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A Thousand Knives of Fire - The Last Train to Scornsville (CD)

Features members from Halfway to Gone and Monster Magnet.

I suppose it's possible to keep A Thousand Knives of Fire separate from Halfway to Gone, but it won't be easy and it won't be done by me. Even though there's only one core member from Halfway (guitarist and now vocalist Lee Stuart, although drummer Danny Gollin receives credit alongside Monster Magnet's Bob Pantella), A Thousand Knives of Fire's sound is unmistakably similar to the New Jersey three-piece. The band may not sound as hell-bent, but they're certainly just as burly and boozy with plenty of that southern-by-way-of-Jersey rock charm. You're going to get your rollicking shit kickers, some groove-friendly stompers, and some down home balladry. If you've got a hankering for some dirty Jersey swamp rock, get on board The Last Train to Scornsville. It's worth the trip.

The album is purposefully divided into 2 parts: Side 1 and Side 2. Side 1 is definitely in the Halfway to Gone, dirty Southern Blues rawk vein. Fans of the old Halfway stuff and all that will feel right at home here. Side 2 is the "doomier" side. Jammed out, slower paced intrumentals. Heavy as fuck. Even some bits of guttural screaming. Big giant riffs. Big time fun. Seems like I could store this next to my Hackman CD.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Abrahma - Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives (Black/Color) (2LP)

Limited edition of only 500 copies. Side A/B is black. Side C/D is color. 180gr. vinyl.

Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives isn’t so much an album but a monolithic journey of stoner rock ecstasy, inducing mind bending psychedelic delirium, due to the presence ultra heavy riffs, proto-metal influences, acid tinged rock and a hint of alternative grunge. Yet despite the inspiration of the stoner rock progeny being present on the album, it remains fresh and vibrant; it is a thunderous tour de force.

Potent, majestic and choc full of hooks, this Parisian quartet have produced a master class of hypnotic, trippy groove based jams, which dazzles with cosmic spaced out hallucinogenic songs, packed to the rafters with ambience, soul and transcending everything you might have heard before. The first three tracks (“Neptune of Sorrow,” “Tears of the Sun,” “Dandelion Dust”) are just breath taking. Encapsulating dense bass grooves, with multifarious reverberation and texture, the grungy vocals add charisma and personality to the tracks, with layers of epic riffs and unyielding rhythmic drums.

This album continues with awe-inspiring vigour throughout the course of its 15 songs, Headless Horse with its Jeff Buckley tinged psychedelic arpeggio and tripped out vocals, circle and envelop the far reaches of your psyche. The titanic and labyrinthine track, The Maze to the Vodun trilogy, the entire record is a blistering exhibition of stoner rock brilliance. Forget Alcohsonic and all hail the new flesh, because Abrahma’s debut is a psychedelic, grunge infused masterpiece. Well done guys.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $30.99
Abrahma - Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives (CD)



Through The Dusty Paths Of Our Lives isnÆt so much an album but a monolithic journey of stoner rock ecstasy, inducing mind bending psychedelic delirium, due to the presence ultra heavy riffs, proto-metal influences, acid tinged rock and a hint of alternative grunge. Yet despite the inspiration of the stoner rock progeny being present on the album, it remains fresh and vibrant; it is a thunderous tour de force.

Potent, majestic and choc full of hooks, this Parisian quartet have produced a master class of hypnotic, trippy groove based jams, which dazzles with cosmic spaced out hallucinogenic songs, packed to the rafters with ambience, soul and transcending everything you might have heard before. The first three tracks (ôNeptune of Sorrow,ö ôTears of the Sun,ö ôDandelion Dustö) are just breath taking. Encapsulating dense bass grooves, with multifarious reverberation and texture, the grungy vocals add charisma and personality to the tracks, with layers of epic riffs and unyielding rhythmic drums.

This album continues with awe-inspiring vigour throughout the course of its 15 songs, Headless Horse with its Jeff Buckley tinged psychedelic arpeggio and tripped out vocals, circle and envelop the far reaches of your psyche. The titanic and labyrinthine track, The Maze to the Vodun trilogy, the entire record is a blistering exhibition of stoner rock brilliance. Forget Alcohsonic and all hail the new flesh, because AbrahmaÆs debut is a psychedelic grunge infused masterpiece. Well done guys.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Acid King - Busse Woods (Re-issue) (CD)

Includes 2 bonus tracks not found on the Man's Ruin version!!!

Acid King's Busse Woods makes a definitive statement of heaviness that more than makes up for their small number of releases. Interesting then, how this enormously dark and heavy CD is characterized by its laid back feel. There is no angst and bombast here, just super large fuzz riffs unfurled with taste and atmosphere... Just put on Busse (pronounced buss-ee) Woods and find out what she can do.

Acid King gets better every release. Their '97 split with Altamont contains one of the most massively oppressive doom instrumentals ever in "Phase II" and their latest Busse Woods is my favorite Man`s Ruin release of all time.

Like Electric Wizard and the Melvins, this is where rock music seperates itself completely from pop tradition. There are no songs at all, just riffs. This is really art music, existing completely outside traditional pop structures. Mood and atmosphere don't color these songs, they ARE the songs. It's basically the stoned-out space rock of early UFO and Hawkwind brought farther down the line.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Acid King - III (CD)



Produced with the help of San Fransico's legendary engineer Billy Anderson, this is the album that Lori and Co. were born to make. Filled with thundering low end and fat ass riffs III will redefine the definition of the word heavy for years to come.

This is how it’s done. Acid King’s III is a testament to the heavy. They’re among the leaders of psychedelic stoner metal. Less spacey than label mates Sons of Otis, more jam-oriented than doom outfits like Ufomammut and Electric Wizard, Acid King exist in a thunderous low-end that shakes foundations even at the lowest volume. Listening to songs like “”Wheel Nation” or “On to Everafter” is like watching molasses pour out of a jar. It’s thick and viscous, pooling together in a meaty muck. III’s one of those albums that refuses to let go of your subconscious. Chalk it up to Lori S’s spectral croon and her dense guitar riffs, or the heavier than thou rhythm section of Joey Osbourne (drums) and Guy Pinhas (bass).

Awesome slow stoner doom from a band that's perfected what they do.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Acid King - The Early Years (Re-issue) (CD)



Re-releases from the Sympathy for the Record Industry years featuring Acid King's debut 10 inch and first full length album together on one CD.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
All Time High - Friends in High Places (CD)



Fronted by VALIS bassist/vocalist Adrian Makins - who here plays guitar - the band runs through a warming 12 tracks of pop-based heavy alternative rock. All Time High’s heavier low end and classic rock tendencies give a richer context to the material than can be summed up in a comparison to any one band. Its solid, heavy rock execution and accomplished, accessible songwriting results in a satisfying listen whether or not you’re a fan of the style that birthed it.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Antler - Nothing That a Bullet Couldn't Cure (CD)

Features Craig Riggs of Roadsaw.

It’s the line “It was the middle of March when the snow began to melt” that gives clue to Antler’s non-southern locale. Otherwise, it would be easy to mistake this Boston band for one that lives in the same area code as the Allman Brothers or Skynyrd. Their songs are whiskey-soaked in the bluesy rock that’s most commonly associated with the acts mentioned above, but not in the usual retro boogie rock fashion. They’re more low-key and laid back than that - besides, they’ve already done their bit for the gods of rock in bands like Roadsaw, Quintaine Americana, and Cracktorch. Instead, they use all facets of the band – lyrics, guitar, bass, drums, and some damn tasty keys – as a way of telling the sort of stories you can only learn from living a hard life on the road. Nothing That a Bullet Couldn't Cure fits the definition of classic rock. It’s timeless greatness.

Vocalist Craig Riggs has a great "rock voice", as displayed in Roadsaw. While his pipes are more restrained in Antler, he still has the knack for finding that perfect melody to lay down over top of whatever's going on behind him. Laid back, ballady roots rock with fantastic vocals. Makes for a very nice change of pace from the usual screaming and yelling that I go for.

Nothing That a Bullet Couldn't Cure picks up where Antler's self titled debut left off and takes the listener on an aural trip down memory lane. The heavy has been replaced by depth and the riotous rawk of youth has given way to a more developed sense of self-aware songwriting.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Axehandle - Self Titled (CD)

Featuring Erik Larson, Bryan Cox and Ryan Lake from Alabama Thunderpussy!

Here comes the debut from Axehandle, comprised of 3/5 of Alabama Thunderpussy (Erik Larson, Bryan Cox, and Ryan Lake). Larson, guitarist for ATP, joins Cox on drums and the two percussionists/drummers create a wall of rhythm that supports Lake’s bass and guitar playing. Larson, who previously sang on his solo album, does so again for Axehandle. It’s a gruff, almost hardcore type of singing that fits the songs well. And thanks to the outstanding production each instrument has a discernable presence. What the songs offer is a more psychedelic take on ATP’s southern-tinged rock.

