Hellequin - Darkness Ancestral Queen

All I can say is FUCKING HELL YES!

Hailing from La Ligua, Chile, and rightfully calling themselves chilean black metal, this new single offers the band stomping through 3:33 of purity so rare it is akin to the ancient rites of the dark masters. While the music is like a power driver set on pound to dust, it is the vocals which set the whole thing off. Very distinctive demonic scowling. Enough character to be called unique. Luckily, the song retains the big kick all the way through, it doesn't digress into some over the top thrash. Sometimes, restraint shows true power.

The song showed its popularity by remaining at the Top Spot on the Rockfest playlist @ http://www.rockfest.org for about twice as long as most numbers do. Everyone was asking "who is this band" and everyone is wanting to hear more. So hopefully we get it! Look for the band as a front page spotlight on the homepage about the middle of summer. When it's hotter than hell, like the black metal stew pouring from the mouth of the Hellequin, devouring all in its path.


Encyclopaedia Metallum

Banditos - Banditos

Crossbred blues, country, punk, sometimes at different points in modern history called rockabilly, Banditos can cut a rug with the big beat and grooves that make you wanna move. Though the vocals are well done and just a notch below perfect, with Mary Beth Richardson touching it a time or two, it's the music which has the lively fire. Cut time seems to be ubiquitous throughout, verging on the edge of an appalachin hoedown every so often. When they do slow it down, it could be the prom in the 60's for all you know. There's some smoking banjo playing and a few other touches that make you think of Zeppelin about the third album. Actually, if you're listening and paying attention, it's some rather obvious true musical abilities showin' through, along with a big dose of talent.

Standout numbers? All of 'em. "The Breeze", "Waitin" and "Golden Grease" are all burners. Most bands can't pull a double shot of slow downs like they present with "No Good" and "Aint' It Hard", but Banditos do so like seasoned professionals. "Preachin' To The Choir" has a wicked swamp blues vibe, talkin' 'bout drinkin and stuff, complete with the cry of slide steel guitar. Another reference to the firewater in copious quanities, "Still Sober After All These Beers" is a honky tonk standard. Even when they, heaven forbid, roll out the rag time with "Long Gone, Anyway", it has the correct classic feel. Like I said, some of these folks are trained in the standards. Yet the banditos are anything but standard. They are a cut above.


Josh Zanger at Bloodshot josh@bloodshotrecords.com


Mikey Jarreau

Soluble Memories is pretty good.....the chorus lick is a bit too similar to What It's like by Everlast, but it's different enough you might get by with it. The main verses have subtle melody the vocals support pretty well. A few flat spots yet it's fine for a demonstration. Lyrically is where the song is made, though the guitar playing is executed well, good dynamics. Overall the song is arranged sparsely, yet effectively. I'd give it a 6 out of 10, if you sing it a bit stronger and work on the bridging, expand the chorus a bit to give it some recognition, or merely change it up a bit to give it some original definition, you'd get in the 8-9 range.

Watch you fade - good jump in the lick, the scat style singing gives it a different flavor. I kept expecting a big bold holding pattern for a chorus so when it didn't show up, that was a good thing. More than a couple of times the vocal delivery could have been more clear, definitely louder. I couldn't quite catch what was being said, even after a few listens. The song has classic rock chordings, which are hard to go wrong with; they're both familiar and catchy. The two songs I've got from this project show promise, be interesting to see when the numbers add up how many gems we actually get.

Soluble Memories

Watch you fade

Nashmeh- Dunzakha (Star - the religion of Zakho)

What can I say. This is one of those albums that finds you, hits you, and entrances you. From it's beginnings as a soundtrack for heading into the abyss, to it's classic and taylored black metal slayings, it is a rare jewel to behold. The album really starts to take off when the squeeze boxes begin to wail on Havvaz (Eve). A strong crossover of mediterranean, middle eastern, and black magic. About Nashmeh overall. If you're just a fan that's cool, or perhaps interested in the strong oriental occult ritual flavorings of this masterpiece, that's cool. Just don't mess with this stuff if you don't know what you're doing. Themas are strong, the craft is alluring. Enjoy on your own but the tidings are best enjoyed with others, in a circle.

The music? Cool, dark and heavy. Tribal folk tales of virgins, demons and war carries Hotti. Things go psychedelic ambient garage with KHunkhahi. It mighta been something Yoko'd done of she'd been metal. The accordians mourn their sorrowful song on PAJH. Like being at ancient slovak graves out in the forrest. Kafiristan is like something Syd Barret'd done if he'd been Persian. Finally, at the end, you glimpse your master with YE. It's been a ride.





Serpentine Path - Emanations
Full of the massive chords of doom, switching from steamrollin' black metal meanderings to head shaking rumbles of never ending war, rebellion and outrage. If days of sludge filled acid rain taking what's left of life are no fantasies but a way to amend the ending of a pitiful existence, this is your soundtrack.

Gelal's Dark Cult - band overview
Traditional classic black metal originating out of La Serena, Chile. Their musicianship is top notch and they keep the abrupt time changes which trash out many a good black metal song to a minimum. When they do add these tastes, the arrangements fit together and do not sound like thrown together bullshit. Impressive.

Joe Northerner - Hell With Rebels
Decidedly anti-southern raps and rants masquerading as anti-racist, yet these type slogans and lyrics are about as racist as you can be. Canned beats and some casio type fills made me think initially this was a joke. Yet they've spent money to press up CD's, so somewhere in here there is a need. "White boys stink like horseshit when they sweat" is one of the better spits on the record. There are no pictures of the band and nothing on the website gives you any idea what these cats look like, but they sound black. Who cares, basically this stuff sucks.

Serpentine Path

Gelal's Dark Cult

Joe Northerner

UFO - Conspiracy Of Stars

Solid working class rock album. I honestly had to listen to it forcing myself to have an open mind. Most legacy hard rock groups like UFO long ago had their glory years, as does almost everyone in their younger days it seems. One thing UFO HAS achieved in its later years is maintaining being capable of releasing new material on a fairly consistent basis. Many bands that have been around close to as long might release an album every 5 or more years. Mostly for the ability to be able to tour under a new release banner. UFO still tour, record and release, tour again, year after year.

Also Vinnie Moore more than ever has defining moments on these later records. His playing on cuts such as the ripping "Bad Boy Run" has never been hotter. The riff holding it's own and the lead tearing it up. Vinnie at this point is the electric guitar "sound" of UFO, though purists can never get past the Shenker recordings as definitive. To me personally each guitarist over the years has brought their own contributions and unique sound to the band. Vinnie Moore does a great job of not only holding each of their legacies reflective in some of his playing, he's carved his own identity. He is finally getting the respect he deserves and keeps bringing it home.

Phil Moog remains, no pun intended, rock steady. He hasn't had that raspy voice of youth in decades but geeze the man is 67 already! His smooth lower end has only gotten better, soon as the voice comes in, if not already, you know who the band playing is. He has rarely been imitated, because his voice is so unique. The phrasings have taken on a bit more of quip, yet we all should be so lucky to be able after 50 years of heavy use of the box, to sound this good. If you want a classic band that's still workin' hard, check out UFO.


The Underground

^Since 2013^

^Since 1996^