quarta-feira, junho 27, 2007

Shocking Blue - At Home (1969)

American listeners tend to remember Shocking Blue as the one-hit wonder behind the chart-topper "Venus," a melting pot of rock rhythms, country guitar licks, organ riffs, and Mariska Veres' heavily accented vocals. Sounding something like a cross between "96 Tears" and "Sugar, Sugar," "Venus" was not entirely representative of the group's first album, At Home. Like their fellow countrymen Golden Earring, Shocking Blue purveyed a mild strain of psychedelic rock, but leaned more toward country and folk music than bubblegum. Guitarist and principal songwriter Robby Van Leeuwen was already preoccupied with Americana at this early stage, from "Harley Davidson" and "California Here I Come" to a surprising rendition of the folk song "Boll Weevil" that sets the traditional lyrics to music reminiscent of the Easybeats' "Good Times." (The group's country music fixation would manifest itself more overtly on later albums). Van Leeuwen's sitar is pictured on the album cover and dominates the instrumental "Acka Raga," but, thankfully, is not overused. "Mighty Joe" and "Never Marry a Railroad Man" were minor U.S. chart hits that few people remember, but "Love Buzz" gained a measure of fame decades later when Nirvana covered it. Veres has great presence -- like a gypsy incarnation of Grace Slick -- but Van Leeuwen's English-language lyrics can be awkward at times. On "Venus," all the components clicked perfectly into place, but there is much more to Shocking Blue than their biggest hit.
(Greg Adams, AllMusic)

Download: http://lix.in/385913

sexta-feira, junho 15, 2007

Electric Wizard - We Live (2004)

2004's We Live witnessed the birth of Electric Wizard Mark II, as lone remaining founding member Jus Osborn -- tired of years of internal strife -- decided to "upgrade" the doom metal stalwarts from a power trio to a twin-guitar quartet. However, with or without the cosmetic improvement brought on by the addition of second guitarist Liz Buckingham, it's important to point out that this incarnation of Electric Wizard has little in common with the original article of ten years prior. Rather, as previewed by 2002's slightly more subdued Let Us Prey opus, this, the Wizard's fifth album finds the Dorset doom masters' original, overwhelming force largely replaced by a deep-seated sense of dread. Here, said vibe is established by the sphinx-like, ten-minute, two-part opener "Eko Eko Azarak: 1. Invocation; 2. Ritual," which quickly puts that second six-string to good use with minor key melodic lines backing up the band's characteristic power riffing. Then again, the ensuing title track, with its spoken word intro undoubtedly lifted from some crappy hammer horror movie, will surprise none among the band's devotees; and the fact that it goes on a little longer than necessary may be less a factor of bad form than overt familiarity with Electric Wizard's habits (again, depending on the listener). Both the typically sloth-like "Flower of Evil a.k.a. Malfiore" and the requisite "fast number," "Another Perfect Day?" also have their share of memorable moments -- but not enough, and the second in particular definitely overstays its welcome with useless repetition. So it's with great relief that this rare swoon is vengefully redeemed by two positively awesome compositions: the bottomless despairing "The Sun Has Turned to Black," where the band's second guitar is put to its best use yet; and the final, devastating mass that is 15-minute monolith "Saturn's Children," which spins back the clock to sit comfortably alongside Electric Wizard's greatest achievements of yore. Taken as a whole, however, We Live's clearly uneven attributes will probably not see it going down as Electric Wizard's finest hour; but even so, and taking into account the group's recent transformation, it does offer conclusive proof that, even on a mixed day, this band never drops too far off the top of the doom class.
(Ed Rivadavia, AllMusic)

Download (Remastered CD Version): http://lix.in/7d74af
Download (LP Version): http://lix.in/7a20e2

* Upload por Felipe

Electric Wizard - Let Us Prey (2002) [Remaster]

