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Friday, 12 April 2019

Reviews: Asomvel, Mage, Elephant Riders, Son Of Boar (Paul H)

Asomvel: World Shaker (Heavy Psych Sounds)

World Shaker is the third album from Ralph, Lenny Robinson and Jani Pasanen. The band are as close to Motörhead as you can get these days, but this is not tribute band, having formed in the late 2000s, released their solid debut Kamikaze before the tragic death of founder member Jay Jay Winter. With Jay Jay’s nephew stepping into the breach, the band continues and released Knuckle Duster in 2013. World Shaker doesn’t pull any punches. It’s just over half an hour of stripped-down hard rock and roll. Thick bass lines, gravel-soaked vocals, smashing drums and screaming blues-soaked guitar. There’s little room for niceties or sophistication but if you like your rock the heads down blasting way then this should resonate strongly.

Asomvel continue the Motörhead tradition. Whilst it may be straight forward blasting rock, there is plenty to admire and enjoy. of quality here. Like the mighty Orange Goblin, this is music for life. Highlights are many and include the powerful title track, Running The Gauntlet with its foot to the floor approach and the anthemic Every Dog Has Its Day. This is an album to drink beer with, to drive fast to or to just bang your head to. This album will encourage you to wave the middle finger to the neighbour who complains about the noise. It’ll bring out the good in you! 7/10

Mage: Key To The Universe (Self Released)

More stoner doom in the shape of crushing riffage from the East Midlands. Mage have been around for the best part of a decade, and despite the tragic loss of founder guitarist Ben Ancott in 2015, the band have continued their chosen path. Key To The Universe is their fourth full length release, with previous albums Black Sands (2012), Last Orders (2014) and 2017’s Green making up the back catalogue. Mage aren’t your typical doom stoner band, with a versatile approach, such as the lengthy Facts, a nine-minute centrepiece which ranges from a sludgy crawl to a rip roaring ride before returning to a thick slab heavy closing section ala Red Fang. Featuring guest vocals from Krysthla’s Adrian Mayes and Alunah’s David Day, it’s as heavy as hell.

You Hate Speech also includes Mayes on vocals, his guttural vocal a contrast to the clean delivery of Tom Smith. Grind has a bluesier sound, whilst the title track is a rampant raging bull of a song, huge guitars, soaring vocals (guest vocals from Sophie and David Day) and a colossal breakdown which adds to the majesty of it all. An acoustic feel to the opening of closing track Black Totem suggests that heavier things are to follow and so it proves, another gargantuan track, thick sludgy guitars with a Sabbath riff to die for bring a fine album to a close. 8/10

Elephant Riders: Risen EP (The Braves Records/Odio Sonoro)

With their name there was only one genre that Malaga’s Elephant Riders were going to be and yes, stoner it is. This five track EP is a follow up to their second album, 2017’s Slaves Of The New Age. The band comprise Jose Carlos Gonzalez on vocals and guitar, Ignacio Cordoba on guitar, bassist Juan Gonzalez and drummer Gaspar Rodriguez. Having been around for almost a decade, there is unsurprisingly a confidence within their delivery which only comes with experience and those on the road moments that bond bands together. Elephant Riders play furious, emotional and honest stoner rock. No bones about that. It’s solid, if unspectacular, with the closing six-minute Empress Of The Cult, a brooding expansive track probably the pick of the five songs. Competent and expertly delivered, Risen is a decent stoner rock album from a compact band. 6/10

Son Of Boar: A Tongueless Tale (Self Released)

A three track EP full of big sounds. Massive guitars, roaring vocals and a stomp that is more suited to the deep South than Bradford because that is where this five-piece hail from. Stoner rock with a doom crust, the opening Broken Chains is a crushing seven-minute journey, Outlet a pacier piece and the title track another monster. These guys have been around the block a bit, and it shows in a well-delivered gnarly EP which promised much. If you like the ballsy sound of Orange Goblin, combined with the darkest doom of Sleep and Sabbath this is for you. 6/10

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