Innate Passage: The new album by Elder

Innate Passage was released on November 25, 2022

Elder is a four-piece heavy psych band based in Berlin, Germany. Originally from Boston, Mass, the band was formed by founding guitarist and vocalist, Nick DiSalvo and bassist Jack Donovan. The current lineup includes Mike Risberg on guitars and keys and Georg Edert on drums. Since their formation in 2006, the band has been continuously evolving, adding new elements to their sound. What started as primarily a Sleep-worshipping stoner rock band has significantly grown and developed over the last decade and a half. Through the course of their career, collaborating with other bands, touring the world, and continually experimenting and adding musical elements, the band has crafted a progressive, psychedelic, genre-bending sound that is always recognizable as Elder.

The band released Innate Passage on November 25. It follows 2021’s Eldovar, a collaboration with Kadavar, and their 2020 full length, Omens. Innate Passage clocks in at 54 minutes with 5 tracks. The album was recorded and mixed by Linda Dag at Clouds Hill Studio in Hamburg and mastered by Carl Saff. The intriguing artwork was produced by Adrian Dexter, a legend in the stoner rock art community who has produced all of Elder’s album art.

Calling the album anything other than ambitiously grandiose and epic would be a huge understatement. The songs are long, with each song hovering around the 10 minute mark or more, and each track is like a tapestry or a painting, continually revealing layer after psychedelic layer as it unfolds. The songs tend to be elaborately constructed and unpredictable in their arrangement, but the flow and catchiness of the tracks will draw you in. It may sound oxy-moronic, but this is exactly the type of heavy music you could equally head bang or fall asleep to, both energetic and relaxing.

1. Catastasis 10:50
2. Endless Return 9:54
3. Coalescence 9:47
4. Merged In Dreams – Ne Plus Ultra 14:43
5. The Purpose 8:37

Elder’s trademark harmonies are ever present in Disalvo’s endlessly creative chord progressions and soaring guitar leads. Listen to the opener, Catastasis, for some awesome chord progressions and some incredibly fretboard-sweeping patterns on Endless Return. His vocal style is strong, with well-delivered melodies and occasional harmonies like on the opening track. The lyrics on Innate Passage are abstract, with poetic, philosophical observations and societal commentary, in the tradition of past albums.

Risberg’s guitars and diverse keys on the album are huge, adding beautifully to the sonic richness and dreamy nature of the album’s well produced sound. Check out Endless Return and Merged in Dreams for some awesome dual guitar leads. The keys tones run the gamut, with orchestrated sounds on Catastasis, spacy sounds on Endless Return, synths on Coalescence, with plenty of psychedelic tones in between. Listen closely to The Purpose to hear Risberg’s spacy keyboard interplay with Donovan’s absolutely heavy bass line.

Underneath it all, Donavan and Edert hold things in the pocket with a tight and driving rhythm section. Donavan’s bass tone is thick and beefy on Coalescence, which also features some tricky time signature work reminiscent of Rush in their heyday. Edert drums with the utmost complexity and flow but without being flashy or standing out. The album merits relistens just to try and figure out some of his timing on tracks like Coalescence. There’s plenty to explore in the band’s tight and complex song structures, especially on the nearly 15 minute Merged in Dreams, with trippy keys and guitars that build to possibly the heaviest ending on the album.

Innate Passage is available for streaming on Bandcamp, with digital album download available for $7. Physical copies of the double LP are available through Armageddon Shop in the U.S. and Stickman Records in Europe. Check out the band’s merch page and follow them on social media.

Fresh heavy-psych music from Nova Koloso

Hallucinate Your Faith was released Nov 1

Nova Koloso is a heavy psych, alternative rock band from Baltimore, Maryland. The group formed during the pandemic by brothers Mark and Tom Colegrove. With Tom on drums and Mark covering everything else, the duo produces a fast paced blend of progressive psych rock, with plenty of jamming and layering of all kinds of groovy guitar sounds and catchy keyboard tones, topped off with grungy vocals. Their Self-titled first release was released in 2021. Now, the group is back with their second psychedelic offering, Hallucinate Your Faith. In it, the group draws from the best elements of their debut (a brilliant, cross-instrumental harmonic sound, catchy leads, hooky vocals, tight musicianship) and beefs it up with a killer mix. Nova Koloso will call out to fans of psych rockers like King Gizzard as well as alt rockers like Smashing Pumpkins.

For Hallucinate Your Faith, the brothers enlisted the aid of former band mate, Ken Moore, on bass. The album was mixed and mastered by Steve Wright at Wright Way Studios. Clocking in at 38 minutes, its eight songs are on the shorter side, though the band includes lots of great leads and progressive interludes, as well as a nearly eight minute closing track.

1. Hallucinate Your Faith 3:54
2. Whatever You Want To 5:42
3. New Recruit 4:04
4. Dead Tongue 4:25
5. Night Surf 4:20
6. Washout 3:57
7. Salamander 4:03
8. The Mastermind 7:40

On vocals, guitars, and keys, Mark’s propensity for orchestrating harmonized layers really shines throughout the album. Catchy keyboard tones are layered in, like on the grungy Hallucinate Your Faith and the hooky Whatever You Want To. There are flowing, psychedelic guitar patterns and lots of cool effects, notably on tracks like Night Surf and Salamander. Listen for cool, Middle-Eastern sounding guitar leads on Whatever You Want To and New Recruit. The vocals are melodic and catchy, with an edgy 90’s grunge sound.

Tom holds thinks down solidly on drums, with metronomic exactness and a tendency for driving beats. Listen for some cool, odd-time drumming on Dead Tongue, as well as tricky, creative patterns on The Mastermind. Moore’s bass is a great addition to the album, with a thick, beefy tone. His bass sound really stands out on the opening and closing tracks. Additional musicians include Fiona Crowley, who provides some nice backing vocals on Whatever You Want To and Washout, and Jenny Rae Mettee, who takes over bass on Night Surf.

You can find Hallucinate Your Faith on Bandcamp. Digital download is $9 with CD’s available for $15, but copies are going fast. The band is active on social media.

TOUR DATES

NOV 20 Hank Dietles – Rockville, MD

Psych-rockers, Goat, release fourth album, Oh Death

Oh Death was released on October 21, 2022

Goat is less of a band and more of a collective, shrouded in mystery and ritual. According to Stranded Records, “The group has laid claim to hailing from an isolated Swedish village with a convoluted history of numerous, constantly evolving incarnations of a band called Goat, all loosely aligned with voodoo rituals that were imported aeons ago from Africa.” Releasing albums since 2012, Goat is known for their intense and mystical live shows, featuring two female vocalists singing in duet, backed by robed instrumentalists, bringing audiences into trance with layer upon layer of trippy, psychedelic patterns, forming a retro, tribal sound. Their trance-inducing repetition and thick, 70’s style groove is unmatched but very influential. Check out Goat if you dig the psychedelic musings of bands like King Gizzard, Dead Meadow, and Orions Belte.

Goat’s members are anonymous and perform in costume

1. Soon You Die 4:34
2. Chukua Pesa 2:24
3. Under No Nation 4:17
4. Do The Dance 3:14
5. Apegoat 1:29
6. Goatmilk 4:10
7. Blow The Horns 4:01
8. Remind Yourself 3:20
9. Blessings 1:06
10. Passes Like Clouds 5:11

Released in October, Oh Death is Goat’s fourth album. It follows their last studio release, 2016’s Requiem, as well as 2021’s Headsoup, an album of rare and unreleased tracks. Like their first three albums, Oh Death has Goat’s distinctly recognizable sound. The guitars stand out with plenty of 70’s style funk riffs, making use of lots of wah pedal, tremolo, and delay action. Listen to opener, Soon You Die, as well as Under No Nation for some truly funky guitar work. There are also some nice guitar solos, like on Do the Dance and Remind Yourself, as well as an awesome dual guitar lead on Blow the Horns. On the bottom end, the drums deliver plenty of tight, awesome patterns. Occasionally, cool, tricky fills are thrown, notable on Goatmilk, but most of the time the drums play it cool, instead relying on the trance like effect of repetitious rhythms. The beats are complex and intensely pattern oriented, drawing from various world music influences, even having a Polynesian feel like on instrumental closer, Passes Like Clouds. The bass tones sound great, with some fat, funky tones, at times reminding me of Al Cisneros of Sleep and OM fame. Listen to Under No Nation and Remind Yourself for a some good examples. Above it all, the twin vocal melodies weave in and out, continually delivering plenty of catchy melodies. Don’t miss insanely catchy vocal melodies on tracks like Do the Dance, Goatmilk, and Blow the Horns.

