southern country, have released one full length before and look like they’re into reviving the oldschool sound and look with their band. As far as I can tell, they’re doing a pretty good job at it in fact.

The trio has only been playing music since 2013, but have racked up a solid array of releases. Now, with the light shining on the regional music scene, things might pick up for them, particularly since this album ‘((( I’M HEROIN )))’ is pretty damn cool if you ask me. From its somber look to its classical vibe, it’s a joy to listen to.

The vibe of this record is totally that of an Electric Wizard record. Thick slabs or doom, catchy riffs and the vocals drowned in effects. Now and then an organ provides a bit of a horror vibe, but most of the time you can just surf the waves of the lingering riffs. The vocals display exactly that bite, that you know well from the Ozzy-style doom followers. In that sense, Mephistofeles sticks to what works in their sound.

Though there’s little originality in the sound you hear, the foreboding horror melodies, the slow, steady progression and heavily distorted sound-swamp are classics that captivate time and time again. A track like ‘Transylvanian Funeral’ is a joy to listen to. You can just hang back and bask in tracks like ‘Thrash Lord’ or in the drug haze of ‘Heroin’.

On ‘Addicted To Satan’, we even have mister Anton Lavey playing some calliope, which is a fitting addition ot the ound of Mphistofeles. A great record, lots of fun, but nothing new under the sun.

Underground Sounds: Jupiterian – Terraforming

Label: Transcending Obscurity
Band: Jupiterian
Origin: Brazil

Brazilian masked marauders Jupiterian are back with a bang…and another bang… and another bang… Their heavy death doom (or doom of death maybe?) has shaken up a stir in the music world and I wouldn’t be surprised to see these gents appearing at the cooler, underground festivals very soon. ‘Terraforming’ is the second full length from the prolific music-making gang. São Paulo must have shuddered and shivered…

If you want to know more about this band, check out the interview I did with them not too long ago. Noteworthy is their continuous collaboration with Mories. The man is known for his project Gnaw Their Tongues (and a dozen other projects)  and he helps to create that eerie, atmospheric sound that makes their doom more than just pummeling violence. Add to that the label Transcending Obscurity from India and we sort of have a global project going on.

Jupiterian is a megalithic sounding monster, that delivers massive slabs of doom. Their atmosphere is much more complex though, mixing something very earthy with the plumes of smoke,like a ritual  or seance might offer. I’d describe the sound they blast out on ‘Unearthly Glow’ as cavernous, but it’s simply too big and massive to fit that description. Their music is densely atmospheric to the point where it is really much like a mysterious gathering. It matches with the hooded live show of the band.
The dark chanting on ‘Forefathers’ is one of those special, heavy moments. At other times, the band sounds like an eruption, as if the earth underneath your feet is cracking at the sheer impact of their heavy riffing and bellowing vocals on a track like ‘Us and Them’. Most of the times, the band sounds massive, but the crushing impact of every riff somehow hits where it hurts. Never does it seem like any hit of the bass drum or drop is reckless bashing, it always is just right. The calculated playing makes this album so exquisitely heavy.
Jupiterian has taken some spices from other genres and made a punchy dish of doom for your listening pleasure. This is a new highlight for the band.

Underground Sounds: Battle Hag – Tongue of the Earth

Label: Transylvanian Tapes
Band: Battle Hag
Origin: United States

Battle Hag seems like a D&D players fantasy, but don’t be mislead by the peculiar artwork. This band from Sacramento crushes on their debut album. After a demo in 2015, the ‘Tongue of the Earth’ album is their tectonic offering to the world of heavy doom metal. A worthy effort indeed. It’s only out on tape, so that’s quite an interesting thing as well.

The music of the group seems to be inspired by the big, lurching sound of modern doom. Thematically there’s a Lovecraftian eschatological abyss lurking in their sound and words. The record was recorded in Earth Tone Studios in Sacramento by Patrick Hills.

The sound progresses slowly, with minute shifts and heavy, cumbersome movements. Ginormous riffs create a monolithical heaviness to the sound, but the crushing effects are minimal, as the band chooses for a more languid flow in their sound on ‘Necronomichron’. A twelve minute lasting behemoth of a track, it is completely impossible to resist its flow. More force is on the next track, ‘The Book of Thoth’ with gurgling vocals and abyssal riffs that reach for the heavens in despair.

Battle Hag sounds odly melodic at times, not simply relying on being heavy to create their maximum impact sound. The flow of the sound feels weary and haggard at times, The drums take on odd, almost shamanic rhythms  at times, like on ‘The Tower of Silence’. As if they form a summoning rite for a foreboding storm or a dark ritual. The band likes to add subtle things to the music, to enhance its impact. The cavernous vocal effects on the aforementioned song for example, while riffs seem to evoke a torrentous feeling at the same time really work.

Battle Hag offers a great debut full of little surprises. You’ll find something every time you spin this one.

Underground Sounds: Weed Demon – Astrological Passages

Label: Dissonant Society
Band: Weed Demon
Origin: USA

With a name like Weed Demon, you can already pretty much guess that we’re getting groovy, spacy doom metal from this Ohio quartet. The massive, rocky vision on the cover, which I love, tells everything anyways. It immediately captures my attention when a band like this gets some cool artwork. It shows the dedication to the general drive behind the sound.

So Weed Demon has been around only briefly. These gentlemen have no massive music history, so the quality of this release is especially fresh. Previously the band released an EP titled ‘Stoned To Death’, which seems to have stuck way closer to the more stereotypical stoner schtick. ‘Astrological Passages’ is the thing you should check though.

Weed Demon kicks off with foreboding guitar picking in that dropping doom style. Massive reverb gives the thing a cavernous (or spacy if that fits the title better) effect. The roaring vocals really give off the vibe that one listens to a maddened caveman who’s roaring into the dark in pure rage. Big, lumbering riffs progress at their own pace, sound effects create a foreboding, creepy effect at times. Weed Demon is a menacing beast, crawling towards you. Bringing the sound of Sleep and Spaceslug together in the best possible way.

The sound has a lot of space in it though, regardless of its full pounding force. Every hit of the drum, strumming of the guitar, it just floats on as if in space. Even the lyrics are huge, talking about almost abstract concepts like the immensity and awesome power of space in a burly roar. It’s interesting that the sound still has a lot of groove left thanks to that freely soaring guitar work. I imagine this band really kicking it live thanks to that. My favorite track I suppose would be ‘Sigil of the Black Moon’, thanks to its foreboding, dark lyrics. Here and there the band uses some little tricks to keep you on your toes, like some samples or mysterious chanting on ‘Dominion of Oblivion’.

My favorite track I suppose would be ‘Sigil of the Black Moon’, thanks to its foreboding, dark lyrics. Here and there the band uses some little tricks to keep you on your toes, like some samples or mysterious chanting on ‘Dominion of Oblivion’. It’s a bit cheesy, granted, but the gents pull it off for most of the song to sing sonorously in this meditative style. The music just works alongside it. Weed Demon is heavy, without ever being oppressive. Their music is awesome and that’s why you should listen to this.

Underground Sounds: Spaceslug – Mountains & Reminisce

Label: Independent
Band: Spaceslug
Origin: Poland

They’ve done it again, those Polish space rockers Spaceslug. After their solid record ‘Time Travel Dilemma’ that came out earlier this year and 2016 endeavor ‘Lemanis’, here is the third album by this band, titled Mountains & Reminiscence. A mighty release that sees these guys steer in a new direction musically.

Surely, Stranger Aeons has covered work of this band before. I loved those records (which you can read here and here) and even had a chat with these gents. This album is even more exciting, for the grand artwork of a glorious mountain (I love rocks) and a sound that seems to have turned more earthy. I’m amazed that these guys still do everything themselves, though it allows for a lot of creative freedom and amazing artwork it seems.

The album opens with the solid, heavy riffs of ‘Bemused and Gone’. Surely, the spacy vibe is still there, but the bass seems more crunchy, dirtier than before. The soaring guitar is still there, but it also seems to have been touched by gravity.  The drawled out vocals are in perfect harmony with those guitar parts and create a big soaring feel to the whole music. Where you used to have this cosmic experience, now we’re moving over mountain tops. We’re within the atmosphere on ‘Elephemeral’, with that wonderful wailing guitar.

There’s more distortion and more clashing in the sound, whilst maintaining that particular slow, sluggish vibe that is so typical for the band on a track like ‘Space Sabbath’. The nuances of the sound are more firm and hit home solidly on this amazingly good record. Well, the song is a space song obviously, with fragments of ‘2001: A Space Odissey’ towards the end (the famous HAL interaction).  We end on a climactic note with ‘Opposite The Sun’, a track that does embody a certain sense of drama and grandeur that most of the Spaceslug songs lack in their slow progression. It’s nice to see these gents explore their sound further on another fantastic release.

Underground Sounds: Green Druid – Ashen Blood

Label: Independent
Origin: USA
Band: Green Druid

Doom Against The World

Green Druid is more than just some music, it’s an expression of its times and a way to deal with the world for the members involved. I like that sentiment, even more so because it produces some excellent traditional doom music by this Denver, Colorado group. The band seems to be most amazed themselves by their output.

In 2015 Green Druid releases an EP with some interesting artwork, which would not have really promised the music you’ll find on this amazing release with great artwork. Brad Smalling at Evergroove Studio did a great job in making this record sound as solid as it does now.

Three slabs of songs, clocking a good 30 minutes in total take you along for a ride with some excellent riffing and heavy hitting drums. Opener ‘Pale Blood Sky’ comes on slowly with the toiling, massive riffs. The vocals for amoment seem to not live up to the expectations, but as soon as they catch on to the harmony of the guitars it all melts together in its crestfallen, bleak unity. For almost ten minutes you ride those waves. The sound grabs you with force and does not allow you to tame it.

You can taste the stoner roots in the full, hazy sound of the band and comparisons to the mighty Trouble are therefor not so strange, though I’d add the great Cathedral to that mix. ‘Agoraphobia’ picks up on that thread, but the vocals here sound even more desolate and tormented at times. The slow progression and sheer heaviness of the sound is intoxicating. Green Druid might not be doing completely new things on their debut, but what they deliver is very, very well made.

Crushing riffs take you to the end of ‘Dead Tree’, the final track of the album. The track also had some more gentle passages, but never losing that looming threat in the sound. I think this band might be one you’ll hear about more in the future.

Underground Sounds: V.A. – Drums in the Deep

Label: Bad Omen Records
Band: Wretch, CC Company, Satan’s Satyrs, Wytch Hazel, Spell, The Tower, Asomvel, Flight
Origin: United Kingdom

Using classic imagery from the original Lord of the Rings films (yes, you muggle, there’s an original film with cutting edge animations in its time), the label Bad Omen Records from London presents some of its finest cuts and slices of doom metal to the peoples. A sampler then, with special attention for Wretch.

Bad Omen Records is a small label, with a particular taste for things heavy and classic. Their roster doesn’t focus on much extreme metal but sticks to the more traditional formats, which I think works perfectly fine, It gives an identity and core to the label, which is in this day and age nice and recognizable for fans. Go here for your doom, folks!

Opening up is an exclusive track by Wretch, titled ‘Sweet Revenge’.  The song sounds as if something wicked this way is coming, something just outside the door threatening the listener. The voice of Karl Simon sounds like mixture of Ozzy and Lemmy, evil and seductive. CC Company follow with a supertight, 80’s vibe track. Th rhythm is like a tense cord, with mildly raw vocals by the Swedes. Catchy as hell, this tune! Not sure if ‘World Domination’ will achieve its goal, the sound is a bit dated, but lovable nonetheless. Following that we have Satan’s Satyrs from Virginia, with fuzzy distortion and demented vocals. An change from the tight tracks before, but very welcome.

Wytch Hazel is a surprising next one, with their self titled track. It reminds me of Iron Maiden in the Blaze Bailey days (around Virtual XI). Mellow, clean sung and quite endearing to the listener. You almost want to go back when the biting vocals of Wretch follow this track on ‘Running out of Days’. A really big stadium sound can be heared when the tune ‘Dark Desires’ by Spell is unleashed. Again, Maiden… Saxon.. it has that typical NWOBHM feel to it. The vocals even feel like they’re from that era, though a bit too slick for my tastes. The same goes for the exclusive Wytch Hazel track ‘Surrender’ that follows and Flight‘s ‘Escape’, though its some mellow listening. and quite energetic stuff.

Ansomvel from England plays some sleazy, agressive heavy metal the way you know and love. ‘Shoot Ya Down’ is not a complex track, but a show of force with a Venom/Motörhead-like bite to it. Good stuff! Swedish The Tower follows with a ripping track titled ‘Wounds’. A solid boogie tune with some strict but strangely fitting vocals. There’s a solidity in the flow of the song, which I love and that peculiar vocalist really completes it.

This cool collection ends with ‘Die Screaming’ by Satan’s Satyrs. Screams of despair over a slowly progressing track, that sounds as if it is sliding down into a pit of despair. Wow, just wow this stuff. Bad Omen really wove together a collection that ignites the imagination with an oldschool feel, exactly what you’d take from the cover. Drums from the deep!


Underground Sounds: Spaceslug – Time Travel Dilemma

Band: Spaceslug
Origin: Poland

I got to know Spaceslug thanks to their amazing album ‘Lemanis’ (read the review here). The Polish band truly embraces the spaced out stoner sound like not many band have done in recent years. Unlike the Bongzilla’s of this world, Spaceslug really let’s every riff ride out its trajectory, not trying to go for that constant hitting the heavy riffs.

The  group has now dropped the follow up, titled ‘Time Travel Dlilemma’. On the cover we see the Space Slug travelling into the great beyond. The great print really fits the futuristic, dreamy sound of the band. What I love so much is how this all seems to come so natural to the guys, like a walk in the park. I felt that same thing when I published this short interview.

The trio seems to be taking things a bit more serious on this album. The previous record sounded great, but it is clear that more work went into this new effort. The sound is more balanced, more purposeful. Languid, easy going riffs really float by, nowhere does it really touch that solidity that is familiar from most stoner. It’s really meandering and drifting through space on the heavy but somehow mellow riffs on the titletrack ‘Orion’.

The mis seems to be on purpose a bit hazy on tracks like ‘Living the Eternal Now’, to make the interplay between the notes as smooth and dreamy as possible. Spaceslug have found their niche along bands like Mantra MachineSungrazer and maybe even some Colour Haze. On the title track Sander Haagmans from Sungrazer actually sings. There’s no real propulsion, no earthiness to their sound on this record, which distiniguishes them from the feisty, driven stoner bands with sand between their teeth. When Bartosz Janik is singing, he’s never doing that biting, agressive thing, he just sings to the void. The reverberating bass, the soaring riffs…

In space there is no wind, no weight, no direction and that is translated into the music of Spaceslug. This album definitely connects with the genre at large, but melts in shoegaze and postrock to create a new dimension. Spaceslug measures their force and slowly slides onward to stardom.