Category: metal

Throwback: Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”/Happy First Week Back!

JOVM celibates the first week back in school.

New Audio: Permanent Records and RidingEasy Records Release a Groovy Ripper off the Forthcoming “Brown Acid: The Thirteenth Trip” Compilation

Throughout the course of this site’s 11-plus year history,  Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records‘ ongoing collaborative proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilation series from the 1960s and 1970s, Brown Acid have been regularly featured. Now, as you may recall, each individual edition of the ongoing series is centered around RidingEasy Records founder Daniel Hal’s and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi’s extensive, painstaking research and curation with Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time attempting to track down the artists behind these great yet sadly under-appreciated tunes.

ears — but Barresi and Hall encourage the bands to take part in the compilation process. “All of (these songs) could’ve been hits given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten,” Lance Barresi explains in press notes. “However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.”

Having the original artists participate as much as humanly possible in the compilation process can give the artists and their songs a real second chance at the attention they had the misfortune of missing all of those years ago. And of course, for critics, audiophiles and fans alike, the material on the Brown Acid series will do three very important things:

introduce listeners to some great, sadly under-appreciated tunes that fucking rip or will melt your face right off
fill in the gaps of what was going on in and around regional, national and even international underground scenes during the 60s and 70s
push the boundaries of proto-metal, proto-stoner rock, metal and stoner rock in new directions.

slated for an October 31, 2021 release. Continuing in the path of its 12 predecessors, The Thirteenth Trip sees Barresi and Hall somehow digging even deeper into a very deep well of material recorded throughout the 60s and 70s — and discovering tunes still rip and rip hard.

Initially starting out as Dawn, before Tony Orlando and Dawn forced a name change, the Montreal-based outfit Max kicks off the lead-up to the album’s release with “Run Run,” off their lone 1970 single. “Run Run” is a hard charging and groovy ripper featuring Bonham-like drumming, crunchy power chords and some soulful wailing splashed with a little bit of reverb and some enormous, arena rock friendly hooks. The end result — to my ears, at least — is a song that will bring Are You Experienced? era Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin 1 and early Black Sabbath to mind.

Sadly, the band didn’t last long: The band suffered through poor management and various other factors, so according to guitarist Gerry Markman, the single is the only surviving document of the band and their existence. But even so, this one rips and roars with intent and purpose.

New Video: Spelljammer Releases a Trippy and Brooding Visual for Bruising “Abyssal Trip”

The members of Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) — have developed and honed a unique, attention grabbing sound rooted in their penchant for sludgy, power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

Spelljammer’s third album, 2015’s Ancient of Days was in many ways a rebirth of sorts for the band: it was their first recorded output as at trio — and sonically, the album was a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system. 

Released earlier this year through RidingEasy Records, Spelljammer’s fourth album Abyssal Trip is the first batch of new material from the Swedish doom metal band inver five years, and the album finds the band bridging their early desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their recent penchant for slow-burning, massive, sludgy riffs. Continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. Interestingly, the album’s six songs embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike the band’s previously released material, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the album a brooding and hypnotic quality. 

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.” Additionally, the band employed a much different recording process: the trio opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains. 

Beginning with some ominous film dialogue discussing blood sacrifices, album title track and latest single “Abyssal Trip” is an unrelenting bruiser of a song, centered around rumbling down-tuned guitars, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. There’s a brief respite from that punishing dynamic through a scorching lead solo before the song ends with an abrupt jerk. The song evokes the vast and unfathomable power of nature — and its ability to crush everything and everything in its path. And as a result, the song seems like a desperate howl into the indifferent and uncaring void. 

The recently released video for “Abyssal Trip” features footage of the band performing the song in front of some trippy, lava lamp-like lighting and equally trippy stock footage of wintry forests, of diver struggling to survive in the ocean and more.

New Video: Madagasacar’s LohArano Releases Another Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

LohArano — Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals) — is a rising Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio that formed over six years ago. And since their formation, they’ve develop and honed a remarkably unique, boundary pushing sound that meshes elements of popular and beloved Malagasy musical styles — in particular, Tsapiky  and Salegy — with metal. The Antananarivo-based trio’s sound and approach represents a bold, new generation of young people in their homeland, a generation that respects and honors the traditions of their elders but roaring with the fierce urgency that our moment requires.

Building upon the buzz that they received with their debut single “Andrambavitany” and a handful of standalone singles, the members of LohArano released their self-titled debut EP last Friday. The EP’s latest single is “Tandroka” continues a run of enormous, mosh pit friendly rippers centered around a rumbling, down-tuned bass line, thunderous drumming, scorching guitar riffs and Mahalia Ravoajanahary’s Karen O-like vocals, which alternate between feral howls, screeching and shouting. We can’t have mosh pits for a bit longer — but play this one as loud as possible and remember what it was like to be colliding with sweaty bodies in a dark room.

Directed by Andriamanisa Radoniaina, the recently released video follows the trio as the embark on their every day life, from the band’s members getting up to start their day, meet up and rehearse, write material, play a friend’s house party — before moving up to an actual club.

New Video: Stockholm’s Spelljammer Releases a Technicolor Fever Dream Visual for “Lake”

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

2015’s Ancient of Days was the Stockholm-based act’s third release — and in many ways it was a rebirth of sorts: it was the band’s first recorded output as a trio and sonically the album represented a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth release, Abyssal Trip is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Swedish act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their more recent massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. And while continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with pondering the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality.

“The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.”

Additionally, the album finds the band employing a much different recording process than previously releases: the members of the Swedish act opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains.

Clocking in at a little under 7:30, “Lake,” Abyssal Trip’s expansive first single is centered around alternating sections of crushing, sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing galloping thrash, a gorgeously shimmering, melodic break and a scorching guitar solo — and it’s all held together by mosh pit friendly hooks. “Lake” manages to find Spelljammer crafting a song that evokes the vastness and and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

The recently released video is a uneasy and hallucinogenic fever dream that features grainy Super 8 footage of a devil a technicolor field, pulsating to the oceanic sounds of the single.

Abyssal Trip is going to drop tomorrow release through RidingEasyRecords.

Throwback: Black History Month: Living Colour

Today is the fifth day of Black History Month. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few days of this month, you’d see that I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles that I think can guide you towards understanding the Black experience.

Through the month — and throughout the year, I hope that you’ll come to understand and appreciate the following:

Black culture is American culture
Black music is American music.
Black history is American history.
America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
Black art matters.
You can’t love black art and black artists without loving black people.
Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.

When Living Colour exploded into the scene with “Cult of Personality,” it was a mind-blowing revelation. I loved Metallica, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Tears for Fears and stuff like that as much as I loved Kid ‘N’ Play, Heavy D, Michael Jackson, Motown and everything else. As a boy, I knew I couldn’t be Metallica, Tears for Fears or any other white act — for obvious reasons. But with Living Colour’s original lineup, which featured brothers, who grew up and lived in the area, induing a guy from my dad’s old neighborhood — Hollis! — I could see myself in them. I could be those brothers, playing like that, if I wanted to. Much like Run DMC and LL Cool J, the members of Living Colour were gods in my eyes.

In my book, Living Colour has long been criminally underrated. Corey Glover has one of the greatest voices in rock. Vernon Reid is a fucking beast. And no sounded like them. They should have been like Soundgarden. But such is life.

True story, I briefly met Vernon Reid and Corey Glover after a show at Brooklyn Bowl. They were kind, generous and hilarious. But I never got to thank them for what they meant for me. So thank you, brothers. Thank you.

New Audio: Spelljammer Releases a Bruising New Single

Stockholm-based doom metal/stoner rock act Spelljammer — currently, Niklas Olsson (vocals, bass), Robert Sorling (guitar) and Jonatan Remsbo (drums) have crafted a unique sound centered around a long-held penchant for massive, sludgy power chord riff-driven dirges with dramatic interludes.

The Swedish doom metal act’s third album, 2015’s Ancient of Days was in many ways a rebirth of sorts for the band: it was their first recorded output as at trio — and sonically, the album was a decided move towards a heavier, doom metal-leaning sound. Lyrically, the album was inspired by Swedish author and Nobel laureate Harry Martinson’s epic poem “Aniara,” in which a spaceship leaving an uninhabitable Earth is hurtled off course, sending its thousands of passengers on a steady course in the wrong direction — and there’s nothing they can do about it. The poem ends with the spaceship’s passengers dying as the ship continues on its journey through the vast nothingness of the solar system.

Spelljammer’s fourth album is the first batch of new material from the acclaimed Stockholm-based act in over five years, and the album reportedly finds the band bridging their earlier desert rock/stoner rock leanings with their recent, massive, slow-burning sludgy riffs. Continuing Olsson’s long-held obsession with the vastness of everything, Abyssal Trip derives its name from the perpetually dark, cold, oxygen-free zone at the bottom of the ocean. Interestingly, the album’s six songs embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike the band’s previously released material, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the album a hypnotic quality.

The album’s six songs manage to embody that bleak and dark realm with rumbling and oozing guitars and dramatic melodic interludes. But unlike its predecessors, the album finds the band crafting material that slowly unfurls, which gives the proceedings a hypnotic quality. “The lyrical themes we address, like the ultimate doom of man, and the search and longing for new and better worlds, are still there,” Olsson says. “The concept of something undiscovered out there in vast emptiness is pretty much always present.” Additionally, the band employed a much different recording process: the trio opted to capture the performances live while holed up in a house in the countryside, just outside of Stockholm. “The songs benefitted from the relaxed environment of being away from everything,” Olsson explains.

The album’s first single, the expansive “Lake” was seven-and-a-half minutes of alternating sections of crushing and sludgy doom-laden dirge and menacing, galloping trash paired with a shimmering and gorgeous melodic break, and a scorching guitar solo, centered around enormous mosh pit friendly hooks. The song manages to evoke the vastness and power of a brewing storm over an enormous body of water — and the smallness and powerlessness of humanity.

Beginning with some ominous film dialogue discussing blood sacrifices, album title track and latest single “Abyssal Trip” is an unrelenting bruiser of a song, centered around rumbling down-tuned guitars, thunderous drumming and howled vocals. There’s a brief respite from that punishing dynamic through a scorching lead solo before the song ends with an abrupt jerk. The song evokes the vast and unfathomable power of nature — and its ability to crush everything and everything in its path. And as a result, the song seems like a desperate howl into the indifferent and uncaring void.

Abyssal Trip is slated for a February 26, 2021 release through RidingEasy Records.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Here Lies Man Releases a Forceful New Ripper

Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays Here Lies Man — Marcos Garcia (vocals, guitar), Geoff Mann (drums), JP Maramba (bass) and Doug Organ (keys) — will be releasing their fourth album Ritual Divination through their longtime label home RidingEasy Records later this month. Ritual Divination reportedly finds the band crafting what may arguably be the best rendering of their long established aesthetic The Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays’ fourth album Ritual Divination reportedly finds the band crafting what arguably may the best rendering of their long-held aesthetic — Fela Kuti-inspired Afrobeat grooves paired with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin -like power chords — with heavier and bluesier guitars, while maintaining the rhythmic formula of the clave. “Musically, it’s an opening up to more traditional rock elements,” the band’s Marcos Garcia (vocals, guitar) explains in press notes. “It’s always been our intention to explore. And, as we travelled deeper into this musical landscape, new features revealed themselves.”

Interestingly, the album marks the first bit of recorded output from the band as a full-time quartet while continuing the band’s equally long-held songwriting concept: the band crafting the soundtrack to an imaginary movie int chic, each song applying to a particular scene of that movie. “It’s an inward psychedelic journey, the album is the trip,” Garcia says. “The intention and purpose of the music is to create a sonic ritual to lift the veil of inner space and divine the true nature of reality.” Ritual Divination’s material is self-reflexive but with song possessing its own narrative and emotional arc, rather than the trippy, trance-inducing jams of their previously released material.

Perhaps as a result of all of these changes, the album also finds the members of the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays eschewing the fuzz and distortion pedal driven riffs of their previously released material and focusing on a live, more dynamic feel and forceful sound.

Over the past few months, I’ve written about two of Ritual Divination’s released singles:

“I Told You (You Shall Die),” a lysergic ripper centered a mind-bending and expensive song structure featuring scorching Black Sabbath-like power chord riffs, Afrobeat-like polyrhythm and enormous, arena rock friendly hooks.
“Come Inside,” a sinister and menacing track centered round chugging power chords, a forceful motorik groove and chanted vocals darting in-and-around the song’s instrumentation.

Ritual Divination’s latest single “Collector of Vanities” continues an impressive run of forceful, Black Sabbath-like rippers featuring squiggling keys, thunderous drumming, chanted vocals and an rousingly anthemic hook. And much like its predecessor, the track finds the band seemingly conjuring evil spirits out of the ether.