Friday, 14 April 2017

Three from White Dwarf Records

There's a huge amount of music that hits the inbox; I try and play as much as I possibly can, over the radio shows and a monthly mixcloud post.  Here are 3 albums that were recently released by the Berlin Label, White Dwarf, that are well worth your attention. The bandcamp players links are included, so you can hear some of the tracks now.  The label specialises in Heavy Psych-Rock, Stoner, Doom and Vintage sounds.  Of the music reviewed here, there's a diversity of styles that have crossover appeal; all 3 albums are without a doubt, essential listening.
If you like what you hear, please head over to the label on the links included and buy a copy!  You can also buy digital versions via the bands Bandcamp links below.  Enjoy!
White Dwarf Records

White Dwarf on Facebook

Holy Mount - The Drought

By the frigid, windy great lakes of Toronto, Canada, situated on a broad sloping plateau, intersected by an extensive network of rivers and deep ravines, lies HOLY MOUNT.  At the summit, four hermits have been gathering for years celebrating Heavy Psych ceremonies, channeling the mystery of the great north.  Their last recorded ritual, released early this year by White Dwarf, titled 'The Drought', shows the quartet comprised of Danijel, Brandon, Troy and Clayton, at their best with heavy doomy drones, ghostly enchantings and superb guitar riffs/solos, filled with fuzz, reverberating through the Black Mountains above into the Dead Meadows below.

You really can't top a write up like that, can you?
The Canadian 4 piece demonstrate a flair for making Heavy Psychedelic Rock sound epic on the 7 tracks delivered here, the shift from mammoth slices of stoner rock on the opening track 'Division' to highly intense, oscillating psychedelia of 'Basalt Seem Almost Effortless'. 'Omnicide switches to stoner again, but displays a harder pounding style, over brilliant fuzzed up tones and swirling guitars.  The excellent 'Blackened Log' is a sonic masterpiece where otherworldly vocals and dope fuelled riffs live happily together; Its depth of sound is captivating.  'Blood Cove' flirts with doom textures over heavy, bruising drums with a depth of sound that is nothing short of captivating.  The title track brings everything together with shades of post rock and incredible walls of fuzz and feedback.

Megaritual - Mantra Music

Megaritual is the solo project of Australian multi-instrumentalist Dale Walker (also member of Sun Of Man).  His monolithic, heavy rock tunes often bear deeper intensity than most four-piece bands would manage to create.  In addition, there's also this compelling atmosphere in his tunes, where one often feels like floating between thick Stonerrock grooves and later 60s Heavy Psychedelia, with a taste of India when he strikes chords on his Sitar. "Mantra Music Volume 2", is the second release within few months between 2014-2015.  This already comes close to perfection and is a real must have for Heavy Psych-afficionados! Strongly recommended if you enjoy bands like Om, Samsara Blues Experiment, Dead Meadow and Queen Elephantine.

The record has a engulfing, atmospheric quality. Its use of sitars, bells and compelling guitars is addictive as it is hypnotic; this is firstly evident in the opening track 'Is the Heart of the Mystery...', deep drones build over Eastern sounds and measured percussions as it leads beautifully in to 'Top of the Mountain to You'; the tribal pounding over a wall of chant like vocals and sonic blasts of guitars. "Stormbringer commences with shimmering sounds and a proclamation that tells us "the dark flight of the soul has just begun', once more, the Eastern tones move to heavier swirls of intense psychedelic rock patterns.  Elsewhere, styles move to acid folk with 'Is the Sound and '∞' a dope hazed slow burner driven with cosmic guitars and a touch of 70's Pink Floyd.  Closing Track 'Have you seen the Sky Lately' is a euphoric trip through magnificent beats and progressions as it draws to incredibly satisfysing close.

Lee Van Cleef - Holy Smoke

The project Lee Van Cleef was born, as a joke, at the end of 2015 and is the result of long jam sessions between Marco Adamo, guitarist (La polvere di Bodélé), Guido Minervini, drum (Efesto, Lamarck) and Pietro La Tegola, bass (Whiskeycold Winter).  The project is influenced by bands like Earthless, Black Bombaim, Harsh Toke (to name a few).  The first work "Holy Smoke" was recorded, mixed and mastered in the Godfather studio of Naples. The artwork was done by Robin Gnista."

Holy Smoke is a fascinating album.  As with Holy Mount and Megaritual, they're a band that keep you guessing.  'Heckle Yuppies' on the face of things begins as a stoner doom track, but as the song progresses it demonstrates some brain melting guitar work that has a great vintage rock quality over them in a psychedelic Hendrix kind of trip.  The same can be said of second track 'Banshee' but this time the bass driven groove and reverberating guitars assist the track in ascending to a higher plain over 13 minutes of stoned brilliance.  'Hell Malo' is fantastic Psych rock Jam, wah wah fuelled, with heavy attitude and more irresistible grooves. 'Mahãna' continues in the earlier stoner doom mould but maintains a heavy psych vibe, as it creates sonic wall of noise over a punishing drum beat and ferocious riff.  Closing track 'Towel' is the most psychedelic track in tone on offer and also the most majestic; the wailing guitars heave above you as the drums and bass line mesmerise.  Essential listening.

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