Transubstans Releases 2010
From Aural Innovations #42 (May 2011)
Transubstans released a lot of diverse music in 2010 and since I rarely review MP3 files, most of the things they released I have not reviewed since they no longer send out promo CD-Rs but here I want to give an overview of some of those bands, without doing song by song in-depth reviews as there are some great records, like Lonely Kamel - Blues for the Dead. This has also been released on vinyl by Kozmik Artifactz in Berlin. Anyway, this is a fantastic new Norwegian band with a great 70’s slightly doomy sound. Anyway, this is one of the best of the Transubstans releases, with a lot of great songs, cool guitar solos, strong vocals, great grooves, etc. A very strong blues rock record. I am sorry I missed their concert in Copenhagen last year and have also missed out on the vinyl pressings, which I think there have been three now!
NYMF, a new Swedish DOOM band released their record called Black and this is a Sabbath heavy riff master record. The singer sounds very familiar to me but the bio does not tell me much information at all. These MP3 files sound terrible as well so it is not really that fair to judge the band too harshly. The band switches from a really great vocal to this very uninteresting generic growly vocal, which does not add anything to the quality of the songs at all. Anyway, a lot of pretty cool riffing songs but virtually no guitar solos or interesting band interplay, just solid down-tuned riffing.
Crystal Caravan from Umeĺ is something totally different now. This is a band that plays high energy kick ass rock and roll. A real hard rocking party band that gets the place moving, even if that place is your living room. This record features a lot of damn good high energy tracks with a distinct voice. They take the good less commercial elements of Soundtracks of our Lives and mix in the energy of bands like the Hellacopters. Some of the tracks have that 60s style farfisa organ and you might think of bands from the Bad Afro label. A very solid release but more of a great live band than one you sit on the sofa and listen to. Crank this one up when you need some energy to do some house work or the dishes!
Stonewall Noise Orchestra is back with their 2nd record on Transubstans. This album has some very solid stoner riffing tracks. Like Black Cat Bone and Stilleto Lounge they start the songs off with a small spoken word sample and have a bit of bluesy edge as well. The vocalist is quite good at mixing up using some effects and different styles of singing. This is another one of those bands that are probably damn good live like Dozer. Underdog is quite inspired by Ozzy Osbourne, funny enough. There are a lot of good hooks on this CD and tracks that you can easily get sucked into the cool vibe of the band. As I usually comment, these bands could really make things more interesting for me if they had more guitar solos or interesting parts that are not just all riff oriented changes and them back to the chorus or singing again but I can’t often get it my way.
Tombstones are another pretty new Norwegian band and this is their 2nd CD called Volume II. The band play mid paced heavy doomy riff rock with no guitar solos. Some of the tracks are like the instrumental Belgium band, Sardonis. One thing that sets these guys aside from other bands in this crowded genre is they have a guy who really tries to sing despite not having a great range and is not just some growler or screecher or half ass attempt at being a singer. Their slowest songs are actually some of the best and quite moody but I miss some very cool guitar that they could have added. A band like this would be really fantastic if they would experiment with some cool guitar. They need to listen to No More Pain by the Japanese band DOOM… Still, this record has some stuff that I liked and lot and other stuff that did not do much for me.
For more info, visit: http://www.transubstans.com
Reviewed by Scott Heller