Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – Flooding The Feed

For many of us, this winter has been one for the record books in terms of weather systems. Flooding out west has become the norm, reservoirs are overtopping, roads are giving way, and mountains are being crushed by record snowfall. A lot like the current weather, bandcamp continues to over pour its feed with stellar output both saturating the scene and washing away any doubt that music has hit a plateau. Today I flood you with another round of bonanza picks. 

The Soul Jacket – Black Cotton Limited
The Soul Jacket wraps us with a heavy layer of baby making blues. The soft, delicate textures combine with deep sultry vocals and down home southern rock bliss providing the soundtrack to every man's desire and each woman's heart. As my bandcamp compadre Steve Rodger always says, " GODS HOLY TROUSERS!" Ya this is that good. Think the Spaniard equivalent to Blackberry Smoke.

Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree – Medicine
The only problem with this 'Medicine' is that the utterly spellbinding, doom-driven ambiance only fuels the psychedelic flame of dirge lit riff worship. If you're looking for a cure, you're in the wrong place. If you wish to slather your craving for euphoric blues with the sweet nectar of atmospheric doom then you've come to the right place.

Regulus – Smoke
This is excellent. Took me a while to find but I'm glad I did (Sergeant Thunderhoof brought me here). High octane, smokey blues with a hard rock backbone and grizzled vocals that sear like a hot hibachi. Favorite track: The Dregs.
I grabbed the full discography for 30% off a couple weeks ago and there isn’t any bad material. This is smoking folks.

Red Bowling Ball – Alongside the Traveller
Red Bowling Ball delivers all strikes with a damn near perfect game of heavy ass blues. Alongside the Traveller is both an invigorating listen as it is an example of artistic grit and pummeling rock and roll ecstasy.

Val Cale – Black Stuff
The ringing psychedelics permeate with progressive blues, balanced by heavy grooving riffs and cool, crisp vocals piercing like a primitive spear through a savage summer hide. Black Stuff Matters!

Holy Monitor – Holy Monitor
Holy Monitor were somewhat of a random find but what I heard was convincing enough with just a song available on pre-order for what seemed like ages. Low and behold upon the official release we are greeted with one of the more complete, well balanced, modern psych rock albums I’ve heard in some time. Wide open and spacey at time, the vocals reverb with a mellow intrigue and the jangly pop riffs bounce amongst progressive hooks and retro keys. This is a very intriguing listen from start to finish. I can’t quite pin it down to one particular style.

3 Wheeler Band – Space Tribe
I agree with the rest. This is fast paced, groove laden, heavy rock n roll. Bluesy solos, trembling bass, and grizzled vocal chops make 3-Wheeler Band more than just a dangerous ATV with guitars.

The Legendary Goodtimes – This is Rock & Roll
This is Rock & Roll certainly brings us the goodtimes. If your idea of good times is rock solid rhythm reinforced with groovy ass bass, walloping drums, funk driven guitar riffs and blues infused vocals crusted in soul, you're bound to bob your head in unison with a perma-smile intact.

Take a moment to digest if needed. I’ve attempted to match the weather as mentioned, and this is just one storm system of riffs to plague the digital campgrounds. Forecasts are showing 100% chance of killer riffs, landslides of stoner fury, psychedelic undercurrents of doom, and atmospheric rivers of rock and roll in the coming months. Be prepared. You might want to stock up on supplies. Head over to to ensure your safety.

 -The Huntsman

Friday, February 24, 2017


Award-winning pop/soul artist Chris Youmans is releasing a new stripped down live video of “Make Things Right”, the funky lead single from Christopher Youmans & The Sound Agency’s 2016 debut EP of the same name.

Youmans debuted the single last January on music blog Under The Gun Review. The site described the tune as, “Boasting beats that would make the late James Brown blush, Christopher Youmans & The Sound Agency are funky with a capital “F,” drawing influence from any and everything that is catchy and dance-inducing” (

Chris Youmans & The Sound Agency came to life in 2013. At the group’s core is a collaboration between Youmans and multi-instrumentalist Colin Deas, who Youmans met while studying music at UC Berkeley. The Sound Agency takes the best elements of classic and modern pop, rock, funk, and soul and weaves them around Youmans’s truly infectious songs.

The band released their debut EP, Make Things Right, in February 2016 to a sold out crowd at Neck of the Woods in San Francisco. Following the release, the band moved from Berkeley to Los Angeles and has begun touring tirelessly on the west coast. This summer they will be making their debut at several California festivals and working on their next release.

The Make Things Right EP is currently streaming on Spotify:

2/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Mint LA
3/4 - San Diego, CA @ Seven Grand SD
3/10 - San Francisco, CA @ The Hotel Utah Saloon

More tour dates TBA. Please get in touch with Colin at for additional tour information.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

TALIA - Thugs They Look Like Angels

This three-piece band from Los Angeles and Paris, France is another band that takes their sound from the ‘90s when punk, grunge and rock collided and gave us the alternative rock nation. The lucky thing is that this band takes that and runs into the present with enough energy and talent to surpass a lot of bands from back then that were just generic and boring.

The sound on this album surprised me, it was tight, angry, but not bitter and jaded or bored sounding like the ‘90s bands, instead it had the ability to take the anger and play furiously and with heart. Opener “American Bride” is a catchy and tight piece of music that instantly gets the chorus stuck in your head and was the perfect song to start the album with. The band hits the ground running and makes you look forward to the rest of the album. After the slower, but not slow song “Play Dead,” they come back with “It’s Been Oh So Long.” The song is more in the punk vein with its fast pace and gritty sound. The bass is thicker than fog in London and the energy could light up the city. The album definitely brings to mind the ‘90s, but luckily they manage to keep things interesting enough to make you want to hear more and not think that they are a bland knock-off. The energy and raw talent that is present really takes the songs up quite a few notches from the generic music that is out there passing for rock nowadays. “The Flood” is the only slow song on the album, but it’s not a bland song by any means, it’s just slow, but done really well and a nice change of pace from the rest of the album.

The album really has a lot going for it and with songs played as tightly and with the passion that you can not only hear, but feel, it makes for a great listen. This is the kind of album that you can put on when you are having a party and it will keep the vibe high and get the drinks flowing.

-Rick Ecker

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Ripple Conversation With Claus Larsen

Claus Larsen is an artist I have admired for a long time. It all started way back in time, the early 90’s, when my best friend, by chance, played two albums for me, 'Science For The Satanic Citizen' and 'Solitary Confinement'. Both recordings grabbed me immediately and immensely and has stayed with me ever since. Those two LPs were created by none other than Claus’ fantastic band Leæther Strip, one of the forerunners of Electronic Body Music, if you ask me. Therefore, when he released ‘Spæctator’ towards the end of 2016, I thought it was time – finally – to talk to Claus about the past, the present and the future about his amazing band Leæther Strip and what inspires him to keep going after nearly 30 years.

How did Leæther Strip start, Claus? And where did the band name come from?

Since 82 I was playing in different bands, mostly Synth-Pop bands. But I never really felt home in a band. I was always the one in the band who had a clear idea where we should go and how hard we should work. I just had too many ideas, and ended up doing all the hard work myself. Got tired of fighting with my band mates instead of creating good music. Most of the other members were also in it for the wrong reasons. I never gave a shit about fame, it's all about composing songs that moves people in some form, and makes them think or let some steam out, or both. Sadly it always ended up with the other members getting lazy. I wanted to be a recording and performing artist with every fiber in my body. It was not just a dream. I know it would happen if I worked hard enough, and I never met any other musician around here with the same passion, so one day I just had enough with bands. I took all my gear from our rehearsal room to my flat and that day Leæther Strip was formed. There is no deeper meaning with the name other than I wanted to name that had an aggressive feel to it without sounding like some Death Metal act.

Leæther Strip went from a more strict EBM/ electronic-industrial sound to incorporate more of a dance music feel, which you termed symphonic electro. What brought on this change?

Well I think I have always had all elements in my music. Melody is very important for me, but I also like to go nuts and very aggressive. We all have dark and bright sides in us, and I love to explore that when I'm writing songs. I didn't put myself in any box, the listeners did. I am a fan of many different genres, all I need in music is heart and passion and lyrics I can relate to, so I get my inspiration from many scenes. I like to keep a sense of hope in my songs, even though it does sound very dark and aggressive at times. I don't think when I write really, it just comes out of me when I sit down and open my mind. As life changes we all hopefully grown, and once in a while return to something familiar. And now you've steered Leæther Strip back towards the more harder physical stance of the early years, while still incorporating the melodic dance side. Yes the new album is very “Leæther Strip”, but again you still have very melodic songs, and some aggressive songs. For me it's one of my most important albums ever. After my Mother died I had so much I needed to get out of my system. Old very bad memories I had suppressed popped up again, and I needed to deal with them the hard way, and most of these songs were my therapy for that.

