Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ripple Field Trip - Ripple Music Fest Sweden

I first took notice of Ripple Fest when I became a new Ripple writer.  You could certainly say I was stoked to hear about Todd and his wife coming to Stockholm to be a part of the first Swedish Ripple Music Fest. 

Three high class bands were going to enter the stage of Copperfields.  King Nomad the occult rocking, warm-fuzzed band with it’s 70’s inspired Uncle Acid remembering record ”Mapping The Inner Void” released this year.  Craneium, the best Finnish Stoner Rock band, probably one of the best Scandinavian also.  Last but not least, probably one of the best bands in my opinion right now, Vokonis. The bands latest release ”The Sunken Djinn” has bewitched me and will place at the top of my doom/sludge chart at the end of the year.

The weather of the evening was pretty bad but me and some friends were hanging at another bar close to Copperfields.  The rain was pouring outside the window but I couldn’t care less.  After all it was the perfect doom-weather!  The only thing missing was some thunder and lightning, but that came later when the bands got onto the stage.  More on that later

As always it’s nice to hook up with some old friends to talk about the good music.  Some friends were at the Sisters Of Mercy gig before they arrived at Copperfields.  I had a really nice chat with them.  Thanks boys!

The event was about to start when we arrived soaking wet around 10 PM.  One of the bandmembers of Craneium bid us welcome.  A nice gesture and it was only the beginning of a very good evening.

The whole event was like a homecoming party for me and many well known faces like Magnus from Into The Void Podcast, all the bands playing, and the many people from other bands also there.  I took the opportunity to say hello to Todd but he was a busy man the whole evening so I didn’t speak that much with him.  Maybe next year?

Some new people showed up and said hello and I enjoyed it a lot. 

I missed a huge part of King Nomads performance.  The part I heard I thought was good but nothing exceptional.  I didn’t think the heartbeat of the record, which I think is awesome, came out the way I wanted it to be live.  But hey, that's only my humble opinion.  Though I didn’t like it as much as I could have I’m thinking of seeing them perform again.

Next up Craneium delivered a super-mega wonderful set.  Wow!  This was fricking good.  Well played songs with nice song structures, filled with some nice grooves and a brilliant vocal-handling.  In my opinion a delightful musical meal and a band that shows the good taste of Ripple Music.  The highlight of the concert was when Mother Kasabian's vocalist got onto the stage to help perform Ceasing To Exist.  This song could be the national stoner rock anthem of the year.  Absolutely wonderful!

When Vokonis entered the stage well past midnight I was both excited and nervous at the same time.  Would the live performance match the record?  And what if it did not?  All my worries were blown away as the band started to play.  This is how music is supposed to be.  Amazing vocals, excellent drumming and a fantastic bass player with an intensive way of playing who I admire very much.  The riffs are like a thunderous storm, sometimes hammering down your ear canal and sometimes whispering.  I rode a wave of emotion throughout the performance.  This was one of the epic moments people are going to tell you about when Vokonis grows bigger.  This band has the brightest future ahead of them and it’s so well-deserved!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – Fire And Ice

God damn, it was 100 degrees last week and snow on the mountain tops this morning. Fall has officially arrived. What’s this mean for Bandcamp Bonanza? I’ll tell you one thing, it means you can be certain there will be more bad ass albums presented as often as I keep my lazy ass copying and pasting the links. Listening is the easy part. All you gotta do is push play. GO.

Neoga Blacksmith – Chronontonius
I remember I first discovered these guys a couple years ago while I was on a business trip in Seattle and being completely blown away. To this day their last album is one of my most played albums in my bandcamp collection.
 Another stellar output of heavy eclectic blues rock hypnotizing us with a sly, psychedelic twang, hair raising keys and mind numbing melodies. I would love for all their records to be available on vinyl.

The Miracle Mongers – Dumb Monsters
This one popped up on the feed a week or so ago and I was hesitant at first due to the band name being a little bit silly. Upon a full listen I was hooked and have been playing this one almost every day lately. It grows on you. The musicality is on point and with a little more exposure these guys have potential to be great. I’d like to see what they can do on stage to be honest.
 Fat and doomy guitar tones spiked with proggy California feel-good groove. Favorite track: Oblivion.

Sanhedrin – A Funeral For the World
Debut album of the Year? For fans of everything heavy metal Sanhedrin will satisfy. The riffs are huge and catchy at the same time. Their description on their page is on point and I have been digging the shit out of this ever since it dropped.
A Funeral For The World celebrates all things heavy metal with a scorching metallic fuzz overlain by Maiden esque vocal chops and a groove factor off the charts. For any fan of metal, stoner, doom, or hard rock. This will go down as one of the strongest debut metal albums of 2017. Mark my words.

