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Wednesday 13 December 2023

Reviews: Lazy Man's Load, Jehovah On Death, Scumf*cks, Fatalism (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Lazy Man's Load – Saints Full Of Sin (Self Released)

Let’s see if Lazy Man’s Load can make more of an impact with me than they did on their 2021 debut All Hat No Cattle. Well they had their official release show on 10th December headlining Kyttaro Club in Athens, sponsored by heavy metal show TV War. They are clearly a band on the rise but I found their debut to be just tried and tested stoner rock riffs. Pressing play on Saints Full Of Sin we are brought back into the book of their main character Lazy Man who records his journey’s through a post-apocalyptic dystopia. 

These dystopian themes lead to a style of music that is dark and ominous as Abfall brings some melodic doom metal riffs from guitarist Johnny Fixx and The Resurrected. Building from slow half-tempo rhythms into angular leads and a drum outro where Pani Blaster speeds up into the grooving/proggy title track, the thrusting heaviness hooked on Chow’s bass. Waltz No.9 and Crimson Prayer bookend with some slow heavy apocalyptic stoner/doom. LML have some Southern metal on Slackjawed, a track that will have you yelling “Getcha Pull!” there’s Sabbath worship of Fed To The Shrine, while The Pilgrim And The Witch comes from the deep tradition of Greek stoner metal, the heavy riffs and solos just on point. 

With a mixture of big riffing songs, you need a vocalist that can carry the edgier sound of Lazy Man’s Load and Roxx Krash, they got a brawny, gravel voiced shouter, plying his trade well on Heavy Is The Crown. Lazy Man’s Load have greatly improved on their debut record with a bigger set of influences and refinements. Well on their way to being a the new big boys in the Greek riff scene. 8/10

Jehovah On Death – Heart Of Guilt (Self Released)

The second release from Occult rock group Jehovah On Death, is “fervently based on stigmata, ecstasies and blood” building from the triumphal instrumental Lo, Behold, Heart Of Guilt ignites the unholy flames with the title track, a 70’s inspired psychedelic rocker, borrowing from Lucifer, Blood Ceremony and Jess And The Ancient Ones, the vocals of their priestess conjuring catholic guilt on top of some distorted hard rock. 

Yep it’s definitely full of the occult rock vibes of Coven, BOC and of course Ghost. Let Me Die (And Die Of Love) moving towards the hip shaking hard rock of the masked Swedes. Retro for sure, using the sacrament to their own devices as psych rock and post punk collide into a hot and heavy stew of sinful lust and wicked incantations. I can’t find any info on the band, but maybe that’s for the better as it keeps the mystique, making their inverting of religion shtick a bit more mysterious. 

Heart Of Guilt slows with Wherein Converge Sad Destinations, the shadow of Ozzy hanging over this song. Bringing themselves to a collective climax with Deathwish a cover of gothic death rock pioneers, Christian Death, a band who they borrow liberally from (and why wouldn’t you). They may have a Heart Of Guilt but Jehovah On Death have enjoyed accruing it with this sleazy, sultry occult rock. 7/10 

Scumfucks – Scumfucks (Sliptrick Records)

Thessaloniki foursome, proudly wear the fact they are trying to sound like Motorhead on their sleeve, dedicating three songs on this debut album to the members of the original trio of the British rock n roll legends. Scumfucks are a foursome, and have been since 2018, made up of; Nick a.k.a. Goulthor on guitars and Lemmy-like growling, Sak a.k.a. Morgoth on drums, Dim Gkavis on bass and Jim Sermon on guitars, the pseudonyms sounding vaguely like they are from black metal bands so I suppose you could also say they are trying to be Chrome Division. 

Whatever their background, Scumfucks is deliberately trying to be Motorhead, from the bluesy 49% Scum, 51% Fuck (dedicated to Lemmy), to the blitzing Not As Fast As (dedicated to Eddie Clarke), the country tones come on Drinkin Alone Ain’t Bad and Increased Chances, which is a cover of a country song by Chitlins, Whiskey & Skirt, and the percussive Rat (dedicated to Phil Taylor), every facet of Motorhead is covered on this record. 

Is it original? No. But at least it copies one of the best and loudest rock bands ever, faithfully, meaning that it’s fun to listen to. 7/10 

Fatalism - The Darkest Descent EP (Self Released)

Athenian death metal band Fatalism were formed in 2019 by guitarist Theodore Katsikonouris, in an attempt to live up to his influences such as Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Death. Technical in that it rapidly shifts between riffs, Below Reason for example must be about six songs in one. Much of the album is driven by some seriously meaty bass playing from George Haniotakis on The Serpent’s Cloud and the title track. 

Since 2019 there have been a few changes to the line up but Theodore has managed to record 6 slices of brutal death metal that have been captured at Made In Hell Studios in Athens and at Elias Kapravelos’ home studio. Both of them have given this record a D.I.Y feel to the production but it is a debut so it can be forgiven, mainly as the bass playing is so good that it needs to be heard, though often over the guitars. 

Utopic Lobotomy displays the drumming of Bill Prentzas and the rhythm playing of Kastsikonouris perfectly, obscure time signatures that turn into explosive soloing from John Savvidis. Vocally I hope you like growls because Leonidas Stavropoulos just does that and nothing else. The Darkest Descent is a debut EP that shows a lot of skill but still feels like there’s some maturity to come with age. 6/10  

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