Lucid Grave, Cosmic Mountain (Electric Valley 2022)

Stoner doom band Lucid Grave release their debut long-player, Cosmic Mountain.

Situated in Copenhagen, Denmark, Lucid Grave has been haunting stages for a few years. After a demo and an EP, they have now put together an impressive full-length album for their ever-expanding fan base to groove on. Heavy psych, doom, ritual, and stoner vibes infiltrate every nook in this music. The band is Malene (vocals), Jon (drums), Alex (bass), Casper (guitar and synth), and Kriller (guitar and synth).

There are six tracks on the new album, three long ones and three very long ones. The title track kicks the set off with opening ambient tones and an eerie, emotive vocal. The voice is mesmerizing, having the effect of a chant in this context, rather like ritual metal. It is nearly three minutes in before the first big guitar riff lands, and when it does the impact is titanic. The pace is slow but determined and meaningful. “Old Spirit” follows in a completely different way, reminding me at times of a Nina Hagen – digging in with punk attitudes and contemporary sentimentiation [I made that word up just now]. The lead break toward the end is very trippy.

The differential existence of both faster-paced and slow-paced songs works exceptionally well on this record. “I’m Still High” is next and it has an arc the other songs largely avoid. “I Feel The Fire” is somber and not at all sober. “Stay Away” is a Pink Floyd tonic and the closer, “Curse Of the Crow,” digs in deep. The massive natural musical weight of the composition gains access to your deepest inner self if you have prepared for it properly and if you are open to the experience. The ramp out could be effective in an Ayahuasca exploration. This song, and this album, could change you. Recommended.

Cosmic Mountain is out on Friday, July 15th through Electric Valley Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://lucidgrave.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/LucidGrave

Electric Valley Records, https://www.electricvalleyrecords.com/category/electric-valley-records-releases

© Wayne Edwards

Lucid Grave, Cosmic Mountain (Electric Valley 2022)

Peth, Merchant Of Death (Electric Valley 2022)

The debut album from Texas heavy psych band Peth is an alternate history of the past today.

Apart from the fact that the band has formed recently, there is not a ton of information freely floating about in the ether. There are four of them in the photos, band members. Mmmhmm. You can hear vocals, guitar, bass, and drums in the music. That adds up. If you want to sift through the band’s Facebook page for clues, there is a link below. Let’s have a listen to the album and see what it reveals.

On “Dwarvanaught,” the straight-forward rhythm sets you up for musical imbibement no matter how altered your state. The vocals and general presence in the song put me in mind a little of the band Ancient Days that I saw recently at Black Circle Brewing in Indianapolis – echoey; Eldritch. The lead guitar work is a thing of beauty. “Amok” sneaks up on you like an Amboy Duke, heralding a somewhat older origin than the first song. The guitar is big on this track, too, and it is a bit more questing than before. “Abolish the Overseer” channels Iommi for the opening riff. The otherworldly voice has a different impact in this setting, and still again is an exceptional complement.

“Let Evil In” is a barn burner, and no mistake. The thrusting guitar cracks open the primordial egg and, when you step inside, what you find is a surprise. “Stoned Wizard” is swirling fuzzy darkness filled with muscular riffs. The title track is notable for its execution of Sabbathan classicism. It is a delight. The big closer is the ten-minute epic “Karmic Debt.” It is a patient piece with a couple of killer sequences and a worthy payoff for seekers.

I had a lot of fun listening to this album. It is haunted by the past, heavily. Peth takes this and transforms what might be a curse into a mythic blessing. I will be listening to this album again and looking forward to the next one. Recommended.

Merchant Of Death is out on Friday, May 27th through Electric Valley Records on digital and vinyl.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://peth.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Peth.usa

Electric Valley Records, https://www.electricvalleyrecords.com/

The Cosmic Peddler, https://thecosmicpeddler.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Peth, Merchant Of Death (Electric Valley 2022)

Slowtorch, The Machine Has Failed (Electric Valley Records 2022)

Italian stoner metal band Slowtorch have a new record out this week, The Machine Has Failed.

Slowtorch came together around 2005. They rolled out at a measured pace, releasing a series of EPs leading up to their debut long-player, Serpente (2014). The new album is their first since then, so fans have been waiting awhile. The style of music they play is a kind of heavy stoner, groove-driven affair that has a lot of crossover appeal. The band is Fabio Sforza (drums), Matteo Meloni (vocals), Bruno Bassi (guitars), and Karl Sandner (bass).

The album starts out on a heavy groove with “Hammerhead.” The hook alternates with a bob while Meloni’s voice floats around it all. The shifts sometimes have a GZR feel to them, and I do see where the Clutch comparison might come in. It is a high-energy pop with a heavy riff. “Book Of The Dead” has a darker, slower, heavier weight to sling around, and that makes a lot of sense given the title. Singable repeaters predict this one will be a fan favorite. “Man Vs. Man” comes on and I am thinking this party might never slow down. This track has the first dedicated lead guitar work, too.

“Behold” has melodic moments and the most concentrated doom delivery on the album. “Kraken” brings the big monster energy, and “Sever The Hand” takes the tone toward noir with a hectic chop. “Charger,” then, is a big power push and a relentless riff that will grind you right off the cliff. The title track raises the tension to set up the closer, “World Behind My Eyes.” This final song has an attractive clomp to it – the kind of thing that has enormous jam potential and could be expanded live to go on for ten minutes it the band wanted it to. This is great outdoor festival music. Recommended.

Electric Valley Records has the vinyl, along with digital, out on Friday, April 29th. Pick up your favorite variant while you still can.

Links.

Website, https://www.slowtorch.com/

Bandcamp, https://slowtorch.bandcamp.com/album/the-machine-has-failed

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SLOWTORCH

Electric Valley Records, https://www.electricvalleyrecords.com/products

© Wayne Edwards

Slowtorch, The Machine Has Failed (Electric Valley Records 2022)