Music video for Do the Dance directed by & edited by Tom Brewins

Like their previous work, Oh Death also is heavily layered with diverse instrumentation sourced from around the world. Listen for awesome hand percussion additions throught the album, especially the tabla type which shine through on Chukua Pesa (Incidentally, Chukua Pesa is Swahili for “Take your money”). If you’re listening with headphones, check out the awesome psychedelic tribal rhythms on Remind Yourself, which bounce back and forth between the left and right ears in stereo. A beautiful piano tone, as well as some cool wind instrument leads comes in key on the album, especially on the jazzy Goatmilk, a personal favorite track. Also, listen for a very tasteful piano solo on the short experimental track, Blessings, which I feel balances out the bizarrely experimental Apegoat track, which was the only song on the album that had me searching for the ‘next track’ button. Luckily it’s very short.

Overall, Oh Death is a super listenable and catchy album, standing among Goat’s best work since World Music. You can find the album on Bandcamp. The CD is available for under $13 and the digital album is $8. Vinyl is currently sold out. The band distributes their music through Subpop, Rocket, and Stranded Records. The band is active on social media and Youtube. Check them out on their upcoming European concert dates.

TOUR DATES

NOV 8 Knust – Hamburg, Germany

NOV 09 Kulturkirche – Köln Köln, Germany

NOV 14 Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, Germany

JAN 25 Rockefeller – Oslo, Norway

JAN 26 Plan B – Malmö, Sweden

JAN 27 Slaktkyrkan – Stockholm, Sweden

CLUTCH – Sunrise on Slaughter Beach album review

Sunrise on Slaughter Beach was released on September 16, 2022

Rarely do bands stand the test of time, especially with the original lineup of studio members, but Maryland’s Clutch is one of them. Nearly 30 years since their release of Transnational Speedway League in 1993, Clutch’s lineup of Neil Fallon (vocals), Tim Sult (guitars), Jean Paul Gaster (percussion), and Dan Maines (bass) are still rocking hard, touring the world, and releasing new albums on their own Weather Maker Music label. September saw the release of Clutch’s 13th album, the highly anticipated Sunrise on Slaughter Beach. The album is Clutch’s grooviest, most ambitious and diverse album in recent years, and with the addition of some firsts such as theramin and backing vocals, proves that Clutch is still as innovative and creative as ever. It follows Book of Bad Decisions which was released in 2018.

Slaughter Beach is made up of 9 songs, clocking in at a brisk 33 minutes. It was recorded in Baltimore, MD at the The Magpie Cage Recording Studio, produced and mixed by Grammy nominated Tom Dalgety, with additional engineering by J Robbins of The Sword production fame, who also provided theramin. According to Fallon, “Sunrise on Slaughter Beach is a weird record. It was, by and large, a studio creation. It reminds me a lot of Jam Room in that regard. Under normal circumstances we may not have entertained the idea of using vibraphones, theremin, or backing vocals (thank you Deborah Bond and Frenchie Davis!). But as they say, necessity is the mother of weirdness.” And like Jam Room, the album is noticeably groovier and heavier on the lower end than recent releases.  

1. Red Alert (Boss Metal Zone) 2:45

2. Slaughter Beach 3:41

3. Mountain of Bone 4:23

4. Nosferatu Madre 3:27

5. Mercy Brown 5:15

6. We Strive for Excellence 2:55

7. Skeletons on Mars 4:10

8. Three Golden Horns 3:26

9. Jackhammer Our Names 3:08

Personnel: Tim Sult, Jean Paul Gaster, Neil Fallon, and Dan Maines

Red Alert (Boss Metal Zone) opens the album with some seriously groovy, odd time sections that hearken back to Elephant Riders days. Slaughter Beach is a headbanger that introduces a nice slow groove with some killer guitar hooks and a Strange Cousins from the West vibe. Listen for Sult and Maine’s middle-eastern style bass/guitar lead. Mountain of Bone features lots of cool changeups and a krautrock feel, with a hypnotizing, spaced out guitar riff that breathes over Gaster’s and Maine’s machine-like rhythm. Nosferatu Madre has a nice shuffley feel with a slower tempo. Listen to that killer bass tone and a great drum sound, some beautiful backing harmonies, and some of Fallon’s trademark Spanish lyric references.

