Forming the Void – Rift (Review)

Forming the VoidForming the Void are a progressive stoner/sludge doom band from the US. This is their fourth album.

After enjoying Forming the Void’s split with Pyreship, I was eager to hear more from the band. Thankfully, that desire has been catered to in the form of Rift; 46 minutes of new material for me to wrap my ears around. Continue reading

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Boss Keloid – Herb Your Enthusiasm (Review)

Boss KeloidBoss Keloid are a Sludge Metal band from the UK. This is their second album.

Boss Keloid’s Sludge fuses Metal, Doom, Stoner and even Progressive Metal and Grunge into its tar-like embrace, offering the listener 59 minutes of compelling riffage.

With a huge, massive sound, Boss Keloid bring the heaviness with ease. The songs are chock-full of tasty riffs and the kind of guitars that can knock you over if played at full volume.

The Stoner-esque vocals sound really good, adding an extra level of colour and richness to already textured music. The singer has commanding presence, great personality and charisma, all of which are clearly felt through his voice.

The songs themselves are very satisfying, all the more so due to the decent amount of variety and interest that the album has. With almost an hour of music it would be easy to lose momentum or have some dull moments, but the incorporation of the various Metal sub-genres into the mix makes for a very endearing and engaging album.

Unlike some bands that use multiple styles as parts of their musical recipe, Boss Keloid don’t move from one easily identified sub-genre in one section to another; the band mix all of these elements into the songs together, holistically making the most of these influences to the betterment of the songs and the album as a whole.

Each track is recognisable as its own beast with its own identity, and pretty much every track has elements of the wider pool of influences mixed in.

An extremely impressive album. Herb Your Enthusiasm is a keeper.

For fans of Conan, Electric Wizard, Mammoth Storm, Orange Goblin, Down, etc.

Against Time – Against Time (Review)

Against TimeAgainst Time are an Alternative Rock band from Canada. This is their début EP.

This is uplifting Alternative Rock with a pinch of Metal here and there in some of the riffs. It reminds me of the kind of style that was quite wildly popular a decade or so ago – somewhat of the time of a kind of Post-Grunge second wave, I suppose.

The singer’s voice fits the music and is kind of reminiscent of the big commercial US stadium rock style from the era, (Pearl Jam, Creed, etc.).

For the most part these songs are upbeat rockers, although on the odd occasion where they slow down I find I actually prefer these parts. Having said that though, there are some good riffs on this in places.

There’s a lot of promise on this EP and I think that if they refine their style a bit more, as I’m sure they will, then they’ll go from strength to strength.

For those times when you want a bit of simple Rock without anything too retro or too modern, there are worse choices than Against Time.

Have a listen and see what you think.

Favourite Track: Breathless.

HD live video here – http://www.omniumdurock.tv/2015/11/20/against-time-18-novembre-2015/

Escape Is Not Freedom – The Truants (Review)

Escape Is Not FreedomEscape Is Not Freedom are from the US and play Alternative Metal. This is their début EP.

5 songs, 28 minutes.

I like this band. They’re playing a style that’s a bit harder to pigeon hole than most, and I haven’t really heard much too similar to this for a long time.

The band this reminds me the most of is Fudge Tunnel, only with slightly harsher vocals. If you know Fudge Tunnel at all, then it will give you a good idea of Escape Is Not Freedom’s sound. If not, then think slightly-muted and unusual Alternative Metal, done with a Noise Rock background and a raw, underground Grunge influence, before it became a big thing. Add in a few elements of Therapy? at their more Alt-Rock and a pinch of Helmet, and you have this EP.

The songs are a satisfying listen, taking me back to the 90s in many respects. If you’re looking for a few more modern references though, think a less-Sludge version of Kowloon Walled City mixed with a bit of Russian Circles.

The slightly-muted delivery is an interesting one as it is frequently presented by large riffs and energetic guitars, so how they manage to retain that subtlety and understated-edge that Fudge Tunnel did so well is beyond me. It’s partially down to the production, but also the feel of the songs themselves. It’s a very hard-to-achieve juxtaposition, but when done right, it works.

This won’t be to everyone’s tastes, (which is a silly thing to say in many ways, as you could literally say that about any band), but I have enjoyed it; not only due to the fact that it’s a little different, but also just due to the strength of the songs themselves.

If you’re looking for something a little outside of your normal comfort zone, try Escape Is Not Freedom on for size.

Seneron – Parasites and Poets (Review)

SeneronSeneron are from Northern Ireland and this is their début album. They play Rock.

Infusing their Rock with Grunge and Punk, Seneron have produced a richly melodic 28 minutes of enjoyable music.

Not wildly dissimilar from fellow Irish bands Therapy? and, (in particular), Kerbdog; Seneron inhabit the same stylistic space as these heavy-hitters. Add in bit of Helmet, Foo Fighters and…yes, Seneron would have fit in very well in the early 90s.

The songs are catchy, memorable and easy to digest. It’s very easy listening, and I mean that in a good way. You can just turn this on and zone out to the infectious melodies. Before you know it, you’re rocking around in your seat and singing along with rawkus abandon. Or something.

The songs are short and sweet, never outstaying their welcome. Parasites and Poets succeeds in being very easy to like and very easy to recommend.

The songs are well-crafted sugar-coated slices of Rock. The guitars are pleasingly loud though and it’s to Seneron’s credit that they’ve given their guitarist permission to add a bit of a bite to his attack. Compared to most of the stuff on this site you wouldn’t call it aggressive, but it’s not a passive, weak delivery like a lot of this type of music thinks it can get away with.

A thoroughly enjoyable album. Check out Seneron.

Third Ion – 13/8bit (Review)

Third IonThis is the début album from Third Ion who are a Progressive Metal band.

Heavy Metal meets Chiptune? Well, mainly Heavy Metal to be honest. When the chiptune parts do appear they shouldn’t really work but amazingly they do, mainly because they don’t overdo it of course.

This is quite a mix of styles in some ways. The Progressive Metal/Rock aspect of their sound is a modern one yet they still carry obvious influences from older Progressive Rock. Some of the guitars have a modern, almost-Djent feel to them whilst others are pure 70’s inspired riffs with added distortion.

As well as this we have the obvious electronic/video-games influences that are not overused and instead just add some individuality to the pot.

There’s also an unexpected Grunge element to their sound. This manifests not only in the music but also in the vocals. There’s a kind of laid back, hazy feel to things that recalls bands of this type and era.

The musicianship on display here is first-rate, as is the recording. Importantly the songs themselves are well-written and the album has a kind of easy-listening vibe despite the frequent higher-energy and more upbeat sections.

This is a really enjoyable Progressive Metal album that’s a little different due to the mix of related styles. Recommended.

Elevators to the Grateful Sky – Cloud Eye (Review)

Elevators to the Grateful SkyThis is the début album from Italian Stoner Rock band Elevators to the Grateful Sky.

This is a groovy and rocking release from this band.

A warm, happy sound emanates from the album and even in the band’s heavier moments the sound still manages to capture the heat of the desert in every note.

The singer has a good voice that’s as welcoming and familiar as the style itself. Not too high and not too low, it’s in that sweet spot where it doesn’t grate at all and fits the songs like a glove.

The songs are catchy and memorable and altogether a relatively relaxed affair. Even when the band rock out with their riffs at full throttle they still manage to foster a laid-back vibe at the same time.

The tracks have the usual Stoner Rock-styled riffs and composition that’s so definitive of this genre as well as having a bit of a Grunge feel in places. They do throw in the odd curve ball however; horn sections, for example.

Whilst not reinventing the genre this is still a solid and enjoyable release for anyone who likes this style.

Have a listen.