vrijdag 26 april 2013

Orchid – The Mouths of Madness


Orchid – The Mouths of Madness
Nuclear Blast – 2013
Rock, Stoner, Seventies, Doom
Rated: *****

After a highly promising debut album called Capricorn in 2011 the world anxiously awaited the release of Orchid’s sophomore effort. With an excellent EP called Heretic in 2012 and a teaser in the form of the Wizard of War EP earlier this year that anxiety only grew. For they contained respectively four and three amazing tracks that whispered of dark secrets and rocked like ancient demonic rituals. And so we dive headfirst into The Mouths of Madness! Which goes the route of Sabbath even more and has the ability to swing, sway and groove just as much. With a monstrous hop and bouncing bass and guitar lines that would surely make Iommi smile the definite outlines are there for something legendary. And thanks to a highly rhythmic drummer and a vocalist that haunts and enchants they seem to achieve it as if they were giants from the seventies themselves. It sort of defeats the purpose of waiting for the new Black Sabbath record later this year. For it is already here! And where later this year disappointment looms and might just lay in wait; Orchid is here to deliver something great!

(Written by JK)



The Dry Mouths – And Show Us


The Dry Mouths – And Show Us
Aneurisma Records – 2013
Rock, Stoner, Grunge, Alternative
Rated: ****

Our Spanish friends from The Dry Mouths have delivered yet another superb album. Going from a foursome to a trio will always influence the music. But in this case it has only been beneficiary. For where their second album Moons True Delay Length Wah Foo Era seemed to be teeming with possibilities without ever truly exploring them. Their third album And Show Us seems more steadfast and ready to go do the actual ground work. They delve headfirst into the alternative rock and grunge of the nineties and spice it up with some stoner influences and intense breaks. But it never becomes too much, it shows maturity and shows they have become masters in choice. They explore and experiment but now also have the keen observation to go the simple route when necessary.  And then there’s Dawn Of The Star. Which takes everything done before to a completely different level. Aiming for prog and post and the outer reaches of the universe…

(Written by JK)




donderdag 25 april 2013

Electricjezus - Грязь поколений


Electricjezus - Грязь поколений
Self released – 2013
Rock, Doom, Sludge, Metal, Core, Punk
Rated: ****

Opening with a creepy, disturbing and occult movie offering the Russian duo of Electricjezus sucks the listener down into sludge filled crypts and turbid pools of blood. Their highly electric mixture of metal, hardcore, punk and doom creates a cesspool of raw and violent emotions. On their debut album Грязь поколений, which translates to something like Dirt or Mud Generations, they not only display an uncanny masterful approach in combining the hard-hitting, grimy and fast-paced with the slow, eerie and scary. They also exhibit an insane array of different tools used to produce this racket. Worn instruments, broken instruments and old military metal scraps from Soviet times. It’s acrimonious, dark and above all damn well good! It does seem to congeal the bleed and leave the ears raw after multiple listens; but isn’t that exactly what we are looking for?

(Written by JK)



And ofcourse, Lucas has written a much better review on his Paranoid Hitsophrenic!




maandag 22 april 2013

New Keepers of the Water Towers – Cosmic Child


New Keepers of the Water Towers – Cosmic Child
Listenable Records - 2013
Prog, Space Rock, Stoner Metal
Rated: ****

What is this, which stands before me; prog, space rock, folk with hints of Irish roots?  How can that be, aren’t these dudes Swedish?  Is it metal?  I’m asking too many questions but how can I stop?  … mind … bending … Let’s give the music that catch-all label for all things strange, fascinating, hideous, oblong, unwieldy and/or bulbous:  Progressive.  After all, New Keepers of the Water Towers’ second (third) album can be any and all those things at a given moment.  It’s also been known inside the Hive to be stunning, ethereal, elegant, regal and magnificent.  This is the parentage of the ‘Cosmic Child’, a dichotomy of beauty and deformity.  The New Keepers keep the metal to a quiet roar on this one, preferring to let airy harmonies and ever-changing textures do the talking.  Is ‘Cosmic Child’ an intergalactic journey through the subconscious mind of God?  One could see it that way.  It’s progressive rock, riding rhythms through the cosmic spaceways.  It’s inscrutable music in a fluid environment.

