Sounds of the Underground #44

Let me entertain you with some underground tunes by Ashbringer, Wederganger, Laster, Wilderun and Eternal Khan. Hopefully you find something you dig in there.

Ashbringer – Yūgen
Avantgarde Music 

source: Bandcamp

The name Ashbringer resonates to me due to the obviousl link to Warcraft. The name of the legendary blade is almost as enchanting as the music of this band, which is unique, atmospheric and grand, but always staying on the edgy. Their debut was ‘Vacant’, released in 2015, by the Minnesota group. That already intrigued me, but ‘Yūgen’ is a whole different beast. The group formed around Nick Stanger (Astral Blood, No Heroes, ex-The Broken Are Crowned), who decided to pursue his solo dreams. To my dismay I found that I never got around to penning some words about Ashbringers debut, but do check that out if you have a chance. 

Deep melancholy oozes from the sound of Ashbringer. Its’s full on, blazing black metal, swelling up like a roaring fire and rolling over you, but in there is a layer of synths. Those create that feeling of magic. The band is also not afraid to add folky elements to the music, not necessary hidden behind bushes of distortion, but offering an intermezzo in a track (even the opener) or soaring high throughout a song like ‘Oceans Apart’. It adds a postrock vibe to the atmosphere that Ashbringer delivers, but the twangy steel sound of the guitar on that song takes it somewhere else. It places the band completely on its own path. I think you can compare them to a Deafheaven, Woods of Desolation and ilk, but to me on ‘Yūgen’ the band has found their own sound, which is distinct. As the Asian word they chose as title indicates, it’s mysterious and profoundly expressing a sort of suffering. This is a glorious record.

Laster/Wederganger – Split
Ván Records 

source: bandcamp

Laster is a Dutch band, earlier I discussed their previous release. That was an experience in itself, there’s a poetic side to the bands sound and words. On this new ordeal, the band unleashes a song that lasts close to 20 minutes.  ‘Vederlicht Verraad’ is their contribution to this split, so I’ll split this review up as well. There’s something unorthodox about this track, mainly on the rhythm section, which sounds almost like wooden drums. Full on salvo’s are unleashed, but there’s a continuous measure of control to the sound, as if the band tempers the energy they unleash.  From there the band slowly works towards a repetition that slowly dulls the listener, bringing on a trance that is ended by the harsh buzzing noise that remains at the end of the track.

Wederganger is a whole different beast. Steeped in the clay of their region, closely connected to more historical orientated bands and up for a bit of dirty, grimy black metal, this will not be a pleasant experience. Their song ‘Klaroenen van den dood’ translates as ‘trumpets of death’ (roughly). It opens with a languid, sizzling riff that electrifies your spine. There’s a feel of something looming in this track, it never really gives you a moment of peace and calm. The ghoulish vocals are accompanied by a galloping rhythm, that keeps a slow melodic pace. Rattling drums crawl under a soaring, buzzing guitar riff that sounds really like it’s charged heavily. Clean vocals in Dutch chant about death, it’s a typical morbid day in Wederganger land.

Eternal Khan – Lost in the Night of Ages

source: Bandcamp

I think that Eternal Khan is the musical equivalent of taking a bat to the face, that’s how intense the Providence black/doom metal band comes across on their second full lenght ‘Lost in the Night of Ages’. The band takes on themes like absurdity of man’s existence, which does intrigue me. The artwork and other promises also suggest that there’s an element of mythology to the band. On previous covers a Mongolian warlord is depicted, hulking and brandishing weaponry. That feels different on this album, with a more fantasy like creature adorning its front.

The feel of the magnificent riffing might be dirgelike, there’s an urgency and commanding element to the steady horse-back galloping riffing on the record. Maybe I’m just interpreting the ‘khan’ title in the album, but the threatening tone is more than just creating a languid atmospheres. In that militant element, there’s definitely a wink at Satyricon you could suggest. Vocals are much more barked and guttural and there’s definitely more of a stomping feel to the doomed up  beats. Still, this is no step back in black metal history, this is a record in its full right, exploring a new avenue from that direction. It’s brutal, atmospheric and one big pit of swirling chaos.  I only miss the real mythological elements that everything seems to hint at.

Wilderun – Sleep at the Edge of the Earth

source: bandcamp

I’ve kinda left Wilderun for what it is for quite a while, untill I saw it pop up on some EoY lists here and there. The lustrous green hills on the cover did attract my eye, so I finally decided to give it a spin. Expecting something akin to Wildernessking I was surprised by the sound of this Boston group. The Americans produce their own specific sound of folk metal with symphonic elements. Now, this is a slippery slope that might lead up to a massive cheese fest of tacky, over the top metal music, but these guys manage to pull it of.  Time to dig in and listen to the majesty that is Wilderun.

Combine the penchant for the dramatic storytelling of Turisas with the grandeur of musical brilliance of Opeth and you have a pretty adequate  description of what the sound of this group is. Vocally and lyrically the work of Evan Anderson Berry is very strong and theatrical, but a bit too slick for my tastes. The same goes for the bombastic arrangements. When finally a shreddin guitar enters the fray on ‘The Means to Preserve’ I think I sigh audibly every time. Equally for the more gruff vocals by the way, but I can’t escape the notion that this is a majestic record, filled with grandeur and beauty of it’s very own kind by a band who are masters at their craft. It’s grandeur and picturesque nature remains unsurpassed and this is indeed a great album that I would recommend to those who like their music epic and sountracky.

Interview with Askhan of Nine Treasures, folk metal from China

An interview with Askhan from Nine Treasures, Mongolian folk metal from China, originally published on Echoes & Dust.

China is one of the biggest countries in the world. It has a complex and diverse history and apparently a thriving metal scene, which is vastly different to that we have in the ‘west’. That diversity extends to bands that have an ethnic element that we don’t even know about. Nine Treasures is one of those bands.

Askhan, bandleader and main songwriter of Nine Treasures concedes that it’s hard to explain to people that he is from Inner Mongolia. His ethnicity is there for Mongolian, though the region is mostly populated by Chinese people. It’s the part of China that sort of embraces the nation Mongolia and is deeply connected to its ethnic roots, music and culture.


It’s not an uncommon story that folk music blossoms when uprooted from its home. It was in Beijing that Nine Treasures took shape, thanks to the work of Askhan and passion for the music. He moved to this metropole, because it’s the centre of the music business in China. A place of opportunity. The band has started touring the world and played venues all over Europe with their unique blend of folk and metal. I got in touch with the busy man himself to learn more about the band.

Can you start by introducing yourself? How did you get into metal?
Hi I’m Askhan from Nine Treasures, I’m the guitarist and vocalist. I got into metal when I was in junior high school. I listened the band called Hurd. An old Mongolian metal band, but the funny thing is I didn’t know that is metal. I just loved the songs they wrote and played, but after that I got into all the classic bands like Metallica and Slayer in High School.

I’ve grown up in Inner Mongolia and picked up the guitar in high school. I’ve played in three bands this far and Nine Treasures is my third project.  My first band was mostly for fun at the time. The second band was called M-Survivor, we played metalcore in my college days. I also do the recording, editing, mixing, mastering, designing artwork, editing the video’s and make the posters for Nine Treasures. I guess I do all I can for the band. I quit my day job in 2013 and now I’m fully committed to working for the band.

I understand the band is from Beijing, but the roots are in Inner Mongolia, can you tell more about that origin of the band and how you guys got together? Do you have any other musical projects going?
I started to find all members of Nine Treasures when I got to Beijing at 2010. It was very lucky that I found them in very short time, because we knew each other before. It’s not easy to find Mongolian musicians in Beijing, unlike in Inner Mongolia. The guys I’m playing with now are the only capable ones I found. I had some demos from 2010 and contacted them. They loved the stuff, which is key for finding committed band members. You have to show them something that’s worth their while.

How did you come to the decision to blend folk music with metal?
I fully got into folk metal music in 2007. I start to think about how I can put Mongolian folk into metal music for 3 years before Nine Treasures was founded. It was a very difficult process figuring out how to bring together those two elements, which required a lot of thinking. 

For western bands there are plenty of examples to learn from how to combine these elements. Mongolian folk music is radically different from European folk, so I really needed to figure out how to fit them in with western instruments like guitar, bass and drum. They really need to connect and we want to put east before west in the sound. It’s a hard thing to do, but it works and we’re only getting better at it.

What does the name Nine Treasures originate from? What is its meaning?
Nine Treasures refers to the precious metals and gems Mongolian people like to put on their jewellery, such as gold, silver, copper, coral and so on. It indicates luck and good wishes for the future.

Can you tell a bit more about the instruments, why you chose to use them and how you put them into metal music?
Nine Treasures uses folk instruments like the Morin Khuur, Tovshuur, Balalaika etc. All these instruments, except the Balalaika, are Mongolian. The Balalaika is a Russian instrument.

When you’re doing Mongolian folk metal, the first thing to put into it is the Mongolian instrument. You build the metal music up around it, but I’m not sure how I did that. It’s the thing with the creative process, it’s impossible to describe what you do and how. It’s a lot of work that your brain can’t fully comprehend and after all that hard work something beautiful comes out hopefully.

I hear a lot of this galloping rhythms in your music. I’m assuming this has a lot to do with the stories (as demonstrated by the title ‘Galloping White Horse’). Can you tell me a bit more about the musical and thematic elements of Mongolian folklore and folk music that you put in your music (like what themes are very present, but would people not know about)?
Mongolians are horseman people on the world for 2000 years. We had lot of stories about horses. The horse has a few different running rhythms, some of them are fast, some slow. The different speed creates different feelings and emotions. To give you an example, if the horse is running slowly, then it will make us happy or think deep g about something, right? And then you have to remember the feeling and write some words for it. Then you can sing it for a melody you like and boom! You’ve got a song. That is the way how Mongolian folk music comes together and is created.

You’ve re-released the album ‘Avan Ald Guulin Honshoor’ recently. What prompted the re-release and can you tell about the story you are telling on the album?
First release of ‘Avan Ald Guulin Honshoor’ was in 2012, we didn’t have good gear and instruments in that time. It was a bit rough, so I started to fix all of the tracks after it was released. I didn’t even want to re-release it originally, but some friends told me it has some damn good sounds and much better than before. So there was no reason to hide it anymore.

What is the writing and recording process for an album like for you guys? Who is responsible for what tasks?
I will record some simple demos without any folk instruments in the beginning, then send those to other members. They will write the folk instrument part for it. So the basis of a Nine Treasures album always starts from pure metal.

Are you working on any new music currently?

What is the scene like in China/Mongolia for metal and for bands like you? Can you maybe mention some bands that people should really be checking out (and explain why)?
China has round 200 metal bands, in a lot of genres and styles. They make music and have tours all the time here.  You can check out Ego Fall, Tengger Cavalry, Suffocated etc. Folk metal bands are getting popular here right now. I think people always want to try some new and fresh things.

Outside of China probably people only know the band Tang Dynasty. Can you may be shed some light on what started metal music in China/Mongolia?
I don’t really know about the history of metal of China, but I think it started at early 90’s.

Metal music faces a lot of oppression in some parts of the world. In general we assume here that China is one of those places. Do you face any censorship or oppression of metal culture and music in China?
I don’t think so, they just don’t care what music you playing. If there is any sort of censorship, it’s because they care about the lyrics. If you write some words that they don’t like to see, then they probably will censor your work. You can play around with those rules though, it will make your lyrics much more poetical.

Blending folk/national themes with metal has in the past often been linked to extreme right politics. Is this something you as a band ever had to deal with like many western folk metal band?
We never had that issue, and our songs are all about Mongolian culture, life and environment.

What future plans do you currently have as a band?
We will release our new album in 2016, then will have tour in whole China and Europe. That’s what we doing right now.

Please use this space to add anything you’d like to say.
I hope more people will like Mongolian folk metal music all-round the world.

Check out the music of Nine Treasures on their Bandcamp:


Sounds of the Underground #43

Underground tunes for the ears with Dark Phantom, Fyrnask, Lisa Cuthbert and Deadspace. Surely a platter for the ones with good taste is on offer here.

If you read this, please check out the music of Dark Phantom from Iraq.If you dig it, find an article or a song (or my bit) to share to give these guys the audience they deserve. Thanks

Dark Phantom – Nation of Dogs

source: bandcamp

Kirkuk, thats where this band comes from. Kirkuk, that is a town in the north of Iraq. Now take a moment to let that settle in. Not only is it a city in the beleagered nation, it’s also an overly Kurdish city. In the past I spoke with their singer Mir about his project Cyaxares, but now the band Dark Phantom has an album too. While war is raging around them, these guys put all that grief, anger and frustration in a death metal record you will not soon forget. Unfortunately, they’re still running independently, so this is also a call to labels, promoters and others of that ilk to get these boys signed. Why would I want this band that has existed since 2007 signed? Well, the main reason for that is called ‘Nation of Dogs’, which is metal the way it sounds when you really mean it.

Dark Phantom sounds brutal. Deep guttural vocals are spat out over repetitive, but catchy riffs that have a pretty clear sound. The bass is a bit more twangy and creaky, but it sounds quite nice in combinationwith the clear sounding elements. What struck me most is the lyrics, which offer a fuck you to religion, terror and politics. A brutal statement, regarding the origins of the band. Cool fact is that the vocals don’t stick to the regular cookie monster growls, but also chant and sing cleanly in what feels like an ethnic way. It’s a clear reminder of the unlikely and irregular nature of this band, finding their own style and way of sound.
I’ve never made a secret of the fact that my knowledge of death metal is limited, but I really love this record. I feel that it is special and most urgently expresses a sentiment coming from the middle east. The production is not perfect, there are little dents and bruises to the songs, but it rocks and kicks ass. Check it out!

Fyrnask – Fórn
Ván Records

source: bandcamp

Bonn appears to me as a strange city, this former capital of Western Germany. Where did it get its charm to be capital? I know little of the place, but now I know that one man black metal band Fyrnask hails from there. This record is the third for the project in the last five years. Inspired by nature, but also containing elements of bombastic epic sections, this sounds like much more than a one man endeavor. Fyrnask is an overwhelming experience that sounds much bigger than you’d think. Check it out.

The overwhelming sound of Fyrnask is a force to behold. A surging tidal wave of frantic compositions, hard to comprehend in their fullest, washes over you. Venomous barks are exchanged with baritone mumblings of a dark priest for the vocals. In the middle of the maelstorm the tremolo guitar play blasts away everything. The sound of this record is one of two extremes, minimal classical elements and blistering black metal are intertwining, working together harmoniously. This is ritualistic music, with strong violence and a link to the northland in both language and lyrics. It offers something for the more atmosphere loving listener as well as the black metal afficionado. Good stuff here.

Lisa Cuthbert – Hextapes
Self released

source: Bandcamp

Born in Dublin, Ireland, making music seems to come natural to Lisa Cuthbert, who appears to have made a movement towards a more occult realm on this most recent endeavour. Most of the music Cuthbert makes herself, but additions were done by violinist Hanna van Gorcum (Pyrates!) and drums and percussion was done by Marvin Morelle. The recording comes in recycled materials, which is pretty cool to be honest. Cuthbert is an instrumentalist and vocalist, who plays guitar, piano, synths and stuff that makes noize according to the bio.

What the music of Lisa Cuthbert is exactly is hard to catch in genre terms. It’s music inspired by it’s Celtic roots, but neofolk misses out on some drone aspects and perhaps some ritualistic elements in the music. There’s definitely something dark to the music and the guitars on a song like ‘The Host Wants a Parasite’ remind you of the more drone doom orientated acts like Earth. It’s a peculiar record, that seems to draw from anywhere, as long as it gives of the right vibe. The intro for ‘Eyes’ reminds you of an old gospel record, while ‘Pillar’ comes closer to Clanned. It’s a mysterious album, that you can get lost in, as in foggy crypts and forests. There’s a darkness, but one that contains a unique beauty.

Deadspace – In Ecstatic Sorrow

source: bandcamp

Hailing from down under, the band Deadspace plays their very own brand of depressive black metal. They call it blackened post goth-rock, which quite frankly might rank as the most ridiculous genre term ever, but is also sort of fitting. In their bio the band states to make art, but also that their art will not change anything. It’s just what they do. The depressive element is already apparent from this self effacing description. It’s an interesting approach for this uncommon band, check their artwork for example. This is the second unleashing of the band and I think its quite amazing.

The emphasis of the sound that these Ozzies deliver is much more on the theatrics, creating space for the vocalist and the keys to create the right setting. One can hear this very clearly in opener ‘Nostalgia, Like A Plague, She Rapes Me To Sleep’. The guitar is very present as well, sounding crisp clear and razorsharp in its tremolo playing style. The intro for ‘Venus’ for example blows the listener away. Originally the band intented for this to be a concept album, that had never seen the light of day. Now they’ve decided to put it out and it does shine in its cohesion. There’s a cleanliness to the sound, making it easy to get into, but also  hard to really stick to it due to the rapid changes of pace and vibe of the songs. They might consider it not their best release, I think it’s a great record worthy of attention.

My music got old: Punkrock documentary ‘One Nine Nine Four’

I did not get to enjoy the first dark sounds coming from Birmingham. In 1977 I didn’t spray paint boredom on my jacket. I’ve not lived through the eighties and in the nineties I pretty much listened to the music my parents had. That all changed when I discovered punkrock, but I have to face the facts. My punkrock has now actually gotten old.

I received a Blink 182 cd for my 14th birthday. For my 15th I got an Iggy Pop best off album. I’ve pretty much continuously consumed that type of music ever since, later moving on to the black metal noise you keep reading about on my blog. I’ve also been a voracious reader (and ‘watcher’) of anything that could help me figure out a bit about those legends of the past.

For a long time I was fascinated by the Sex Pistols and the ’77 punk scene, so I read books like Greil Marcus‘ ‘Lipstick Traces’ and much more stuff, watched whatever documentary I could find and actually wrote my BA thesis about punkrock and avant-garde (you can find it here, in Dutch).  It was the beginning of a long journey, continuing with the eighties and early ninetees hardcore scenes. There’s some great books out there on those periods, notably ‘American Hardcore’ by Steven Blush, ‘Worldwide Hardcore’  by  Matthias Leuschner and ‘Burning Fight’ by Brian Peterson. There’s many, many more.

In the mean time I was listening to all sorts of stuff, but the formative years were laced and covered with 90’s skatepunk and skapunk music. Bands like NOFXBad Religion, Green Day (pre-American Idiot) and many, many more. Punk’o’rama compilations were gospel, Fat Mike was like a fat Jesus. I was into NOFX, my brother into The Offspring. I dug Rancid, Less than Jake and The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones.  I still dig that stuff, I still bounce around the appartment I share with my fiancée (how did it ever get that far?) when I play ‘Generator’ by Bad Religion. It’s music that shaped my life and I think that of the friends around me at the time.

A couple of years ago already a documentary came out. It’s even post-Blink 182 reuniting, a thing that should have never happened, and is titled ‘One Nine Nine Four’. The documentary supposes that punkrock got big again in 1994 with Green Day and The Offspring. It could be, for me it was 5 years later but I believe them. It’s a documentary about the music I loved, that I felt was still fresh and young, but apparently it’s now a relic too.

I learned 2 things from this discovery: A) Punkrock has gotten old, atleast the stuff I was so hugely into back then. It probably didn’t really stand the test of time, but it was good and it will always matter to me I think.
B) It was much bigger than I ever knew. Being from, lets face it, the rural Netherlands there was not much to connect with for me and discovering this music made my life better. It gave something to vent my anger with and trust me I’ve been angry for 10 more years or so.

The documentary can be found on youtube, Check it out, there’s a third thing this video did. The third thing it does is set punkrock apart as a genuine cultural movement. Recognition matters.

Tavera, Portugal: Travelblog #3

For some reason it has taken me some time to go continue about this holiday. Well, after having gone in the direction of commercial locations in Portugal, such as Albufeira and Lagos, we went east to Tavera.

Less touristic
If you go east from Faro, you’ll find the other Algarve, as I’d like to put it. Obviously, you’ll find plenty of tourists in this direction as well. The sunny town of Tavera has plenty strolling around. What you don’t see however are English pubs, fast food chains and tons and tons of little tourist shops. It’s a bit more the direction you go for the locals. 


Tavera has an amazing harbor, which is around this channel, with tiny coffee shops, nice little restaurants and people will always be out here to walk around. It’s a pleasant spot to sit down for a moment and wait for a ferry to take you to the beach. The beaches to the east of Faro are all located on islands of the coast. No biggie in the sunny season, because there’s going to be plenty of ferries to carry you across.

The beach island is 11 kilometres long and varies in the other dimension. One part is covered with a patch of forest, which is stuffed with restaurants, places to get a drink and some other forms of entertainment. Yeah, there it is… Well, you’d find that on any beach. In fact, this is better than the abandoned island restaurant with its monopoly and high prizes. It’s a busy place and an attraction for tourists.


It’s a bit windy, but you know…

I think this is all I wanted to say about Portugal actually. Again, Tavera is easy to reach by public transport and it’s a gorgeous town to have a walk through, it’s sunny, friendly and open. If you take the train from Faro to this town, you’ll find plenty other places to get of and go to the beach.

Photo’s: Justina Lukosiute

Sounds of the Underground #42

Sounds from the Underground, on the #42 already with Graves at Sea, KawirSchammasch and Bright Curse. Some doom, some gloom and some nice oldschool riffs. Enjoy this one!

Graves at Sea – The Curse That Is
Relapse Records 

source: Bandcamp

Yes, I know, there he goes with another big label release, but have you heared the new Graves At Sea? The Band from the United States really brings that experience of 16 (!) years of demoing, doing splits and singles and so on, to create one of the most devastating, bleak sounding sludge/doom records you’ll hear anytime soon. This is complete devastation on tape. Dealing with dark thematic material in their songs, this is not for the weak of mind. The record was recorded by Greg Wilkinson (Nootgrush) and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, YOB) and these gents did a great job in bringing this bands sound across the way it should be.

There’s a reason this band has played RoadburnMaryland Deathfest and many other great locations. The lyrics are full of grimy material and beautiful, yet haunting poetry. The sound however, is that of a sea where one finds their graves rather easily. Wild riffs clash against a wall of drums, when the cymbals ring out like the violent spray of water after impact. It surges on and on, never stopping. The vocal are a harsh bark, screaming defiance in a storm of sound. There are moments when the unrelenting relents, moments to breathe, but they are sparse and only fitted in to launch with even more vigor the next second. This is one tough record, but pretty damn good as well. Check it out if you get a chance.

Kawir – Father Sun Mother Moon
Iron Bonehead Productions

source: bandcamp

For 23 years Kawir has waved the banner around for Greek black metal, a movement of the genre that is too often overlooked when talking about black metal. The impact of these early Greek bands can not be ignored. With only one original member in the shape of Therthonax, the band is throwing out an album again, filled with blistering pagan metal. Though most people will instantly think of Rotting Christ when Greek black metal is mentioned, specially with the folkloristic elements, it’s Kawir who were from the start keen on implementing traditional Greek music and myth in song. They at some point only sang in ancient Greek apparently.

The sound is constantly wavering, with strange ethnic elements and tons of instruments adding to the amazing atmosphere of this record. It emphasizes the thematic elements of the music and has maybe through the years become part of it all. The almost cacophonous wind instruments and horns are blurting through, but so welcome in the otherwise polished and often blissful music. Musically it is ofcourse still black metal, but like Rotting Christ this band has softened with age and gotten into a more smooth and well measured balanced feel. The screamed vocals are unnerving and feel heavily out of control, but somehow dont clas with the densely woven pattern of guitars and rhythm, which immediately feels exotic. It’s one hell of an album. Glad these guys are still around.

Schammasch – Triangle
Prosthetic Records

Source: Bandcamp

If you are Schammasch, you don’t just make a record. If you’re in this wildly explorative avant-gardistic band from the town of Basel in Switzerland, such simple things don’t exist. This record contains three full albums. You read this right, it’s three albums. The (former) members of bands like Totenwinter, Atritas, Cold Cell and Blutmond like doing things differently. Technically it’s the third album of the Swiss group, following in the footsteps of their 2014 album ‘Contradiction’ (which kinda contained two albums as well). It’s quite a listen, but well worth your time.

Musically, the band feels very similar to the Polish giants Behemoth. Big, bombastic blackened death metal with the sort of passages that are heavy like a cathedral walls, with big archs and strong foundations in the epic rhythm section. Thematically, the band is in s similar occult and introverted realm, but there’s a complexity and innovativeness to the sound of Schammasch that you wouldn’t find in the more conservative sound of the Poles. The celestial chanting and ritualistic atmosphere are totally there though. I would say that there’s definitely a cathartic element to the album, which is in a way a procession, a path to follow from death to afterlife. Every movement is different and truly captivating.

source: bandcamp

Bright Curse – Before The Shore
HeviSike Records

The band exists out of three people of which 2 are French, one is Swedish and they all live in the United Kingdom. This combines three seafaring nations, I mean it has to be in the blood, to creat music with a certain nautical theme. Granted, this is not a band like Ahab, but there’s definitely a bit of that to be found in the artwork and songs. United they bring you an album laden with riff heavy stoner rock, a bit of psychedelica and definitely a certain degree of sludge in there as well. Interesting fact is the revolving series of bass players the band has had this far. Isn’t that something you should have with drummers?

Big soaring riffs welcome you when you start playing this record. The sort of vocals that complement that are also present, reating a big captivating sound of a big stage rock band. The sound is remarkably clean and melodic, without emphasizing power or aggression. I would even say that there’s an analoge feel to the guitars and buzzing bass. By which I mean that there’s an organic feel to the sound, where little has been polished away of the little squeeks and sounds that come with a recording.  On a song like ‘Cheating Pain’ an element of bluesy folk enriches the music.The reverb on the guitars sounds very natural, the vocals feel raw and direct. It makes for a great product of ballzy old school hard rocking psych, with those little loops that just dazzle your imagination. This is for the old riff lovers, which at times might seem like a dying art. Bright Curse does not have any issues delivering though