Widows and Crows – The Sins of Ravens EP
 Wow, what a powerful display of heavy blues meets outlaw rock and roll. Definitely got my radar on these guys. Think Shawn James meets The Devil and the Almighty Blues. .

Taiga Woods – Taiga Woods
Pun intended in full. Doomed & Stoned website and blog brought this to my attention the week leading up to its full release. Billy Goat couldn’t say enough good things with the full on interview and breakdown of the album on the blog. I listened and I couldn’t agree more. This album is on fire.
Taiga Woods drives the green with this impressive debut album complete with reverb drenched fuzz, pop laced vocals, and hook laden chorus runs. The tumultuous riffs are progressively catchy and its psychedelic flair remains bogey free. Favorite track: Do What You Want.

Gin Lady – Electric Earth
I have been a huge fan of this band for some years now and soon to be proud owner of the latest album Electric Earth on vinyl. On first listen I was a bit taken aback as I was sort of expecting something different. What I did not expect was how much the album grows on you and reminds you of the softer side of the 70’s classic rock sound. And look at that artwork!!!
Electric Earth exposes Gin Lady's aged rock roots with a new, modern masterpiece. The tuneful southern twang erodes the landscape with 'organ'ic melodies and soothing classic rock riffs that pay homage to a musical era fermented by 50 years of sunshine and water. It's as if the Allmans and the Doobies found out they were blood brothers separated at birth and made a record in celebration.

The days are getting shorter and the air is crisping up as its approaching my favorite time of year. As with every season, the music gives us comfort against the changing temperature and waning sunshine. Until next time I’ll try and keep the bandcamp fire stoked.

-The Huntsman

Friday, September 22, 2017

Blues Funeral - Awakening

Blues Funeral sure didn't rest on their laurels after releasing their fantastic debut, 'The Search' back in July 2016. Move forward one year and their sophomore album, 'Awakening' has seen the light of day and I am thrilled beyond words because what they created on the debut has been moved to a whole new level. Call it natural progression, or whatever you want, Blues Funeral is one of those bands you need in your life. Why? Well, read on and I’ll tell you.

Few bands can make a good smooth transition between the debut and the follow-up. Most times either albums aren’t bad but they are either too similar or too far apart. This is not a problem whatsoever for these Texans. Not only have they stepped up from their excellent debut, they have moved past it. None of the previous characteristics are gone, on the contrary. Instead they are infused with more prowess and fantastic compositional skills. Best of all though, the guys seem to have had a blast creating ‘Awakening’, and that alone is worth so much.

Going full tillt on opener ‘Shadow Of The Snake’ it is heavy on the Hammond. Hints of Deep Purple and Uriah Heep with Yngwie appearing in the guitar solos. Love it, wave riders! This bring back memories to the stuff I grew up on and man, Blues Funeral crushes! Next up is the title track, ‘Awakening’ and it is big on riffs, harmonies and melody. The twin-axe attack and solos are amazing where the fantastic rhythm section gives those parts so much room to breathe, which in turn elevates it to grander things. ‘ Illusions Of Reality’ is probably my favourite song on ‘Awakening’ – which is a bold statement since all songs are outstanding. However, this one brings in NWOBHM in the shape of Tygers Of PanTang with a touch of blues here and there. Won’t get much better than that, you hear?!
On ‘Firedrake’ Blues Funeral walk down a different path. Doomy in the vein of Candlemass meets Jex Thoth with Jon Lord or Ken Hensley on the Hammond. Kelly Cousins Adams provides the vocals and what can I say? Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. ‘Casimir’ is Yngwie racing with Al Di Meola on the Spanish Highway with Messiah Marcolin singing. I’m blown away, there’s no other way to put it! ‘The Gathering Dust’ ends this amazing recording and continues the Candlemass influences. The duels, harmonizing and solos between Jan and Maurice are so refreshing and downright brilliant. As they take center-stage, Gabe and Cory leads the song through all it’s emotions on bass guitar and drums respectively.

Bands, new and old alike, take inspirations from this Texas quartet. Why? Well, the way Blues Funeral has moved from album one to album numero dos is how you do it. Blend your own ideas with the influences you have and have fun doing it. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box because the end result will amaze you. Blue Funeral has technical excellence in all departments which they rightly use, however, they don’t over-do anything. Call it brilliance within modesty…or whatever, what I mean is they never over-indulge in anything. Dear waveriders, if you love heavy rock, metal et al Blues Funeral is for you and then some. Doesn’t get much better than this, so get your hands on this one, as well as their debut ‘The Search’.

*Band pic courtesy of Grooverock Photography*


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Monolord premieres "Dear Lucifer" from forthcoming album via Revolver Magazine

"Universally beloved... Swedish doom royalty." -- Noisey

"A truly modern sound: recognizably doom, but with glistening production values and adventurous songcraft." -- Consequence of Sound

"The Platonic Form of doom...perfection... faultless." -- Echoes & Dust

"Monolord's records have only gotten heavier, and now the band has taken a turn for the catchy (yet still crushing)." -- Metal Injection

Gothenburg, Sweden trio Monolord share a new track from their highly anticipated third album
Rust today via Revolver Magazine. The track "Dear Lucifer" is available to hear and share HERE. (Direct link via YouTube and Bandcamp.)

The band previously released the title track, which also features John Gamino (Mondo Drag) on keyboards and Trevor Church (Beastmaker) playing a guitar solo at the end of the tune. Hear and share "Rust" via YouTube. And, album opener "Where Death Meets the Sea" dropped last month HERE.

Monolord is a rare breed: A band both encompassing and transcending genre; a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase in short order since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band's third full length, truly exemplifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom.

Monolord's enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, it's a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that's more total environment than collection of songs. Together, guitarist/vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as its fourth member.

"We've always been inspired by great band musicians - as opposed to technical solo peacocks," Willems says. "Because that force of a band really playing together as one single unit is incomparable. At its best, it's just unstoppable." And, Monolord is truly unstoppable, on record and on stage. "A heavy groove that contains both bombastic overkill and a lot of dynamics is what we always aim for in Monolord; in playing, in song writing and arranging, in recording," Willems says.

Album opener "Where Death Meets the Sea" perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks with a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but Monolord uses subtly to spur the song's skull rattling rhythmic core ever onward. Jäger's watery vocals glide over ominously building verses that erupt with the song's insistent refrain. Being such a tight rhythmic unit, it sounds almost like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. "Dear Lucifer" squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover pummel with chasm like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album's title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro as Jäger sings, "you are the reason that I lied/ You are the reason that I cried/ Please don't wait until tomorrow/ There's only pain, hate, grief and sorrow." Suddenly, the band kicks in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives down the guitar neck as the drums hammer down for the kill. Elsewhere, tastefully understated guitar harmonies elevate the behemoth churn of "Wormland" and apocalyptic album closer "At Niceae" simmers in a slow build of rumbling guitars and rolling drum triplets.

Monolord formed in 2013, quickly recording their 2xLP debut Empress Rising, which RidingEasy Records released in April 1st, 2014. The second album, Vænir, followed April 28th, 2015. The 2-song Lord of Suffering / Die in Haze EP was issued in late 2016 amid the band's relentless touring schedule in order to tide fans over until the next full length. Vænir landed on countless Album of the Year lists in 2015, and Rust is poised to open an entirely new range of possibilities for Monolord.

Rust will be available on LP, CD and download on September 29th, 2017 via RidingEasy Records. Pre-orders are available at RidingEasy and Bandcamp.

Artist: Monolord
Album: Rust
Label: RidingEasy Records
Release Date: September 29th, 2017

01. Where Death Meets The Sea
02. Dear Lucifer
03. Rust
04. Wormland
05.Forgotten Lands
06. At Niceae

On The Web:

Australian hard hitting rockers "The Ugly Kings" sign to Kozmik Artifactz!

We are proud to announce the signing of Australian hard hitting rockers "The Ugly Kings" and will be releasing their first full-length record early 2018.

The Ugly Kings are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background. They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. The catchy riffs and foot stomping rhythm lay the foundations for the deep reaching and soulful emotive vocals.

Having 1 mini-album (Of Sins) under their belt already, they are thrilled to sign with Kozmik Artifactz for the release of their debut full length album in early 2018.  The Ugly Kings have supported Airbourne on their successful sold out east coast Australia tour in January 2017 with great reviews. They also supported Rival Sons in 2016 on their first Australia headline side-show in Melbourne during the Black Sabbath 'The End' World Tour.

"Loud, heavy, slightly-sludgy classic rock meets blues with a modern bend, played by a band that swaggered about the stage with a distinct, but subtle, air of cool. By the end, Sydney was more than happy to learn words on the fly and sing along when the front man held his mic over the mosh. The Ugly Kings are well-versed in the art of restraint, they know when to move and make the crowd get on their feet, and when to step back and let the music do the talking." - Australian Guitar

"It’s not often you see a band have the crowd so excited and receptive by the second song in the way The Ugly Kings do with such an original sound. Only to be described as The Ugly Kings!" - Ryan O’Keefe (Airbourne Drummer)

"Great show! The Ugly Kings have really got their own thing going on and it rocks! I love all the dynamics, pushing and pulling and then always smashing it out. Great intensity and power." - Joel O’Keefe (Airbourne Frontman & Lead Guitarist)

"Thick, groove induced chords, deep baritone vocals and a harden-the-fuck-up ethos" - Phantom's Way

"Promised Land, a four-minute beast that sounds like the Rival Sons and the Graveltones going head-to-head with John Bonham and Jim Morrison. With multiple riffs and deft twists and turns, it sounds fantastic.." - SonicAbuse

"Promised Land ..bounces, pushes and crawls like a wounded beast treading through a boneyard. Well, that is, right up till the scream of rage as a flock of vulturish guitars is disturbed beyond all reason. This is an interesting and clever composition." - Raw Ramp

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Xroadie Files

Briqueville - II
AKTE V has dark grinding guitar and a solid beat.  The song begins with lots of noise and feedback that worms its way into your brain.  This is kinda like pissed off old Pink Floyd or some of the more obscure progressive rock bands from the 70’s but heavier.  AKTE VI is very slow and almost silent.  Slowly building in volume the guitar has some very emotional playing, then it kicks you in the teeth with intensity and volume.  It sounds like a cross between stoner and psychedelic music.  AKTE VII is another slow building song that is very space rock oriented at the end and it has a very middle eastern feel.

Midnite Hellion – Condemned to Hell
Drew Rizzo – Drums, Rich Kubik – Bass/ Vocals, Mario DiBartolo – Guitar

Black and White starts with an old radio changing stations.  Then an awesome speed metal style of riffs kicks in with thrash style vocals.  Death Dealer continues the metal riffage like fast Judas Priest with some excellent tempo changes.  Cross the Line is classic fast heavy metal that makes you want to just get up, throw your fist in the air, and then mosh.  Enter The Nightmare slowly builds with acoustic guitar and some chimes then an excellent speed thrash song.  It reminds me of some of the Exodus stuff.  Soldiers Of Hands is a fist in the air head banger that will have the entire crowd moving.  The Fever is another Judas Priest inspired song.  It's a great fist in the air, sing along metal anthem.  RIP It Up has an Annihilator style to the music and vocals along with some excellent guitar leads.  The Morrigan is just pure classic heavy metal, maybe the best riff on the album and that’s saying a lot.  Another just pure metal song.  Teenage Bloodsuckin’ Bimbos has spoken words then another excellent riff, some awesome bass, and some chanting sing along vocals to end this excellent metal festival of sounds.  

Monster Magnet - Tab (Reissue)
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals/ Guitar, Tim Cronin – Vocals, John McBain – Guitar, Joe Calandra – Bass, JonKlieman – Drums

Tab is an almost 34 minute space rock odyssey of sounds.  Mix Hawkwind, older Pink Floyd, and some more slow space rock from the 70’s and this is what you get.  Kick back, close your eyes and get ready to trip.  25 takes you to the outer places in your mind, then kicks into a MC5 style of song, and maybe like the original Amboy Dukes.  Longhair is more straight forward hard space rock, maybe with some Ziggy Stardust influence.  Lord 13 has the sound of a bar crowd mixed with a band tuning up which starts to play over the crowd noise.  Strange and different.   

Monster Magnet -  Spine Of God (Reissue)
Dave Wyndorf – Vocals/ Guitar, Tim Cronin – Vocals, John McBain – Guitar, Joe Calandra – Bass, JonKlieman – Drums

Pill Shovel has an excellent drum intro and then the fuzz guitars kick in.  This takes you back to the psychedelic late 60’s.  Medicine has a very Grand Funk Railroad style of riff with lots of awesome musicianship.  NOD Scene starts out very much like older Pink Floyd with fuzz guitars and strange sounds.  Then it kicks into a Black Sabbath style of riff, then goes back and forth.  Black Mastermind is a stoner Sabbath style of riff and rhythm with some excellent drum and bass playing.  Zodiac Lung takes you back to the days of maybe a cross between Frigid Pink and The Animals.  Spine Of God slowly builds with some very spacey sounds and guitar, then a slow plodding Black Sabbath style of riff kicks in, then back to the spacey melodic stuff with some spoken word continues till the end. Snake Dance has an excellent riff and drums to move to the beat with and also trip to.  Sins a Good Mans Brother is a cover originally done by Grand Funk Railroad.  I like the original better but this is a very good cover worth listening to.  Ozium takes you back to the 60’s and early 70's.  It's just slow, trippy, and moody with lots of emotion.  They end the album with the demo version of Ozium, slightly different but still as trippy.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017


