Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Hand of Doom's Beast of 2015

Its been another rifftacular year, once again near on impossible to keep up with it all. Here's a good long list of the albums, demo's and EP's that made an impact on the eardrums. As always with these things, there will be bands that I've overlooked amongst the chaos. Drop me a line on Facebook or  email at and let me know if there was something that has been criminally overlooked :p           

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Judd Madden - Waterfall II - available now on Bandcamp

Melbourne's prolific doom master Judd Madden (Music) has released yet another opus, adding to the great collection of albums he's created. This time there's a twist... To quote the man himself: "It's my most varied album to date, with crushing doom, sludgey riffs, hazed acoustics and male & female vocals." Check the incredible cover art from Jeff Smith, and see more of his work at
All paths defined...
Future only cycles...

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Interview with Midmourner

From Birmingham Alabama comes sludge/doom outfit Midmourner, a grime filled wrecking ball that has certainly made a very solid impression here at Hand of Doom Radio.  You can catch them on Facebook and hear the riffs over at their Bandcamp page .  Here is a recent interview with Shane George, the man responsible for the vocal howls and growls

First up, cheers for taking the time out to do this interview, and congratulations to the band in putting together such a kickass heavy EP in “Adorned in Fear and Error”.  You guys were recommended to me a few months back and I have to say that the EP has been on rotation on Hand of Doom Radio since, it’s the kind of sickening, face kicking heavy that firmly ticks the box here. 
Thanks for the kind words about our new EP. The entire band is proud of the songs that ended up on the release. We want to thank you for giving our music a chance to be heard by people outside the U.S. Hand of Doom Radio is well respected by heavy music fans here in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s our pleasure to be in this interview and it’s an honor to have our music in rotation on Hand of Doom. Glad to hear that Midmourner came highly recommended by someone you know…that means there are at least two awesome people that are fans of our music living in Australia! Ha! By the way, what the hell does “ticks the box” mean?

I actually heard about you guys from a friend of mine in Hamburg Germany, Tanja Grols- she's always recommending high quality riffage across Facebook.  I’ve heard mention of (but haven’t actually heard) prior bands that members of Midmourner have played in, such as Molehill and Residue and Michael Jackson Sleepover (wtf?!!). When and how did the band take shape? Take us through the different roads that have brought you all together in Midmourner. 
 Matt and I were in Molehill for several years before the band ended for the first time. Matt and Molehill guitarist, Drew, formed the band Residue. Residue put out a 7” split but never really got going due to substance abuse and other thorns in the side. Later on, Bobbie and I put together a grind/power violence band called Michael Jackson Sleepover. The line-up featured our friend Michael Files on guitar, Tony Featherwolf on drums, and ex-Molehill bassist, Sonny Harris. The band was a lot of fun, but drugs ended this band before we ever really reached our stride. A few years passed until Bobbie got the itch to play some ultra-heavy, ultra-sickening sludge noise. I was recruited to fill the position of vocalist. Although I was hesitant to jump into another band that was going to have to earn its stripes and start everything from the bottom, I decided to give it a go. Fate brought us to an Eyehategod show in July of 2014. By some strange cosmic magic, we ran into Matt and got caught up with recent events in each other’s lives. It didn’t take long for us to start a discussion about music. Bobbie and I decided to ask Matt about playing bass in Midmourner, even though the first bassist was standing right there with us. Matt accepted our offer, and two weeks later, we were jamming out on what would become the song “Exchanging Piss for Ruin”. The different roads that the five of us were on eventually came to the same destination despite the hills, roadblocks, and detours along the way. Thank God we were able to connect and become such good friends because, at the end of the day, you have to have a strong foundation to build a lasting project on. Personally, I love and respect every one of these guys. I’ve never been so content and so comfortable with a group of musicians in my life. Midmourner feels like family to me and I’m positive that the other guys feel the same. 

