Luce Vee on stage close up

Interview: Luce Vee

Luce Vee Hooded Priest

On stage with Hooded Priest

Luce Vee (also known as Luther “Findlay” Veldmark) is the voice of Hooded Priest and King Heavy and formerly Witchsmeller Pursuivant. His bands all have a cult following in the heavy metal and doom scene and Luce is well known and respected by both bands and fans alike. He was kind enough to take part in this interview a couple of weeks ago. (more…)

CD reviews: John Gallow, Serpent Venom, The Order of The Solar Temple

john-gallow-violet-dreams

John Gallow – Violet Dreams (I, Voidhanger Records)

This is the first solo offering from Orodruin founder John Gallo (not counting the album and EP’s he’s done as Blizaro) and he plays all the instruments himself. Violet Dreams is John’s homage to what he calls “all those purple doom metal bands from Italy,” namely Paul Chain. The resulting sound is a creepy, psychedelic affair with plenty of Sabbathian riffing and spooky organ sounds.

Lyrically, the album is all about dreams, or more specifically, nightmares. John provides some interesting liner notes in the CD booklet that help to explain things. They are a welcome addition, as the casual listener could be forgivien for thinking the man that created this creepy doom album was totally bonkers!

Violet Dreams is more of a doom album than John’s previous efforts with Blizaro(which was based on classic horror soundtracks, many of those Italian too) but not as full on doom metal as his most famous band Orodruin. As stated above, John does play all the instruments himself. This works extremely well on all but the drums, which I must admit are a weak link in places. He does a good job but he may have bitten off a little more than he can chew here. I would suggest some drum lessons or recruiting a specialist drummer for album two (and I hope there will be a follow up because this is really good). If you are an Orodruin fan, I’d suggest checking this out, and if you are familiar with Blizaro, this sounds enough like it to appeal to you, too.

Serpent-Venom-Of-Things-Seen-UnseenSerpent Venom – Of Things Seen and Unseen (Church Within)

Serpent Venom are one of the best doom bands in the UK, and their new album will only serve to strengthen their reputation. Roland Scriver’s guitar tone takes Tony Iommi’s trademark Black Sabbath sound and drags it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. The bass is crushing and the drums. Well, they sound like a heard of elephants stampeeding. Slowly. For an hour. The vocals sit perfectly on top of this wall of sludgy riffs and slow motion rhythm. They are not too high in the mix to annoy and not too low as to be obscured by the sheer weight of the music.

The only criticism I can level at Serpent Venom is this: they can tend to sound a little samey after a few tracks. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if you don’t like one song of theirs, move on. They are all very similar minus the odd tempo change. If you like what they do, you’ll love this new album. If not, it won’t change your mind.

 

Order-of-the-Solar-TempleThe Order of The Solar Temple – s/t (I, Voidhanger Records)

This band is the brainchild of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Matt Emery. The music is a cross between ’70’s hard rock and modern psychedelic doom. Matt’s clean vocals remind me of Ronnie James Dio in places and are of the highest quality throughout, as are the musicianship and production.

The lyrical subject matter covers the usual occultism and sexual themes that one would expect from an occult rock band. The cover art is also awesome. I’m seeing a lot of topless women on rock and metal albums lately. Maybe we started a trend with Iron Void? I heartily recommend this CD. It’s one of the best rock albums I have heard in recent years and is heavy enough to appeal to doom and heavy metal fans too. There is even a cover version of the Blue Oyster Cult classic ‘Dominance and Submission’ on here for good measure! If you liked The Devil’s Blood and have been missing that epic psyche rock sound since their demise, you could do a lot worse than this.

Philip K Dick

5 Philip K. Dick novels/stories that were made into films

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

- Philip Kindred Dick (1928 -1982)

If I had to name my favourite author of all time, the answer would be Philip K. Dick. He may not be responsible for any literary classics, but the short stories and novels of this strange college drop-out from California continue to inspire. Most of the current generation of Science Fiction fans will be familiar with Dick’s work from the cinema. From Blade Runner to The Adjustment Bureau, there are more films based on PKD stories and novels than you might think.     (more…)

Soundtrack: The House By The Cemetery LP

House by The Cemetery LP cover

“In this house, what you don’t know will hurt you.”

The career of Italian director Lucio Fulci spanned several decades and crossed all popular genres, from Westerns to Giallo, but it is for his horror films that he is most fondly remembered. Not all of them are great, but there was a period in the late 1907’s to early 1980’s when Fulci was on form. This period gave rise to the classics Zombie Flesh EatersThe Beyond and City of The Living Dead.

Obscure European cinema releases and later 1980’s ‘video nasties,’ these films have since found a new audience with a younger generation thanks to DVD and Blu Ray. One of the coolest things about Italian horror films (aside from the gory violence), is the music. Death Waltz Recording Co. have recognized this fact, and have spent the last couple of years licencing and reissuing remastered versions of many cult soundtracks as lavish limited edition vinyl packages. I’m completely hooked on them, and I hope that the other classic Fulci soundtracks are given similar treatment, if they are available for copyright reasons. (more…)

Cannibal Ferox Gatefold

Soundtrack: Cannibal Ferrox LP

Cannibal Ferox LP front cover

The cover art is awesome!

“I detest Cannibal Ferox… it’s the only movie in the bunch of horror/gore/splatters that I was in in the ’80s that I regret and wish I didn’t appear in.”

- Giovanni Lombardo Radice (Actor/Writer/Director, Cannibal Ferox)

If ever there was a movie that could be termed controversial, it is the 1981 exploitation horror Cannibal Ferox. Directed by prolific Italian film maker Umberto Lenzi (Eaten Alive, Nightmare City, The House of Witchcraft), Cannibal Ferox is a tale of cocaine, academic curiosity and death.

And I love it! (more…)

sabbathassembly

Review: Sabbath Assembly – Eno Ot Derotser Ltd edition cassette tape

Sabbath Assembly Eno Ot Derotser

Photo © 2014 Svart Records

I stumbled upon this limited edition cassette while looking at vinyl on the Svart Records website – I was there to order a copy of their Witch Mountain – South of Salem LP reissue, which I will post a review of soon.

I don’t normally go for cassettes, but when I saw the link to this recording, I knew I had to have it. Limited to only 300 copies, this cassette features the original Sabbath Assembly recordings from 2009, with Jex Thoth on vocals. I can imagine this selling quite well and becoming hard to find in no time at all. With this in mind, I made a digital copy of mine the day I got it so my original will stay in pretty much mint condition.

The songs are all Process Church hymns, later versions of which appeared on the band’s debut album Restored to One. Here, they are presented in a raw, experimental form, with sparse bongo percussion (by the band’s founder Dave Nuss, credited here as Xtian) as opposed to the full drum kit used on the bands full albums and live shows. The arrangements are a little different, too, showing some of the early psychedelic influences and ideas that were later molded into the form long time fans will know.

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Future Learn, or ‘Why I haven’t posted anything for a while’

Future Learn logoFollowers of this blog may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything in the last month. This is because I have been taking part in a short course with online learning provider Future Learn.

They offer short introductory courses on a wide variety of subjects from art to science and are run in conjunction with universities from all over the country.

The course I’ve been taking is called ‘Start Writing Fiction.’ Presented by author and academic Dr. Derek Neale, it is a free course provided by The Open University (with whom I also did my BA a while back) and runs for eight weeks. (more…)

Black Sabbath cover

Black Sabbeth – Gonga Featuring Beth Gibbons

Bristol, UK doom rockers Gonga have teamed up with fellow Bristol-based singer Beth Gibbons (of Portishead fame) to record a cover version of the song that started off the debut album from the most important band in doom metal – Black Sabbath. They’re calling it ‘Black Sabbeth’ for obvious reasons. The video is made up of footage from the classic 1963 Mario Bava film Black Sabbath, after which the band were named.

Review: Sabbath Assembly – Quaternity

Sabbath Assembly-Quaternity-cover

“Humanity is doomed.”

Quaternity is the third album from Sabbath Assembly, a bizarre rock band that formed to recreate the hymns of apocalyptic 1960’s religious cult The Process Church of The Final Judgement. Their first record (Restored to One) caught my attention because their original singer was Jex Thoth, which was enough of an endorsement to at least check them out, even if they did sing about God and seemed more than a bit ‘churchy’. Spend a little time with this band, though, and you will soon discover that there is nothing traditionally Christian about their music or philosophy.

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