Posts Tagged ‘stoner doom’


The new record from Californian ‘space sludge’ band Archons is another trip into the unknown, powered by riff and wrought from psychedelica as much as doom. It was self released by the band in October of 2017, and if you enjoy a rumbling, doomy record full of hooks then ‘Lords of Light and Thunder’ is probably for you.

The burning, smoky groove of opener ‘Galaxians’ mixes the thick riffing of the likes of Kyuss or Crowbar but adds a little bit of White Zombie weirdness to it. Gruff vocals couple with the swaggering groove, and yet something otherworldly is in there as well. Strange bleepy samples appear, while the driving ‘Black Lotus’ interjects a little Baroness into the mix. ‘Lords of Light and Thunder’ is a record full of muscular riffing, throaty roars and psychedelic atmospheres; it is difficult not to enjoy the grinding warp of ‘Red Shift Demon’ or the grimy ‘Kid Nitro’ when each chunky riff slaps you across the face.

Not an easy genre to differentiate yourself in, but the spacey sludge effects of Archons helps. Their riffs are derivative but still great, and each track is at least recognisably different from the previous. Unfortunately there are a lot of bands peddling this kind of primal rage filled stoner doom/sludge and it’s going to be difficult for Archons to stand out. ‘Lord of Light and Thunder’ should not be missed though, as it is a fun album with plenty of great moments, particularly the monstrous ‘Mysterians’.


Image result for mother slug electric dunes of titan

I feel like judging Mother Slug by their album title may be unfair, but if there isn’t some serious epic space doom lurking on this record somewhere I’ll be a little disappointed. These Australians are giving us their debut full length after some excellent EPs, and you can expect some awesome Kyuss worship to emanate from your stereos on ‘The Electric Dunes of Titan’…

God I was so right, as the titanic rumblings of the title track loom from the speakers and lonely melodies lurk within mountains of fuzz. Massive, tripped out doom is what these guys are all about, and the soulful ‘Downriver’ wields huge Josh Homme riffs amid psychedelic freakouts. There’s powerful Electric Wizard vibes on the brutal ‘Followers of the Sun’, while the howling, evocative desert rock guitar work is gloriously scorching throughout. Expect the earthy, dryness of Kyuss to merge with the slight oddness of Reverend Bizarre and the psychedelic potency of Cathedral to create something quite special.

Closing with the omnipotent gloom of ‘Cave of the Last God’, Motherslug have become as transcendent as the ghostly dunes of Titan; vast and lonely among the infinite deserts of space. This is a fantastic record, a place with riffs and spacetime can meet in an avalanche of glorious doom.

With a name like High Reeper (God that spelling is going to annoy me through this review) and an album cover like their self titled debut, it’s pretty obvious that within this disc is going to be some stoner related music. But their press blurb says they’re going the Saint Vitus, Orchid and Sabbath way, rather than the Kyuss clones I’m getting tired of. That already is a good thing. ‘High Reeper’ is out on the 3rd of November.

‘Die Slow’ opens this record with a simply jamming groove that, when coupled with the lonesome, Ozzy like vocals, makes this an instant hit. High Reeper tread that line between blatant Sabbath worship and healthy doses of modern rock and roll, and the results are infectious and soulful. The energetic Clutchisms of ‘Chrome Hammer’, the soulful blues of ‘Soul Taker’ and the grinding title track provide a three track salvo of pure doom blues for anyone to get into. At this point, I’m sold. it’d have to go well downhill from here to suck overall.

But it doesn’t! The heavy rumbling open of ‘Reeper Deadly Reeper’ is a lost howl from doom’s murky past, and the second half of the record builds more into classic doom territory, with the sprawling ‘Weed and Speed’ and the insistent ‘Double Down and Let It Ride’ drawing from Wino’s playbook. Nothing however is finer than the monstrous doom rock of closer ‘Friend of Death’, which somehow combines everything good they’ve done all record and cranks it to 11.

If you’re looking for an album that’ll give you that warm feeling the old Sabbath records did, but still cuts a massive modern groove, then ‘High Reeper’ is for you. The hooks are massive, the groove is brilliant and the atmosphere is pure chill. Light up, spread out and get ready to meet the Reeper…

Sadly the death of Acid Goat has come before I really even discovered them, but thankfully Carvetii Productions have dropped both of their releases as a compilation cassette and what a fine piece of merchandise it is. Almost an hour of sublime, stoner doom is about to bulldoze you here, so sit back and enjoy the punishment.

It opens with the four tracks from their ‘Acid Goat’ debut, and the thunderous ‘Demonstash’ which groans and lumbers its way under the stress of awesome Sabbathian riffs. There’s an inherent menace lurking within the thick basslines of ‘Nosferatu’, which sways with malicious intent. That insatiably evil groove is a common theme within the entirety of this release; a rumbling highlight being the visceral Pink Floyd cover ‘Another Brick in the Wall Part 2’. The second part of the tape is Acid Goat ‘II’, a more self assured evolution of the dense groove of the first demo but with a more raw edge.

There’s a little Sabbath, a little EyeHateGod, a healthy dose of Electric Wizard darkness (especially in the mourning melody of ‘Sacrament’) and no lack of herbal influence all the way through this release. I’m glad, even if they’re gone, that I got to experience the groove, the soul and the heaviness of Acid Goat. If you’ve ever enjoyed a slow and heavy as fuck riff storm, then this is for you. Highlights for me are the tectonic opener and the moody closer ‘Brazen Bull’, which drags us off into the sunset perfectly. Get it as soon as possible!

London based stoner doom types Morag Tong (from the assassin group in ‘Elder Scrolls’) have dropped their debut EP, ‘Through Clouded Time’, in late January. I have no

Opener ‘Monolithian’ rises from the humming feedback laden void, and drops into a thick, sludgy groove easily. Shuddering riffing ploughs a devastating furrow through your mind, bringing to mind Electric Wizard, but without the hazy occult vibe. A short but effective first track, that opens into the expansive grinding swagger of ‘Godhead’. Morag Tong are heavy as fuck, and with an overt Wizard influence that plays directly into my wheelhouse. Vocalist Adam Asquith has a primal roar but it is somewhat soothing too, especially as the track opens in to a Kyussian desert doom space.

I’m digging what Morag Tong do here. ‘Through Clouded Time’ is crushing, but every riff piledrives through with a natural, authentic feel. The ‘sunrise over the Mojave’ intro to the title track is pure magic, and there’s a naked honesty about this EP that is endearing. Dashes of early Kylesa peek through every now and then, but Morag Tong mostly go their own way. It is a way that means, by the end of ‘The Eyes of Men’ you are ready to hit repeat and enjoy this wonderful riff paradise all over again

Finnish stoner rockers Centipede are unleashing their debut record, ‘Sarnath’ this year after a couple of well received demos and EPs. It’s due out in March on Inverse Records, and is looking like its going to be a killer. Channelling the groove of Grand Magus, with the atmosphere of Sabbath and the esoteric weirdness of Mastodon.

Opener ‘Drown’ has an immense riff that seems to be carved from stone. The tone and riffing seems to be taken straight from the High on Fire playbook, which infuses it with righteous heaviosity. Mix in some ‘Leviathan’-era Mastodon and you’ll be about right on the sound. Centipede kick off strongly, and the rest of the record keeps that momentum moving. The Killchain is a blog that thrives on riffs, big fat thunderous riffs and Centipede are a band that provide that at every turn.

There is, like any good doom record should have, some stunningly heavy and slow moments, like the earth shaking ‘The Unspoken’ or the swaggering ‘Frostbite’. Centipede feed from that Iommi riff pool, injecting it with an otherworldly, Mastodon-like vocal from Markus Nurminen. I think the ‘stoner’ tag comes from the epic riffs, that I’m sure would be even more awesome through a drugged haze. The melancholy gloom of ‘Abyssal’, the Neanderthal chug of ‘Black Mead’, the lumbering sludge of ‘Midwinter Wolves’; it’s all part of the package that creates Centipede, and it’s a record that improves with each listen.

Imagine Troy Sanders singing for High on Fire, and add Grand Magus’ sense of melody, and you’ll be somewhere close to describing the awesomeness of Centipede. ‘Sarnath’ is a great opening statement for a band who can only be set for bigger things. Turn up, drop out and feel the power of primal riff!

Album Cover - Adrenechrome - Tales From Adrenechrome - 2015

Billed as Canada’s answer to Baroness and Mastodon, Adrenechrome have some mighty shoes to fill. Their new record, ‘Tales from Adrenechrome’ has a cool comic book style cover, and is half an hour of pure Savannah sludge prog with a northern touch to it. It’s out next week.

Opening track ‘A Familiar Face’ has some stunning, Kylesa-esque riffing and spiralling melodies. ‘Lockstep’ is more urgent, like if ‘Remission’ era Mastodon had spent a little more time mellowing out with John Baizley and co. It’s got this great, self assured swagger to it that I really dig, especially when it breaks out this killer blues boogie near the end. An almost stoner doom groove is prevalent, with Clutch-esque croons mixing with a more barked vocal in the rocking ‘Black Brubeck’.

It’s strange to find this kind of sludgecore groove coming from a place like Canada, when the genre is so well identified with Georgia. But Adrenechrome add some interesting twists to the formula to set them aside. The almost black metal section of ‘God Sized Shadow’, that stoner rock vibe on ‘The Heart and the Feather’ that feels so uplifting and the groaning stomp of the excellent ‘Hideous Appetites’.

Closing with the shimmering Mastodon worship of ‘The Led Elephant’, Adrenechrome complete what is a very satisfying listen. Yeah, they ape Kylesa, Mastodon and particularly Baroness, but they do it in such an honest and enthusiastic way it is hard not to enjoy the ride. The musicianship is stellar, the grooves are huge and the riffs are heavy as fuck. This is a great record, despite its unoriginality. Who needs something new when you can make music this good!?