Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

maanantai 25. tammikuuta 2016

Many more Astral Visions Shows added!


I'm now half-way through uploading all my old Astral Visions Internet Radio Shows to Mixloud, so every show up until #30 is now there for your aural pleasure...

keskiviikko 20. tammikuuta 2016

Astral Visions Shows 005-018 now online @ Mixcloud!

I have added lots of archive psych mixes to Mixcloud, just listen and chill out!

Vincebus Eruptum #20

This great Italian psych music magazine in full colour had it's 20th issue out at the end of last year and it sure is another winner. As always, it includes interviews with some excellent bands: Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats (horror doom psych favourites from the U.K.), Void Generator (Italy's space rock masters), Domovoyd (Finland's heavy psychonauts) and Abbot (another Finnish band with doomy retro hard rock vibe).

The doom metal maniacs (like myself...) will be happy to know that there is also a large article written by Klaus Kleinowski on the Maryland doom scene that has given us some amazing bands like Pentagram, Saint Vitus and The Obsessed that everybody should be familiar with by now, but I must admit that I hadn't even heard about many of the more unknown bands mentioned here! Lots of new stuff to find... Very interesting and enlightening! Also, you can find a great,  four-page special on Irish Fuzz, again lots of new information.

The editor Davide introduces his readers to Fruits de Mer Records that just happens to be my favourite label at the moment! Be sure to check them out if you like to hear mostly covers of 60s/70s psych, kraut, space rock, acid folk tracks done by amazing modern bands. The reviews section is full of mind-blowing ear candy again, so you can find reviews of releases by bands like Goatsnake, Pentagram, Giöbia, Deep Space Destructors, Arenna, Cosmic Wheels, The Machine, Polska Radio One, The Lysergics and Krautzone, just to name a few. Another excellent issue, order quickly and while you're at it, also get the new Linus Pauling Quartet LP and maybe some other stuff that Davide has also released on his vinyl-only record label.

perjantai 15. tammikuuta 2016

Space Mirrors - Cosmic Horror III: Stella Polaris / The Street Remains EP

Space Mirrors is an international Sci-fi space rock/prog metal collective led by Alisa Coral from Russia. Their releases feature different musicians from Europe, U.K. and U.S.A including some ex-Hawkwind members. I've been a fan since the debut CD The Darker Side of Art released in 2004 (remastered in 2012). Stella Polaris is the project's sixth CD and continues the dark occult themes of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft (one of my favourite authors!) they have followed since In Darkness They Whisper CD released in 2012. The music on this album released last summer is a cool hybrid of Hawkwind, Iron Maiden and Tiamat. This time they have kept things more coherent and accessible than before, as sometimes in the past the songs have been a bit more chaotic for me. of course you can't express the deep, dark universes created by Lovecraft without some chaos... But it's good to hear some catchy choruses etc. and the song structures are more interesting this time and there is more melody.

Stella Polaris includes eleven tracks. The opener "Haunter of the Dark" starts off with some flute by Nik Turner, who also plays flute and/or sax on three other songs and does narration on one more. Most of the tracks are rather slow or mid-tempo, but there are a couple of exceptions. Alisa plays analogue and digital synths, Mellotron and Theremin and the dark and impressive vocals of Martyr Lucifer are perfect for the gloomy mood. All guitars are played by the talented and metal oriented Sparky Simmons (Acid FM), and the very fluent rhythm section is Gabriel Monticello (bass, from Spaceseed) and Claudio Tirincanti (drums, Blaze Bailey). "(A Passer) Through the Storm" is a bit faster, energetic hard rocker that maybe sounds like Iron Maiden the most and wakes you up like does the other faster track "West of Arkham". Sparky plays some great solo guitar on many occasions. There are also some more atmospheric parts which is great. The longest track is the 11-minute "The Crawling Chaos" that begins with some spacey synth wind sounds and whispering and then gets heavy and progressive. One of the highlights for me! The albums ends with the haunting "The Master" that just has highly effective narration and flute by Nik Turner as well as synthesizers. What a great way to end a Lovecraftian horror metal album!

