Snake Mountain Revival release surfy stoner rock EP, The Valley of Madness

Snake Mountain Revival is a three piece heavy-psych band from Virginia Beach, Virginia. They produce a blend of psychedelic and stoner rock with strong elements of surf rock. The Valley of Madness is their new EP. It’s a mature and polished follow up to their debut EP, Snake Mountain Revival, which was released in 2018.

The Valley of Madness was released on October 4. It’s made up of four easy flowing songs filled to the brim with driving guitar riffs and surfy leads. The vocals are melodic and dreamy, with healthy doses of reverb. The bass is chunky, often using phasers and a wah pedal to give it a nice heavy-psych sound. The drums keep things moving forward, often using a tambourine and lots of trashy sounding cymbals (I mean trashy in an especially good way) to produce a rolling, crashing wave sound. The artwork on the album was produced by Ryan Chandler. Both EPs are available digital download for “name your price” on Bandcamp and The Valley of Madness is currently available on translucent purple cassette tape for $6.

1. The Valley of Madness 3:43
2. Just a Feeling 5:38
3. Water Moccasin 3:36
4. Everything in Sight 8:30

The Valley of Madness is a great opener with a swingy, waltzy riff that recalls some of the style of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Don’t miss the creative guitar and bass lead, when the two play off of each other in polyphonic melodies.

Just a Feeling slows things down, with a much softer feel and more pastoral vocals that have a lot in common with the dreamier style of Sleepy Sun. The song has a beautiful blending of melodies between the vocals and guitar.

Water Moccasin returns to a classic surf sound with that characteristic tremolo on the guitar and several tasty guitar leads. The song is instrumental, with the vocals occasionally appearing with wordless melodies in the background. The phasing, chunky bass sounds great paired with the drums which create a tumbling, wave crashing sound that adds to the watery feel of the song.

Everything in Sight is the longest track on the album. The track is driving, with fast proficient drum work and plenty of surfy changeups. The vocals are closer to the style of their first EP, with touches of Jim Morrison’s influence. The song features an extended, heavy psych ending with a tasty double guitar lead and a chunky, fuzzy bass tone.

Both of the bands EPs are available for free on Bandcamp, so make sure to download those today, and consider supporting the band. Also check out Snake Mountain Revival on Facebook as well as Instagram. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Motherbrain, the dark and heavy new album by Crobot

Motherbrain was released by Mascot Records on August 23rd

Crobot is a hard-rock band from Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The band formed in 2011 and have released three full length albums: Something Supernatural in 2014, Welcome to Fat City in 2016, and their latest release, Motherbrain in 2019. The band has extensively toured in support of their albums and the “Beardos” put on a live show that is both highly entertaining and energetic, with their style of dirty, groovy-rock. If Clutch, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden had a genetically engineered, designer baby, the unholy result would probably look and sound a little bit like Crobot. The band wear their influences on their sleeves, but also transcend them with their own unique sound.

“consistent with Crobot’s best work”

After signing with Mascot Records last November, the band put out their most recent album, Motherbrain, on August 23, 2019. The album is a headbanger from start to finish, characterized by crunchy guitar riffs, tough, high-flying melodic vocals with a sense of humor, and a solid rhythm section. The album has that distinctive Crobot sound created by vocalist, Brandon Yeagely, and guitarist, Chris Bishop, the two original core members. They are joined on the album by Dan Ryan on drums, and James Lascu and Eddie Collins share the role of touring bassist. Here’s the tracklist:

  1. Burn
  2. Keep Me Down
  3. Drown
  4. Low Life
  5. Alpha Dawg
  6. Stoning The Devil
  7. Gasoline
  8. Destroyer
  9. Blackout
  10. After Life
  11. The Hive

Chris Bishop’s guitar sound is unique, making use of several effects pedals which make his sound so recognizable. His style is latent throughout the whole album, providing all kinds of groovy riffs. The album is laden with slow, heavy grooves like on opening song Burn, the darker sounding Drown, and the super heavy track, Stoning the Devil. Some of the album’s crunchiest riffs can be heard on Destroyer and Keep Me Down, which also has a hilarious music video. Some of the best headbangers on the album are the aforementioned Destroyer, and Gasoline, which has a softer touch on the verses.

Brandon Yeagely’s vocals are stylish and very versatile, with a highflying range that can also reach super low, and it’s always good to hear intelligently written lyrics with plenty of puns and wordplay. There are classic-sounding Crobot fight songs like Keep Me Down and Destroyer, as well as some full-blooded tracks like Burn, Blackout, and Hive. Consistent with the themes of their earlier releases, darker lyrics are explored on tracks like Drown, and Stoning the Devil, which both feature some awesome vocal harmonies. Yeagely’s vocal range can really be heard well on tracks like Alpha Dawg and Hive. Unfortunately, most traces of their earlier sci-fi and stoner rock lyrics are absent on this album, leaving something to be desired for most stoner-rock fans.

The rhythm section is tight throughout. Even on more mainstream sounding tracks like Lowlife (which also features a music video) and Blackout, the band spices it up with complex sounding rhythmic changeups. The driving, chunky bass can really be heard well on Blackout and Destroyer. The drums are punchy sounding and the cymbals have a crispy, rock sound. There’s plenty of tight double kick work, as well as some awesome fills at the end of Gasoline, and even a rim-tap tip of the hat to ZZ Top on After Life.

“highly entertaining and energetic”

Motherbrain is a solid album, with plenty of opportunities to sing-along, headbang, and rock out. Consistent with Crobot’s best work, it’s a good followup to Welcome to Fat City, though it never quite reaches the level of the otherworldy lyrical matter or heaviness of Something Supernatural. The sound of the album is also a little more produced than earlier releases, noticeably in the slightly over-compressed drum sound. Overall though, the album still has that dirty, almost raw sound that Crobot is renowned for and it’s also safe to say that Crobot’s sound is definitely as heavy and dark as ever. Check out Motherbrain, today.

Tour Dates

OCT 15 The National – Richmond, VA

OCT 16 Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA

OCT 18 The Fillmore Silver Spring – Silver Spring, MD

OCT 19 The Chance Theater – Poughkeepsie, NY

OCT 20 State Theatre – Portland, ME

OCT 22 Rec Room – Buffalo, NY

OCT 23 Hard Luck Bar – Toronto, Canada

OCT 24 The Brass Monkey – Ottawa, Canada

OCT 25 Piranha Bar – Montreal, Canada

OCT 26 The Lost Horizon – Syracuse, NY

OCT 27 The Winchester – Lakewood, OH

OCT 29 The Back Bar – Janesville, WI

OCT 31 Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL

NOV 1 The Music Factory – Battle Creek, MI

NOV 2 V Club – Huntington, WV

Howling Giant’s debut full-length, The Space Between Worlds, is a sci-fi concept masterpiece

It’s difficult to believe that The Space Between Worlds is in fact Howling Giant’s first full length album. After three solid EP’s, the Nashville, TN band has released their debut album, adding to their consistently heavy and creative catalogue of sci-fi influenced stoner-rock. Released on September 27th, The Space Between Worlds was preceded by the epic pair of Black Hole Space Wizard Parts 1 & 2 EP’s in 2016 and 2017, and the self-titled Howling Giant EP in 2015, which was remastered in March of this year.

On the new album, the band continues in their tradition of producing tight, heavy music with melodic vocals that tell an epic science fiction narrative. If you’re a fan of bands like Sleep, The Sword, or Torche, you’re going to dig the unique hybrid of those sounds that Howling Giant creates. Since the last release, core members Tom Polzine (Guitars/Vocals) and Zach Wheeler (Drums/Vocals) are joined by new bassist and vocalist, Sebastian Balten. Drew Harakal again lends his keyboard talents which really help to fill out and solidify the band’s sound with a consistent organ presence and many tasty synth tones.

According to a statement by the band, the new album “is a concept album that follows the story of a huntress who travels the infinite metaphysical worlds brought into being by the dreams of humankind. In these realms, she encounters a dream eater which threatens to unravel the fabric of reality by devouring dreamers and destroying the dimensional gateways.” The great thing about Howling Giant’s approach to sci-fi is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They take an almost comic, Mystery Science Theater 3,000 approach to the content, but then out of nowhere, they’ll touch on something that resounds with the listener in a visceral, emotional way. In short, the sci-fi adds to the experience big time. Here’s the track-list for the album:

1. Comet Rider 4:30
2. Nomad 5:10
3. Ghosts in the Well 2:42
4. The River Guide 5:43
5. Ice Castle 4:37
6. Cybermancer and the Doomsday Express 4:04
7. Everlight 7:57
8. The Orb 7:08
9. Stone Giant 6:17

Vocals and Lyrics: All three members of the band lend their vocal talents, creating beautiful three-part harmonies throughout and are notably catchy on tracks like the opener, Comet, and the sword and sorcery influenced track, Ice Castle, which also features guest vocals by Jason Shi of ASG. The rhythm of the vocals is carefully measured and timed, oftentimes giving the vocals a chant-like quality. A good example of this is the track, Everlight, which even features OM chants. The River Guide is the only track to feature a spoken word narrative, which the album thankfully does not rely heavily upon as in past releases. The vocals can also at times be catchy and hilarious, and you’ll find yourself singing along to lyrics like, “The cables are connecting to my face,” as well as, “My engines run on fuel-injected rage,” on Cybermancer and the Doomsday Express.

The guitars are diverse throughout the album, from heavy and driving tracks like The Orb, Everlight, to layers of acoustics on Ghosts in the Well. Also, don’t miss the heavy, chugging guitar riffs, evident on tracks like Nomad and Stone Giant, which also has a killer double guitar lead. There are awesome leads throughout, and the way the walls of guitars blend with the grinding organ is awesome.

The keyboards sound amazing throughout. They provide a wide range of tones from grinding organs like in the opener, Comet, to sci-fi sounding synth interludes such as in The River Guide. The great thing about all of the keyboard layers is that they complement the songs and the other instruments and add vital layers of texture that, though they don’t always stand out, would be sorely missed if absent.

The rhythm section is powerful, consisting of hard driving drums and an amazingly deep and heavy bass. The drums creatively fill most available free space with all kinds of awesome fills and double kick blast beat action. The drums utilize a full set of toms, range from high pitches to thunderously low ones, but there’s also an obvious awareness of when things need to be simplified to make the song even heavier. The bass pairs perfectly with the drums, sometimes creating a tribal quality, like on Everlight. The bass even takes the spotlight with a slow and heavy bass solo on the track, Stone Giant, propelling the song into one of the heavy riffs on the album.

T-Shirt design by Joe Gettler

The band has some great merch to go along with the new release, including black and yellow color merge vinyl for U.S. orders, translucent green for UK/Euro orders, CD’s, and a brand new T-Shirt design by Joe Gettler. Their products are going fast. You can find the band on Bandcamp, as well as Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. Thank you for reading the Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Tour Dates

Nov. 9 Steel and Stone 2019 – Asheville, NC

Weed worship abounds in “Stoner Days,” the heavy new track by Lemmy Saves (Free music)

Lemmy Saves is a four-piece stoner rock band from Itabuna, in the state of Bahia, Brazil. They produce heavy, fuzzy rock, with aggressive but melodic lyrics. The band has two releases: a slightly rough live demo from 2015 called Until the Light Takes Us, and their more refined August, 2019 single, Stoner Days. Both are available for free or “name your price” on Bandcamp.

Stoner Days is a track that’s all about, you guessed it, consuming the band’s favorite plant. According to a statement from the band, Stoner Days is, “A journey through the nostalgia of youth, and an attempt to bring the sound and feel of the comings and goings of their lives on the beautiful coast of Bahia, Brasil.” Clocking in at just three minutes and 13 seconds, the song makes a good addition to your stoner rock playlist, so pick up this free track today and get rocking. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

“Weightless Waters,” the third EP by Finnish band, King of None

Weightless Waters, the third EP by Helsinki’s King of None

King of None is a hard-rock band from Helsinki, Finland. They produce riffy hard rock, with plenty of stoner and prog-rock elements. From the remnants of previous projects, the band was formed by vocalist Miiro Kärki, guitarist Aleksi Kärkkäinen, drummer Patrick Enckell, bassist Juho Aarnio, and guitarist Juha Pääkkö. The group has produced three EPs: the self-titled King of None in 2015, 2016’s Trouble by the Score, and most recently, 2019’s Weightless Waters.

Weightless Waters, released on April 28, 2019, is composed of six heavy songs. It’s a high energy ride that is arguably their most polished, mature EP to date. The songs range from four and a half to seven minutes. Each song is crisp and tight and it’s a headbanging, hard rock ride from start to finish.. The artwork was produced by musician and artist, Petri Lampela. The album is available for sale on Bandcamp and is also available for streaming on Spotify and YouTube.

Throughout the album, the vocals are melodic with aggressive, occasionally growly touches. Always on pitch, they pair well with the groovy, crunchy compositions. Thematically, the lyrics cover a number of topics. Starbirling and Desolator contain sci-fi elements as well as some hints at self-examination and perhaps absurdism. Worlds Collide and the opener, Words of Mine, seem to be more introspective, with the latter even tipping the hat to Carly Simon’s You’re so Vain. Frog Palace and Yellow Snake King contain fantasy-like lyrics, more typical to stoner rock.

Picture credit: Amirasaad Photography

Musically, the entire album is very tight. The guitars are heavy and over driven. There are some great wah pedal riffs, like on Yellow Snake King, as well as some creative double guitar leads, notably in Worlds Collide. Heavy walls of guitars will blow you away, like the fantastically slow and heavy intro to Desolator, but they prove in the same song that they are able to explore softer, more subtle moments, with psychedelic tinges.

The drums and bass are always locked together, like a tight, rhythmic force. The bass sounds heavy and chunky, and can be heard really well on the opening of Yellow Snake King. The drums are relentless, shuffling along with a constant barrage of fluid beats and drum fills, including lots of double kick-pedal work. There’s some nice use of a china cymbal and some intricate drum work on Frog Palace, as well as some really shuffly grooves throughout the album.

King of None have proven once again that they can produce some awesomely fast paced, intricate hard rock. Weightless Waters is an EP that will reward repeat listens, and should be in your music rotation. Support the group by purchasing the EP on Bandcamp today and check out their track, Desolator, below.

New music from Swan Valley Heights

Swan Valley Heights is a stoner rock trio from Germany. Even though the band name sounds like an 80’s chick flick, they bring a powerful blend of heavy music with complex song structures, chunky riffs, and clean, melodic vocals. Their Self-titled album was released in 2016, and they recently announced the upcoming July 26 full length, The Heavy Seed, with the announcement accompanied by the new 10 and a half minute song, Teeth and Waves.

Swan Valley Heights (Self-Titled) was released independently

The band’s Self-titled album was released on January 30th, 2016, and was in my regular rotation for quite some time. If you’re a fan a Weedpecker, you’ll like the style that Swan Valley Heights was going for. The album features clean vocals, plenty of fuzzy riffs, and seven long, catchy songs. You’ll hear driving riffs like in the opener, Slow Planet, crisp drums and captivating guitars like in Alaska, and driving bass lines and Sabbath-esque riffs like in Caligula Overdrive. There are also plenty of other great touches, like the vocal harmonies in Mammoth, and the tasty drum fills in Mountain. Their first album is a great listen all the way through. If you didn’t catch the album when it was released, check it out on Bandcamp and listen to Caligula Overdrive, featured here.

Recently, the band was picked up by Swedish label, Fuzzorama, who have gained quite a name for themselves, with bands such as Truckfighters, Asteroid, and Valley of the Sun. They recently announced their new album, Heavy Seed, due on July 26th. Along with the announcement came the new single, Teeth and Waves, and the intriguing album art which appears to show to primal men in a scifi landscape. The digital album releases on July 26th, with the record shipping out on or around July 6th and the CD on September 1st. You can also snag some of their cool Astronaut and Cave-Men themed T-shirts on their Bandcamp page.

The Heavy Seed will be released by Fuzzorama Records

The song picks up right where their self- titled left off. It opens with psychedelic textures that include rim shots on the drums, watery guitar effects, and harmonic bass patterns. A clean toned guitar riff and haunting lyrical harmonies bring form to the song around three minutes in, but the real riff kicks in hard with the fuzzy overdrive pedal at the four minute mark. From then on the song explores several textures, with headbanging stoner rock interludes, a dreamy, effect-laced psychedelic audioscape, a soft section with thoughtful vocals, before a final triumphant return to the original theme.

Elder announces spring EP (Plus, a look back at the band’s history and art)

Elder is a four-piece psychedelic, progressive, stoner rock band from Boston, Mass. They have been a powerful force in stoner rock since the release of their self-titled album in 2008. The band has evolved over the years, from a doom-worshiping prototype, to a unique band that has in turn become an influence for their peers. The band’s long-time artist has been Adrian Dexter. Almost as influential as their music, the artwork Dexter has created to accompany it has been inspiring, vivid; every bit as unique and interesting as the band’s sound. This article will give a brief overview of each of the band’s major releases and the artwork. It will also guide readers through the evolution of Elder’s sound and art, and will give an update of their forthcoming EP.

“Earth behind me… universe in front…”

Ghost Head

Elder’s Self-Titled album was released in 2008. With heavy riffs and melodic vocals, Elder firmly cemented themselves into the East Coast stoner rock scene. The piece is characterized by Conan-inspired lyrics and plenty of tips of the hat to their influences which include Colour Haze and Sleep. Dexter’s art for the album features several fantasy elements, including snake handling babes, an enthroned king, and a hall being flooded by a torrent of crashing waves. Check out Ghost Head for a good idea of what the album is all about, and don’t miss the now classic “cosmic blunt” lyric.

“Black void yawning…”

Dead Roots Stirring

The Self-Titled album was followed in 2011 by Dead Roots Stirring, which has become a revered classic in the stoner rock community, and is generally accepted as Elder’s first benchmark album: it was at this point that the band really defined themselves by carving out a unique sound and style, with an added maturity in their lyrics and sound. The album is riffy, with long extended compositions, occupying a genre somewhere between stoner/kraut rock and progressive rock. Dexter’s hazy, earth-tone artwork depicts a naked woman, reclining on rocks on the edge of a bleak landscape, giving the album a visual mystique that adds to the sonic textures. Check out the song Dead Roots Stirring to get an idea of the sound that Elder produced at the time.


“A journeyer on the wayward path…”

Spirit at Aphelion

After an EP in 2012 and a live album in 2013, 2015’s Lore proved to be well worth the wait, as well as another benchmark for the band. The album features a more progressive new sound, and some of their most creative compositions to date. The album features a plethora of layered textures as well as the band’s unique sense of harmony and counter melody. With much more progressive and complex song structures, it seems the group was pushing themselves musically and creatively to explore avenues of music that had not been previously mapped out. In addition, Dexter’s artwork once again complements the music in an amazing way. His depiction of a jagged mountain range, with the addition of Van Gough-esque swirls, matches the questing, intense sound of the album. Check out the track, Spirit at Aphelion, to gain an understanding of just how unique and complex this album is.

“Sancuary!”

Sanctuary

Elder released Reflections of a Floating World in 2017. The album would prove to be one of their most progressive yet. Each song is a mammoth composition, filled with complex structures and change-ups, featuring soaring guitar melodies and rich layers. The amazing thing is how listenable the album is, despite its complexity. Unfortunately, the album does suffer from some repetitive tracks as well as one track that sounds like it belongs on a different album. Even though it never quite surpasses the uniqueness or magnitude of Roots or Lore, Reflections is still a very solid release and yet another snapshot in the band’s evolution. Dexter’s art is magnificent, depicting the reflections of rocks among crashing waves. The art is very light in color tone and organic in its line structure, with a flowing feel like that of historical Japanese art. The track, Sanctuary, features some of the heaviest and greatest moments on the album.

Elder recently announced via their Facebook page that they have three important plans for 2019:

“Well, we can’t keep this in the bag forever, and since this is already floating around the internet we had might as well reveal the cover art for our upcoming EP “The Gold & Silver Sessions” by the fantastic Max Loeffler!

This EP is the first release in year one of Postwax, a subscription vinyl series by Blues Funeral Recordings. Unfortunately there were some kinks in production considering the deluxe packaging for the subscriber version, but it will be landing in mailboxes very soon. The deluxe edition has some very special features we are excited about!

For non-subscribers, the standard edition will be available at the end of June. WE WILL HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF THESE ON OUR UPCOMING EUROPEAN TOUR so come out and grab one!! Of the standard edition, only ourselves, Blues Funeral Recordings and Stickman Records will have an exclusive color variant.

