vrijdag 25 mei 2018

Phi – Cycles


Phi – Cycles
Gentle Art of Music / Panta R&E – 2018
Rock, Prog, Symphonic, Metal
Rated: ****

The Dutch trio Phe will be playing a live gig on Sunday 26th of May at Muziekcafe in Helmond, Netherlands. But that’s not what we are listening to and not writing about right now. Right now, we are digging the hell out of the album Cycles by Austrian foursome Phi. Phe, Phi, Pho, Phum! (Sorry.)  The four have been active for over ten years and even though there have been some line-up changes the sound has continued to evolve and turn into a majestic outburst of progressive rock with grand gestures and a stadium large presence. The album seems to expertly float between conventional prog, neo-prog and a more symphonic side. But what they excel at, is coloring their instrumental pieces with song parts that are driven by catchy vocal melodies. Another definite aspect of Phi is the way they manage to never drift too much towards the dark side. Sure, we are hearing tales of Dystopia and Blackened Rivers, but there always seems to be a glimmer of hope. For everything comes in Cycles, right? Shit, the music is there, the technical prowess is awesome and the modern mix makes this an album that shall be adored by all prog rock and prog metal fans around. And for everyone else, check it out, for it will surely wet your whistle for something proggy and grandiose!

(Written by JK)




Banderas – Fifty Dollar Pyramid Scheme


Banderas – Fifty Dollar Pyramid Scheme

Heard the sound of eternity the other night. All calm as it was bright. Sorry about that, it was a night of flashbacks and weird memories. It all started when Hair of The Dog by Nazareth came on thanks to a digital listening session. It reminded me immediately of a band that sadly disappeared after releasing one album called Beast Sounds And Parlor Tricks. We are referring to Banderas ofcourse, which was championed by hero Dave Angstrom. And we mentioned the album back in 2011. Catchy, poppy, sleazy and very tasty. And we tried to find the video we knew existed for their Fifty Dollar Pyramid Scheme single. It is no longer online. Online a few dubious quality live versions. But apparently it does feature Brand X episode. So, we decided to share that one, in that case! If yer looking for a ride now baby! Get on that Banderas tilt-a-whirl! O, and to make things easy, their album is now up for free on Bandcamp… 




woensdag 23 mei 2018

Fire Down Below – Hymn of The Cosmic Man


Fire Down Below – Hymn of The Cosmic Man
Ripple Music – 2018
Rock, Stoner, Desert, Cosmic, Space
Rated: *****

Viper Vixen Goddess Saint was such an amazing debut album back in 2016. The four Belgian freaks from Fire Down Below stunned the underground and grabbed every one of us by the balls, look us square in the eye and grinned with crazy teeth at us. We understood immediately, this is the real deal. Well, the four from Ghent are back! And now with a more space-age-oriented record called Hymn of The Cosmic Man. And man, I had never known that space could be this hot and steamy! This is embarking on an adventure across a desert on a different planet in a far away galaxy. More expansive than the first one, it still holds all those key elements we loved so much from their first one. That stoner trucking, that speedy delivery of riffs and the slow building pummeling of the drummer. Perhaps the biggest difference is the feel of the entire record, this feels like one gigantic beast, an adventure that needs to be explored on a whole. While their debut felt like a kick ass collection of amazing tracks. Slowly, the album takes you along on the quest through that foreign wasteland becoming atmospheric one moment, oppressive the next and gritty and wild the following. Hymn Of The Cosmic Man has everything you need to get you through the day! The week! The month! The year! One hell of a follow-up!

