Following their successful continuing collaborative project with members of Yawning Man (Yawning Sons), Sons Of Alpha Centuari return with their third album Push. Here they have started with their influential instrumental ambient shoegaze, groovy stoner and dreamy soundscapes but brought in an angrier, heavy sound of 90’s altmetal/post-hardcore, stylised by the first inclusion of vocals in SOAC music. Along with the core line up of Marlon King (guitars), Nick Hannon (bass), Stevie B (drums) and Blake (effects), the band have collaborated with drummer Mitch Wheeler (Will Haven) and vocalist Jonah Matranga (Far, Gratitude), who has an anguished vocal very similar to Deftones’ Chino Moreno. It’s the Deftones influence that really stands out on Push, tracks such as the woozy Listen sounding like the band in their late 90’s heyday.
The record is a powerful homage to progressive post-hardcore with the band playing the heaviest music they have been a part of, shifting away of their normally ethereal sound to something a little more gritty, though still having a ambience and shimmer to it. The addition of the Will Haven sticksman brings a thrust, and as I’ve said Jonah’s voice is ragged and haunted. For a band that have been stalwarts of the instrumental stoner scene for 20 years, along with Karma To Burn and Yawning Man, hearing them drastically shift to a post-hardcore fury may jar some longer term fans but SOAC have never shied away from a collaboration and Push is certainly their most different to date. 7/10
Woman Is The Earth - Dust Forever (Init Records)
Dust Forever is the fifth occult offering from post-black metal band Woman Is The Earth. Though they don't stick to the genre like glue much of this record is build around atmospherics, light and shade is present in all the songs, while there seems to also be a cathartic rage that heavily takes from bands such as Alcest and Deafheaven. Multi-layered guitars often move into slithering synths, as the anguished screams are heavily echoed, as if captured in another room. In fact the album seamlessly blends the abrasive with the atmospheric, blastbeats are unrelenting driving these eight songs, Crystal Tomb and Through A Beating Heart both continuing Woman Is The Earth's furious pace, as Breath Of A Dying Star undulating into different time signatures. This Minneapolis trio cast a wicked spell with their post-black metal styling. Aggressive and vicious Dust Forever lingers long after your listening ends. 7/10
Heavy grooves from Larissa as Telma bring their style of modern heavy rocking to a wider audience. Forging a sound that is similar to countrymen Phase Reverse, Telma mix trad metal, thrash and stoner sounds together on their debut album. Grizzled, Greek accented vocals from Anthony Kyritsis carry the songs emotional lyrics on tracks such as Bipolar Distress but throughout his vocal style suits the bands musical style well. Filip Kotoulas provides the record with a booming low end, joined in the locomotive rhythm section by Mike Tziastoudis' powerhouse drumming, the thick grooves of Perfect Storm. The six stringing duo of Markos Kotoulas and Kostas Koutsomarkos are your riff masters, adding some melodics to the grungy title track which segue into thick riffs as Stream Of Thoughts adds yet more grooves and bursts into Zakk style soloing. With influences of bands like Pantera, Metallica, Alice In Chains and Disturbed Eternal is a modern heavy rock album that bursts out of the speakers with muscle! 7/10