Saturday, 30 April 2016

COUNT VESUVIUS - Count Vesuvius

Count Vesuvius is from Minneapolis, Minnesota

I can't give any background information on this band because I can't find anything. I found this album languishing deep under the Bandcamp pit, amongst the mould and faecal matter.

The album 'Count Vesuvius' begins with a short, shrill, blast of feedback before the sludge onslaught begins, and never relents, throughout the whole album. I get the impression that 'Count Vesuvius' didn't take long to record, if it has any frills, then, sorry, but I can't find any.

So, what does the album sound like? Well, if you mash up some Karp with some of the heavy, but improv sludge bands such as Harvey Milk and Nightstick, with maybe the menace of Eyehategod then I think that all of the bases have been covered. One huge bonus with 'Count Vesuvius' is the mixing of the album.The sound is perfect for this type of music with a fat, churning  guitar sound that doesn't domineer over the other instruments, or vocals. The band actually tries a classic doom sound on the track 'Negative Zone' which I played tonight on Grip of Delusion Radio, however the idea of conforming to a particular structure seems alien to these guys, as they much prefer to play right on the edge of sloppiness, which to me, makes this album great fun.

I don't know if the band still exists, I suspect not, but if they found out that someone had taken the time to review Count Vesuvius, they would probably piss themselves laughing.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

THE SHRIEKS FROM BELOW PODCAST SHOW VOLUME 14 - Grip of Delusion Radio 30/4/16

Played on Grip of Delusion Radio every Saturday @ 3pm EST, 9pm CET and 8pm UK

This Saturday I have the usual diverse, but still awesomely heavy selection of tracks.
There has been the usual plethora of great new releases this week, but I'm concentrating on established, but perhaps dormant or forgotten bands that may be unknown to those new to the 'scene' The first part of the show is the heaviest with some stoner, doom and sludge from St Vitus, Summonus, Snailface (A Kowloon Walled City spin off), Unmothered, Stone Tells, and Headless Cross. Hard rock track is supplied by Red Scalp, while the death metal contingent is represented by Coffin Dust. Jams are  from Sun of Man.The last part of the show is more chilled out. I play my first ever acoustic track courtesy of Ol'Scratch, have some prog from Magnum who are undertaking a UK tour over the coming month, and joss sticks out for the last track from Temples. I'll be starting proceedings with a very obscure, underground  band called Count Vesuvius

Band Order

Intro - (The Whoresons Rebuke ) by Phlefonyaar

Count Vesuvius - Negative Zone
Red Scalp - Sin City
St Vitus - Mind food (Live)
Coffin Dust - II. The Carving
Summonus - Novacula
Snailface - Toxic City of the Sea
Sun of Man - Out Through the In Door
Unmothered - The Awakening
Stone Tells - White Noise
Headless Cross - Four Ghosts
Ol' Scratch - Tree of Woe
Magnum - Kingdom of Madness
Temples - Itenalsyysjami


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

ATALA - Shaman's Path of the Serpent

ATALA is from California USA and comprises of:

Kyle Stratton - Guitar/Voc
Jeff Tedtaotao - Drums
John Chavarria - Bass

From Atala's bio

"They recorded their first album Atala under the mindful eye of Scott Reeder (KYUSS, THE OBSESSED). In support of their first, self-released album, they toured various states on the west coast of the United States. In May of 2015, they traveled to Portland, Oregon to record with renowned audio engineer Billy Anderson (Sleep, the Melvins, Mastodon) for what would become Shaman's Path of the Serpent.

ATALA have shared the stage with many great acts: 16, Coliseum, Green Jelly, and Karma to Burn. After being announced on the Maryland Doomfest in June and a full U.S. tour supporting their second release , 2016 looks to be ATALA's year of opportunity. Shaman's Path of the Serpent is set to release in May of 2016. This will be the album that will unleash ATALA's potential."

'Shaman's Path of the Serpent' is Atala's second offering, following a self titled release in 2014. I enjoyed 'Atala' but found the production a little tepid for my usually neanderthal tastes, maybe its because the band seemed to lean towards a stoner path?

