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tiistai 26. helmikuuta 2019

Hotlist February 2019

This is the hot stuff at Astral Zone HQ at the moment:

Maat Lander ‎– Seasons Of Space • Book #2
Snakes Don't Belong In Alaska S/T
King Diamond ‎– Songs For The Dead Live
Ed Wynne ‎– Shimmer Into Nature
The Spacelords ‎– On Stage
Mansion ‎– First Death of The Lutheran
Hexvessel ‎– All Tree
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. / The Observatory ‎– Trails To The Cosmic Vibrations
The Honey Pot Bewildered Jane
Moths & Locusts - Come Together Right Now 7" flexi


tiistai 19. helmikuuta 2019

The Spacelords - On Stage

Tonzonen Records (TON 055)

This German psychedelic space rock trio just keeps on getting better and better... This marvellous sounding double LP (the CD version was withdrawn due to slight mastering error) is their second live album and oh boy the band is on fire. I have to say that on their first releases (2010-2013) the band was possibly still finding their own way to make psychedelic music but since Synapse in 2014 and especially since Akee Kazmaier replaced the previous bass player Klaus Werz after that the band have really found the right spot. At the moment they are without a doubt one of the best instrumental psych/space rock trios in Germany, if not in Europe or even the world.

Their drummer Marcus also used to play in another superb German psych rock trio Electric Moon and there are some similarities with these groups for sure. Both play trippy, spacey, often rather heavy but as often also dreamy instrumental rock where effects also have an important role. While a big part of Electric Moon's lengthy tracks are very hypnotic The Spacelords might have some more melody and progression, but it still varies. Electric Moon is mostly instrumental, but The Spacelords don't have any vocals at all. Both bands jam a lot, but Electric Moon plays more pure improvisational stuff while The Spacelords have more structured numbers, also on live gigs like this one.

On Stage was recorded at a privat event called Spaceparty in a big garden, more like a park, that was full of amazing plants, art and lights. Unfortunately there are no pics of the actual event, so all the pics in the cover art were taken somewhere else. Anyway, the spirit of this magical garden is well documented in the playing of this very talented and experienced trio. They play with such a vibe and conviction that you almost feel like you were part of the audience while listening to this album. The live recordings have not been overdubbed or anything, so what you hear is exactly as it happened. The recording/mixing/mastering job by Matt Korr is perfect, and even the gatefold vinyl cover is amazingly well done. The six long tracks on the album include renditions of studio tracks from the couple of latest albums Liquid Sun and Water Planet plus two new tracks that I had not heard before. The music of The Spacelords makes me want to just close my eyes and journey to the stars in my mind. It's pretty easy with sounds of this caliber! Do yourself a favour and check this band out if you haven't already. The more limited coloured version (only 100 copies) of On Stage was sold-out on preorder but you might still be able to score the black edition limited to 400 copies. The official release date is apparently 22.2. and I can't find any videos or even sound clips online at the moment.

Edit: I just heard that a repress is coming up!

The Spacious Mind - The No. 4 Or 5 Gravy Band

Essence Music

Oh joy! Soon after the compilation CD The Drifter put out last year by Trail Records in the U.S. there is a new studio LP by one of my favourites The Spacious Mind. These psych/spacerock/acid folk freaks from the remote Northern forests of Sweden have been pushing their own brand of euphoric, mind-melting psychedelia to the man since the early 90s. If you count also all the limited live etc. editions, The No. 4 Or 5 Gravy Band is actually already the 15th album by the band, and that's not counting the 10" or the compilation CD. The album will be released as three very limited editions on LP only (at least at the moment). The special edition is limited to just 99 copies and comes with a bonus disc, hand-made cover etc. so that's definitely the one to get if you can afford it. The black and white vinyl editions are both limited to 100 copies and reasonably priced.

So, what do we get this time? TSM are famous for long tracks, and the tendency continues. There are two tracks on side A and just one on B. The dreamy, beutiful 13-minute title track "The Cinnamon Tree" begins our journey. And what a journey it is! I get some early 70s Pink Floyd vibes at the beginning. The tranquil, druggy vocals join in somewhere before the five-minute-marker. The track speeds up and gets a bit more intense during the five last minutes with added percussion, more guitar etc. but still stays rather laid-back and spacey. I also love the melancholic, folky melody at the end, amazing! "You Don't Know It But You Are" presents the band in their more experimental mode with all kinds of percussive kling-klang and weird sounds finished with an ambient drone. You need to be "in the zone" to really appreciate this I guess. Play it load and see where it takes you! On the B side, "Creekin' At The Goose" explodes into heavy, cacophonic maelstorm right away. Before two minutes have passed things cool down a bit and a slow beat begins. Drums, keyboards, bass and electric guitars create a hypnotic, trippy web of sound that just sucks you in. You feel your mind melting, little by little, but you just couldn't be happier about it... The fuzz guitar solo is perfect for the mood. This goes on for several minutes and it is unsure if your friends will recognize you anymore... After ten minutes the track finally gets faster and groovier and starts to really rock out. You have arrived into a totally different, strange and wonderful universe and that's exactly the point of this kind of music. To take you to places you couldn't possibly reach without the sonic assistance. The Spacious Mind still is one of the best tickets for this kind of ride. Try it!

tiistai 12. helmikuuta 2019



London, Brussel and Deventer will be drenched into the fuzz this February!

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS & BOOKING is proud to kick off further events of their Heavy Psych Sounds Fest-series, which celebrated its latest edition just in November 2018 in Innsbruck, Austria. The Italian cult & fuzz rock label, in cooperation with Poison For Souls, invited high class acts such as BRANT BJORK, GIÖBIA, MOTHER'S CAKE, BELZEBONG & many more, to turn the capitol of Tyrol into a psychedelic rock wonderland! Due to the massive success and participation of the heavy rock scene with fans from all over Europe who made the fest so special, HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS is getting ready to expand and will be running the highly acclaimed events also in LONDON (The Borderline), BRUSSEL (Magasin4) as well as in DEVENTER (Burgerweeshuis) between February 22nd - 24th 2019!

Beside killer acts such as BLACK RAINBOWS, GIÖBIA, DEADSMOKE and many more, the London date will also see the release show of DEAD WITCHES (feat. Electric Wizard's co-founding member Mark Greening) to celebrate their sophomore album 'The Final Exorcism! Expect heavy as hell shows from all bands, the finest and almighty riffs, and of course lots of cool merch at the Heavy Psych Sounds booth. Be quick to purchase some of the last available tickets, as the exciting band line-ups look as follows:

London (UK) Official event // TICKETS
Brussel (BE) Official event // TICKETS
Deventer (NL) Official event // TICKETS

Mona Miluski / ALL NOIR /

keskiviikko 6. helmikuuta 2019

Heavy Moon - Infinity (2007-2018)

Clostridium Records (CRCD0016)

Heavy Moon is a psychedelic space rock project by Jacob Rehlinger from Toronto, Canada. He has also released different kinds of music as Moonwood, King Pong Dub System, Spume and under his own name, mostly on Canadian Arachnidiscs label. This German compilation CD, however, is the first occasion I've heard about him. As the title suggests, this is a sort of "best of" compilation of stuff released on different albums that originally came out 2007-2018. There is also one exclusive track on the CD.

I've got to say I really enjoy Heavy Moon's take on instrumental, psychedelic space rock. Even though everything is played by Mr. Rehlinger himself (I guess), the music has a proper band vibe. I think at least some of the music is based on jams and improvisation, but there are also tracks that are clearly more delicately composed. The overall vibe is rather cosmic and the sound quality is great, so you don't have to be afraid to hear muddy and distorted bedroom four-track tapes. I like the play list on this compilation since there's a good balance in between hard rocking Hawkwind-like tracks and more peaceful, dreamy and mellow pieces that also have have some Pink Floyd vibes for example. Sometimes I'm also a bit reminded of Vibravoid or Electric Orange, but the sound and vibe is still different somehow. Some of the coolest track titles include "Captain Nebulous", "Orbital Drift", "Black Eagle Nebula", "Astrocosm" and the exclusive track "Dieter Visits The Dream Dimension". Great use of electric guitar, synths and organ as well as bass and drums. I wish that this almost 80-minute blast of brain-melting spacey acid rock would also be released on double vinyl but right now this is your best change to get a ticket to outer space.

Uleåborg Festival Of Psychedelia 2019 artists revealed!

The fifth Uleåborg Festival Of Psychedelia (UFOP will take place in Oulu on 12.-13.7.2019. These are the bands/artists:

Electric Moon (GER)
Yuri Gagarin (SWE)
Mara Balls
Tuomas Henrikin Jeesuksen Kristuksen Bändi (THJKB)
Jess By The Lake
Kannabinõid (EST)
The Aeon
Oulun Ylioppilasteatteri ry
Maan Tomu
Meteor Vortex
Lasse Tapio Junnila
Käki / Junkyard Shaman
Kadonnut Manner
Jussi Alaraasakka

maanantai 4. helmikuuta 2019

Son Cesano - Submerge

Monobuster Records ‎ (MNBR012)
Son Cesano is a new instrumental psychedelic stoner rock band from Switzerland. Submerge is their debut album and was released in December last year on CD, vinyl and digital. It has six tracks, four of them pretty long. The band has a traditional two guitarists, a bass player and a drummer line-up so no keyboards or anything extra except for some percussion by the drummer. The album has a pleasant, emotional vibe and things never get out of hand or too wild of freaky.

