Category: metal

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

Throughout the past handful of years of this site’s 10-plus year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Los Angeles, CA-based JOVM mainstays Here Lies Man. The act, which was founded by Antibalas’ Marcos Garcia and Geoff Man has developed and honed an attention-grabbing sound that aesthetically (and seamlessly) bridges Fela Kuti Afrobeat grooves with classic Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin-era, power chord-fueled rock through their first three albums — 2017’s self-titled debut, 2018’s You Will Know Nothing and last year’s No Ground to Walk Upon, as well as an EP Animal Noises.

The Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays’ fourth album Ritual Divination reportedly finds the band crafting arguably the best rendering of their long-held aesthetic — 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, Ritual Divination is the first album recorded as a full quartet, featuring JP Maramba (bass) and Doug Organ (keys).

Here Lies Man’s fourth album continues their ongoing concept of the band writing and crafting the soundtrack to an imaginary movie with each song being a scene. “It’s an inward psychedelic journey, the album is the trip,” Garcia explains in press notes. “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.” And as a result, the album’s material is self-reflexive: “On this album the feel changes within a song,” Garcia continues. “Whereas before each song was meant to induce a trancelike state, now more of the songs have their own arc built in.” But unlike their previously released material, the band actively giving attempting to give the album a live, dynamic feel — with the band eschewing the fuzz pedals and going for a much more direct approach.

“I Told You (You Shall Die)” Ritual Divination’s swaggering first single is an trippy ripper, centered around scorching Black Sabbath-like power chords, Afrobeat-inspired polyrhythm, and enormous arena rock friendly hooks within an expansive, mind-bending song structure. And unlike their previous material, “I Told You (You Shall Die)” reveals a rawer, more forceful sound than ever before.

Ritual Divination is slated for a January 22, 2021 release through their longtime label home RidingEasy Records.

New Audio: Permanent Records and RidingEasy Records Release a Grungy Jam off Their Soon-to-Be Released “Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip”

Throughout the course of this site’s 10-plus year history, Brown Acid, Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records‘ ongoing collaborative proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations from the 1960s and 1970s have become a regularly occurring biannual feature. Each individual edition of the series is based around RidingEasy Records’ founder Daniel Hall’s and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi’s extensive, painstaking research and curation with Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time tracking down songs’ creators.

Frequently, those bands haven’t written, played or recorded together in more than 30 years — but they 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 explained in press notes for the previous editions of the compilation. “However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.”

Of course, having the original artists participate as much as possible in the compilation process can give the artists and their songs a real second chance at the attention they missed all of those years ago. And for critics and fans, the songs on the Brown Acid compilation series can often fill in the gaps within the larger picture of what was going on in and around both regional and national underground scenes at the time. The eleventh edition of the Brown Acid compilation series, Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip is slated for release on October 31, 2020;

Much like its predecessors, the eleventh edition of Brown Acid finds Barresi and Hall digging even deeper into the well of material reduced to obscurity to find new jams we should all know and love. Brown Acid: The Eleventh Trip’s latest single, “Something Else” by Tacoma, WA-based act Adam Wind was originally released in 1969 — and the track, which sounds a bit like Jimi Hendrix Experience with is centered around Leroy Bell’s groovy crooning. propulsive cowbell-driven drumming and fuzzy power chords and a scorching acid-tinged solo. In some very small way, the track seems to presage both Mudhoney and Pearl Jam.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays R.I.P. Releases a Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Over the past handful of years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Portland, OR-based doom metal act and JOVM mainstays R.I.P. And as you may recall, with the release of their first two albums, 2016’s In The Wind and 2017 ‘s Street Reaper, the Portland-based doom metal act quickly established a grimy, punishing and depraved take on metal that they dubbed Street Doom.

The Portland-based JOVM’s long-awaited, third album Dead End is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through RidingEasy Records, and the album’s sound is the result of the band going through a massive lineup change that involved the addition of a much more aggressive rhythm section. while also drawing from a broader and more diverse array of influences, including John Carpenter films, grungy professional wrestling and lo-fi hip-hop among others. In many ways, the album’s material is a decided move away from their earliest influences — i.e., Pentagram and Saint Vitus — and yet it may arguably be the most hook-driven batch of songs of their growing catalog. However, despite all of the other changes, R.I.P.’s thematic concerns have remained the same as always: death, insanity — and leather.

So far I’ve written about two of Dead End’s previously released singles — the Black Sabbath-like “Out of Time,” and the Headbanger’s Ball/Kill ‘Em All Metallica-like album title track “Dead End.” Dead End’s third and latest single “Moment of Silence” is another Headbanger’s Ball-inspired ripper, centered around enormous power chords, howled vocals and a mosh pit friendly hook — but with a cinematic quality that belies the scuzz and grime. d

Live Footage: The Death Wheelers Perform “Ditchfinder General”

With the release of their full-length debut, 2018’s I Tread On Your Grave, the rising Canadian act The Death Wheelers — Max “The Axe” Tremblay, Richard “Bastard” Turcotte, Sy “Wild Rye” Tremblay and Hugo “Red Beard” Bertacchi — have developed a sound that’s largely inspired by the aesthetics and ethos of bikesploitation movies like The Wild Angels, Werewolves on Wheels and Psychomania — and Dave Allen, The Cramps, Motörhead, The Stooges, and Grand Funk Railroad.

The Canadian metal act’s forthcoming album Divine Filth is slated for a September 11, 2020 release through RidingEasy Records, and the album will reportedly continue the band’s reputation for crafting, sleazy, head banging instrumental anthems that also simultaneously serve as the soundtrack for fictional bikesploitation films. While naturally centered around power-chord driven riffage, the album sonically finds the band drawing from Motörhead, The Cramps and Dick Dale.

Recorded in a breakneck series of live sessions, Divine Filth is all killer, no-filler, no bullshit scuzzinness with a layer of juvenile crassness that happily recalls Troma Films. Their sophomore album is loosely based around a fantastically dumb yet pretty fucking awesome plot synopsis: It’s 1982. Spurcity is run-down,The crime rate is up and so is drug use. A new kind of kick has hit the streets and it ain’t pretty. DTA, a powerful and highly addictive hallucinogenic drug, is transforming its loyal citizens into undead trash. Its users experience an indescribable high, but it leaves them rotting away within days, craving human flesh. No one knows who is dealing this new potent drug, but rumour has it that the motorcycle cult, The Death Wheelers, is behind this concoction. Could this be the end of civilization as we know it? What is motivating this group of psychotic individuals?

Last month, I wrote about the sludgy, The Sword-like album single “Corps Morts.” Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Ditchfinder General” is arguably the most expansive ripper they’ve released to date as it features elements of Dick Dale surf rock, crusty Headbanger’s Ball-era riffage  and dashes of prog rock experimentalism — thanks to an atmospheric and brooding bridge. Continuing their reputation for a cinematic take on metal, “Ditchfinder General” sounds as though it would be part of a movie’s key scene — in my mind, it’d be early on, when the protagonists and antagonists are introduced and defined to the viewer. 

 

Stefan Wenger · Singularity

 

Stefan Wenger is a Swiss-born and-based guitarist, who can trace the origins of his music career to when he was a child: during an open day at music school, Wenger was immediately enthusiastic about guitar. He then took three years of acoustic guitar lessons. followed by another three years alternating between acoustic and electric guitar.  And because he enjoyed playing electric guitar, he took another three years of rock guitar lessons.

Wenger’s guitar teacher taught him all of the techniques he knew, so they then focused on composition and songwriting. He played some of his first gigs with his guitar teacher, including a set at a local street music festival. Wegner than taught himself metal guitar techniques through a series of instructional techniques — and shortly after, he joined his first metal band, which allowed him to improve his technique. Interestingly, around the same time he also started a solo career, releasing his own progressive and melodic material through YouTube.

In fact, by 2013, the Swiss guitarist had stared to release a steady stream of material through a number of digital platforms — including Spotify, iTunesAmazon, Bandcamp and others. After some time, the metal band broke up and since then Wenger has focused on his solo career. 

Wegner’s latest single “Singularity” is an expansive and cinematic composition thats one part prog rock, one part metal centered around layers of enormous power chords played with an expressive bit of tremolo and a bluesy panache.

 

 

 

New Video: Madagascar’s LohArano Releases a Boldly African Take on Metal

Formed over five years ago, LohArano is an emerging Antananarivo, Madagascar-based trio featuring Mahalia Ravoajanahary (vocals, guitar), Michael Raveloson (bass, vocals) and Natiana Randrianasoloson (drums, vocals)  that specializes in a unique sound that meshes popular and beloved Malagasy music styles — in particular, Tsapiky  and Salegy — with metal.  The Madagascar-based trio’s sound and approach represents a a bold, new generation of young people, who respect the traditions of their elders but while roaring with the urgency of our moment. 

The Madagascar-based trio’s official debut single “Andrambavitany” is centered around a shimmering and looping guitar lines, an enormous power-chord riff-driven, mosh pit friendly hook, thunderous drumming paired with a brash and forceful delivery to create a unique sound: a boldly African take on metal — or a boldly metal take African music that roars, kicks ass and forcefully taking names, but while being defiantly pro-Black and pro-women. “Andrambavitany,” as the trio explains plays on the Malagasy word for “fallen nature of the Malagasy women.”

VThe recently released video is split between footage of young women stripping and the band kicking ass  — with the video expressing a misunderstanding the need for these young women to strip and show off to others on social media. The video points out that a very modern phenomenon among young people everywhere — that everyone is desperate to show off and be an influencer or be popular.