"...the band delivers its most stunning work in years, a true blast from its thunderous roots." - Outburn

"True to its name, Wolves In The Throne Room has always painted between the lines of barbaric and regal. For over a decade it has been this between-space that has driven WITTR's power; burning black-metal riffs communing with mystical folk and ambient music." - NPR

This Friday, September 22nd, one of the most potent and highly regarded bands in heavy metal today -  Wolves In The Throne Room - will open a portal into their mythic ethereal heathen landscape with the release of Thrice Woven, via their own label Artemisia Records.  On Thrice Woven, WITTR re-imagine black metal as an ode to rain storms, wood smoke and the wild energies of the Pacific Northwest; it a glorious return to the blazing and furious Black Metal that they alone can create. Listen to the album in full today via Noisey.

Thrice Woven begins with "Born from the Serpent’s Eye" a true thrashing black metal epic that is bisected with a haunting northern lament sung by Swedish star Anna von Hausswolff.  "The Old Ones Are With Us" opens with the crackling of a fire and the voice of Steve Von Till (Neurosis) invoking the springtime thaw.  It then storms into a dirge inspired by 90’s Finnish doom with lyrics that celebrate Imbolc, the holy day which marks the end of winter and the first stirrings of spring. Figures from Norse mythology intertwine with personal heartbreak and rebirth in the bleak "Angrboda."  The song is named after a frost giantess who birthed Fenrir Wolf, a beast who was destined to destroy the world and murder the gods.

A raven’s wings stir the air in the interlude "Mother Owl, Father Ocean."  Anna von Hausswolff returns in a duet with Turkish harpist Zeynep Oyku, forlorn industrial atmospheres haunt the mix, Hausswolff’s lyrics, sung in Swedish, echo over a barren grey seascape. "Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon" is the classic Cascadian Black Metal epic, the third eye opens to see holy rivers being born from the ice on the tallest peaks, the lyrics offer blessings to the waters of the earth as they flow from the high places to the source of darkness, the ocean. 

Catch Wolves In The Throne Room on tour across Planet Earth throughout 2017 in support of Thrice Woven:

September 29  Boise, ID @ Neurolux
September 30  Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
October 2  Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
October 3  Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
October 5  Houston, TX @ White Oak (downstairs)
October 6  New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
October 7  Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
October 9  Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
October 10  Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade Hell
October 11  Richmond, VA @ Capital Ale House
October 12  Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
October 13  Brooklyn, NY @ Villain
October 14  Pittsburgh, PA @ Villain
October 16  Cincinnati, OH @ The Taft Ballroom
October 17  St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
October 18  Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th St. Collective
October 20  Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
October 21  Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
October 22  Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
October 23  Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 24  Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge
October 25  Olympia, WA @ Obsidian

November 12  McDade, TX @ Sound On Sound Festival

November 15 Zagreb, HR @ Vintage Industrial Bar
November 16 Innsbruck, AT @ PMK
November 17 Dresden, CZ @ Beatpol
November 18 Wroclaw, PL @ Firlej
November 19 Berlin, DE @ Bi Nuu
November 20 Moscow, RU @ Volta
November 21 St Petersburg, RU @ Opera
November 22 Helsinki, FIN @ Tavastia
November 23 Stockholm, SE @ Kraken
November 24 Oslo, NO @ Bla
November 26 Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall
November 27  Bochum, DE @ BHF Langendreer
November 28 Utrecht, NL @ Pandora
November 29 Tilburg, NL @ 013 Popcentre
November 30 London, UK @ Heaven
December 1 Manchester, UK @ Rebellion Club
December 2 Glasgow, UK @ St Luke's
December 4 Dublin, IRE @ Whelans
December 5 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
December 6 Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
December 7 Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
December 8 Paris, FR @ Glazart
December 9 Limoges, FR @ Festival de Noël #25
December 10 Toulouse, FR @ Le Rex
December 12 Bern, CH @ Dachstock - Reitschule
December 13 Schorndorf, DE @ Club Manufaktur
December 14 Leuven, BE @ Stuk
December 15 Athens, GR @ Gagarin 205
Thrice Woven, track listing:
1.  Born from the Serpent’s Eye
2.  The Old Ones Are With Us
3.  Angrboda
4.  Mother Owl, Father Ocean
5.  Fires Roar in the Palace of the Moon

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