Category Archives: psychedelic

Hexenjäger – Demo

Hexenjäger

March 2015 saw the release of one of the finer demo’s this year by French doom metal quartet Hexenjäger.  The band take their name for the German meaning for Witch Hunter.  Opening track ‘Hexenjäger’ has an unsettling spoken dialogue intro.  Bassist Flo explains.  “The exchange at the beginning of the demo is an audio sample from the movie ‘Inquisicion’ (the first ever film directed by Spanish actor, Paul Naschy).  He is tryin to get an assumed witch to confess to making a pact with the prince of darkness.  The woman keeps reiterating that she is not a witch (No lo soy bruja).  The pace of the track does not waver throughout, with the main riff is undoubtedly a tip of the hat to the legendary Black Sabbath, on the title track of their self-titled masterpiece of 1970.  The vocals of are haunted, elongated and bellowing.  Chilling stuff.  Second track ‘Murk’ boasts a lurking behemoth of a riff.  Unfortunately the vocals are not as strong here.  Lead singer Charly seems to struggle to hit the high notes at around five minutes in.  However, it is not something that could not be rectified in future releases and on the strength of this demo, there will surely be many more to come.

Hexenjäger are
Charles (Guitars), Ben (Drums), Charly (Vocals), Flo (Bass).

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Black Vulpine – Demo

Black Vulpine - Demo

Black Vulpine, formerly known as Newphoria, play a tantalising mixture of Stoner / Psych and Rock. The Dortmund quartet have been plying their trade for the guts of a decade. This recent three track demo sees them revive their sound on their debut release for German label, Moment Of Collapse Records.  Opening track ‘Drowning in Lakes’ explodes with a mammoth riff and keeps an upbeat pace from start to finish. The only minor downside here is that this is probably the weakest vocal performance of the three tracks, however this is only in a few areas of the song.  It is undoubtedly second track ‘Avra Kadavra’ and it’s tar thick groove that stands out on this demo. The drums sound huge and really do compliment the dual-guitar work of Sarah & Daria.  The tempo is somewhat lessened on final track ‘Lies’, featuring a soaring rhythm and a notable performance from vocalist Sarah who sounds very similar here to PJ Harvey.  A solid release, and hopefully not as long to wait for a full length.

Black Vulpine are:
Sarah (Vocals/Guitar), Daria (Guitar), Rüdiger (Drums), Stefan (Bass).

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KingBathmat – Overcoming The Monster

KingBathmat - Overcoming The Monster

Overcoming The Monster is the seventh album from KingBathmat.  Since self releasing their debut album Son Of Nun back in 2003, the quartet who hail from Hastings, East Sussex have flirted with several genres such as grunge, psychedelia and progressive rock to create their own unique blend of music.  The group do not place themselves in any particular genre, allowing them the freedom to play what feels natural to them as and when they please. As their website firmly states, “They do what they want”, which keeps them fresh and unpredictable.  Furthermore, having released seven albums in ten years shows the wealth of creativity in the group.  So, is it any good?  Indeed it is.  ‘Superfluous’ opens with a cyclopean riff from Bassett that is instantly agreeable to the listener, whilst ‘Reality Mining’ has a medieval keyboard type tune.  The one blot on their copybook here is the less than favourable ‘Parasomnia’ with misplaced and dated keyboards that make the track outstay it’s welcome somewhat.  ‘Kubrick Moon’ is a powerful sonic space-tinged force with epic guitars and keyboards of equal quantity.  The striking album artwork is provided by Tazminion.  KingBathmat are well worth checking out and to whet your appetite prior to release, why not follow this link to download a six track sampler from the bands website?  It features one track from each of the last six albums released by the band.

KingBathmat are:

John Bassett (Guitar, Vocals), David Georgiou (Keyboards), Rob Watts (Bass), Bernie Smirnoff (Drums).

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Stereohead Records


Maudlin – A Sign of Time

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A Sign of Time is the third album from Maudlin. The group were formed in 2004. First thing that you notice is the Psychedelic and dreamlike feel to the music evident in “Hours”.  A moody opening piece to “She Whispers Treason” that features deep pulsing bass. One of the bands’ influences is Pink Floyd and its felt in this track. “Lilith” follows on the heels with a slower more morose sound emphasising their doom metal inspiration (Type O Negative). “A Perfect Sky of Black” features a snarling bass line that drives the song which sounds similar to the works of Mastodon. “Become Minutes” is a relaxed intermission that’s completely instrumental tand that jumps into “Ride the Second Wave” which has a steady aggressive streak and a low thumping bass. “Goddess of the Flame” is the second longest track after “A Perfect Sky of Black” clocking in at eight minutes and has an angry resentful sound to it that compliments its slow methodical approach. “Chasing Shades” is the penultimate track and has a depressive/hopeless theme. Again the similarities to Mastodon are apparent but they have their own unique approach which keeps their music sounding fresh. It also features a drone like final minute that reinforces the dejected theme of the song. “Turn to Seconds” finishes the album with the sound of heavy rain hammering home the bleak nature of what came before it. Anyone expecting a “Reign in Blood” style number may be disappointed with that. All in all A Sign of Time is an ambitious album marrying some distinct musical styles together to create something hugely impressive and more importantly something individual to most other acts out there. Fine stuff.

