Purveyors of ragged and riotous proto-metal since 2008, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell have dedicated the last decade to kick against the pricks and whipping up a thunderous storm of gritty, snotty and irresistible heavy rock. Hastings’ finest three-man riff squad will save the day yet again with their fourth album, the shrewdly-titled ‘Very Uncertain Times’. Comes on 180 gram vinyl.
Debut album from this hotly tipped new band. Planchettes are the coolest ‘new’ band on the scene. Mixing elements of 60s garage / horror rock with Thirteenth Floor Elevators tinged psychedelic rock and a bloodthirsty feast of Cramps / Birthday Party shakedowns, they are set to raise some much needed hell in rock and roll circles.
Cain was an experimental metal band based in Birmingham in the early 90’s. The band was formed by John Pickering and Pete Nash (Extreme Noise Terror) from Midlands crust punks Doom, along with fellow friends Clive Meldrum on drums and Stephen O’Connor on guitar. Influenced primarily by 80’s Doom metal such as Trouble, Candlemass and St Vitus, the band initially started writing slow, dirgy Black Sabbath inspired tracks, but soon found themselves adding more psychedelic sounds, noise and industrial influences as well as samples and soundscapes. Implementing delays, reverbs, wah wah pedals and effects, the sound owed much to the members love of space rock and bands like Loop or Spacemen 3, but was also underpinned by gargantuan grinding Pentagram and Celtic Frost inspired riffs, creating something unique, dreamlike and absorbing. This obscure and sought after release sees its remastered reissue.
Highly anticipated debut studio album from these British metal musicians. It features former Cathedral members Adam Lehan and Mark Wharton. Workshed’s self-titled album is a ferocious metal record: a relentless onslaught of scything riffs, verbal vitriol and oppressive aggression. For fans of early Entombed, Celtic Frost, Trouble and early Cathedral.
Originally released on Southern Lord Records back in 2001, Master of Brutality reached number 17 in Terrorizer magazine’s albums of the year. Featuring a cover of Blue Oyster Cult classic “Cities on Flame”, the rest of the album is drenched in typical blooded-soaked murder tales of the world’s sickest serial killers unspeakable acts against mankind from Japans true masters of doom!
Since then Church of Misery’s fan base has grown to a very respectable status around the world. Out of print for over six years, Rise Above Records is delighted to present this Doom Sludge classic in re-mastered form with three extra tracks and brand new, familiar looking artwork.
It was originally released in 2004 in very small quantities in Japan and France. Featuring a cover of Cactus classic “One Way or Another”, the rest of the album is drenched in typical blooded-soaked murder tales of the world’s sickest serial killers unspeakable acts against mankind. Heavy as Hell!
Since its initial release, Church of Misery‘s fan base has grown to a very respectable status around the world. Rise Above Records is delighted to present this Doom Sludge classic in re-mastered with four extra tracks (three exclusive to the vinyl edition) and redesigned packaging.
Limited editions include OBI strip and insert.
The fourth studio album from Giuda is almost upon us. Are you prepared? Critics are hailing it as their strongest album to date – we have to say that we agree! Rise Above Records is absolutely honoured to be releasing E.V.A. on April 5th – do not miss out!
All first pressing LPs come in gatefold sleeve with collectable sticker sheet!
Originally released independently by the band and limited to a suitably malevolent 666 vinyl copies, Twin Temple’s debut is so beautifully conceived and executed that it sounds like a long, lost classic from the ‘60s, unearthed in some dusty studio vault. With Alexandra’s soulful but siren-like voice and partner Zachary James’ dazzling, authentic arrangements, songs like The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It) and I’m Wicked pledge their allegiance to Satan in the most bizarrely accessible and infectious of ways. Bolstered by plenty of analogue hiss and a devotion to old school recording techniques, it’s an album that brings the band’s unique and enlightened take on Satanism to vivid, vital life.
“To us, there is a connection between Satanism and rock ’n’ roll – they’re both very much defined by transgression, rejection of societal norms and a fierce sense of individualism and outsider culture,” Alexandra avows. “Historically, American rock ’n’ roll played an integral role in social justice and equality. In the face of racist Jim Crow laws of the south & segregation, you had black and white teenagers dancing together at the Frankie Lymon shows. This was about social change, about breaking down boundaries and all these oppressive norms of the old guard. In our minds, vintage rock’n’roll, doo-wop and Satanism go hand in hand. But at the same time, we recognize that it’s not the most likely of pairings, ha ha!”
“We just wanted to reissue it the way it is and partner up with a cool label that wouldn’t want to piss all over it!” laughs Alexandra. “It needed to be someone who got what we were doing and who would let us be ourselves. So when we were thinking about labels, Rise Above was the one. All the artists are eclectic and yet they’re unified, by sheer originality.”
2019 promises to be a big year for Twin Temple. As the rest of the world is exposed to the extraordinary likes of I Know How To Hex You and Lucifer, My Love, the band will embark on some major touring in support of Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Graveyard, with further plans to spread the word of Satan being formulated as we speak.
You can probably feel it already. Amid the shimmering haze of dusk. In the marrow of your bones. The darkness is getting darker. Malevolent forces are on the prowl. The wasteland is beckoning. Uncle Acid is on his way home. A disorientating journey through Kevin Starrs (AKA Uncle Acid)’ wonkiest dreams, Wasteland glides majestically from punchy and direct psych-rock anthems like “I See Through You” and “Shockwave City” to the viscous, somnambulant ooze of the eight-minute “No Return” and the twinkly-eyed bad trip of the album’s mesmerising title track. Recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound studio in Los Angeles, Wasteland boasts the kind on irresistibly raw and exuberant sound that only the greatest bands can generate. Yet more confirmation that Uncle Acid exist in their own musical universe, Wasteland is also a powerful cautionary tale: one rooted in the alien landscapes of Starrs’ imagination, but with a very clear connection to the deranged chaos of today’s political world. As humanity cheerfully circles the plughole, Dystopian visions and present-day horrors have become more-or-less interchangeable, making Wasteland’s ghoulish surrealism a lot more pertinent and disturbing in the process. While most musicians seem content to chase their own (or other people’s tails), Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats remain proud and resolute individualists and Wasteland is simply their most powerful and memorable spurge of creativity to date. Masterfully echoing the magical atmospheres of heavy music’s turbulent past while sounding entirely unlike anything else available to human ears, this is what happens when the shadows come to life and suffocating darkness, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats style, is the only show in town.
Witchcraft is a record which conjures up the macabre essence of vintage Pentagram and, of course, Black Sabbath, whilst incorporating influences as wide apart as the Jethro Tull-esque folky Prog of “Her Sisters They Were Weak” and the bludgeon riffing style of early 70s Bang in “I Want You To Know”.
Elsewhere, Schyssta Lögner evokes memories of Sweden’s original hard-rocking Progsters, Novembre, and the inclusion of the cover Please Don’t Forget Me from Bobby Leibling’s 1970 pre-Pentagram outfit, Stone Bunny, pays further homage to his criminally overlooked genius.
Witchcraft are a band that can swing effortlessly from orthodox Doom to Blues, Folk and Jazz, whilst always remaining shrouded in the cloak of influence from some of the more obscure moments of the 70s cult rock underground. Time has shown that this timeless 2004 release sounds as fresh today as it did back then.
Originally released in 2000 on Rise Above Records. The LP version was released by The Music Cartel. In 2004 Rise Above Records re-released the album and included a bonus track, a cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Into the Void”.
In late January 2011, Rise Above Records reissued the album in a digipack form containing three bonus tracks; No Law (taken from the earlier High Times release), No Class (Motörhead cover) and Freelance Fiend (Leafhound cover).
