Archive for August 2020

Monte Luna – ‘Mind Control Broadcast’   Leave a comment

Out now, on Argonauta Records, ‘Mind Control Broadcast’ is the new 3 track EP, from Austin, Texas psychedelic sludge trio, Monte Luna.

Having been in lockdown together, they’ve utilised this time, to create new music, build stronger links with their fans and are back, with a new line-up.

Incorporating heavy, lead-based doom and vivid sludge into their music, conveyed through gigantic sound production and intuitive timing, ML count darkly experimental bands like Neurosis, The Melvins and Eyehategod amongst their inspirations. Building up, from a duo, to a trio, ‘MCB’ premiers the sounds of Danny Marscher (drums) and Garth Condit (bass).

The band have also launched an associated video, in collaboration with CVLT Nation, with a percentage of album sales going to ‘The Lost Well’, an Austin-based live music venue, to help keep it open.

The 3 tracks on ‘MCB’ are live early demos of the forthcoming album, expected in 2021/2022, dependent on Covid restrictions.

This emerging album focuses on the natural human response to life, aspects of mental health and the scope of the universe, whilst retaining the established Dungeons & Dragons theme.

Blackstar – Wooshing intro, onto a sonic blast of rhythmic riffs and drums. Vocals barely audible, in the background. A cacophonous noise envelops it. The timing’s spot on, but those vocals need to come forward. The sludge emphasis is clear. Very muddy. Pained sounds emit from the vocals, but they’re just drowned out, by the rest. Mainly a drum-led track, it could use a bit more melody. Vocals eventually showing themselves, just past the 6 minute, 3/4 in mark. Still, a blur of sound, though. Potentially Tinnitus inducing. Bass playing a prominent part, towards the end, even if it does sound almost out of tune and more vibration than sound.

Rust Goliath – Even more of a noise metal intro, with a ton of industrial sounds. Again, it’s very drum-centred, with background vocals, though they’re clearer, but not by much. Moving into a slightly more melodic arena, but it’s crushed by the overriding physicality. Strong doom sense and it’s definitely got the sludge part down. No excitement to be had here. Just a tinny migraine trigger. The agonised screams actually echo the artistic portrait of ‘The Scream’ and it’s all too believable.

Fear The Sun – A marginally quieter intro, with darker overtones and a bit more cymbal action. Rhythms not in question, but it morphs into another overbearing sound of crashing steel. Those screams in the background gradually come forward and are almost intolerable. Always slowly paced. Melody pretty much absent. I’m starting to want to scream along and not in a good way. It’s consistent rhythms are probably the only thing it’s got going for it. Endless aural torture. Finishing on an echo, mildly resembling that on Sabbath’s ‘Children Of The Grave’ finale.

Overall – Rhythmically sound, but melodically dead. In the strictest sense, ‘MCB’ nails it’s sludge intentions. Same can be said for its atmospheric doom. However, in every other respect, it’s how I imagine it feels to be beaten up, for hours on end, by a mud drenched drum kit, whilst being dragged down, into the mud, with sinking sand beneath. Consistently paced, but painfully, intolerably unlistenable.

2/10 **

For fans of Fleshpress


Posted August 4, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Savage Blood – ‘Downfall’   Leave a comment

Introducing ‘Downfall’, new 8 track album, from Savage Blood. It follows the last release, in 2016, their much revered debut EP.

Amongst their metal portfolio, so far, are a catalogue of support slots for such notably high-profile bands as Voivod, DORO, Exciter, Warrell Dane (RIP), Manilla Road (RIP Mark Shelton), Darkness, Burning Witches, Vulture, Dawn Of Disease, GURD Or Assassin.

‘Downfall’ showcases a return to form, with its modern melodic metal focus and old school drive. An independent release, due to Covid, ‘Downfall’ is available, in CD and 12 ” LP formats and 100 limited edition, see-through coloured vinyl copies, in green/red/yellow. Order from Savage Blood or from Bandcamp.

Downfall – Clear, ominous riff intro, accompanied by light, tinkling cymbal hits. Moving, into a Latin-esque riff and then breaking down, into forceful, industrial tinged heavy metal. Good heavy matching vocals. Grit soaked melody drives it forward, backed up by thunderous drums. Fun, fresh and intriguing, with slamming atmosphere. Imagine a blend of Disturbed, Rammstein, Soulforge, Kyrbgrinder, KLOGR and Queen and you’re close. Fabulous riffs own the track and everything turned up, to the max. Gloriously heavy and deliciously catchy. This is one concerted, cohesive effort, with powerful anthemic qualities. Like a heavy metal wall, slamming into your chest, with full, magnetic force.

Release The Beast – Right into the groove, with fast-paced, rhythmic sounds. High-calibre performance again. Lower vocal tones join the storm of drums and lightning electric riffs. Huge hooks galore. Impossibly strong delivery. A track for endless racetrack spins. Melodically and lyrically consistent, raining down on your head, with a rainstorm of drums. Full flow confidence, takes it to its magnificent end.

Savage Blood – Straight out slamming metal intro again and moving, with the ultimate flow, into a hard edged melody. Massively anthemic group vocals just make this a monster of a track. Relentlessly heavy, the melody’s where this is at. Just a humongously impacting track. Complete band synchronicity and this volcanic entity will not be sidelined, forgotten or ignored. The sheer force and depth of its metallic sound’s like a 10 ton truck, coming towards you, at merciless speed. Brilliant ending crescendo).

