Tag: metal

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: 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.

New Audio: Elephant Tree’s Scorching Live Version of “Aphotic Blues” off “Day of Doom” Live Album

London-based doom metal/stoner rock quartet Elephant Tree — currently founding members Jack Townley (bass, guitar) and Sam Hart (drums) with Peter Holland (bass, vocals) and John Slattery (guitar, synths) – can trace its origins back to 2013: Townley and Hart would meet every week at a rehearsal space nestled behind the now demolished 12 Bar Club, where they actually started cobbling the first notes of what would eventually become their debut single “Attack of the Altacia.”

Townley and Slattery had a random encounter with Peter Holland, who had an almost mythical status in the scene at a local bar. After talking for a few hours, they all agreed that they should get together to jam. The idea was further cemented after the trio caught OM play at The Village Underground — with Holland taking bass duties, allowing Townley to switch to guitar. As a newly constituted trio, the members of Elephant Tree began polishing “Attack of the Altacia”‘s rough edges before progressing onto newer riffs and melodic ideas paired with Holland’s vocals. And yet, the trio felt something was missing from their sound — until they met Canadian-born Riley MacIntyre (guitar, sitar, vocals), who competed the band’s first lineup.

In 2015, Elephant Tree was handpicked by Magnetic Eye Records from an early demo submission that featured a unique blend of stoner rock, doom metal and sludge centered around a warm, syrupy fuzz and soaring vocal harmonies. Their debut effort Theia and 2016 self-titled effort wound up becoming two of the most popular records of the Magnetic Eye Records’ catalog.

Although the band has gone through a series of lineup changes, their third album, this year’s critically applauded Habits finds the band’s sound and stylistic range expanding to include elements of post-metal and acoustic folk paired with unconventional songwriting.

Last year, Magnetic Eye Records celebrated their first decade with the Day of Doom Showcase at Saint Vitus Bar, which featured nine of the label’s acts including the Swedish doom metal act DOMKRAFT and Elephant Tree. Much like DOMKRAFT’s Day of Doom set, the British quartet’s set was recored by Deafheaven‘s and Summoner’s Chris Johnson as part of a set of four exclusive live albums. Elephant Tree’s Day of Doom set is a career-spanning set of what Metal Injection describes as “gloomy atmosphere with head-bobbing grooves.”

“Aphotic Blues,” is the first single off Elephant Tree’s live album and the single is centered around syrupy and sludgy power chords, thunderous drumming, Alice in Chains-like harmonizing within an expansive song structure. And its all delivered with a snarling forcefulness.

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Here Lies Man Return with a Menacing New Ripper

Throughout the course of this site’s 10-plus year history, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering Los Angeles, CA-based JOVM mainstays Here Lies Man. Founded by Antibalas‘ Marcos Garcia and Geoff Man Here Lies Man has developed and honed an attention-grabbing sound that aesthetically bridges Fela Kuti-like Afrobeat grooves with classic Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin-era, power chord-fueled rock.

The Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays’ forth album Ritual Divination reportedly finds the band crafting what arguably may 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.”

Ritual Divination marks the band’s first bit of recorded output as a full-time quartet, featuring JP Maramba (bass) and Doug Organ (keys). The album also continues their long-held and ongoing concept that has the band crafting the soundtrack to an imaginary movie with each song describing and being part of a parritucalr 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.” 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.”

Interestingly though, Ritual Divination finds the band focusing on a a live, more dynamic feel with the band eschewing the fuzz and distortion pedals of their previously released work. The end result is a much more direct and forceful approach as you would hear on the album’s first single “I Told You (You Shall Die),” which I wrote about earlier this year. The song was a lysergic 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.

“Come Inside,” Ritual Divination’s second and latest single is lysergic haze of a song centered around chugging power chords, driving drumming and a motorik-like groove and chanted vocals darting in and around the song’s instrumentation. While continuing in a similar vein as its predecessor, “Come Inside” manages to possess a sinister air.

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

New Audio: Stockholm’s DOMKRAFT’s Scorching Live Version of “The Rift” Off Soon-to-Be Released Live Album

DOMKRAFT is a Stockholm-based doom metal trio that can trace their origins to when its members met and bonded over a mutual love of Spacemen 3, Monster Magnet, Sleep and Hawkwind. Drawing from those influences, the trio have crafted a sound and songwriting approach that blends towering dirges, mind-bending psychedelia and trance-inducing minimalism, embodied by the act’s first two albums, released by Magnetic Eye Records — 2016’s full-length debut, The End of Electricity and 2018’s sophomore effort, Flood.

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.