Initially a part of the Crusher Records (Spiders, Dead Man, Troubled Horse) roster, Horisont were originally perceived as another of those retro-rockers from Sweden, seemingly happy to surf on the nostalgia wave and have an excuse to wear bell-bottomed jeans. Except that there’s always been something a tad weirder and out-there with them and not just due to their occasional Swedish lyrics. Still, many will be surprised by their fourth full-length ‘Odyssey’, a 65-minute tour-de-force that sees them coming out of their shell and heading for the stars with space rock and classic prog influences abound and a solid dose of vintage synthesizers. Blasphemy? No, a simple and very human longing for evolution says their frontman Axel Söderberg.
Two years ago when you promoted your third full-length ‘Time Warriors’, you made no secret that it was style-wise very close to its predecessor and your Rise Above debut, ‘Second Assault’. Yet ‘Odyssey’ doesn’t follows the same pattern does it? “Indeed as the previous two full-lengths were kind of made in a rush. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great as they are but after ‘Time Warriors’ we knew right away that we would need more time for the next one so we could do the … Read More
Better by name and better by nature, the occult clergy known as GHOST are back with their new album ‘MELIORA’, but have they left their underground spirit behind on album number three? The NAMELESS GHOUL doesn’t think so, and tells LOUISE BROWN that their rebellion against religion, society and the constraints of the scene that birthed them inspires them even more than ever
When we put Ghost on our cover of issue #4, two years ago, we already talked about them in terms of being “our band”, but “not for long”. The mysterious entity, who began their mission in 2010 with a 7” on the cult underground doom label, Iron Pegasus were quickly signed to Rise Above for their debut, ‘Opus Eponymous’ and the rest, as the cliché goes, is history. Going from strength to strength the band were hailed as a favourite of members of Metallica and Foo Fighters and signed onto Slayer’s management company. They left the underground in their dust, but not its ethos, not its attitude and certainly not its rebellious heart.
With a third album ‘Meliora’ (latin for “better”, an apt name indeed) out this summer, sounding more avant garde tinged AOR than true doom, we met … Read More
Formed as a result of a drunken party, ACID KING existed in the brain of vocalist and guitarist LORI S long before she met her musical companions. Her singular vision has not waned since and 20 years after inception she is still searching for the CENTER OF EVERYTHING
“I’ve had too many shitty beers for any words of wisdom!” laughs Lori S, vocalist and guitarist of doom band Acid King after their show at Desertfest London. Right from the beginning it’s apparent that this vibrant and charismatic woman has a no nonsense attitude that she carries over into her approach to music. From Acid King’s very beginnings in the early 1990s Lori was the driving force behind its inception, with a clear vision of what she wanted and where she wanted it to go. The tenacious frontwoman had even picked a name before she’d even thought about band members; “I read this book called ‘Say You Love Satan’ – a true crime book – and there was a bit about Ricky Kasso. I remember on one of the pages, which we have a song about (‘One-Ninety-Six’), it said ‘Nobody messes with the Acid King!’ When I read that, I said ‘I’m … Read More
It’s increasingly hard for this life-long psych-doom obsessive to get excited about new bands, but the new generation is starting to spin some interesting tales. One such act is Sussex space rock three-piece Riddles. There is a definite garage-psych vibe going on with catchy raw fuzz leads cutting through some very British vocal delivery. It’s refreshing stuff. “We are definitely influenced by our own sound,” fills in charismatic mainman Jimi Riddle. “But there are some key bands that brought us to find it, like Hawkwind, Stooges, Motörhead, early Sabbath, Pentagram and Orang-utan. But it doesn’t end there, there are so many great genres and powerful bands to come out of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, it’s almost impossible to list every band that made us create the vibe we have.” The broad range of influences seems to have allowed them to create a distinct sound thus far, but are they part-timers or ambitious chaps? “We all put a lot of time and effort into this band and I think we all believe in it as its own entity. You get back what you put in and so we’re putting a lot into it. It’s like a plant, we’re giving it … Read More
Epic! That’s the word that kept creeping up for those few who knew about Ocean Chief. Sadly, for far too long, there wasn’t that many of ’em, as these Swedes were just too weird, with their repetitive brand of Viking-themed swampy doom, even though they featured former Dawn and Regurgitate drummer, Jocke Pettersson, on bass. To add insult to injury, besides minimal live activity, when their releases weren’t criminally limited nature would get in the way – such as hurricane Katrina, which destroyed most of the re-release copies of their ‘Oden Sessions’ demo back in 2004! But according to guitar player and founding member Björn Andersson, also of Vanhelgd, it’s all in the past now, as testified by the release of a new album (‘Universums Härd’) only a year after the previous one (‘Sten’). “The 2000s were different in the sense that we were a three piece that rehearsed frequently,” he admits. “In the early days, we used to smoke pot and just zone out without much thinking about arrangements or song length. But after the recording of our third full-length in 2009, we really felt something need to happen to keep the spirit alive, hence the addition of a … Read More
THE TOWER’s guitarist August considers rock music “to be a zealously syncretic religion, a holy tradition that includes but is not limited to the metal community.” Consequently the Uppsala, Sweden, quartet’s debut ‘HIC ABUNDANT LEONES’ (‘here are lions in abundance’) effortlessly captures a pure guitar-led homage to all the best parts of rock music from the past 40 years. DARREN J. SADLER talks to three quarters of the band about the making of this future classic.