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Maudlin are:

Jasper Bullynck (Guitar & Vocals), Kris Vannecke (Guitar & Vocals), Yannick Dumarey (Bass), Davy Vandenbroecke (Drums), Davy De Schrooder (Vocals & Samples)


Altaar – Altaar

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Norwegian quintet Altaar has just recently unleashed their first full-length album via Indie Recordings, four years after debut EP Dødsønske. First of all the main thing you’ll need to know about this album is that there are two songs. However both songs together last a monstrous thirty four minutes almost as long as most ten track albums. Things begin with “Tidi Kjem Aldri Att” a long slow Dirge with deep bass and snarling guitars, the song has a distinct sound that’s similar to Mastodon in its delivery and is entirely instrumental throughout its mammoth twenty minute or so runtime. The guitars have a distinctive twang to them that puts you in mind of the music often found in westerns, it’s bleak, methodical and aggressive but not a quick aggression like Slayer or Slipknot where the guitars and drums beat you down almost instantly. Altaar takes their time and it’s brilliant due to this approach. Following this is “Dei Absolutte Krav Og Den Absolutte Nåde” a little shorter at fourteen minutes. It sounds more industrial and features Andreas Tyldens anguished vocals and relies on the growling guitars and bass. The band go for a mixture of black, drone and doom metal on this album and end up with something decidedly unique and unlike anything else currently available. Altaar has been steadily gaining momentum – and fans – thanks to their live shows. And with this album it seems that, for once the hype has been justified. An excellent album.

Altaar is:

Andreas Tylden (Guitar, Vocals), Sten Ove Toft (Electronics, Guitar, Piano), Espen T. Hangård (Guitar, Synth, Vocals), Didrik Telle (Bass), Kenneth Lamond (Drums).

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Inter Arma – Sky Burial

Inter Arma - Sky Burial

Having signed to Relapse Records last year, Richmond Virginia’s Inter Arma have been acquiring some very positive reviews from all corners of the globe.  Sky Burial is the quintets second full-length album, since their beginning back in 2006 and it fuses doom, psychedelic sludge, grind and black metal.  The thundering opening riff of ‘The Survival Fires’ is Inter Arma sounding like a herculean sea beast that has just been angrily awoken from its deep slumber.  This is immediately followed by ‘The Long Road Home (Iron Gate)’ which is a beautiful, smoke-tinged instrumental that leaves you wishing it was only twice as long.  ‘The Long Road Home’ is a fast paced, blast beat ridden whopper of a track and meanders through several different styles throughout the course of the song.  ‘’sblood’ sounds like KoЯn vocalist Jonathan Davis fronting Mastodon.  Elsewhere, the predominantly acoustic tones on ‘Love Absolute’ are scintillating in their simplicity.  Closing track ‘Sky Burial’ features a wonderfully bedraggled snaking riff which builds to a furore of further choppy guitar work and ascending vocals from Mike Paparo that awakens memories of Mastodon on their fourth studio album Crack the Skye.  Sky Burial is undoubtedly the early pacesetter for album of the year in our opinion.  The bands hard work seems to have paid off and they have taken the sophisticated approach of not rushing into releasing their major label debut.  Here’s hoping they will get the recognition that they unquestionably deserve.

Inter Arma are:
T.J. Childers (Drums), Steven Russell (Guitars), Trey Dalton (Guitars), Mike Paparo (Vocals), Joe Kerkes (Bass).

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Horseback – Half Blood

Horseback - Half Blood

Half Blood is the fourth full length release from North Carolina’s Horseback.  Rich in numerous layers, this is undoubtedly the strongest release to date from Jenks Miller.  The album was recorded at The Chateau, in the band’s hometown of Chapel Hill, various instruments make an appearance including piano, bells, keys and signal processors, collectively accumulated in a bewildering wall of sound.  ‘Mithras’ kicks off proceedings with a simple yet highly effective bass-line. Miller’s style of singing has also taken impressive strides for the better, with a manic ferocious vocal performance that is one of his many talents.  Miller expertly portrays a reckless fury that is seamlessly interwoven to each song without overshadowing the rest of the albums sound.  Half Blood spans several genres with great ease. The stoner style approach of drumming on ‘Ahriman’ is crisp and refreshing. Also, there is a range of moods that Half Blood emanates.  The dream like crawl of ‘Inheritance (The Changeling)’ highlights the broadness of the group’s overall sound.  ‘Hallucigenia I: Hermetic Gifts’ and ‘Spiritual Junk’ are the strongest of the Hallucigenia trilogy, tracks that close the album.  These three songs show Miller in a more reflective and sombre mood, much like the aforementioned ‘Inheritance’ compared to the more post metal fury on the first half of the record.  The artwork by Russian symbolist artist Denis Forkas is incredibly striking and sets the mood perfectly.  His work is perfect for Miller’s take at psychedelic drone.  Believe the hype, this is a true gem of an album.

Half Blood is available now via Relapse Records.