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

Paradox Paradigm: The spacy new album by Space Druids

Paradox Paradigm was released on June 21, 2022

Space Druids is a space rock band based in York, UK. The seven-piece group produces a progressive style of vintage-sounding psychedelic rock, dripping with layers of spacy FX, along with catchy and thought provoking sci-fi lyrics. The band released their first full-length, Paradox Paradigm, in June. Naming themselves the next Hawkwind, their retro-style will certainly appeal to their fans, as well as those of Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and even Sabbath, whose track Paranoid they covered in a very spacy way in 2019.

The 38 minute, nine track album is a follow-up to the group’s 2020 EP, Weird Tide, which featured female vocals by Nadezhda Rinkus. This time around, vocal duties are taken up by Danny Faulkner. Stylistically, Faulkner provides beautiful melodies, catchy harmonies, and lyrics that you’ll find yourself singing along to or humming later, like Hawkwind with a dash of Jim Morrison. Faulkner channels and gives voice to spacy lyrics written by Oz Hardwick, perhaps the most qualified lyricist to appear on this site. Hardwick is a published poet, author, and professor of English at Leeds Trinity University. His space-worship wordsmithing adds layers to the album, delving deep into interstellar-travel fantasies and philosophy, notably on the songs Astronomy and Afraid of Space. He also provides doses of satire and humor, as on the musical version of his published poem, Our Brand New Bodies, which effectively combines the languages of the golden age of sci-fi and advertising. Listen for Hardwick on the spoken voice portions of the album.

“We are the wanderers, who travel through time”

– Paradox PAradigm

The album features energetic and driving songs which have a tendency to explore extended spacy interludes, marinated in juicy layers of FX, keyboards, and instruments. The seamless quality of the song breaks also makes the album interesting, with many of the songs crossfading into the next. The bass has a great classic rock tone, often taking the lead throughout the album like on tracks Light Speed and Mutation Machine. The crisp-sounding, typically driving drum beats provide a solid pulse, occasionally providing some tricky cymbal work like on Mutation Machine, or some jazzy progressions like on closer, Paradox Paradigm.

1. Light Speed 04:53
2. Zygote 05:16
3. Astronomy 01:07
4. Afraid of Space 03:47
5. Mutation Machine 05:11
6. Stainless Steel Butterfly 05:49
7. Our Brand New Bodies 01:54
8. Trans-dimensional Highway 05:01
9. Paradox Paradigm 04:31

On the top end, listen for some funky, progressive guitar riffs and spacy solos, like on Trans-Dimensional Highway. The guitar is always at hand, delivering infectious hooks and interesting accents, soaked in ethereal reverb and FX. A standout on the album is the saxophone, constantly providing trippy solos and spacy layers to the tracks, notably on opener, Light Speed, and Zygote, which also features some chill Pink Floyd vibes. Listen for some spectacularly spacy and psychedelic sax and violin work on Trans-dimensional Highway. Also keep an ear our for some appealing flute parts and acoustic guitar work on Paradox Paradigm, as well some tasty synths on Stainless Steel Butterfly.

The album is available for NAME YOUR PRICE on Bandcamp. Currently the album is only available for streaming and digital download, though a physical CD release seems like a real possibility. Check out the album and follow the group on social media.

1970s style heavy metal on killer debut album by Scarecrow

Scarecrow’s debut album was released on September 13th

A band’s physical location often will influence their sound. One example is how Black Sabbath channeled the energy of the dark and smoky streets of industrial Birmingham, England into some of the slowest and heaviest music of all time. In a similar way, Russian band, Scarecrow, channels the feeling of their home city of Perm. What is this place like? To paraphrase the words of the band, “Perm stands among dank swamps and impenetrable forests, at the foot of the oldest mountains in the world. This is a hopeless place: the region is full of prisons and prison camps. There is a huge number of mentally ill people. The climate is harsh. Winter lasts from October to May and it is a dark, cold time. In the warm months, it rains constantly.” All of these elements and feelings translate to a sense of doom and foreboding latent within the fabric of the band’s compositions.

The trio produces classic-sounding heavy metal, like a cross between Zeppelin and Sabbath, with high flying vocals, crunchy guitar riffs, and a powerful rhythm section. Their debut self-titled album was released on September 13, 2019. The album follows the band’s previous release, an EP called Nosferatu. The bass, drums, guitars, and vocals were all recorded in analog format and digitally mixed by Samuel Turbitt at Ritual Sounds in the UK. The band also added several elements that profoundly affect the feel of the album. Harmonica on several tracks reinforces the bluesy feel of early Sabbath and Zeppelin. Other instruments used include the flute as well as the┬átamburin, shaker and darbukas which the band obtained from travels to South Africa, adding even more complex textures to their music. There’s also a dark, occult quality to the album, reinforced by the addition of orchestrated sections, which the band was able to add from recordings in the high-quality digital libraries of AIR Studios in London. The intriguing artwork for the album, like the point of view of a scarecrow, was created by Igor Odintsov.

1. Scarecrow Overture 4:38
2. The Journey 5:00
3. The Final Problem 5:21
4. When The Powers Of Evil Are Exalted 3:36
5. Worm of Anger 2:47
6. Autumn Wood 3:06
7. Madman 5:15
8. Scarecrow 6:22

The album has a dark feel, which is strongly influenced by the lyrics. The high-flying vocals come across like a mixture between Geddy Lee and Ozzy Osbourne, summoning feelings of foggy, haunted moors, terrifying scenes of depravity, and maniacs losing grasp of their reality. Occasionally however, the heavy gloom is interrupted by moments of soft repose, like brief rays of sunlight shining through clouds on a stormy day.

The guitars are diverse, laying down bluesy, crunchy riffs, blazing guitar leads, and occasional clean, jazzy tones. Underneath, the rhythm section grooves like a juggernaut. The drums constantly push the songs with driving beats, flawlessly executed drum fills, tasteful double kick patterns, and tribal sounding sections. The bass also sounds consistently great, with warm, rich tones and a swinging feel that adds to the heavy blues vibe. In post-production, the band was able to effectively add high-quality orchestrations and sound clips, creating an even darker listening atmosphere.

If you’re a fan of proto-metal and doom, make sure to check out Scarecrow. Their album is available for digital download on Bandcamp, and the band is working on a physical CD release, which will include digipack and lyrics, projected for release on Bandcamp this month. You can also follow the band on Facebook, as well as Instagram and VK. The band also has Thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.