Not so with  'Shaman's Path of the Serpent'. Here, Atala has planted their banner much further into doom territory, the slightly undernourished riffs of the first album, have gorged upon a diet of granite.
The opening track 'Gravity' sets the tone for the rest of the album. It's slow burning intro meanders like a hermit beginning a quest before the action begins and the heart really starts pumping. Great, epic doom, should have a story to tell, and I can't help feeling that this track would be a perfect accompaniment to Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower.' What I really like about this album is the fact that it doesn't sound like Black Sabbath. The songs aren't shrouded in layers of fuzz which means that the song writing and musicianship has to stand on their own merits, and stand proud they do with the added bonus of Kyle Strattons vocal delivery accompanying the music sublimely. There are no death grunts here, but neither are they too polished, instead the tone ebbs and flows as each tale unfolds.

Shaman's Path of the Serpent' is a huge step up from 'Atala' It is a mature, thoughtful album. One could even describe it as spiritual.

Friday, 22 April 2016

DEKONSTRUKTOR - Eating the Universe

Dekonstruktor - Moscow, Russia

In 2014, Moon Mistress, an awesome band in their own right, reformed with Dekonstruktor as their new moniker, and released the album 'Eating The Universe' a monumental slab of acid soaked doom sludge. Dekonstruktor likes to think of itself as 'lo-fi, but really, they're doing themselves an injustice, because whilst this release is by no means brightly polished, the quality of the recording is enough to enhance the sheer immensity of the riffs. 

After a brief into, we are subjected to the low end fuzz of the title track ' Eating The Universe' before the  bulldozing, punishing '14' assaults the ears with a two minute blast of deathly sludge. My personal favourite 'To the Red Part 2' follows. This is one of those tracks that can't be played singly. Once finished, you can't help but play it again and again, mesmerised by the spacey, grooves interrupted by a heavy psychedelic interlude, before catapulting you back into orbit. 'Mindcutter' doesn't bring you back down to Earth, but rather crushes you with its doom sludge vacuum before the album finishes off with the coma inducing, industrial tinged monster of a track 'Dekonstruktor'

Subsequent releases became more and more experimental, too experimental for my tastes, but the album 'Eating The Universe' doesn't just eat it, it chews it up and spits it right out.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

THE SHRIEKS FROM BELOW VOL 14 PODCAST SHOW - Grip of Delusion Radio 23/4/2016

Playing on Grip of Delusion Radio each Saturday @3pm EST, 9pm CET, 8pm UK.

This weekend I will be playing the usual variation in genres.......but all of them will be heavy!

The show starts with one of my favourite tracks of recent times, the spacey droney, trippy, but always heavy 'To the Red pt 2' by Russian experimentalists
DEKONSTRUKTOR (ex Moon Mistress) followed by a psychedelic, stoner track by TUBER. Next, I'm cranking up the heavy with something from the band USNEA before a brief, but still great, stoner rock interlude from ON THE VERGE, and SEX TYPE THING. Sludge is from early DRUGLORD and the obligatory death metal track is from the Spaniards CEMENTERIO. PHLEFONYAAR has provided the intro as usual.

Band Order:-
Dekonstruktor - To the Red pt 2
Tuber - The fall of the Wall
Usnea - Detritus
On the Verge - I Don't Care
Sex Type Thing - Self Deception Road
Druglord - Cleansed
Cementerio  - Muerte por Omnicensia

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

OLIGARCH - Hypocrisy Oath

Oligarch from Melbourne, Australia.

Look, let's cut through the literary bullshit I usually come up with, ok? Let's not check the dictionary to see what fleshed out phrases I can come up with, let's just cut to the chase and say that 'Hypocrisy Oath' by Aussies Oligarch is one nasty, venomous, bile spewing cacophony of six grinding, black tainted, death doom tracks. I stumbled upon Oligarch whilst actually checking out a different band and although the initial tracks available were poorly produced, there was something about them which piqued my interest enough to follow the band on Facebook. I can't really tell you much about Oligarch as there isn't a lot of available information, but from what I can gather, is that their pedigree includes some of the putrid grind bands of New Zealand and Australia such as Odiusembowel and Fleshwound before infecting Bandcamp with the pustulent canker that is Oligarch. However, don't just think that you're getting a grind EP with 'Hypocricy Oath' because with tracks such as 'Slaves to Imperium' and 'Winds of Apocalyptic Incineration' both clocking in at over three minutes ( epics in the world of grind) Oligarch is able to slow things down a tad and vary the punishment administered by 'Hypocricy Oath' but man oh man, the nastiness never abates for a second.

