Album Review – Lucifer Star Machine / The Devil’s Breath (2020)

Raise your horns to the high-octane, hard-hitting fusion of Rock N’ Roll, Punk Rock and Hardcore blasted by a German squad armed with their brand new album.

Are you ready for a feast of high-octane, hard-hitting Rock N’ Roll, Punk Rock and Hardcore blasted by the tattooed, white trash bastard sons of the devil, collectively known as German Punk N’ Roll squad Lucifer Star Machine? Telling tales about love, pain, death and religious atrocities, Lucifer Star Machine will unleash hell upon us once again with their fourth full-length opus titled The Devil’s Breath, a 42-minute long road to hell that lures the listener with huge choruses, infernal riffs and monstrous melodies presented with the band’s trademarked straightforward, no-bullshit attitude, and perfectly visualized in the album cover art by Polish artist Łukasz Jaszak, giving the album a a vintage horror magazine look which complements the music and pays homage to the big boys of Rock N’ Roll such as Motörhead, Ramones, Social Distortion, Volbeat, Misfits and Turbonegro.

Formed in London, England in 2002, but based in Hamburg, Germany since 2014, the hometown of lead singer Tor Abyss, the now all-German band comprised of the aforementioned Tor Abyss on vocals, Mickey Necro and Marshall Speed on the guitars, Benny Zin on bass and Jay Impact on drums has outdone themselves in The Devil’s Breath, resulting in an album full of honesty, heart and soul with a fantastic storyline captured in every song. Setting a new standard for the band itself, The Devil’s Breath brings to our ears a high-energy mixture of classic rock and punk with a touch of metal and hints of 50’s Rock n’ Roll, combining raw, heartfelt music with great musicianship and addictive hooks and, therefore, being highly recommended for fans of the dancing and electrifying music of all aforementioned Rock N’ Roll icons.

Excerpts from “not-so-good” TV news ignite the frantic and electrifying The Void, blending the best elements from Punk Rock with the badass Rock N’ Roll by Motörhead. Moreover, Tor is berserk on vocals while Jay doesn’t stop smashing his drums not even for a single second, and after such demolishing start to the album it’s time for more melodic and dancing punk music in Dwell In Misery, where Mickey and Marshall are on fire with their razor-edged riffs, being therefore recommended for admirers of the music by the Misfits and Social Distortion. Jay keeps hammering his drums in Cruel Hearts, and if you enjoy a good mosh pit with your friends this is the perfect soundtrack for that, not to mention how Benny’s rumbling bass makes the earth tremble, feeling like the Misfits and Volbeat had a bastard son; followed by Baby, When You Cry, a great song presenting an old school vibe without sounding outdated or obsolete at all, perfect for lovers who want to dance the night away together, while the band’s guitar duo continues to kick some serious ass with their riffs and solos.

A strident riffage and a headbanging rhythm are the main ingredients in The Night Is Young, with Tor leading his henchmen with his raspy vocals in this never-ending party while Benny extracts insane sounds from his bass; whereas more rumbling bass punches and endless electricity fill out every empty space in Eat Dust, originally released in 2015 as a single, with all band members being in perfect sync delivering a vibrant Punk Rock extravaganza for our total delectation. In A Touch Of Death the band adds nuances of Rockabilly to their music just the way Volbeat would do, but of course keeping their Punk Rock core essence intact, resulting in another great option for slamming into the pit, while El Camino Real definitely feels like a song that could be used in a Quentin Tarantino movie, with Tor impersonating a classic singer the likes of Elvis Presley while Jay brings forward tons of groove with his precise beats. And their Rock N’ Roll party goes on in Pretender, showcasing a solid job done by both Mickey and Marshall on the guitars (despite getting a bit tiring after a while).

Then putting the pedal to the metal the quintet pierces our ears with the frantic and vicious Evil Blood, blasting nonstop action with highlights to Jay’s awesome performance on drums and with Tor sounding even more rabid and demented on vocals. And as there’s no such thing as getting tired of Rock N’ Roll, the band delivers another fun composition titled Midnight Crawler, where their crisp guitar riffs are effectively boosted by Benny’s thunderous bass, with more high-speed dirty pounding rock music filling our avid ears in Your Love Remains, where Jay and Benny show no mercy for our heads with their menacing low-tuned roars. Put differently, this song will certainly please all fans of classic punk music the likes of the Misfits without a shadow of a doubt. And lastly, their personal “tribute” to the devil comes as the title-track Devil’s Breath, starting in an acoustic way in great Spaghetti Western/Johnny Cash fashion and continuing on that obscure and very entertaining vibe until the very end, with Tor having an amazing and introspective vocal performance.

Having said all that, what are you waiting for to join Lucifer Star Machine and their best buddy, the devil himself, in their quest for Rock N’ Roll? Simply follow them on Facebook for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, and grab your copy of The Devil’s Breath directly from their BandCamp page or from their official webstore, as well as from other locations such as the Season of Mist webstore and the Bilocation Records webstore. And you know what to do after putting your hands on such incendiary album of Punk N’ Roll, right? That’s quite a simple and very pleasant task. Grab a cold beer, slam into the circle pit together with Lucifer Star Machine and, above all that, always raise your horns.

Best moments of the album: The Void, Cruel Hearts, Eat Dust and Evil Blood.

Worst moments of the album: Pretender.

Released in 2020 The Sign Records

Track listing
1. The Void 3:40
2. Dwell In Misery 3:12
3. Cruel Hearts 2:57
4. Baby, When You Cry 3:33
5. The Night Is Young 3:50
6. Eat Dust 2:32
7. A Touch Of Death 4:00
8. El Camino Real 2:33
9. Pretender 3:46
10. Evil Blood 2:18
11. Midnight Crawler 3:44
12. Your Love Remains 3:22
13. Devil’s Breath 3:15

Band members
Tor Abyss – vocals
Mickey Necro – guitars
Marshall Speed – guitars
Benny Zin – bass
Jay Impact – drums

Album Review – Floating Widget / The Sounds of Earth EP (2017)

One of the most celebrated bands from the Canadian independent scene is finally back in action after 13 years with an electrifying EP of old school Stoner Rock and Metal.

One of the most celebrated bands from the independent rock and metal scene from Montreal is finally back in action after 13 years with brand new material and the same rebellious attitude that made then famous among the Québécois fans of alternative music. I’m talking about Stoner Rock/Metal druids Floating Widget, who are ready to crush with their new EP The Sounds of Earth, their first original release since their 2004 debut album Praises To The Riff Monolith and a lesson in how our good old Rock N’ Roll sounds even better when the right amount of extra heaviness, speed and groove is added to the music.

Formed by vocalist and bassist Vincent Peake, who’s also the founder of the first Alternative Rock band in Quebec called Groovy Aardvark (which existed between 1986 and 2005) and who also played with bands such as GrimSkunk, Sabbath Café and even Voivod, Floating Widget are more than ready to regain their momentum with The Sounds of Earth, playing in the renowned Montebello RockFest this year with Queens of the Stone Age, Rammstein, At the Drive In, The Offspring, and many other bands, and there’s no secret formula for the band receiving all that love from the underground scene. Featuring a classy artwork displaying a “ceramic astronaut” by artist Brett Kern, The Sounds Of Earth exhales pure Stoner Rock and Rock N’ Roll, getting straight to the point without any shenanigans or artificial elements.

Vicent and his crew don’t waste a single second and begin blasting piercing Rock N’ Roll that will put everyone to dance in the opening track Rock & Roll Jubilee, just like in its official video, with guitarists Alex Leclerc and Stéphane Vigeant exhaling pure electricity through their metallic strings. And their guitars ignite another rockin’ chant, titled Psy Walker, with Vicent not only delivering awesome harsh vocals but also thunderous and groovy bass punches, while Matt Demon makes everything more rhythmic and appealing with his beats. Matt keeps the momentum going by kicking off the Stoner Rock tune I Am the Temple, with hints of Rockabilly and Hard Rock added to its upbeat rhythm, also showcasing another great performance by Vincent on vocals, as well as the perfect sync between Alex and Stéphane with their riffs.

Groovier and more melodic, Albatross (Nobody Loves an) is a solid Stoner Rock and Metal chant with a Blues-ish twist where Matt delivers some traditional, steady and sluggish beats while Vincent tells one of those fun, odd stories only found in this type of music. In other words, this is a song highly recommended for banging your head while enjoying a cold beer during the band’s live performances. And lastly, featuring the iconic Snake from Voivod as a guest vocalist, we have the very rhythmic and modern Stoner Metal tune Spiderzilla closing the EP on a high note, with longtime friends Vincent and Snake making a great vocal duo (which ends up enhancing the song’s taste even more), not to mention Vincent’s low-tuned rumbling bass.

Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 13 years for Floating Widget to release new material, because based on the amazing quality of the music found in The Sounds of Earth (which can be enjoyed in its entirety on YouTube or on Spotify), Vincent and his crew have all it takes to quickly reclaim their status as one of the most electrifying names in the underground rock and metal scene hailing from Quebec, and to remain sitting in their throne of Rock N’ Roll for many years to come. And if you live in Quebec or by any chance are going to visit the province anytime soon, keep an eye on their Facebook page for their live dates and all things Floating Widget. You can purchase The Sounds of Earth in digital format through the band’s own BandCamp page, on iTunes or on Amazon, as well as the cassette version through the GBS Records’ BandCamp page, with this version bringing on its second side 19 minutes of the famous recordings named “Sounds Of Earth” that NASA sent into space aboard Voyager 1 in 1977.

Best moments of the album: Rock & Roll Jubilee and I Am the Temple.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Independent

Track listing 
1. Rock & Roll Jubilee 2:52
2. Psy Walker 3:16
3. I Am the Temple 3:26
4. Albatross (Nobody Loves an) 4:05
5. Spiderzilla (feat. Snake) 2:40

Band members
Vincent Peake – vocals, bass
Alex Leclerc – guitar
Stéphane Vigeant – guitar
Matt Demon – drums

Guest musician
Snake – additional vocals on “Spiderzilla”