Gear up Fuzzers, you only get one crash course before leaving Earth!
We now stand here again, 4 seasons later and the crème de la crème is to be chosen yet again. 😀
For this time around I decided to spice it up a bit with 2 tops with 10 amazing records each.
We will begin with the Pre-launch Top! Here you will find all the Blues, Doom, Stoner and Psychedelic Rock.
Now you can get yourself ready in mind and rawk out on Earth to awesome tunes filled with killer vocals.
And when you’re feeling ready or simply was born to be a Cosmonaut then head over to the Spacetrip Top!
Here you will experience Heavy Psych in all its glory and sonic waves of the holy trinity of instruments will rip through the galaxy.
But before we get to the good stuff I also wanna send a round of applause and thanks to the others in the More Fuzz team who take pictures and do write ups on the concerts they are attending.
Most bands rarely play in Sweden and when some do I often can’t go to Stockholm so the concert reviews are great!
“Without music life would be a mistake.”
The Pre-launch Top
10 : Arrowhead – Coven Of The Snake
Lets start of with a great dose of heavy Stoner Rock, Arrowhead are not new to the scene but this is my first exposure to them.
Every track is filled with heavy riffage that are really catchy & groovy and the vocals are perfect for this kind of Fuzz!
A kickass album with a higher Fat and Temperature level!
Favorite tracks: March Of The Reptiles, Coven Of The Snake & Golden Thunderhawk.
9 : Dead Feathers – All Is Lost
This is one of the best sounding records of the year IMO, a beautiful guitar tone with drums & bass mixed at a perfect level.
They play some 70’s influenced Psychedelic Rock which mostly has an occult vibe to it.
And to top it off Marissa Allen lay down some amazing vocals and she got that voice that will easily be recognized when you have heard it.
Just like singers from bands like Jex Thoth and Jess and the Ancient Ones.
Favorite tracks: At The Edge, Cordova & Smoking Gun.
8 : Gévaudan – Iter
These guys first caught my attention because the singer Adam Pirmohamed have a woeful tone to his voice, much like Aaron from My Dying Bride which is one of my favorite doom metal bands out there.
But they quickly showed me that their brand of a traditional kind of Doom Metal are to be reckon’ with.
The song writing are top notch and when you listen to the lyrics you can truly paint a picture from the tales sung by Adam.
I had a listen to the past releases by them which wasn’t as exciting so hopefully this is them finding their sound.
So I will definitely keep an eye for future releases by Gévaudan!
Favorite tracks: Dawntreader, The Great Heathen Army & Duskwalker.
7 : The Cosmic Trip Advisors – Wrong Again, Albert…
These guys blew my mind right from the first listen with their bluesy Psychedelic Rock.
The album is filled with catchy melodies and you’re also treated to a handful of guitar solos and a lot of organ playing.
But occasionally they slow it down for some more soulful tunes, “Such is Life” even has a country music flair to it.
And Lesley Muir totally shines with her powerful voice no matter what route the band takes and if you like singers like Elin Larsson from Blues Pills then you will probably dig this!
Favorite tracks: Oh My My My!, Had To Have It & Bottle In Me.
6 : The Black Wizards – Reflections
Man! The Black Wizards just keeps gettin’ better and better with each album!
Huge sound through its awesome production and maybe the most psychedelic album on the Pre-launch Top.
Back in August our own Mr. Witchfinder did a proper review of Reflections which you can read Here.
Favorite tracks: Outlaws, 56th Floor & Kaleidoscope Eyes
5 : Lemurian Folk Songs – Ima今
Here comes another band that is new to me and at one point my co-workers probably got sick of hearing Ima to often. 😛
LFS plays suberb Psychedelic Rock with punchy bass grooves and guitar riffs ranging from calm oriental vibes too Heavy Psych intensity.
Really dig Krisztinas vocal style as well which compliment the music in a way that adds an extra layer in the atmosphere.
Favorite tracks: Highself Roundhouse & Melusina III.
