Sunday, October 20, 2019

Bandcamp Picks 184: Alunah, Besvärjelsen, Planet Of Zeus, Mars Red Sky

Hailing from the city that invented doom metal, Birmingham's Alunah have a lot to live up to. Written in the wake of a considerable line-up change, Violet Hour expands the band's psychedelic-tinged doom with layers of goth and trad metal (courtesy of new guitarist Dean Ashton, who's also in the current incarnation of Diamond Head). And new vocalist  Siân Greenaway delivers a performance that belies her relative inexperience. Simply sublime. [€7]

[Listen to my interview with Alunah here.]

Should Alunah be looking for a Scandinavian touring partner, they'd find the perfect one in Stockholm's Besvärjelsen. The five song EP Frost lets the band's twin guitar stylings provide a bedrock for Lea Alazam's forlorn vocals, resulting in a more progressive take on bluesy doom. A band with break-out potential who could benefit from a more globally-friendly name. [$5]

Athens' Planet of Zeus are a throwback to the Seventies throwbacks of the Nineties. Their fifth album Faith In Physics brings to mind Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet at their most fringe-jacketed and bell-bottomed; but retro fidelity doesn't stop Babis Papanikolaou's vocals from being political (and at times, unexpectedly aggro) - a commendable change from the usual "girls, drugs, and cars" subject matter of most stoner rock bands. [€8]

The long-running French trio Mars Red Sky have been slowly transforming from European stoner rock band to something truly unique. The Task Eternal is a varied, ever-evolving album that adds a post-rock ambience to the usual Kyuss-inspired grooves, with Julien Pras' gossamer vocals contributing to the dreamlike atmosphere. [€7.99]