Wandering Midget, The - I Am the Gate (Color) (IMPORT) (LP)
Limited edition of only 222 copies on red vinyl. Deluxe gatefold sleeve.
These guys follow a pretty simple formula, but somehow it's still all fairly unique. It basically sounds like Electric Wizard mixed with some of the slightly-less-baked sounds of old school doom, a good mix of the sludgier sounds of the more modern school with the epic strains of Candlemass, which can only be a very good thing. The whole thing has an immensely appealing rough 'n' raw vibe, which is the way doom should sound- you don't want a polished doom record. This sounds like it was recorded live in one take, mistakes and flubs be damned. Excellent Stuff. The vocals are an important part of this too- they're basically a less nasal and more stoned take on Ozzy's vocals, and they sit perfectly in the mix. It's a solid and highly enjoyable slab of doom with some nice psychedelic touches here and there and plenty of variety.
More super duper doom here from the curiously/bizarrely-titled Finnish trio The Wandering Midget. With a suitably lo-fi, garage-styled production and songs that could wipe the smile off even Julie Andrew’s smug face, The Wandering Midget have pieced together seven superbly constructed tracks of lead-heavy, slow as death doom with a slight progressive edge which lends this material an air of individuality sadly missing from so many others in this genre. 'I am the Gate' is a great introduction to a band that even in their embryonic stage deserve your attention. If you’re into the aforementioned Reverend Bizarre or the humongous riff mastery of High on Fire or Witchcraft then The Wandering Midget are definitely a band that will wet more than your appetite.
Warchetype - Ancestral Cult of Divinity (Color) (IMPORT) (LP)
Limited edition on grey vinyl. Deluxe gatefold sleeve.
Ancestral Cult of Divinity showcases the kind of self-awareness you might expect in modern traditional doom, owing much of its sound to a darker interpretation of The Obsessed with nods to Trouble, Candlemass, Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath along the way, but Warchetype don’t shy away from displaying a heavier, death metal influence. Led by the snail’s pace riffage of guitarists David Bruguera and Jordi Boluda and fronted by the versatile Iban Arrieta, Warchetype cast an effective balance of new school and traditional doom, their roots showing through in the structure and tempo changes of their songs and the freshness with which they approach the sound providing that new school feel.
Warchetype - Lord of the Cave Worm (Black) (IMPORT) (LP)
Limited edition on black vinyl.
The common admiration and respect for acts like Black Sabbath, Saint Vitus and Candlemass, have been the base to create a doom monster and now Warchetype have become one of the most respected bands in the Spanish underground. With their great musical experience in other bands and a solid metal background makes other see them like the Spanish answer to Electric Wizard and Warhorse.
Warchief - Self Titled (Standard Cover) (IMPORT) (LP)
Limited edition on clear red swirl colored vinyl.
Warchief is a Finnish band that explores the many dimensions of the rock and roll universe, including genres such as sludge and doom metal, progressive, space and stoner rock.
Warlocks, The - The Mirror Explodes (LP)
Although the Warlocks' characteristic wall of sound assault is still apparent, it's used in a very different way. The Mirror Explodes contains eight introverted and meditative tracks. Bobby Hecksher has a genuine talent for articulating the sounds of paranoia and derangement using various techniques. Unlike earlier albums, where he explored these concepts through themes such as hedonism and all its compelling darkness, in this release Hecksher seems to be taking the listener on a trip into the most unstable region of all - the subconscious. The Mirror Explodes is a heart-breaking piece of work. There's so much beautifully sonic sadness in each song. The restraint in each one, as if something is being held back, only helps to heighten the sensory effect it has on the listener.
The joy of the Warlocks' music is found in the details - the layer upon layer of fuzz and drone, the carefully chosen delivery of Hecksher's vocals, the pivotal role the bass is given - how at times it literally holds everything together. Every couple of months I go through complete Warlocks immersion. I think it's because they really don't quite sound like anyone else. Every album is so completely different, while still holding onto intangible elements which tie them all together. Dark, melodious and aurally confrontational, the band seem to subscribe to the belief that Noise is Power. The Mirror Explodes is a thoroughly beautiful record, and another fascinating journey with the band along the redefining lines of psychedelia.
Warpig - Self Titled (Dark Blue Splatter) (LP)
Limited edition of only 100 copies dark blue splatter vinyl.
Following in the tradition of the critically acclaimed Pentagram reissues, Relapse Records proudly unearths another buried-treasure of pure 70's hard rock in Canada's Warpig. A genuine article of the era that gave us such legends as Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, and Led Zeppelin, Warpig's debut LP was an early masterwork of psychedelic proto-metal. This vinyl reissue of Warpig's long-sought-after self-titled debut will surely satisfy the cravings of both long-time collectors and the new breed of retro-rockers alike!
WaterWays/Sons of Alpha Centauri/Hotel Wrecking City Traders - 3 Way Split (Color) (IMPORT) (LP)
Limited edition of only 500 copies with 180gr. tri-colored (red, yellow, and blue) vinyl.
Three great bands bound together by the love of great spiritual rock music.
First up WaterWays from the USA bring four tracks of dark surf rock that manages to be almost folky and bleak despite sounding sun drenched, light and airy, soaring and laid back. Of course the name WaterWays should be familiar to readers and the resume of the band members reads like a who’s who of the desert rock scene that gave birth to generator parties and of course, the mighty Kyuss. With long time friend Abby Travis as the vocal focus point, Stoner legend Gary Arce and long time friend Mario Lalli can showcase the musical symbiosis they have shown for over 25 years. Rounded out by Lalli’s Fatso Jetson brother Tony Tornay on drums, this band have pedigree that holds up to the standards set by the more famous Yawning Man. The similarities that will be drawn to Arce’s other band are inevitable, but WaterWays are a unique prospect in their own right and they go from strength to strength with each release.
I was first made aware of the second band Sons Of Alpha Centauri through their collaboration with Arce on the Yawning Sons album ‘Ceremony To The Sunset’ where the British Avant Garde rockers teamed with up the Desert Godfather to create 9 tracks of beautifully eclectic ambient music. Here the Sons appear in their own guise with the nine minute epic '27'. Apparently thought too long to feature on their 2007 self titled debut, this rare track has been dusted down and finally set free into the world. As you would expect from the genre defying instrumental rock pioneers this is a compelling, complex and lavish piece of music. The peaceful, introspective beginning gently builds in momentum as the track grows and grows until it breaks out into a chugging rocker that speaks to you through spacey accented guitar parts. The fact that it flies past is tribute to how adept the Sons are at crafting incredibly listenable music.
The final band are Australia’s Hotel Wrecking City Traders, a duo consisting of brothers Ben and Toby Wrecker who carve out ‘heavy noise explorations’. Their contributions to the split is the ten minute fuzz overdrive of ‘Palmo Victus’ that recalls the thunderous instrumentals of Karma To Burn with equal amounts of laid back cool and smoked out twists and turns. This tripped out piece is hypnotic and almost dirge like, as the simple single guitar playing against the tribal-lite drums. Clearly designed to explore altered mood states, the track is chilled and meandering, more concerned with the journey than the destination. What Hotel Wrecking City Traders bring to the mix feels slightly understated, but is no less important to the mood and feel of the record as it washes over you and leaves little hooks in your psyche. As you may sense I am in love with this split! Three bands who are not only awesome in their own right, but complement each other fantastically.
Waxy - Without Any Explanation Why (LP)
Limited edition of only 400 copies on black vinyl.
A limited edition release pulling tracks from the band's first two CD's. There are guest appearances from John Garcia (Kyuss), Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man), Gary Arce (Yawning Man), Alfredo Hernandez (Kyuss, QOTSA, Che), Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet, Atomic Bitchwax) and Jesse Hughes (Eagles Of Death Metal, Boots Electric). Stoner rock, desert rock, psychedelic rock, riff rock, avant garde, whatever you want to call it, in the end there are only two types of music. Good and bad. And this record is good... REAL good!
We Are Hex - Bleach Brigade (Red/Orange) (LP)
Limited edition of only 250 copies on red and orange colored vinyl.
Bastard children of The Birthday Party, WE ARE HEX is the fire of the televangelist on a night of infomercials, the last union pup on the strip, and skid rubbed raw by a pleasant sin.
We Hunt Buffalo - Living Ghosts (Orange) (IMPORT) (LP)
Limited edition on translucent orange colored vinyl.
'We Hunt Buffalo' creates songs with hard hitting fuzz rock grooves and psychedelic overtones. It's a culmination of many years playing music together in Vancouver, Canada. The band has self-released two EP's and an LP since 2010 to both local and international acclaim. 'Living Ghosts' is the band's most dynamic record to date.