Rise Above Records

Saturn – Beyond Spectra Review

Saturn – Beyond Spectra Review

“I was raised on classic rock. My three favorite albums as a 7 year old were To You by Dutch blues rockers Brainbox, Aqualung by Jethro Tull and In Rock by Deep Purple. I heard the phrase “Aren’t you a little young for that?” so often in conversation, hearing it on the street didn’t even surprise me when someone caught me whistling “Stairway to Heaven” or wearing a Deep Purple shirt. That love laid the foundations for where I am in music today, and it never went away. But while a lot of bands these days harken back to the age of hippies and vinyl, not many of them manage to truly nail the sound. Swedish rockers Saturn are among the minority.” Rock in an old place.

Things You Might Have Missed: Death Penalty – Death Penalty

Things You Might Have Missed: Death Penalty – Death Penalty

“When Cathedral went belly up last year, riff-meister extraordinaire Gaz Jennings was left with some time on his nimble hands. Like any good doom maven he used this time to recruit a new band and launch Death Penalty, which he lovingly named after the debut by classic doomsters Witchfinder General.” If Gaz be playing, you best be paying.

Cathedral – The Last Spire Review

Cathedral – The Last Spire Review

“So this is the end of the road for Lee Dorrian’s long-running psychedelic doom experiment. Looking back on Cathedral‘s career, they’ve certainly delivered some entertaining, diverse albums while helping make doom cool and interesting again. While I always favored their earlier, less trippy stuff like Forest of Equilibrium and The Ethereal Mirror, their subsequent releases always had something worth investigating. So how does the ringmaster choose to lower the final curtain on his Carnival Bizarre? By returning to the beginning and re-introducing us to the raw, crushing doom that put them on the map in the first place.” Please remove your hats and bow our heads as we mourn the passing of modern doom giants, Cathedral. Steel Druhm will provide the eulogy and you’re all welcome to join us afterward in the graveyard for refreshments.

Moss – Horrible Night Review

Moss – Horrible Night Review

“Even attempting to articulate just how great a band Moss are at what they do is a fool’s errand. Not only is their sound crushing and brooding beyond any band I’ve ever experienced but every new recording they release seems like a blue-moon event that simply cannot be missed. Horrible Night, Moss‘ latest album, was met with an equal amount of excitement to die-hard fans, me among them — anxiously waiting for the follow-up to 2009’s absolutely monolithic Sub Templum, which is one of doom/drone metal’s best releases bar none.” Noctus tells you whether or not it was worth not sleeping or eating for months to get his hands on the very first copy of Horrible Night.

Ghost – Opus Eponymous Review

Ghost – Opus Eponymous Review

How can this be? Yet another metal treasure nearly escaped the watchful eye of Steel Druhm and makes me feel shame for failing to include it in my Top Ten(ish) of 2010. Please forgive this epic oversight as I belatedly introduce you to Opus Eponymous, the debut by Sweden’s Ghost, which is a goldmine of expertly written and played mega-retro 70’s style satanic heavy metal. Taking inspiration from old Mercyful Fate, Witchfinder General, Pentagram and every horror film about satanic cults ever made, Ghost operate in a time warp where metal was as much about mood as sheer musical heaviness and where melody and accessibility were king. Opus Eponymous sometimes feels like the soundtrack to The Exorcist and at other times like Anton LaVey’s satanic mass set to music but it’s compelling, instantly likable and a lot of evil rocking fun for those among us in the left lane of the highway to hell.