Iowa's weird and wonderful Woodcreeper are back with their much anticipated second album, and it more than meets expectations. Mephisto's Kite is an alternative stoner rock delight, chock-full of groove with the band's signature warmth, while hiding a surprise around every turn. The excellent vocals are still charismatic and raw, but with more group vocals this time around to add a classy extra oomph. Opener "Chicory Witch" starts things off with thrumming fuzz and agile, busy drums to create an easy nod. Momentum builds until some bluesy, crunchy guitar kicks in, hinting at the soaring psych solo to bring the song to an epic close over crashing kitwork. Follow-up "Lavos Cronos" continues the bassy, bouncing grooves with some extra stoner heft, setting a firm foundation for punkier singing backed by hard-hitting gang vocals. In true Woodcreeper fashion, out of left field comes a frenetic sax solo that sounds eastern one second and Mars Volta-level spastic the next. Yet another curveball comes with the title track, a ballad with shimmering warmth that still absolutely stomps between choruses. At the risk of spoiling much more of the fun, before album's end the trio manage to fit in a Hendrix-channeling solo on "Ezekiel", classic rock boogie on "Puddy Cat Twist", and caustic riff assaults in closer "Orchid Gore", with a scorching space-bound solo as the cherry on top. Woodcreeper is still one of the best-kept secrets in stoner rock, but if Mephisto's Kite is any indication these madmen won't be under the radar for long.
Kvasir – 4 Glory Or Death Records – 2021 Rock, Hardrock, Metal, Proto, NWBHM, Classic Rated: ***
The Portland four that form Kvasir have released a new album through Glory Or Death Records called: 4. On it they will take you with them on a grand adventure through all ages of metal. Indeed, we can hear as much influences from the proto stages, the NWBHM era and all that which came after. But it safe to say their main forte lies in the proto era, the Iommi riffs and the Sabbathian grooves. And on those moments they infuse it with something doom or that tiny bit of stoner they turn the grand adventure into something truly majestic. Just check out that trucking second effort on the album titled: Authenticity & The Illusion of Enough. Tony Reed re-mastered the album for vinyl release and I’m keen to hear where it will differ from the digital release. Cause there are also a few instances where the tracks could perhaps benefit from a bit more thickness and a bit more low end. But even then you will love the curveballs these cats than throw, that funky, jazzy start of third tracker Slow Death Of Life which then turns into a Sabbath ode. And they boys know the best way to get people hooked, it to leave them wanting more. And after closing track Alchemy of Identity, you will surely be wanting more! It’s their full-sized debut, and it’s damn freaking tasty!
DeWolff – Live at Royal Theatre Carré with Metropole Orchestra Suburban / Electrosaurus Records – 2021 Rock, Blues, Seventies Rated: ****
The three-headed classic rock ‘n roll monster from the South of the Netherlands keeps on doing that thing you would love to see them do. It’s DeWolff, the band we’ve been mentioning ever since the HiVe started. It’s the band we’ve dug ever since their first release from 2008 and that we’ve seen release majestic album after majestic album, blossoming and exploding into those wonderful records we keep on spinning. Especially that Grand Southern Electric and Thrust album of later years, which were simply put: classic solid rock gold. And then during that pandemic year of 2020 they went into Carré with a handful of people in the audience and a stage filled with musicians. Cause they got the Metropole Orchestra to perform live with them and it works pretty darn good! Even though it’s not that needed across the record, cause the three have enough power by themselves, it still add enough or even more on those moments that called out for something orchestral. Those subtle touches during the blues track Medicine for instance or on those few tracks when it all comes together perfectly and during Sugar Moon when the Orchestra takes center stage. A track list of old and new songs, translated into epic proportions by the DeWolff three and the Metropole fifty. It’s DeWolff, Hammond, guitar and drums. And a complete orchestra to subtle fill every nook and cranny and turn the compositions into something grand…
Stonekind – Spirit of The Void Self released – 2021 Rock, Psych, Prog, Stoner, Grunge Rated: *****
Still going through that massive amount of emails and mail that piled up during only two weeks of holiday. Getting to grips with all that and the June 2021Doom Charts has turned into quite a process, also because the rent paying side of living has taken up more time than expected. But we love it all! And we love coming across those emails that immediately link with the choices the Doom Charts brethren made for the June edition. Like this months Number 7, Stonekind. I did remember their 2019 EP, but only vaguely, so I had no real idea what to expect when we pressed that almighty play button. And from those first musical moments their new full-sized album Spirit of The Void feels entirely compelling. And by the time that the third, title-track of the record, rolls around, you realize you’re listening to a bewitching piece of art. They way they push the prog rock envelope puts them in the same category as say King Buffalo. Using those same sort of elements and influences from psych and stoner to turn their prog rock into something compulsive. They have the same kind of strength and ability to make an impact during your very first listening session, both sonically and lyrically it will deliver in a way that will make you shiver, give you butterflies and cold sweats. And that’s just on a first session, and you will realize this is something huge. And with every next spin it will grow and grow into something even bigger. The three that were Stonekind in 2019 turned into a duo and implored help recording bass and drums from connected friends and their former bass player. It all sounds so perfectly executed, both bass and drums are tough, clear and spacious across the board. And the same can be said about the intense and strong vocals; as well as the guitar work. Which all manage to take the spotlight when there’s room and then immediately turn the light on another part of the song or instrument. Highly accomplished! The three that became two have delivered a wild masterpiece with Spirit of The Void. And with that final terra stomping track Nomadic they’ve pushed their album over the top and into legend, (and here we go again with the accolades), yes, a perfectly ballistically delivered record, a blow against the empire, a beautiful and intense strike, like a hammer of the Gods, that will live on in rock… forever…