Worthy of Your Time: Low Sonic Drift

North of the border, a nation is brimming with heavy musical talent. If it carries on this way, Scotland may well become as well known for its metal bands, as it is for haggis, whiskey and battered Mars bars. I’m positively losing track of how many great bands have emerged from the Tartan nation, especially in the last year or two, and in Glasgow’s Low Sonic Drift, we can add another to the list.

Formed in 2007, Low Sonic Drift play a fusion of progressive, psychedelic melodic heavy metal, and consist of the trio of Omar Aborida (guitar/vocals), Paul Wilson (bass) and Javuad Habibi (drums). Taken from the band’s biography, they describe their sound and influences accordingly:

‘Their influences are drawn from sources far and wide; from bands of the desert such as Kyuss and Karma to Burn to the forests of Scandinavia (Opeth, Enslaved) and everywhere in between. As such their music is a vigorous combination of grandiose instrumental passages, chilled psychotropic grooves and monumental thrash style riffage. Combine that with relentless energy and a keen sense of adventure; Low Sonic Drift possess a formidable live show and have shared the stage with such acts as Orange Goblin, Weedeater, Brant Bjork, Humanfly, Black Sun and Stinking Lizaveta.’

Their debut EP ‘Shadows of the Titan‘ was released through local indie label Theoretical Records in May 2009. The band’s vision as stated above is certainly present in the EP, combining stomping riffage, psychedelic passages and thunderous beats and grooves over the course of five storming tracks including the anthemic ‘Sun Doesn’t Rise’ and ‘Shadows’. Very kindly, the band have authorised a free download of the EP’s final track, ‘Shadows’, which you can download from this location. If you like what you hear, head to the band’s Bandcamp page, or their official store, listed below.

Omar says the band are currently on hold while they write for their debut album, which will be released early next year. Upon which, you can expect some tour dates to be announced, including a planned January show with instrumental post-rockers Up-C Down-C Left-C Right-C ABC + Start, to take place at The Stereo in Glasgow – date to be confirmed soon.

Be sure to show these guys some appreciation, for they’re certainly worthy of a spot in this feature.

Previously in this series:
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Worthy of Your Time: Iron Witch

I’ve been wading plenty in the sludge and doom metal live scene for well over two years now since serving time with the ‘Dwarf, and in that time, I’ve seen plenty of evidence to show that UK sludge/doom metal isn’t just in rude health, but might actually be on the rise as well. One such band making a name for themselves in this grimy, muddy scene is one we played with recently, Iron Witch. Hailing from Liverpool, their brand of whiskey n’ booze soaked sludge tore Wakefield a new one that night and it’s likely most other venues in the UK haven’t been the same since.

The band consists of vocalist Chris, guitarists Dan and Sam, bassist Rick and drummer Will. They wear their influences proudly – Black Flag, Black Sabbath, Sleep, Eyehategod – all names synonymous with fat, grease-laden riffs in one form or another. And following in that great tradition, Iron Witch have been serving them up in spades with some Northwestern bile to relish, and have been making great strides since their 2010 demo.
They’ve just released their debut EP, ‘Single Malt’, on Witch Hunter Records, featuring cracking songs like ‘A .45 To Pay the Rent’ and ‘Booze Blues’. It’s available on a pay-what-you-want basis from their official Bandcamp page, as well as on a strictly limited-edition gatefold CD. They also recently got featured on the covermount CD of the latest American edition of Metal Hammer with ‘A .45…’, along with numerous other UK sludge bands flying the flag for grim ol’ Blighty.
We’ll have a review of ‘Single Malt’ up soon enough, for now, check out ‘A .45 to Pay the Rent’ below. Get behind these guys (and UK sludge) and get yourself covered in a real quagmire of quality 100-proof sludge metal.
Peter Clegg

Iron Witch – A .45 to Pay the Rent
Previously in this series:

Worthy of Your Time: End to Empires

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I only first caught wind of this band when they were announced as Closure’s replacement at Black Breath’s show at The Well (which we reviewed here). I was blown away by how awesome they were that night. Despite one or two technical glitches, they delivered an outstanding set that’s deserving of bigger things. Hence, End to Empires are the next band that we see as worthy of your time!
Hailing from Leeds and formed out of the ashes of D-Rail and The Vs. Project, End To Empires play uncompromising hardcore/metal with a slight d-beat slant, reminiscent of acts like Annihilation Time and Disfear. They released a three-track demo in 2010 through Beefy Records, and was a blistering example of things to come. They have since gone on to release a split 7” with fellow bruisers, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne’s Lavotchkin, which is available through Thirty Days of Night Records. They’re now working on new material for a forthcoming EP, while assaulting audiences in and around the North of the UK.
Everything End to Empires can be found at their official website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and all. They deserve to be heard over a much wider area than the concrete jungles of the North, so go check their records and shows out, and spread the word for one of UK hardcore’s finest up-and-comers.
Peter Clegg

Worthy of Your Time: The Scaramanga Six

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Surely one of British rock’s best-kept secrets, The Scaramanga Six were formed in deepest darkest Huddersfield in 1995 (at that time under the name of Scaramanga) by vocalists and brothers, Paul and Steven Morricone (guitarist and bassist respectively), and have put out several albums, EPs and singles ever since. Influenced by the likes of The Stranglers and Cardiacs, among many others, they play theatrical rock music pretty much made for the perfect adventure movie soundtrack, and so much more. The line-up is completed by long-time member, guitarist and co-vocalist Julia Arnez, and drummer Maraca Gareth Champion.
Earlier this year, they released their seventh album, ‘Cursed’ to widespread. It captures them once again at their full, bombastic pomp. Plenty of members of the UK music press have heaped praise upon the band for their work and their approach, and have won a great deal many fans in the process. They’ve also shared bills with Electric Eel Shock, The Eureka Machines and many more, exhibiting a live show full of flamboyance and danger.
And what’s more, they’ve done all of this while remaining completely independent. All their releases have been released under their own label, Wrath Records, and Paul even set up his own production company, Poison Pen Films, to handle the band’s music videos. Such an approach has ensured they retain their individuality and possess a level of creativity most bands can only dream of.
The band recently put together a compilation which available via their Bandcamp page either as a free download or a ‘name your price’ purchase. Fittingly entitled ‘An Introduction to The Scaramanga Six’, the compilation covers their career from 1995-2010, and features cracking songs including ‘You Should Have Killed Me When You Had The Chance’, ‘Baggage’, ‘The Poison Pen’ and more.
So what are you waiting for? Get on over to their Bandcamp page now and find out what you’ve been missing out on for the last sixteen years. And then go and buy their proper albums too.
 The Scaramanga Six – The Poison Pen
Peter Clegg