Violent Attack – Bang! It’s one of those intro’s). Loving that immediate impressively held vocal pitch. Painting pictures of its themes, straight away. Viciously heavy and unescapably affecting. Fantastically driven pace and rhythm. A destined band, if ever I heard one. Just a crushingly heavy weight sound, you never ever want to end. Beautiful melodies, throughout. This just pushes itself on, with immense, relentless force, till the end.

Queen On The Run – Wild attack of an intro, right into that now familiarly driven groove). Just the most lovably metallic sounds you’ll hear. Such a fulsome track, filled with equal quality contributions and all the time, pushed along, by that indescribably powerful, unstoppable force. Not a single thing out of place. Manna from the Gods of metal. Hugely rhythmic and so, so melodic, all the way. You’ll be begging for that metal juggernaut to just run you over. Power, x 1000.

We Sweat Blood – Electrified riff opening. Battle hymn drumming following. Instantly catchy melody. Uplifting doesn’t even begin to cut it. The whole track soars skywards, with metal victory. The atmosphere within this is just above and beyond. Enthralling riff solo, towards the end and tribal band vocals shout out the message of the title – highly plausible, given this blood, sweat and tears delivery.

Die In Spirit – Fast-paced riff intro, with equally fast drums following. Instantly, a metal pinball machine sound envelops you, at high speed. Just so entrancing. Vocals climbing higher, supported by the wall-like backing vocals. Astounding tones, tackled with precision professionalism. Inexplicably catchy and addictive. Again, absolute note perfect. Gathering pace, speeding on, with the most gorgeous melody. A highly invigorating track, stacked with atmosphere. Ending pointedly and definitively.

Guardian Angel – Gentle acoustic riffs open, deceptively, just before the metallic sound grows and owns it again). A real groove to this, with its beautiful lyrics and melody. Light, within heaviness reigns; no easy feat to nail. Just a hugely affecting, full volume, full-bodied sound, made to be relatable and accessible to all. An outstanding display of catch all, magically metallic sounds.

Overall – As almost impossible as it is to do true justice to an album as incredible as this, to say that ‘Downfall’ hits home, heavily, is a massive understatement. So it’s probably more accurate to say that it crashed into me, like a thunderbolt, from the blue. ‘Downfall’ is one of those increasingly rare albums, which hit you, with such colossal impact, that it defies verbal description. ‘Downfall’ doesn’t just stand out from the crowd. It shines and gleams, like the only diamond on the pebble strewn beach.

10/10 **********

For fans of Soulforge, Kyrbgrinder, KLOGR, Queen, Disturbed, Rammstein, Manowar.

Posted August 2, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Tony Wright – ’17:17′   Leave a comment

Following many years experience of participating in original rock and blues bands, both performing and composing, Tony Wright has now branched out as a solo artist. Taking the lessons learned from treading that well worn path, including the standard album, tour cycle, he’s now poured his energies into his debut EP, ’17:17′. Newly launched, the EP includes shorter, ‘radio friendly’ versions of some of the tracks featured on his forthcoming album.

Your Champion – Delicious melting blues riff intro! Straight into that classy vibe. Vocals just a little too sharp for that sound. Drums well ingrained in the feel, though. It’s a real night time driving song, with velveteen tones woven, throughout. Well structured rhythms, though the volume fades slightly too much, slightly too early. Capable tones, if a bit incongruent for this style of track.

Heavy As Fuck – Drum beats open, onto another powerful blues riff. Vocals unhesitant, certainly passionate and unfalteringly rocky, but still, they’re a tad too metallic for such a bluesy track. No quarrel with the melodic components at all and it’s tangy and zingy enough to keep that intrigue going. Just a notable degree of genre confusion and incongruence, lyrically and stylistically. A better ending, in audio consistency terms. Just fails to gel together, vocally. Also, not a radio edit, in titular or lyrical respects. Still, it’s an undeniably decent song, in and of itself.

Slow Train Blues – Stronger drums introing and the rhythm’s instantly catchy. A great chugging beat and plausible conviction in the lyrics. Here, it moves notably upwards, in a very Clapton-esque, slow hand way. You’ve got to love those sexy riffs and if you don’t, check your pulse now. To say this one well and truly hits the mark is an understatement and the power just screams out of it. Here’s how to make a blues guitar sing. Just want this one to last longer.

Swing Tragic – Cymbal hits intro. It gets a little funky, now, with a taste of mystery and a carefully cultivated motion, from tone to tone. Again, a lot of obvious passion in here and it starts to get just a little 90’s Brit rock, in places, but never loses that palpable blues swing. Well hit vocal notes, well supported by that engaging blues riff phenomenon. Catchy lines and cleverly placed bass. Actually picking up the passion, even more, as it moves towards its end. Just a little lyrically repetitive, at the end, with a slight over proliferation of screams, but it’s not shy and it doesn’t hold back.

Overall – One thing ’17:17′ certainly isn’t short of is volume and the same can be said for expression. So the vocals don’t always match up with the accompaniments, given the bluesy angle, but they do hit the notes well and the enthusiasm’s evident. Its strongest aspect is the riffs, which deliver, every time. It’s definitely got the blues feel down. Vocally, it just needs to chime a bit more congruently with that sound. Generally, a powerful listen.

8/10 ********

For fans of Eric Clapton, Cream, Paul Weller, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Uzziel, Kikamora, Sade, The Virginmarys, Smoking Martha, Mothers Of The Land.–17–radio–edit-EP/1512330521


Posted August 1, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized