The Stone Eye
Come along with us and grab a beer, throw up your legs, and let out a sigh of relief. A new era is born; or at least, something like that.
Philadelphia’s premier fuzz-filled rockers are ushering in 2023 with new music throughout the year, continuing with their third single Oogie-Dew, along with their new full-length album, Fata Morgana. Formed in 2014 by some buddies in High School with a shared love for music and endless amounts of ambition (sometimes to the point of absurdity), The Stone Eye is a band that prides itself in tackling multiple genres within one cohesive package; usually topped off with thunderous rhythm, loud guitars, and haunting vocals. It was not always this way though, and that's part of the appeal.
Throughout the band's long history, musical evolution and experimentation have been at the forefront of each member's mind. What happens if you cross pop-sensibilities with traditional metal? Or maybe throw some funk in there for the ladies? Perhaps this song needs a hand pan? Why not! With every new release, The Stone Eye is providing new perspectives on tried genres, and that's... well, cool. These upcoming releases are absolutely no exception to that now-established mantra, so strap on in, grab that beer we were talking about earlier, and enjoy the ride.
Oogie-Dew is the third of four singles & music videos, which is now available alongside the band's latest twelve-track album entitled Fata Morgana.
Fata Morgana and the aforementioned single is being distributed through Electric Talon Records on CD, cassette, and digital mediums.
Formed in the (sometimes) sunny city of Athens, Greece back in 2017, StartTheMonkey is a post meets experimental doom metal band. After a period of numerous lineup changes, the band has now settled in on it's current incarnation and is hard at work recording records and playing live shows following the Coronavirus epidemic.
Following their 2020 EP entitled The Start of the Monkey, the band is ready to release their latest creation: a full length LP entitled Urban Psyche which will be sure to grab the attention of both fans of the band, as well as fans of the genre as a whole. Urban Psyche will be available in 2023 through Electric Talon Records on the CD, Cassette, and Digital mediums.
The history of Masheena dates back to the early 2000s, when Luis, Tarjei and Ole agreed to start a Thin Lizzy cover band after more than a few beers one night. That band never materialized, but the guys kept active over the years in other projects like Abbath, Royal Rooster, Lost At Last, Ilti Milta, Meelodi, Odisea 4tet and St. Satan.
After reigniting a smoldering fire, mellowed by time and sober expectations after spending half a lifetime in rehearsal rooms, and against better judgment, in 2021 Luis sent a few demos to Tarjei who literally had to dig out his bass from the basement after having sworn to never play in an original band again.
The legend Armagedda, known from Immortal’s debut album, the Abbath-fronted “I” and Demoza’s solo album joined together with string virtuoso, Ole, rehearsing the songs in a barn in the outskirts of town transformed into a rehearsal cave.
Rather than re-inventing music itself, the purpose of Masheena is to share the joy and love of hard rock. An intended EP with songs from previous demos quickly grew to a full album.
Musically, Masheena are inspired by both the sunny and shady grooves of the 70s, the shameless hedonism of 80s hard rock and heavy metal, as well as the jagged riffs and darker vibes of the 90s alternative rock and metal scenes.
Lean back, grease up, beer in, put on or take off your denim, leather or plant-based garments, and cheap sunglasses:
With about 100 years of combined experience playing national and international venues…and ringing tinnitus, say welcome to Masheena!
Hailing from Quezon City (Philippines), brothers Vincent and VN formed what is now known as Polymerase in 2014. Although the band was soon to find local success, the project ran its course rather quickly due to issues outside of the brothers control. Years later though, this was to change.
Fast forward to 2020, and amidst the Coronavirus pandemic the brothers soon found themselves conversing about their long forgotten band. Following some lengthy conversations through Facebook, the current iteration of Polymerase was formed and was quick to get to work. Within a year, the band found itself releasing what is now known as Unostentatious- an album that began as a simple demo but quickly turned into a glorious combination of doom, psychedelic, and stoner rock.
