I loved Fire Down Below‘s debut so much that their sophomore album arrived with some admittedly unreasonable expectations from me. I mean, Viper Vixen Goddess Saint was my literal favorite album of last year, kind of hard to live up to. This one, however, just didn’t grab me…. Not right away, anyway. But after that initial letdown, I gave it another go and it got under my skin. And it started haunting my dreams. And then I couldn’t stop listening to it. And now it’s my belated Pick of the Week, after having listened to it many times over the last month since its release.
Hymn of the Cosmic Man is basically a concept album, loosely based around the story of a man who volunteers to go into space to save the planet, with what are, let’s say, some mixed results. Along the way we get treated to our own trip as the music twists and turns from laid back instrumentals to driving rock and spacey mixed key interludes… and then is over before we’re ready to be brought back to earth.
Standout tracks: Ignition/Space Cruiser, Saviour of Man.
I am loving these Belgian blokes and their imaginative heavy fuzz rock, and until I can see them live I’ll just keep blasting these albums as often as I can!
Fire Down Below on the Web:
Portland’s legendary doom outfit Witch Mountain just dropped a self-titled LP and it is a must-have for heavy blues, stoner and doom fans!
Witch Mountain has been around since 1997 with a few lineup changes. New vocalist Kayla Dixon is a revelation, her vocals alternately soaring, growling, and hitting you with the heavy feels.
I had the pleasure of seeing them live in San Francisco last week, and they brought arena level energy to the small club I saw them in. These guys are the real deal. Catch them if you can!
Witch Mountain is currently on tour playing with local openers across the US, July 11 to August 12. Their latest effort is available on Bandcamp.
Witch Mountain on the web:
ASG is one of those bands that if you know, you know. I’ve been into them since MySpace and they have a habit of disappearing and reappearing unexpectedly. Case in point – they just surprise dropped their first album in five years, just in time for a little poolside headbanging!
Hailing from North Carolina, ASG and their brand of punky modern heavy guitar rock evolves and matures with new Relapse Records album Survive Sunrise, which was recorded, mixed and mastered by longtime producer Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer, Monster Magnet). Standout tracks: Survive Sunrise, Lightning Song, Heavy Scars, Weekend Money.
Run, don’t walk to get this one, going to be one of the heavy albums of the summer!
ASG on the web: