Håndgemeng – Ultraritual (Review)

Håndgemeng - UltraritualThis is the debut album from Norwegian stoner/sludge metal band Håndgemeng.

Ultraritual provides us with 42 minutes of stoner/sludge metal that has a hardcore edge. Taking a high energy approach to riff-focused heavy music, yet varied within this, Ultraritual is a melting pot of influences that come together well. Continue reading “Håndgemeng – Ultraritual (Review)”

Brimstone Coven – The Woes of a Mortal Earth (Review)

Brimstone Coven - The Woes of a Mortal EarthThis is the fourth album from Brimstone Coven, a rock band from the US.

Here we have 35 minutes of endearing rock that mixes together elements of proto-metal and doom rock to produce music that has a 70s feel, while not being overly beholden to it. Bands like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, and Deep Continue reading “Brimstone Coven – The Woes of a Mortal Earth (Review)”

The Socks – The Socks (Review)

The SocksThe Socks are from France and play a 70’s-style Stoner Rock.

The album art immediately drew me in, although I must confess that it is slightly marred by what is, for me, a really awful band name. Still, personal taste and all that.

But onto the important stuff – the music. The Socks, (ugh), play good, old-fashioned Rock in a retro style with a liberal dashing of era-appropriate keyboards that add to the feeling of having just stepped out of a time machine. Well almost anyway, as the production has a good modern sound to it. Rather than coming across incongruous though it allows the songs to sound much more alive than if they had gone with a usually-muted 70’s style “authentic” production.

They have songs that are upbeat and joyful, with groove, energy and vigour, while also having songs that are more laid back and introspective. Holy Sons is one of my favourite of this latter type.

The album has a good deal of variety across the 9 tracks, with even some contemporary influences sneaking in occasionally, (Next To The Light contains parts that sound almost Alice In Chains-y, for example).

The singer has a good set of lungs; relaxed and soulful. He makes his mark over well-played and written songs that are both catchy and involving.

This is only their début album but the band display a knowledge and experience of songwriting well beyond what other bands might have acquired by this point.

Despite my reservations about the name; the band acquit themselves nicely and this is a solid album of really enjoyable retro-style Rock. If you’re partial to a bit of this then you can do a lot worse.