Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Exclusive Song Premiere: Blacksmoker - Herorizer

Two years after the release of the highly praised debut is back with a brand new album. The latest creation is called sed upon humanity on Dec 16 2016.

Drenched in a gloomy heavy riffage thunderstrom, Rupture. Origins Rupture , the mighty Blacksmoker and will be releadescribes a dystopian world on the brink of disaster: total surveillance is omnipresent and dictatorships rise under the cloak of democracy. 

A population brainwashed by media and religious fanatism led to only conclusion: Experiment humanity has failed. 

Protocol Ouroboros 68 has been initiated. 

Deeply rooted in the Sludge Metal universe, Blacksmoker sistance fighters out there. 

A highly explosive audiodeliver a soundtrack for all remolotov with the finest ingredients from the planets Doom, Sludge, Stoner and a couple of mercenary outposts in between. There is also a new face in Würzburgs ragtag bunch of misfits. Boris from the former Omega Massif has been added to roster. 

Now blasting sonic tempests on second guitar, Rupture is his very personal Blacksmoker Blacksmoker debut. will be roaming many stages across the galaxy in 2017. Fueled by blood, sweat and beers, Blacksmoker sic (and beverages)!

Now you can hear the stunning new single Herorizer which features guest vocals from Cecile Ash from The Moth. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Drone Hunter - Welcome To The Hole (Album Review)

Release date: November 15th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Welcome To The Hole – Tracklisting

1.Smoke & Mirrors 04:43
2.Devil's Switch 04:02
3.Crazy Ants With Shotguns 03:42
4.Wine Dick 04:51
5.K.J.O.M.P.M. 03:43
6.Fog Horn 04:58
7.Waltz Of The Iron Countess 05:20
8.A Burning Sensation 03:49

Band Members

Rus - drums
Klen - bass
Fitz - guitar


Today I’m gonna talk about the new album by the instrumental sludge/stoner band from Varaždin (Croatia), Drone Hunter. I follow these guys since their first appearance with their self-titled album Drone Hunter (2013), a 42 minutes of heavy tuned riff. Drone Hunter make a style of simplicity, having created their own sound by using only amps and instruments with no unnecessary frills. Nothing to complain. This is the right formula for a raw and dirty sound that goes straight to the chest.

After three years spent performing a hundred shows and two European tours in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, they are back with a new album (Welcome To The Hole) that, objectively, displaces compared to their debut. While Drone Hunter (the album) is characterized by a pure sludge/metal oriented sound, in Welcome To The Hole the production tends to favour the songwriting and not only the sounds. The global listening greatly benefited and, although the album may appear less ‘swampy’, sound and attitude still remain devastating.

Mind you. In my opinion this does not mean that one album prevails over the other but, simply, that this power trio made a significant step forward towards a greater awareness of their possibilities. Personally, I appreciate when a band manages to innovate just enough to get out toward a professional maturity, that is what I perceive before anything else in Welcome To The Hole. In less than 40 minutes, Drone Hunter (the band) are able to fuse different genres and styles in a unique, where emerge a certain mastery in moving between bluesy riffs and metal outbursts. Over the years and with only two albums, Drone Hunter have created their unique style around which they have evolved, without getting bogged down in the (unhealthy) idea to remain anchored to a genre dictate.

Regardless of the genre, doing instrumental music is always difficult, since the risk of being little different and be boring is always around the corner. With Welcome To The Hole, Drone Hunter have succeeded in the difficult task of creating a really interesting album where ‘dead moments’ are really rare. It ranges from sweet acoustic intros that open to outbursts stoner/blues riffage (the opener Smoke & Mirrors) to moments of pure metal (K.J.O.M.P.M.), going through songs that closely remind a perfect bluesy soundtrack (Crazy Ants With Shotgun).

When, years ago, I started following this trio, I did it because intrigued by the name, thinking they were something similar to Sunn O))). Luckily, they were not. Over the years, Drone Hunter have shown how to handle genres and styles with care, giving us a superb record. I also recommend to find their first self-titled album, to test with your ears the true meaning of evolving music.

Words by Bruno Bellisario


Downfall Of Gaia - Atrophy (Album Review)

Release date: November 11th 2016. Label: Metal Blade Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Atrophy – Tracklisting

1.Brood 08:01
2.Woe 08:54
3.Ephemerol 09:23
4.Ephemerol II 02:21
5.Atrophy 06:34
6.Petrichor 05:26

Band Members

Dominik Goncalves dos Reis (vocals/guitar)
Marco Mazzola (guitar)
Anton Lisovoj (vocals/bass)
Michael Kadnar (drums)


Downfall of Gaia is a group with many shadowy related talents, all within the realm of intense dark metal. They are able to postulate through repetition in speed, made through a mathematician’s hand, which sounds like the strum of heavy distortion, yet they can also build mood and ambiance through a gloomy ensemble of otherworldly sound. This album was made with a mission to tip iron scales and is a significant achievement for this band.

The first track, ‘Brood’, provides a glimmer of hope through a desolate soundscape that transitions to the ferocious awakening of rabid instrument speed in search for blood in harsh distortion, ultimately ending with meaningful tones alongside harsh vocals.

Woe’ is a long distance hurtle with feedback shrills that birth soaring and evocative guitars, wild drums and growled vocals, all creating a tumultuous atmospheric delight.

Ephemerol’ is crafted with a macabre cure injected landscape that bookends the haze manufactured at breakneck speed and the scanning screams of unnatural hoarseness.

Ephemerol II’ is a brief song rendered through cold plucking, processed through trance like reverb. A reliable suppressant for the effects of the disease.

Atrophy’ is a wealthy delivery of murkiness. The fate of the duelling symphonic guitars only benefit from limited lower end and are fully realized when the full frontal brutality of the poisonous toad throat emits its acidic spittle.

In, ‘Petrichor’, the band pokes the beast that resides within the old seminary of black metal and transitions to misty piano for the album closer.

Downfall of Gaia is an entity of darkness that is hungry to make its mark through sound, leaving you thirsty for more with this electronic movement orchestrated in the netherworld

Words by Nick Palmisano

Thanks to Andy at Metal Blade for the promo. Atrophy is available to buy now.


Official | Facebook | BandCamp

Headless Kross - Projections I (Album Review)

Release date: November 18th 2016. Label: At War With False Noise. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Projections I – Tracklisting

1....Does Not Equal Time 08:14
2.Practical Mental Effects 08:00
3.Church Of The Fifth Season 10:17
4.The Map Is Not The Territory 08:27

Band Members

Derek - Bass & voice,
Jonny - Drums,
Tommy - Guitar.


This is a band that works in a virtual doom quarry, mining a distortion that expands and contracts in sludge as thick as mud. This album is very well done and truly deserving of your heavyweight collection. There are only four songs, but they are vivid as divine law.

The album starter 'Does Not Equal Time' churns like spoiled buttermilk and evolves with string work that jumps all over the fret board like a semi truck on a neglected desert road. The song respects itself and the psychedelic speed limits are not excessive.

'Practical Mental Effects' is heavy fuzz operating at low speed with agonizing screams in an echo drain pit. The guitar, bass and drums are all performing on a smelted stage.

'Church Of The Fifth Season' is a sonic story chronicling the contorted sounds of a suspicious mind on a paranoid, slow motion, helicopter guitar ride, powered by mistrustful voices soon to be landing on a monster riff island where the creatures scream for their next meal from the abstract sky. It is a bubbling blob of deep doomed resonance with hallucinogenic ebbs in the tide.

'The Map Is Not The Territory' is masterful. The bass starts off something unusual and the guitar twangs before being thrust into the heaving storm, which is causing the battering down of the drum kit, all of this being motorized through the resurgence of a lost riff circa the 1970's. The insane captain yells commands from atop the crow’s nest of this death ship, which is travelling upon crushing waves of doom over elongated stoner rock.

I understand part II is on the keep this band on your sonar.

Words by Nick Palmisano

Thanks to Lisa at Hold Tight PR for the promo. Projections I is available to buy now.


Facebook | BandCamp

Saturday, 3 December 2016

An Interview with Jay Fortin from SCISSORFIGHT

Scissorfight made a name for themselves for their legendary shows and acclaimed albums such as “American Cloven Hoof Blues”, “Mantrapping for Sport and Profit” and Juggernaut. Then in 2006 the band suddenly split up.

Over the years the band have become almost legendary within the underground Stoner/Sludge Metal scene. Fans have been waiting patiently for the band to reform and Scissorfight's reputation has only become stronger since they originally broke up a decade ago.

Fast forward 10 years later and Scissorfight have returned though with two new members – Rick Orcutt and Doug Aubin on Drums and Vocals respectively. Doug had perhaps the biggest challenge in taking over their former vocalist – Ironlung's role. Doug brings his style of expert delivery on their comeback EP – Chaos County (Out now on Salt Of The Earth Records).

Chaos County matches the familiar intensity of Scissorfight's legendary sound and gives it a more modern sounding groove. It's a kick-ass EP that should hopefully see the band create more heavier sounds in the years to come.

I was given the chance to speak to Jay Fortin (Guitars) and this is what we discussed.

Hi Jay. Thanks for doing this interview. Really appreciate this. How are things with you today.

Hey, things are good!

Before we start discussing your excellent new EP. Can you advise what happened when you guys broke-up. You were riding a crest of the wave. Great albums and a fearsome live reputation. What happened.

Yeah things were going pretty good it seemed. The singer quit the band without really letting us know. He just stopped responding to requests about when we would play again and it took a while to figure out that he indeed had no intention of being in the band anymore. 

Did the break-up happen suddenly or was it a build-up of different events.

 It was sudden in a way for us but for him it probably was a build up of things.

Are you still in contact with Ironlung. What are his thoughts on the reunion.

There has been little contact with him over the last 10 years... I'm guessing he doesn't really give a shit about it!

It seems the legend of Scissorfight and calls for a reunion has grown vastly stronger over the last five years or so. Did you notice this yourselves.

Yes we definitely noticed! It seemed that interest in the band never really let up, maybe it got stronger. We noticed from activity on the internet and in our lives... Running into fans all time, old and new, people always asking for merch... Etc etc

When did you decide to reform the band and how did it come about.

We've thought about reforming the band a few times thru the years... With a new singer.. But it didn't happen. Jarvis(bass player) and I have been in other bands in the last 10 years and the last band we were in did a show to support the release of a Scissorfight beer.

We did a few Scissorfight songs and it then that we started thinking about starting up the Scissorfight machine again... We thought "why the fuck not?!

It's our band, we started it, the other guys quit 10 years ago and people want SCISSORFIGHT! " so that's when started plotting and planning...

You have two new members in the line-up now. How did you meet new members Doug and Rick.

We first met Doug at shows that both of our other bands played together... Jarvis was the first to make note of the fact that he would be perfect for the front man of Scissorfight... So we had our eyes on him for a bit! Rick is a local drummer we both knew from shows.. He played in a lot of punk bands including The Queers and The Connection and The Guts. He had contacted us a few times about just jamming and shit... So when it came time to get serious he got the call.

What do Doug and Rick bring to the Scissorfight sound.

 They bring awesomeness! Doug brings a disquieting presence and a strong, more aggressive tone to the vocal sound, which we're very excited about... A harder edge... Rick brings solid, hard hitting big ass drum noises that fit perfect for this shit! Simple, loud as fuck, rock drumming as it should be. And both of these guys are cool as hell, chill, ready to destroy eardrums at anytime! 

How have the live audience taken to the new line-up. Has it all been positive vibes from your fans.

It's been amazing! Audiences have been blown away I think... Every show has people that were a little sceptical about it but were turned around into believers after! Yeah it's been very well received. All positive.

We have to talk about your excellent new EP – Chaos County. Great EP and one that matches your classic earlier sound with a more modern feel. What can people expect from the EP.

Thanks! I think you put it well, they can expect the same classic Scissorfight sound just updated a bit... And we have so many new songs waiting be recorded, heavier, groovier, faster... Expect more heavy ass rock to flip out to!

Was it an easy or hard EP to write and record for.

It was easy as fuck! I've never stopped writing Scissorfight riffs so all the music is coming out very easily. Doug probably had the hardest job and he's proved up to the task.

With this being your first release with the new line-up. Did you feel any extra pressure recording the EP. Were you worried what long-time fans would think of this EP.

There was definitely some pressure and some wondering what fans would think... It's hard to change members in such a established band but it just felt like it could be done... It had to be the right people.. Maybe that's why it took so long... But it was worth the risk... The recording part was easy because it just was sounding bad ass... It was the first few shows that were worrisome.. But it ended up we had nothing to worry about!

Did you try out any of the new songs live in concert before you started recording it. If yes, how was the reception to the new songs being played live.

We did and people were  head banging and rockin out before even knowing what the songs were! People started picking up lyrics from live videos that were posted online and singing choruses before the EP came out!!

The EP is being released by Salt Of The Earth Records. How did you hook up with them.

Salt Of The Earth contacted us right away about putting the return of Scissorfight out and we were stoked! It was really that simple. 

Did you have any offers from other labels.

We did not. Maybe we will, maybe not, we don't care that much cuz we're gonna do what we do regardless.

Scissorfight has such a vast and almost classic back catalogue. What has been your favourite record you’ve released.

Well, the new one of course! But as far as the old stuff probably mantrapping for sport and profit is my favorite. It's hard to say... I like everything except some of those later EP's. 

Are there plans for a full length record or perhaps even a European Tour.

Yes! We have enough times for a full length already so just just gotta record them... And we recently got added to Roadburn in April 2017 so we'll be doing some European touring around that! And we are fuckin stoked to get over there!

Did you ever think when you started the band over twenty years ago that you would still be doing it to this very day. Do you have any personal highlights during that period.

 I never really thought too much about how long is be doing this! I also always had hope that Scissorfight would happen again. It's all highlights! We love this shit. We're excited to create more highlights! For me personally, the highlights are when old fans come up after a show and thank us profusely for coming back and how they love the new line up... And when new fans who never saw the band live the first time... Those are truly awesome moments. Means a lot.

Thanks for doing the interview. All the best with your new EP.

Thank you! And hope to see you at a show!

Words by Steve Howe and Jay Fortin

Thanks to Scott at Salt Of The Earth Records for arranging this interview. Thanks to Jay for taking the time out in doing this interview.

Chaos County is available to buy now via Salt Of The Earth Records.

Scissorfight Links:

Salt Of The Earth Records Links:

News: Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters sign to Riff Rock Records and New Video

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters sign to Riff Rock Records and release new video.

The London band (including former Dopefight frontman Owen Carty) have been turning heads on the UK’s burgeoning underground scene not least because of their combination of tie-dye and corpsepaint, but with a staggeringly heavy live show that has everyone who sees them agreeing that they’re about to become huge. In the video for ​Mother Chub.

CTBKM channels the Wu Tang Clan and their other 90s hip hop heroes for the type of music video you only ever saw when you woke up on the couch at 4am after a bad batch of brownies.  The band’s tongue-in-cheek approach belies their dedication to all things heavy and riff-shaped. A jaw-droppingly powerful live band, 

Bad Kush have already completed two European tours and repeated circuits of the UK’s underground scene since their inception in late 2014. Having supported the likes of Slabdragger, Dopethrone and Honky, audience members have picked up on the band’s vibe and now blow bubbles in appreciation of the band’s heaviest riffs. 

Check out the video below:

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters will be recording and releasing their debut album in 2017 through Riff Rock Records. 

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters will be recording and releasing their debut album in 2017 through Riff Rock Records. Catch the band live before they go into hiding to finish recording: 

3rd December 2016 - The Unicorn, London 
22nd April 2017 - Rebellion, Manchester

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters are: 

Owen Carty (Vocals, Guitar)

Will Hart (Bass)
Mark Buckwell (Drums).

Kylver - The Island (Album Review)

Release date: October 06th 2016. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

The Island – Tracklisting

1.The Great Storm of 1703 13:41
2.Hy-Brasil 05:11
3.Monolith 09:28
4.The Abyss 06:37
5.The Great Race 06:54

Band Members:

James Bowmaker (Bass)
Barry Mitcheson (Drums)
Neil Elliott (Hammond Organ, Keys)
Jonny Scott (Guitar).


Firstly I must apologise to Kylver for the delay in writing this review. I've had this album for a few months now but I got sidetracked with many things in my life. My 40th birthday where I took a self imposed exile from writing reviews and this is one the albums that I sadly forgotten about during that time.

f you're not familiar with Kylver's sound then be prepared for a lesson in instrumental progressive metal masterclass as The Island is truly a majestic album that merges Psych, Post-metal, Post-Rock, Doom and Prog Rock that sounds fresh, exciting and original.

Kylver's second album – The Island sees the band in more psychedelic and progressive territory compared to their debut album. Opening track – The Great Storm – merges Mastodon style progressive sludge style riffs with a subtle 70s folk-rock sound. It's a very daring track to open the album with as you cannot determine or identify the main theme of Kylver's sound. It can be described as a progressive lucid and surreal dream with moments of doom and gloom giving the song a more sinister edge.

Second track – Hy-Brasil – carries on the 70s influenced psychedelic riffs though with a more modern post-metal delivery. The use of organs from Neil is what elevates this album into the realm of greatness. I'm not the biggest fan of organ music but Neil is making me a firm believer with his expert playing. The other guys concentrate on creating more heavy surreal sounds that have Pelican fans sit up and take notice.

Third track – Monolith - is perhaps closest to a true progressive DOOM metal song you will ever likely to hear from Kylver. Though the song takes it's time in bringing the heavy riffs to the party. As Kylver expertly weave another magical 70s psychedelic sounding and almost occult style song.

The final two tracks – The Abyss and The Great Race are perhaps the two standout tracks on the album as Kylver demonstrate their ability to create haunting and exciting stories without the need for words. Their music veers once again into so many different directions that you will easily lose yourself into the heavy psychedelic madness of it all. The Abyss is more slower paced but it offers a more far-out experience than The Great Race.

The Island is a very hard album to describe but one that will have universal appeal to the Rock/Metal community. If you're a fan of Pelican, Russian Circles, Tool and Mastodon then you need this album now. The production is first rate as Kylver sound immense from the start.

Two albums in and Kylver have the potential to become one of the leading Instrumental Rock/Metal bands the UK has to offer. With a couple of more releases I can see Kylver making a lasting impression on the international stage. The Island could the the first step to greater things from Kylver. I can't wait to see where they go from here.

Words by Steve Howe