What’s behind the name of the band, any particular reference or meaning?  
Within a two year period, my younger brother, a close friend, and my mother died. All of the pain, regret, sadness, and guilt that accompanied the losses overtook me and occupied every thought and moment that I had. It’s hard to explain that sick feeling in my gut to other people that haven’t had to deal with such loss. The act of mourning is all encompassing, and that becomes your life. It felt like I was slowly drowning every passing day. To this day, I still find myself weighed down by the process but I’ve learned to let the hopelessness and pain be the fuel that drives this music. If I think about it now, I actually owe the inspiration of Midmourner to that painful era in my life.

And on the lyrics front – are they about showering with your bass player Chad Lowery and setting household items on fire by any chance? (Hah!)
As far as lyrics go…I must admit that as much fun as it is to shower up with Chad Lowery and watch our drummer’s wife set fire to couches and appliances, the song lyrics actually deal mostly with the human experience of everyday life. I have never been comfortable printing lyrics to songs in any band I’ve been in. I know people are curious about subject matter or whatever, but I just think that a song lives or dies on the quality of the music. I may change my mind later on, but for now…I’m sorry. 

My fave track on the EP is ‘A Salting of Circles’, probably in part due to the uplifting hope and inspiration within the opening clip with the little kid just reminding us all that we’re all going to die haha. Where is that clip from, and are there any particular tracks on the EP that are favourites of the band 
Thank you for seeing through the fa├žade of that song and discovering that it’s actually an ode to all things positive and wonderfully happy!!! Midmourner is our way to spread joy and sunshine around the world! It’s our mission to wipe away the tears of a sad human race! The clip is from the movie “What About Bob”. Luckily, Matt is always finding and recording cool and weird clips of dialogue from various movies and television shows. The band loves every song that we’ve written from day one. It’s rather hard to pick out one individual track and call it our favorite, but I think we all agree that “Torrentials” is probably the strongest and best structured song. “A Salting of Circles” is a favorite of mine because the subject matter is centered around a very painful incident that has haunted me for a long time. Maybe, someday, I will explain all this shit to everyone, but I doubt it.

What was your approach to the writing & recording process for ‘Adorned in Fear and Error’?
We approached the writing with one mindset…to create the heaviest, ugliest, most genuine expression of frustration and anger that we could and invite all those interested to join in the misery. We approached the recording process in the same way. We all knew that we had limited funds and limited time to put these songs together and get them recorded. However, we were determined to capture the feeling that we all got from creating these songs. We busted our asses to get the recording we wanted and after hearing the rough mixes, we knew that the hard work paid off. The entire process went so smooth that it felt like a dream. That was the easiest recording session I’ve ever been through and the end result was exactly what we wanted. Much thanks to engineer Matt Whitson.

Is the heavy music scene healthy in your part of the US? Are there any particular bands you’d like to point out that are worthy of checking out?
Historically, this part of the American South has a rich history of heavy bands (Eyehategod, Cavity, Kilara, Floor, etc.) as I’m sure everyone knows. At the present, there’s still a good amount of bands here that are continuing the Southern sludge/doom legacy, such as Koza, Hexxus, Crawl, Sons of Tonatiuh, Season of Arrows, Hog Mountin

Hell yes - some great bands there and a few for me to check out. I'm familiar with Season of Arrows, Sons of Tonatiuh and Crawl, sick bands. So what’s up next for Midmourner – when does your full EP officially launch, do you have any upcoming shows in the works, spill the beans!!
We have some big shows coming up later this summer that we’re excited about playing such as Tennessee Sludge Fest and a couple of more shows that are still in the works. Right now, we are shopping the EP around to see if we can find a cool label interested in doing a proper release. If we can’t find a label then we will continue to put it out ourselves. Midmourner is made of musicians spawned from the punk rock DIY subculture…We’re not afraid to self-release the EP if we have to, but we would rather have a label get involved. That way, the EP can get out to a larger number of listeners. A label helps a band’s music get the distribution that you can’t get with a total DIY effort. That’s a huge advantage that just can’t be argued about.