Rise Above, The philosophy behind Witchskull’s take on the essence of primeval heaviness is simple enough. Listen to the first few seconds of the Australian trio?s brand new, second album Coven?s Will and if the vibe doesn?t instantly grab you by the balls and the synapses then maybe you walked in through the wrong door. Channelling the spirit of the metal gods and injecting every last moment of their rampaging anthems with a jolting dose of lysergic menace, Witchskull are the unstoppable real deal. Formed in Canberra in 2014, Witchskull grabbed the attention of the hirsute, underground hordes with their first demo in 2015. The band?s debut album, The Vast Electric Dark, emerged soon after to great acclaim: its thunderous, turbo-charged squall striking an instant, devilish chord with headbangers hungry for life affirming riffs, a dash of grubby-fingered authenticity and lashings of supernatural venom. Honed and nurtured in sweaty practice rooms and on stages across the band?s native Australia, the Witchskull sound has subsequently evolved, leading to Coven?s Will: a sophomore outing that looks certain to thrust the three-piece to the upper echelons of the stoner world. Recorded at Studio G in Brooklyn, NYC, with producers Billy Anderson (Neurosis/Sleep/Buzzov.en) and Jason Fuller (Blood Duster) and mixed at Jason?s Goatsound Studio in Melbourne, Coven?s Will has mutated into a snarling, muscular acid-metal monster.
Formed in 2008 by guitarist J Frezzato (ex-Electric Six) and vocalist Masha Marjieh, this ten-legged groove machine began as the channelling of a nocturnal hallucination. Where many other like-minded bands adhere rigidly to an ethos of total-retro-or-die, Octopus sound neither like the past nor the present. Instead, this is a wholesale rejuvenation of psychedelic rock’s life-affirming essence. From the album’s dazzling, synapse-tickling artwork to the songs’ cerebral but surreal lyrical conceits, it’s an enthralling soundtrack for a magical world gone wrong.
The long out of print Doom Metal classic Sun Meditation, by cult German band Naevus, will be available on vinyl for the first time from October 27th 2017. It is a limited pressing in gatefold sleeve with insert. Sun Meditation was originally released on CD only by Rise Above records back in 1998 and has been out of print ever since.
Recorded on a tight budget of stashed dole money and with little knowledge or regard for conventional recording techniques, the chaotic results speak for themselves. Distorted vocals, out of tune harmonies, ragged musicianship and everything pushed to the red. The clatter of mic stands falling over mid performance, the rustling of lyric papers, the missed key changes and flubbed lines. Everything you would want to avoid is here. Self-funded, self-recorded and self-released to a fanfare of silence, “Vol 1” was a true D.I.Y. effort from start to finish. No great ambition, no target audience, no press support. Just a collection of songs for anyone who would listen. With its mix of budget horror lyrics, Everly Brothers obsessed harmonies, downer rock riffs, overly long guitar solos and bizarre high pitched vocals, “Vol 1” had very limited appeal outside a small group of underground fanatics.
Inside the Skull is an inviting listen, opening with a bombastic guitar lick, showing off a fuzzy, old school production.
Slippery, horror-inspired leads clash with earth-heaving riffs as Church’s aching, nasal-toned voice envelops it all in a doomy haze. Songs like “Give Me a Sign,” which appears right in the middle of the record, offer a perfect change of pace with gloomy, clean-toned guitars that beg for the icy cold touch of the hand of death.
It seemed like Swedish classic heavy rockers Troubled Horse kind of went to ground after the cycle ended for their 2012 debut, Step Inside (review here). They played a few fests, some shows besides, and put out a video for “Bring My Horses Home” (posted here) in 2014, but half a decade is a considerable span between a first and second album, so their return is a welcome one. Revolution on Repeat, the Örebro natives’ second long-player, will be out on Rise Above Records March 31, and for anyone who’s been missing the frenetic upbeat shuffle of Graveyard, or perhaps wondered what might’ve been had that band been able to pull that rhythmic thrust into a more modern production context, songs like “The Filthy Mob” should provide a fix, while the doomier vibe of “Track 7” does likewise for Witchcraft fans rendered bereft by that outfit’s current direction.
Horse was formed in South London during the late sixties. They created occult influenced progressive hard rock that was ahead of its time. Guitarist Rod Roach had briefly played in an incarnation of British psych-rock legends Andromeda before forming Horse with other key member, vocalist Adrian Hawkins. Alongside bassist Colin Standring, the band also featured legendary drummer Ric Parnell, later of Atomic Rooster (amongst many others) and future star of This is Spinal Tap (aka Mick Shrimpton)! The obscure rockers have been a favorite among collectors for many years. For Twisted Minds Only is an album long overdue for an official reissue.