Tell us about the reason why you have called yourself The Tower. August (guitar): “The Tower has a very dramatic symbolism, as the tower of Babel, the tower in the Tarot. As such it describes a process that is at the heart of our band and also of rock music in general; the alternation between tension and release in the music, the hubris of a rock star rising to the top, and the soteriological catharsis of collapse and rebirth inherent in every good crescendo. Apart from that the Tower is also a place. The archetypal rehearsal room outside of space and time, where the spirits and Bacchants convene, the ivory tower of the plectrum-wielding disciples of Apollo, and the fortress that gives me shelter.” Erik (vocals): “We all are … Read More
“Through repetition and space, we have a tendency to create anticipation for a climax that never arrives,” says Taurus of the sickening unease that permeates the entirety of their full-length debut, ‘No/Thing’. Cut to two-inch tape by Billy Anderson and self-released in a number of unique physical guises, the psychoactive terror trip of ‘No/Thing’ is, according to the Portland-based duo of Stevie Floyd and Ashley Spungin, a means of “translating a live ritual to a recording rather than a recording to live.”
The band ritualise experimental doom/black/death metal along with Arabic scales, spoken-word samples of inspirational women to Taurus (which includes Gangaji, Delia Derbyshire, Yayoi Kusama, and Lisa Gerrard), and lysergic Krautrock-inspired loops created to pierce your third eye. “The goal is to create music that challenges and stimulates our mind and body in a new way,” says Taurus. “Our inspirations stem from where science and nature meet, traditional music, Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’, the Kabbalah, the present moment… as well as Death, Immolation, Blut Aus Nord, Tangerine Dream, Dead Can Dance, Goblin, Swans, Leviathan… the list goes on.”
Speaking of Leviathan, Wrest guests on album closer ‘Receed’, a freeform piece written in the studio and heavy on the horror-thump of a … Read More
Pilgrim are in an unusually strong position for a band of their age. Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter The Wizard is just 22-years-old; drummer Krolg Splinterfist, Slayer of Men, just turned 23. Their live bassist, who goes by Bradoc the Barbarian, is the oldest at 24. Despite this, their 2011 ‘Forsaken Man’ demo caught the ear of Primordial front man A.A. Nemtheanga, they’ve unveiled two splits with Ice Dragon and Gypsyhawk, and are on the verge of releasing their sophomore outing ‘II: Void Worship’, the second of four records they owe to Metal Blade. In 2013 they appeared on the Roadburn lineup, and before this issue hits the stands they will have embarked on a three-week tour with Spirit Caravan. Their origins are humble, their love for the trudging doom genre they operate within is palatable, and their progression from their debut, ‘Misery Wizard’, is impressive.
“When I was in high school, two years before I started Pilgrim, I fucking hated metal. Me and Krolg thought that metal was the stupidest thing. It’s a bunch of chauvinistic men, muscled out dudes, playing this stupid brutal music,” recalls The Wizard, laughing. He spends over an hour on the phone with Iron Fist being … Read More
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