Cloud Catcher – Trails Of Kozmic Dust

This is this Denver-based Power Trio’s second album, unleashing their fuzzy riffs and sub-earthy jams.

Astral Warlord‘s opening crescendo sets up a feeling of eager anticipation. The listener is clearly promised something heavy.
The quick Deep Purple-inspired opening riff leads in a hearty rocking romp. Celestial Empress evokes 70s Swampy Blues Rock, witch the driving rhythm section edging a wailing guitar on.

Beyond The Electric Sun continues in much of the same vein, with a an added Boston vibe though the excellent bass lines, the screeching guitar solo’s and the hypnotic drumming . The vocals are going in overdrive in short bursts. Dimensional interlude is a pleasant little psychedelic filler.

Visions turns up the riffage again, with some confident vocals and the continuing eager work of the rhythm section. A great track to dance to at 11 pm after an evening of whisky. Title track Trails of Cosmic Dust builds on what came before, the guitar waving its song around the start-stop Acid Rock. Impossible to keep all feet still on this one.

Super Acid Magick lets the effects have a free reign, Space jamming an instrumental with an ending filled with urgency. Closing out the album, Righteous Ruler settles back into no frills Blues Rock, letting the guitar dream the song into different tempo’s and a powerful vocal performance. The band gives their all to complete this journey through their craft.

I enjoyed the album, it’s very clearly an album of a live band trying to capture their sound in the studio, and I’m pleased to report their energy and drive comes through very well on record. Even though some of the songs are a bit rough around the edges the whole listening experience is very enjoyable and I felt myself taken away on their psych spacey jam journey.

My Rating: 80/100

Cloud Catcher‘s Trails Of Kozmic Dust is out now, get it through Totem Cat Records or bandcamp.

Beesus – The Rise Of Beesus


The Rise of Beesus starts with an ominous swelling distorted guitar sound accompanied by some eerie chants. They get chased away by the heavy riff and drums kick in to start the song proper and introduce the vocals that imbue a new sense of urgency. The chorus has some pleasing White Album-esque harmonies and a pleasingly effective guitar fill. The last quarter of the song has serves as a big outro with some groovy soloing and the vocals gaining even more urgency, bordering on madness.

It flows into 6ft Under Box with a short drum break, continuing the urgency in rhythm and vocals. It is clear Beesus is not taking us on a journey of complacency, the fuzzy guitars shred any kind of comfort and keep you moving towards the intended destination. Did not feel edged on by a song like this since maybe The Police’s disturbing Mother. The album manages to be very engaging and conveying their intended atmosphere so far.

Stonerslam starts with a groove like a 70s Blaxploitation flick’s theme, rolling into fuzzy heavy riffing. The vocal urgency is unfalteringly present, channeling Arthur Brown and the music keeps edging on.

Waltzer continues in much of the same vein, followed by Kusa slowing down into a Doors-like desert rock vibe, giving the listener a short lull. The dreamy vocals gradually get the familiar descent into desperation, helped by counter harmonies and swelling of the music’s intensity. A key track of the album.

Zenza picks up the pace again, and on the face of it is much more cheerful, with an alt.rock intro and vocal delivery, until halfway it sludges into a slow groove and covers the listener with a heavy blanket of Doom.

Sonic Doom/Stoner Youth continues the themes in a straightforward Stoner track, and not for the first time the tone and intensity is changes totally halfway. Especially if you listen to the whole album in sequence in one sitting these shifts and interludes help to keep the attention and to add layers to the soundscape that the band is trying to build.

A power finish paves the way for the frantic stylings of Mata La Verguenza. This song’s halfway shift brings a very pleasing chorus and a killer solo, it feels like this could have been easily a song on its own.

Beesus In Dope turns up the Doom knobs to 11 again, with a short Psych intermezzo, droning towards a cacophonic climax. …And servers as a coda, with a chaotic riff-driven conclusion to the saga.

My overall impression: Beesus’ play on song structures, solid musicianship and novel approach of fuzzing and psyching up 90s alt.rock vibes makes this a very interesting debut indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed this album and will certainly play it many more times to experience this trip.

My Rating: 85/100

You can follow Beesus here (they are touring right now) and get the album here.

Blackwülf – Oblivion Cycle


I first became aware of Blackwülf when I received their newest album in my bandcamp collection through my Ripple subscription. I like playing an album without any preconceptions like this, and from the first few songs Blackwülf had reeled me in. This Oakland quartet weave their 70s Sabbath-inspired riffs into a very pleasing soundscape, taking you along on their ride.

Colossus opens with a light and pleasing intro riff, shifting gears into more heavy riffage for the verse and chorus after a brief while. From the start there’s no denying the musical intentions of this band. Melodically it flows seamlessly into Memories, which really has some very intense vocal work and a nice fuzzy solo to lead out the song. Acid Reign interestingly starts with interwoven arpeggios with some echoes of Sweet Dreams of all songs, but not in an unpleasing way. The body of the song itself reminds me a lot of Mothership, who I love a lot, and this song thunders along very nicely indeed. Dark Tower is a laid-back folksy link that helps to build on the vibe of the album. The Locusts brings us back in Hard Rock territory, with a song that follows the riff-vocals-rhythm-solo-outro blueprint that is so effective and pleasing to the ear. Wings of Steel has a very strong chorus, and is a nice high-octane rocker overall with a style change halfway that helps to elevate the song to one of the best of the album. Faith Healer and Red Eyes continue on along the same vein, solid rocking songs, I particularity loved the bridge in the latter. Never Forget has an almost ominous start, continuing with the band keeping on-form with their driven playing and intense vocal work, with some rare but effective vocal harmonies. March of the Damned closes the album by evoking the Gothic proto-Doom that can be so pleasing, with more than a passing nod to Sabbath, and indeed it is done very well here. A fitting tribute and an awesome finish to one of the best albums of the year as far as I am concerned.

My overall impression: A  very solid heavy Rock album indeed, paying tribute to the past but having their feet firmly in the present, the band managed to create their own sound from a blend of influences. Has not left my play rotation since getting it. One of the best of its kind released this year, I will follow these guys with interest and hope I will be able to see these tracks played live in the near future.

My Rating: 91/100