You took a break between 2001 and 2005, what happened?

I had enough with the music industry. People who I saw as family turned out to be vultures and I just had enough. But not creating music is very bad for me, it led to a deep depression, which I am still battling with every day. But composing songs is my only and best medicine. So I am never taking a break from that again.

Leæther Strip has built up a huge, impressive discography of albums, singles, EPs and appearances on compilations and remixes. How and where do you find the energy, creativity and inspiration to keep all this going?

Passion. I love what I do, and I wouldn't be here if I didn’t have this outlet. After a few hours in the studio, I am a very happy man. Buying that Moog Prodigy synth when I was 14 was a life saver. After 29 Years as Leæther Strip, I am still living my dream. I've seen the world and met the most amazing people because I bought that Synth back then. Besides Kurt, composing and performing my songs is what I live for.

Apart from the passion you pour into Leæther Strip you are active in Klutæ. Why did you start this band?

Klutæ (Klute) back then was started by chance really. I needed some inspiration and I started to play around with guitar samples and metal drum sounds, just for fun really. Zoth Ommog, my label back then, heard it and wanted it released right away.

And Klutæ ran side by side with Leæther Strip for quite some time but then laid dormant for 10 years. What happened?

Klutæ was not supposed to be more than that first EP “Explicit”, but it sold out so quickly that they label asked for an album. So I used and still use Klutæ as a playground to experiment and just have some plain old fun. It's all done very spontaneous and in the moment.

You also play in two other bands, Am Tierpark and Sequential Access. Tell me about them, if you don't mind.

Sequential Access is an Old-School project I created together with Marco Defcode from Decoded Feedback. We had a lot of fun making that album, but if there will be more, I can't say yet. On the other hand, Am Tierpark is not a side project, this is a “real” band. John Mirland, writes all the music, and me who sings and write the lyrics and melodies. I started out doing Synth-pop in my teens, and I always dreamt of doing it again. I then met John, and we shared the same kinda dream of making this type of synth-pop with a deeper meaning that just “tra lala doo bi doo”. We are both fans of the early Italo and Synthpop bands, so we tried to make a few cover versions to see if it would work. And John and I are just a perfect match, I finally found a guy with the same passion and the will to works hard as myself. We just released a 12” vinyl/digital titled “Cherry Blossom”, and we are now working on our second album.

In the last couple of years Leæther Strip has toured quite a lot as well as appearing at festivals. Is it hard to pick out a play list? I mean you have so much good stuff to choose from but only have so much time on stage each night.

Yeah, since 2008 we've been on a never ending tour, and it's still going. I am so happy that I returned to the stage and that I can share this with my husband Kurt. Sadly he can't do as many gigs as he used to, so I take the overseas ones alone. Making setlists for an “old” band like mine is very hard especially for festivals, where the set lengths are shorter. But I always try to fit as many “classics” in as I can. Playing live is just as important for me as writing the songs. I've learned that the best for Leæther Strip is to play 80% of songs people know and then pop in some rare or new songs.

You do a lot of remixes and covers of other bands songs, how did you get into doing this? Is it hard to get approval from bands to make remixes as far as copyright goes?

The remixes I get hired to do by the labels or the bands. For covers, I always ask the bands. Most of the bigger bands don't bother to answer for some reason, but over here in EU you can cover any song if you don't change in the composition, meaning you can't change words or melodies. For that you need permission from the band or their publisher. And if you release it you pay a % to the rights holder.

Your new album Spæctator is out on Rustblade but a lot of your work has been released by yourself. Do you prefer to do it DIY or have a label involved?

Yes Rustblade got the new album to release. I loved doing it on my own, but with all the shows and song writing, it was just too much for a one man band to handle. Also the financial stuff like making vinyl and special boxes, I can't afford. So I went with a label again.

Spæctator to me is a mix of early Leæther Strip - especially the beats and the vocals - while all the other synth parts are melodic, suggestive and dreamy(in lack of better words). To me these contrasts, if you like, works excellently together. Was this a conscious decision or is this how the songs simply turned out?

