Howling Giant – Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 2 (Review)

Howling GiantHowling Giant are a stoner rock band from the US. This is their latest EP.

Fuzz, stoner, hard rock, space rock, psychedelia, tripped out jams…it’s all here. Howling Giant certainly make an impression with their well-crafted music. Continue reading

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Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos (Review)

AvatariumAvatarium are a doom rock band from Sweden and this is their third album.

Featuring current and ex members of bands such as Candlemass, The Doomsday Kingdom, Jupiter Society, Tiamat, and Evergrey, you know a lot of experience and talent is going to be present on this album before you even listen to it. Continue reading

Agusa – Agusa 2 (Två) (Review)

AgusaAgusa are from Sweden and play Psychedelic/Progressive Rock. This is their second album.

The majority of the things you need to know about this album can be summed up in the follwing three words – 70s Progressive Rock. It’s definitely of the era and the inclusion of organ and flute only reinforce the idea.

There are only two tracks on this release but with the first one being 20 minutes in length and the second 18 minutes, there’s a full album’s worth of content here.

Apart from some low-key and ethereal backing vocals, this is almost entirely instrumental; the main focus is on the music itself. The intricate complexity and warm exploratory nature of the songs mean that these two tracks have a lot to offer in a non-threatening way. If you like the 70s style then it’s undoubtedly an impressive display of it.

Agusa 2 is richly textured and has a seemingly loose structure that’s probably actually quite tightly controlled. It twists, turns and winds its way through the playing time in a calm and informal manner.

This offers some real drugged-out psychedelic bliss for connoisseurs of the style. It’s a reflective response to a time that may have passed but is being kept alive by people who share a passion for an era that musically gave so much to what came after.

Although Agusa won’t be a band that appeals to everyone, they do what they do extremely well and if you want to kick back and relax to music that’s both mellow and challenging then this is the album for you.

Ecstatic Vision – Sonic Praise (Review)

Ecstatic VisionEcstatic Vision are from the US and play Psychedelic Rock. This is their début album.

Ecstatic Vision play music that combines elements of Stoner Rock with 70s Psychedelia and Progressive influences.

The music has the drugged-out aura of an older time, where music seemed purer and bands experimented in more than one way.

This is a guitar-oriented release with lots of riffs, solos and leads. In addition to this we get dreamy organ, throbbing bass and understated-yet-crucial drums.

A decent enough description would be somewhere between Hawkwind and Acid Mothers Temple. The songs easily take on a life of their own during their exploratory ramblings. It remains cohesive though and although you wouldn’t necessarily be in the mood to listen to this type of thing every day, when you are it really, really hits the spot.

Listen and absorb; open the doors of perception and visit other layers of consciousness.

Sativa – 100 Years After Never (Review)

SativaSativa are from Bulgaria and this is their latest release. They play instrumental Post-Rock.

This is winding Post-Rock with a nice Progressive Rock edge to their sound. There’s also some Psychedelia and Stoner elements to their sound that essentially mean 100 Years After Never is a very relaxing, easy listen that washes over you like a rippling tide.

That’s not to say it’s all calm sailing as the band ramp it up a bit when they need to, but there’s no real heavy aggression here or anything of that sort.

Ethereal Post-Rock guitar blends with down-to-earth bass to create a listening experience that’s tranquil and charged at the same time. Sativa do well in this combination of beauty and gritty realism and the songs on this EP are nicely judged.

With the Stoner connection it’s the usual thing to make lots of comparisons to deserts, etc. but the reality is that Sativa have got somewhat of a watery vibe going on in some ways. This is especially strong on track 3, which gives the distinct impression of bubbles…

Maybe it’s just me, but I can hear it, I swear…

Overall this is a neat little EP that hits more times than it misses.

Recommended.