The ten-minute title track starts off the ceremonies and I like the riffs and atmospheric melodies on this one. "Cold Sleep" has some heavier riffing but also beautiful, more tranquil parts, very nice. The adventurous "Aberration" is the longest track at 15:41 and has quite a lot stuff going on. The more minimal section brings to mind Colour Haze a bit but at some points they get to almost Sleep-like heaviness. "Martini Effect" is a shorter mid-tempo piece with some cool solo guitar work. "36070" begins in a very mellow way but things get heavier on the journey... Again some Colour Haze vibes can be detected. The album is finished with "Dust Age" that somehow feels like more mainstream rock music, although there's a long, quiet passage in the middle. Submerge is a promising debut and worth checking out if you like instrumental, emotional stoner rock with some psychedelic elements.

lauantai 2. helmikuuta 2019

Trail - Spaces

Clostridium Records (CR 039)

Trail is a new heavy, psychedelic stoner blues post rock band from Darmstadt, Germany. Spaces, that was first relesed on their Bandcamp site as a digital download last year, is their debut album. It was also released on vinyl (three different, limited editions) on Clostridium late last year. There is also a promo CD that I've got. The band is formed by two guitar players, a drummer and a bass player. One of the guitarists also sings on the first track. The tracks on the album have no actual names, just numbers and they don't go in order. Numbers 2, 8 and 9 are on the A side, 1 and 4 on the flip side.

"No. 2" is the shortest at 5:23. It's a pretty standard but energetic and effective, groovy stoner rock number with a bit of 70s vibe. Tight playing by all! The vocals are okay too. "No. 8" is a more atmospheric, instrumental number with some sounds of thunder in the beginning. This maybe comes closer to some of the grunge bands than stoner rock but I still like it. "No. 9" is at first groovier hard stoner rock again but goes into soulful, bluesy territory as well. Not bad at all! It's another instrumental. The over 10-minute "No. 1" is also a cool, atmospheric and sometimes heavy instrumental that this time has more post rock elements but at times is proper heavy stoner rock. One of the highlights. The longest (10:45) track "No. 4" has a more psychedelic feel to it, so of course I'm also enjoying this one. There's some cool guitar soloing towards the end... Tasty! This band might not be the most original in style or really that psychedelic but they know what they are doing and do it well. Check them out!

Astral Visions Mixcloud Radioshow #8 online

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #85 now online with new music by Maat Lander​, Heavy Moon, Janne Westerlund​, Helicon, Shepherd's Biathorrr, Trail, Dark Fog, Electric Crayon Set, Vuono, Sex Blender, Mansion, Los Tabanos Experience, Snakes Don't Belong in Alaska & Psychedelic Suns. Enjoy!

perjantai 1. helmikuuta 2019

Orbiter / Roadog - Anthropocene / Reinventing the Wheels 7"


I have always digged the split 7" singles since they are a great, relatively cheap and fast way to get to know new bands. And they are on vinyl and very suitable for DJ use! This little fellow presents two new promising bands in the Finnish stoner rock circles: Orbiter and Roadog. Both bands have been playing together for a few years already but were new to my, anyway.

Orbiter from Helsinki gives us a six-minute, mid-tempo heavy rocker called "Anthropocene". The clean, melodic vocals are maybe closer to grunge than your usual dirty stoner/desert rock bands but the guitar sound is rather heavy and even a bit doomy. This track has a nice, catchy groove that makes you close your eyes and nod your head. I like it! The sound quality is also great. I hope these guys can produce a proper full-length album soon!

Also from Helsinki, Roadog (named after a bicycle) has chosen a lot faster, more energetic and in-your-face title track from their debut CD "Reinventing the Wheels". It has a little bit of Fu Manchu vibe which is cool. This is great hard rock'n'roll for drinking beer and partying! It's a bit short at only three minutes in length but it sure makes you want to hear more.

So in summary, this is a very successful and enjoyable 7" split single by two great new Finnish heavy stoner rock bands so if you are a fa of the genre I'd recommend a fast purchase before these are gone. Personally I'm sad I missed their split 7" release party at Bar Loose but I will for sure catch them live later somewhere along the road. They are playing in Tampere next Thursday, for example.