Friday, May 26, 2017

Mastodon - Emperor Of Sand



Are you ready waveriders?  It's controversial opinion time here at The Ripple Effect!  Although it will surely cost me readers I am willing to stand by my convictions.  Yes, despite the overwhelming opinion of the listening majority I declare that Mastodon is a good, nay, terrific band!  That's right.  I said it.  Terrific.  And furthermore...what's that?  A tremendous number of music fans are quite fond of Mastodon?  Oh.  Perhaps I was misinformed.  Well in that case let's simply move on and discuss their newest release, Emperor Of Sand.

This album rocks!  From the moment I first hit the play button I immediately connected with these songs.  Emperor Of Sand sees the band tweaking their sound and musical approach again, but this go around those elements demonstrably hearken back to Blood Mountain and Crack The Skye.  These eleven tracks effortlessly combine the hard-edged muscularity of Mastodon's earlier records with the generous accessibility displayed on their more recent releases.  The results are phenomenal!

Before I get too carried away I need to specifically highlight one aspect of this album which deserves special recognition, the vocals.  Emperor Of Sand, in my humble opinion, features the best vocals that Mastodon has recorded to date.  Troy Sanders and Brent Hinds sound stronger and more emotive than ever while Brann Dailor continues to evolve into an increasingly formidable singer.  In fact, on many songs I'd say Brann's vocal contributions steal the show.  The bottom line however is that when the power of the three vocalists combine, which is on pretty much every song, the listener is treated to endless peaks with no valleys in sight.

Waveriders this is an album you need to own/experience.  Emperor Of Sand rockets out of the gate with "Sultan's Curse" and doesn't let up until the closing notes of the epic final track "Jaguar God".  If you're a long-standing Mastodon fan this record won't disappoint, and if you've never investigated Mastodon and want to know why so many people adore this band Emperor Of Sand is a fantastic introduction!
 
-Penfold



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sacrament Ov Impurity – The Purest Of Sins



Those of us who like to talk about music, such as yours truly, sometimes mention that a band has “arrived”. To me that means we have seen potential, we have watched a band grow in their abilities, and they have put all of that together in a way that showcases what they are capable of. I have followed this band for several years now and I have to say that with this new release the beast has been fully unleashed.

Sacrament Ov Impurity are a two piece back metal band hailing from Mount Vernon, Washington. Its a rural, agricultural area far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. I imagine that, just as many European black metal bands come from small towns, there is something about the distance and isolation from urban chaos that allows bands to focus on their creativity and bring life to this music.

And what music this is. Black metal is full of grimness;listening to it often evokes feelings of loneliness, isolation, of being in a cold, frostbitten landscape devoid of any colors except black and white and shades of grey. Yet to me, it is also very beautiful and trancelike, and when done with the right touches it is music that takes you away from the normal drudgery of existence and moves the listener on to a different plane, almost as though it pulls the listener into another dimension. There is some incredibly moving music on this album. The opener, “An Apparation of Bygone Lament”, is like a journey through the history of black metal, sharing various tempos and styles and melding them all into a cohesive blast that frees the spirit. “Sepulture Of Modern Man” is a masterpiece, the kind of song that allows you to close your eyes and feel the different places where music can take you. The middle section of this song is simply epic in the way that it made me feel.

I also enjoy hearing the growth in the songwriting, the extra little touches that went into these songs. There is some experimentation with black and roll types of beats in places. There are some very judiciously placed synths that add just the right touch to these songs. The overall feeling is that this band is very confident and assured both in the songwriting and performances captured here. To my ears there is tremendous growth just in the roughly 18 months since their last release. This is a band that deserves to be heard and hopefully this album will be the springboard that allows them to do more touring and take part in more festivals.

Black metal is seemingly a limited sub-genre, yet bands like this take the basics and move the music forward in all sorts of new directions. As a big fan of this style of music I love to hear releases like this. It gives me hope that the music will continue to grow. Do yourself a favor, head to Bandcamp and pick up a copy of this one. Black metal is alive and well and this album is all the proof you need.

-ODIN





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ragin' Ripple Sale Happening now! Plus Steak, Doublestone and the new Thin Lizzy Tribute with Mothership!




Time for a huge, ragin' Ripple sale!  Let's clear some space in the warehouse for some new, killer releases comin' down the line.  While supplies last: $5 CD's and $7 LP's on selected back catalog titles.  2xLP's as low as $10 and limited edition vinyl going for $15! If you've been dying to fill some holes in your Ripple collection, now's the time.  We haven't run a sale like this in a long time, and don't know when we'll do it again, so take advantage while you can!  www.ripplemusic.bigcartel.com
Steak "No God to Save" is here and the press is buzzing.  "Steak have once again staked their claim to the very finest of heavy rock with ‘No God To Save‘." -- Riff Relevant.   Limited Edition, Black Edition and CD's are all nearly gone as of this writing, but a scant few remain.  Don't hesitate, this one really is tasty.
The Press is also buzzing about the latest offering from Danish retro-heavy psych rockers, Doublestone.  Firmly in the vein of Graveyard, Uncle Acid and Kadavar, but plowing a road all their own.  Organic and heavy, a true treat.  Two vinyl versions and CD's still available.
Our good friends at Glory or Death Records have announced their first vinyl release, the first in their series of Bow to Your Masters tribute albums. They chose a special band to pay tribute to: Thin Lizzy.  They've got some killer bands, including three from the Ripple family so far (Mothership, Mos Generator and Red Wizard - with more to come!) putting their unique spins on classic Lizzy songs:

    Mos Generator (Seattle)
    Egypt (Fargo)
    Mothership (Dallas)
    High on Fire (Oakland)
    White Dog (Austin)
    Red Wizard (San Diego)
    Slow Season (San Diego)
    KOOK (San Jose)
    Great Electric Quest (Oceanside)
    Sacri Monti (Encinitas)
    Harsh Toke (San Diego)

The Kickstarter featuring limited vinyl and art packages ends on 5/30/17.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Noiseworks - Noiseworks



Back in the late eighties an Australian friend of mine, whom I've sadly lost touch with since, sent me a cassette of a Sydney-based band. It was their self-titled debut and the band in question was Noiseworks. At this point in time, this five-piece were completely unknown to me and based off of the artwork, a photo of the band against a white backdrop with the logo above, I had no clue what to expect. However, once the music started I was sold - hook, line and sinker!

Australian rock and pop of the eighties had a particular sound. Can't honestly describe it in words but to this day that sound is very identifiable in a good way. And Noiseworks are not exempt of this. They deftly embrace their heritage while going full tilt with awesome hooks, great lyrics and a lot of emotion. What baffles me is that the guys were labeled a pub rock band. Maybe that was the case in their infant years but ‘Noiseworks’ is anything but. Then again, we all look at things differently.

Several permeating features throughout ‘Noiseworks’ are, amongst other things, the prominent bass guitar. It keeps the rhythm but at the same time goes off on it’s own excursions, which gives the music more substance. The guitar tone is airy, free and floating both in the riffs and the lead work. And the way it tag teams with the keyboard is refreshing. Almost like a twin-axe attack. Lastly, Jon Stevens’ voice is something else. Beautiful, yet desperate with great range which brings out the meaning in the lyrics perfectly.

This is a great debut album through and through with no low points at all. Still, as always, I find some tracks that stands out more than the others. ‘Burning Feeling’ is a mid-tempo rocker with hooks to kill about yearning for an adrenaline rush no matter what. A heartfelt plea for forgiveness and redemption ‘Take Me Back’ hits home with anyone who’s lost someone and it’s irreversible, forever. ‘No Lies’ picks up the pace as the band ponders the devious ways of an ex-partner who’s pulls out all the stops to reel you back into a bad relationship. ‘River Of Tears’ tells the tale of finding yourself while watching others, maybe a loved one, remain in limbo not wanting to change. ‘Welcome To The World’ is a song telling two sides of the coin. One child is born into a nice safe world being fed from a golden spoon, while another is born to fight. Stand up and make a difference wherever you come from.

Despite not having released any studio albums since ‘Love vs. Money’ in 1991, Noiseworks have been active on and off with various old and new members. The latest I heard the ‘Noiseworks’ lineup was back and recorded an album slated for a 2016 release but as far as I know that wax is still locked up in a vault somewhere.
In between all this bassist Balbi and keyboardist Stanley formed the semi-successful Electric Hippies before working with David Bowie, Tom Jones and Michael Hutchence(Balbi) and Beck, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow and Prince(Stanley). Singer Jon Stevens has, besides a long solo career, worked with INXS and Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as forming the music collective The Dead Daisies, whom he no longer performs with.

-Swedebeast

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Flying Eyes Sign to Ripple Music for New Album Due Out This Fall


“…The Flying Eyes appeared and cast their hypnotic power over the crowd.”

Ripple Music is thrilled to welcome Baltimore's heavy psych rockers, The Flying Eyes, to it's roster of the best of modern heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock.

The Flying Eyes name comes from a 1962 science fiction novel about giant, disembodied eyes that descend from outer space to control humanity...

Since forming ten years ago, they have released four albums, several 7" singles, and toured the world, supporting bands such as Dead Meadow, The Raveonettes, The Black Angels and Dan Auerbach among others.  The Flying Eyes have achieved a notable following in Europe with extensive club touring and festival appearances. Highlights include: Burg Herzberg Festival (sharing the main stage with Jeff Beck and Hawkwind), Rockpalast Crossroads Festival, Stoned From The Underground (DE), Desert Fest Belgium (BE), Trutnov Open Air (CZ) as well as the Synchronicity Festival in India.

After extensive touring in South America, playing shows and festivals in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, they linked up with producer Gabriel Zander (Mars Red Sky) at Super Fuzz Studio in Rio de Janeiro to record their upcoming Ripple Music debut album Burning of the Season. Season is a return to the band’s roots of fuzzed-out blues and soulful psychedelia with the maturity and craftsmanship of age. Coming out this fall on Ripple Music (US and non-European Territories), it is their heaviest statement to date.

California-based Ripple Music is one of the world's leading record labels for heavy rock, heavy psych, stoner and doom.  Ripple Music is distributed world-wide by MVD Distributors, as well as H'art, Plastichead, Borders, Suburban, Goodfellows and more.  All releases are available on the Ripple Website and Ripple Music Bandcamp.  Check out www.ripple-music.com for more info and news.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Midnight Messiah – Led Into Temptation




“Led Into Temptation” is the sophmore release from British band Midnight Messiah.  Formed by Phil Denton (guitars) and Paul Taylor (vocals) from the ashes of NWOBHM cult favorites Elixir.  Like it's predecessor, “Root of All Evil” - “Led into Temptation” has the sort of NWOBHM vibe but it , in fact the song “The Sinner Must Die” starts off with a moody into very reminiscent of Elixir's “Llagaren” from the “Sovereign Remedy” album.

I can go through every track and say “This sounds like Judas Priest, this sounds like Thin Lizzy...” yes Midnight Messiah wear their influences proudly. Just a sample lyric from “Hellbound” -”They Tell me Hell Ain't a bad place to be” - any band that cites Bon Scott era AC/DC has a special place in my heart.  “Second Coming” has a dual guitar solo very similar to Judas Priest's “Freewheel Burning”.  “Go to the Light” has an anthemic chorus like all the 80's Scorpions songs....see? “While Heaven Bleeds” is Dio-era Sabbath.   There's nothing wrong with paying tribute to the bands that helped shape ones musical direction.  There's cowbell on the intro to the otherwise very heavy “Merry Widow” - how cool is that?? HEAVY METAL COWBELL!!!

To be honest, it's going to be hard to write a non biased review of this CD.  I've loved everything I've heard from the Elixir family from the second they took the stage in NJ 11 years ago and my jaw fell on the floor when I heard the opening notes of “Star of Beshaan”.

The biggest compliment I can give is if I ever get good enough and form my own band they won't sound very much different than Midnight Messiah.  This is recommended for fans of the classics – but again with a modern twist and modern production. 

-Rys

Midnight Mesiah are:
Paul Taylor – vocals
Phil Denton – guitars, bass, keyboards
Darren Lee – Drums
Dave Strange – Lead Guitar on tracks 3, 4, 5, 10 & 11

Track Listing:
Second Coming
Led into Temptation
Hellbound
The Merry Widow
Go to the Light
Return of the King
The Darklands
While Heaven Bleeds

Bonus Tracks:
Right Place, Wrong Time
King of the Night (2017 remix)

Find Midnight Messiah online:


Photos by Electric Eye Photography.



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – BBBBBB



The irony in today’s title is the featured album initials are BBB and the article series here is also BBB. Double Triple B’s. Killer B’s. I thought that was cool, what I also think is that you should listen to the recommendations in today’s feature of Bucky’s Bandcamp Bonanza.

Buttered Bacon Biscuits – From The Solitary Woods
What we have here folks is a reissue for the first time on vinyl the defunct band who later formed the monster what is Witchwood deep in the Italian woods. I urge you to grab the vinyl edition of this as Jolly Rogers Records is doing the world a service by putting this out there. Extremely limited, this will likely only get pressed once and you have your chance to be one of the few and one of the proud vinyl junkies. As there is only a couple tracks streaming on bandcamp, you get the full album with digital purchase and it is impeccable. Trust me.
What a well executed and masterfully written album. If you're here you probably have the Witchwood stuff already and this is the prelude to that. If you're new, sit back, relax and let the melodies drift you away to a time when the sun baked oranger and the smoke rung heavier. BBB bring classic rock full circle including haunting keys, arena filling rhythm, mind-melting psych, and deep brooding blues with a vocal package soaring at the crossroads of Dickie Betts meets Use Your Illusion era Axl Rose.


Mind Reverse – Mind Reverse EP
This one just ticks all the right boxes and is an enjoyable listen no matter what your mood.
Nice fusion of punky garage blues and progressive psych rock. One that gets better with each listen. Quite impressive.

This one may go down in many year-end lists. Interesting trivia, Tony Hawk’s kid is the frontman for this impressive band. Southern California skater rawk at its finest!!!
Petyr come launching out of nowhere with a blazing set of cosmic riffage on its self-titled smasher. Heavy psych hasn't felt this good since your first trip on magic mushrooms. The laser blues laced skater punk jam layers of extraterrestrial fuzz into empty pools of Witch meets Earthless. Hot damn!!

The Wicked Ones – The Wicked Ones
Ya, this is a wicked one. I especially like the hard edged groove and the vocal assault. So mean, yet so clean. Price is right too. Can’t afford not to.
This is where the Steve Rodgers in me says "Gods Holy Trousers" Ravishing vocals wailing over dominating bass lines and wickedly constructed metallic fuzz. Add in a distorted cover of Jefferson Airplane and I think we've got somebody to love. Holy fucking crap!

King Zong – King Zong
Sounds like the album looks, and seems to be getting welcomed attention in the heavy side of the heavy underground. Dig it.
King Zog comes out ripping hard on the riff bong taking the low and slow doomy blues to the 5th dimension

Feuerzeug – Dead Wahines and Psunamis
These guys just came on my radar and come to find out as blown away as I was about this old material, our president Racer was all over it back in the day. Review here. They’ve gone into hibernation but rumor has it they are back together and working on new material. Keep your ears out for Feuerzeug, as they’ve got big news to unleash soon.
Absolutely punishing fuzz catapulted by unrelenting groove after groove. The bass rumbles tirelessly beneath the distorted riffs which echo against a clean, powerful vocal.

Well that was fun. What do you think of all this madness? Give us your suggestions. What are you listening to other than the obvious albums mentioned here right this minute? Inquiring minds want to know. Don’t be scared join the party, pitch your tent, follow us on bandcamp, and comment below.

-The Huntsman
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