Friday, January 6, 2017

Majestic Sun - (2016) Turbulence

Belgian four piece Majestic Sun have just released their first full length album. Proving that they mean business, they take everything that is righteous in heavy music, throw it in a blender and have really puréed up one fantastic record.

"Turbulence" is the name given to this juggernaut, and I can't think of a more fitting title for something this mixed and varied. The band takes old school desert rock, ala Kyuss and Los Natas with some of the more diverse progressive metal out there, think Pelican and Tool. While not sounding exactly like any of these bands, but obviously taking those influences to heart and putting their own spin on things.

Right from the beginning, the album opens with a psyched-out groove, then in mere seconds hits you over the head with the chugging riff, really setting the tone for the rest of the album. The vocals are as varied as the music, from clean to screaming and everything in between. Sometimes reminiscent of the late and great Gruntruck/Skin Yard vocalist Ben McMillan. The whole album indeed takes the listener on a turbulent ride, and one that ends too early. One of the better releases I've heard all last year. These guys demand attention, and I certainly hope they get it.

The only thing I can recommend to the band, is to lower the price of admission on the files a bit. I know that people are dissuaded by a hefty price tag on digital downloads. Even though the album is definitely worth it, most are turned off by this. Available as digital download and compact disc via Bandcamp. Please give it a listen, you'll be glad you did. Highly recommended. -AD)))AM

Monday, December 26, 2016

Goat Wizard - (2016) The Book of Goat Wizard

If you look at Goat Wizard's Bandcamp site, they cite all the common tags usually associated with the music I gravitate to. Doom, psychedelic, stoner etc. Sure all of these would certainly fit within the context of what the band does, but there seems to be one tag missing here, and that would be punk rock. Within the sounds on their latest release, simply titled "The Book of Goat Wizard", if you read between the lines, there is a definite middle finger in the air and an ever present punk sneer to the songs.

Boasting tongue in cheek lyrics about Satan, witches, demons and horror movies "The Book" could have been written by Stephen King, if Steven smoked up and prayed to the almighty riff. Like I said earlier there's a lot of fast-paced almost punk qualities, but there's also quite a bit of psychedelic noodling going on as well, often within the same track. A huge nod to Black Sabbath can be heard on "Beyond the Stars" and on "Devils Daughter" the band slows things down for about half of the song lulling you into a quiet place... then before the track ends, it knocks you back with an onslaught of killer riffs and traditional doom pyrotechnics.

Goat Wizard is a band out to make a spectacle of themselves, not only musically but with their stage show as well. Donning strange masks and robes. Sure it's been done before, but I can appreciate a little theatrics. It beats watching a group of guys staring at their shoes, or looking at an oil painting on stage for an hour and a half. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you'll find something to like here. Put an ear on it, check out the video below. Buy the album on Bandcamp, give em a like on Facebook. Do something.   -AD)))AM

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Alcaloid - (2016) Alcaloid

Alcaloid is a spaced-out metal band from Santiago, Chile. They just released their debut album, a self-titled affair that goes beyond conventional song structures and sets the tone for a really mature sounding record, full of plenty surprises during its nine tracks.

Combining the off-kilter metal sounds of Voivod, with the almost nu-metal tinge of Korn... add a bit of early 90's grungy grit with some progressive elements and you've got something that doesn't sound like anything else out there.

The main focus, as always with the music I like is the guitar, and there's plenty of heavy riffs here, and they are upfront in the mix on most of the tracks. What really makes it interesting and unique is the synth work, it's kinda buried underneath the heavy guitars, and you almost don't even notice it unless you are really paying attention. Combine all these elements with a bunch of cool movie samples sprinkled in here an there, and you've got a really exceptional listening experience. 

Unlike a lot of records that I hear, this one I believe has a great replay value. One that you can listen to multiple times... each time hearing something new that you didn't hear the previous time. These guys aren't your run-of-the-mill stoner metal band, this is some thinking mans metal, and deserves some attention. Dig it. -AD)))AM

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