Category Archives: Demo Reviews
Three red-eyed longhairs from Oslo, Barbarian Fist play slow, brooding metal imbued with a bluesy, hallucinogenic heaviness à la Sleep and Kyuss. The lyrics are banal: “Came down from the mountains/ on a quest to fornicate,” opens ‘The Whorelord Cometh’ – but when said lyrics ride in on grooves that turn your mind to mush, who’s cares?
If you’re going to play dense, high-octave riffs you need a moniker inspired by H.P. Lovecraft-style imagery. Snake Priest, a Danish collective with a penchant for rattling speakers, will cause fervour at festivals and panic for parents in equal measure.
“[Our] songs are often about the culture, history and climate of the West Texas area,” although with track titles such as ‘Wearing the Ocean’ and ‘Blacken the Sky’ you’d have done well to work this out.
Inspired primarily by Neurosis’ seasonal shifts and guttural assertions, Dragg’s early work is a homage to last 20-odd years of heavy, underground metal: A formula comprised of psych-Sabbath bombast and the gloom-n-doom of High on Fire. Having already integrated “visual projections” into their live shows, the Lubbock trio are a band to look out for.
Conceived about 30 years too late, Sydney’s Blackbird sound exactly how you’d imagine: Fuzzed-out bass-and-drum shakedowns stepped in the clichés of yore – And if the quality of these early tracks are anything to go by, this won’t be the last time you hear about them, either.
Snowchild’s initial recordings are primal, instinctive rock by-way-of Master of Reality and Growers of Mushroom: Their heavier-than-thou grooves blast the listener into a state of intoxicated bliss – that’s if they’re not already there, of course.
Nothing lifts the spirits in these grey days like stellar slabs of fuzzed-out riffage. Dustcharger’s “minimal stoner rock” owes its existence to the nostalgic chug of ‘70s proto-metal, and the quaking grooves of Kyuss. A generic, yet groovy blowout.
Shark Blood make “outlaw music” and like any bunch of non-conformists, their early compositions have a feeling of instability about them, like they might collapse or soar at any moment. Thankfully, this nihilist blast of aggression extends to repeated plays.
Sons of the Stone Empire may have a moniker that sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s their ability to coax maximum power out of ‘70s proto-metal riffage, while mimicking their Californian cousins, that will attract the plaudits.
Wild Rocket’s motto is simple: “You have to be good to yourself,” however, what this has to do with the cosmos is a mystery. Together since 2011, this Dublin quartet’s early output is an even balance between heaviness and ethereality. If you like space-rock, you’ll like this.
Special bands exist within their own timeframe: Allergic to trends and suspicious of new technologies, it’s the loners and freethinkers that, ironically, appeal to the masses. Electric Citizen is yet to play their debut show, but they’re already creating quite a stir: A hauntingly beautiful combination of West Coast psych and dark, medieval folk that the summer of ’68 longed for.
If there’s any justice in the world, Labradoodle should be signed-up pronto – their artwork would look great on merchandise stalls. As it happens, the music isn’t bad either: a grinding, detuned mountain of anvil-heavy riffs and psychedelic explorations that don’t sound forced or dated.