Fast forward to 2023 and the band is proud to be releasing their latest endeavor: part one of a two part album entitled Dreams & Realities. Taking the lessons learned from Unostentatious, the band quickly found a style of psychedelic stoner rock that was truly unique to the band, and will be sure to grab attention. Dreams & Realities Pt. 1 will be available February 3rd, 2023 through both Electric Talon Records and Sliptrick Records.
Hailing from the Philippines, Basalt Shrine is a doom/post-metal act that was conceived during the height of the pandemic. The band began when Bobby Legaspi of the doom/sludge acts Surrogate Prey and Malicious Birth joined the Vivo Brothers - Ronnel and Ronaldo of various musical entities (Dagtum, The Insektlife Cycle, Abanglupa, Imperial Airwaves), in their on-going post-metal project Human Tusk, Hallowed Trunks. They initially worked on Human Tusk, Hallowed Trunks pre-recorded materials but later decided to start from scratch and exchange new demos, thus forming what is now known as Basalt Shrine. Bobby recruited Rallye Ibanez (Surrogate Prey, Ex-Religious Nightmare, Isvarah) to do bass and vocal duties. Due to the strict health protocols and series of community quarantine lockdowns, the band wrote and recorded their debut album remotely.
Rallye and Bobby brought the grit and blackness to the sound of Basalt Shrine while the Vivo Brothers, with their musical ordnance- from psychedelic rock, post-punk, dissonant death metal, hardcore punk- graced the band’s music with a magnitude of experimentative/explorative textures and layers. Their debut album, From Fiery Tongues, is an attempt to translate meditative tonalities into beautifully heavy sounds and vibrations. From Fiery Tongues will be available August 5th, 2022 through Electric Talon Records in the CD & cassette medium, exclusively for the North & South American market.
THE SAME RIVER
The Same River is a rock band from Athens, Greece.
The Same River was founded by Diamond Pr (Cyanna Mercury) and Dimitris Georgopoulos (Cyanna Mercury, Deaf Radio) in August of 2019. After two months, the band's lineup was finalized with Fivos Katsifloros joining on the drums (One Man Drop), and Theodore Ntilgeris joining as a second guitarist (The Great Black Shark). From the first day, The Same River focused on writing songs that could deliver the band's vision of this world; a lust for life and passion for making music.
After a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, The Same River completed their four song debut Live At The Blackbox, an EP recorded and mixed live, just to keep a ‘true and raw’ feeling. Live At The Blackbox was the world’s first introduction to The Same River back in March of 2020. Despite the difficulties and the lack of live performances, reviews were overwhelmingly positive and gave The Same River the strength and inspiration to complete their first full length album.
The bands latest release, Weight of the World, was a ten month struggle that was finalized in June of 2021. An eight song, full length album that embodies the bands love for heavy, rock-influenced psychedelic music. Lyrically, Weight of the World carries the band's philosophical concerns about the decadence of human society filtered through the fears of an unknown world after this pandemic ends. Heraclitus, Albert Camus, Sigmund Freud and many mythological aspects of our heritage (with a deeper meaning), such as Sisyphus and Prometheus, blend in a way and fulfills in rhymes what our vision for this world is about; solidarity, peace and understanding.
Since the band's inception in 2007, North Carolina based Temptations Wings has labored tirelessly to create a brand of heavy music that would stand the test of time. With an emphasis on storytelling (drawing on such influences as Greek and Norse mythology) Temptations Wings have sought to craft a sound that harkens back to the early days of heavy metal, while attempting to blaze new courses into uncharted sonic territory. Guitar harmonies and plodding rhythms, accompanied by clean vocals give way to haunting Instrumental passages, carefully laced with ambient psychedelic overtones.
Drawing comparisons to the likes of Candlemass and Grand Magus, Temptations Wings back catalog is diverse, yet not without a sense of identity. Songs such as I Destroyer (a proto-thrash song that kicks off the concept album Skulthor Ebonblade) are paired successfully with the likes of My Name was Skulthor (a melodic doom epic that closes the aforementioned release).
Following the release of 2019's EP, The Path, Temptations Wings hustled back into the studio that very winter to start recording what was to become Marauders of the Killing Moon. Hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts were finally concluded in the early summer of 2021. Marauders of the Killing Moon will be available on the 26th of November, 2021 through Electric Talon Records.
Since 2015, Restless Spirit has been carving a path of their own in the underground metal scene, creating a sound that is both unique yet familiar. While paying homage to stalwarts of the genre Black Sabbath and more recent juggernauts The Sword, there is no shortage of crushing riffs and indelible hooks to be found here. Though they fit right in with the doom and stoner rock scene, the band trades a strict diet of fuzz for a more varied, melodic approach.
On their latest record, entitled Blood of the old Golds, the trio welcomes their original drummer Jon Gusman (Rule Them All) back into the mix. And with it, the band finds themselves going back to their roots. Blood of the Old Gods is a ferocious offering of songs written over the course of a single month in a rehearsal space in their hometown of Long Island, New York. Much like their previous full length offering Lord of the New Depression, described as '[an] album that leads with big riffs, big hooks and a generally huge sound', the three piece finds themselves experimenting, adding a cohesive narrative throughout the 39 minute record. Featuring brooding artwork from famed painter Frank Frazetta, the art matches the grandiose sonic landscape and haunting atmosphere contained within.
When the deadbolt breaks
For over fifteen years, When The Deadbolt Breaks has lurked in the dark corners of underground metal. With a doom style both psychedelic and unsettling, the band is singer/guitarist Aaron Lewis’s gritty vision of life on the subcultural fringes of New England society.
And no, not that Aaron Lewis from New England.
When The Deadbolt Breaks’ music has been labeled many things -heavy, daunting, overwhelming, unnerving- but Lewis has always struck a balance between the ugly and beautiful: long compositions wade through detuned, discordant, and murky sludge before shifting into melodic ambient space rock territories, and back again. It’s not hard to see that cinema is often what informs Lewis’s songwriting: the grueling discomfort of E. Elias Merhige or the surreality of David Lynch have provided as much inspiration as his musical influences.
Devised at a time when metal-core formulas saturated New England, Lewis went in the opposite direction. “We were too slow for hardcore shows, and just too weird for normal metal bills. There were a lot of crossed-arms in the audience, when people didn’t know what to make of us.” Lewis laughs. “They still don’t, sometimes.”
Indeed, When The Deadbolt Breaks has never feared alienating listeners with lurching pieces that often reach past the ten-minute mark. "When The Deadbolt Breaks is very much personal for me on many levels. It’s an outlet of all or most of my angst, negativity, creativity and of course volume therapy. It partially started as rebelling against all the music that was popular at the time, and became a very important part of my life. It’s heavy in the soul and carries a ton of personal emotion."
In 2020, drummer Rob Birkbeck (ex-Holding On To Nothing, Sentinel Hill, Tallest) and bassist Charlie Sad Eyes (Crawl Below, ex-Holding On To Nothing, Sentinel Hill) entered the fold. Using the absence of live music forced by Covid-19, Lewis and Birkbeck filled the time with writing the bands eighth full-length, “As Hope Valley Burns”. Lewis comments “Rob and Charlie have been close friends of the band for years. In 2020, after Mike Parkyn and Randy Dumas left for personal reasons, Rob stepped in seamlessly on drums, and Charlie filled the bass/backing vocal position. This has propelled the band into a new, more extreme and more dynamic space musically.”
The band is no stranger to the stage, having played the SXSW, New England Stoner & Doom Fest, and toured the southwest in 2018. As the pandemic recedes, the Connecticut three-piece looks forward to bringing Lewis’s dark vision back to the stage, unleashing “As Hope Valley Burns” on unsuspecting and often unprepared audiences. “This is the eighth album, and is a unique one for When The Deadbolt Breaks. We have pushed our boundaries sonically. The heavy is heavier, and the mellow, spacial parts are even more so. Akin to our first few records, we have returned to more aggressive drumming, and psychedelic spaces, yet this record has a certain depth and maturity to it that was missing in the past."
TEL are a metal band from Richmond, VA. Taking cues from local legends Cough, Windhand, and Inter Arma, the four piece set out to write dark, heavy, melodic sounding music that melds elements of doom, sludge, progressive, and post-metal into one seamless mix.
Having started back in 2016, Tel played locally and put out a few demos before recording their debut album Lowlife in 2019. The album consisted of a raw and haunting combination of sludge and doom metal, with a gritty and stripped down live recording production handled by Windhand’s guitarist, Garrett Morris (who also was behind the production of acts such as Cough, Satan’s Satyrs, and Electric Wizard). Each song weaved in nuances of ghostly clean singing, throat-ripping screams, intricate lead guitars, thunderous bass grooves, and eerie tribal drum beats, creating a blend that has become the band’s trademark style. As time has gone on, the band’s more recent works see them continuing to expand on their inspirations and further explore a cross between sounding melodic and extreme. With their ominous, atmospheric, and overall bleak sound, Tel are worthy of looking into for anyone who enjoys the darkest dirges of Katatonia’s early death/doom days, to the monstrous sludge anthems of Yob’s most recent works.
Tel have teamed up with Costa Rica based Age of the Wolf to record a split entitled Vigils, out August 13th 2021 through Electric Talon Records.
AGE OF THE WOLF
There’s not really a specific genre to place Age of the Wolf’s music, so they went for the term “Fuzz Worshipping Doom”. Doom infused with stoner, catchy riffs, with the heaviness and emotion of sludge, the band seeks to travel through different genres in order to emanate feelings and emotions.
Hailing from Costa Rica, the Fuzz Worshiping Doom outfit released their debut album, the follow-up to their 2016 self-titled EP. It covered quite a different spectrum, focused on a more heavy metal/hard rock outfit. With Ouroboric Trances, they break their past selves through a heavier, dirtier and overall bigger sound.
New sounds inspired by bands such as Pallbearer, Monolord, early Mastodon, Baroness, Electric Wizard and Dopelord, mark a new beginning in their history, striving now to quench their heavy-riff thirst.
Ouroboric Trances was released on May 10th, 2019 on Vinyl, CD and digital platforms through the world renowned Italian label Aural Music, well known for being one of the top labels in scouting and discovering new talent all around the globe.
The band was set to play their first US show in March 2020, at the Stoner Jam during SXSW, but the COVID-19 pandemic had all plans cancelled. This became an opportunity for the band to regroup and start writing new music for their next release. Along this process, the idea of creating a record label came to fruition. This became Cognitive Discordance Records. Memorial (B-Sides) was released in October 2020. This was the first release for the label.
They recently finished a Split alongside Aural label mates TEL, which will be released via Electric Talon Records (USA) in August 2021. They also participated in their first virtual US fest, Mutants of the Monster, alongside bands such as Telekinetic Yeti, -16-, Yakuza, Sunrot, and more. It was premiered on January 1st and 2nd, via the Arkansas Times YouTube page. Currently, the band is working on their sophomore album, aimed to be released in 2023.
Formed in 2015, Niamh is an alternative metal band hailing from Italy drawing from influences such as Metallica, Linkin Park, and DarkThrone. Their first full length album, Corax, dropped in 2016 and was then followed by a second full length 2019 release entitled SuperSonic. Drawing on their initial influences, Niamh decided to spice things up with their 2019 release, adding elements of electronic music and describing their sound as a more introspective sound which landed somewhere between Depeche Mode and Cannibal Corpse.
Despite the band's relatively young age, they have achieved a level of success that is not too common for young bands these days- traveling abroad all throughout Europe, hitting the festival circuit, and opening for bands such as Placebo and Arch Enemy.
Waxim “Wax” Ulysses Mekanix is an American musician, songwriter, performer, producer, and founding member of NWOBHM cult rockers Nitro.
Wax’s perspective and work can best be described as raw, authentic, bold, uncompromising, and disconcerting.
Out of a radically transformed America comes a statement from a veteran artist that’s of and for its time. Mobocracy: Deluxe Edition (2022) is a focused collection of strident, aggressive, snarling, howling songs that draws on Wax’s decades of experience and influences.
“History shows us that artists will not let this kind of tectonic shift in American life pass without comment. I’m just commenting now.”
“While new artists strive to cultivate vintage connective tissue to fuse themselves with that rare genuine original creative source that defines their craft, by virtue of my history, I’m forever linked to this authentic well-spring of inspiration. This type of provenance can’t be synthesized, purchased, or conjured. It has to be earned. Whatever value it carries, I guess I’ve earned it and I’m certainly proud of it.”
“I’m Wax Mekanix and I approve this message”
A Band with a Swedish dudes name? A guy doing solo Singer/Songwriter stuff, bearded and wearing only a lumberjack shirt? Sounds like but isn’t! Associations, Imaginations – all misleading! Lasse Reinstroem rather refers to a German sound-alike which translated means something like “let them run/flood in” and which is the common answer to the joke “Dude, you know what is the name of the Swedish Sex Minister?”.
And it’s the name of a fresh band from Dresden, Germany, who play a well-balanced mix of Blues, Stoner, Noise, Psychedelic and somewhere in between Kyuss, Mogwai, Isis and Ennio Morricone! A proper description would include Western atmosphere, Desert sound, ethereal, flickering Post Rock guitars, Vocals reaching from the early Mark Lanegan to a higher pitched Tom Waits, from howling lyrics to pissed-off, bored Storytelling and folksy rhythm to noisy, scream-fueled explosions (Howlin Wolf) and typical post-rock Jams (Steamroller) and Isis riffs played by Mogwai (Spitzke) flavoured with soundeffects.
With the release of their second full length studio album Seiches and Sirens and their appearance in the esteemed “Classic Rock Magazine” the groovy sexy viking funk doom rock trio Almost Honest have made quite a name for themselves. Born in New Cumberland, Pa in 2013 these cats have been bringing energetic and memorable live performances across the east coast. Shayne Reed lays down the thundering vocals and groovy guitar while Seth Jackson brings the funky rhythm with his bass. Lastly Quinten Spangler is the time keeper and beat god. Fans never leave a concert unsatisfied and with a sound as unique as there's, who can blame them? They have been featured in such publications as Classic Rock Magazine, Doomed & Stoned, and The Obelisk. They have cemented themselves as a force to be reckoned with. This doom rock group have also played with such amazing acts as Revocation, Astronoid, and Moon Tooth. These guys are the ones you will want to keep your eyeballs on because they are carving there own piece of music funkery and they want you to be apart of the ride.
Philly-area Metal Trio consisting of Moe, Pretty Boy, and Thuds. Troll Teeth, in one form or another, has been bringing devastatingly heavy riffs to the masses since 2012 and show no sign of stopping until everyone is crushed beneath the weight of their massive, down-tuned Doom.
Mike Matteson does everything. He plays all the instruments and writes all the music. He’s been in bands playing blues, punk, psych, sludge metal, indie, and balls-out rock and roll. And sometimes Mike Matteson is his own band, drumming with his feet while playing guitar and singing, like a magnificent one-man rock and roll wrecking ball of rock and roll. And, ladies, he’s single!
Moths are a Progressive/Stoner Metal band from San Juan, Puerto Rico that blends powerful riffs with unexpected and increasingly progressive undertones. The band was founded by Weslie Negrón (Bass), Jonathan Miranda (Lead Guitar), and Omar González (Rhythm Guitar) in 2016 with the later addition of Damaris Rodríguez (Vocals) and Daniel Figueroa (Drums). Moths released their debut, self-titled EP on November 2nd, 2018 gaining attention from important Non-Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal websites like Bandcamp, Heavy Blog is Heavy, Dead Rhetoric, among others. The band embarked on their first US tour with a short run in the North East area of the Mainland, where the band got a great response from the audiences. In June 2020, their track Adhara Ray was part of the ‘Stimulus Swim’ mixtape curated by Adult Swim, which had the band featured both in Adult Swim’s website and their TV programming. With Damaris’ aggressive but melodic vocals, Omar’s catch riffs, Jonathan’s unorthodox leads, Weslie’s solid bass lines, and Daniel’s extreme drumming, Moths creates a perfect balance between Heavy and cohesive music that will impact their listeners to a whole new level.