Album Review – Not My Master / Disobey EP (2018)

An aggressive mix of Thrash, Groove and Extreme Metal with Southern Rock blasted by a new four-piece act hailing from the always metallic U.S. state of Texas.

It’s time for The Headbanging Moose to head to Texas, the second-largest state in the United States by both area and population where several amazing heavy bands were born such as D.R.I., Devourment, Pissing Razors, Galactic Cowboys and, above all, the mighty Pantera, to slam into the pit to the aggressive mix of Thrash, Groove and Extreme Metal with Southern Rock blasted by a four-piece act that goes by the name of Not My Master. Playing what the band members themselves call Texas Metal, or in their own words, “dirty nasty satanic devil music you would find on Pornhub, if Pornhub played dirty nasty satanic devil music”, Not My Master are releasing their straightforward, vicious and extremely aggressive debut EP, titled Disobey.

Formed in 2016 in the city of El Paso, situated in the far western corner of Texas, the band comprised of Chris Kidwell on vocals, Chelo Styles on the guitar, Rudy Barajas on bass and Charlie Gonzalez on drums has been spreading their “Texas Fuckin’ Metal” throughout the whole state for a while, having already shared the stage with bands like Soulfly, Death Angel, Puddle Of Mudd and Rotting Christ, and also played in festivals such as Zia Music Fest, KILL This Festival, MUDD Fest and HaloHeavy Fest. With Disobey, the band not only aims at solidifying their name in the local Texan scene, but also to spread their ruthless music all over the world, effectively summarizing in its seven distinct tracks what the band is capable of offering to fans of heavy music.

The marching beats by Charlie are gradually joined by the slashing riffs by Chelo and the menacing bass punches by Rudy in the opening track, entitled Acadence, before Chris begins firing some enraged growls in a solid display of Extreme Groove Metal, perfect for fans of bands like Lamb Of God. Then the band keeps pounding our heads with their visceral music in Revenge, with lots of groove flowing from both guitar and bass while Chris switches back and forth from deep, rabid growls to clean, dark vocals, reminding me of the most obscure songs by Pantera (which obviously translates into sheer awesomeness); followed by the acid Where’s God Now, with the guitar lines by Chelo inspiring you to break your neck headbanging, not to mention how the metallic sounds blasted by all instruments increase the impact of Chris’ screams.

Then we have an eerie start to what’s the darkest composition in the EP, titled Morning Star, suddenly exploding into a heavy and aggressive hybrid of Groove and Southern Metal with hints of modern Doom Metal, led by Chris and his demented gnarls, whereas in Lies the raw and dirty guitar lines by Chelo build a demonic atmosphere for the rest of the band to blast hatred and evil in a fantastic display of Sludge Metal. Moreover, the low-tuned bass punches by Rudy sound insanely heavy, bringing even more ferocity to the overall result. And as a “bonus” don’t forget to listen to the two creepy alternative versions of this song on YouTube by clicking HERE and HERE.

Not My Master then treat us with an excellent cover version for How the Gods Kill, by Danzig (check the original version HERE), and on a side note, this classic was also covered by Polish Death/Black Metal project +MROME+ in their 2016 album Noetic Collision on the Roof of Hell (as you can see HERE). With that said, which version do you prefer? In my humble opinion, both kick some serious ass, with Not My Master sounding more melancholic in its first half before becoming a beautiful storm of Southern Metal throughout the rest of the song. And lastly, closing this obscure and very enjoyable EP we have another wicked tune named Consume, a vicious sample of what they call Texas Metal with Chelo burning our skin with his scorching hot riffs while Chris and Rudy sound like an earthquake with their growls and bass lines, respectively.

Are you curious to know more about Not My Master? I surely am, and I can’t wait to see when those Texan metallers will release their first full-length album, kicking everyone in the head with their relentless fusion of Southern and Groove Metal. You can follow Not My Master on Facebook and get to know more about the band members, their tour dates and other details, as well as listen to their music and watch their videos on ReverbNation. High-quality heavy music made in El Paso, Texas is furiously knocking at your door, but be careful because once you open it, there’s no escape from Not My Master’s vicious attack.

Best moments of the album: Revenge and Lies.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2018 Independent

Track listing  
1. Acadence 4:18
2. Revenge 3:08
3. Where’s God Now 3:49
4. Morning Star 5:15
5. Lies 4:38
6. How the Gods Kill (Danzig cover) 5:55
7. Consume 4:41

Band members
Chris Kidwell – vocals
Chelo Styles – guitar
Rudy Barajas – bass
Charlie Gonzalez – drums

Advertisements

Album Review – +MROME+ / Noetic Collision on the Roof of Hell (2016)

If you’re eagerly looking for truly independent music in the world of Heavy Metal, this idiosyncratic Polish project will satisfy your craving with their fresh and unorthodox experimentations.

Rating5

mrome_ncotrohThe last review of the year is the epitome of independent metal, something we at The Headbanging Moose truly love to support, being absolutely raw, anti-mainstream, not interested in promoting band members and not interested in touring at all. Founded in the now far, far away year of 1995 by a group of teenage friends in the city of Andrychów, located in Southern Poland,  Death/Black Metal project +MROME+ was reborn in 2009 after almost a decade of silence, finally releasing as a duo now in 2016 the idiosyncratic album Noetic Collision on the Roof of Hell.

+MROME+ produce their music in their own primitive studio in complete isolation from the local scene, with their only principle being that every new recording is a new start for the band, a new stage, keeping things as different and interesting as possible, and they do that by not labeling their music nor sticking to a predetermined formula. If you take a listen at their collection of demos from 1997 to 1999 baptized as The Basement Sophisma, you’ll see how versatile +MROME+ are, ranging from devilish extreme music to unique cover version for non-metal classics such as Faith No More’s “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”, and in Noetic Collision on the Roof of Hell the band continues with their heavy experimentations, always pushing their creative boundaries further and further.

When the opening track Colors begins, you’ll be facing a crossover of Death, Sludge and Progressive Metal, with its bass lines rumbling in your face, while Key V transpires aggressiveness through his harsh vocals and P provides the right amount of heaviness and intricacy behind his drums. Then +MROME+ turn up the heat and blast a dark and vile Death Metal composition titled Crush the Moon, sounding amazingly underground and powerful. It has an old school punch thanks to its catchy chorus and melodious, angry guitars, being in my opinion one of the best songs of the whole album. And in Migration Cult we have a great fusion of Death Metal and Rock N’ Roll, with its flammable Thrash Metal riffs complementing Key V’s deranged representation of the song’s wicked lyrics (“Marching far south from Eden / There is still something what push us on / Missing primal fixations / Will we abandon the code / The Holy Fuck”).

How the Gods Kill is an awesome tribute to one of the most eccentric musicians of all time, the one and only Danzig, keeping up with the obscurity of the original version with the low-tuned and menacing sound of bass guitar paving the path for an explosion of evil Heavy Metal. Following that superb cover song, Trust brings forward more of the band’s uproarious Death Metal with Key V and P delivering straightforward heavy music to our ears in a compelling way, whereas Generation Anthem is heavy and distorted music from the pits of Hell. Furthermore, the duo seems to love those menacing mid-tempo songs, firing blazing riffs and fierce beats nonstop. But just when you think the band is going to stick to some sort of formula they fire Piss & Laugh, showcasing a somber rhythm inspired by Dark Metal with the Blackened Doom guitars and the deep gnarls by Key V enhancing its damned atmosphere. At this point of the album, you’ll realize that calling +MROME+ just as Death or Black Metal is an understatement of their musical range and capabilities.

mromeOnce again bursting poetry and madness through the lyrics (“Monstrous iron worms / Feeding on fire / And flash / Choke the ground / March against the dawn / East from nest of crow / Days of hunger / Lions hunt”), Locust Follows Word presents a berserk intro followed by more thunderous bass lines and a grumpy attitude, with all additional elements in the background helping in strengthening the musicality considerably. The second to last blast of underground metal by this interesting project, titled Magister Figurae Morte, will kick you in the face with its pounding drums and energetic riffs in this solid display of ruthless metal from darkness, before The Arsonist closes the album majestically, with Key V impersonating the arsonist himself by setting fire to the musicality with his growls and riffs. In addition, P accelerates his beats to a traditional Black Metal style, generating a high-end feast of hellish music with a climatic ending.

+MROME+ do not have a Facebook page, a Twitter account or any other type of social media. As previously mentioned, it’s all about their music and the concept behind it, which means all things +MROME+ are summarized to their BandCamp page in the form of heavy music, with Noetic Collision on the Roof of Hell being their newest sonic experiment, but not their ultimate one at all. Fans of truly underground metal will hear more about +MROME+ in a not-so-distant future for sure, as they’re already recording Roi-de-Rats, their next full-length opus. Well, I’m already eager to see what Key V, P and the band’s original bassist (who has just rejoined the project after all these years) will offer from their arsenal of extreme and primeval music.

Best moments of the album: Crush the Moon, How the Gods Kill and The Arsonist.

Worst moments of the album: Generation Anthem.

Released in 2016 Independent

Track listing
1. Colors 4:03
2. Crush the Moon 4:33
3. Migration Cult 3:31
4. How the Gods Kill (Danzig cover) 5:46
5. Trust 4:09
6. Generation Anthem 3:45
7. Piss & Laugh 4:24
8. Locust Follows Word 3:48
9. Magister Figurae Morte 4:32
10. The Arsonist 6:18

Band members
Key V – vocals, guitars
P – drums

Album Review – The Order of the Solar Temple / The Order of the Solar Temple (2014)

A fresh and psychedelic music journey through the realms of heavy music, engendered by a very talented Canuck band.

Rating4

The_Order_Of_The_Solar_Temple_front_coverWhen you put together music genres such as Rock N’ Roll, Hard Rock and Doom Metal, the final result is at least interesting, especially in terms of creativity and feeling. But if you really want to spice things up, simply add to that some nuances of occultism and lots of groove from the dawn of Heavy Metal and you have the excellent self-titled debut album by Canadian Hard Rock/Doom Metal band The Order of the Solar Temple.

Let’s say that if people asked me to describe The Order of the Solar Temple in just a few words, I would call it a psychedelic heavy music journey. This Vancouver-based band was capable of sounding fairly original during the entire album even using only really old music elements in all compositions, mainly due to the above average skills and the passion for music of each musician involved. Not only that, the production of the album, which also seems to be inspired by the music from the 70’s, helps enhance that classic occult sonority regularly found in the music by bands like Blue Öyster Cult and Black Sabbath.

The album opens with the groovy Fallout Woman, a pure Rock N’ Roll song that makes me feel like I’m listening to an album from the 70’s, with highlights to its smooth vocals, soft and melancholic atmosphere and a soulful guitar solo, followed by Aeon Of Horus, a dark tune with lots of Doom Metal elements from bands such as Danzig that curiously starts with an ominous intro but ends in an acoustic way  and, of course, focus heavily on all the obscurity in the lyrics (“Mother Egypt sets the stage for the dawning of an age / Har-par-Khered / Ancient magick is exhumed to free us from our doom / Abrahadabra”) to make the entire song more vibrant and meaningful to the listener. By the way, their classic but unique lyric themes are one of the greatest strengths of the band, staying far away from all the repetitiveness and lack of depth so common in the world of music nowadays.

the_order_of_the_solar_templeGetting back to the album, The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll) sounds like a “tribute” to the good old KISS, with an awesome work done on riffs and drums, elevating it to the status of best track of the album. Moreover, it’s perfect for becoming a Rock N’ Roll radio hit as it would certainly please not only traditional hard rockers but also any fan of some good quality music. Then we have the psychedelic rhythm and melody of Jervas Dudley, a song that could be summarized as “when Black Sabbath meets Jethro Tull” and also an excellent “journey” for guitar players that enjoy the groove from the 70’s, followed by another fast and classic tune the likes of Deep Purple named Pale Horse, which I’m pretty sure you’ll get addicted to its melodic riffs and keyboards.

The last part of the album consists of the excellent Back Home, a song with lots of elements from good old Blues that sounds like a “pub song” perfect for having a beer with friends; the most Hard Rock track of all, Dominance And Submission, which also reminds me of the good times of Deep Purple, with kudos to Matt “Macabre” Emery for his performance: he might not have the most powerful voice in the world, but it fits perfectly into the musicality of the band. And finally, closing the album we have the obscure track The Order, which is good (especially if you’re a fan of “black magic”), but maybe more variations would make it a more intense song.

Sorry if I kept repeating the expressions “70’s”, “journey” and “psychedelic” every two or three sentences, but there’s no better way to describe the music from The Order of the Solar Temple: it truly is an awesome combination of past and future, carefully brought forth to people like us who live and breathe Rock N’ Roll and Heavy Metal. Even the album art is a tribute to the music that enchanted the world 40 years ago. Not only that, these guys are here to remind us how magic Rock N’ Roll was in its inception and how it can still be exciting even after all those years with the music industry trying to kill everything that sounds real, and we all should thank them for keeping on rockin’ and staying true to the roots of heavy music. And if you don’t want this magic to disappear, you can support the band by listening to their music and purchasing their album at their BandCamp page.

Best moments of the album: The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll), Pale Horse and Dominance And Submission.

Worst moments of the album: The Order.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Fallout Woman 3:47
2. Aeon Of Horus 8:31
3. The Cult (Of Rock’n’Roll) 3:09
4. Jervas Dudley 6:58
5. Pale Horse 5:31
6. Back Home 5:01
7. Dominance And Submission 5:23
8. The Order 6:37

Band members
Matt “Macabre” Emery – lead vocal, electric guitar, theremin and primordial howls
S. Mulleady – organ, synthesizers, guitar, additional vocals
A. MacGreagor – bass guitar, additional vocals
M. Morrison – drums