(Written by JK)



Graveyard – Peace


Graveyard – Peace
Nuclear Blast – 2018
Rock, Hard, Seventies, Blues
Rated: ****

Do you remember where you were? When the earth shook around you? When the walls came crashing down? When life as we know it, seemed to have lost all meaning? Yes, do you know where you were when Graveyard said they were calling it quits? September seems to be one of those months that evokes bad energy and worse weather. Well, it was also the month Graveyard said they would stop their majestic and soulful ride. Luckily, they announced their come back only a few months later! Pfew! Now, all was right in the world again. Well, almost right. We had to hear what new drummer Oskar Bergenheim, who we already knew from the Truls Mörck album and Den Stora Vilan, but also played for Slowgold and Togus Band, would bring to the Graveyard sound. Well, rest assured, they are back! And with knives in their teeth! We can state that all the Graveyard records are wild and wonderful, but that some of the sharp edge and danger slowly dissipated the during the course of their albums. It’s back now. On Peace, they sound much more chased, hunted and on the run. They sound like they have something to prove again. Gritty, bluesy, grungy hard rock and with that ever-prevalent love for the seventies that Graveyard always displayed. Does Oskar Bergenheim change the sound? No, he sounds like the perfect replacement for Axel Sjöberg, he continues the wildness we love and injects it with a new razor-sharp edge! Graveyard is back!

(Written by JK)


Stoner HiVe’s Top 5 artists listened to last week…


Stoner HiVe’s
Top 5 artists listened to last week…


Morning everyone. This little list above should have gone up on Monday ofcourse, but we are knee-deep in a few projects that are nearing deadline. And so, there is little time once again and that little time has to be used wisely. But, we can definitely suggest to you all that you need to check the above list out. All of ‘em! Cause out on Riding Easy Records is the doom punk album I Tread On Your Grave by The Death Wheelers. The Freeks released some damn insane rocker called Crazy World through Heavy Psych Sounds. Chasing Light is the new The Torch album. STF-Records releases this slab of Swedish hardrock. And when Rancho De La Luna celebrates the release of their own brand of mezcal, we ofcourse go back and listen to some Mojave Lords. Cause everything worth doing, is worth doing right. Which means, we need to get our hands on a bottle of that fine looking mezcal! And Fire Down Below releases their new cosmic desert rocker Hymn Of The Cosmic Man through Ripple! And a longer mention of this amazing record will follow shortly! So. You know the deal! Check ‘m out! Check ‘m all out!

donderdag 17 mei 2018

Oak – III


Oak – III
Self released – 2018
Rock, Stoner, Desert, Sludge
Rated: ****

You can just stop reading now and scroll a bit lower to click on the Bandcamp link cause they fellas from Oak are offering their third EP III up for free! That’s right! Those London freaks that we know from two earlier EP’s that gave us a sapling that was growing and becoming a huge stalwart tree. And it has! II was already a huge leap forward in comparison to I, but III is dwarfing them both! The four of Oak have managed to make a great stoner release that is heavy with atmosphere and intense in its build-ups and breakdowns. Still windswept, dusty and fuzzy, the groove is ever prevalent and sweeps you along a massive current of majestic riffs and thundering drums! It’s so heavy at times, it feels like they are almost losing themselves to the sludge, but then they straightened their backs and swerve back into the stoner and desert highway. I love that intro, the drum build-up, I love the intermission Air, grabbing the right tone and setting the right mood. Before we move back into wilder territories with Nothing Without You. Which is as emotional as it sounds. Rough and gritty changes into emotive and colorful, and back again. And it’s all there, majestic guitar and bass work, vocals that do something to ya and truly glorious drumming. O’ and may I state that I absolute love the artwork and its consistency! Done by Unexpected Specter it fits wonderfully with the music and the continuation of the three EP’s! Love it! Grab it! Buy it! Send it as a gift to your friends! They will love it too!

(Written by JK)




ps. Super Dank Metal Jams did a lovely interview with Unexpected Specter last year...

woensdag 16 mei 2018

Bike – Their Shamanic Majesties' Third Request


Bike – Their Shamanic Majesties' Third Request
Self released – 2018
Rock, Psych, Gaze, Indie, Brasil, Tropical
Rated: ***

Brasilian rock outfit Bike already released two albums before their newest adventure called Their Shamanic Majesties’ Third Request. Back in 2015 they released 1943 and last year Em Busca Da Viagem Eterna came out. Their third album continues their slow psychedelic stroll through the Brasilian landscape, but even more tranquil and subdued. It’s a dreamy, shoegaze approach to the psychedelic realm and it sounds wonderfully sunny and distinctly faraway. As if you are sauntering through some garden, butterflies fluttering around you, flowers blooming as you pass and you notice nothing cause your head is in the clouds. Which is not only because of the echoing vocals or the soaring use of synths and little bursts of energy. It's also the damn lovely use of different forms of percussion and violin. It all adds to the majestic colorful landscape. Which leads to the conclusion that Bike is there when you need them, when you need to escape form this gloomy world, and want to experience all the colors existence has to offer. Yes, the kool-aid might be laced with something, so drink up, and tune in!

