Friday, 12 October 2018

Martyr Lucifer – Gazing at the Flocks (CD Review)

Martyr Lucifer – Gazing at the Flocks

Martyr Lucifer (vocals, synth, programming)
Leìt – (Vocals)
Adrian Erlandsson (Drums)
Nagaarum  (Guitars)
Simone Mularoni (Bass)

01. Veins of Sand Pt. 1
02. Veins of Sand Pt. 2
03. Bloodwaters
04. Feeders, aka Heterotrophy / Saprotrophy
05. Leda and the Swan Pt. 1
06. Leda and the Swan Pt. 2
07. Wolf of the Gods
08. Somebody Super Like You
09. Benighted & Begotten
10. Spiderqueen
11. Flocks
12. Halkyónē's Legacy, aka The Song of Empty Heavens

Formed in 2011 as a solo project, Martyr Lucifer teamed up with some Hortus Animae members, the Ukrainian artist Leìt and international artists like Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates, Paradise Lost) and Vrolok (ex-Nokturnal Mortum, Ygg) to form an alternative rock music project with echoes of wave and goth and the subsequent worldwide release of his first output as solo artist, “Farewell to Graveland”, via Buil2Kill Records.

In 2013 he released his second set of recordings, “Martyr Lucifer's Shards” (Outline Rekordz) a collection of three previously unreleased EP's which started showing a stronger presence of Leìt's role, and featured, among others, Simone Mularoni (DGM, empYrios) on guitars and bass, Antarktica (Darkend) on the strings' section, Dario Ciccioni (empYrios) & Adrian Erlandsson returning on drums.

2017 – A new band, a new sound. Martyr Lucifer recruited drummer Fox (ex-Educis Nubila, Zachary) and guitarist Alexios (Deadly Carnage) to prepare live dates and new album. In the meantime, a new digital single “Lady Bird”, a retro/future take of a Nancy Sinatra classic, is released.

Bringing us right up to date and Martyr Lucifer signs a deal with Seahorse Recordings, an Italian label which is flag-bearer in the alternative/indie scene. This contract leads to the worldwide release of the “Gazing at the Flocks” album in two different editions: Digipack CD and 2CD Slipcase, the latter to contain the bonus disc “The Oniric Session”, recorded live at Domination Studio and featuring a selection of new and old songs.
Returning to the studio once again is Adrian Erlandsson.

Loaded this one into the player and was struck almost immediately by the quality of the music, ‘Veins of the Sand Pt1 & Pt2’ has this wonderful retro gothic metal sound, powerful drumming (as to be expected), great riffs and an interesting vocal delivery, at times spoken and then some impressive harmonies.

This moody and melodic style continues until we come to ‘Leda and the Swans Pt 1 & Pt2’ very different sound, more electro pop and with some neat little synth pulses added in. Really great duet between male and female vocals. Then some pounding doom guitar and drums to end!

‘Wolf of the Gods’ could almost be an early Sisters of Mercy song, but I think I detect a hint of ‘Deathstars’ (a band that Mr Erlandsson also worked with).

Next really stand out song is ‘Benighted & Begotten’ a six minute slow and atmospheric piece that starts off with quiet vocals over a simple guitar sound, as the song progresses it just builds, becoming more aggressive whilst the vocal remains at the same slow and dark pace, brilliant and once again benefits from the added female vocal.

‘Flocks’ is a strange one, full on death metal drumming with a harmonic dual vocal and keyboard work, then it just stops and turns into a gothic ballad.
Last up is ‘Halkyónē's Legacy, aka The Song of Empty Heavens’ , this one offers much more, blending as it does, slow piano and superb female vocal with a neo prog/acid-folk composition, its melancholic tones come through the speakers as if floating on clouds, a pure joy to listen to.
Rating 10/10
For Fans Of: Deathstars, Sisters Of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Tiamat. Paradise Lost.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Velvet Lucifer - Electric Residence I to IV (Free Download)

Velvet Lucifer – The Electric Residence Volumes 1 - 4    

Vincent LaDamia was born in Switzerland and wanted to be an artist or a musician, yet was bereft of talent but did not see that as a boundary, but knew it would limit any progression.

He stated that “What I create will not be original, clever or memorable – But at least I shall create something”.

After an encounter with a young girl and her art collection his views changed not only of art but of life itself, to find out that everything we deem magical or religious was in fact a side effect of something called “the angle”, a world which is like our own occupying the same space but at a slight angle, there are doorways that lead to a black corridor.
Vincent wrote “it damaged my very existence, but also gave me a chance to achieve something greater than myself”.

He was given a house by a benefactor who felt that the surrealist movement had sold it soul the second it created a set of rules. Many of these artists were great painters and photographers, sculptures and writers. Things should go against the whole concept of surrealism.
If it is a Freudian like trip inside the mind to be expressed without form and order then the resulting work should be chaos not fine art or beautiful music.

Vincent therefore decided to create a place for ordinary people to become the ultimate statement of true surrealism, no rules, no obvious talent, just a desire to express themselves in any way they could.

“For this to happen the way I envisioned then I must become not a teacher, artist or musician but an "architect."
For this house is bricks and wood and steel and glass, together they create a whole, I shall bring in people each a piece of a greater structure and in some way I shall bring each piece together and cement and nail them as one.
Having strived to become a musician and failed it struck me one that who exactly said ‘this is what in tune should sound like’, or ‘a composition should have this structure and tempo’.
Who indeed, so I started to seek out the true music rebels, those who would take the normal so called correct way and completely ignore it, regardless of what others thought of the finished product.

There were many such people creating sounds and noise that had no merit in the ears of the elite or the music lovers seeking melody and harmony.
I have spoken with the great and the strange and found true beauty in their words and their work.”

It may sound strange but I felt that my ideas were too frightening; my early attempts were destroyed in fits of self loathing and anger.
My stupidity, my arrogance and my ego seemingly fighting inside my unhelpful brain.

I wandered through the rooms at the mansion, watching the people throw paint, make things, debate and with total freedom to be what they wanted.
As I walked around everybody smiled at me, spoke of their thanks and expressed a wish that if the world were like this house, alive with this natural phenomenon a perfect spark of creativity, some spoke of the power that seemed to flow through the house and they gave it the nickname of the Electric Residence.”

Sounds were created between 1974 and 1978, one example of how he set about recordings are mentioned in his extensive notes:

“That night I took some recording equipment into one of the cellars and set up two microphone connected to a reel to reel tape.
On one wall there was some old nails in the wall, I wrapped some copper wire around them and then connected that to an old seven and a half volt ever ready battery.
With everything set up I held down the play and record buttons to set off the recording and I left the cellar.
Following morning I retrieved the equipment took it upstairs to my studio to see what if anything had been recorded.
It was mainly hiss and static, there were a few hums which I assumed had come from the copper wire and some other strange sounds.
After a day of cutting up the tape, re-recording it on a second device at different speeds and volume levels I eventually ended up with a natural aural backing track lasting 24 minutes, this would be the structure on which I would create my first lasting piece of sound work.”

Not much of his work exists, aside from 3 cassette tapes and 2 one sided test pressings.
All that could be recovered has been assembled as per his notes and presented here in 4 downloadable EP’s.

Somewhere between Avant Garde, Surrealist, Musique concrete,
Acousmatic music and Electroacoustic music.
Some noise, some ambient, electronic and traditional instruments and all highly experimental.

It is what it is.

Friday, 28 September 2018

The Octopus - Supernatural Alliance (Album Review)

Octopus – Supernatural Alliance

Track List:
01. The Centre
02. Supernatural Alliance
03. Slave & Master
04. Strike (While The Iron Is Hot)
05. Child Of Destiny (Inaugural Trilogy, Part 3)
06. The Unknown
07. Sword & The Stone
08. All The Love (Fleetwood Mac)
09. Black Dynamite
10. Dragonhead

Masha Marjieh (Vocals)
J Frezzato (Guitar)
Matt O’Brien (Bass)
Chuck Burns(Drums)
Adam Cox (keyboards)

Detroit rock band formed in 2008 by guitarist J Frezzato (ex-Electric Six) and vocalist Masha Marjieh. Drawing on inspiration from the book ‘The Octopus’ by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith (so not the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League then) the duo set about writing songs and putting together a band.

It seemed that the band had no overall style or direction; this allowed them to create music without any need for a “label”.

What is perhaps the most surprising thing here is that this is in fact their debut release and on the highly respected Rise Above Records.

Opening with ‘Beyond The Centre’, we are instantly treated to a classic keyboard driven piece reminiscent of Uriah Heep.

From that point onwards it really is the early 70’s that dominates, until that is we come to ‘The Unknown’ a solid five minutes of slow and inspired proto doom with some soaring and haunting vocals.

After some rock & roll comes the even more haunting ‘Fleetwood Mac’, should perhaps point out that this has little to do with the legendary blues rockers turned west coast superstars,
I would say that this has more in common with a late 60’s occult rock vibe mixed with some jazz rock and a vocal along the lines of Black Sabbath’s ‘Planet Caravan’.

This octopus is in danger of being overlooked, do not make that mistake, this is quite simply a classic rock album that deserves attention!

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Purson, Uriah Heep, (Early) Black Sabbath, Coven, Jefferson Airplane

Weapon (UK) - Rising From The Ashes Limited Edition Vinyl Out Today

British NWOBHM legends Weapon (UK) are back where they belong, preserved for life on good old vinyl!
A limited edition of 300 copies is officially available today.

In other news the band have been playing a number of gigs in Europe and next week they will have copies of the album to sign at the Launch Party gig held at The Cavern in Raynes Park.

Event Details

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Inside The Electric Residence free PDF download, with 616 Record List of weird & wonderful music

I have been working on this project for sometime now.
Health issues have impeded my progress, however I wanted to try and get something productive out of my skeleton notes.
So in this PDF format I offer a glimpse of the short story ‘The Electric Residence’ & the semi-autobiographic introductions to ‘Shards from the Skeleton’.
Here we have no rules, words flow in and out, no specifics, but there are links, each story has a common connection, and I make no apologies for it.
Together with the ‘616’ list of Albums, Singles, Cassette Tapes and CD’s.
This comprises of weird and wonderful music and spoken works.
From the Surreal to Avant-garde, Jazz/Progressive rock, Electronic, Experimental, Punk & Doom, it is the only piece of work I have managed to complete.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Septic Tank - Rotting Civilisation (Album Review)

Septic Tank - Rotting Civilisation

Track Listing:
01. Septic Tank
02. Who
03. Victimised
04. Social Media Whore
05. Divide & Conk Out
06. Treasurers of Disease
07. Fucked
08. Whitewash
09. Death Vase
10. You Want Some
11. Digging Your Own Grave
12. Danger Signs
13. Walking Asylum
14. Lost Humanity
15. Never Never Land
16. Self Obsessed
17. Living Death
18. Rotten Empire

Lee Dorrian – Vocals (Cathedral, With The Dead)
Gary Jennings – Guitar (Cathedral, Death Penalty)
Scott Carlson – Bass (Cathedral, Repulsion)

Jaime Gómez Arellano – Drums (Blutvial)

Originally a side project for Cathedral in 1994 as a low-key chance to play with some Discharge style punk/metal as opposed to the Doom laden sounds that Dorrian & Co mixed up with some added Psych and prog.
Septic Tank’s original line-up featured Dorrian & Jennings from Cathedral with drummer Barry Stern (ex-Trouble) and Repulsion’s Scott Carlson on bass.

“We talked about doing it again many times, but it took us 20 years to make a record,” Lee Dorrian explains. “As you know, Scott re-joined Cathedral for the last few gigs and the last album. We were recording (final Cathedral record) The Last Spire at the end of 2012 and we’d done all we needed to do and had some spare time in the studio. So we revived the Septic Tank idea and literally bashed out an entire EP, writing and recording, in an afternoon, in just six hours.”

The result of this brief resurgence was 2013’s self-titled seven-inch EP, released only in Japan and limited to 900 copies.
With Lee, Gaz and Scott now joined by drummer (and legendary producer) Jamie ‘Gomez’ Arellano it seemed only a matter of time before something new happened, so after 20 years they finally recorded an album in just five days.