Mercy Brown has another bluesy shuffle, and listen for Sult’s trademark wah and phaser work on the guitar. The song lyrics reference the Mercy Brown vampire incident which took place in Rhode Island in 1892. We Strive For Excellence is a hooky, high octane ride; a Fu Manchu type track that would fit right in on a skate video. Skeletons on Mars is another high energy track with sci-fi lyrics and some spacy guitar layers. Fallon’s references to Greek figures and geographic points on Mars would fit right in on 2004’s Blast Tyrant. Three Golden Horns has a groovy intro, and some tongue in cheek references to Roland Kirk and jazz music. Listen for Gaster’s vibraphone, a Primus style guitar lead, and some sick changeups at the end. Jackhammer Our Names marks a lower key ending for the album, with some of Fallon’s trademark, stream of consciousness lyrics with religious references.

Sunrise on Slaughter Beach is available on Clutch’s merch page: CD for $10, vinyl for $22, cassette for $13, and digital download for $5. The band is currently supporting the new album with a fall tour of North America, Europe, and the UK. The band is active on their website and social media.

TOUR DATES

OCT 4 The Van Buren – Phoenix, AZ

OCT 5 Regent Theater – Los Angeles, CA

OCT 7 Aftershock 2022 – Sacramento, CA

OCT 8 Knitting Factory Concert House – Boise, ID

OCT 9 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR

OCT 10 Showbox SoDo Seattle, WA

OCT 12 The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT

OCT 13 Fillmore Auditorium – Denver, CO

OCT 14 Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO

OCT 15 Val Air Ballroom – West Des Moines, IA

OCT 16 Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL

NOV 11 O2 Academy Glasgow – Glasgow, United Kingdom

NOV 12 O2 City Hall Newcastle – Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

NOV 13 O2 Academy Leeds – Leeds, United Kingdom

NOV 15 University of Exeter Great Hall – Exeter, United Kingdom

NOV 16 Brighton Dome – Brighton, United Kingdom

NOV 18 Capitol Hannover – Hanover, Germany

NOV 19 Helldorado Festival 2022 – Eindhoven, Netherlands

NOV 20 Markthalle – Hamburg, Germany

NOV 22 Huxleys Neue Welt – Berlin, Germany

NOV 23 Neue Theaterfabrik – München, Germany

NOV 24 Arena Vienna – Wien, Austria

NOV 25 Culture Factory – Zagreb, Croatia

NOV 26 Fabrique – Milan, Italy

NOV 28 Sala Apolo – Barcelona, Spain

NOV 29 Sala Riviera – Madrid, Spain

DEC 2 Le Bikini – Ramonville-st-agne, France

DEC 3 Transbordeur – Villeurbanne, France

DEC 5 X-tra – Zurich, Switzerland

DEC 6 LKA Longhorn – Stuttgart, Germany

DEC 7 Batschkapp – Frankfurt Am Main, Germany

DEC 9 Live Music Hall – Cologne, Germany

DEC 10 Bataclan – Paris, France

DEC 11 Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, Belgium

DEC 13 O2 Academy Bristol – Bristol, United Kingdom

DEC 14 O2 Academy Birmingham – Birmingham, United Kingdom

DEC 15 O2 Apollo Manchester – Manchester, United Kingdom

DEC 16 Rock City – Nottingham, United Kingdom

DEC 17 Roundhouse – London, United Kingdom

The Sonic Sofa gets reupholstered by Steven Yoyada

The Sonic Sofa, by Steven Yoyada

One of the best things about writing on a website is the opportunities it provides to interact with different bands and artists. Through one of these interactions, I was able to have some new art commissioned for the site. New this month, The Sonic Sofa is featuring brand new artwork by legendary stoner rock artist, Steven Yoyada.

Yoyada has done work for Telekinietic Yeti

Yoyada, based in Indonesia, is a prolific artist who produces graphic designs for bands and websites. His fantasy based art has been influenced by such greats as Arik Roper and Frank Frazetta. Yoyada mainly produces album covers, t-shirts, and tour posters, but he also specializes in t-shirt designs as well as graphics for beer cans and bottle labels.

I first saw Steven’s work in 2020 and began following his Facebook page. He has done work for so many artists and big names in the stoner rock community. This includes work for Weedian, Windhand, Red Fang, and Mothership, just to name a few.

Dope design for Twin Wizard

The diversity of Steven’s work is also impressive. His work runs the stoner rock gamut, employing so much great imagery and attention to detail. Much of his wok includes vans, skulls, babes, barbarians, swords, spaceships, wizards, planets, etc. Check out his Instagram page for some hi-def uploads of his work.

Design for The Goddess of Green

It was really easy to work with Steven, making a plan for the website artwork. I was able to provide the dimensions I needed, as well as a few baseline ideas for the work, and then Steven took it from there. He was great to work with through the whole process, showing previews of the work and checking in to make sure I liked the design.

If you’re interested in having work commissioned by Steven Yoyada, he can be contacted by email: stevenyoyadaliem@gmail.com.

Sacred: The new album by Colour Haze

Sacred was released on September 14, 2022

Colour Haze is a four-piece band from Munich, Germany. They formed in 1994 and are one of the most influential German stoner rock groups active today. The group produces a detailed audioscape of psychedelic music. The songs are filled with progressive drumming and riffs, soothing and spacy keyboard tones, incredibly catchy guitar hooks, and positive vocals. Since the mid-90’s, the group has released 13 full length albums as well as a handful of live albums and numerous EP’s. Now, the group is back with their 14th full length, Sacred.

Sacred clocks in at 42 minutes with seven tracks. Cover art for the album was created by graphic and tattoo artist, Sara Koncilja. The album was released through Elektrohasch and was recorded live by Willi Dammeier at Clouds Hill in Hamburg. Mixing and mastering was done at the band’s own Colour Haze Studio by founding singer and guitarist, Stefan KoglekIf.

If you’ve followed the Sonic Sofa for any length of time, you’ll know that I often refer to Koglek’s recognizable and influential guitar style. Koglek is joined again by Manfred Merwald on drums, Mario Oberpucher on bass, and Jan Faszbender on keys. Together, they have created an album that radiates good vibes and wicked musicality. Positive, poetic lyrics, delivered in Koglek’s unique, raspy melodies, encourage listeners and prompt them to look to nature, and not the material world, for fulfillment and guidance. Musically, listeners are treated to progressive riffs with insanely catchy guitar hooks, intriguing keyboard layers, and a technically progressive rhythm section.

1. Turquoise 6:09
2. Goldmine 4:35
3. Ideologigi 8:58
4. Avatar 4:41
5. 1.5 Degrees 3:37
6. See The Fools 6:54
7. In All You Are 6:58

Turquoise opens the album and sets the standard with a rich tapestry of low-key psych sounds and distinctive guitar tones. Listen for same tasty drum work, a thick bass tone, and some spacy synths. Goldmine features a growly riff, a super catchy guitar hook, and low key melodic vocals which discuss materialism and human nature. On Idiologigi, listen for progressive music with complex time signatures, and an awesome closing jam. Koglek’s lyrics reject religious dogma and encourage free thought. Avatar opens with some nice harmonies on strings. The lyrics discuss the shallowness of social media culture. Listen for a cool middle-eastern sounding keyboard lead.

1.5 Degrees, a possible allusion to the Paris Climate Agreement, opens with acoustic guitars and an ethnic feel, giving way to an overdriven, distorted guitar riff. See the Fools features some nice, progressive stoner rock riffs, some great organ and string keyboard layers, and reflective vocals about peace, equality, and anti-violence. The closer, In All Your Are is incredibly encouraging lyrically, especially during the closing melodies. Listen for a crisp bass tone paired with some tasty, faster paced drums and a vibrant synth tone that fills out the track nicely.

Colour Haze performing live

Where can we find it: You can find Colour Haze’s new album, Sacred, on Bandcamp where you can download the digital album for under $9. According to their website, vinyl will be available in October and CD’s should be available later this month. The full album, with lyrics, has also been released on the band’s YouTube channel. The band is active on social media as well as their website.

TOUR DATES

Sep 24 Rockhouse – Salzburg, Austria

Sep 26 Connexion – Toulouse, France

Sep 27 Kafe Antzokia – Bilbao, Spain

Sep 28 Hard Club – Porto, Portugal

Sep 29 Nazca – Madrid, Spain

Sep 30 Tabernas Rock Festival – Almeria, Spain

Oct 1 Upload – Barcelona, Spain

Oct 2 Le Molotov – Marseille, France

Oct 7 Asta Kneipe – Rosenheim, Germany

Oct 8 Hansa 39 Keep It Low – Munchen, Germany

Evidence of Immortality: New doom metal album from Conan

Evidence of Immortality was released on August 19th

Conan, the three piece doom metal band from Liverpool, are back with their fifth full length, Evidence of Immortality. Formed in 2006, the group has delivered a consistently heavy barrage of “caveman battle doom.” Down-tuned to the extreme and amplified as loudly as possible, the riffage, thunderous rhythm section, and tortured sounding vocals conjure images of blood-soaked battlefields and cosmic monsters; in other words, great escapist stoner rock. The lyrics are also mixed with just the right amount of nihilistic philosophy in the vein of Robert E Howard and Lovecraft. Conan is to doom what High on Fire is to thrash-stoner, but don’t get hung too up on genres: The important thing is that with Evidence of Immortality, Conan has once again delivered one of the heaviest records available today.

1. A Cleaved Head No Longer Plots 10:23
2. Levitation Hoax 5:29
3. Ritual Of Anonymity 3:36
4. Equilibrium Of Mankind 8:23
5. Righteous Alliance 8:34
6. Grief Sequence 14:29

Evidence of Immortality was released on August 19, 2022. It clocks in at 51 minutes with six songs. Personnel include founding guitarist/vocalist, Jon Davis, bassist Chris Fielding, who first appeared on 2014’s Blood Eagle, and drummer Johnny King, who joined before the recording of 2018’s Existential Void Guardian. Long time band artist Tony Roberts once again completely captures the feel of the band with some gnarly battlefield album art. The album was released through Napalm Records.

Conan – Levitation Hoax

Album opener, A Cleaved Head No Longer Plots, clocks in at over 10 minutes (typical Conan song length) with slow, monolithic riffs and a huge drum sound. Pay attention for some cool phaser effects and a snarly guitar solo. Levitation Hoax was the first single released for the new album, accompanied by a hilariously brutal music video. Davis and Fielding’s, “I am the unborn son, of the unborn son,” chant is pretty catchy, and don’t miss the head banger last half. Ritual of Anonymity, the shortest song on the album, features some groovy rhythm sections and some positively thrashy sections.

Jon Davis of Conan, during a 2018 concert

Equilibrium of Mankind features some huge buildups, heavy-blues sounding riffs when it gets into it, and tortured, existential battle vocals. It’s also got a great interlude with a seriously groovy drum beat and huge sounding cymbals. The double kick at the end is an awesome touch. Righteous Alliance was the album’s second single. It’s embedded below, so give it a listen. The sound is classic Conan, with dark riffs and a chunky bass tone. Listen for the catchy, “Cometh the righteous alliance,” lyrics and don’t miss the slow, doom jam at the end. Grief Sequence, the longest track, is an instrumental slow burn with the addition of some funeral-doom, haunted house style organ synths provided by former bandmember Dave Perry.

You can find Evidence of Immortality as Conan’s back catalogue on Bandcamp. The digital download is available for $10. A double LP of the record is available for $23, along with tons of other cool merch and copies of back albums, through Napalm Records. The band is active on social media.

Tour Dates

Sep 22 L’Homme Sauvage Festival, Auzas – Toulouse, France

Sons of Arrakis release epic debut album

Volume 1 was released on July 15th

Sons of Arrakis are a four-piece stoner rock band from Montréal, Quebec. The group formed in 2019 with a strong affinity for the writings of Frank Herbert. Their name and much of their work reference Dune, the sci-fi series by Herbert. The band refers to their work as “Melange rock and cinematic sci-fi rock.” Melange refers to the hallucinogenic spice drug from Dune. For stoner rock fans who also enjoy Herbert’s work, you’re in for a real sci-fi treat, but for the casual stoner rock fan, don’t worry: You don’t have to be familiar with the book series to enjoy the music, although Sons of Arrakis may make you want to check out the books or movies.

Musically, the band delivers massive doses of seriously groovy riff rock and fantasy lyrics in the vein of bands like The Sword and Telekinetic Yeti. Volume 1, the band’s debut record, was released in July. It’s both epic and brisk, clocking in at a cool 30 minutes with eight tracks. In the past, my friend Nashville Eric and I judged good albums, such as Led Zeppelin III, on their ability to leave you wanting more. Sons’ Volume 1 will leave you wanting more and looking forward to Volume 2.

1. Shai-Hulud 1:33
2. The Black Mirror 3:43
3. Complete Obliteration 4:01
4. Temple of the Desert 4:26
5. Omniscient Messiah 4:12
6. Lonesome Preacher 5:13
7. Abomination 4:37
8. Shai-Hulud (Sequel) 2:19

Frédéric Couture’s vocals are dynamic and high flying, delivered in his own unique style, with catchy melodies. The Black Mirror gives a good example of Couture’s high register. He also executes some nice harmonies, even evoking some Alice in Chains vibes on Complete Obliteration. Lyrically, the album discusses some hefty themes such as philosophy, warfare, religion, and systematic subjugation, all with that subtle Frank Herbert influence. Many of the tracks, such as Shai Hulud, Abomination, Omniscient Messiah, and Lonesome Preacher also reference characters in the Duniverse. Lyrics here.

Alexandre Goulet’s sci-fi graphic design adds authenticity and feel to the band’s mystique

Francis Duchesne on lead guitars along with Couture on rhythm guitars establish an absolutely fuzzy juggernaut of chuggy, progressive riffs with strong heavy blues vibes. They set the heavy bluesy mood on instrumental opener, Shai Hulud, which is also continued on the album closer, Shai Hulud Sequel. There are also awesome dual guitar leads throughout. Listen to Temple of the Desert, Abomination, and Complete Obliteration for some prime dual guitar leads. Complete Obliteration and Omniscient Messiah also feature blazing guitar solos.

Mathieu Racine’s drum sound is groovy and in the pocket. From the very start, the drummer sets the standard for the album with some heavy blues style. Check out Temple of the Desert for an awesome bluesy shuffle pattern. He’s got chops too. Listen to the start and finish of Abomination for some technical and fast drumming, in the vein of Trivett Wingo of The Sword fame. On bass, Vick Trigger is the perfect rhythmic counterpart, delivering track after track of deep grooves, perfectly in sync with Racine’s drum patterns. Get lost in the deep groove of tracks like Omniscient Messiah and Abomination, where the powerhouse pair deliver tasty change-ups and progressive jams.

Official music video for Omniscient Messiah, directed by Arturo Baston. Monster modeled and animated by Albert Calle Joamat

Volume 1 is available for digital download on Bandcamp for Name Your Price! Vinyl is available for $30 and CDs for just over $10. The band’s graphic artist, Alexandre Goulet, did an awesome job of creating Dune-influenced art for the band, and the band has a poster and t-shirts featuring many of the spacy designs on their merch page. An interview and live acoustic recording of the band was recently featured on a podcast by The Stoner Rock Army‘s The General, Eric Varasifsky. Also, check out Distorted Sound Magazine’s article, which goes in depth (SPOILERS) regarding the band’s direct Dune references.

Heavy debut by Realm Drifter

Realm Drifter’s self-titled album was released on July 11, 2022

This week, The Sonic Sofa is featuring the heavy new album by Realm Drifter. The four-piece stoner-doom band from Fort Worth, TX have amped up their game with their debut, self-titled album. It features a slow and heavy metal sound, with plenty of groovy riffs, a thick, gnarly bass tone, edgy melodic vocals, and a bluesy heavy drum sound. The five song album clocks in at a beefy 44 minutes, and features artwork by, Cameron Hinojosa, a freelance graphic designer who primarily focuses on the independent music community. I hope the wizard figure on the album cover is toasting up some magical s’mores, because that sounds delicious. But seriously, the stripped down color palette and the fantasy art really compliment the dark mood and feel of the record.

1. Fire For Wolves 5:33
2. With No Name 9:58
3. Feeding Shadows 8:37
4. Sound of an Owl 12:10
5. Realm Drifter 7:51

The album opens with Fire for Wolves. Featuring a beefy bass tone and bluesy drum pattern, we’re also treated to melodic vocals with a touch of Neil Fallon’s edge, some high-reaching guitar solos, and a slow and heavy closing riff that brings echoes of Sabbath. With No Name clocks in at nearly 10 minutes and starts off with a nice psych intro that blossoms into a huge, gnarly riff. Listen for some tasty wah-pedal guitar leads and don’t miss that heavy stoner rock pattern that closes out the last quarter of the song. Feeding Shadows opens with an awesome bass line and features plenty of groovy riffs and a headbanger chorus. This track also gave me some Elder vibes from their early, heavier work. Sound of an Owl is the longest track on the album, clocking in at over 12 minutes, and spotlights plenty of slow and dark riffage, as does the dynamically ranged closer, Realm Drifter, which completes the classic trifecta of Band Name, Album Name, Song Name.

Independently released before the band signed with Gravitoyd Heavy Music, the album is making waves in the stoner rock community, including a review on Doomed Nation and a spot on the podcast, Hour of the Riff. Look for the album on Bandcamp where you can stream and download the digital album for $7. The band is also active on social media.

Primordial: Heavy new stoner rock album by Telekinetic Yeti

Primordial was released on July 8, 2022

Telekinetic Yeti is a stoner rock duo hailing from Dubuque, Iowa. Formed in 2015 on the basis of progressive guitar riffs, exploratory drum beats, and purely stoner rock lyrics, the band released their first album, Abominable, in 2017. Now, after five years and a change of drummers, Telekinetic Yeti is back with their much awaited second full-length, Primordial.

In the great tradition of stoner doom bands like Sleep and The Sword, Telekinetic Yeti brings progressive doom metal action from start to finish. Founding guitarist and vocalist, Alex Baumann, masterfully layers guitar tracks, developing a rich, full, and heavy sound, replete with chugging riffs and progressive patterns oozing with bluesy groove. Armed with an arsenal of guitar effects and pedals, Baumann’s interaction with the drums is tight and dynamic, constantly progressive and in the pocket. Listen for catchy, provocative leads which often take the place of vocals throughout, and especially on instrumental tracks, Stoned Ape Theory and Invention of Fire.

However, vocals do come more into play on Primordial, with Baumann displaying a more developed and sophisticated vocal range. The vocal styles make use of melodies and aggressive delivery. Lyrical imagery includes references to humanoids like in Beast and Cult of Yeti. Classic stoner rock topics abound in Toke Wizard and Rogue Planet, as well as with weed references in Ancient Nug and Ghost Train Haze.

Rockwell Heim joined the band in 2019, replacing founding member, Anthony Dreyer. Rockwell’s style is fluid and progressive, both complementing and exploring Baumann’s riffs. Heim brings the heaviness of drummers such as Chris Haikus and Jason Roeder of Sleep and mixes it with the complexity and speed of drummers like Wingo Trivett, original drummer of The Sword. In fact, Rogue Planet may be one of the fastest songs in their arsenal, driven by Heim’s fast, galloping beats. Listen for examples of Heim’s progressive complexity on tracks like Ancient Nug and Stoned Ape Theory. Don’t miss heavy changeups, syncopated patterns, and heavy breakdowns on most of the tracks, notable on opening track, Primordial, and Cult of Yeti.

The album is available on Bandcamp for digital download for $11. Vinyl is available in multiple color combinations through TeePee Records for $25. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album on the physical LP. It’s also available on CD for $13. The band is currently on tour promoting their new release with tour dates listed below. The band is active on social media.

Tour Dates

Jul 28 Smalls – Detroit, MI

Jul 31 Revival Room, Southgate House Revival – Newport, KY

Aug 01 The Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL

Aug 03 Lyric Room – Green Bay, WI

Aug 04 Wildwood Saloon – Iowa City, IA

Aug 06 Reverb Lounge – Omaha, NE

Aug 07 Globe Hall – Denver, CO

Aug 08 Aces High Saloon – Salt Lake City, UT

Aug 10 Substation – Seattle, WA

Aug 11 The Shakedown – Bellingham, WA

Aug 12 Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC

Aug 13 The Bossanova Ballroom – Portland, OR

Aug 14 Cafe Colonial – Sacramento, CA

Aug 16 Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA

Aug 17 Gigi’s Cocktail Lounge – Ventura, CA

Aug 18 The Echo – Los Angeles (LA), CA

Aug 19 Yucca Tap Room – Tempe, AZ

Aug 21 89th Street – Oklahoma City, OK

Aug 23 Exit In – Nashville, TN

Aug 25 Record Bar – Kansas City, MO

Aug 26 Red Flag – St Louis, MO

Aug 27 Skylark – Rock Island, IL

Aug 28 The Lift – Dubuque, IA

Aug 29 7th St Entry – Minneapolis, MN