(Written by JK)




Pale Horseman to Release "Mashing of Teeth" APA


Pale Horseman to Release "Mashing of Teeth" APA

Good people drink good beer! And as the drummer/vocalist of Dutch trio Phe searches for the perfect brew, so do the four from Pale Horseman over in Chicago. Released on May 4th by Illinois craft brewery Soundgrowler Brewing Co. it’s a double dry hopped American Pale Ale called Mashing of Teeth.

Mashing of Teeth, named for Pale Horseman's song "Gnashing of Teeth" off The Fourth Seal (Black Bow Records), is a 5.6% ABV ale brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Columbus, and Equinox hops.  All four members of Pale Horseman were involved in the brewing process, working with head brewer Larry Hough and assistant brewer Jake Hutcheson to create this special libation.  Soundgrowler, a metal-themed brewery that plays the likes of Eyehategod and Sleep over the sound system, reached out to Pale Horseman in early 2018 to collaborate.  The greater Chicago area will soon be able to drink the fruits of their labor, both on tap at the brewery and in 16-ounce cans for available carry-out sale.

And so, the quest begins to get our hands and our mouth and our throat and our belly on this Mashing of Teeth APA! Cheers everyone!





dinsdag 15 mei 2018

Morpholith – Void Emissions


Morpholith – Void Emissions
Self released – 2018
Doom, Metal, Sludge, Stoner
Rated: ***

The five from Iceland called Morpholith have recently released their debut effort called Void Emissions. Three tracks that bring forth the sludgy doom and stoner metal in righteous form. Or as the crazies state themselves: “Our music is based around the volume and power of the amplifiers and beats of the over-sized drums, but not without melody's and slower, more focused parts. It grooves like 70-s rock music, is as loud as a jet-engine and can crush diamonds with its weight.” Yihaw! Those are some powerful words and right on the money too! Slow dragging rhythms, wild breaks, intense vocals and riffs that sound like they came straight out of the hellish mouth of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano! And yes, the drums do take center stage often, whether providing the majestic slow march or pummeling beats down yer skull like a madman. As well as the vocals that are emotive and chased! So, exactly what we need when we feel the Devil breathing down our neck! Check out Void Emissions and submerge yourself for thirty minutes in Iceland volcano doom!

(Written by JK)



maandag 14 mei 2018

Six Months of Sun – Below The Eternal Sky


Six Months of Sun – Below The Eternal Sky
Cold Smoke/GPS/Urgence Disks/Domino Media Agency – 2018
Rock, Metal, Stoner, Sludge, Instrumental
Rated: *****

The instrumental three-piece outfit Six Months of Sun released their debut album back at the tail-end of 2013. And Water Flows, as it was called, was filled with blissful stoner grooves and steamy hot riffs. And now, finally, the three amigos are back with a follow-up called Below The Eternal Sky. It is definitely just as groovy and blistering as the first one; but this time the tracks become even more metallic and sludgy. Eight wonderful tracks that definitely still bring Karma To Burn to mind and every song is once again on par with the best that those grandmasters ever delivered. There are moments that bring to mind a few of those other stoner legends as well. The biggest difference with there earlier release is the level of heavy and the fact that you cannot find one thing, that sounds off, where you might think, that could have been done better. This is simple stoner metal, sludge rock and instrumental grooviness in its ultimate form. The Swiss power trio Six Months of Sun have without any doubt in my mind delivered the best album we will see in its niche. And it’s a niche you will want to keep curling up in. Cause it’s exactly what every freak and heavy music fiend needs! Every day!