A band whose creative process has often been as lethargic as their drawn-out doom dirges, Electric Wizard surprised many fans when they announced the imminent release of their fourth album, Let Us Prey a mere year and a half after 2000's monolithic Dopethrone -- itself preceded by nearly four years of silence. Probably for this very reason, Let Us Prey weighs in at a comparatively trim 45 minutes or so and makes for a significantly easier meal to digest than its epic predecessor; but it also falls short of Dopethrone in delivering what many consider to be the final word in doom metal. In fact, it appears that, having stuffed those four years of frustration into Dopethrone's perfectly colossal mass, the world's most doleful trio used Let Us Prey to take a concerted step back from the edge, and allow themselves the privilege to explore a few new directions. A good case in point, first track "A Chosen Few" immediately finds them scaling back their extreme volume and feedback in order to make room for added guitar textures; and second offering "We, the Undead" sees them stepping on the gas and embarking upon a manic thrash-out the likes of which they've rarely attempted (topped by ultra-distorted screaming from singer Jus Osborn). Both are also uncharacteristically short and to the point, but the two-part instrumental "Master of Alchemy: I. House of Whipchord/II. The Black Drug" is more familiar. At nearly ten minutes, it resurrects the vintage, head nodding Wizard of old, and may just qualify as the greatest incidental horror movie soundtrack ever committed to tape. Sadly, its also the album's last unquestionable winner, as subsequent stoner epics "The Outsider" and "Priestess of Mars," while still offering plenty of doom for your buck, start to sound somewhat automatic and recycled. Also, separating the two is an eyebrow-raising anomaly called "Night of the Shape" consisting of piano and saxophone mood music (shock!) splayed out over a nearly electronic drumbeat. Ultimately, Let Us Prey's riskier experiments and occasional inconsistencies, however small, are bound to disappoint Electric Wizard fanatics accustomed to magnum opus after magnum opus; but the fact of the matter is that it still leaves most competitors coughing in the band's pot smoke.
(Ed Rivadavia, AllMusic)

Download: http://lix.in/f40530 *

* Upload por Felipe

quinta-feira, junho 14, 2007

Electric Wizard - Supercoven (1998)

Electric Wizard purveys the sort of grungy, sludgy, psychedelic heavy metal epitomized in the 1990s by Monster Magnet (and pioneered by Black Sabbath and Hawkwind). Supercoven is only 32 minutes long, but it provides a concise, concentrated burst of the band's signature, druggy sound.
(Steve Huey, AllMusic)

Supercoven is an EP by doom metal band Electric Wizard. It was originally released in 1998 by Bad Acid, and then re-released in 2000 by Southern Lord with two extra tracks: Wizards of Gore from the band's 1994 demo, and Electric Wizard from a live recording in Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

Download: http://lix.in/08200f *

* Upload por Felipe

quarta-feira, junho 13, 2007

Electric Wizard - Dopethrone (2000)

As Deep Purple's Roger Glover once said, "Heavy isn't about volume, it's about attitude." And no band better illustrates this statement than England's Electric Wizard -- the reputed heaviest band in the universe -- whose every album has managed to push the boundaries of down-tuned, grinding, monolithic doom metal to unprecedented depths. Sure, they pack plenty of volume as well, but none of it could possibly work without the band's uncompromising worship of weed and all things gothic and malevolent. After a long hiatus (during which they were no doubt traveling the cosmos without ever leaving their parent's basements or putting down their bongs), Electric Wizard finally returned to action in the year 2000. The resulting dirge masterpiece, Dopethrone, delivers walls of sound so dense that at first they seem too big to fit into your ears. At a paltry three minutes, the opener "Vinum Sabbathi" may be the Wizards' first true candidate for an actual "single," but it really serves as a teaser for what's to come. Introduced by short spoken intros taken from B-movies a la White Zombie, extended riff-monsters like "Funeralopolis," "I, the Witchfinder," and the three-part colossus "Weird Tales" are vintage Electric Wizard. Though they never exceed a snail's pace, they somehow manage to build in intensity, from single note guitar lines to huge power chords with deliberate, maddening certainty. First-time listeners will find it easier to cope with more compact offerings like "Barbarian" and "We Hate You," but with time, they'll see the light and embrace the obscenely heavy title track, with its patented "Iron Man" oscillating riff. In short, with Dopethrone, Electric Wizard has raised the bar for doom metal achievement in the new millennium -- good luck to the competition.
(Ed Rivadavia, AllMusic)

Download: http://lix.in/2c6673
Download (REMASTERED Edition): http://lix.in/ff696c *

* Upload por Felipe

terça-feira, junho 12, 2007

Electric Wizard - Come My Fanatics... (1997) [Remaster]

Upon its release, Electric Wizard's excellent debut carved a Titanic-sized swath through the heavy metal landscape, burying much that had come before under an avalanche of amp distortion, detuned riffs, and billows of marijuana smoke. And yet, impossible as it may seem, the band's absolutely colossal second effort, Come My Fanatics..., while somewhat less immediate than its predecessor, somehow upped the sonic ante through a wall of sludge so thick that even the most experienced of metal heads couldn't help but be overwhelmed by its power. Opening number "Return Trip" is quite simply a heavy metal landmark, from its sudden, feedback-induced (and bowel-releasing) opening chord to the anguished screams of main man Jus Oborn through to its final coughing denouement ten minutes later. The barely discernible lyrics to second track "Wizard in Black" (another monster at eight minutes) gradually emerge from the trio's cyclopean grind, intoning "I am a God...I am the One" -- and by gum if by now you're not ready to believe just that! Ensuing acid-metal behemoths like "Doom-Mantia" and "Son of Nothing" (the album's shortest track at almost seven minutes) will test the patience of uninitiated listeners before drifting into focus through billowing clouds of smoke, but the ultimate religious experience is well worth the lengthy conversion process. And though less memorable, instrumentals like "Ivixor B/Phase Inducer," (a full-fledged space rock feedback freak-out) and closer "Solarian 13" slot right into the album's imposing mass. Essential doom.
(Ed Rivadavia, AllMusic)

Download: http://lix.in/380eb3

terça-feira, junho 05, 2007

Acid King - III (2005)

"This is how it’s done. Acid King’s III is a testament to the heavy. My only complaint is the amount of time it took to get this fucker out.

See, Busse Woods, their previous paean to fluid distortion, came out in 1999. That’s a hell of a long time between albums, more than most bands’ careers. But on III’s seven tracks, Acid King prove - almost effortlessly, I have to add - that they’re among the leaders of psychedelic stoner metal. Less spacey than label mates Sons of Otis, more jam-oriented than doom outfits like Ufomammut and Electric Wizard, Acid King exist in a thunderous low-end that shakes foundations even at the lowest volume. Listening to songs like “”Wheel Nation” or “On to Everafter” is like watching molasses pour out of a jar. It’s thick and viscous, pooling together in a meaty muck.

And like molasses, it sticks to you. III’s one of those albums that refuses to let go of your subconscious. Chalk it up to Lori S’s spectral croon and her dense guitar riffs, or the heavier than thou rhythm section of Joey Osbourne (drums) and Guy Pinhas (bass). It doesn’t really matter. Acid King have tapped into a well of heavy. Let’s hope it doesn’t run dry."
(John Pegoraro @ StonerRock.com)

Tracklist: 2 Wheel Nation / Heavy Load / Bad Vision / War of the Mind / Into the Ground / On to Everafter / Sunshine and Sorrow

Download: hhttp://lix.in/8dcd77

sábado, junho 02, 2007

Muse - Black Holes And Revelations (2006)

A banda nesse álbum parece um pouco segura demais quanto as suas capacidades e ao seu som, o que me deu a impressão de não estar ouvindo algo totalmente novo. Nada disso quer dizer que o novo álbum não é bom, na verdade, é um dos melhores do Muse, e a seqüência inicial com "Take a Bow", "Starligth", "Supermassive Black Hole" e "Map of the Problematique" é primorosa.

A temática no entanto é bem mais forte e política, começando pela capa, produzida pelo brilhante designer Storm Thorgerson responsável por algumas das mais memoráveis artes de álbuns, incluindo praticamente todo o trabalho gráfico do Pink Floyd. Na foto, quatro homens estão sentados em uma mesa sobre a qual estão três cavalos em miniatura. A paisagem lembra o solo marciano, o que pode extender a interpretação à última (e uma das mais obscuras) músicas do álbum, "Knigths of Cydonia". Cydonia é o nome de uma região do planeta Marte onde se encontra o famoso "rosto humano". Expecula-se que a capa faça referência aos Cavaleiros do Apocalipse citados na Bíblia, e o começo da música "Knigths of Cydonia" conta com sons de galope de cavalos seguidos de explosões e algo que lembra uma sirene de alarme.
"Take a Bow" por exemplo, traz críticas pesadas, que só posso atribuir aos comandantes supremos do universo, Mr. Bush e o cãozinho de estimação Mr. Blair.
(Pedro Keh, Muzplay)

Download: http://lix.in/208091