(Written by Lucas)



Roadburn – 2013 – Afterburner


Roadburn – 2013 – Afterburner

Among the blackened remains from the past three Roadburn days there was little beauty to be found at the final Afterburner day. Three intense and beautiful days destroyed much of the possibility of anything good happening during those final moments. And the program did not have too much to offer. When bands such as Sigh envelop the main stage in their chuckle and giggle rituals and a railroad collision such as local band Nihill playing their first ever live gig is booked for the Green Room stage one does wonder a bit. When in the end Spiritual Beggars who delivered an amazing album with Earth Blues falters and stumbles and is unable to keep your attention one should just give up. But we did not and ended up eating one of the best steaks in a very long time. And with our bellies filled we were back in time to see Electric Moon bring back those famous Roadburn smiles. Those worn and slow moving heads bopping like a giant school of fish shifting to disturb all oncoming predators. Ofcourse we saw the same movement and glee earlier on when Pallbearer stepped in for the cancelled Diagonal and during the very open set of Golden Void. Zodiac and Switchblade closed the final moments of this beautiful Roadburn edition. Although next year one might have a more critical eye towards the Afterburner program cause I fear a better one could have easily been realized for half the coin… Still; it’s Roadburn. It’s the final frontier. That last wave that has been rolling across the globe ever since heavy rock came into existence and a generation decided to put their clothes back on and do away with the peace signs. In our Roadburn hearts we are all still the same hippies. And we can’t wait for next year’s love-in… Thanks to Walter for keeping the fire burning…



zondag 21 april 2013

Roadburn – 2013 – Saturday


Roadburn – 2013 – Saturday

And lo and behold the sun was there and did its job. As we traversed the streets of Tilburg to visit recordstore Sounds there was no possibility to not feel the warmth in your heart and bones. Even though the temperature only barely made it above ten degrees. John Baizley was there doing an acoustic set and the store was filled with giddy Roadburn folk looking to score some black magic. The Ocean supplied us a little while later with a flawless set. And Monomyth destroyed what little of our membranes we had left. Wo Fat disappointed a bit. Maybe due to the fact that expectations were too high or because the little Stage01 (Batcave) was too packed with people and the sound could not lift. Jess and The Ancients Ones had the same problem in the Green Room. With a vocalist that could not reach the level everyone expected. It did give enough time to make it over to the incredible Patronaat for the best show of Roadburn: Elder. Incredible! Stirring! Legendary! They simply ruined the rest of the night. For there was no way Godflesh, My Brother The Wind, The Cosmic Dead, Asphyx and Endless Boogie could ever top that… Let’s see if there’s something still smoldering on the afterburner today…



zaterdag 20 april 2013

Roadburn – 2013 – Friday


Roadburn – 2013 – Friday

A little rain never hurt anyone. And with the knowledge that the sun would be doing its thing for sure on Saturday the little drizzle Friday morning felt exactly right. With a small beer we planned the day ahead and soon after headed to Patronaat for Kadavar. We’ve been digging their albums but have not been blown away by them. On stage is an entirely different deal. From start to finish one massive seventies whirlwind storm. With a genuine ‘Animal’ on drums and an electric voice. Impressive. And judging from the reactions in the audience; everyone agreed. The main stage seemed a bit too big for the sound of Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats. But after the first song the band improved considerably. Even so, Hexvessel could not be missed. And a good decision it was. Then came Les Discrets. Insanely skilled and incredibly humble. A few minutes of the old geezers from The Pretty Things. And then Electric Wizard. Close your eyes and drift away or be hypnotized by their background images and miss half of the music. And just as expected a gigantic line outside to get into the Patronaat for Goat. Well; we’ll go slaughter one ourselves and eat some greasy kebab or just drink a few more pints. And on record store day Saturday the program will prove to be even more difficult and awesome… On to Tilburg!!!



Photo's by JJ. Koczan from The Obelisk

vrijdag 19 april 2013

Roadburn - 2013 - Thursday


Roadburn 2013

The  only real problem every year at Roadburn is the simple fact that there is so much or should we say nearly everything to consume. Making it impossible to catch it all. And sometimes one might decide to leave a damn good show to see what the other band or artist is doing. Patronaat, the venue across the 013, which was added last year has improved even more and is a definite plus for the festival. Highlights on the Thursday were Blues Pills, Royal Thunder, John Baizley together with Nate Hall and Katie Jones, Intronaut, The Midnight Ghost Train and ofcourse High On Fire. Monsieur Pike and friends might not have been the tightest this night but they still blew everyone away... Beer gut and all!



donderdag 18 april 2013

Beef Supreme – Royal Bitch


Beef Supreme – Royal Bitch
Self released – 2013
Rock, Stoner, Metal
Rated: ****

The American trio Beef Supreme unleashed their first self-titled EP in September 2012 after having played together for five years. Some seven months later they’re ready to release their follow-up called Royal Bitch. Another four track strong effort that continues where their first left off. Although much of the subtlety of that first one has disappeared and the punk influences and metallic garage sound has become more apparent. Which is highly audible in the choppy, direct and can-like drumming of Lou Chalupa. It still seems to have this weird form of melody interweaving the songs. This is pure rock solid South West demeanor and laid-back attitude mixed with aggression. Add to this the ever present and even more psychedelic voice of riotgrrrl Nikki BelGrande and we can safely say that Beef Surpreme has cooked up another sweet slab of meat!