(Written by JK)



Stoner HiVe’s Top 5 artists listened to last week…


Stoner HiVe’s
Top 5 artists listened to last week…


Are you ready for a sexy, Rat Pack-ish, Nick Cave infused, Bowie-esque record long adventure? Go book a trip to the Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino and hear one of the absolute best lyricists of our times at work again. The Arctic Monkeys have struck again and once again highly different then what they did before. Gozu dropped their Equilibrium album via Metal Blade Records and it’s awesomely fuzzy and crushingly groovy once again! The Mirror album by Canadian duo Sierra delivers some amazing psychedelic seventies prog, old school metal and more. It’s out on Retro Futurist Records and deserves all of our attention. Green Desert Water releases their Solar Plexus album via Small Stone and it shall soar high and mighty for the next months. For surely, everyone checking this one out will fall in love with their raw stoner edge, their psychedelic take on hardrock and their pure devotion to everything proto and seventies. It’s fuzzy at every corner and grabs you at every turn! The White Witch EP by Frayle is different, definitely different. Intense and eerie, hypnotic and grungy, heavy, low and witchy! Female fronted doom that is bewitching! You need to check it out! Shit, you need to check them all out! All of ‘em!

vrijdag 11 mei 2018

Stoner HiVe’s Quick Fire Friday


Stoner HiVe’s Quick Fire Friday

It’s been a while. We’ve not done a Quick Fire Friday for quite some time. Even though every Friday beckons for some fast action! Some wild tunes! And some quick delivery! Well. Here we are to bring you some hot tasty tunes. To pay some attention to all those amazing releases out there. And yes, we know, we know, the albums and bands deserve more. More attention and more of our time! But there is so much out there and we just simply cannot ever do it all justice. So here it is. The Stoner HiVe Quick Fire Friday. And its burns hot like molten lava! 


Third Island – Procession

Taken from their full-sized debut album Omelas, Procession is the first video for Irish three-piece Third Island. Post metal, doom, gloom and sludge are all present to a high degree. A dense, ever pervasive dark and twisted atmosphere. Check it out!






Pale Summit – Lakes of Titan

The German quartet Pale Summit opens a totally different barrel of heavy rock. On their five-track debut EP Lakes Of Titan they serve up a fine selection of stonerrock with some heavy post elements. We'd better keep an eye on these cats, cause this sounds like they're on to something!




Hooka Hey – Coney Island

We’ve been mentioning the good boys from Hooka Hey ever since their Hush Me single back around 2011. Well, they’re about to release their War Cry album, featuring their earlier released single Herlock. And ofcourse now this new one: Coney Island. Alternative rock, rootsy and bluesy but with heavy tones and intense atmospheres. These guys know how to tell a story!





Tirana – Tirana

"Portsmouth Heavy Rock/Punk/Stoners Tirana new EP is a serious blast of in-yer-face pissed off riffs and grizzled vocals to match. The EP wastes no time in creating a very cool sounding Punk/Stoner Metal atmosphere" That’s what Outlaws of The Sun said about the debut four-track release by trio Tirana, featuring an ex-Tricorn member. And we could not agree more, so it’s only logical that you go and check it out!



Pleasant Valley – It Gets Lonely on Mars

A father and son duo from the backwoods of Alabama. Pleasant Valley is heavy and their woes as well, for It Gets Lonely On Mars. So, Check out their highly fuzzed out stoner single. Cause something wonderful is lurking there!


donderdag 10 mei 2018

The Absurd – Boots On The Ground



The Absurd – Boots On The Ground

Remeber that single we all immediately fell in love with when we heard it first... We mentioned it in some Quick Fire Friday round back in February. Well, they have an official video now and it definitely adds to the already amazing song. This is what we said back then: "We end this Stoner HiVe Quick Fire Friday with an absolute zinger! This is what it's all about and this is exactly what we need! It’s The Absurd from Los Angeles. The band sounds like they’ve been around for ages and their single Boots On The Ground is an absurd and absolute homerun! Pure in all its direct delivery, pointy, sticky and fabulously luscious! A front row ticket to the freak show! The Absurd will wow you to no end and Boots On The Ground will be your soundtrack for this weekend! Check it out!" So go do it! Check it out!