Thursday, January 21, 2021

Cirith Ungol – Frost And Fire

Hear me waveriders!  Praise be to other more experienced listeners who offer guidance to unknowing music fans like myself!  If it wasn’t for the enthusiasm of Pete Pardo, the main man behind website/youtube channel Sea Of Tranquility, I would still be ignorant of the glorious heavy metal band Cirith Ungol.  Thankfully I watched SOT’s video on youtube detailing “Classic Early 80’s American Metal”, during which Mr. Pardo laid out his case for why people should seek them out.  In case you couldn’t guess, his words piqued my interest and I started listening to their first album, Frost And Fire.


Why oh why did it take me this long to discover Cirith Ungol?!?!  I’ve wracked my brain trying to determine whether or not I’d heard of or read about this band in the past.  It’s possible that since I read The Lord Of The Rings trilogy a long, long time ago my mind is simply recalling the lair of Shelob, but the mists of time are thick and opaque.  Regardless, I’m fully aware of Cirith Ungol the band now and I want to tell as many people as I can about this music!


Right, so what does this band sound like?  Allow me to extrapolate.  The title track opens the album and from the jump the listener is slapped upside the head with a wicked combination of early Rush mixed with the dual guitar assault of Judas Priest and a doomy overall sound like Black Sabbath.  The bass is prominent in the mix and the two guitarists seamlessly weave in and out of each other’s musical airspace.  Oh yeah…there’s also one other aspect that truly sets Cirith Ungol apart.  That would be the vocals of Tim Baker.


To reference that SOT youtube video once more, when I heard Mr. Pardo describe Tim Baker’s voice as “either love it or hate it” I was driven to find out for myself which camp I fell into.  Sure enough, I love his vocals!  I love his delivery, which to my ears has an almost conversational quality.  Much of the time it sounds as if he is inadvertently singing to the listener while imparting his fantastical message.  Also the timbre of his voice is definitely unique.  I compare him with a mid-range Rob Halford, but Mr. Baker’s voice has more abrasive grit.


As far as song highlights on Frost And Fire, there are seven that really grab hold of the listener.  Those are tracks one through seven.  And yes, there are only seven songs on this album (not counting the live bonus track on my reissued copy).  “Frost And Fire”, “I’m Alive”, “A Little Fire”, “What Does It Take”, “Edge Of A Knife”, “Better Off Dead”, and “Maybe That’s Why”.  Every song rocks!  Every song is memorable!  This album embodies all killer, no filler.


Waveriders would you do me a favor?  If you’ve never heard of Cirith Ungol would you take a minute of your valuable time and listen to the first song off of Frost And Fire?  If you’re anything like me you’ll know within one minute whether or not this band is to your liking.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll involuntarily listen to the rest of the album because you think it sounds so righteously awesome!  I know exactly how that goes.  Till next time friends.



Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Song Premiere From Holy Death Trio! Listen To "The Killer" Now!

Here is what the band has to say about their new song:


"The killer was written in the same vein as an old blues song from the early 1900’s.  It was originally written and performed as a one man blues band and then it naturally worked well with a full band so we made it Holy Death Trio standard.  This song is meant to feel like built up aggression with two killer guitar solos and just straight up power trio heavy blues rock-n-roll”



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Xroadie Files

Arcanum Sanctum – Ad Astra

Ivan Beschastny – Vocals, Vadim Nalivaiko – Guitar, Roman Rysyev – Guitar, Kirill Kulinichev – Bass, Nikolay Kondratyev - Drums (Session)


Wanderers in Space melodies just envelop your dreams. The Quest the music build sin intensity as it flows along in your imagination. Pack Rat death meets prog in one interesting musical twist. Down to Earth stand sway fist pump and chant as the music takes you away. Ad Astra eerie melancholic tones just drag you into hell. A Perfect Place (to Hide) fast hard heavy fist pumping pit slamming music. Solaris crunchy riffs pounding rhythms just head bang till the last note rings out. Under the Alien Sky shredding prog death metal mayhem.



Pulse – Adjusting The Space

Nemesis - Vocals /Programming /Guitars, Dom – Guitar, Vidar – Bass, Pulsar - Drums


x 31 26 43 Ny 109 430 W one strange spoken words tune that just pulls you into the recesses of your imagination. We Wont Come In Peace pulsating steady beat crunchy riff gruff vocals musical mayhem. Supersonic Trance Sphere just get up dance groove and party the night away. New Electric Freak the light an sounds just flow all around you as the night flows. Sounds And Signals just let the music and sounds take you into your memories. Adjusting The Space just let the music take you into your dreams. Encounter close your eyes and dream. Star Light just dance and groove the day away. Black Knight prog metal industrial music that just pulls you in with catchy melodies and rhythms. Points of Nibiru keyboards pulsating beats pounding and rhythms surging. The Passage Entry lost in your dreams and memories. Major Tom clap chant sing and shout as you dance. Alien Angel (Zardonic Remix) just take one strange mind trip,



Matriarchs – Year Of The Rat

Carlos Pagan/Ben Levi/Jeremy Valentine- Guitar, Brandon Wolfe- Bass, Ben Levi- Drums, K Enagonio- Vocals, Guests Musicians – Frankie Palmeri/ Neal Roemer/Myke Terry/Chris Anguiano


Verisimiltude crunchy riffs thundering rhythms and gruff vocals. Cocaine Cowboys grins slams and pummels your very senses into nothingness. BombaClot hard heavy and rhthless. Bitch Wolf hit the pit slam sweat and thrash till you drop. Dogma crunchy riffs thundering bass pounding drums and vocals from the mouth of Satan. Hollow hell opens and demons spew forth devouring all. Roots slow grinding slithering evil music that just envelops you. Sleep shredding thrashing ripping tearing aggression. Eviscerate crunchy guitar thundering bass pounding drums and harsh vocals slam sweat and thrash till exhaustion. Feed just crushes your very spirit with dark emotions.



Haxon - Wrath Of An Era

Tyler Cantrell- Guitar, Michael Dodaro – Drums, Dan Zahal – Bass, Corey Hornbaker – Vocals


Wrath Of An Era emotional guitar just envelops your very soul as the music builds The Periphery crunchy riffs pounding rhythms fast hard and heavy. Man, The State And War hit the pit slam sweat fist pump head bang and thrash. The Equilibrium Of Death melancholic tones envelop your senses as you dreams take off. Misplaced Optimism thrashing shredding moshing madness. Sands of Doom fist pump head bang and chant along. When The Phalanx Breaks old school thrash metal just enjoy. MDCCXCIII strange noises pull you into darkness. Mask Of The Other searing leads thundering drums pounding bass with gruff vocals. By Virtue just get ready to head bang with some scorching leads. 1300 just close your eyes and dream as you imagination take you away. Etched in Stone Part II powerful riffs and rhythms just envelop you.



Torment - The War They Feed

Fabri / Fede- Guitar, Umberto - Vocals, Tore- Bass, Thrasher –Drums


Power Abuse grinding crunchy riffs thundering bass pounding drums scorching leads and death style vocals. Nothing To Tell hit the pit slam sweat thrash and punch your fist till exhaustion. Paralysis just take a trip back in time when thrash ruled and everybody just loved it hard fast and heavy. The War They Feed faster than the speed of sound grab you and drags you along till you cant take I any more. The Tunnel crushing guitar shredding riffs pounding drums thundering bass with dark death vocals. Explode does what the title says grabs a hold and pounds you till you explode. Greed slam sweat thrash mosh and get aggressive. Alienation fist pump head bang foot stomp and just rock out. Survival crunchy riffs thundering bass thundering drums and harsh vocals.




Monday, January 18, 2021

Ripple Music's Todd Severin Special Guest DJ At Gimme Metal!

Hey waveriders! Thanks to your support, I’m returning WEDNESDAY for a second Ripple Music Guest DJ Special!


On this show, I’m gonna take a look at the Year End Doom Charts, play songs from all 16 Ripple bands that placed (hell yeah!) and share songs from many friend’s labels as well (blues funeral recordings, Cursed Tongue Records, Majestic Mountain records , HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS, Glory or Death Records)


Plus, there will be a very special announcement!! Talk all things doom, sludge, stoner and heavy psychedelic in the LIVE CHAT.


Come join at

Ripple Music is widely recognized as one of the world's leading purveyors of heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock.

Ripple Music's RIPPLEFEST WINTER 2020 performances from Howling Giant, Horseburner and Jakethehawk now available on Youtube!

Californian label Ripple Music had the pleasure of hosting the Ripplefest Winter 2020 event back on December 18th, with Ripple protégés Horseburner, Jakethehawk and Howling Giant. Watch all three performances now on Youtube!


A magical evening, three bands that yearn for the golden days of live touring find themselves in a cyberscape of infinite possibility... On December 18th, Howling Giant, Horseburner and Jakethehawk engaged on a virtual bacchanal to rekindle the riff and stoke the fires of friendship in a live experience unparalleled in the digital age. This first edition of RIPPLEFEST VIRTUAL gathered masses of heavy riff addicts across the globe, a perfect way to let loose and warm up before the winter break.


Clocking in at one hour each, all three live performances are now available for viewing on Ripple Music's Youtube channel. So sit tight, turn off your phone and enjoy this riff-crazy video stream as you will!


📺Watch Ripplefest Winter 2020 performances in full 📺



With over 1,000 fans attending RippleFests in Europe, the UK, and USA, RIPPLE MUSIC intends to keep rocking in the free world and deliver the finest heavy music and some exciting rock'n'roll performances to fans across the globe. Known and revered worldwide for unearthing the finest bands in heavy rock, stoner, doom, 70s rock and metal since 2010, the Californian label is home to Scott "Wino" Weinrich, Tony Reed, Poobah, Wo Fat, Colour Haze and many more.


HOWLING GIANT - Born out of some space fuzz chamber and dropped down on Nashville, Tennessee, Howling Giant’s form of metal is a unique and eclectic fairy tale trip through the stars. Find them on Facebook | Bandcamp


HORSEBURNER - Mountain-melting stoner metal from Parkersburg, USA. Stoner metal. Sludge. Doom. Call it what you will, Parkersburg, West Virginia's Horseburner creates riff-heavy rock n' roll to shake your insides. Find them on Facebook | Bandcamp


JAKETHEHAWK - Formed in 2016, Jakethehawk has always sought to synthesize the classic, riff-centric sound of proto-metal’s pioneers with the textures of psychedelic rock and progressive rock. Additionally, heavy influence is drawn from the band’s home turf... both from the the lush, wooded river valley and from the rich tradition of folk music that still blossoms here. Find them on Facebook | Bandcamp




Sunday, January 17, 2021

Return To Forever – Romantic Warrior

How do you do waveriders?  Say, let me ask you a couple of questions.  Do you like rock ‘n’ roll?  Of course you do!  Why else would you be here?  Do you like jazz?  Ah good, I see more than a few hands up out there in the audience!  Now then, what if I told you that those are two musical flavors that taste great together?  What would someone call this crazy concoction I wonder?  ‘Fusion’ perhaps?  Yeah, that sounds hip and with it!  Fusion.  Dig it!


Enough years have passed since I bought my copy of Return To Forever’s Romantic Warrior that I don’t remember what made me pick it up in the first place.  I do love rock ‘n’ roll and I do love jazz, so it was natural that at some point I would investigate fusion groups…but at the time plunking down some pay on this CD was absolutely a shot in the dark.  Thankfully that spin of the wheel turned out to be a jackpot!  I listened in awe to this album and the four stellar musicians producing these magical songs.  Recently I decided to revisit Romantic Warrior and that awe I previously experienced came back in full force!


I mean seriously?!?  Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, and Al Di Meola just consistently throw down the gauntlet for amazing technical playing that is always in service of the greater good of the song itself.  We’re talking virtuosic performances from every player, on every song on this album, but here’s the thing.  When I think about these songs I think about the outstanding melodies those virtuosic performances compliment.  There’s the playful synthesizer theme that runs throughout opener “Medieval Overture”.  The bassline that anchors “Sorceress” is impossible to not groove along with.  The main guitar riff from “Majestic Dance” screams into your memory banks.  And then there’s the elegant, beautiful piano melody that carries “Romantic Warrior”.  These are the things I remember most vividly.


Now that’s not to say that the technical passages aren’t amazing, or that the solos aren’t mind blowing.  When I typed out the words virtuosic performances I wasn’t speaking in hyperbole.  Good lord people!  This whole album is a tour de force for all four members!  Every song offers up multiple mouth agape moments.  Attempting to single out one or two standout solos, runs, or featured elements is a fool’s errand.  That said I find Lenny White’s drumming to be extraordinarily excellent from start to finish.


Waveriders I am thrilled I revisited Romantic Warrior from Return To Forever!  If you haven’t listened to this album in a while perhaps it’s time to go back and enjoy it once again.  On the other hand if you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing this gobsmackingly brilliant music, what are you waiting for?  Now’s the time friends!



Saturday, January 16, 2021

A Ripple Conversation With The Simple Radicals

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.


What have been your musical epiphany moments?


I can sum it up in two words…power chords. As soon as I heard the sounds coming out of bands like Cheap Trick, AC/DC, UFO, Kiss, and Van Halen I was all in. I was just blown away by the simplicity and complexity of their music and how it brought me to another world. There was something about that sound coming out of the cheap stereo in my bedroom and my car that was absolutely mesmerizing. Those sounds bring back great memories to this day.


Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?


I see a lot of images and moods when I write. Certain chord progressions, finger pickings and riffs often direct me on how the song is constructed and then the lyrics start to flow. It’s a bizarre process but it works for me. I actually write a lot of my songs on an acoustic guitar. Even riffs such as the songs “New Revolution” and “Medicate”. I feel that if it sounds good on an acoustic then it’s going to sound even better when plugged in. I really explore the things and issues that are near and dear to my heart or affecting those that are close to me. "New Revolution" ( is my most personal and poignant project I've ever done.


Who has influenced you the most?


There are so many other bands that have influenced me over the years including Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Green Day and Cheap Trick. When I first heard Pearl Jam’s "Ten" album I studied it day and night and still study it to this day. It truly had an influence on how I write and construct my music.


Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?


Life as we see and know it. When you distill it down to the basics and just take a look around, you’ll see that it’s so dynamic and malleable. Things develop and change right in front of your eyes every second. The challenge and opportunity is to capture that energy and decide what you want to do with it. It’s literally an open book with so much to write about. The challenging part is how to capture it all and put it into lyrics and music. But that’s also the most rewarding part.


We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?


We’re based out of the United States in Chicago, Illinois.  We’re so blessed to live in such a rich and vibrant city with an incredible music scene. Rock, blues, reggae. The city is so versatile and filled with amazing musicians. Chicago produced rock icons like Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan and blues legends such as Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters. In fact, Chicago blues is what bands like the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin modeled themselves after.


Where'd the band name come from?


The Simple Radicals more or less came out of the way my lead guitarist John Griffin and I look at life and music. We’re both somewhat non-conformists and non-conventional. We like to look at things differently. Stay simple. But think radical. Hence The Simple Radicals.


You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?


I would love to write the soundtrack for a movie like “The Terminator”. It’s fast-paced, aggressive and pure rock and roll. Arnold Schwarzenegger if you’re reading this please contact us and we’ll write a kick-ass soundtrack for you.


You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?


I’d have to pick “Corduroy” Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy album. Anything Eddie Vedder writes to me deserves further exploration. Just diving into how a turning a beat up old jacket that he got for a few bucks into one of their best songs and the emotions behind that would be a fascinating story.


Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?


We were playing a festival in the Chicago area and the band that went on before us was dressed in a horrific combination of Kiss meets The Cure meets…I’m not sure. The crowd just stood there in total shock at this sight. Nobody moved. We had to follow that act and somehow turn it around. Thankfully we did. And without any makeup! Thankfully we never got lost trying to make it to the stage for a show. We haven't gotten lost backstage on our way to the stage just yet. But it's still early.


Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?


We love to perform live and our fans know that. We feed off their energy and passion and try to give it right back to them in the way we play our music. We also try to interact with the audience as much as we can since our songs are so personal to many. There is nothing more rewarding than watching people lose themselves in your music. It’s intoxicating.


What makes a great song?


At the basic and most simplistic level you have to start with one that is really enjoyable to listen to over and over again. And to get deeper, a great song is one that elicits a reaction or compels someone to do something like sing along or turn it to eleven. If you can get


Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?


I’ve been writing for a long time and I can’t remember the exact song but I’m sure it totally sucked, it was corny and shallow, and had a really shitty title. I’ve definitely evolved over time thank goodness.


What piece of your music are particularly proud of?


The song “The Optimist” off our album “New Revolution” really hits home for me With all the shit going on today in society and in our own personal lives, it’s a song about trying to remain optimistic about things and looking at the half-full side of life. The lyrics “I’ve got the rest of my life and I’m not going to stop ‘til I get it right” is a statement about not giving up when things look dire. There’s no rush. You’re in charge of your own destiny. Get it right the best you can. But just get it right.


Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?


Eddie Vedder is my musical hero. I’m mesmerized with his writing and try to capture the messaging, passion and energy that he does in his songs. If I can even come within a million miles of that I’d consider it a success. Pearl Jam’s “Ten” album was life changing. Probably the most talented, electrifying and inspiring band in the last 30 years.


Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?


Vinyl. I still love listening to the crackle of the stylus on the record. And I don’t even mind if it skips.


Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice


Makers Mark Whiskey baby. Smooth and approachable with an easy finish. Aaaah.


We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?


We’re from Chicago and you have to go to Reckless Records in the Wicker Park neighborhood. I think it was originally from London and they have a massive selection of vinyl including some rare gems.


What's next for the band?


We have a lot going on and coming up. We continue to push our album, "New Revolution" ( which has the guitar-God Vernon Reid from the band Living Colour playing lead on the track "Medicate". We just released a song and video called “Rich Man Wanna Be King” ( which provides a scathing lampoon of President Trump. It was just released on YouTube and it’s already racked up 120,000 views and climbing. Our video “New Revolution” ( has already racked up over 60,000 views and climbing.  We’re about to release a wicked cover version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” where we collaborated with an incredible husband/wife team called Che-Val. We’ll be releasing a quarantine video to our song “The Optimist”. And, we’re about to release a podcast called “Music & A Brew” where we crack open a cold one with musical artists including Kenny Aronoff (drummer for John Mellencamp and tons of others), Todd Sucherman (Styx), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick), and Jackie “the Joke Man” Martling from the Howard Stern Show. And of course we plan to play live again once the apocalypse is over.


Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?


We’re a retro-rock and roll band that combines sounds and styles from some of our favorite classic rock bands like Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day and Cheap Trick. If you like those bands then I think you will like our sound. You can check us out on Spotify and YouTube  and follow us on,, and

And please stay safe. Stay healthy. And stay Radical.

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