Beggars: The Day I Lost My Head (ROAR Records)
This is Athenian outfit Beggars' fifth full length album, why I haven't heard from them before I don't know but as soon as the stomping riff of Book Of Days started playing I wished I'd heard of them earlier. They follow up Book Of Days with the sweary title track which has some real Wyndorf stomp to it, they're a band that skillfully balance stoner, garage and even some punk stylings on frenetic instrumental Intersolar Traveller but they also bring some echoed sludge on the final track Genesis. Beggars are a three piece, Yannis, Chili and Petros combine to produce some killer noise which has been honed on a stage and jilts you between the spiraling psych of Medusa, the thick doom of You Break Me and everything in between. It's the sort of rock music that Greek bands do really well and as such you should check it out. 7/10
Building Chaos: Bourbon Times (Someone Shaved My Ass Productions)
Building Chaos' debut album begins with some twanging lap steel and as the album progresses there are country picking acoustics (Heavy Chains), frantic banjos, a bit of talkbox (Snakefang), gritty whiskey drenched vocals and most of all riffs, like a Mack Truck full of riffs. As you can probably tell Bourbon Times is southern metal album, evoking the chug of BLS but with the stoner haziness of Clutch, it's NOLA thousands of miles from America. Building Chaos are a Greek band from Athens but they have sound born on the bayou in the Mississippi Delta and my it's good. Perfect for these hot summer days Building Chaos lay on the heaviness with a shovel, dense thick riffs give way to explosive Zakky solo, as both six stringing Alex's trade off with some classic metal touches.
There's rarely a track that doesn't have a massive stomping rhythm provided by Peter & Nick in the boiler room but it's the addition of the acoustics, lap steel etc that keeps you listening all the way through Southern metal is a genre difficult to get wrong but also it doesn't travel well outside of the States, Building Chaos do it with flair and swagger worthy of John Wayne himself. They get bonus points for doing a cover of Tupac's California Love in their style of music turning it into a Anthrax song! For any self respecting Southern metal fan Bourbon Times is tasty tipple! 8/10
Under The Sun: Vol 1 (Self Released)
Staying with NOLA scene and it's another band who worship the ground messers Iommi, Windstein and Keenan walk on, they call themselves sludgerotic stoner and you can clearly hear that this EP has been conceived over some strong mash spirits and prime hashish, it's full of fuzzy, long dragging riffs which will induce slow head nodding and transport you into their psychedelic fug. The expressive drumming from Panagiotis Trlms and thundering basslines of John Schoinas dictate the pace of the record for Thano Nano and Νίκος Χεταίος to chug away with groove-laden riffs, Heavy Blues has a bit of everything on it's creeping 4 minute run time even picking up the pace at the end. Break It showcases the vocals of Vangelis Kastaniotis who has that Anselmo huskiness on top of the syrup of thick riffs. At five tracks long Vol 1 shows the talent on offer from Under The Sun, it oozes with a heady brew of stoner/doom/sludge, it's an ode to Iommi and all his works, worship the riff! 8/10