Recorded in 1969, originally released in 1970 and bootlegged countless times from scratchy vinyl transfers, Rise Above Relics is now finally presenting this detailed release mastered and cut directly from the original master tapes. Featuring a treasure trove of previously unheard/unreleased material, For Twisted Minds Only is certain to have connoisseurs and collectors of the period frothing at the bit. This long classic gallops out of the gate with the psychedelic “The Sacrifice” that could feel at home on a Jefferson Airplane album from the era. With its bloody chorus and the equally creepy second track “See The People Creeping Round” we can see how this Horse might be an acquired taste.
This whole retro occult rock/metal movement fronted by serpentine women is honestly pretty neat when I think about it, as it’s a full-blown revival of a scene that never actually existed in the first place.
In Blood Ceremony’s case, their format can be defined as being built around early Black Sabbath but with strong prog and folk influences from Jethro Tull. Lyrical inspirations linger in the vein of Black Widow and Coven’s creepy narratives delivered by a sorceress. Concerning Lord of Misrule, Jefferson Airplane also comes to mind with the fuzzbox solos and mellower moments of psychedelia, yet, and here’s where things get interesting, I also find myself comparing some of the riffs and beefy attitude to the kind of earthy heavy rock that bands like Bloodrock were pumping out in 1970.
So is this music a complete throwback to 1970? Not exactly, as some of the riff-work, such as those gracing “The Devil’s Widow”, channels a NWOBHM swagger, and certain moments like the driving music comprising the verses of the title track owe more to another retro scene, 90’s stoner rock, than the 1970 forebears. Also, despite all the vintage sounding instruments and the spaced-out reverb-laden production, the drums, including the bass drum, are expertly mixed. Drums always suffered in the mix back in 1970 with few exceptions (basically John Bonham), so I’m glad Blood Ceremony didn’t go “full-retard” as far as mimicking an era long past.
The most important aspect I can say about Lord of Misrule though is the increased quality of the band’s songwriting over their early releases. As much as their debut had laid down the proper “lava lamps and skulls” vibe, the songs felt like mere exercises in capturing a spooky retro atmosphere. It was cool as a whole, but the individual songs lacked any of the catchiness that made Sabbath and Tull so memorable and timeless. With their newer material, the focus seems more on grooving melodies than vintage sounding equipment displays. For instance, “Flower Phantoms” not only sounds like some lost trippy nugget from 1968, but it could’ve actually had been a minor hit if it were released that year. It’s a good song regardless of when it came out, and not just a good impersonation of a bygone phase in rock history.
Blood Ceremony still revels in the occult and pagan festivities, though the blatant Black Widow style odes to Astaroth and friends has tempered somewhat. There’s also a fair amount of genre mish-mashing occurring, with the prog and folk tendencies practically on an even par with the band’s early doom metal origins. Singer Alia is arguably still the main focal point, with her vocal delivery being sassy and with a bit of venom, but not shrill and overwrought like a possessed gypsy. Her flute and organ contributions flesh out the music in a natural sense, and by that I mean those instruments don’t come across like unnecessary gimmicks for an “authentic throwback” feel. It helps in that the guitars themselves aren’t particularly crunchy and sharp in nature, so the flute solos blend in seamlessly with the riffs rather than stand out comically above them. The rest of the musicians play well enough, but more importantly they keep things loose technically. For a band with occasional prog influences in their sound, they sure in hell don’t behave in accordance with what typically defines progressive metal. The guitar solos also keep the retro spirit alive, as if dudes like Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie never existed.