What’s currently cranking in the stereos and cars of the band members right now? Give us some riff recommendations from the Midmourner camp.
Wow…I’m gonna answer for the whole band and I hope they will approve of my guesswork! Here it goes…

Bobbie – Iron Witch, Melvins, Ringworm, Samhain, Dead Milkmen, Pig Destroyer

Shane – Avail, Interpol, Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Kilara

Chad – Black Flag, Eazy E, Despise You

Rick – Weedeater, Megadeth, Whitesnake, Grief

Matt – Floor, Cavity, Karp, Beatles, Cattlepress, Thug, Fleet Foxes, Pixies

As far as recommendations go, we collectively endorse these criminally underrated bands…Scrog, Kilara, Hog Mountin, Horsehunter, Wartrodden, Hexxus, Serial Hawk, Capsized, Brain Oil, Stoic, Marrow, Iron Witch, Red Necklace, Crawl, Glazed Baby, Blue Eyed Boy Mister Death, Catchfire, Leechmilk. Although some of these bands are no longer around, they still deserve the credit for putting out some great fucking music. Every band listed has the official Midmourner seal of approval!

Cheers again for the taking the time out to do the interview – any parting words for the readers/listeners out there?
Thanks again for letting me babble on about the band. The band appreciates Hand of Doom Radio for playing our music and for helping to build more listeners along the way. Hopefully, the radio show will live on and continue to promote underground heavy-as-fuck music for a long time!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

New player functionality

Beginning work on site updates and functionality.

Launching an upgraded player functionality today (see below) just hit play and crank the volume (obvious I know!) :p 

Working on adding playlists and requests. You can tune into the station from here, from, or via the Tunein App or website

You can find the majority of the bands on this station over at Bandcamp or Facebook - check them out and show them some support. Thankyou to everyone that tunes in, I hope you're enjoying the riffs and finding albums to buy and new bands to dig into.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Shooting the breeze with Merchant - Melbournes newest riff machine

HoD: Merchant.... Great name for a band, makes me think doom merchant or riff merchant. Given that you guys are a fairly new band, at least to my knowledge on the live scene anyhow, please introduce yourselves and let us know a bit of the history of how all this came together... 

Wilson: Ben, Nick and I got together mid last year with the idea of doing a heavy, uncompromising band where we play exactly the kind of music we want to play. We'd all played together in a band, Rainbird, before so it was pretty easy working together from the get go. 

Ben: We are all good mates and have been playing music with each other since we were teenagers, and all in the same band at one point or another. We had a lot of the music nutted out by the start of the year but were sans vox. Mirgy came along a few months ago, and it honestly only took one practice for us to realise he was the dude to 'sing'. We looked at what had been written really objectively, as we had no vocal patterns in mind when we wrote them, and took it from there. There weren't a lot of changes to the songs, Mirgy just did his thing. 

HoD: How would you describe your sound?

Wilson: A lot of people have mentioned Graves At Sea as a band with a similar sound – which is really cool to hear and I can agree. In my mind, it's somewhere between Graves at Sea, YOB, Dopesmoker-esque 12th fret worship and early High on Fire. I feel weird mentioning all those dudes in the same breath as us, as it probably has no basis in reality...

Ben: Yeah I would agree, it’s pretty difficult to describe, especially to people who are still laughing at the fact that there is a silly sounding genre known as ‘Doom Metal’. But yeah, I generally prefer to use broader words that can be interpreted differently, so that people can form ideas themselves and then eventually join the dots when they can actually hear our music.

HoD: Seeing your debut gig you played three tracks, around about 40 minutes all up roughly - all of them twisted, low, slow, epic riff adventures. Do you have more tracks up your sleeve or under construction currently?

Wilson: That's it for now. We just got out of that embryonic stage where you're trying to build a set list, so all of our time has been spent on getting onto a stage and getting the music in front of people. Now that we've done that, it’s back in the writing phase. We've got heaps of riffs and heaps of ideas about what kind of music we want to create so now it's just getting that all pieced together. Easier said than done, however. 

