Goatriders release spacey new album, The Magician’s Keep

The Magician’s Keep was released on January 27th

Goatriders is a four piece band from Linköping, Sweden. The band serves up a riffy mix of desert rock with plenty of hypnotic and spacey interludes. The band released their first EP 15/12, in December, 2018 and just followed it up with The Magician’s Keep, on January 27, 2020.

The Magician’s Keep was released by Ozium Records. Mixed and mastered by friend of the band, Petter Kindström, the album clocks in at 36 minutes and is made up of five tracks. With each track between five and 10 minutes, the songs are on the longer side and each is an immersive experience of diverse and spacey sound textures. The album is characterized by walls of fuzz, psychedelic guitar tones, crisp and clear drums, a growly bass tone that isn’t afraid to explore the fret board, and lots and lots of groove. If you enjoy bands like Naxatras, you will love what Goatriders has to serve up.

  1. Golem 7:08
  2. Amitte Diem 7:43
  3. Hound of the Gods 5:24
  4. Pitch Black Blues 6:47
  5. Songs from Mars 10:41

Check out the band on Bandcamp where you can support the band by buying the digital album. The album will be available on vinyl and CD later this year. You can also check out the band on Instagram. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. You can find The Sonic Sofa on StitcherSoundcloudthesonicsofa.blog, and Twitter. Please consider donating to The Sonic Sofa on PayPal or Patreon. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Album Review: Scottish stoner rock band, Isak, set to release new full length, The Great Expanse

The Great Expanse will be released in late February

Isak is a stoner rock trio from Glasgow, Scotland. The group is made up of Joe McGarrity on vocals and guitar, Mark Tait on bass, and Robert “Twigs” McLean drums. The band has been producing riffy space rock since 2012 and just announced their first full length album, The Great Expanse, via their Facebook page.

The Great Expanse will be a followup up to Isak EP, released in July, 2013, and EP2, which was released in January, 2018. The Great Expanse is a sonically compelling stoner rock album that will take you to the edge of space and beyond. The album tells the story of traveler journeying across the galaxy. As he embarks across the endless cosmos, he begins to wonder if he is alone or if he is being guided. More than half instrumental, but employing the sparse, melodic vocals in a focused and effective way, the album is the soundtrack to the traveler’s story. It unfolds dynamically over the course of 45 minutes and seven tracks. The record was recorded at 16 Ohm Studio in Glasgow, with Tommy Duffin of Cosmic Dead and John McBain of Monster Magnet completing the mastering.

  1. The Great Expanse 6:46
  2. Beyond the Karman Line 6:24
  3. Falling Satellite 11:39
  4. Interstellar 3:05
  5. Ablaze 6:40
  6. Out of Reach 5:50
  7. Call of the Void 4:00

The album opens with The Great Expanse, a riffy track with a driving bass and rhythm section. With thoughtful, melodic lyrics such as “set sail on infinite seas” and “explore the great beyond,” space exploration quickly becomes the theme of the album. The lyrics disappear after the first half (they return on the fifth track), and the band members let the instruments continue the story. A spacey jam finishes things out and it fades seamlessly into the second song.

The Karman Line is the altitude where Earth ends and space begins, 62 miles above the surface. The second track, Beyond the Karman Line, begins low key with a catchy clean guitar line, but then the song builds and accelerates the heaviness, as if it were the second stage of a rocket flinging us into the vastness of space. The track has a creative drum pattern and bass rhythm, topped off by a fuzzy, psychedelic guitar tone.

Falling Satellite is the longest song on the album, close to 12 minutes. It starts with thick bass tones and cymbal swells. The guitar materializes from spacey, atmospheric sounds into a cohesive pattern, and the other instruments develop with it, creating a cosmic jam that plays out over the first half of the song. The second half transforms into a heavier, driving riff with a progressive poly-rhythm that has echoes of Tool. The track continues to form and explore for the last half, featuring a singing guitar lead and progressively building and building before fading out, with the cymbals swells and thick bass tones from the beginning making a return.

Isak formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 2012

Opening with ethereal organ tones and cosmic guitar notes, Interstellar builds into a short but nice bass-heavy progression. The hypnotic pattern continues for a few minutes before fading into the next track, Ablaze, which takes us into more of a crunchier, riffier territory. This track is where the lyrics return, making their presence at the beginning and end of the track. Meanwhile, the band provides plenty of cool stoner rock change-ups, complex rhythm patterns, and plenty of cool, wandering guitar leads that weave in and out of the musical fabric.

Out of Reach starts right in with a swingy, heavy riff. The drums produce a decent shuffle pattern and some huge sounding cymbal crashes alongside a growly bass. While the opening track’s lyrics felt broad and hopeful, optimistically talking of exploring the “infinite seas” of space, the lyrics in Out of Reach come across as more desperate, searching, and claustrophobic, as if the traveler is searching for meaning, or anything, in the empty reaches of space.

At the beginning of the last track, Call of the Void, the band changes it up with harmonic, angelic vocals over a clean guitar line. It’s unsure if the harmonic lyrics represents the voice of a heavenly guide leading our traveler to some kind of salvation, or perhaps the last hallucination of a dying astronaut drifting endless into cold space, but somehow both scenarios seem hopeful, and a fitting end to an awesome stoner rock odyssey.

The album is set for release in late February, and will be available on Bandcamp, alongside their two previous EPs. Make sure to also check out the band on Facebook and Twitter. Check out The Sonic Sofa on StitcherSoundcloudthesonicsofa.blog, and Twitter. Please support the bands by buying their music and merch. If you have music, a band, or an original music review or press release that you think should be featured on the blog or podcast, contact The Purlenaut at thesonicsofashow@gmail.com. If you enjoy the content provided on this blog and want to see more, please consider donating to The Sonic Sofa on PayPal or Patreon. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Show Dates

Feb 29 Red Crust Winter Warmer – Glasgow, UK

May 10 Red Crust Festival – Edinburgh, UK

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.