4 : Year Of The Goat – Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis
Time for an oddball in the list! The Swedish band Year of the Goat have been releasing music since 2011 and this is their 3rd album.
We’re talking Occult Rock with inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s and a keen ear for melodies.
If you dig bands like The Devil’s Blood and Ghost then this might be for you, I myself think they land somewhere in between those two with their combination of catchyness and at times proggier tendencies.
The forth track “Ira” is one of my absolute favorite tracks this year, beautiful in its slow atmospheric pace and a powerful chorus to die for.
Favorite tracks: Ira, Subortus & Superbia.
3 : Lucy In Blue – In Flight
Second album of Pink Floyd inspired Psychedelic/Prog Rock by these young talented guys from Iceland.
Here they really stepped it up and further developed their own sound and in better ways incorporate the floydian soundscapes into the songs.
Most songs stay in mid tempos and dreamy atmospheres but there are splashes of proggy faster sequences.
In Flight is probably my most listened too album during warm summer nights and the title track is absolutely stunning.
Favorite tracks: In Flight, Matricide & Respire.
2 : Swallow The Sun – When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light
Another oddball on my list! STS plays Death/Doom Metal with a hefty dose of Finnish melancholy.
This one came out in January and was one of the first albums that truly caught my ears.
And it’s full of beautiful melodies written by guitarist Juha Raivio who lost his partner in 2016.
He stated: “I’ve been pretty much a hermit in the woods for two and a half years. Gathering my life to write this album.”
So you can imagine we’re not in for a happy in the sunshine album.
I do feel like the “death” part of the music has gotten pushed back some compared to their earlier albums.
Like the growls isn’t as present on every track and sparingly used for maximum effect and instrumentaly they weave between crushing doom and melodies that are gorgeous.
Favorite tracks: Here On The Black Earth, Stone Wings & The Crimson Crown.
1 : Villagers Of Ioannina City – Age Of Aquarius
These guys blend of Psych & Stoner Rock with folk melodies through the use of bagpipes and flutes are the bomb!
I’ve been playing their 2014 debut album Riza a lot since I saw them at Freak Valley 2016 and since then eagerly awaited their sophomore record. This year it came and what a freakin’ awesome record!
Musically, what a step up! The arrangement in the songs, guitar riffs & melodies of the folk instruments cruising on top.
The singer sounds better than ever and I for one don’t mind that they switched to English lyrics.
Welcome and Age of Aquarius are the perfect opening tracks which give you a sense of something spectacular is about to come and after that they don’t let you go until the last track fades out.
Villagers of Ioannina City truly took all these years to perfect their sound and crafted to me a flawless record!
Favorite tracks: Millenium Blues, Cosmic Soul & For The Innocent.
The Spacetrip Top
10 : Tia Carrera – Visitors / Early Purple
First out on this top is Tia Carrera and this was my first time hearing them.
On these two tracks they go for a moderate pace perfect for times when you just wanna sit back and relax.
It’s groovy and the sound is big, a bit like Earthless when they don’t shred at maximum velocity.
They’re also working on a new record to come in 2020 so that’s awesome.
Favorite track: Early Purple.
9 : Papir – VI
Most people who’s into Heavy Psych and jamming probably know of the Danish band Papir.
I heard them very early when I got into these kinds of bands and I’ve listened to every album every now and then.
But this is the first one I truly enjoy from start to finish, but maybe I should listen more to their past releases.
Something to me is relaxing about the jams even when they speed things up a bit, amazing stuff really.
Favorite tracks: VI.I & VI.IV.
8 : Comacozer – Mydriasis
Time to raise the Fat & Purple Haze level because Comacozers sound here is huge!
A lot of cool riffs and guitar & synth effects which give off a mystic vibe to the jams.
So we’re probably cruising through the far edges of the galaxy here!
If you dig bands like The Spacelords, Black Moon Circle and Cosmic Fall then you will probably dig this.
Favorite track: Kykeon Journey.
7 : Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle – Freak Out In The Fjord
Time for some “Totally Improvised Space Rock”! ØSC is one of my favorite bands yet never got on my lists before.
In 2017 they had a studio session in Norway with BMC and 4 jams ranging from 23 to 36 minutes got released.
So here you get long trips were they go between drifting casually and warp speeding through space.
Best way to get a sense of their sound is to just sit back and take a trip through one of the jams.
Favorite tracks: Rendezvous In The Nebula & Freakout In The Fjord.
6 : Satorinaut – A Micro Trip From The Studio To Outer Spaces And Beyond
This was a late find for me in November but they totally kicked my ass with their intense Heavy Psych jams.
If guitar driven jam bands like Earthless are your thing then check this one out for sure!
December 9th they also released a second album with songs from the same jam session which are equally awesome.
Worthy mention, Guitarist Bence Ambrus is also in Lemurian Folk Songs which was on the Pre-launch Top.
Favorite track: Interstellar Trainhopping.
5 : Mantra Machine – Heliosphere
Mantra Machine is yet another band I didn’t know of until Mr. Stone mentioned them on Facebook.
Amazing Heavy Psych jams which both rocks and got some atmosphere to them.
The last track Heliosphere, with the kickass guitar wizardry and Hawkwind quality bass licks at the end definitely makes it one of my favorite jams this year.
Favorite track: Heliosphere.
4 : Monkey3 – Sphere
I’ve read about the band Monkey3 quite a few times but never got into them when I heard their records.
But glad I still checked this one out because it’s freakin’ awesome.
It got some intense as hell riffing and at times really epic and overall a versatile album, everything from a heavy version of David Gilmour moments in the first 3 tracks to a Heavy Metal solo in “Mass” and a bit more psychedelic in “Ellipsis“.
Favorite tracks: Ellipsis, Axis & Prism.
3 : Their Methlab – The Last Second
Another Greek band up at the top, these guys took their time making and releasing this splendid album back in March.
I reviewed it then and you can read it Here if you like.
Overall it’s a versatile collection of songs, if I would be so bold as to say like Weedpeckers III was last year.
Awesome guitar riffs and melodies throughout each song, a mix of Psych Rock and Post-Rock.
Favorite tracks: A Call To Arms, Arctic Funk.
2 : Elder – The Gold & Silver Sessions
Elder at a top 3 can’t be a surprise to many, based on what I read Elder seem to be one of the most exciting current bands in the fuzzy scene.
I do like them though, especially their last studio album Reflections Of A Floating World.
But with this release I think they outdid themselves and hope they will do something similar again.
Illusory Motion has such an awesome chill vibe, everything from the guitar playing to the sound effects and great drum sound.
Im Morgengrauen is equally good but DAMN! Then comes Weißensee which is the best freakin’ song of the year!
Everything about it, from musical writing to the mix & mastering just makes it simply perfect!
Favorite track: You’re a potato if you didn’t figure it out. 😛
1 : A Swarm Of The Sun – The Woods
Alright, we’re at the end of the list! And by now you have been cruising the whole galaxy and thanks to Weißensee you just hit a black hole and are lost in time and space, the darkness is all around you and the only thing you can hear comes from A Swarm of the Sun!
This album came out early January and was the first album I totally fell in love with and has stuck with me through the whole year.
They are foremost a Post-Metal/Rock band but here they have more of a Funeral Doom vibe and songs which are drenched in atmosphere and not afraid to start slow and just let it build into a huge crescendo.
Blackout starts off with an organ and guitar riffs that would fit right in an album by Mono from Japan before they expand into a huge wall of sound.
The Woods starts real calm with just organ and soft spoken vocals before a loud organ takes over together with the usual instrumentation and a brief violin and then creates a huge wall of sound.
An Heir To The Throne is the last track and half of it is drums, vocals and some effects before yet again erupting into a huge wall of sound.
You get the point?! 😛
This duo has so much talent when it comes to calm and emotive parts which then go into a huge Post-Rock sound that still retain all the dark atmosphere. DAMN!!!!!