Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Grails - Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 1, 2 & 3

Artist: Grails
Album: Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 1, 2 & 3
Label: Important
Year: 2006

01. Back To the Monastery
02. Bad Bhang Recipe
03. Belgian Wake-Up Drill
04. Smokey Room
05. Black Tar Frequencies
06. Stray Dog
07. Erosion Blues
08. More Erosion
09. Black Tar Prophecy


At the start of 2005 Grails returned to the US from a month long European tour. Stepping off the plane most of the band walked in one direction and the violinist strayed off in another. It ended up being the last time most anyone would see or talk to him. A bandmate of 3 records and 5 years had vanished only to exist in the form of vague rumors (violin hocked for petty cash, living on the streets, etc). As the varied reports of brief encounters and sightings grew stranger and darker, the band started a series of recordings called Black Tar Prophecies. The remaining members had particular dissatisfactions with how the band had been grouped into the innocuous contemporary 'post-rock' movement. This frustration, combined with newly liberated instrumental roles, introduced new possibilities for the band's sound. In this way the collected Black Tar Prophecies ends up being a more idiosyncratic mission statement for future Grails recordings, revealing their fondness for the groundfloor 60's and 70's experimental artists that saw music as a process of discovery as opposed to the pre-conceived, pre-parametered, commodified sport that underground music has become.
A parallel is now forming between Grails and old-school experimental bands like Faust who, rejecting their past, started over from the beginning to build new languages in music.Grails third full length recording, and first full length since leaving Neurosis' label Neurot, is The Black Tar Prophecies. Seven of these nine tracks from this full length were released in small highly sought after pressings of 12” vinyl on two European labels.
The Black Tar Prophecies is a massive evoltionary step in the established Grails sound and it is shrouded in change and pain. The somewhat clinical studio sound and recording style which has established them a tremendous following has been replaced with a much more free and conceptual recording style. This method liberated the group in the studio and these recordings feel much more open, heavy and for lack of a better term “psychadelic.” We're not talking about the cliché co-opted psychadelic fashion, but psychadelia as a reckless embrace of new states of mind and possibilities. This sound has always existed within a Grails song but now it's been heavilly pushed to the foreground. Perhaps even more elloquently and simply stated, Black Tar Prophecies 1-3 is their best record yet.

Official site
Buy it

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

French Teen Idol - Enlightened False Consciousness

Artist: French Teen Idol
Album: Enlightened False Consciousness
Year: 2007

01. The following takes place between 0'00'' and 57'30''
02. The longest night
03. Memento
04. Departure
05. The fleeting beauty of a butterfly
06. Compromise your (he)art
07. Ode to a departing friend
08. Enlightened false consciousness
09. Stay
10. Rebirth

Free Download

Melancholic piano patterns, dreamy atmospheres, vocal samples and striking instrumental crescendos, some of the ingredients of French Teen Idol's debut album, are sill there, enriched by the continuous search for new musical solutions, including a more classical "song-structure" approach in some tracks.

Athens-based band GardenBox and Roman artist Patrizio Piastra collaborated with French Teen Idol on track #2, "The Longest Night". Other collaborations include Fabrizio Lagani (track #3) and Olalla Rey Fernández (track #5).

Official site

Monday, January 28, 2008

Destroyalldreamers - Glare/Halo

Artist: Destroyalldreamers
Album: Glare/Halo
Label: Claire's Echo
Year: 2007

01. Her brother played the riot
02. Dead on arrival
03. A summer without you
04. A la guerre comme a la mer


Destroyalldreamers captivated us to no end with their gorgeous debut album in 2004 (the year's best shoegaze record, hands-down!) We were ecstatic to have them record a special limited record just for us, and we are quite excited to present it to you. LIMITED to 100 red vinyl copies, and 200 black vinyl copies, all pressed on heavy audiophile-quality 180-gram virgin vinyl. Housed in a gorgeous die-cut jacket in the Claire's Echo series by Aaron Winters, with a slip-in full color heavy card cover image, backed with a beautiful close-up shot of a guitar in b&w.

Destroyalldreamers does destroy indeed, with their beautiful and intense sonic landscapes. The instrumental outfit from Montreal keeps you on the edge of your seat as they weave through tapestries of billowing, effected guitars to create massive layers of beauty and noise. Fans of Slowdive, Explosions in the Sky, Paik, etc. definitely fall in love with Destroyalldreamers the moment they hear them. The EP is kicked off with the incredible "Her Brother Played the Riot" - a monumental side-long track eclipsing 20 minutes that had to broken into 3-parts on the forthcoming album. Here it appears on vinyl exclusively. On the flip, we are treated to three shorter but equally powerful tracks: Dead on Arrival (100% exclusive to this release), A Summer Without You (another taster from the forthcoming album on WAMR), and A La Guerre Comme A La Mer (another 100% exclusive track that will not appear elsewhere).

Official site
Buy it

The Ocean Fracture - The Sunmachine and The Ocean

Artist: The Ocean Fracture
Album: The Sunmachine and The Ocean
Year: 2006

01. Thalassa
02. Polaroid Intimacy
03. Shallows
04. Kaladitas
05. Kai.Ilios.Machina


Formed in early 2004 in Greenock (near Glasgow) - The Ocean Fracture have since been busy creating a buzz on the Scottish live scene and have played critically acclaimed shows with UK favourites Aconite Thrill, Midasuno, November Coming Fire and Eden Maine amongst others.

In September 2005 The Ocean Fracture embarked on a mini tour throughout the UK with Devil Sold His Soul and Secondsmile and more recently shared the stage with U.S. acts including Lower Forty-Eight, Loftus, Achilles and These Arms Are Snakes.

In March 2006, The Ocean Fracture recorded their debut 5 track Mini Album, entitled "The Sunmachine and The Ocean" with Ben Phillips (The Guillaume Seam, Jairus, November Coming Fire) at City of Dis studios in Kent. Now available through EYESOFSOUND with distribution by SHELLSHOCK in the UK, SUBURBAN in the Benelux and OVERCOME in France.

Official site
Buy it

Friday, January 25, 2008

From The Sky - Like Crystal In A World Of Glass

Artist: From The Sky
Album: Like Crystal In A World Of Glass
Label: Sound Devastation
Year: 2007

01. Electric snow
02. When the sun sets the clouds on fire
03. Position of the stars
04. There are ghosts in the glass
05. Someone to remember


Hailing from London, England, the four-piece instrumental group known as From the Sky hit the scene with a running start in December of last year. Their first full album, Like Crystal in a World of Glass, although clocking in at just over 30 minutes, is a captivating listening experience packed with energy and emotion. Following closely in the vein of traditional post-rock acts such as Explosions in the Sky, the band uses all of the classic elements of the genre, skillfully delivering tranquil atmospheres, intense climaxes, and soothing melodies that grace each of the album’s five tracks.

Some of the most enjoyable qualities of From the Sky’s music are its simplicity and the ease with which listeners can enjoy it. Many modern instrumental groups often delve too deeply in extremes, dragging out basic melodies for far too long and erupting in overwhelming crescendos that can completely kill the mood. The beauty of Like Crystal in a World of Glass, however, is that everything seems just about right. This is certainly no mono-tone album by any means, though. Each segment of music and each mood evoked by it seems to come at just the right time and with just the right amount of effort—a quality marked by true artistic vision and often absent in today’s instrumental scene.

Although this album is a fantastic example of subtle, passionate instrumental rock, listeners must also remember to take it for simply what it is and nothing more. Instrumental enthusiasts seeking a cutting-edge, out-of-this-world album of innovation and experimentation might want to skip this album or simply re-adjust their expectations. Point being, From the Sky do not bring anything new to the instrumental, “post-rock” table in this release, and they quite possibly didn’t intend to either. The real value of Like Crystal in a World of Glass can be seen in its modest yet masterful technique which is only truly observable by the ear. The band seems to gather all of the often un-focused methods of those before them and creates something much clearer and much more deliberate. Although created by a relatively unknown group of musicians, this album serves as one of the freshest examples of what instrumental rock music should really be like—soothing, uplifting, and above all, thought-provoking.
- Sean Butze (

Official site
Buy it

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tristeza - Spine And Sensory

Artist: Tristeza
Album: Spine And Sensory
Label: Better Looking Records
Year: 2004

01. Golden Hill
02. Beige Finger
03. RMS 2000
04. When We Glow
05. Memphis Emphasis
06. Muerte En Tu Sueno
07. Electrolytes
08. The Marionette
09. Cinematography
10. A Little Distance
11. Macrame
12. Pink Elephants
13. La Verdad


Tristeza is yet another 5-piece instrumental post rock group, except they're doing things a little differently. Although they could possibly be likened to some of the quieter moments of Mogwai, Tristeza harkens more to more delicate moments, not unlike Cocteau Twins of old without the vocals of Elizabeth Frazier (although her vocals were usually the focus, the beautiful sweeping music of the group was often sadly overlooked).

Using a lineup of two guitars, a drummer, a bassist, and a keyboardist, the group writes nicely progressing, sometimes slightly rolicking tunes that sink into the back of your head and forget about rocking out for a moment (although you may find yourself swaying ever so nicely with them). One look at the clean, simple radiating design on the package and you'll find that there music (often times starting with nearly nothing, then building before arriving at something completely different) is quite fitting.

The disc starts out with some very slight guitar plucking on "Golden Hill" before a very light keyboard drone and the rest of the instrumentation comes in behind it. They all wind in together and spiral upwards through a couple different iterations before droning out a bit at the end. "Beige Finger" picks up the pace for the group before they drop off into the ultra-dreamy sounds of "RMS 2000." With echoed-out drums, sweeping keyboard effects and chimes, the song is the perfect soundtrack for a light night looking at the stars. The drone continues on for several minutes into the beginning of the next track "When We Glow," but by the end of the track, it's reached the loudest level of any song on the album while shucking its molasses pace. It's all about the sustained crescendo (as Godspeed You Black Emperor! can likely tell you).

The group picks up the tempo again on the awesome track "Memphis Emphasis" before drifting out again a bit on the dual droning/strummed guitar "Muerte En Tu Sueno." Before closing out the album, the group manages to even add a piano to their arsenal quite nicely on "Cinematography." Borrowing from silent film soundtracks and bits of Tortoise, the twinkling song is one of the best on the album. The disc closes out with "A Little Distance," a track that falls into the vein of the first two in structure, but something different yet again. Overall, the album is an amazing 45 minutes of instrumental music from a relatively new group on the scene. It's quite and fairly soft and sometimes cinematic, but it's also a nice break to those groups who feel the need to turn the amps up to 10 all the time.

Official site
Buy it

Monday, January 21, 2008

Gardenbox - Last Resort

Artist: Gardenbox
Album: Last Resort
Label: Venerate Industries
Year: 2005

01. Has Been A Long Time
02. Future Of The Corporation
03. Walkin' Round
04. Global Pessimism
05. It Wasn't Forever
06. Sweet Oblivion
07. Clear As The Truth That Stands Against Them
08. How Did We Get Here?
09. I Can't
10. Pass Over
11. Away

Download part 2

GardenBox started off in late 1998. Since then they 've been creating and recording their music in their own studio, pursuing an orbit of constant development. With a background of a few individual productions on limited edition, they proceeded with their first official release in 2003 (PN22CD, self titled, POETA NEGRA RECORDS). Now, having just released The Last Resort (VEIN002, Venerate Industries) their second official release, the band is gathering momentum for a series of live shows. At the same time, and following a brake of two weeks (sic), they have started working on new material. GardenBox's music aims at illustrating the sound of contemporary cityscapes. Through an alternation of electronic and electric sound as the leading vehicle, they attempt to outline the conditions of urban life. With their resonating allusions to current trends of electronica and post rock, they create a sound idiom that is individual, prolific and tense. The compositions are vigorously intriguing, featuring drastic transitions and peaks. Their structure is at times dominated by layers of electronic sounds and beats, at others by the circular unfolding of melodic passages on guitar.

Official site
Buy it

Caspian - You are the conductor

Artist: Caspian
Album: You Are The Condructor
Label: Dopamine
Year: 2005

01. Quovis
02. Further up
03. Further in
04. Loft
05. For protection
06. Last rites


When drowning in the appropriate sound, you find yourself achieving the same fundamental effects in your soul as coming up for air has on the body. Caspian is that appropriate sound. An instrumental rock band from Beverly, Massachusetts formed in autumn of 2003; these four young men have crafted a sound that is immediately riveting, emotionally devastating, and achingly passionate. Characterized by towering walls of sound, oceanic guitar work and vicious rhythmic elements, Caspian is a band that knows how to imbed itself within the part of you that refuses to easily surrender. Take a walk around the bands home co-ordinates and you might find some clues. Tan stretches of sand and the infinite blue horizon of the Atlantic might be bigger influences here than anything else. The jam packed seasonal cycle might explain the bands desire to cover everything from gentle and placid to furious and destructive, all while maintaining a unified musical sensibility, and a fierce sense of adventure . Live in an area like this and you’re bound to create something hopeful, inspiring and downright massive. Caspian wants to bring you to places like this and to places we all haven't seen yet.
Let them take you.

