For this album selection, new stuff only ! A lot of bands put out their full-length record or EP this spring, and it looks like everyone had a great mojo this time. There are outsiders who will surprise you with great efforts, old hands making a spectacular comeback, and challengers who didn’t say their last word yet… Yeah, I know : you want names. Take a few minutes then, to get up to date and discover the stoner/doom/rock album releases that will make of 2013 a very epic year.
7 WEEKS “Carnivora” (Klonosphere – available) 7 Weeks made a strong impact with “Carnivora”. First, because it’s amazingly well-produced. Its full-bodied sound is strong and bright at the same time, each song is a potential hit single. Those who claimed the voice was too much highlighted on the record have it all wrong : why wouldn’t they highlight the voice, while it’s convey much more thing than the music itself ? With this record, 7 Weeks emancipate from this stoner label they used to have, and delivers rock that is even heavier and more poignant, and why not some grunge aesthetics at some point. Intense and melancholic, “Carnivora” is like the synthesis of the toughest times in a human life : you can carry it like a burden, or it can becomes an incentive to make you go further and keep your head above water. Without a doubt, we’ll make the second choice, with our ears crackling with pleasure. This record feels like the creative accomplishment of a beautiful career started back in 2006.
THE MACHINE & SUNGRAZER “Split EP” (Elektrohasch – available) I’ve been told there were only two stoner bands in Netherlands : The Machine and Sungrazer. I didn’t invent that fact, they told me so. Being friends since the beginnings, both bands wanted to record a split EP together, but they never found the perfect moment to do so. At last, they delivered three songs each, showcasing their talent and complementarity. First, The Machine and their straightforward approach, close to Sons Of Kyuss speedy desert sound, full of epic heavy guitar solos. Then you have Sungrazer, the gifted sons of father Desert and mother Ocean, who are definitely the best at creating peaceful but heavy sounds. Two different entities, two different ways to enjoy heaviness. Fans won’t be disappointed by the bands, who delivered a great work aside from their solo releases.
PIG DESTROYER “Mass & Volume” (Relapse Records – available) American grindcore band Pig Destroyer converted themselves to the doom cult, in order to support the family of Relapse Records’ missed team member Pat Egan. And for that only reason, we should all hail the try. However, it’s not Pig Destroyer’s first try in doom metal, given that they recorded a few split EPs with Orchid or Isis. While listening to “Mass & Volume”, you’ll feel like you inopportunely found yourself in a crypt and attended a satanic ritual without being invited. That’s the moment when Satan (i.e. Jr Hayes) realizes your presence and gets mad about it. 30 minutes of heaviness and creepy noises who will send you straight to the mental hospital.
LOADING DATA “Double Disco Animal Style” (Deadlight Entertainment – available) It’s quite impossible to compare french band Loading Data to any other band on Earth, so I won’t throw any known reference to circumscribe the band’s music range. Because it’s fucking wide. With “Double Disco Animal Style”, the motto is simple : stop thinking for a second, just enjoy the moment. Without any limit, Loading Data plays some thick rock (that some would qualify as stoner rock, but in my opinion they don’t fit any category) which is cut out like diamond, and explores all the faces of Rock’n’Roll. It’s like, we got lost somewhere in between the desert of Arizona and Tim Burton’s creepy freaky world. Music explorers, a master of ceremony who makes Elvis grooves into his tomb, Alain Johannes behind the recording table, appearances of Nick Oliveri, Hoss Wright or Adam Keller : “Double Disco Animal Style” has it all. Really. So give way. Now.
COMING SOON (AND NOT TO MISS)
KVELERTAK “Meir” (Roadrunner Records – out March 26) If there’s one album that was awaited like the return of the messiah, it’s the second record of Norwegian black’n’roll act Kvelertak. Yeah, black’n’roll. As in punk, black motherfucking metal and rock’n’roll. When they released their first excellent album “Kvelertak”, I described their music as “all the testosterone in the world combined with a fucking dose of endorphin” (classy, right ?). The guys have built a reputation of live war machine, and given the potential of their new single “Bruane Brenn”, we’re going to love this new album, for sure. Expect being stuck in the ceiling once again !
ALICE IN CHAINS “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” (Velvet Hammer – out May 28) In 2009, “Black Gives Way To Blue” announced Alice In Chains’s great comeback. Seven years after the passing of their genius frontman Layne Staley, no one would have expected such a rebirth, especially with this new singer William DuVall. September 2009, “Black Gives Way To Blue” hits the stores : I remember this moment as if it was yesterday. In our ears, a 11 tracks of a dark and possessing rock, a a grand gesture choreographed by the ultimate riff master Jerry Cantrell. It’s been impossible to compare this record to the band’s previous classics, besides it’s 100% AIC : wild addictive riffs, hypnotic vocals, emotion. You can easily understand now that the fans have high expectations on the upcoming album, since the bar was set REALLY HIGH by the band four years ago. Will they play out of their classic schemes or “TDPDH” will only be the logic sequel to the last record ? Bets are on.
LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL “Arcane” (Deadlight Entertainment – out April 8) Los Disidentes Del Sucio Motel are a bunch of gringos who have been cultivating their own style since their record “Soundtrack from the motion picture” released in 2008. These six desperados like everything related to the redneck imagery, and they’re favorite sport is making a mockery of it… even though their testosteroned stoner sound has nothing to laugh about. To make comparison, I’d say their cross-Channel alter egos could be the great newcomers Steak. The two tracks that were uploaded on the label’s Bandcamp “Z” and “Ouija” are quite phenomenal : you can hear the heaviness, the emotion and the southern sound which are so typical of the band and make them a classic heavy rock act in our country. Can’t wait !
MARS RED SKY “Be My Guide” (Mars Red Sound – out April 8) Mars Red Sky like to do things slow. In 2011, we were delighted with an appetizer EP before the release of their first record, which was strongly acclaimed by both the press and stoner fans. Two years later, here we go again : the band gives us only a (mouth-watering) sample before being able to buy the band’s second full-length. “Be My Guide” represents a new step for the band. Those who thought they were were stuck into the Andalusian desert’s sandy windings got it all wrong, because Mars Red Sky is one of the most progressive and gifted bands in stoner rock. “Be My Guide” sounds like they started to explore new music paths, including two surprising yet delightful songs (I won’t tell more, go listen to it). You should also definitely attend one of their gigs, because they’re currently on tour all over Europe right now (see more infos on their Facebook page).
KADAVAR “Abra Kadavar” (Nuclear Blast Europe – out April 15) Kadavar are the best stoner newcomers of 2012. Some people may think they are hipster opportunists, besides the Berlin-based trio is nothing but a bunch of cool guys who are fond of 60’s culture and good rock’n’roll. Their first eponymous album was such a killer vintage psyche record, you know, the kind of record that propels you 50 years ago, their production standards being so old school that it almost feels unreal. But Wolf, Tiger and Mammut are nothing but real and are already making appearances to this year’s SXSW and Desertfest, and many more ! Trendy or not, who cares ? This guys will make you mind travel in such a brilliant way, that we just want to bet everything we own on their upcoming record. As spontaneous as they are, they said it won’t be a sequel to the previous one. Their new single Doomsday will help you to have an idea, maybe…
UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS “Mind Control” (Rise Above Records – out April 15) On February 13th, 2010, un unknown British band called Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats decided to release it first record, without warning anyone around. Who the hell is Uncle Acid ? No one knows yet. In 2011, second misdemeanor : the Cambridgeshire-based band releases its second LP “Bloodlust”. Blood and lust, that sums up pretty much the doom psyche atmosphere created by those close cousins of Electric Wizard. Listening to Uncle Acid is like joining a hippie bootcamp, with bizarre and freaky as a motto. Addicts to the fuzz and killer riffs, this band is for you, so you should listen to their last EP before getting awestruck by “Mind Control”. An excerpt is already available here. Ave Satanas…
BELZEBONG “Dungeon Vultures” (A/P – out April 20 – listen here) Instrumental sludge and quality weed from Poland, that’s Belzebong. They just needed to release a demo and an EP (“Sonic Scapes & Weedy Grooves” released in 2011) to stand out among the European doom/stoner scene. So yeah, this EP won’t probably bring any novelty to the genre… but that’s something good at last. “Dungeon Vultures” will be the perfect soundtrack for your intoxication nights, as long as you blast it loud in the speakers. Oh, and please note that the band will play Desertfest London in April, so this EP is the perfect warm-up.
Also coming :
BLAAK HEAT SHUJAA “The Edge Of An Era” (Tee Pee Records – 09/04/13)
GODSIZED “Time” (A/P – 22/04/13)
HOWL “Bloodlines” (Relapse Records – 28/04/13)
CULTURA TRES “Rezando Al Miedo” (Devouter Records – 15/05/13)
BLACK TUSK “Tend No Wounds” EP (Relapse Records – mai 2013)
KYLESA “Ultraviolet” (Season Of Mist – 24/05/13)
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE “Like Clockworks” (Matador Records – juin 2013)
Last modified: 11 February 2015