See you soon! Oh, and we are recording a new full-length this fall :)”

As happy as I am for an EP, a tour, and a new full length, the statement leads to a number of questions such as, will Dexter again return to produce the art for their full length this year? What sound will the band be exploring this time? Will they continue with their more progressive compositions or will there be a return to their stoner rock roots? Time will tell, our questions will be answered, and when that happens you can read about it on the Sonic Sofa.

A Billion Faces, the heavy new single by English metal band, Gandalf the Green

Gandalf the Green is a three-piece psychedelic doom band from Huddersfield, England. The band produces heavy, fuzzy, riff-centric music, with strong psychedelic vibes.

Their new single, A Billion Faces, was released on March 28. It was recorded in Dec, 2018 in Phipps Hall at the University of Huddersfield and is a follow up to their September 16 release, King of the Ashes. It’s a long song, clocking in at 13 and a half minutes.

The composition contains three sections, separated by brief pauses. The guitar and bass are fuzzy and tuned low and the drums sound huge. Flint’s voice has a yell-like quality: aggressive without sacrificing melody, much like vocals on Elder’s self-titled album or Sleep’s Dopesmoker.

The first section opens with a dark and deep bass melody which is soon complemented by surprising clean guitar tones and drums. Soon, the song builds into a heavy, chugging headbanger.

After the first part fades and the second sections opens, the band explores the riff with a groovier feel featuring plenty of delay, wah pedal, and overdrive. The beautiful harmonic plucks on the guitar set the tone for the song. Flint’s vocals return briefly for a chorus reprise before things venture off into more exploratory jamming.

The third section of the song is completely instrumental and very heavy. It again explores the same heavy riff from the beginning, but this time in a more urgent, intense fashion, like a stomping, doom march. The song slows down until it sonically unravels into a wall of screams and feedback, bringing the song to a dramatic end.

The song can be purchased on Bandcamp. Also, check out the song and concert dates below.

Tour dates

April 21 Red Halo Live Sound – Manchester, England

May 5 Brewery Tap – City of Bradford, England

May 18 The Fenton – Leeds, England

Valley of the Sun release single from upcoming album, Old Gods

Old Gods will be released by Fuzzorama Records

Valley of the Sun is a stoner rock band from Cincinnati, Ohio. The group produces driving desert rock with melodic vocals. Their riffy songs are known for being upbeat and positive. The band is made up of Ryan Ferrier on guitar and vocals, Aaron Boyer on drums, and new member Chris Sweeney on bass and keys. Josh Pilot is also part of the lineup as touring guitarist.

Their new album, Old Gods, will be released on May 24th through Swedish label, Fuzzorama Records. Singer Ryan Ferrier revealed that the album explores themes such as addiction, fear, uncertainty, and loss. Ferrier also cited the death of his sister, soon after work completed on their last album, 2016’s Volume Rock, as a major influence on his writing for this record. The album features beautiful artwork with religious iconography and a mandala, and many of the songs make references, at least in their titles, to Hindu gods such as Shiva and Gaia.

The band has released a single from the upcoming album called Means the Same. The song is super catchy and upbeat, with plenty of melodic vocals and guitar leads. Boyer’s percussion work is planned out and well produced, with punchy drums and great sounding cymbals. Listen for the cool stereophonic drum fills in the intro. The rhythm guitar and bass meld perfectly, overlaid by Ferrier’s lively guitar leads, intertwining melodies with the vocals. The lyrics are reflective and the vocals are performed confidently. The result is something akin to Colour Haze and Corrosion of Conformity. Pre-order the album on Bandcamp and check out the single, Means the Same, today.

Tour Dates

April 13 Cactus Club – Milwaukee, WI

April 14 Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon – Iowa City, IA

April 15 Bigs Bar – Sioux Falls, SD

April 16 The Aquarium – Fargo, ND

April 17 Windsor Hotel – Winnipeg, Canada

April 18 Amigos Cantina – Saskatoon, Canada

April 20 420 Fest – Calgary, Canada

April 21 Starlite Ballroom-Temple – Edmonton, Canada

April 23 The Astoria – Vancouver, BC

April 24 The High Water Mark – Portland, OR

April 25 The Funhouse – Seattle, WA

April 27 Cafe Colonial – Sacramento, CA

April 28 Starline Social Club – Oakland, CA

April 29 Resident -Los Angeles, CA

April 30 Club Red – Mesa, AZ

May 02 Come and Take It Live -Austin, TX

May 03 Lola’s Saloon -Fort Worth, TX

May 04 89th Street – Oklahoma City, OK

May 05 Fubar – Saint Louis, MO

May 06 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO

May 08 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL

Elepharmers Unveil Ancient Sci-fi Narrative in “Lords of Galaxia”

“Lords of Galaxia” was released by Electric Valley Records

There are many reasons to listen to “Lords of Galaxia,” the new album by Italian stoner-rock trio, Elepharmers. First of all, the album is based on the writings of Isaac Asimov, prolific science fiction author of The Foundation series, and Zechariah Sitchin, a writer who promoted an alternative alien history in The 12th Planet. The result is an album about of ancient alien gods, megalithic structures, catastrophes on a biblical scale, and intergalactic space travel. Second of all, the album is HEAVY, with huge riffs, crashing cymbals, spacey sound effects, and interplanetary lyrics. It was released on February 28th and is a polished and consistent follow-up to 2016’s Erebus. It features trippy artwork by INKline, portraying an alien-like god as well as ancient UFOs. You can buy the digital album or vinyl on Bandcamp.

“melodic and mysterious”

Ancient Astronauts opens with synths that sound like a revolving UFO with engines engaged, setting the stage not only for the song, but the entire album. The song also introduces the Scribe who, with many spoken-word parts throughout the album, explains how he was chosen to document the words of a dark god upon tablets, a hint towards Sitchin’s alternative history. Heavy riffs immediately kick in and lyrics all about fiery chariots and space travel commence. The vocals are melodic and mysterious, with a unique, echoing sound, fitting of an Ancient Sumerian scribe giving voice to alien gods.

The sounds of the synth UFO again open the next track, and the band explores some tight transitions and subtle spacey textures on Ziqqurat. This track features a slower groove, highlighting some of the softer sides of the band, with a whining guitar solo and more words from the Scribe, speaking of how the land is smitten and godless, setting things up nicely for the serious cleansing in the next song. The track finishes strong with some tasty double guitars, harmonizing in stereo.

“huge sounding drums”

With a softer approach, the Flood comes in with clean, heavily delayed guitars that have a watery effect. The lyrics speak of the Garden of Eden and destruction of giants. Middle-Eastern sounding leads carry the song into its heaviest part. Notable lyrics towards the end begin a haunting appeal to “save us from the water.” The heavy cymbals begin to sound like flood waters crashing down, and the song ends with a subtle acoustic guitar, amidst the sound of a Black Sabbath-esque thunderstorm.

Foundation opens with a fast paced beat and some tasty delay effects on the guitars, and then immediately kicks in to a heavy riff. The lyrics speak of civilization starting anew. Later in the song, the band changes things up with a heavy breakdown, accompanied by some spacey sound effects, before cutting the song off at the 5:38 mark, making it the shortest on the album. Fans of Spaceslug will appreciate the grungy, spacey vibe.

The second shortest song at just over six minutes, The Mule (a reference to one of Asimov’s characters) opens once again with the Scribe before launching into a heavy driving riff. The highlight of the song is at the halfway point, when the band introduces a cool transition, exploring a 7/4 time riff that alternates with the original 4/4 meter, giving the track a tight, progressive feel.

“monolithically heavy doom riffs”

The final track is Stars Like Dust, the longest, clocking in at 10:19. It begins with arpeggiated guitars that come to us like a signal from deep space. Possibly the heaviest track on the album, it also features some of the most creative drumming on the album.
Fans of Sleep will appreciate the monolithically heavy doom riffs at the 3:00 mark.

Lords of Galaxia highlights the band’s bands consistency, maturity, and ability to create riffs and music as massive and elephantine as their subject matter. Aliens, gods, and sci-fi terror makes for some dark subject matter, but the band approaches it in a fun, almost tongue-in-cheek way that makes it sound approachable and seriously awesome. Do the bidding of the ancient gods and check out their new album today.