Official site
Buy it

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yndi Halda - Enjoy Eternal Bliss

Artist: Yndi Halda
Album: Enjoy Eternal Bliss
Label: Burnt Toast Vinyl
Year: 2007

01. Dash and blast
02. We flood empty lakes
03. A song for starlit beaches
04. Illuminate my heart,my darling


Yndi Halda's Enjoy Eternal Bliss unfolds through four tracks that clock in at a little more than an hour. This is expansive, epic instrumental music with varied sections and movements that rise to crescendo out of subtle, gentle ambience. Melodies ebb and flow, rising to beautiful explosions. It's the kind of music which could soundtrack a modern day love story as easily as it could a mid-century war. A barrage of instrumentation is woven together to form the fabric of this effort, with soaring violins and whispering glockenspiels, melodies of clarinets and banjos, and driving guitars and bass supported by a military-styled percussion sound. With one beautiful soundscape after another, Yndi Halda create something bigger than an emotional rollercoaster, it's more like a full-on mountain assault through thick blizzards and incredible sunshine.

Official site
Buy it

Saturday, January 19, 2008

September Malevolence - Tomorrow We'll Wonder

Artist: September Malevolence
Album: Tomorrow We'll Wonder
Label: Tenderversion Recording
Year: 2005

01. Sinister
02. On our own
03. Distance / Closure
04. Departure
05. Beauforts 9, and rising
06. Late night episode
07. Nobody noticed the fire


They've been called the Swedish Explosions in the Sky, and you can only take such a comparison as flattery. September Malevolence leads a booming Swedish instrumental scene with moody, slightly off-beat post-rock that has a perfect insight into the quiet/loud approach that has dominated the genre over the past few years. Top-notch songwriting sets Tomorrow We'll Wonder... apart from the pack, and it's a skill like that which is an indicator that this band is not a flash in the pan.
Tomorrow We'll Wonder... gets darker than one would expect, but this is complemented well by a gloomy atmosphere that looms over the album. While the dark clouds are briefly cast away throughout the course of the album, it's ultimately a losing battle as the intent of the band becomes clear by the album's conclusion. And with that September Malevolence leaves us craving more.

Official site
Buy it

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works

Artist: Dillinger Escape Plan
Album: Ire Works
Label: Wea/Relapse
Year: 2007

01. Fix Your Face
02. Lurch
03. Black Bubblegum
04. Sick On Sunday
05. When Acting As A Particle
06. Nong Eye Gong
07. When Acting As A Wave
08. 82588
09. Milk Lizard
10. Party Smasher
11. Dead As History
12. Horse Hunter
13. Mouth Of Ghosts


After Miss Machine, Dillinger Escape Plan fans were divided. Many of the folks who were attached to the screaming mathematical metal of Calculating Infinity bailed on the band, disapproving of the experimental musical direction and the meathead appearance of new singer/screamer Greg Puciato. Open-minded listeners were excited about the progressive journey they were taking and many critics hailed the group as a true innovator of metalcore. Ire Works succeeds in many of the same ways that their previous album did, while branching out creatively. They continue to toy with technical metal, blistering hardcore, jazz breaks, and post-punk, but here they evolve again by adding more twists and turns with additional electronic elements. While the merging of too many styles in hardcore can make for a convoluted result (see Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled release), the added instruments and genre changeups enhance the result rather than acting as ornamental distractions. Edgy Aphex Twin-style drill'n'bass drum breaks and stretched and squeezed electro blips feel strangely at home next to the psychotic time-signature changes and manic riffs, especially on the tracks "Sick on Sunday," "Dead as History," and "When Acting as a Wave." Violins, pianos, and trumpets sit nicely in the mix, and the group's willingness to take chances leads to stunning artistic endeavors rather than stale attempts at crossing genres just for the sake of being clever. Original vocalist Dimitri Minakakis makes an appearance, as does Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, but the most notable inclusion is drummer Gil Sharone, who proves himself an expert at picking up the slack after the departure of founding member Chris Pennie to play in Coheed and Cambria. Undoubtedly, this act added anger to fuel the fire of their heavier numbers. "82588," "Fix Your Face," and "Party Smasher" are as wicked and manic as their most difficult earlier stuff; conversely, the melodic hooks and falsetto of "Black Bubblegum" and the watery ambience of "Mouth of Ghosts" balance out the album nicely. It can be inaccessible and terrifying all at once, but in a genre overly saturated with formulaic groups, Ire Works is a true standout. If DEP aren't careful and continue down this innovative path, they could easily be labeled the Radiohead of metalcore. A visceral metal album that pushes the envelope? Who would have thunk it?

Official site not available
Buy it

Monday, January 14, 2008

Labradford - Mi media naranja

Artist: Labradford
Album: Mi media naranja
Label: Kranky
Year: 1997

01. S
02. G
03. WR
04. C
05. I
06. V
07. P


For all of the group's first three albums each being intriguing, engaging listens, there was no hint that Mi Media Naranja would be as flat out amazing as it was. Yet it was, and remains, Labradford's best album yet, an accomplished meshing of all the various elements to their sound over previous releases into one near-perfect sonic document. Making a specific benefit out of turning the minimal into something maximal always was the band's major ability, but it gets showcased here to a new, breathtaking extent. "S" sets the scene just right, with Mark Nelson's trademark, deliberate, echoed guitar plucking, and all manner of ambient keyboard touches joined by gentle strings and, most notably of all, a crisp, dub-inflected rhythm, spare but forceful. Add to this an overlay near the start of the song of a high-frequency pitch -- not annoying, but noticeable -- and the end impression is of a band in full command of how to create detailed but not overly busy songs, compelling in their understated beauty. The album is packed with such high points and subtle sonic touches -- the sample of a child and slight bossa-nova rhythm on "WR," the loops of running liquid and distant engines behind twinkly keyboard sounds -- and then all that behind the usual guitar/organ interplay -- on "I," along with cryptic found-sound, man-on-the-street statements dropped in at various points to boot. Quietly fascinating and endlessly listenable, Media turns what had been a very good band indeed into a masterful one.

Official site
Buy it

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Eluvium - Indecipherable Text

Artist: Eluvium
Album: Indecipherable Text
Label: Sensory Projects
Year: 2007


Disc 1
01. Unfinished
02. Under the Water It Glowed
03. There Wasn't Anything
04. Zerthis Was a Shivering Human Image
05. I Am So Much More Me That You Are Perfectly You

Disc 2
01. New Animals from the Air
02. Show Us Our Homes
03. Area 41
04. Everything to Come
05. Calm of the Cast-Light Cloud
06. Taken
07. We Say Goodbye to Ourselves
08. One

Download part2

Indecipherable Text converts any sensation of annoyance or indignation into a mild-mannered, dull buzz. It is a two-disk sedative: 16 counselling sessions – each leaving the participant free of qualms or stress. The sounds heard are seductive and insightful and seem ready made to ease a worried mind.

Eluvium consists only of Matthew Cooper, a man whose fragile and stunning blend of delicate piano, expressive feedback and lightly strung guitar elicits warmth rarely found in music – particularly music as reserved as this. The consideration that Cooper puts into his composition is evident throughout every second in Indecipherable Text. The gentle piano motifs expertly balanced with the small intricacies that make this album so breathtaking. Put simply, this is ambient music at its best.

Indecipherable Text is a compilation of two of Eluvium’s previous albums: his first, Lambent Material, and his third, Talk Amongst Trees, with bonus tracks included. The two albums mesh well, the twin-disc pairing enabling the listener the chance to experience the refreshing, talent-soaked debut, and the developed third album.

On Lambent Material ‘I Am So Much More Me That You Are Perfectly You’ is a faultless example of the music of Eluvium; developed far beyond the hotchpotch of sounds that the song contains. Its music one could confide in, a favonian breeze of sounds that bestows feelings of equanimity and reassurance upon the listener. The music of Eluvium is piano-led; the ivories in this track are alluring, sylph-like almost, as wandering arpeggios persuade the listener to following Cooper along his path. In the background, sounds reminiscent of the ocean enhance the serene atmosphere that is created. This is music that can change the way the listener is feeling by acting as a calming companion

The 15-minute epic ‘Zerthis Was A Shivering Human Image’ from Lambent Material, is a hair raising experience, the rise and oscillation of the song a result of the willowy static and hum created by guitar, distortion and the vehemence of Cooper. Despite its long length, ‘Zerthis’ leaves the listener waiting for more; the sounds contained within this epic are awe-inspiring.

On Talk Amongst The Trees, Cooper has developed and fine-tuned his compositional skill since releasing Lambent Material. Here he is experimenting more with mysterious sounds, created by the use of a looping pedal, reverb pedal, and unusual microphone placement. He has also extended the journey of the recording, the end result lasting over an hour. The elegance of Talk Amongst The Trees is the way in which it sways from the subtle to the grand; the music evoking recollections of clouds lethargically drifting across skyline.

‘Taken’ is the standout track of Indecipherable Text. Running at nigh on 17-minutes, the length of the song is deceptive – the light strokes of guitar emitting peaceful reassurance. Music like the music created by Eluvium is rarely found; the tracks sounding so sincere that they seem incapable of exhaustion.

Indecipherable Text is a collection of work that conveys Matthew Cooper as a man betrothed to music; each track drenched in both zeal and attentiveness. The music contained is alluring and stimulating, and first-time listeners run the risk of becoming permanently engrossed in the sounds of Eluvium. In the end, it is an album for anyone who appreciates music. Two works of art have been compiled together to create an album that leaves the listener in awe – and thanking the stars that they had the chance to experience it.

Official site
MySpace not available
Buy it

Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone

Artist: Explosions in the sky
Album: All of a sudden I miss everyone
Label: Temporary Residence Ltd.
Year: 2007

01. The birth and death of the day
02. Welcome, ghosts
03. It's natural to be afraid
04. What do you go home to?
05. Catastrophe and the cure
06. So long, lonesome


Back in the mid 1990s, when post-rock dominated the indie landscape, instrumental bands offered a sonic vision beyond what they saw to be the tired rock clichés of 4/4 time and G-C-D riffs, but very often negated the simple energy that makes rock so vital in the process. On their second full-length ALL OF A SUDDEN I MISS EVERYONE, Explosions in the Sky do not make such mistakes. The Austin quartet (yes, there are only four of them generating all this sound) take cues from the post-rock era but apply an energetic, improvisational rock approach full of relentless tension and bursts of beauty. The sound of a chamber orchestra afire, ALL OF A SUDDEN I MISS EVERYONE packs a wallop.

Official site
Buy it

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Migala - Restos De Un Incendio

Album: Restos de un incendio
Label: Acuarela
Year: 2002

01. La cancion de gurb
02. El pasado diciembre
03. Noche desde un tren
04. El retraso
05. Ciudad del oeste
06. Aquel incendio
07. Un punado de coincidencias
08. El ultimo devaneo
09. Tiempos de desastre
10. Instrucciones para dar cuerda a un reloj


The new elements on "Restos de Un Incendio" are the remains of the fire, the marks left by time and agitation. Songs that were written and recorded between 1997 and 2000 and were released with similar names on any of Migala's three LPs have now been recorded in a spirit best fitting their present state. The ten compositions are something that they once thought were finished. But here they appear changed by a fire that, though it hasn't succeeded in consuming them, has managed to erase the most superficial layers of paint. The band seems to wrestle with something well known, yet seem to be discovering it all over again. This record contains what was left when the fire, fed by the recording of their album "Arde" and livened by the months of touring, finally died out. The ashes are still glowing, symbolizing the end of an age and, perhaps, the beginning of something new.

Buy it

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ufomammut - Snailking

Artist: Ufomammut
Album: Snailking
Label: The Music Cartel
Year: 2004

01. Blotch
02. Hopscotch
03. Lacrimosa
04. Odio
05. God
06. Alcool
07. Braindome
08. Demontain


The slow crescendo introducing "Blotch," the first track from Ufomammut's Snailking LP, is the sound of the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey slowly climbing over the horizon of a forbidden planet. They then use the song's terrifying climax a few minutes later to unleash the alien invasion itself! No sh*t, with their bone-crushing fusion of sludge metal, space rock, and death/doom, Ufomammut may just represent the long-awaited next evolutionary step beyond the works of desert/space metal pioneers Kyuss, left unfinished almost ten years earlier. If not quite worthy of such a daring claim yet, there's certainly a sense of that legacy's continuation here, as the Italian quartet proves itself equally adept at treading antediluvian landscapes as launching into deep-space excursions, the band's epic songs regularly exploring the massive swath of sound stretched between the two extremes. To wit, second track "Hopscotch" comes armed to the teeth with weapons of stone-age warfare -- tortured grunts, earthshaking guitars, rumbling bass, and pounding drums of doom -- and third cut "Lacrimosa" reverts the polarity into dreamy, hauntingly beautiful intergalactic hibernation chamber music, where Pink Floyd are the most obvious touchstone. Later on, "Odio" and "God" both sound like "sons of Kyuss," yet equally reminiscent of English doom gods Electric Wizard during their spacier moments. The same could be said for the creepy "Braindome," which supplies the perfect soundtrack for being swallowed by a black hole, and the closing, 28-minute song collage "Demontain" recalls Monster Magnet's psych-space freak-out Tab...25 for sheer ungodly girth and meandering focus. No, it's not entirely original, but Snailking is still a monstrous achievement in the space doom field.

Official site
Buy it

The Evpatoria Report - Golevka

Artist: The Evpatoria Report
Album: Golevka
Label: Shayo Records
Year: 2005

01. Prognoz
02. Taijin Kyofusho
03. Cosmic Call
04. C.C.S Logbook
05. Optimal Region Selector
06. Dipole Experiment


The Evpatoria Report was born in January 2002 and the band consists of two guitars, a bass, drums, a violin and a keyboard. The band offers an instrumental rock combining serenity, power and intensity. In order to enrich some of its compositions, The Evpatoria Report is willing to collaborate with other musicians, as it was the case with Reverse Engineering, the Orchestra of Ribaupierre or the Union Choral society of Vevey.
The band’s activity can be summarized through the release of its first EP (2003), followed by its first album "Golevka" (2005) as well as through life performances, in particular with Mono (2004), Calexico (2004) and Red Sparowes (2006). The Evpatoria Report currently works on a new album and maintains a keen interest for all sort of project, notably that of a soundtrack.

Official site
Buy it Sold out

God Is An Astronaut - Far From Refuge

Artist: God Is An Astronaut
Album: Far From Refuge
Label: Revive Records
Year: 2007


01. Radau
02. Far from Refuge
03. Sunrise in Aries
04. Grace Descending
05. New Years End
06. Darkfall
07. Tempus Horizon (v. 2007)
Lateral Noise
09. Beyond the Dying Light


God Is an Astronaut are an instrumental three piece hailing from the Glen of the Downs, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. They formed in 2002 and released their debut album The End of the Beginning (2002) on their own Revive Records label. Their two music videos for The End of the Beginning and From Dust to the Beyond, received airplay on MTV UK and on other MTV European networks.

All Is Violent, All Is Bright (2005) is the band's second album. The album features their build ups from serene ambience to searing intensity and is a closer representation of their live sound. The single Fragile from the album has also received plays on MTV2 UK's 120 minute show and MTV's "The Comedown" show.

God Is an Astronaut released an EP called A Moment of Stillness in 2006.

Their third album, Far from Refuge, was released in April 2007 on Revive Records and as a download via their website.

Official site
Buy it

Jakob - Solace

Artist: Jakob
Album: Solace
Label: Midium
Year: 2006


01. Malachite
02. Pneumonic
03. Lonesome
04. Oran Mor
05. Safety In Numbers
06. Everything All Of The Time
07. Saint


pass: Altered Course

Proud Napier trio Jakob have well and truly found their own groove on this latest record - Solace is easily the band's best work to date (no mean feat, given the high standard of their previous releases!) and effortlessly blows anything else that's been released of late out of the water.
This, their third album, sees the band diving headfirst into the heavy-ambient "instru-metal" waters that they've been dipping their toe into increasingly since their debut-proper Subsets Of Sets, their well-honed sound is at once startlingly beautiful and crushingly heavy (check out 'Pneumonic' if you need convincing) yet always melodic and could confidently stand up next to the leading lights in the field such as Isis, Jesu and Pelican.
Producer extraordinaire David Holmes has out done himself behind the desk, and even pops up on one track ('Lonesome') to add some guitar as does musical peer Tristan Dingemans of HDU on 'Everything All Of The Time'. As far as local releases go, Solace is a welcome breath of fresh air and already a firm favourite for the year so far. Beyond that it is truly a world class release that should see the consistent groundwork the band has been doing abroad, start to pay dividends. Highly Recommended.

Official site
Buy it
Buy it again!