Category Archives: Stoner Metal

Hexenjäger – Demo


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).



Hagstone – Ancient, Majestic

Hagstone - Ancient, Majestic

The story of Hagstone begins in 2009 as four men sat in a “boozer” in the north of London. On that fateful night the guys gave themselves unto the God of Doom and set forth determined to create heavy, riff driven music. The result of their efforts is their debut EP “Ancient, Majestic”.

As you may have gathered from the title and perhaps the cover artwork, “Ancient, Majestic” is heavily influenced by ancient, mythological stories and legends. It also borrows from some darker concepts inspired by writers such as Poe, Byron, Coleridge, Shelly and Lovecraft. Hagstone combines elements of stoner rock with some of the more down tempo elements of traditional doom. I’d go so far as to suggest that Hagstone leans more towards the traditional doom metal side. The clean, quivering sound of the vocals really gives the music a classic doom kind of a feel. Hagstone does lack some of that oh so precious dirty fuzz of other stoner branded acts opting instead for a slightly cleaner, overdriven sound. That being said it can still be heavy at times. There’s a bit of an 80’s metal vibe that shines through like on the track “Not a Dream”. Something that might just be amplified by the sound of the vocals. It may be appealing to some but if I’m being completely honest it is a bit of a buzz kill for me. It’s not that it is necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn’t quite fit in with my own personal tastes. All of this together gives “Ancient, Majestic” a somewhat classic era doom metal vibe.

The first song “Nowhere Child” is one of stronger tracks featured on “Ancient, Majestic”. The opening riff is by far the best riff on the EP bringing visions of tripping on peyote as desert sands swirl and tumble weed bounces beneath a blistering sun. It immediately sets the head in motion without so much as a second thought. The song looses some of its muster midway through as it turns into an 80’s ballad but regains strength as it builds back up, returning to the desert rock groove of the opening riff. “Like a Rat” showcases more of the traditional doom aspect of Hagstone’s sound with chunky, palm muted riffs. “A Moment of Clarity” is a cool little instrumental track that lives up to its name acting as a quick break before the final two tracks. As I mentioned already “Not a Dream” has a bit of that classic 80’s vibe I’m not so keen on but “Burn Me Blind” might just be my favourite track. There’s nothing overly special about it, it’s just heavy and catchy as shit.

Overall Hagstone have put forth a strong debut offering. The production is solid, the music is tight and for the most part the songs are all different and memorable. It is music that you can re-listen too without any hesitation.

Hagstone are:
Andy (Bass), Istvan (Drums), Deko (Guitars), Rob (Guitars), Gio (Vocals)

Official Website

Dö – EP

Dö - EP
In a music genre that is frequently overcrowded with bands vying for listeners attention, prospective fans can be forgiven for overlooking new acts. One trio that has recently been winning fans across the globe are Helsinki stoner/doom band Dö. This debut EP is certainly worth delving deeper into. Lead track ‘G.O.D.’ is a heaving slow paced behemoth, evoking a lurking beast in the shadows, that awaits the perfect moment before pouncing on its unaware prey. ‘The Await’ follows with a sublime fuzzed guitar riff. The vocals are immense against the wall of noise created by the trio. Unfortunately, it sounds as though the band struggle somewhat to get into top gear as they did with relative ease on the preceding track. This is merely a blip however. Closing track ‘Everblast’ is by far the longest, dwarfing the previous two songs, clocking in at close to fourteen minutes in total. Doomy rhythms are the order of the day and the band have also recently released their first video for the track, which you can check out here. Overall a really exciting EP from Dö, let’s hope that there is more from these guys real soon!

Dö are:
Big Dog (Guitars), Peat Rex (Drums), Deaf Hank (Vocals).


Dresden​/​Leningrad – De Tirannie

Dresden​/​Leningrad - De Tirannie

Dutch stoner/doom trio Dresden/Leningrad have followed up their warmly received EP Vader with their first full length album. Released at the tail end of 2013 through Breathe Plastic Records, this is yet another hefty slab of crushing doom that builds nonchalantly with menacing rhythm. Three songs over forty minutes gives you an idea of the pace of the tracks. The group who hail from Amsterdam, take their inspiration from scenes of war and rock music from the 1970’s. Opening track ‘De Witte Dood’ captures your imagination perfectly and it is almost eight minutes until we first hear the vocals of Sebastiaan IsAan. ‘Het Oosten’ does not take as long to come to life. The track boasts a biting riff that kicks things off with a swagger, pummelling drums and ghostly vocals. However, it is the gargantuan eighteen minute plus closing track ‘De Broeder’ that stands out on De Tirannie. A chilling spoken word intro with slow clean guitar is pierced by a wave of feedback just over three minutes in. The guitars and erratic feedback that play out at the end of the final track are transfixing and just fantastically played. Dresden/Leningrad will undoubtedly go far if this release is anything to go by, newcomers should also take the time to check out their debut EP Vader here.

Breathe Plastic

Dresden/Leningrad are:
Gijs Highnis (Bass), Lei Von Der StraBe (Drums), Sebastiaan IsAan (Vocals, Guitar).

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).


Weed Priest – Weed Priest


Weed Priest is the debut album of the Galway based Occult, Stoner, Doom metal group of the same name. ‘Final Spell’ kicks things off with a haunting opening that leads into an intense deep bass line that runs through the entire track and is complemented by Adam De Monlung’s snarling vocals. ‘Erichtho’ follows with a head bumping drum beat and builds into a slow paced aggressive number with plenty of deep drums and guitar riffs. ‘Walpurgia’ is a slower more deliberately paced number laced with anger and metal anthem riffs and has a deep oppressive sound that works well with the track. ‘Thy Kingdom Gone’ has an awesome opening beat that carries on through giving it a metal anthem vibe thats infinitely replayable. ‘Weed Priest’ has a slow drone/dirge style punctuated with brief moments of shredding but for the most part has the slow deliberate and angry style that’s prevalent in this album but does have an impressive final few minutes. ‘Day of Reckoning’ is the final track on the Album and opens with the sound of air raid sirens that leads to an overwhelming rhythm that’s dripping with anger and rage. Weed Priest is an impressive debut feature from the Galway boys and is an encouraging sign of things to come both from the group and from Doom metal’s new blood in general. Well worth tracking down!

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Weed Priest is:
Adrian Elatha (Drums), Ragas Walpurgis (Bass), Adam De Monlung (Guitars/Vox).

Spider Kitten – Cougar Club

Spider Kitten - Cougar Club

By David Gilroy

Cougar Club is the latest offering from the brilliantly named Spider Kitten. The group nestles themselves in the Doom metal, experimental clique but seem to veer towards the latter, tying in to their reputation for constantly changing styles from album to album. The Newport boys open with a droned, oppressive bass line in ‘Twin Obscenities’ a theme that carries over to the title track ‘Cougar Club’ where the bass adds a menacing sound to the fourteen minute epic. On first hearing the first number, there’s a strong similarity to Mastodon with the slow dirge like music and soaring vocals from front-man Chi. ‘Burdened’ takes a more punky approach whereas ‘Time Takes Its Toll’ has a strong Nirvana vibe to it albeit slowed down with a more reserved and solemn approach. Cougar Club is not a big album with five tracks but each one is meticulously put together thanks to the bands approach to tweaking their instruments to get the best sound possible not only for themselves but also for the listener. It’s this dedication that has garnered them so much praise and attention for Cougar Club and the consensus that they are now a band to keep a closer eye on.  And with a new album in the works it should not be that much of a wait. For now why not as they say, ‘Kick it in the Club’.

Spider Kitten is:
Chi (Vocals, Guitar), Nid (Bass, Vocals), Chris (Drums, Vocals), Rob (Guitar).