Whenever I hear bands like this, I wonder just how cool it would’ve been if these sort of heavy occult doom acts with witchy babes wailing about the awesomeness of sacrifices and midnight rituals were all the rage back in 1970 when the “peace & love” rock scene of the late 60’s flickered out into darker cynicism. Maybe there were a couple of acts that sounded like Blood Ceremony and The Devil’s Blood that squirreled about back then that never got off the ground, or maybe not. Still, the fact that there’s a whole lot of these groups crawling out of the woodwork ages after the time of their direct influences is kind of neat, like some fucked up time warp or musicians thawed out of a frozen stasis after 35 years. With no shortage of these bands now plugging into tube amps and releasing swirly colored vinyl presses, Blood Ceremony remain as one of the top tier acts, with a sense of conviction that doesn’t seem artificial whatsoever. They definitely aren’t a bandwagon hopper, and they continue to evolve in a direction that matters only to them. But this shit is not just sincere, but really damn good, and while Lord of Misrule is not as heavy as something like their more Sabbath influenced Living with the Ancients release, the scope of the music is wider and the songs possess a stronger resonance. So like the best of those British blood and boobs period piece horror flicks released during the time of Sabbath’s debut, Black Widow’s Sacrifice and Jethro Tull’s Benefit, this album may be camp, but damn is it really cool camp.
For the last two decades, Church Of Misery have sawed off only the finest in uncompromising doom. The revered Japanese masters are lifelong practitioners of the genre, honoring and extrapolating upon the Sabbathian legacy from which all detuned life springs forth. Church Of Misery’s sixth and latest album, And Then There Were None, is another blood-soaked trip through homicidal hell, with songs inspired by killers both infamous and obscure. But while the murderous inspiration for the tunes remains the same, the cast of characters is almost completely new.
In 2014, Church Of Misery bassist and mastermind Tatsu Mikami was forced to assemble a new lineup for the band’s follow-up to 2013’s Thy Kingdom Scum. His chosen few reside on American soil: Blood Farmers guitarist Dave “Depraved” Szulkin, Earthride drummer Eric Little (ex-Internal Void) and Repulsion frontman (and former Cathedral bassist) Scott Carlson on vocals. “All the musicians involved in this album are undoubtedly the best in this scene,” Tatsu enthuses. “So you will enjoy listening to all play tastefully.”
And Then There Were Nonemarks Tatsu’s first Church Of Misery endeavor with foreign musicians. He, Szulkin and Little met in Maryland to rehearse the bassist’s riff-ready material. “It was a challenge because there was not much time to make this record—only two weeks,” he explains. “One week for rehearsals and then one week to record all materials. Before I arrived in Maryland, I was a little bit nervous. But after the first rehearsal, I knew it was gonna be a good album.”
Opener “The Hell Benders” takes its title from Django director Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 spaghetti western, which was itself inspired by the notorious Bender family murders that blackened frontier Kansas in the 1870s. “Make Them Die Slowly” takes its lyrical cues from the 1940s killing spree of John George Haigh, a.k.a. “The Acid Bath Killer,” who disposed of wealthy Londoners in a vat of sulfuric acid. Another British serial killer takes a nefarious turn in “Doctor Death,” which exhumes the more recent—but no less lethal—exploits of disgraced physician Harold Shipman. “Both Haigh and Shipman were suggested by Tatsu,” Carlson explains. “Shipman is sort of a British Jack Kevorkian, except that he left out the one small detail of victim’s consent!”
Carlson wrote all the lyrics for And Then There Were None, which also marks the first time he’s done vocals for a full-length album since Repulsion’s genre-inventing classic,Horrified. “I was afraid to listen to it for a while because I haven’t recorded a full album of vocals in almost 30 years,” he says. “Once Tatsu had mixed everything I listened back and was able to enjoy it. The riffs are so strong on this record that even my 50 year-old vocal chords couldn’t bring it down! I’m very pleased to be a part of this and I can’t wait for Church of Misery fans to hear it!”
“Contained within are ten tracks of the type of sonic psyche-frazzling heaviness and blood-drenched pop that have made Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats one of Britain’s great cult bands.
Recorded at Toe Rag studios in early 2015 with engineer Liam Watson (White Stripes, Tame Impala, Electric Wizard), their fourth opus The Night Creeper finds the quartet in full-on death-tripping, third eye-widening mode. Here songs ooze louche evil over flesh-melting riffs that creep like hot magma bubbling up through the earth’s crust at their own malevolent pace. This album is in no hurry to destroy you. But it will. It will.”