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Thursday 19 September 2019

Reviews: Ghost, Dog Tired, Tides From Nebula, The Holeum (Matt & Lee)

Ghost: Seven Inches Of Satanic Panic (Lorma Vista) [Matt Bladen]

The Nameless Ghouls and their face painted leader return with a special 2-track EP, which according to their official channels if the 50th Anniversary re-release of their 1969 seven-inch. It was a time when rock stars were reckless and the music was drenched in the dying light of hippy psychedelia and Ghost were fronted by Papa Nihil (the man who parps the sax on the most recent Ghost record). The A Side is Kiss The Go-Goat a stomping The Doors like rocker where the frontman encourages the female listeners to welcome Satan by kissing the Hoofed Anti-Christ "He's the guy you want to do, And you know he wants to do you too". It's a proper Sixties rocker with bubbling psych organs, fuzzy guitar riffs and those distinctive vocals with nods to Spooky Tooth and Steppenwolf bands that came into their all as the dream of the Summer Of Love was officially dying in a bad Acid Trip. Mary On A Cross is a the second song on the EP which is perhaps more psych-drenched and Gothic than the first sounding like a lost Iron Butterfly release but with filthier lyrics "If you choose to run away with me, I will tickle you internally". Yes it's a stopgap release but one that will bring yet more new material for the faithful congregation to sing at their arena shows later this year. 7/10

Dog Tired: Electric Abyss (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

Coming from the streets of Edinburgh Dog Tired are all about riffs, bowel rumbling, head crushing riffs. This album is their newest slice of heaviness built around their love of bands such as Gojira and Entombed with the grooves of Pantera. It's quite a unique sound from the band with synths bubbling up on the intro of the title track before the crunching riffage of tracks such as the thundering Beyond The Grave the thrashy Dagoth's Nine and the more stripped down Aeon which is a acoustic interlude showing another side to the band as the Blade Runner-meets-death metal Lords Of The Vile which has thick walls of riffs that will cause massive pits live. Dog Tired are a brutal act and this album grips you by the throat from the beginning with the barked but understandable vocals and the walls of bullying riffs. However I've alluded to this elsewhere in the review that they aren't all about battering they do have a spacey side to them and there are some nifty guitar solos too for any fans of six string mastery. Electric Abyss puts Dog Tired near the top of a pile in a year that has seen the sludgier/proggier side of the music scene really move to that next level, Dog Tired have upped their game as well with this powerful album that climaxes with the thrashing of Kingdom. It's definitely got riffs galore so turn it up! 8/10

Tides From Nebula: From Voodoo To Zen (Longbranch/SPV) [Lee Burgess]

Tides From Nebula are not just a post-rock outfit but one of the best. Their layered dream-like tunes flow out of the speakers like alien songs from the future. I know this all sounds a bit hippy dippy but believe me, if you are looking for something relaxing and remote, then this is it. Their new record, From Voodoo To Zen is a mystical otherwordly journey. You cannot just pick this up and instantly get it. You should let it sink in, absorb it and pay it through. It isn’t metal in the sense that it doesn’t have the anger or the label of protest music. This is music for fans of God Is An Astronaut, Pelican and Explosions In The Sky. But, TFN are just that little bit different. They have another layer of musicianship that lift them from the pigeon-holing of commercial genres. There is something uncomplicated about this album that means it’s got the epic nature of the afore-mentioned bands, but without the arrogance that some bands seem to have in their music. If there are any of you that are thinking this just sounds like elitist wank, you need to give it a go. There are few bands that I listen to and become instantly enthralled by, but these are really something to get your ears around. Yes, it’s weird, yes it’s trippy and yes it’s different, but different can be good, and this proves it. Having seen a number of post-rock bands, I am eager to see what this lot can do in a live setting. 9/10

The Holeum: Sublime Emptiness (Lifeforce Records) [Lee Burgess]

The Holeum dropped in my inbox and I had never heard the name, but they came under the banner of doom/post metal. I hate labels, I really do, but, this one is very accurate and describes what this little lot do very well. This is got-tinged post metal with a real understanding of doom and foreboding. First off, may I congratulate this band for not just walking the well-trodden steps of bands like Cult Of Luna and Earth. Actually, there is more here than labels can give. The Holeum’s record Sublime Emptiness is not just a bleak crushing dirge, but a well-structured, balanced collection of deeply affecting tunes which give us everything from Bowie’s last record Black Star to shades of the later sounds of Samael. Indeed, more than once this record sounds as if it’s going to leap into something very black and Satanic, but thankfully, these guys have the sense to keep the groove and melodic sensibility to their music. Heavy on riffage and atmosphere, there is the feeling that the band have honed their craft to such a degree that they really know who they are. The mix is brilliant, bruising and never drops into that low budget tinny sound that many lesser known bands seem to utilise, or just don’t fix. I don’t think we should get all wrapped up in genres with these, let’s just all agree that we all need to go out and sodding well buy the album. 9/10

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