I never think about what I am going to do when I write the songs, it just builds slowly. Half the time I have no idea where a song is going, but as soon as I get a lyric topic idea I kinda know what mood a song will have. I usually start with a simple drum loop and then improvise some basslines until I got something I like, and then build from there. I have always tried to make albums that I wanna put on and listen to the whole album from start to end, and not get bored. If I'm bored with a band's album after I am half through it, it usually doesn't get to be played again. I need to be sucked in, and that’s always been my goal. I hope peoples focus will return to albums again and not always focus on the singles. Putting contrasts into the music and between the songs is always good if you ask me. Albums live forever if they capture the listener. I'd like to think that my fans go back and find an older album of mine and put it on and and it takes them back to some memories or events.

I totally agree! Different albums or songs bring back different memories and that's how it should be.

Do you listen to other bands while writing and recording? A lot artists and bands say they keep from that so they can focus 100% on their own music.

I listen to others’ music and all sorts of genres all the time, though most of the time it's while driving in our car. Because while I'm home, I spend most of my time working on my own songs or working for others, mixing, mastering or remixing. To be honest, and it might not be the most popular thing to say, but I think that many recording artists aren’t too keen on talking about what other artists they listen to, especially if it is bands from their own genre or scene. I don't get it, but I guess it's an ego thing, or they think people will think they are not as original as they want them to think. I have been addicted to music since I was 4-5 years old. I come from a home where the radio was playing from dawn to bedtime. My Dad was a jazz musician before I was born and he would play old swing and jazz records for me all the time. As a self taught musician I learn by listening, I also think that is why I love doing covers of songs I love as a hobby and in between composing my own songs. I even dream music, and many of my songs are the result of these dreams.

Spæctator took a few years to complete but you worked on Am Tierpark's debut and several EPs at the same time. Did this work process and long time frame helping making Spæctator the great album it is?
Thanks. Yes I'm sure it did. I am also remixing/mixing and mastering for other bands so I get new input constantly from so many talented people. And sure it rubs off on my own songs. It's always been like magic to me when a new song is taking form, I still feel the same rush when I can put what I have in my head into my songs. I dream music still and many of my song ideas comes from dreams or nightmares.

Where did you get the inspiration for Spæctator? To me, it seems you have an even mix between happy and sad themes?

To put it very short. My beloved Mother was my last link to a family who never cared about me or my husband, also during my childhood. I have all my life felt like a spectator to my own family. I fought all my life to be loved and accepted by them without any luck, and the day my Mother died, I felt such a release. Yes it sounds harsh, but I finally didn't have to fight for their love anymore, it was like a mountain had been on my head all my life and it just vanished that day. So there is sadness sure, but also a lot of hope. Being an outsider to people who should love you no matter what is worse than torture, and yet I still kept trying to make them love me.

What are your touring plans with Spæctator?

Well since my return to the stage in 2008, We/I have been touring non-stop all over the world. I have not taken as many gigs in for this first part of 2017, mainly because 2016 was the busiest gig year in the history of Leæther Strip and I promised Kurt to take a few months with only a few gigs. But after summer it's getting busy again. I love playing live and meeting the people who supports my work so I can’t get enough of it. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of Leæther Strip, so my plan is a world tour. But I take all the jobs I can get.

Through the years you have always had this fantastic fat, thick electronic sound, especially in the beats and the rhythms. The title track of Spæctator as well as Evil Speaks are perfect examples of this. How do you come up with that and maintain it?

Thanks. I started out as a synth bass player and I also programmed the drums back in my former bands, so bass and drums are very important for the full production of my songs. It's maybe the parts of a song I work on the most. If the bassline or drums doesn’t work in the song, the rest usually doesn't stand the test of time. It's like a house built without it's foundation. EBM is bass driven, you wanna move to it.

How is Kurt doing? You've been waiting an extremely long time for his kidney transplant.

Kurt is stable at the moment. He needs a new kidney, and he's close to dialysis. I was going to give him one of mine and after a year of examination a date was set two years ago, but 2 weeks before the transplant, Kurt sadly got a stroke from a blood clot, and since then the doctors don't want to perform the transplant until Kurt will need dialysis. It's very frustrating for us both, but we also need to live our lives, and we do not want to waste our time together. We take one day at a time. Yes it’s hard, but Kurt and I are stronger than bombs together.  

That’s a horrible situation to be in, but I’m glad you and Kurt are fighting it. Standing up against a struggle is the best resolve. For whatever it’s worth, Claus, I know you will come out on top of this.