Ben: Yeah we are pretty eager to start getting our name out there a bit now and start to play some shows now that we have a medium length set ready to go. Which is awesome so now we can combine our writing with performing and start to operate like a real band?

HoD: You have the track 'Seismic' up on Bandcamp at the moment, a live demo to give people the vibe of the band. What plans do you have in store for Merchant for the remainder of 2015 and beyond?

Wilson: A physical release is definitely the big goal before the end of the year. How long it is or what songs feature on it remain to be seen, the writing process will hopefully guide us and solidify what we want to go forward with. Ideally, plenty more shows too.

Ben: It would be awesome to start playing some shows with the more established bands such as Watchtower, Horsehunter, Yanomamo only to name a couple, and yeah just to get our name out there, build a little fan base and fill our head with delusions of grandeur, haha.

HoD: Do you have some gigs coming up you'd like to tell us about?

Wilson: We're playing with Frozen Planet 1969, Borrachero and Olmeg at The Tote upstairs on the 22/5. 

HoD: Thanks heaps for your time guys, and all the best with the band. Will catch you guys on stage soon no doubt.

Wilson: Thanks to you too, Hand (if that is your real name). Cheers for supporting the local scene and cheers for programming a crushing radio station day in, day out. 

Ben: Yeah it’s absolutely awesome to see how much support there is in this little scene, and it’s all cause of legends like you Hando! Cheers!

Not at all - it's all thanks to the creative talent of people such as yourselves.

Get along to the gig on the 22nd of May at The Tote in Melbourne, or check out the band at their Facebook and Bandcamp pages.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Merchants of Doom

Over the course of the last few years here in Australia there has been a mighty surge of bands bringing high quality heavy – Clagg, Whitehorse, Horsehunter, Lizzard Wizzard, WatchTower, Motherslug, Holy Serpent, TTTDC, Sons of the Ionian Sea, The Ruiner,  Yanomamo, Sumeru, Agonhymn, Cement Pig… And this is just the tip of the iceberg, the list goes on and on. Exciting times for the bands and the punters here, and that’s an understatement.

A few weeks ago a new band on the scene in Melbourne called Merchant played their debut gig. A whole slew of diverse bands were on the bill, amongst them the bluesy stoner rock grit of Elbrus and popular locals Holy Serpent riding the wave of their RidingEasy Records release. Needless to say a decent size crowd was in attendance, but I doubt many were expecting to be sledgehammered by Merchant….

Right from the word go it was dirty, low, demolition riffing. Real, visceral, in your face…  Within the first minute I knew this band wasn’t just going to be around town making up the numbers, these dudes had that same immediate kick to the face feel that everyone took notice of when Horsehunter first started gigging around town.

“The Earth will shake when it hears my VOIIIIICE!” was the lyric over the opening madness of ‘Seismic’. And it felt like the ground was opening up right then and there. This seemed like anything but a band playing its first gig, these guys were on fire from the outset. For the sake of a reference point, think Yob, Suma, Graves at Sea…. 

On to what we have before us here for you all to check out. Merchant have just put a live demo recording of the track “Seismic” on Bandcamp.  Clocking in at 9:36 this has plenty of twists and turns,  sludging its way forth with low riffs and potent, abrasive vocals delivered with evil intent. The drums could sound more balanced in the mix but hey, this is a live demo so it’s easy to look past such things. What is most impressive here is the songwriting – Seismic truly kicks ass in that department – and Merchant’s demolishing live performance. A mountain of potential and promise here. 

“A taste of what’s to come. Be prepared for some sludgy, black and psychedelic brain lubrication” is the message from Merchant on their Bandcamp page. No doubt in my mind that these dudes will unleash a devastating array of music in the future. Have a listen and I reckon you’ll pick up on the vibe here too. Definitely a band to keep your eye on.