Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Monday 26 June 2023

Reviews: Gov't Mule, Dayshifter, Saturnus, The Final Clause Of Tacitus (Reviews By Rich Piva & Matt Bladen)

Gov’t Mule - Peace…Like A River (Fantasy Records) [Rich Piva]

I think at this point with a band like Gov’t Mule you know what you are getting, and it is usually a lot. A lot of music. A lot of jamming. A lot of guests. A lot of styles. A lot of time required to listen to the whole album that usually comes with some like of deluxe version with bonus songs. A lot of patience, because the Warren Haynes/Matt Abts lead band (other founding member and legend Allen Woody passed in 2000) can be inconsistent across a single album, let alone their huge discography. The new record is right there with all the other things that are a lot. Peace…Like A River is more of the same for The Mule, where we get some genius, so amazing instrumentation work, and some songs that just swing and miss.

Let’s start with the good. These guys are all next level players, and when you invite Billy F’ing Gibbons to play with you there is a reason for it, like the track Shake Your Way Out which is the Texas blues ass shaking track you would expect when you have Mr. Gibbons guest appear on your record. Great riff and great feel to this one, and obviously next level guitar work with Billy and Warren going at it. The opening track, Same As It Was, is The Mule at their best with its chill yet jammy bluesy vibes and killer keys work by Danny Lewis who has been with the band since 2002. There is an almost CSNY vibe to this one and it works. 

Made My Peace is a fun little blues rocker (by little I mean under ten minutes, which is about the median song length from these guys…) and I love how we get some harmonized vocals as we move into some late 60s Byrds territory. After these three it is a crapshoot for me. Peace I Need is another cool rocker but nothing too out of the ordinary for the band, a solid Mule track. Your Only Friend is the band’s Eagles attempt and I take a pass. The guys get funky with Ivan Neville guesting on the track Dreaming Out Loud, and it is fine but nothing I will ever want to go back to. We hear all sorts of call outs, including an attempt at some Pink Floyd worship. After The Storm on the other hand is a killer track and the best on Peace driven by a killer bass line and some more of that excellent work on the keys.

Look, if you like Gov’t Mule and have almost two hours to spend, have at it. For me on Peace…Like A River, give me the first four tracks and After The Storm and call it a day. But hey, these guys are a jam band, so they gonna do what they gonna do, but for me, this could be severely condensed and focused but then it would not be a mule record. I much prefer the live Mule experience, both in person and recorded. If you dig them, go listen. If not, then go listen to the new Church Of Misery instead and tell them Rich sent you. 6/10

Dayshifter – Hiraeth (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

Newcastle based band Dayshifter have finally dropped their debut album and if you’re a fan of the more melodic, metallic style of hardcore, which brings in metalcore and even djent then you’ll definitely have a longing for this album. 

Hiraeth is a slow burn, echoed, electronic intro Emerald Green, segues into the euphoric melodies of Holy Ghost, the quiet/loud rule used well as the clean verses leads into screamed pre-choruses and the chorus itself. The influence of hardcore is obvious from the off the songs detailing the usual inspiration of love, loss, death and mental health. Catharsis and defiance abound, Hiraeth is bludgeoning and brutal, the lyrics wanting to breakdown the stigma around mental health, depression and grief. Vocalist Nathan Dillon wearing his heart on his sleeve as he croons and rages across 10 tracks. 

Categorised by the melodic/heavy switches, Tom Simpson and Kyle Fosters guitar playing making Rain (Forever) feel a little like early Architects. Old Souls, Young Hearts bristling with electonica and echoes. Rosé brings more metalcore emotion Liam Robson's drumming propulsive while James Taylor's bass lays down dense grooves on the final song Fever Dreaming amongst many others. Hiraeth is a debut album that will establish Dayshifter on the UK scene, hardcore and melody making for good bedfellows its a positive start. 7/10

Saturnus - The Storm Within (Prophecy Prodcutions) [Rich Piva]

OK so this is going to be the first review that I right that I know people are going to vehemently disagree with me, because the new album from Danish death-doom band Saturnus did absolutely nothing for me. I have heard the Paradise Lost comparisons, words like Type O thrown around, but to me, The Storm Within has none of the excitement those bands bring for me. Look, I knew going in the vocals were not going to agree with me, but I can still deal with some harsh vocals in my death/doom, it is just it didn’t grab me.

Take the opening title track, that musically is a pretty great depressing PL/DT kind of mash, which usually works for me. But the heavy vocals and the spoken word parts just are not working for me. I feel the same about Chasing Ghosts, which is musically haunting, but I feel like you are losing something with the vocals. I am not saying Saturnus goes away from their growls, but I am imagining this record with some clean singing and loving it, rather than just waiting for the musical parts, which are not the most dynamic of their past offerings. The song is super long too, which again I am fine with, but the ten could have been six and still work. Even Tide almost put me to sleep. 

The Calling is my favorite track on The Storm Within as it reminds me of Woods Of Ypres and that is always a really good thing, but after that I am not left with any tracks that jump out to me or I would go back to. The harsh and spoken word combo while on paper sounds like it would be good just doesn’t work in my head. I know for sure some people are going to be mad, but The Storm Within did nothing for me. I have heard death/doom that has grabbed me much harder, with both clean and harsh vocals, but to me I was a bit board with this one. I apologize in advance, and I am glad that a lot of people are digging this, I am just not one of them. 5/10

The Final Clause Of Tacitus – The Oxygen Is Killing You (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

If you put P.O.D, RHCP, Limp Bizkit and RATM in a blender then you’ll get the sound of Reading band The Final Clause Of Tacitus. I honestly thought this style was dead in the water. Funk rock riffs, turntable scratches, rapped vocals and singing about being rockstar went away with wallet chains and sidewalk sweepers. But no here it is live an in colour as TFCOT play music for you next Tony Hawk’s marathon.

Unfortunately when all this music was at its peak I was knee deep in prog and classic rock so never really had an interest in it, will The Oxygen Is Killing You change my mind? Short answer? No. While I can appreciate what they do, 90’s Korn grooves, Anthony Kiedis-like vocals and rapping does little for me (except for Body Count because they’re fucking Body Count).

The worst culprit is I Know You Are, You Said You Are, But What Am I, an amalgamation of several of my least favourite styles. I don’t want to rag on the band, they’re musicians and can play/write songs, they’re up front and frank about their influences but this oxygen was sucked out of the room on the first song. 5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment