Saturday, 7 March 2015

LK Ultra's Top Albums for 03/07/15

Top 25 Albums
#). artist - album title
Lord of Doubts - 'Into the Occult'
  1. Lord of Doubts - Into the Occult
  2. Crowned in Earth - Metempsychosis
  3. Kabbalah - Primitve Stone EP
  4. Pombagira - Flesh Throne Press***
  5. Queen Crescent - Self-Titled***
  6. Alucarda - Raw Howls
  7. Misty Grey - Grey Mist
  8. Evil Spirit - Caulron Messiah
  9. John Carpenter - Lost Themes*
  10. Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere***
  11. Shepherd - Stereolithic Riffalocalypse
  12. Hands of Orlac - Figli Del Crepuscolo
  13. Strange Broue - Various EP's
  14. Zoltan - Tombs of the Blind Dead EP*
  15. Patrick Bruss - The Gorgon's Gallery
  16. Doomraiser - Reverse
  17. Occultation - Silence in the Ancestral House
  18. Goat Wizard - Self-Titled
  19. Stoned Jesus - The Harvest
  20. Saturnalia Temple - To The Other
  21. Bretus - The Shadow Over Innsmouth
  22. Widow & Children Self-Titled
  23. Phantomass - Self-Titled
  24. Burning Saviours - Unholy Tales from the North*
  25. Evil Invaders - Pulses of Pleasure*
*Album available on itunes
** Streaming only
*** Pre-order only
† Available on cassette only
 Available on vinyl and cassette only
† Available on vinyl only
No release available yet

ALBUM Spotlight on:
STONED JESUS – ‘The Harvest’
Stoned Jesus released their third full-length album on February 24 and it already has some long-time followers scratching their heads. If you're a fan of the band and haven't checked out this latest one, be prepared to hear a slightly different side of the band. I stop short at calling it a more "popular" sounding album, but I would argue it is more accessible to the average stoner or doom head and the six songs on the album seem to fit a little more comfortably into each of those two subgenres, much moreso than on previous efforts.

Previously, the Ukrainian power trio has been known for expansive 10+ minute-long suites. The longest of the first four tracks on 'The Harvest' reaches a mere fingertip past the seven minute mark. The trade-off here with a slight detour in direction is a renewed sense of focus. If nothing else the band proves that they can smash, grab the loot and run with the best of them. It should be noted here that while it may be easier for those taxonomically inclined to point at each song and label it as stoner rock or doom metal, nothing on this album really sounds like anything else anybody else is doing. First and foremost Stoned Jesus is still a prog band, and that sensibility will out by the nine-minute long "Silkworm Confessions" (see the official video at this location).

'Seven Thunders Roar'
The first inkling that I saw that the band was hankering for a repertoire of shorter material was when they released the four-minute edited version of "Electric Mistress" from their last album, 2012's 'Seven Thunders Roar'. It's impossible to get a nine minute song onto 7 inches of etched vinyl and maintain a high fidelity, and thus the edit. But when Stoned Jesus released "Here Come the Robots" on their bandcamp page in January, the first song off their then unreleased new album, it was obvious that the band had a change in philosophy in store. It was hard to imagine when the song came out how this rollicking three minute barn-burner was going to fit in between a pair of expansive 10 minute monoliths, for example.

Now that 'The Harvest' is here, everything falls into the place, the pieces match, and there's a logic behind the sequencing of the album. It's not to everyone's taste and that seems to be par for the course this year. It's been difficult, if not impossible to find a bigger-name band in this underground niche of heavy music with a new album out that isn't dividing opinion. That may not be what makes it out there in the reviews, but we reviewers talk behind the scenes and initial impressions of the stuff that's been coming out has been largely mixed. I think it has to do with bands redefining their territory and finding their own niche in an ever-expanding circle of competition.

Judge for yourself by clicking the link to the album at the #19 spot.

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