Gallery of Mites - Bugs on the Bluefish (CD)
Gallery of Mites, a ten-man band that boasts five lead guitarists, was formed by Monster Magnet drummer Jon Kleiman and ex-Magnet frontman Tim Cronin.
Having deemed a batch of songs too heavy for their garage-psych outfit, The Ribeye Brothers, the pair decided to develop the new project separately with the enlistment of additional members. The resulting sound is a mix of Stooges, Union Carbide Productions, and early Stones, with a lineup that includes:
- Phil Caivano (Monster Magnet)
- Joe Calandra (Monster Magnet)
- Tim Cronin (ex-Monster Magnet)
- Jon Kleiman (Monster Magnet)
- Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet)
- Duane Hutter (Black Nasa)
- Stu Gollin (Halfway To Gone)
- Jim Baglino (Lord Sterling)
- Mike Schweigert (Lord Sterling)
- Tommy Southard (Solace)
Bugs On The Bluefish is the raw and punchy debut album from this sprawling rock conglomerate. The record also features the members of Monster Magnet backing former Kyuss/current Hermano vocalist John Garcia on one song, a collaboration thatís every stoner rock fanís wet dream.
Ganon - In the Dead of Sleep (CD)
Desolation and morose feelings never felt so satisfying. Utter despair, whilst looking down into the abyss. Michigan’s Ganon can produce these sounds with their instruments. It is epic and apocalyptic. Ganon interweaves sadness and distortion so well, this five song soundtrack is literally to die for. Atmosphere is the name of the game here. There are definite leanings towards Neurosis and Helmet in sound and execution. However the biggest parallel I heard was with the now defunct Rune. Granted there are not blast beats and obvious Morbid Angel references, but the sound of total solitude and depression is the same. Let the sadness flow and envelop the night.
The sound conjured by Detroit's Ganon in the opening moments of 'Lifting Skies' crashes over you like a tidal wave, then pulls you into the dark ocean of nothing. The fluidity of chaos is what it's all about with Ganon, so smooth is their transition from gentle harmonics to obliterating proto-doom. There's simply nothing to grab onto here, emotions shifting like the colours of dusk, finally turning an ashen gray to remind you that sometimes escapism is the only means of survival. Shades of Isis and Keelhaul are admittedly abundant, but where the former is wont to wash its soundscapes with a more bass-heavy tone, Ganon used three guitarists for this album, each slashing through the dense fog of Ganon's music with cascading scales and leaden riffs to create something truly original.
Ganon’s artfully crafted journey into layered heavy ambience and Neur-Isis-core is a very, very respectable and under the radar effort that deserves the attention of fans of the genre. Covering all the genre’s bases of ebbing, tidal builds, introspective segues, mountainous layered peaks of heft and emotional roars, this Michigan sextet’s tangibly Isis and Pelican influenced rock is as solid as it gets. The typically thick production and focus on heavy peaks and valleys rather than extended tangents into drawn out spacey/acoustic/clean vocal segues also make In the Dead of Sleep a relatively quick listen that does not require a whole day of illegal drugs and a semi-conscious state to absorb. Combined with lush artwork and thoughtful lyrics, the end result is almost an Isis album for those with little patience or short attention spans, like me.
Gas Giant - Mana (IMPORT) (CD)
Super drug drenched sounding space rock with over the top fuzzed out guitars and soulful leads that just scream blues and acid at you. Think The Animals' House of the Rising Sun crossed with something off of Hendrix's Electric Ladyland. Check it out if you like psychedelic drenched classic guitar rock.
This time Gas Giant added a greater variety of instruments and an increased sense of dynamics, all to good effect. So along with the expected influences from Hendrix, Kyuss, Sabbath, and Floyd, we also get a taste of darker varieties of metal, tribal stomps, and even some acoustic guitars. But first and foremost is the blistering, all-out heavy and tripping space rock!
Although they can be VERY heavy, there is a very trippy, free-wheeling versatility to their sound that keeps pulling me back for more listens. And if juggling these two chainsaws wasn’t enough, there is some great songwriting and stereo wizardry going on. The songs have some really nice melodic hooks, choruses that get under your skin, and sudden changes in texture and dynamics that don’t leave you on safe ground.
Gates of Slumber, The - Hymns of Blood and Thunder (CD)
It's these sort of creative flourishes, along with some seriously top notch songwriting, that elevates Hymns of Blood and Thunder to greatness. Whether it's the subtle layering of guitars, the guest female vocals on “The Mist in the Mourning”, or the way the band so effortlessly mixes might with majesty, The Gates of Slumber have truly arrived into their own with Hymns of Blood and Thunder. If they're to be judged by one album, let this one be it.
Gates of Slumber, The - The Wretch (CD)
The Wretch sees The Gates of Slumber pushing its trademark blend of skull-crushing riffs and pounding rhythms to new heights and marks a return to the slower all-out doom tempos of the group's early albums combined with "true doom metal" lyrical themes.
Gezoleen - Black Spaces Between Stars (CD EP)
Gezoleen is pretty much a one-man band, that man being multi-instrumentalist Jeff McLeod. Samples, mangled tracks, synths, and the vocals of a truly sick, angry man, are all mashed together to make a statement that grows more powerful with repeated listens. This is a bit on the far side of experimental music.
Don't expect to hear anything "pretty" if you do take the plunge. Nor is there any kind of guitar wizardry at all. It's more like the noise you would hear inside the engine of a '55 Chevy Bel-Air as the engine seizes from not changing the oil for 50,000 miles. But on a Monday evening after the boss has torn you a new ass and you've just had the worst day of your working life, this disc and a bottle of Wild Turkey will wipe any trace of yourself away.
Gezoleen approximates and summarizes many sound scenarios: what it would sound like if Jim (Foetus) Thirwell interpreted Big Black with guitars and Chinese fireworks; being pushed off the edge of a fiery volcano by James Plotkin; the Swans doing an on-line mash up of Neubaten's "Autobahn" and Neurosis' "Pain of Mind"; the guy from Naglfar taking a volley of buckshot to the chin; an intestine-collapsing caboodle of thrashcore riffs through the rusty and dusty distortion pedal Mike Patton once ran his vocals through. Black Spaces Between Stars is as damaging as it is frightening; life-affirming as it is destructive and engaging as it is repulsing.
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Ghold - Of Ruin (IMPORT) (CD)
Intrinsically heavy and elastically supercharged, Ghold creates a strain of viscous rock that is as plainly devastating as it is capricious, pushing down the scales in a myriad of manners to achieve an ever heavier outcome. The wealth of ideas presented by Paul Antony and Aleks Wilson on 'Of Ruin' surpass the imaginations of the majority. The alchemic duo fuses elements of power violence, doom, gloom and heavy rock with enchanting vocal incantations. 'Of Ruin' was mastered by James Plotkin, and the artwork features different paintings by Alex Virji.
Ghold - PYR (IMPORT) (CD)
The 2016 album from London-based doom two-piece GHOLD. 'PYR' towers with a sonic thickness, frantic dizzying energy and shattering immediacy, penetrated by despondent howls and an uncompromising slice of remorselessness. Yet, even the most seasoned Ghold fan will find something new here, as collaborative noises and instruments creep into the sound.