The Street Remains EP is a sort of sister release to Stella Polaris and was recorded at the same time and released a bit earlier. It starts off with an extended single version of "In the Blood" from Stella Polaris. Then we get three interesting cover songs... The legendary black metal band Morbid Angel have of course used the Lovecraftian themes a lot, and their classic "The Ancient Ones" suits very well for Space Mirrors as well! Tight stuff... A bit surprisingly, but to a good balance, they do a cover of Swedish pop group Vacuum's track "I Breath" and it sort of works. "Bad Things" is even more far away from heavy metal, you might have heard this song before on the cult series True Blood. I like this version! Then we get two original out-takes from the album sessions, "Earth Gods Dance" and the lengthy, trippy and ghostly "Rituals of Shub-Niggurath" that also features Nik Turner. Wow! Both of these releases are warmly recommended for all fans of heavy horror rock and metal and of course a must for Lovecraft followers. Powerful stuff.

torstai 7. tammikuuta 2016

Astral Visions @ Mixcloud

My very first Astral Visions Internet Radio Show from 2009 is now available at Mixcloud, check it out!

Astral Visions 001 by Astral Visions on Mixcloud

Astral Visions # 1 playlist

Track 1: 0:00-3:50 Baby Woodrose: "Countdown To Breakdown" (from S/T)
Track 2: 3:50-16:00 Secret Saucer: Mind Mechanics (from Tri-Angular Waves)
Track 3: 16:00-23:01 Colorstar: System Breaks Down (from S/T)
Track 4: 23:01-28:11 Korai Öröm: Tizenkettő negyed (from 2009)
Track 5: 28:11-32:44 Aavikko: Specto Supernus (from Novo Atlantis)
Track 6: 32:44-40:21 Avaruuskorpraali Paha Hirvi: Seksuaalisuuden Herääminen (from Yöhoitajan maailmasta)
Track 7: 40:21-48:19 Gong: How To Stay Alive (from 2032)
Track 8: 48:19-1:01:11 The Future Kings Of England: Time Flies Like An Arrow (from The Viewing Point)
Track 9: 1:01:11-1:04:48 Adrian Shaw & Rod Goodway: Coloured Rain (from Oxygen Thieves)
Track 10: 1:04:48-1:09:56 White Hills: Oceans of Sound (from Heads on Fire)
Track 11: 1:09:56-1:14:40 Wooden Shjips: Motorbike (from Dos)
Track 12: 1:14:40-1:18:27 Nightstalker: Enough Is Enough (from Superfreak)
Track 13: 1:18:27-1:24:30 Alan Davey: Too High (from Eclectic Devils)

Jess and the Ancient Ones - Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

Svart Records (SVR446)

Jess and the Ancient Ones is a psychedelic occult rock/metal band formed in 2010 in Kuopio, Finland. The musicians have history in various metal bands. I have followed their career since the beginning, and enjoyed their releases and live appearances very much. Last winter this female-fronted group supported King Diamond on their U.S. tour to a great success. They have also played for example at Roadburn Festival. The band's influences include lots of stuff from the 60s psych rock classics, 70s hard rock & Roky Erickson to (doom) metal and occult/horror rock. Their sound and style has similarities to bands like The Devil's Blood or Blood Ceremony, but they still have an original vibe of their own, especially after the first album.

As you might have guessed, Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes is the band's second full-length release. It has nine new tracks and lasts for 65 minutes. "Samhain" starts off the album with the cool, groovy surf beat that band has been utilizing since the Astral Sabbat 12" released in 2013. There are also some chilling spoken word samples from movies to enhance the ghostly mode of this very catchy horror song about witches. I just love the strong, melodic vocals of Jess, and the vintage sounding organ works really well with the many guitar layers. "The Flying Man" is another great track with definite 70s hard rock/blues vibe. The potential hit song "In Levitating Secret Dreams" brings to mind The Devil's Blood and of course it's an ode to Albert Hoffmann. This is also out on a 7" backed with a Dead Moon cover. The next piece "The Equinox Death Trip" is a hypnotic, dark and pretty straight forward song and one of my favourites with its mind-expanding qualities. "Wolves Inside My Head" is a rather melodic piece that rocks hard later on. A bit longer "Crossroad Lightning" is a slower, atmospheric piece that at first somehow brings to mind the intro of "Come to the Sabbath" by Black Widow and grows and transforms in a great way. "The Lovers" is a short and fast hard rocker, and "Goetia Of Love" a bit different, not that heavy but still creepy track. The album's psychedelic, lengthy master piece is the final track "Goodbye To Virgin Grounds Forever" that lasts for over twenty minutes. It starts off with some peaceful, beautiful and melancholic piano and Mellotron-like sounds. Then we get some pretty, bluesy ballad stuff, before the track starts to grow around the ten-minute marker and then gets pretty far-out and trippy... There are lots of different, varied parts and moods, really deep stuff. What a great album with superb production, can't wait to see the band live again this Saturday at Ääniwalli, Helsinki!