Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Reviews: Interloper, Go Ahead And Die, King Buffalo, Satlan (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Interloper - Search Party (Nuclear Blast)

New to the progressive metal scene Search Party is Interloper's debut album and it's a full of the technically proficient progressive music that founding members Miles Dimitri Baker (Guitar) and Aaron Stechauner (Drums) did in their previous band Rings Of Saturn. However while there is heaviness here it's not in the colossal death metal style of RoS. Interloper have been a band who have been through the mill with this record attaching a lot of emotion to each one of the tracks.

The album itself recorded with a 'no-limits' attitude and it's to the benefit of this band who blend the sounds of Trivium, VOLA and even Haken their multi-layered style brought to full fruition on the title track and the crushing Drift, both are a frenzy of explosive riffing and destructive drumming but while the latter is much more in the Trivium sound Andrew Virrueta (Guitar/Vocals) using both his growls and cleans with the thundering riffs and melodic passages, this can also be said of the incendiary Baring Teeth.

The former has a lot of acoustic guitar running through it for a big progressive bent to it, these acoustics come back in force on Idle Years which even has a edge of Iron Maiden to it, feeling like a nautical cinematic tune. Across the record the quality never drops, each song pairing and emotional gut punch with a powerful musical backing filled with virtuoso playing. The record finishes with a cover of Duran Duran's Rio which flavours the 80's-tastic original with a lot of progressive metal flourishes. Search Party is what I would call an almost perfect debut album, it's announced Interloper as potential world beaters in the progressive metal game. 9/10

Go Ahead And Die - Go Ahead And Die (Nuclear Blast)

I jumped into the debut album from Go Ahead And Die without doing any research, as the shit kicking death metal assault blasted out of my speakers, I started to make notes that read "Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy", then I did some research and found out that Go Ahead And Die is a collaboration between Igor Amadeus Cavalera (bass/guitar/vocals), Black Curse/Khemmis drummer Zach Coleman and Amadeus' father Max Cavalera (vocals/guitar). This power trio play punk-infused death metal full of that legendary Cavalera groove and fuck you attitude, they say it has elements of Celtic Frost (I.C.E Cage), which I can hear in the biting guitar tone, however it's the thrash/crossover style that the Cavalera name is synonymous with that comes through on Toxic Freedom and Isolated Desolated amongst others. 

Driven by the powerhouse drumming of Coleman this record is a politically charged one with the Max's lyrics pissed off at the state of the world so the music is composed to reflect that, rarely letting the pace drop from absolute carnage. You can feel the pits Prophets Prey will bring to the live stage, the blasting first part shifting into some good ol' stomping in the middle, it's classic Cavalera noise making with a sprinkle of youth and some more traditional death metal noise than previous Cavalera projects. An aggressive audio assault from Max, Amadeus and Zach, Go Ahead And Die is perfect for civil disobedience (not that we encourage that sort of thing)! 7/10

King Buffalo - Burden Of Restlessness (Stickman Records)

Burden Of Restlessness is the second of three albums to be released by US prog/psych rock band King Buffalo in 2020/2021. They clearly have a hell of a work ethic as on this record alone they craft a prog/psych record that features strong influences of Tool, Wheel, The Sword, All Them Witches and Monster Magnet. Throbbing basslines and atmospherics are the order of the day from the opening of Burning which lulls you into King Buffalo's hypnotic world. The three piece of Sean McVay (vocals/guitar), Dan Reynolds (bass) and Scott Donaldson (drums) have previously released 3 full lengths and 4 EP's and Burden Of Restlessness continues the evolution of their 'heavy psych' sound.

Born out of their lack of touring ability, King Buffalo settled into the studio to record their third album and found that their creativity and frustration unravelled itself into them writing their third, fourth and fifth albums one after another. So essentially you can pitch this record as the mid point of a musical trilogy and it feels like that, almost as if you're stuck in a mind bending exploration through desolate wastelands propelled by a rhythm section that purrs like a well cared for high performance engine with guitars that take you away into more existential realms on a track such as Locusts, which has an archetypal King Buffalo sound. The Knocks has that heady fug of Tool building into something more otherworldly as it undulates though it's running time.

McVay's voice really reminding me of Dave Wyndorf's druid like drawl. Grifter is a track that lets you drift away into a different universe, the lyrics open to a lot of interpretation as most of them on this record are. Burden Of Restlessness, like most of the bands albums, needs multiple listens to truly appreciate but with repeated plays it unravels itself into a powerful piece of prog/psych! 8/10

Satlan - Panacea (Self Released)

London based stoner/doom band Satlan formed in 2015 by singer Soozi Chameleone and guitarist Roy Nadel. The band gained Alex Monad on bass and James Loh (The Bleeding) on drums and set about doing shows, however with Soozi also being the vocalist of Dead Witches there left little time for recording, but with a global pandemic and Soozi leaving Dead Witches, they set about recording their debut album entitled Panacea (named after the Greek Goddess of Universal Remedy). It's musical remedy that has been picked from the finest sounds of psych, blues, doom and stoner channelling Aphrodite's Child or Curved Air filtered through the psychedelic fuzz of Electric Wizard and Sleep, rich with politicised, occult and personal lyrics this is certainly a medicine that needs to be taken whole. 

Out of the 6 tracks here five have labyrinthine rhythms and long running times with jazz-inflected bass runs of Monad cutting through the repeating grind of opener Control as we are brought into the twisted carnival on Nash where the album becomes very traditionally doom sounding the winding guitars of Nadel pitched perfectly against Chameleone's hypnotic vocals as the beat is kept driving forward by Loh. For non doom lovers Panacea will be a little overwhelming due to the slow, elongated riffs, but for those of us that know and love the genre will gain great pleasure in songs such as Kingmaker which really up the crushing heaviness and the psych tones at the end or Watchmen which has a strong stoner vibe to it while the final rager Insanity is raging punk. Panacea is the cure for what ails ya, crank it up nice and loud. 8/10     

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