Sunday, December 10, 2017

Iron & Stone - (2017) Petrichor

After waking up early this morning and getting my first cup of coffee, before the kids get out of bed and start demanding stuff, I have a few fleeting minutes of time. What better way to start the morning than with a sonic head-butt, courtesy of Germany's Iron & Stone.

The band has been around in one form or another since 2012 and have released a handful of recordings in that time. Starting with their EP/Demo "Maelstrom", followed by a couple of other EPs in 2014 and 2015. "Petrichor" is the title given to the band's first full length album. "Petrichor", is a Greek word that refers to that earthy smell after it rains, a seemingly fitting title for a first LP, a sort of washing away of what you have done previously.

"Petrichor" comes out swinging, straight from the gate with "Avalanche", falling into a heavy doom riff, not unlike something you might hear on any given Down album. Gritty vocals then join in on the festivities. Down is most definitely an influence on these guys and that follows suit for most of the albums 10 tracks. There's also a bit of a southern metal vibe going on here and there as well. A mellow acoustic guitar interlude sits at the halfway point to give the listener a breather, then it's back into hitting you over the head with sludgy doom riffs.

I kept waiting for something different to happen the whole time while while listening to this album, and it just never really did. I'd like to hear what else this band can do, sure they have the chops to make heavy music but it would be a better listening experience to veer off course a bit and shock the listener, make it a little more interesting. If your thing is, as mentioned before... Down, Crowbar and that heavy Nola sound this is one album to check out.   -Adam Walsh

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Reptilian Illuminati - (2017) Dark-Light

Reptilian  Illimunati are a new and inspiring band from Australia. Seemingly crawling out of the woodwork to release a multi-textured, sonic and almost disturbing concept album about aliens, alien abduction and all things otherworldly.

The Reptilians pull this off by exercising creepy, 50's era sound-bytes in-between and around the album. I'm not sure why but little clips from TV and movies always seem cool when used as intros to songs. Bands have been using this technique since I can remember and I always enjoy it.

The clips are set perfectly throughout the album to offset what really sells the concept of the recording. What I'm referring to is, of course, the music. Down-tuned doom metal with plenty of changes throughout... and most often, within the same track. Really giving the album the shade and shine it needs to be memorable. One second knocking you over the head, then the next sending you on a spaced-out acid trip to Uranus.

I've been hearing a lot of really good instrumental stuff lately. Previously closed minded a bit to bands that omit vocals, Reptilian Illuminati have the guts and the talent to pull it off. Production wise, it sounds absolutely huge too. 

Dark/Light is one of the most interesting things I've heard this year, and certainly one of the best instrumental concept albums in a very long time. Check it out on Bandcamp, and put your peepers on their new video for the song "Valentich".   -Adam Walsh

Friday, May 5, 2017

Rodeo - (2017) Rodeo

Rodeo is a stoner rock band from Zestoa, Spain. Their take on rock is one to be heard by all the followers of the scene, both new and old.

I take it upon myself to check out everything that floats down the river of the "stoner rock" canal. Believe you me, that's an unrelenting task sometimes. You have to wade through murky waters, where others fear to tread. Every once in awhile it pays off and you come across something pretty special. Rodeo is one those times.

Not being sung in English is already one strike against the typical music I enjoy, so when an album is completely in Basque it really has to have something going on to keep my attention. The self-titled debut from Rodeo here has that attention gathering thing going on and the Basque vocals do not distract from the grooves that lay within the melodies.

The influences are quite clear right out of the gate, you can tell these guys have a love for all things Kyuss and it shows throughout the album. Kyuss being one of my favorite bands of all time, I get that. I never get tired of hearing that type of desert rock inspiration. I'm willing to bet they even named the band after the Kyuss song but that's just a guess.
(Update: Confirmed by the band. I love being right.)

Some might say it's just another "cloner band" or that the stoner rock scene is drying up and that everything being released is just a regurgitation of something else. I say, that's been the case since day one in music, everything is borrowed from something else. Rodeo puts their own spin on a tried and true formula that has my ears quite pleased. Too much of a good thing is never enough. Bandcamp.

 -Adam Walsh

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