(Written by JK)





woensdag 17 april 2013

Toner Low – III


Toner Low – III
Bilocation Rekords / Roadkill Rekordz – 2013
Rock, Stoner, Doom, Psychedelic
Rated: *****

Bass! How low can you go? There are only a few out there that truly search for the answer to that question. And Dutch psychedelic doom stoner force Toner Low has been doing so for about fifteen years. And on their third full-sized album aptly titled III they continue this quest and even aim for different treasures. The trio scours through the low-end frequencies while moving at a masterful pace that slows even more when it is needed and speeds up when that is called for. They produce seemingly endless riffs and create mountains with their compositions. Which seem to shift in color every time one even thinks one is approaching the very base of the structure. They luster in a distance and grow with every step taken and every crow that takes flight. It is without a doubt high heaviness that sounds like low fuzz and aims to fill every fiber of your body and soul. And they succeed with incredible greatness and radiance! A definite contender for the Stoner HiVe top 20 of 2013!

(Written by JK)



Death Ape Disco – Supervolcano


Death Ape Disco – Supervolcano
Self released – 2013
Rock, Hard, Southern, Metal, Grunge, Stoner
Rated: ****

A mad fast-paced tailgating rock ‘n roll pursuit that reminds of Kyuss, Clutch, Alice In Chains, Down and many other giants without ever mimicking them. We are talking about a five-some from Brighton England called Death Ape Disco. Indeed. And they bring death to all but metal. A sheer bastion of riffs with lofty walls of bass and towering drums seem to envelop the listener while it gets pummeled by a vocal powerhouse that screams, hoarsely shouts and sings their monkey lyrics at you. It is by all means a southern rock and metal spectacle that borrows heavily from nineties alternative rock and grunge and amazes on every turn taken. For there is much to discover on this album that only assumes the part of a straightforward heavy rock album to lull us monkeys into a false sense of safety. Ever changing rhythms and the tightening of screws that were never loose in the first place give their debut record Supervolcano an explosive edge and an ever growing bulge that can blow at any moment. Pure freakin rock ‘n roll TNT!

(Written by JK)



dinsdag 16 april 2013

Jacknife Holiday – Mea Culpa


Jacknife Holiday – Mea Culpa
Self-Released - 2013
Sludge, Hardcore, Doom
Rated: ****

Jacknife Holiday is heavy company for your delicate ears.  Their lead singer is currently serving time in prison (although he’ll be out shortly), not to make light of a bad situation, but I wouldn’t be surprised to discover he was sent up for kicking listeners’ heads in because that’s what the band does on record.  Their latest effort, a 4-track EP entitled ‘Mea Culpa’, is like a fistfight.  After a short slow intro down a dark alley that can only hint at the coming shitstorm, the heart rate increases as things get heated before a calm washes over the proceedings just as things are about to really fly off the handle.  The eye of the shitstorm, where instinct takes over, is reserved for slow hulking riffs.  The air gets thicker and the world slows down around the band’s raging fury.  Overall ‘Mea Culpa’ is made up of these rotating moments, downhill momentum that comes upon brick walls of confrontation.  It’s a short and intense blast of doom sludge poured into a foundation of hardcore and then whipped into a frenzy.

(Written by Lucas)



vrijdag 12 april 2013

Karma To Burn – Karma To Burn EP


Karma To Burn – Karma To Burn EP
Heavy Psych Sounds – 2013
Rock, Stoner, Instrumental
Rated: ****

After they got back together again in 2009 the three amigos from Karma To Burn seemed to be unstoppable. And together with Daniel Davies and the music of Year Long Disaster it became a touring force of incredible power. Unfortunately Daniel went another way and after almost three years of heavy touring the bomb exploded once again. This time around drum monster Rob Oswald left the band claiming he would not resort to being a liar and a douchebag, leaving the world to wonder what exactly went down. Evan Devine also from their birthplace Morgantown who played with Ancient Shores stepped in to fill his place during the remainder of the tour and on this new release. Six impressive songs that feature three unreleased ones 53, 54 and Space Tune and three new versions of 41, 42 and 47. Shit dogs, it’s Karma To Burn and will always be impressive. Although I will always keep wondering what went wrong between them and the Beardo Wizard…

(Written by JK)



Mudhoney – Vanishing Point


Mudhoney – Vanishing Point
SubPop/Konkurrent – 2013
Rock, Punk, Grunge
Rated: ****

Punks that make rock music. That’s what the HiVe is all about. And whether you call it stoner, grunge, alternative rock, garage or some form of metal, it doesn’t matter. The sub-genre game has gotten way out of hand but luckily there’s Mudhoney who take a broom and a shovel and put all that useless talk under the ground. They clean up on all that silly naming and shaming stuff. For on their ninth album Vanishing Point they portray a true love for punk and rock and only have a few psychedelic ventures like on the brilliant opener Slipping Away and The Final Course. It comes across as an ode to simplicity and everything honest and small. They stick close to their guns both musically and lyrically and with it reassure the listener that everything shall continue on just as it did before, as long as you keep it small. It’s the same kind of philosophy Iggy and the Stooges could put forth. And musically they seem on occasion to be even more tributary towards Iggy and Jimi than before. They’re older now and that’s why they’re excused when they fill the shopping cart instead of kissing the sky Nonetheless, a damn good new album by Seattle’s favorite musical scrape…

(Written by JK)



donderdag 11 april 2013

Tsar Bomba – Silent Queen


Tsar Bomba – Silent Queen
Hellbound Records – 2013
Rock, Stoner, Metal, Grunge
Rated: ****

Gnarly, heavy and foul sounding stoner metal from the capital of France. Tsar Bomba is here to level and flatten the entire globe. On their first album Silent Queen the guys deliver a rough package off incredible drumwork, tight guitar and ever-prevalent bass extravaganza. Add to this a singer that seems to growl, grunt, scream and sing the entire album and one can surely picture the crater that is left behind once the record finishes. It is a smoldering hole of aggressive riffs and hostile rhythms of violent energy and putrid accentuation. Their dynamics seem to grow a pair of their own; probably caused by the fallout from the different kind of strings delivered. Tsar Bomba is not just brilliant stoner metal, it’s an all-encompassing final ride through all kinds of grungy metal towards a highly flammable detonation that will leave every listener overwhelmed, shocked and in awe…

(Written by JK)



And a much better review was written by the honorable Lucas on his Paranoid Hitsophrenic



Ghost B.C. – Infestissumam


Ghost B.C. – Infestissumam
Lomo Vista – 2013
Rock, Theatrical, Pop, Metal, Occult
Rated: ***

My first live encounter with Ghost was at the Roadburn Festival of 2011 and their theatrical performance drew so much away from the incredible music they delivered, one could only chuckle, giggle and dismiss them as every branch on the way down idiots. It kind of destroyed the possibility to truly enjoy their first album Opus Eponymous for it now evokes images of happy dancing Pope ghouls and hooded squirrels looking for their nuts. Nonetheless, I definitely looked forward to their second effort to see if they could keep occult riffing away without resulting in becoming even more of a pastiche. Well, their second album Infestissumam definitely progresses away from all that came before. Moving ever forward towards their theatrical, nay Musical ambitions. Their pop sensible hooks and melodies forgo every belief in their so-called occult offering. If they are in league with the devil, he must be wearing dancing shoes! But still, it isn’t a bad album at all. Just very different and weird. Like a sort of sixties hallowed pop mixture with Scandinavian roots and metal twists. I secretly suspect this is the reason Pope Benedictus XVI resigned. He wants to become a popstar too! 

(Written by JK)



woensdag 10 april 2013

Anta - Centurionaut


Anta - Centurionaut
Thrones & Dominions - 2013
Prog, Doom
Rated: ****

Today we will be looking at an instrumental prog quartet out of Bristol.  On the surface, they don’t seem to fit in to the stoner rock world.  But look a little closer and you will find all the requisite elements are at their disposal: they play heavy, trippy, riffy and downtuned.   Anta play a reverent style of seventies prog with organ that can both uplift and shower horror upon listeners.  But horror music is not the focus here.  Rather, a state of waking daydream fantasy reigns, touched by supernatural elements.  The constant threat of a tangible close encounter with that which should not be is prevalent.  Such is the power and indeed the purpose of prog, to witness the unseen, to tear the veil and see beyond that, which is apparent.  Odd-metre rhythms like slaps to the head and dream-like melodies with thorny branches take the listeners on a bumpy ride to wild mindscapes.  It’s a wakeup call that whatever one can imagine has a reality all its own.  Centurionaut, out June 14 on the band’s website, is a journey to the skyborne realms of Egyptian gods.

(Written by Lucas)



The Tragedy We Live In – The Tragedy We Live In


The Tragedy We Live In – The Tragedy We Live In
Self released – 2013
Ambient, Doom, Drone, Sludge, Post
Rated: ***

Shadows roam the land of tragedy. They trod slowly towards their inevitable doom. And whisper soft secrets of despair and endless longing. Aah yes, the three Belgian musicians from The Tragedy We Live In know what a drizzling eternity of hopelessness sounds like. And every so often a faint glimmer of sunlight bursts through the charcoal clouds. It’s what keeps the listener yearning for more and mesmerized like a frightened little jackrabbit unable to jump away from the approaching noise. It throbs and quivers and shakes the very core of atmospheric metal. And like the jackrabbits, they drift over the lines ever so often and prepare for that possibly fatal shot of adrenaline. That last second duck-and-roll in front of a set of speeding wheels. They preach the truth in an eerie tunage and with tribalistic drums and make it resonate through all their shoegaze melodies and rough outbursts. It won’t be long before there’s blood everywhere…

(Written by JK)



dinsdag 9 april 2013

Queens of The Stone Age – My God Is The Sun


Queens of The Stone Age – My God Is The Sun

It’s been out now for a couple of days. Premiered first on that Lollapalooza gig in Brazil and then on the radio last Monday. My God Is The Sun is the official first single and fifth track from the new Queens of The Stone Age album to arrive on June 3rd… Like Clockwork… So what do you think? Is it a true nine to save us all from that stitch in time?! And Jon Theodore as the new live drummer? I believe they are aiming straight once again… So, Keep Your Eyes Peeled, for after June 3rd it will be Smooth Sailing my Fairweather Friends…







Hammerhands - Glaciers


Hammerhands - Glaciers
Self-Released - 2013
Sludge, Drone, Post-Metal
Rated: ***

Forceful aggression meets epic heaviness on a battlefield of massive sandstone pillars, which swing like pendulums and grind like pistons.  The band got it right when they named themselves Hammerhands.  Their album ‘Glaciers’ is some 62 minutes of hair-trigger tension with the occasional outburst of naked brutality.  Throat tearing vocals, choppy guitars and blunt edged drums lay an unsympathetic beatdown on listeners.  When those pillars get moving, they combine in such a way as to make an inescapable killing field, a maze of death.  It’s intricate and frightening in its intensity.  Hardcore elements mixed with doom, sludge and the panoramic wastelands of drone create a sparse, syncopated open field that feels more like a prison than a picnic.  Wide-open vistas do not always capture the sense of freedom, sometimes they can be suffocating and an unwelcoming doorway to a Great Beyond of personal nullification.  This isn’t for the weak-willed or faint of heart, the first five tracks will isolate and bludgeon the listener with smashing rhythms, closing track “Equus” is a 30 minute soundscape that will finally implode the listener’s skull.  There is no preparation for this Canadian band’s assault.

(Written by Lucas)



maandag 8 april 2013

Giant Monster Attack - Cropduster


Giant Monster Attack - Cropduster
Self-Released - 2013
Stoner Metal, Hard Rock, Doom
Rated: ***

From the rather ‘appetizing’ cover art one might get the impression that this is some kind of punk band or something along the lines of erstwhile weirdo metal heavyweights Green Jellÿ.  Not the case.  Giant Monster Attack music is off the scales heavy, but however heavy in might be it is not suffocating.  There’s the catchy simplicity of rock n roll, full of open spaces and elbowroom.  This music is, in a word, crunchy.  This is pour gasoline along the exits and set fire from the inside music.  Everything about this record is heavy, man, heavy.  The vocals are rude and gruff, they sing of rude and gruff things, earning them a parental advisory on itunes.  The strings are thick, slow burning fuzz barbed with dirty needles.  The drums are an altogether different beast.  At times, Dr. Nick’s drumming can be as robotic and precise as a pre-meditated murder, deliberate and heavy, always adding an element of danger funk to the party.  Did I mention this album is heavy?  With very little in the way of melodic counterpoint the band prefers to throw the listener into the deep low end without so much as a life preserver.

(Written by Lucas)



Back from Budapest…


Back from Budapest…

No good story has ever started with a bowl of lettuce or a Caesar salad being eaten. And so we started with a good beer or two. The trip was wild and ugly at times but looking back at all the experiences from a distance one can only chuckle and giggle about all those silly actions, jokes and insane attempts for something legendary. It made it completely clear that tales of degradation such as The Hangover, Californication and Fear and Loathing are nothing more than bedside stories for little children. Indeed. We topped them all and with ease and even managed to get some work done in the process. All we need to do now is return a statue or two, a herd of turkeys and let loose the dogs of war once again… Don’t kill the strawberries!!!