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German Sludge Magazine

Phantom Winter – Into Dark Science

Author: Meredith Schmiedeskamp

Band: Phantom Winter
Album: Into Dark Science
Genre: Post-Metal / Doom
Label: Golden Antenna Records
Release Date: March 2, 2018
Listen & Buy: JPC, Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes
Social: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter
Live:
Website:

Phantom Winter are known for creating dark and noiseful songs described as “Winterdoom” since their first album back in 2015. Following the tradition of „Cvlt“ and „Sundown Pleasures“, their third record „Into Dark Science“ is build on a sociocritical background and is difficult to conceive without looking at the linernotes and quotes from (feminist) writers and thinkers. On the musical side, the material is really demanding and doesn’t feature an overwhelming punch-in-the-stomach piece like “Bombing The Witches” from “Sundown Pleasures”. Blast-beats are appearing more frequently and the screams are scratching on the edge of edurability. Nonetheless, „Into Dark Science“ is very powerful and wipes out every inch of blooming flowers in spring.

The Shadow Lizzards – The Shadow Lizzards

Author: Sammy Fröbel

Band: The Shadow Lizzards
Album: The Shadow Lizzards
Genre: Retro-Rock, Desert Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Label: Tonzonen Records
Release Date: February 23, 2018
Listen & Buy: JPC, Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify
Social: Facebook, YouTube 
Live:
Website: theshadowlizzards.de

They prefer dark, hot and dusty places like the deserts of Southern California. Unfortunately, The Shadow Lizzards come from Nuremberg, Germany, but that doesn’t kill their groovy Desert Rock vibes at all. Another trio follows in the steps of Vintage Rock bands like Kadavar & Co. With their self-titled album, The Shadow Lizards release their first album after their formation in 2015. The band delivers a great Rock sound with fuzzy guitars, grooving drums and a lot of hammond organ action, the best part of this genre. The ten tracks of the record tick off every to-do list for perfect albums. You’ll get an instrumental opener with “Power On”, some songs to shake your hips to like “Breathtaker” & “Warzone” and last but not least a bluesy ballad – “Go Down”. Fans of old-school rock like Steppenwolf will like this record as well as Retro Rock newbies.

Ozone Mama – Cosmos Calling

Author: Andy Miller

Band: Ozone Mama
Album: Cosmos Calling
Genre: Stoner Rock
Label: Ripple Music
Release Date: January 19, 2018
Listen & Buy: JPC, Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp
Social: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter
Live:
Website: ozonemama.com

“Cosmos Calling” by the Hungary-based Stoner/Southern Rock band Ozone Mama is a fantastic, organic sounding hard rock album. Grooves like Led Zeppelin, and has elements of the Allman Brothers Band, and slight Soundgarden vibes. From the anthemic catchiness of songs like “The Alchemist”, to the psychedelia-drenched “Evil Ways”, these dudes know what they’re doing, and they do it well. This album is full of fantastic riffs, hard tight grooves, and occult influenced lyrics, upbeat and determined. More American than 95% of American music today. For fans of Stoner Rock with a Southern Rock flair to it.

Wedge – Killing Tongue

Author: Sammy Fröbel

Band: Wedge
Album: Killing Tongue
Genre: Classic Rock, Retro-Rock
Label: Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: February 9, 2018
Listen & Buy: JPC, Amazon, Bandcamp
Social: Facebook, YouTube
Live: ADTicket
Website: wedgeband.com

Hailing out of the musical tombs of Berlin, Wedge are another Retro-Rock monster. Their new album is a great mixture of 60s & 70s charme combined with smooth grooves.  This is what Rock ‘n’ Roll should be like: relaxed and fuzzy riffs with authentic Hammond organ vibes and hints of sitar sounds. Wedge formed in 2014 and attracted ever-increasing reputation by playing concerts and festivals all over Germany and also Europe. “Tired Eyes” refers to their life on the road in a Classic Rock ballad with a psychedelic atmosphere and this atmospheric vibe is an omnipresent element in Wedges’ music, with “Quarter To Dawn” being the best practice. This song comes with some serious The Doors vibes, but also with their own straight Classic Rock. “Killing Tongue” is a sturdy Retro-Rock album, which can be a perfect replacement when you’re sick of spinning your Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple records over and over again.

 

Atrox – Monocle

Author: Meredith Schmiedeskamp

Band: Atrox
Album: Monocle
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Dark Essence Records
Release Date: September 8, 2017
Listen & Buy: JPC, Amazon, Bandcamp
Social: Facebook, YouTube
Live: –

Atrox from Trondheim, Norway have been founded back in 1990 and changed their musical style in various ways since then. The new record called “Monocle” isn’t that easy to catch. Founded on modern Metal riffing with progressive rhythmic patterns and many electronics, they create detailed and demanding songs. On top of this, Atrox‘ vocals are very versatile, performed by Rune Folgerø (also known from Manes), who unites characteristics of Mike Patton (Faith No More), Messiah Marcolin (ex-Candlemass) and Warrel Dane (RIP, ex-Nevermore, Sanctuary). Exciting, eclectic and exhausting.

Freedom Hawk – s/t (Re-Release)

Author: Tamino Freitag

Band: Freedom Hawk
Album: s/t
Genre: Stoner Rock
Label: Ripple Music
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Listen & Buy: JPC, Amazon, Bandcamp
Social: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter
Live: –

Eight years after its original release, Freedom Hawk‘s second full-length gets a re-release, so anyone, who has not been able to get his or her hands on the original pressing, can enjoy. Freedom Hawk‘s bluesy, riff-laden Stoner Rock hits the mark on every track on this self-titled release. The groove is irresistible, the guitars drop riffs as tasty as can be, and production compliments every aspect of the band’s sound. The main influence here seem to be the old Kyuss classics – although singer T.R. Morton sounds more like Ozzy than the man himself nowadays. This is the sort of music that makes you want to heat up your BBQ on your balcony in the middle of November. If you dig the genre, you will dig the album!

Toxic Shock – Twentylastcentury

Author: Tamino Freitag

Band: Toxic Shock
Album: Twentylastcentury
Genre: Crossover, Thrash Metal
Label: This Charming Man Records
Release Date: November 10, 2017
Listen & Buy: JPC, Amazon, Spotify, Bandcamp
Social: Facebook, YouTube
Live: –

The band name and the colorful artwork already hint at what Toxic Shock deliver with their new album: Classic Crossover Thrash in the vein of Suicidal Tendencies and friends. The five-piece from Belgium sounds fresh and crispy without being too modern or hip. With the vocalist being a mixture between a young Mike Muir and Mantar‘s Hanno Klaenhardt, the riffs citing Slayer as well as the best of the best of 80s Hardcore, and their overall fuck-off attitude and well put lyrics, “Twentylastcentury” is simply fun to listen to and will certainly be a long-time invitee to my CD player.

With The Dead – Love From With The Dead

Author: Tamino Freitag

Band: With The Dead
Album: Love From With The Dead
Genre: Doom Metal, Sludge
Label:
Rise Above Records
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Listen & Buy: JPCAmazonSpotify, iTunes
Social: Facebook
Live: –

The follow up to With The Dead‘s 2015 debut requires patience, time, and the right mood to fully appreciate it. The song itself is often hidden under tons of heavy, slow riffage and none of the tracks are easy to digest. But as avid Sludge lovers, we know that the riff reigns supreme and there is no need for catchy choruses. What this album offers it sluggish, unrelenting and heavy music that crawls forwards slowly but steadily, crushing everything in its path. What the band has managed to perfect is the art of balancing heaviness and eerie atmospheres. At just the right times, the band hits the breaks or throws in a chilling melody that sends a satisfying shiver down your back. An album for one of these days.