Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Wednesday 7 July 2021

Reviews: Defocus, Domination Campaign, The Lords Of Altamont, 71tonman (Reviews By Zak Skane, Charlie Rogers, Paul Hutchings & Paul Scoble)

Defocus - In The Eye of Death We Are All The Same (Arising Empire) [Zak Skane]

Defocus are a German Metalcore act that is founded by members Simon Muller (vocals), Jeffery Uhlmann (Guitar) Marcel Bambam Herberling (Bass) and Jonas Mahler (drums). The recently signed (to Arising Empire) act have their upcoming (and self recorded) album In The Eye Of Death We Are All The Same, with their sound that consists of heavy low tuned guitars and driving rhythms, paired with dark and ambient melodies, creating a melancholic atmosphere for their thrilling sound.

When I listened to this album, I got to complement how well this album is recorded especially for being a DIY project that was performed due to Covid regulations. Especially on the albums opening tracking and recent single Thought Of A Vision, you can hear how well this is mixed by Christoph Wieczorek (Annisokay) from Sawdust Recordings. The low tuned guitars have body, and the drums sound punchy. Other highlights on this album is the upbeat Diverge in which the song kicks off with drums and bass starting off song before it builds up to one of the bands most gracious breakdowns that is one of many featured on his album and their closing song Shelter which shows off the bands song writing abilities, especially when they introduce clean vocals into the mix before the song ends on a climatic ambient build up that leaves us wanting more.
In conclusion this album is like supermarket ready made pizza. It’s good for what it offers but it doesn’t really provide me with anything that catches my ear that gives me that re-listen value. Another big criticism that I can point out is that the vocal sound a bit quite in the mix, which waters down the delivery of the deep topics of life that this band covers. Overall I am going to give this album a 6/10.

Domination Campaign - Onward To Glory (Prosthetic Records) [Charlie Rogers]

Domination Campaign is an offshoot from Tasmanian Tech Death Devils Psycroptic. Jason Peppiatt handles not just the vocals as he does in Psycroptic, but also all the guitar and bass work. He’s joined by Joe Haley, who handles the production as well as laying down the drums. While the main band is known for blisteringly fast tech death, Domination Campaign walks down a steadier, more restrained path. In the press pack, it’s described as “bone bare”, and I’d be hard pressed to disagree.

The album features 8 songs, clocking in at a respectable 30 mins in all, thematically taking inspiration from both real conflicts and fantasy battles. Gunfire is layered into the opening track’s first phrases, and a moderate tempo that could be easily used for marching along to. There’s little deviation from this for the full 30 minutes. The tempo drops for a few chugging passages, and a few sombre moments between more spritely jaunts, but for the most part the riffs seem content to plod along at a middling pace through the songs. It ends up being a real blur to listen to, with no dynamic moments that grabbed my attention or made me sit up and take note. 

A shame really, because the music itself isn’t unpleasant, nor is it poorly written. For me it just lacks that special oomph that would make me want to listen to it again. I can’t fault the production, it’s listenable and balanced. This adds to the ultimate feeling of “meh” I have towards the record - it’s not bad, it just doesn’t stand out to me. Check it out if you’re a fan of Psycroptic and/or you are looking for a more mid-paced record to put on. Otherwise, maybe give this a miss. 5/10

The Lords Of Altamont - Tune In, Turn On, Electrify (Heavy Psych Sounds Records) [Paul Hutchings]

Although I’d heard of them, this is one of the first times I’ve listened to the wild and punk-tinged hard rock of The Lords Of Altamont and it’s actually their seventh album that I get to grips with here. For those unaware, the band are named after the 1969 one-day event that took place at Altamont Speedway in Northern California. Tagged as the Woodstock of the West, the event which was headlined by The Rolling Stones is best known for multiple deaths and constant clashed with Hells Angels, who were allegedly hired to provide some form of security. There is plenty of information on the internet should you be interested in this notorious piece of rock history.

The history of The Lords reached back over two decades and would take an entire page to cover. They’ve had a variety of line-ups, cutting teeth in various garage rock bars from Detroit to LA, with the current band comprising Dani Sindaco (Guitars/Vocals) Jake Cavaliere (Organs/Vocals) Barry Van Esbroek (Drums/Vocals) Rob Zimmermann (Bass/Vocal). The band count supporting heroes The Cramps on tour and having MC5's Michael Davis as a former member amongst their highlights.
Mixing a feisty brand of garage rock with a creativity that ensures you genuinely don’t know what’s coming next, Tune In, Turn On, Electrify is 44 minutes of raucous rock n’ roll that bristles with energy. The Farfisa organ underpins the band’s sound, dipping from prominence to subtler supportive tones, whilst the guitars and groove ridden rhythm section provide ample excitement. Combining all of that with a four-pronged vocal attack and this is an album that you can’t fail to enjoy.

It’s big and brash without ever being showy. There’s the kick in the face with opening song Living With The Squares, the pumping drive of Million Watts Electrified, all distortion and thick riffage, with the organ taking a huge step forward. It’s a musical carnival, with each band member grabbing the attention with their craft. It might not be 1969 anymore but the sheer grit and retro feel combined with a modern take is addictive and ensures that you’ll be nodding along at the very least by the second track. There’s a blend of psychedelia, mixed with stoner and punk which hits like a hammer to the head. There’s little to dislike as the band power through We’ll Never Leave (This World Alive), a rampant and fiery piece, the short and punchy Blast For Kicksville harks back to the time when The Stooges and the MC5 were in their prime. Indeed, the record features a cover of The Stooges Lost In The Future amongst it's tracks. And to close, Mud (Wet Brain) leaves you with a sense of confusion and brain freeze with its hypnotic amblings.

Overall, if you like your stoner biker rock, you’ll no doubt already be aware of The Lords. If not, this is well worth exploring. 8/10

71TONMAN - War Is Peace//Peace Is Slavery (Transcending Obscurity Records) [Paul Scoble]

71TONMAN are a sludge band based in Poland. The band is made up of J.W. on Bass, M.Z. on Guitar, T.G. on Guitar J.J. on Drums and K.K. on Vocals, the initialled musicians in 71TONMAN have been making music together since 2011. In their career the band have made two albums before this EP; a self titled debut in 2013, and the album Earthwreck in 2017. The band play a style of Doomy Sludge that is similar to Primitive Man, Eyehategod or Mastiff, as the Hardcore aspect of the Sludge is never too far away, and in 71TONMAN the hardcore in places verges on Grindcore.

The Ep opens with the track War Is Peace which is slow and ridiculously heavy. The vocals are harsh and guttural throughout, the tempo is slow, but relentless, perfect for slow headbanging. The track does have the odd bit of pace to it where the tempo increases, but the band bring it back to slow and incredibly heavy pretty quickly. Second track Peace Is Slavery has a much more Hardcore feel to it, as I mentioned before the Hardcore is pretty close to Grindcore, so this is properly fast and savage. The track does have slow and heavy parts to it, but Peace Is Slavery is far more about Hardcore than Doom.
Last track Ignorance Is Strength is a bit of a curve ball, as it is a piece of ambient. The feel is quite dark, the track is made up of electronic noises, samples of wind, keyboard swells and samples of people whispering. 

I must admit that I’ve never been that keen on ambient, I prefer to have more music in my music, but I can’t hold that against the band. The first two tracks are fantastic, and I’m sure if you like ambient, then the last track is probably great. For me the first two tracks are good enough for me to really enjoy this EP. 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment