Frenzy - Odd Sun - Review

My first reaction when checking out the ODD EP by Polish stoner rockers Sun Frenzy: “I didn’t know that there was a desert in Warsaw...” Because this is some seriously good stuff!
Not that this record is anyway groundbreaking. Far from it even. Just listen to those riffs that sound like a sandstorm. The droney solos. The bigger than life drums that are not only the heart of the songs but also the feet. That howling voice that can call coyotes. The songs that sound like huge jam sessions, fueled with some shitty weed and ice cold beers. The tones, the riffs, even the drums and vocals are all very reminiscent of Kyuss, the legendary, most influential band to have ever walked out of the Californian desert. But let’s say that imitation is the best form of flattery and get on with the review. Still, writing this band off as a blatant Kyuss rip off wouldn’t do this trio justice because these cats know how to fuckin’ groove and swing. Sitting still to this record is not an option. At moments like on the opener “Hacked and Jammed”, “Emerald” and closing track “Watchers of Tomorrow” they groover harder than Kyuss did on most songs. This, dear reader, is a party record deluxe. The soundtrack to a hot little room where the entire audience is soaked with sweat, everybody stinks, everybody is thirsty but nobody wants to leave the party even at the risk of a heatstroke
Other than that, there is not much to say. This record is about as straight forward and in your face as they come and that in itself is worth quite a lot. Sun Frenzy didn’t set out to record the new “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Blues for the Red Sun”. No, they just 
entered the studio to lay down some grooves that are fun, loud and prone to get them booties shakin’. I can do nothing but praise this uncomplicated approach.

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- Ivo VirusWithShoes - 

Grant The Sun (NOR) Premieres self titled debut

Featuring members of Insense and Beaten To Death, Grant The Sun is a brand new trio from Norway playing an instrumental metal sound influenced by names such as Devin Townsend, Extol and Meshuggah.
The band began when founding members of Insense, Håvard Sveberg and Martin Rygge (who also handles guitars in grindcore group Beaten To Death) decided it was time to get together and make music again after more than ten years apart. Shortly after the duo is joined by childhood friend and guitar virtuoso Markus Lillehaug Johnsen and together they’ve started writing some songs to be included on the band’s first effort, due out on August 11th via Mas-Kina Recordings.
Featuring six songs, this self-titled EP was recorded live in just three days by producer and long-time friend Danne Bergstrand at Dugout Productions in Uppsala, Sweden and sees Grant The Sun masterfully combining heavy riffs and hard-hitting, complex rhythms with catchy, prog-driven melodies that while is near-impossible to place in a single category, falls somewhere between Meshuggah and The Ocean.

Klabautaman 'Smaragd' Review by Ivo Goyens

No idea how Klabautamann from Germany see themselves and seen that I am still in semi-holiday mode, I am going to be lazy and refer to them as a progressive metal band, If you start listening to the album, you will immediately notice a lot of of post and black metal influences. I can even pinpoint Alcest, ISIS (the band!) and even some Opeth.

But listen more closely to the song structures. There is definitely no shortage of riffs but the band doesn’t really do in choruses and hooks. The music is constantly changing and mutating but all in manner that feels natural. This is the sort of music that requires concentration, focus to be fully enjoyed. Maybe quite an effort for people with the attention span of a goldfish but in return the listener gets amazing, beautifully executed passages.

Obviously if you are going to make an ambitious record like that, you need to ensure that not only your music is top notch material but the sound quality of your recordings need to be pristine as well.
And that is definitely the case for “Smaragd”. The guitars have a great, clear and yet crunchy tone, the drums are not triggered to set off an entire minefield when the drummer as much as sneezes and behold, there is even audible bass! An actual bass guitar! Not this low, undefined rumble that is mixed all the way to the back and you can only hear it when you crank your subwoofer up to 11. And all the instruments ring through oh so wonderfully. The only thing that I find somewhat disappointing is that the clean vocals, especially in the opening song “Into Depression”, don’t really cut through in the mix and sound “dry”. I don’t hear any delay or reverb. Perhaps an artistic

choice but I love it when a clean, lush vocal sits nicely in the mix. The black metal voices on the other hand sound terrific and I can even make out what the singer is saying!
Since this is the kind of record for which you need to make time, I doubt that I would put this on very often but it has definitely made curious about Klabautamann’s live show.
Again, fans of Alcest and ISIS with a comfy sofa and a pair of Sennheiser headphones will dig this.

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- Ivo VirusWithShoes -