Our conversation is drawing to a close, so it’s time to bid adieu to Claus. It’s been an immense pleasure to talk to this legend about what has been, what is now and what is on the horizon. I wish all bands and artists would have the same commitment, level of energy and integrity like Claus. Then music of all genres would flourish and be inventive, and challenge us supporters at the same time, to really listen and not just blindly consume the fashion of the day. Thank you for the past 30 years Claus and here’s to 30 more!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

GOATWHORE To Take Part In Metal Blade Records' 35th Anniversary Tour Followed By Spring Trek With Amon Amarth; Special Album Preorders Announced

New Orleans' GOATWHORE will return to the road later this month as part of Metal Blade Records' 35th Anniversary Tour alongside labelmates Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon, and Necromancing The Stone. The band's latest trek will stretch from February 21st through March 15thwith various headlining dates scattered throughout. From there, the band will take a short break before joining Amon Amarth for two weeks' worth of shows from May 1st to May 21st. Due to scheduling conflicts between the two tours, GOATWHORE will not appear on six of the Metal Blade Records' 35th Anniversary Tour stops. See a full listing of dates below.

GOATWHORE recently completed tracking the follow-to their globally adored Constricting Rage Of The Merciless full-length. Titled Vengeful Ascension, the band's latest studio offering was captured at
Earth Analog near Champaign, Illinois. Fans will be able to preorder Vengeful Ascension as part of an exclusive bundle only available directly from the band's merch booth on both tours. The bundle will come with a T-shirt and laminate exclusive to this preorder bundle only. The laminate will contain a special code to input online to have the physical copy of the album ship when released.

GOATWHORE w/ Whitechapel, Cattle Decapitation, Allegaeon, Necromancing The Stone:
2/21/2017 Spirit Hall - Pittsburgh, PA *no Whitechapel, Necromancing The Stone
2/22/2017 Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA
2/23/2017 Lost Horizon - Syracuse, NY * GOATWHORE only
2/24/2017 The Fillmore - Silver Spring, MD
2/26/2017 House Of Blues - Cleveland, OH
2/27/2017 The Frequency - Madison, WI * GOATWHORE only
2/28/2017 St. Andrew's Hall - Detroit, MI
3/01/2017 Deluxe @ Old National Centre - Indianapolis, IN
3/02/2017 Bogart's - Cincinnati, OH
3/03/2017 Montage Music Hall - Rochester, NY * GOATWHORE only
3/04/2017 House Of Blues - Chicago, IL
3/05/2017 Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
3/07/2017 Divebar - Las Vegas, NV * no Whitechapel
3/08/2017 Belasco Theater - Los Angeles, CA
3/09/2017 House Of Blues - San Diego, CA
3/10/2017 The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
3/11/2017 Ace Of Spades - Sacramento, CA
3/12/2017 The Rock - Tucson, AZ * no Whitechapel
3/14/2017 House Of Blues - Houston, TX
3/15/2017 House Of Blues - Dallas, TX
End Tour
w/ Amon Amarth:
5/01/2017 Vinyl - Pensacola, FL
5/02/2017 Varsity Theatre - Baton Rouge, LA
5/04/2017 New Daisy Theatre - Memphis, TN
5/06/2017 The National - Richmond, VA
5/08/2017 TLA - Philadelphia, PA
5/09/2017 College Street Music Hall - New Haven, CT
5/10/2017 The Paramount - Huntington, NY
5/11/2017 The Garrison - Toronto, ON * GOATWHORE only
5/12/2017 20 Monroe Live - Grand Rapids, MI
5/13/2017 Three Floyds Brewing - Munster, IN
5/16/2017 The Cotillion - Wichita, KS
5/17/2017 Boulder Theatre - Boulder, CO
5/19/2017 Lookout - Omaha, NE * GOATWHORE only
5/19/2017 The Blue Note - Columbia, MO
5/20/2017 Mercury Ballroom - Louisville, KY

Issued in 2014 via Metal Blade Records, Constricting Rage Of The Merciless debuted at #81 on Billboard's Top 200 chart, topping their last entry position of #171 with Blood For The Master. Crowned their most, "varied record to date, as well as their strongest," by Pitchfork and, "unrelentingly pummeling and brutally oppressive," by PopMatters. Constricting Rage Of The Merciless can be previewed and purchased at:

RIVERS OF NIHIL To Begin US Tour With Darkest Hour This Weekend

Pennsylvania progressive death metal unit RIVERS OF NIHIL will begin a month-long US tour tomorrow supporting Darkest Hour. The MetalSucks-sponsored journey will commence February 18th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and run through March 21st in Cincinnati, Ohio. Additional support will be provided by Ringworm as well as Rotten Sound and labelmates Tombs on select dates.

RIVERS OF NIHIL w/ Darkest Hour, Ringworm, Rotten Sound:
2/18/2017 Diesel - Pittsburgh, PA
2/19/2017 Agora Theater - Cleveland, OH
2/20/2017 Voltage Lounge - Philadelphia, PA *RIVERS OF NIHIL only
2/21/2017 Saint Vitus Bar - New York, NY
2/22/2017 New Dodge Tavern - Detroit, MI
2/23/2017 Reggies - Chicago, IL
2/24/2017 The Metal Grill - Milwaukee, WI
2/25/2017 The Cabooze - Minneapolis, MN
2/26/2017 The Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
2/29/2017 Marquis Theatre - Denver, CO
3/01/2017 Metro Bar - Salt Lake City, UT
3/02/2017 Beauty Bar - Las Vegas, NV
w/ Darkest Hour, Ringworm, Tombs:
3/04/2017 Jub Jub's - Reno, NV
3/05/2017 Analog Theater - Portland, OR
3/06/2017 Studio Seven - Seattle, WA
3/08/2017 DNA Lounge - San Francisco, CA
3/09/2017 Colonial Theater - Sacramento, CA
3/10/2017 The Regent - Los Angeles, CA
3/11/2017 Brick By Brick - San Diego, CA
3/12/2017 Club Red - Mesa, AZ
3/13/2017 Club XS - Tucson, AZ
3/14/2017 Blu Phoenix Venue - Albuquerque, NM
3/15/2017 Backstage - Lubbock, TX
3/16/2017 Grizzly Hall - Austin, TX
3/17/2017 White Oak - Houston, TX
3/18/2017 The Korova - San Antonio, TX
3/19/2017 Gas Monkey - Dallas, TX
3/21/2017 Northside Yacht Club - Cincinnati, OH

RIVERS OF NIHIL continues to tour in support of their Monarchy full-length, released last year via Metal Blade Records. Monarchy picks up where the seasonal concept that began with Spring on the band's debut, The Conscious Seed Of Light, left off, this time, welcoming the oppressive Summer heat. Said primary lyricist Adam Biggs, "The Earth has been transformed into a vast desert wasteland, where after aeons of lifelessness, new beings begin to take shape and begin their journey as shepherds of the planet. But after a while, a class system forms from a sun-worshiping religious dictatorship, and these beings start to lose their way. Only the guidance of an ancient earthly force can help them save themselves as well the planet."

"Monarchy is not only their darkest record to date," said Outburn of the release, "but their most dynamic, atmospheric, and powerful." Metal Injection concurred calling it an, "excellent slice of technical death metal... With Monarchy, RIVERS OF NIHIL have evolved into a monster." Heavy Blog Is Heavy gushed, "Monarchy is the gold standard for extreme, technical, progressive, and passionate death metal right now, and it probably won't change any time soon," while No Clean Singing crowned Monarchy, "a pinnacle of the band's union of atmospheric and progressive aims." Added The Sludgelord, "It has everything which makes tech death great and offers a total listening experience to the casual or dedicated fan. A musical tour de force."

To preview and purchase Monarchy, visit:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Kingnomad – Mapping The Inner Void

The forests in the north of Sweden are dark and vast. Half of the year the sun hardly rises above the horizon. And out there in the wild lurks this beast called Kingnomad. The first sightings of this monster was reported about two or three years ago when the sounds of the calling of "Lucifer's Dead" was heard through the Internet. And this behemoth later manifested itself to us on the EP "The Green Meadow" and as part of the Ripple vinyl series "The Second Coming Of Heavy: Chapter III". Now the time of Kingnomad really takes its beginning as "Mapping The Inner Void" is revealed to the world in all its glory.

And glorious it will be. This is an album that judging only by its cover by artist Anders Muammar is going to be epic. I turn up the volume to 666 and let the soft piano intro of "Lucifer's Dream" take me away to another realm beyond reality. Everything around me disappears. This is the land of Lovecraft. Tales of worlds beyond our imagination and the dark corners of human consciousness. It is a mind expanding journey where the music on the album is so well composed not only as individual songs but as a whole. It is truly epic. A nice retro feel to it with stoner vibes yes but there is also this strong presence of progressive rock that I really appreciate. And it is all tied together with an excellent production that gives the music all the justice it deserves.

And all the planets are aligned for this. Because this is one of those albums I can't wait to get a hold of on vinyl as the music, the sound and the album cover art will make such a great over all experience. And it is all released by the mighty Ripple Music. Praise Pike. Praise Iommi. Worship Kingnomad!

-The Void

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ripple Two-fer Presale, This President's Day! Mothership and Kingnomad, Limited Editions, Test Pressings, Bundles and More!!

Wow!  What a day!  At 7 am PST, this Monday, Feb 20, the long-awaited, heavily anticipated new album by cosmic heavies, Mothership will go on pre-sale.  Three editions of vinyl, test pressings and more.  And to make the day even better (and in an effort to save you significant $$$ with combined shipping) we're also make for pre-sale, the critically-hailed debut full length from Sweden's heavy occult doomsters, Kingnomad.  Both can be found at
Already hailed as the Record of the Week by Pirates Press blog, High Strangeness finds the cosmic rockers exploring new territory in heavy hitting, retro-70's-80's rock, stoner, metal and blues.  Two Limited Editions of this killer album, the multi-colored, yellow swirl "Rapture" and the heavy psychedelic splattered "Mindbender" along with the midnight black, "Void Touched."  Test pressings, CD's and a special limited package of Void Touched black vinyl combined with a black vinyl copy of the 7" Crown of Lies, which includes a non-album B-side!!
"If you’re the type of person whose day isn’t complete without some Swedish Psychedelic Doom, then Kingnomad are just what you’re looking for."  So declares Maximum Volume Music in their glowing review of this new, neo-masterpiece work of Lovecraftian occult doom.  Pictured is the limited "Endless Abyss" psychedelic splatter Edition, limited to 100 pressed.   Mapping the Inner Void is the type of album that only gets better on repeated listens, and one that will find those repeats as it takes official residence on your turntable.  Or as Outlaws of the Suns says, "Mapping The Inner Void is an excellent album and one that will appeal to the majority of the Doom Metal community.  If you want an good old fashioned Occult/Doom Metal album with flourishes of Classic Rock and Psych sounds then you can’t go wrong with this excellent album."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – Hawk Vs. Dove

Alright ladies and gentleman today’s bonanza features just one band. In order to get started I feel it necessary to talk a bit about the art of presentation. For one Hawk vs. A lot like the contrast of the two birds, the black vs. white plays a part in the presentation of Hawk vs. Dove on the bandcamp feed. While the hawk exhibits power and grace, the dove promotes innocence and naiveté. The art is rather complex and artful while maintaining a grounded presence using just black and white. Maybe I’m rambling to deep, in fact yes, I am rambling but the point is, these two albums have a way of catching your eye which bridges the gap between your ears.

Now before we get to the music, the next feature on their page is the band’s bio or description of their own music. Whether they wrote it or had a “professional” compose the message, it says what you’d believe to be true of the band before even listening.

“Citing influences such as Earth, The Jesus Lizard and Boris, Hawk vs. Dove has a knack for gut-churning guitar licks, ominous tones and unconventional harmonies. Progressive without losing sight of nod-worthy songs, innovative without excess, they have a grasp on where heavy music has been and where it ought to go.”

For me, the descriptions, tags, and other reviews (if available) are a key driver on whether I am going to invest the time to push play and give the music a listen. Hawk vs. Dove have an intriguing start so far without even pushing play. The art is enthralling, the descriptions sound palatable and, although I’m not necessarily a diehard fan of any of the referenced bands, they do sound like a worthy combination. The alluring fact to me was that there was not a single supporter on the page which could mean a couple things. First, they could really suck and nobody would donate their support to such an act, second, they could have just put the material up on bandcamp and posted the original release date of such material, or it’s just the internet, and not everybody discovers everything at the same time. I tend to think with Hawk vs. Dove that it was a combination of the latter 2. Either way, at this point my mobile app was primed and ready with the latest album in the wishlist ready to listen.

What happens next is history. Immediately slathered with downtuned, distorted riffs bubbling up with enchanting melancholy from a boggy nest ‘Divided States’ takes flight with harmonious vocal passages eliciting a nostalgic 90’s vibe (The Jesus Lizard) and for me a nod to Jerry Cantrell with its haunting yet graceful harmony. The music is sodden with thick, demented riffs, polished with glimmers of shoegaze and oozing with inebriated Sabbath fuzz. There are numerous light and airy moments that have an almost Radiohead or Jane's Addiction feel to it without really sounding like either band. Just a nice touch of atmospheric gloom.

v      Raging harmony stricken riffage swoops upon shoegaze crusted grunge like a hawk vs dove engaged in battle within a storm of passion. Heavy blues gone mad meets demented doom on quaaludes. This is one sick puppy!!”

As I finished up my first listen I was drawn immediately down to the self-titled where I noticed the availability of vinyl and again, nobody apparently in support as of yet. I got to the second song ‘The Sabbath’ before I hit the buy now button for a measly $20 including shipping and both digital versions of the bands discography. The album played on, my mind remained tickled with bliss, and I began the journey of spreading the gospel of this seemingly undiscovered band yearning for more attention. I think it’s already gaining ground as others have joined the good fight of keeping the spirit of underground rock and roll alive and well.

v      “This is exquisite. Eerie vocal harmonies straight out of the Jerry Cantrell hand book grooving along to unorthodox time signatures and writhing with nostalgia. This is both super heavy and fit for a fat riff king yet lingers with a grungy erotic blues that'll comatose your pleasure center.”

If you’re finding yourself perplexed on whether this is right for you, fear no more. The albums are up at a name your price offering in your choice of digital format included unlimited streaming via the mobile app. For the true blue addicts the self titled is offered up as described below:

v      Self-titled debut album by Hawk vs. Dove on 180-gram vinyl in classic black or dirty white. Cover art and lyrics insert by Larry Carey. 1st pressing limited to 200 copies!!
Recorded and mixed by Matthew Barnhart and David Willingham at The Echolab. 

I went with Classic Black for those that were wondering. Black vinyl matters, but keeping to the theme of the artwork it’s also available in a dirty white. There is nothing not to like about this fantastic new addition to bandcamp so join the fun and add this band to your radar.

-The Huntsman

Friday, February 17, 2017

Contrastic - Contrastic LP

Everyone needs a reminder now and again waveriders.  For some those reminders are work related.  Others require a gentle tap on the shoulder to make sure they don't lose themselves to one pleasurable pursuit or another.  Speaking for myself, I readily admit that from time to time a not so gentle admonition to listen to music belonging to a genre I typically neglect is vital.  If not for these suggestions I would miss out on bands like Contrastic and their newly re-released self-titled LP.

Alright, who wants to talk about grindcore?  Ultra-fast songs, massive distortion, cookie monster know, the good stuff!  While I enjoy and have reviewed a couple of grindcore bands on this site (Total Fucking Destruction and Beer Corpse spring to mind), by and large I leave that genre to other writers.  Not this time however.  Contrastic is simply too good!  Not only are they good, they're weird as well, and that makes them stand out from the crowd to my ears.  What makes them weird?  Good question.

Let's start at the beginning.  Opening track "War Laws?" lays down almost a minute and a half of what sounds like sinister midi music before the actual band joins the fray.  Even then the song better fits the mold of sludged-up death metal than typical grindcore.  Only on the second track, "Verschrottung Durch Arbeit", does the listener encounter the expected blast beats.  This pattern of experimental track followed by more standard grind repeats throughout the album's thirty minute run length.

The thing is...just when you think you know what to expect Contrastic throws a curveball your way.  Would you think proper piano accompaniment would enhance a grindcore song?  Take a minute, literally, and listen to the song "Chopins Ulcerous Colic".  You might be surprised.  Sticking closely to the piano theme "Unattractive 'M'" features an organ for thirty seconds smack dab in the middle of the track.  "Sex With Four Walls" begins with title-appropriate wah peddle work before transitioning into a raging metallic whirlwind.

Waveriders this album originally hit the market back in 1999 or 2000.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the folks at Horror Pain Gore Death Productions for reissuing this marvelous album digitally and on vinyl.  If not for their efforts I never would have discovered this gem!  Do yourselves a favor my friends.  Order a copy of Contrastic's self-titled LP and let the grind move you.


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