Axehandle’s debut album is a disturbingly addictive barrage of musical blood avarice. Axehandle draws the listener in with their tribalistic layering of rythmns and then swings dynamically between melody and bone crushing rock the way most bands move from chorus to verse. It’s like being invited to a dinner party and then finding out you’re the main course.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Backwoods Payback - Momantha (CD)



The four-piece have a sound thatÆs familiar enough to stoner rockers, but not based solely on fuzz-drenched guitar or Kyuss-style desert speeding. ThereÆs something staid about Momantha; itÆs like sludge if sludge went to therapy and started the long process of making peace with itself. There are probably a host of bands one could cite as influences or from whom elements are taken and made part of Backwoods PaybackÆs style but the resulting brew is much harder to pin down.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Black Sleep of Kali - Our Slow Decay (CD)



Black Sleep of Kali are an ugly yet beautiful proposition that draw on influences with a darker hue. This is by no means retro rock and sits firmly in the modern day looking to bands such as Baroness, Mastodon and High on Fire with one eye on the up and coming stoner doom scene of bands like Black Pyramid and Elder. Pulverising, uncompromising and aggressive on the one hand, BSOK pile granite hard riffs onto each other propelled along with an animalistic rhythm and capped off with a coruscating vocal approach that sounds like a juggernaut scraping along a cliff side!!! The initial impact of this album is like being hit by a fucking huge boulder but keep listening and it becomes apparent that scratch the surface of the boulder and you will find gold.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Blackwolfgoat - Dragonwizardsleeve (CD)



Darryl Shepard, previously of notable Boston outfits like Milligram and Hackman, helms and comprises Blackwolfgoat, and on his full-length debut, Dragonwizardsleeve, he reminds that loops, drones and noise arenÆt necessarily relegated as tools only for hipster art students or freakout psychedelics. Somehow, this drone rocks. While BlackwolfgoatÆs debut is challenging, its lonely heaviness manages to cross the divide between desolate black metal, doom, drone and even some classic heavy psych at the end. This leads me to believe the albumÆs limited appeal û being solo, instrumental guitar û is offset by the sonic diversity and that those who donÆt ordinarily get down with this kind of indulgence might be doing right by checking in on what Dragonwizardsleeve has to offer.

As a first outing, Shepard seems to have a remarkable vision in place of what he wants this band to be, and he carries it across with confidence and clarity throughout these six songs which have just enough in them to keep the easily bored occupied and the willingly entranced under their spell for the duration.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Bottom - You'rNext (CD)



Bottom is far removed from the style of their past release. On youÆrNext, theyÆve got more in common with eclectic, experimental acts like Book of Knots. Some of the tracks are stripped down to the barest of essentials, accented by instruments not normally associated with this style of music. Intertwined with these more ôtraditionalö style songs are experiments in feedback. ItÆs easy to dismiss these tracks as filler, but they in fact serve the purpose of keeping the listener off kilter. youÆrNext isnÆt background music. The arrangements are too complex and the musicÆs too engrossing for that. YouÆre taken on a journey with this album.

Amazing album! I know some will diagree, but I find similarities between this album and OM's Variations on a Theme in that most of the tracks are almost entirely comprised of just bass, drums and vocals... hardly any guitar.

Emerging from a dreamscape of feedback six feet deep, Bottom's sound twists and turns like an old saw wiseacre then digs into your head like a ritual from the Book of the Dead. Delivered with all the subtlety of the Grim Reaper, YouÆrNext tells us a gypsy lie using minor chords soul wrenching howls and guitar tones that circles like ravenous buzzards.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Brain Police - Beyond the Wasteland (CD)



"Beyond the Wasteland" is the sort of stoner rock you expect from the Nordic region – aggressive riffs tempered with melody and as catchy as crabs in a $10 whorehouse. In short, Brain Police is the type of band you cite as a competent example of the genre. These tracks are instantly accessible, and more importantly, I could remember them long after I stopped playing the album. And compared to past releases, "Beyond the Wasteland" is by far the best material Brain Police has released.

If your collection boasts the likes of Greenleaf, Dozer, Sgt. Sunshine, Asteroid, Blowback, Unida, Hermano, Nebula, Sparzanza, Josiah, Frame and Honcho, then push ‘em all over to the side and make room for Brain Police.

Veteran rockers Brain Police return with their fourth studio album, sporting a new guitarist Búi Bendtsen. The result is more guitar heavy than past albums without losing their distinctive stoner-rock sound. The band is as tight as Baden Powell’s Boy Scout knots – especially the connection between drummer Jónbi and bass player Höddi. Seen live Brain Police are a tough act to follow and Beyond the Wasteland captures that well.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Brain Police - Electric Fungus (Re-issue) (CD)



Their songs are full of one blues drenched thick classic rock riff after riff and will have you banging your head to the beat within minutes. If you like bands like Dozer, Roachpowder, Orange Goblin then you should like what Brain Police has to offer. Good energy, good grooves good times and plenty of soul...rock!

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Brain Police - Self Titled (Re-issue) (CD)



Their songs are full of one blues drenched thick classic rock riff after riff and will have you banging your head to the beat within minutes. If you like bands like Dozer, Roachpowder, Orange Goblin then you should like what Brain Police has to offer. Good energy, good grooves good times and plenty of soul...rock!

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Brought Low, The - Right on Time (CD)



What this New York three-piece offers is pure, unadulterated classic rock. Their songs bring to mind early Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, The Faces, and the Rolling Stones back when they could do no wrong. ThereÆs an easy going groove to their brand of rock. I could write pages on ôBlues,ö which is the kind of barn burning ass kicker that could single handedly stop a horde of mopey goth kids dead in their tracks and make them rush out and buy Gibsons and Marshall stacks. When you get to the part with singer/guitarist Benjamin Howard Smith and Kevin Eleven lock into a harmonized guitar duel and you donÆt start moving hand over your ears because you sure as shit arenÆt using them correctly. This is absolutely righteous and essential for anyone who loves good times and rock ænÆ rock.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Brought Low, The - Right on Time (Color) (LP)

Limited edition of only 100 copies on burnt orange colored vinyl.

What this New York three-piece offers is pure, unadulterated classic rock. Their songs bring to mind early Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, The Faces, and the Rolling Stones back when they could do no wrong. There’s an easy going groove to their brand of rock. I could write pages on “Blues,” which is the kind of barn burning ass kicker that could single handedly stop a horde of mopey goth kids dead in their tracks and make them rush out and buy Gibsons and Marshall stacks. When you get to the part with singer/guitarist Benjamin Howard Smith and Kevin Eleven lock into a harmonized guitar duel and you don’t start moving hand over your ears because you sure as shit aren’t using them correctly. This is absolutely righteous and essential for anyone who loves good times and rock ‘n’ rock.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $25.99
Brought Low, The - Third Record (CD)



There are a lot of retro-minded guitar bands who plunder the pre-punk 70s for nuggets of gold, but few quite as deft and inspired as the BROUGHT LOW are on Third Record. While most of these acts drink deeply from only one or two mugs, the New York City trio slakes its thirst from several sources: the Detroit fury of the MC5 and the STOOGES, the American roots-infused grooves of the ROLLING STONES, the lighter-waving dynamics of LYNYRD SKYNYRD, the big hooks of the arena rock hordes from the early part of the Me Decade. Even better, the band mixes and matches freely, playing various iterations of rock & roll less as style-jumping and more as a continuum. Add leader BENJAMIN HOWARD SMITHæs smart, soulful writing and gritty twang (aggressive but never macho) and the result is rip-roaring rock. Previous albums have been excellent, but Third Record takes the group to a whole ænother level indisputably placing the Brought Low in the ranks of the Great American Bands.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
Deville - Hydra (CD)



You immediately hear that these Swedes have been around for ten years now: Deville play no-frills Rock music with obvious influences, but write proper, diverse songs instead of indulging in sluggish riffs and singing that knows no tonal range.

On their new album the repertoire ranges from all-out Stoner-stuff like the opening tune or Over The Edgeacross compositions that live up to the best Helmet did in their heydays ( In Vain ) to more metallic elements manifest in Burning Towersfor example and the production in general. Other highlights are the sombre instrumentals The Knifeand Battles Will Be Bornas well as Iron Fedwhich reminds of pre-Solace-group Godspeed, plus the occasional nods towards Josh Homme's work most noticeable in the plodding passages of Let It Go . With Imperialthe band has also delivered a small epic with soulful soloing towards the end whereas elsewhere, they strive for a very compact sound.

In its broad range and modern tinge, this is actually what you want to hear in 2013 no strained vintage-isms with which other bands try to gloss over their inability to come up with something interesting.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $14.99
   
 
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