Monday, 18 April 2016

DESIDIA - Desidia de la Humanidad

Desidia is:
Jualma - Drums, Vocals
Juan - Guitars
Manuel - Bass, Vocals

Argentina is currently a hotbed of extreme metal bands, and they don't come much heavier than Desidia which isn't surprising since bassist Manuel Platino is also involved with the suffocating droning doom band Asilo. Desidia's brand of crusty sludge is more accessible however, and each of the five tracks on offer encapsulates various time changes ranging from the knuckle dragging track 'Descenso' to 'Oscurantismo' which, although continuing the generally slow then suddenly faster, crusty composition of all of the tracks here, throws in a psychedelic passage followed by an intelude bordering on post - metal. Such moments are rare though, as Desidia de la Humanidad keeps the tempo alternating between molten sludge and rampant crust/punk.

Desidia de la Humanidad has remained obscure since its release in February last year, but the band has recently released it on bandcamp, and for free download as well, so those into sludge that sounds raw and doesn't mind upping the pace every now and then, should get over to their page and grab these tracks

Saturday, 16 April 2016

THE SHRIEKS FROM BELOW PODCAST SHOW - Grip of Delusion Radio 16/4/2016

As played on Grip of Delusion Radio each Saturday @3pm EST, 9pm CET and 8pm UK.

I'm cranking up the filth  today playing some grimy sludge in the form of Argentinian band Desidia with a couple of tracks from their album 'Desidia de la Humaniadad' I also have some grinding death doom on the boil with two tracks from an ep released by Aussies Oligatch. The punishment continues with Electricjezus, plus a track from the band AAPOAA that included members who went on to Graves At Sea. Stonerisms are supplied by Mount Soma. I've also indulged myself with a track from one of my very favourite bands Evoken. The show ends with the relentless barrage of Altarage.


Black Label Society - Stillborn
AAPOAA - Illusions
Oligarch - Slaves to Imperium 
Electricjezus -
Desidia - Letargo
Desidia - Oscurantismo
Oligarch - End All Life
Mount Soma - Lazarus
Evoken - Withering Indignation
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - Lonely and Strange
Altarage - Batherex 

Sunday, 10 April 2016


Temple Steps from Lincoln, UK  is :

Mark- Guitar
Mike -Vox/ Drum

Wreck  from landau, Germany is :

Dirk – guitar and growls
Jan – drums and shouts
Rainer – bass, noises and screams   
 Bandcamp quote :

"Released via Vetala Productions, 2 tracks from each artist, with awesome artwork from either artist.

Temple Steps have taken the oceanic ideas Wreck showed on their debut 12" to pay tribute to their German comrades.

Wreck continue with their bleak, deathly themes on their side.

Limited to 200 copies, We have 75 on black (some green too), request a green one if you want one, but there's only ten of those in total. First come first served.

Hand numbered and titled.

TS songs recorded by Temple Steps, mastered by M L Bewick at Playing Aloud, Lincoln."

Splits usually fill me with trepidation. Apart from a select few, one side will capture your attention, while the other leaves you totally unmoved, so much so that you forgo the chance to own the whole thing because of it. Not so this iniquitous union between the UK's Temple Steps, and Germany's Wreck. Both bands have produced a towering monument to putridity, with four heaving, monstrous tracks of colossal doom.

With a name like Temple Steps, I anticipated something karmic, some tantric psychedelic stoner perhaps, but from the first torpid note and discordant shriek, you realise that these Temple Steps lead only to oblivion. Is there a medical term for asphyxiation by riff? Because the toxic aural fumes that this band creates, syphons the breath from your lungs, cataclysmic riff by cataclysmic riff, that seem to meld together with each siesmic shift. The band Moss springs to mind.

Wreck isn't much respite either. Not as suffocating as Temple Steps, their involvement in this split is no less harrowing. Wreck's two track contribution sounds even bleaker, with a very slight shade of darkness interweaving amongst an antediluvian atmosphere which envelops this side of the split release.

With this split, Temple Steps and Wreck have created a new lifeform, malevolent, malodorous, intent on nothing but the ruination of your soul.


Friday, 8 April 2016

THE SHRIEKS FROM BELOW PODCAST SHOW VOL 11 - Grip of Delusion Radio 9/4/2016

Playing on Grip of Delusion Radio each Saturday @ 3pm EST, 9pm CET and 8pm UK

This Saturdays show features three brooding tracks from two bands on the london based THIRD I REX label, Sonance and LLNN. You can checkout these releases, and others in their entirety here Magic Muscle play a beatles cover, and to continue the 70's hard rock theme I'm playing a couple of tracks from Dunbarrow's self titled album released earlier this year. I also have a superb track from a band I stumbled upon on Facebook called Aztral Playns. The dose of dooom is provided by The Ritualist with something of their excellent demo 'Hells Doom'.

Playlist in order.

LLNN - Depths
Magic Muscle - Free as a Bird
Fog Cult - Altars of Night
The Ritualist - Awaken The Eibon
Yautja - Humility/Humanity
Sonance - Oldest Harm
Dunbarrow - Try and Fail
Dunbarrow - Witches of the Woods
Aztral Playns - On The Aztral Playn
Incantation - Noctournal Dominium
Sonance - Under and Under


Sunday, 3 April 2016

GRAND HEAD - Grand Head

Grand Head - Grand Head

Barry Brusseau - guitar, vocals
Tim Ward - drums

What the band says:

"Grand Head is a two piece. Tim Ward and Barry Brusseau are brothers, and have been playing together since 1984. First real band together was harcore outfit Dread. Next came The Jimmies, and they spent 15 years doing that.
Under our Mothers roof, in a small town of Longview Washington, we first aimed at perfecting our Slayer, Hellhamer, and Venom covers. We also wrote an original song titled “Burn the Witch”. The year was 1984 and Mother was not happy.

Tim and I are brothers, and have played together ever since. Putting our first band together in 1987. A hardcore band based in Portland Oregon called Dread. Dread self destructed in a year. Then we spent 14 years in the Jimmies. A punk band that did release an album with Panic Button/Lookout Records.

Grand Head is based here in Portland Oregon, and have been together for about a year and a half.

This is our debut. The plan going in was “All the doom in 3 minutes or less.” Over the course of playing together it became less doom focused and more a mix of all our heavy music loves. A little Sabbath, a little Venom, and even a little Black Flag.

This album is self-released on my own little folk label. It will sit snug next to the very quiet music Gorbie International Records puts out.

Recorded at Type Foundry."

At the moment there appears to be a great new heavy album released weekly, particularly within the stoner doom genres I normally haunt, but I've noticed that there is a growing tendency for bands to follow a Sabbath, Elder, Witchcraft, or Graveyard kinda vibe. Nothing wrong with that when those releases are of impeccable quality as the majority are, but it all seems so SAFE, and dare I say it SAMEY. Not so with Portland's Grand Head whose self titled album was released at the start of this year.

Raw as a knee after a spill off a motorbike, and just as unpleasant. Grand Head based in Portland, Oregon, is two brothers, who must have terrorised the local neighbourhood, playing a caustic mix of heavy punk with sludge. The band cites Black Flag, The Melvins, Harvey Milk, and would you believe, Celtic Frost as influences for this release, and fuck me, that's exactly how it comes across.

The album opener 'Bull Ramos' is an immediate taster for what to expect throughout the rest of the album, lean, there is no excess fat with Grand Head whatsoever, and the likening to the Harvey Milk sound is immediately apparent, with somewhat unsettling song structures that just about hold together so as not to become 'experimental.' The Celtic Frost influence becomes obvious on track three 'Dark and Starry Sky' where the band treats us to a death grunt before launching into what is definitely a CF riff, but warped, not quite, beyond recognition. 

I would most definitely recommend this for anyone who is looking for something different, but not excessively so, its wacky... but not enough to be described as 'ambient'. Grand Head is an album to dissect and then examine its constituent parts. Placed under a microscope, there is a heady brew of dark punk, blues doom and sludge waiting to be discovered for the lucky person who takes a chance to check this out.


Friday, 1 April 2016

THE SHRIEKS FROM BELOW - Grip of Delusion radio 2/4/2016

Playing on Grip of Delusion Radio @3pm EST, 9pm CET, 8pm UK

Another show of varying genres ranging from the funky rock of The Sugars  to the relentless barrage of Gilla Bruja. Inbetween, I'm playing a short sludge track from Sekhet's Eclipse album, some groovy stoner from Teepee Creeper, and going back in time with some early Cathedral. Grinding thrash is provided by Messiahlator whose entire catalogue is up for free download on Bandcamp. I'm also featuring my favourite Chilean doom sludge band Sangria with a track off their crushing Agnosis album. Extra filth is provided by In the Company of Serpents, before taking the foot off the pedal with a track from Daily Thompson off their self titled album. Showpiece is the magnificent slow burning jam track' Long Black Gown' from Scorched Earth

Band Order:

The Sugars
Teepee Creeper
Scorched Earth
Purple Dino
In the Company of Serpents
Daily Thompson
Gilla Bruja