October 21, 2010


Punk icon and lead singer of The Slits, Ari Up, has passed away at age 48. John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) who is married to Ari Up's mother Nora made the following statement on his website:

"John and Nora have asked us to let everyone know that Nora's daughter Arianna (aka Ari-Up) died today (Wednesday, October 20th) after a serious illness. She will be sadly missed.
Everyone at JohnLydon.com and PiLofficial.Com would like to pass on their heartfelt condolences to John , Nora and family.
Rest in Peace."

The Slits live in Stockholm earlier this year.

October 20, 2010


A trio of bands all hailing from the TeePee label have been booked for the 2011 Roadburn festival. Actually I wouldn't have to tell you which bands, I mean, has that label released anything bad? But yeah, we're talking about The Atomic Bitchwax, Quest For Fire and Naam. The following texts are from Roadburn.com.

The Atomic Bitchwax‘s heavenly songwriting seems fueled by the grace of God (or at least a case of beer and a few spliffs). Since the mid  90's, the band (now consisting of Chris Koznik, Bob Pantella and Finn Ryan) have continued onward and upward in their journey to produce top  notch high-octane riff rock, outstanding album after outstanding  album.

The band’s latest record, TAB 4 (TeePee Records), is laced with great guitar  harmonies and catchy vocals, all underpinned by the Bitchwax‘s ability  to pen excellent and catchy tunes. They augment their hook-laden  songwriting by throwing down ridiculous riffage on stage, earning them a reputation for delivering rip-roaring live shows.

Toronto’s Quest For Fire are on TeePee Records (instant cred) and play a dirty, full-blown fuzzed-out mix of classic rock and amphetamine-fueled garage-acid-psychedelica, conjuring up images of Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising as well as molten lava. Quest for Fire  are definitely one of the best new bands to appear on the heavy psych rock scene, as showcased on much acclaimed albums like their self-titled full-length and Lights from Paradise.
Hallucinogenic explorers Naam play a grim electric blues that recalls a more spacey Black Sabbath. However, the band is not afraid to explore different territories. Naam‘s self-titled debut full-length (out on Tee Pee Records) unlocks a mind altering reality, by giving way to doom, sludge and unpredictable psychedelic brain funk. Naam even briefly visits black metal blast beats for the album closer Black Ice. Naam has a dark and vibrating space oddity about them to befuddle ground control, and are definitely one of the best new bands to appear on the heavy psych rock scene, together with labelmates Quest for Fire.

KTL Live at Kägelbanan, Stockholm, Sweden, Sep 16 2010

Went to check out KTL a while back. I guess you're familiar with them already, but for the newcomers, KTL are Peter Rehberg (Editions Mego) and Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O))) ). Peter and Stephen were in Stockholm to work in the EMS studios, recording new music to F.W. Murnaus' (Nosferatu) "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans" from 1927. The piece is done for the Louvre theatre in Paris, where "Sunrise (L'Aurore)" will be performed on December 3. Really wish I could be there. While in Stockholm, of course KTL felt the urge to perform for us as well.

I had not seen the band live before, but was blown away by the set. You might think that a live set consisting of a stage with two men sitting on chairs bowed down over their gear could not be captivating. If that's the case you clearly haven't seen these guys live. They capture the audience completely with their ambient drones. It felt much too short though, like they walked off stage right in the middle of everything. If KTL wanted to leave us wanting more; they succeeded big time. It would have been great to hear more of Stephen O'Malley's heavy riffing that was going on by the end. Another downside was the low sound volume. I wanted to feel my insides, not listen to what the people behind me was talking about. That's Swedish laws for you. Other than that, an excellent evening.
Text and photos by Mattias Andersson. 
Photo quality by iPhone.

October 19, 2010


Stockholm based tattoo and piercing parlour Swahili Bob's are celebrating five years on November 6. The event takes place at Allhuset in Stockholm. Tickets are out now, at 160 SEK each.

Bands performing are none other than:

BLACK BREATH (USA) Death metal with a touch of hardcore. Signed by Southern Lord and making their Swedish debut.
CRUDE (Japan) Excellent "Burning Spirits" hardcore.
+ a partycover band TBA.

For more info, go to Swahili Bob's.


A new video has been posted online for the track "Electric Flower" from the Melvins' latest album "The Bride Screamed Murder". The video is directed by Mark Brooks. Check it!

Scion A/V Video: Melvins - Electric Flower from Scion A/V on Vimeo.


The Roadburn crew show their good taste as usual. Jason Köhnen's (also known as Bong-Ra) The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble have been booked to play at the festival. Dare we hope for a performance by their alter ego The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation as well? Let's hope so.

From Roadburn.com:

We’re very proud to announce that The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble has been confirmed for the 2011 Roadburn Festival, set for Thursday, April 14 at the Midi Theatre in Tilburg, Holland.

Formed in 2000 as a project to compose new music for existing silent movies, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, led by Jason Köhnen (Bong-Ra) and Gideon Kiers, proves that there is still something fresh to be created at the nexus of post-rock, jazz and drone, as showcased on  stunning albums like the Mutations EP and Here Be Dragons.

Darker than  future jazz, yet lighter than doom jazz, the band’s beautiful cinematic soundscapes evoke images of abandoned villages in a post-war  eastern european silent film, eerie yet melancholy.

Impressive, profound and organic, the band’s deeply emotional and  original trips are a perfect rendition of the ensemble’s live shows. Combining traditional instrumentations (comprising cello, trombone, violin, beats, guitar, bass and vocals sometimes) with existing and / or self-developed software, continuously blending and mutating, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble creates an organic and electronic performance, supported by visuals which add to and interact with the frequencies of said instruments.


Atlanta's very own, Zoroaster have been booked for Roadburn 2011. Nice one we say.

From Roadburn.com:

Roadburn Festival is very pleased to report that Zoroaster will be playing the Thursday Roadburn date, Thursday, April 14th, 2011.

Atlanta trio Zoroaster have never been content with sticking to one  sound or formula and albums like Dog Magic and Voice of Saturn  showcase a band operating within the realms of doom metal, sludge and psychedelic rock but showing a serious tendency to meander. Both  records show hints of a band that can be both monolithic  and  atmospheric but also swing like vintage Sabbath at the very same time. When all three factors converge, Zoroaster is capable of delivering the coolest, heavy-duty, stoner odysseys this side of OM, Sleep and  Electric Wizard. However, Zoroaster‘s vision comes to full fruition on their latest album, Matador, still very much in the doom-mold,  but  now with more and shorter songs.

Sometimes a band can linger in the  shadows of their peers and be overlooked, and it’s easy to forget that some bands need a little more time to develop than others. In case of  Zoroaster, their considerable growth over the years has placed them in the pantheon of psychedelic doom, up on Mount Collosus, alongside their brethren.

October 17, 2010


Documentary. DVD. Long Song Pictures 2008
The documentary I've been waiting for; the story of American underground hard rock from 1970 and onward. One really can't ask for more. You get Sunn O))), Sleep, Om, High on Fire, Pentagram, The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Kyuss, Earthless, Brant Bjork, Thrones and so on, and so on. Of course, I would have loved to see more of the Melvins, although Joe Preston's story about the band in the bonus section kind of makes up for it. Another high point, also placed in the bonus section is Wino's tale about how he got clean. No one is more rock n' roll than him.
We get valuable lessons in heavy riffs, and why you sometimes want to hear a great riff over and over again. Sometimes for 52 minutes. There's also focus on the album artwork. Great artwork is for me synonymous with this genre. Interviews with Arik Roper (Sleep – Dopesmoker, Bongzilla – Amerijuanican, High on Fire – Death is This Communion) and the Malleus collective (too many gig posters to mention) makes this documentary even more complete.

What's great about "Such Hawks Such Hounds" is that we're not getting showered with nostalgia here. This is a scene that is still going on, and is probably more popular than ever. Usually with these types of documentaries, it's about a scene that is regarded as over by most people. Like "American Hardcore" for instance. If you claim to like rock music and you haven't heard of the bands mentioned above, you should drop everything right now and watch this DVD. Bonus points goes out for recommending the Flower Travellin' Band album "Satori" in the "Further Listening" section.

THE GATES OF SLUMBER Hymns of Blood and Thunder

Album. Rise Above 2009
The Gates of Slumber, the band that never seems to sleep. Lucky for us that is, as they keep getting better and better. "Hymns of Blood and Thunder" is really man made metal, all the way from the cover to the song titles. Well, we're not really talking Manowar here. Sure, the whole concept looks super macho, but with a bit of self distance. As with most doom metal bands the influences are quite obvious. A touch of Black Sabbath here, a pinch of Saint Vitus there, but in this case you can also add a heavy dose of some NWOBHM. 

First track, "Chaos Calling" hits you in the face right away. A perfect opener as it's like you're being thrown into an album that's already been going for a couple of songs. There's no fancy intros here, oh no. It keeps on going like this, leaving the listener no time to breathe. And why would be wanna breathe? Who needs basic stuff like that when you can live off an album like "Hymns of Blood and Thunder"? If you do however need a break from all the metal (why would you), you can always enjoy the softer track "The Mist of the Mourning", complete with female guest vocals. It's also the shortest track on the album, maybe intentional, so that we not fall asleep.

CANDLEMASS Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

Album. Black Dragon Records 1986
This is about as classic as it gets. The debut album from Sweden's Candlemass has everything you would want from a Doom Metal album; great strong vocals, bombastic drums, heavy riffs and memorable melodies. Basically everything that makes you go 'mm.. doom'. "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" pointed the genre in the right direction and lead it to where it is today. Although a great album, it's not my favorite from Candlemass, as I think the follow-up, 1987's "Nightfall" is a bit stronger.    

The track "Demon's Gate" is probably the best of the bunch. That is if I had to pick one at gunpoint. I can admit though that I'm not a big fan of one particular guitar riff in "Black Stone Wielder". You probably know where I'm going with this. All of a sudden a riff from the Swedish poem/song "Gläns Över Sjö och Strand (Betlehems Stjärna)" enters the arrangement. This is a bit much for me. You had me at 'Styx', you don't have to go this deep to win me over. 


We started this with the 2010 festival, and the goal was to review records of the participating bands. Now we're doing it again for the 2011 festival! This time we'll try to review at least one record each from all the bands playing. Wish us luck. Here we go!


Welcome to the magazine part of Top Five Records. Previously we've been doing this on www.topfiverecords.se, but felt we wanted to change platform to make updates easier and so on.

Here you'll find reviews, live reports, news, articles and anything else we want to share with you. Enjoy.