The Doommantia Webstore is now again open for business. Anyone who ordered something during our down-time will have their orders sent out Tuesday July 5th. Sorry for making you wait but I had to close down the store for a few weeks just to restock, and rearranged the way we do business. But we are back, new items coming in soon too….
The whole landscape of Italian Heavy Rock, presents all sorts of great, actually AWESOME, bands and labels who try to push them, even if the specialized press doesn’t help at all. Between those, I have a special soft spot in my heart for the choices of Black Widow Records. They’re enamoured with old school sounds: prog rock in out own mother tongue, psychedelia, keyboard drenched hard rock, occult stuff. All in the name of passion for music, and with complete indifference for trends.
Desert Wizards fit that description perfectly, while being maybe closer to the taste of more traditional Heavy Psych lovers and less obscure than other releases from the label. This self titled album could easily fit in the Elektrohasch rooster, delivering almost an hour of loose, intense, heavy psychedelia, completely devoted to the concept of jamming, fuzz and acid drenched melody.
The tracks go on in a colourful, evocative flow off electrified riffing, organ, female and slightly trippy male vocals, solos and moments of eerie arpeggios. The vibe is very close to the early works from Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, the Morrisdon-less moments of The Doors, the most jamming ones from Led Zeppelin, Hawkwind, early pink Floyd. But also modern titans of Psych like Colour Haze. There’s not a single moment of tiredness in this album, its trippy and magical, and incredibly warm. Get it. On Vinyl.
Review Written By Andrea Contanzo
When I heard about this project by italian Hard Rockers Wicked Minds, I had goosebumps. The idea itself, a whole cover album devoted to italian prog bands from the seventies, is beautiful and unique. While there are bands who carry the tradition and love for the glorious days of Italian Prog/Hard Rock, by doing covers on stage, I havent yet heard a full tribute album. Wicked Minds are great musicians, possibly one of the most talented bands in the tradition of Deep Purple/Uriah Heep inspired hard rock, and yet its with an utter humble spirit that they approach the project. The songs picked attentively in the discographies of giants like Le Orme, Balletto DI Bronzo, Osanna, Delirium, New Trolls, are all gems in their own completely jaw dropping style, whether you love this type of sound or not.
You could hear how those bands were actually taking the rocking touch of what was starting in the United Kingdom, pushing the electricity and volume of the instruments high and experimenting with sounds and instruments. And yet you could hear the influence of Italian melodic tradition all over them. And they sound different from anything else to this very day. The covers are done with the highest level of respect, played beautifully, with a modern while still purely raw production and a rooster of guests that will make the connoisseurs tremble: Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Martin Grice (Delirium), Sophya Baccini (who sings New Trolls and Circus 2000 songs), Aldo Tagliapietra (Le Orme), Antonio Bartoccetti (Dietro Noi Deserto, Antonius Rex, Jacula), Stefano “Lupo” Galifi (Museo Rosenbach)…
In the end, the project IS ambitious and peculiar but it will please fans of this music and possibly attract future discoverers of a goldmine of traditions and wizardry that I am still amazed at.
Review Written By Andrea Contanzo
Not many people know that when Lacuna Coil started they were more or less pure Paradise Lost worship, mixing in hits of early technical Death Metal in their style for something new and exciting. Enter their record deal and a name change and they’re style drastically changed too. This album is perhaps the closest thing they’ve ever done to their early demo days. This the first full length by Italy’s favorite international (former) Metal-heads is a mixed bag of good and bad. It’s apparent that the loss of the founding guitarists and change of direction was something that they struggled with on this recording as a result. Given time however, this album will grow on you.
The production is what you expect from a Century Media act that the label was unsure of. This is Doom Metal pure and simple. The guitars have a slow and depressed feel to them. There are several leads and one solo. The guitars are mostly open chorded and they have a fair amount of dirge and darkness. They create an epic yet sad atmosphere and show the early signs of the bands eventual sound. The bass follows the guitars far too much for comfort; thankfully this would change on later releases. The drums are creative and fairly original. They are one of the standout instruments on this album.
The vocals are good enough and a great example of the “beauty and the beast” style that has become so popular these days. Andrea’s vocals are at their deathliest on this album. Its shame that he stopped utilizing them so early on in the bands career. Christina’s vocals are excellent as always, but she is still clearly trying to find her voice on this album. Musically there are some good ideas. This is a very original piece of music that no one can argue with. The down side to this CD is that it’s incredibly repetitive and lacks the maturity that would come on the following release. A lot of the riffs sound “local” as if played by the garage band down the street. One must wonder if this would have turned out differently had they spent more time on it.
Aside from the flaws on this recording it’s still a very good album and worth owning. It shows the band going from straight up Gothic Metal to straight up Doom Metal. This gets an 8/10.
Review Written By Grimdoom
The good thing about keeping acquainted with blogs such as the Sludge Swamp (RIP) or Stonerobixxx is that you’re never really out of the loop – and the good thing about not listening to every album that comes your way is having a virgin perspective when it suddenly/randomly comes to their new material. Such is the case with me and Kamni, an alternative stoner metal band from Russia who made waves with their début. It’s basically impossible that you haven’t heard of the band, as they were all over the place with their début, and here they are, with a new EP.
Now, I’ve actually never heard of them before, but if I could use a few one-word definitions for Kamni’s music, they’d be: atmospheric, repetitive, hypnotic and beautiful. It’s all about a single riff (played with tones so fat and full they might as well be obese), supporting bass, minimal drumming, and overall a minimalist approach. That is where the band has it’s biggest strength – the atmosphere they create, the mood, is so good, so mesmerizing that it can easily serve as a substitute for recreational drugs. It’s that good. Anyway, without further ado….
“A.T.O.M.” is one of those albums, EP’s that have such an opener that it seems impossible that any of the songs following the first one can be as good. The opener, “Shiva THC” is one killer track that can get you hooked instantly: it’s a mellow, chill-out song until the very middle, featuring hypnotic instrumentalization (I think a reed) and interesting woodwinds on top of subtle and repetitive bass and drumming, before kicking it into stoner metal territory and laying one (as in, singular) fuzzed out riff. That period is brief however, and only serves to stir you before returning to mesmerism territory. It’s above and beyond, so much so that, I got stuck there for about a week.
Then comes “Lysergic General” and Kamni brings us high-end stoner doom that is simultaneously more stoner than doom and more doom than stoner somehow. It begins with feedback before laying it on thicker than the first track – it takes two full minutes to get to the riff. It dooms onwards for a few minutes, laying vocals on top of the music. The vocals are completely original, I must say – I wouldn’t say completely devoid of influence, as there is that doomy quality to them, but they do a good job supporting the atmosphere, which gets thicker after the vocals get done. After a solo-like interlude, scorching licks of guitar on top of lumbering bass and riff (singular) move up the curve and finish the song right where the tipping point should be. It’s beautiful how they never bring it back down.
“Collapse” is basically what’d happen if you applied the norms of ambient music to stoner metal. It kicks off with mellowed-out, chill groove applied to a singular riff, minimal drumming and subtle licks of guitar. Notice the use of singular when saying “groove” because it is pretty much improvised licks of guitar over all other instruments, which remain stable at a singular eight-bar arrangement throughout the song. When the guitars kick in, they remain within that same range – they play the same thing, with added vocals and faster, arpeggiated guitars. It’s meant, clearly, to create mood by way of repetition and succeeds admirably.
The final and title track, “A.T.O.M.” is a strange beast. It’s a fifteen-minute ambient track that is basically atmospherics (i.e. industrial-style, minimal drums, almost no bass and other sounds) laid underneath reed improvisations. It carries on the overall feel of the EP, the hypnotic air begat by repetition, and creates a very ethereal, dreamy atmosphere. However, it is, by and large, my least favourite track as such, but that’s mainly because I don’t fancy ambient much, and it’s too much ambient for my tastes. Oh, it would set the mood for a variety of things, as it is a perfect background piece, but it needs too much attention and kinda disturbs the flow of the EP, in my opinion.
So, what is the verdict, you ask? Let me tell you this – this review took less time than all my other reviews, even those of the bands I already knew, precisely because all songs are based on repetition, that is to say, the EP is very easy to digest and very easy on the ears, as such, I don’t think anyone will have a hard time with it. But perhaps the most remarkable achievement of this EP is that it will not be hard on those who have no acquaintance whatsoever with the genres involved, which makes this one essential. Though I do believe the last track disturbs the flow quite a bit, so, I’d say we have a winner in our hands. 8.5/10.
Review Written By Sarp Esin
If, like me, you’ve been disappointed by the direction Josh Homme took after the first two Queens Of The Stone Age releases, weren’t really impressed by The Crook Vultures and you’d love to finally hear some riff rock done right, this album will delight you. I discovered this releases on Bandcamp, but if I understand the dates right, its been around for a while, in an understated and not too covered way. The sound 7 Weeks deliver is a mixture of Stonerish Riffage, with lots of influences by Josh Homme’s stylings, especially his “Rated R” period, Brant Bjork and a touch of the heavier stylings of Soundgarden.
The songs are infectious and full of good hooks, with a lot of QOTSA styled harmonized vocals, while the guitars are a good compromise between the heaviness of Stoner Rock (lot of fuzz and thick riffing in’em) and the more melodic moments. If one flaw can be pointed out, its how the singing kinda lacks a specific personality or an edge in the performance. While the melodies are very catchy and energetic, the delivery is extremely close to Homme’s tonality. Which is not a bad thing it takes away a lot from the power of the album. Besides that, the music is good enough to be remembered, especially the riffs. Good rocking stuff.
Review Written By Andrea Contanzo
Apprently this album had some expectations behind it, and the band has quite a cult following.
After listening to the record, I see why they might be loved and yet I cant keep but thinking that they’re a bit overrated. Their sound is great, don’t get me wrong. Good riffs (although quite rehashed) and interesting Danzig/Ian Astbury vocals with a strong gearing towards “darker” melodies that definitely bring to mind a slightly pumped up version of The Cult in many occasions. Still, while a couple of the tracks are very catchy and armed with some smart hooks that could work very well on some Hard Rock oriented stations (“Finders Fee” for example, has a sticky refrain that’s easy to remember and hard to forget), the whole thing leaves that aftertaste of forgettable anonymity that lots of retro rockers have.
A clear example is, to say one, the track “Misery”: the riff sounds like some weird cross between Scan Rock, Danzig’s vocal stylings and a touch of badly digested COC riffage. It’s all good, and it’s definitely listenable,at some spots seriously good (the guitars are pretty mean at times) but nothing really worth the high praise some seem to give. If you really have a craving for the genre, go on. But there’s much better stuff around.
Review Written By Andrea Costanzo