“It’s quite mad that we’re finally releasing an album,” Lee concludes. “I don’t think most people know that this band exists! But you never lose your passion for this stuff. It’s just in our DNA and our veins, really. Like with most things, we’ll put it out there and see what happens, but we’d like to do more records and I’m sure there’ll be more shows too. We’re chuffed to be doing it!”

So take the opening track and it’s a full on assault of super fuzzed out hardcore death metal, yep you can see the punk influence and even dare I say harking back to those early Napalm Death days, yet even in this opening number there is a hint of doom lurking!

Next couple of tracks do the same thing really, then up comes ‘Social Media Whore’, now this one has a definite Hellhammer meets Discharge feel, great bit of noise really.

‘Divide & Conk Out’ sounds like Tank and Motorhead, neat little guitar solo thrown in just to top it off.

Great doom intro to ‘Death Vase’ and have to say Mr. Dorrian does a great impression of Tom Warrior! Fucking awesome crushing, slow and pounding, definitely my favourite track thus far.

Then with ‘You Want Some’ some proper old school skuzzy punk metal, this style continues on for the next few tracks until we arrive at some proto thrash punk with ‘Never Never Land’ and right to the last song continues in this vein.

To sum up I have to once again commend Mr Dorrian for his talent, ability and knowledge of all things “Rock ‘N’ Roll”  and finding the right musicians to be able to take something that is essentially retro/old school and make it fresh, modern and bloody enjoyable!

Rating 9/10

For Fans of:  Discharge, Warfare, Ravens Creed, Hellhammer, Charged GBH, Venom

Saturday, 10 February 2018

A Trip Through Ladbroke Grove The Life and Times of Underground Hero Steve Peregrin Took By Fee Warner (Book Review)

A Trip Through Ladbroke Grove
The Life and Times of Underground Hero    
Steve Peregrin Took

Author/Editor/Compiler: Fee Warner
Limited edition hardback book.

Hand numbered 250 Copies.

Steve Took has often been consigned to a mere footnote in rock music’s illustrious and controversial existence, this book finally elevates his status, and as you will read deservedly so.

Firstly it deals with the Marc Bolan and Tyrannosaurus Rex period with clarity and some honest talking, “Tooky” was never the sidekick or just that “bloke” with Bolan, he was in fact an equal partner and just as important to the sound and creation of the whole bands concept.

Then it goes into the whole crazy world of the underground scene taking in The Deviants, Pink Fairies, Hawkwind, Motorhead, David Bowie, Syd Barrett and even the MC5.

In fact I have to say from my own personal perspective that this is one of the most fascinating anecdotal books written and compiled on the underground with comments and memories from a host of respected writers and musicians including Mick Farren, Michael Moorcock, Nik Turner, Lemmy, Larry Wallis and Russell Hunter.
Add to this highly interesting and, at times perhaps controversial, comments from close family, friends and collaborators, what we end up with is a detailed look into the world of “Tooky” which also reflects the whole scene as it moved and changed withy the times.

As if this wasn’t enough we are treated to many previously unseen photographs, some fascinating press cuttings, reprints of original interviews and some stunning illustrations.

Has to be said that even the books design is a sight to behold, each section perfectly laid out in green, red and black text, oh and a really nice touch is the ribbon bookmark attached to the hardback.

Not since Jonathan Green’s 1988 book ‘Days in the Life: Voices from the English Underground, 1961-71’, has so much amazing information been forthcoming from those who were there and nice to hear it directly from them, they tell it as it was, sometimes that can be uncomfortable, Lemmys son Paul Inder is a great example of words from the heart with no agenda other than honesty.

Anyone who has more than a passing interest in rock history would do well to purchase a copy, you may not really know Steve Took at the beginning of the book but by the end you will have a greater understanding of the contribution he made to music and the lives of the people around him.  

Books written with this much dedication, love and attention to detail are few and far between, Fee Warner is to be commended on producing one of the best music books I have ever read.

Steve Took Official Website:

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