A couple of months ago, we published an article introducing four very interesting black metal bands. This time, we deal with a slightly different kind of music: doom metal, stoner rock/metal and psychedelic/hard rock. Below are five bands from five different countries that we believe are worth checking out.
Demon Lung – Pareidolia
Influenced by traditional doom acts like Candlemass and Pentagram, Demon Lung was formed in Las Vegas and recently released its debut EP Pareidolia. The EP is pure doom metal, really heavy and down-tempo, with a fantastic vocalist and great quality production, and a crunchy, death metal guitar sound. There’s not much more to say other than I’m very much interested in what this band has to offer in the future.
Nightstalker – Dead Rock Commandos
The Greek stoner/desert/hard rock band Nightstalker was created in the early 90s by vocalist (then vocalist AND drummer) Argy and released their first EP SideFX in 1994 and their debut Use in 1996. These were followed by 2004’s Just a Burn and Superfreak, released in 2009. Their fourth full-length album Dead Rock Commandos will be released on August 28th 2012 and is a great addition to the band’s awesome back catalogue. The album is abundant with groovy and catchy tracks, with Argy’s distinctive vocals and his philosophical ramblings being in the forefront. The bass/guitar riff of “Dead Rock Commandos” will definitely get stuck in your head for days on end – or you might catch yourself singing aloud the chorus of the track “The BoogieMan Plan”. The album might get slightly repetitive towards the end but overall it’s a very enjoyable release by the Greek stoner legends. If you have the chance, go and see them live, because these guys really know how to rock.
Jess and the Ancient Ones – Jess and the Ancient Ones
Sounding retro has become a bit of a trend in the last few years – that explains why there are so many bands trying to capture the spirit of the glorious 70s and 80s (bands like Witchcraft, The Devil’s Blood, Jex Thoth etc). The Finnish band Jess and the Ancient Ones is a new addition to this progressive/occult/psychedelic rock ‘revival’. The use of the keyboards will make you think that this is pure 70s worship. But don’t be fooled. There’s lots of 80s heavy metal worship as well; I hear a bit of Iron Maiden creeping in there (like the riffs in the track “Sulfur Giants”) and Mercyful Fate (especially because of the lyrical content). And –shock horror- they also cite Abba as an influence! So, in summary: mystical sounds, occult lyrics, Jess’s intriguing voice and heavy metal riffs make up a really cool album well worth your time.
Stoned Jesus – Seven Thunders Roar
The second full length by Stoned Jesus is for me the most exciting release of all five mentioned in this article. The trio from Ukraine, formed only three years ago, has managed to mix their many different influences and crafted a highly interesting record. At first, I thought I was listening to another Black Sabbath/Electric Wizard clone. But there’s so much more than that on Seven Thunders Roar; stoner/doom, blues, psychedelic, a bit of grunge here and there and a bit of folk. Sure, “Electric Mistress” sounds like it comes off Sabbath’s Paranoid album; and “Stormy Monday” totally sounds like Electric Wizard. But when I listened to “I’m the Mountain”, I realized that the band is much more capable than I originally thought. The 16-minute epic track is a truly wonderful journey that showcases the band’s potential. A great release from a very promising band.
Lowriderz – Groovy Grindstone
A stoner/southern metal band from Russia? A bit odd, but possible. Lowriderz were formed in 2009 in the wonderful city of Saint Petersburg and released their first EP Ride the Walrus in 2010 and their debut album Groovy Grindstone in 2012. From the first few seconds of the opening track “Illusions”, you immediately know that Lowriderz must be big fans of Down, Corrosion of Conformity, Black Label Society and so on. The vocals are sometimes quite reminiscent of Phil Anselmo’s vocals, although the music is a lighter version of Pantera and the aforementioned bands. Lowriderz’s music is proof that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you’re from; as long as you have the spirit, the groove and the attitude, you can sound as ‘southern’ as any other American southern band.