BEASTMAKER “You Must Sin” single 

TAARKUS  “Stones” single

By Dr. Abner Mality

The Rise Above label, home of all things doomy and retro, has dived into the singles domain with three new releases. One name is pretty much guaranteed quality, the other two are newcomers.

Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell is the known quanity. 70’s influenced bluesy hard rock is a weary trope these days but absolutely nobody does a better or more authentic job of it than the Admiral. Every review of these guys has to repeat the obvious fact: they sound like they came from London 1973. The new single featuring “Isobelle” and “Break Up” is no exception. Damn, their sound is early 70’s right down to the cymbal and the vocals! Both these tunes are very much in the ASCS mode and if anything, they are the bluesiest yet. But still heavy enough to grab a headbanger’s attention.  Needless to say, this single bodes very well for their upcoming full length.

Beastmaker and Taarkus are the newcomers and both hail from California, though its’ hard to tell. I pick Beastmaker as the better band. Having Vincent Price as Dr. Phibes on the cover is never a bad thing. As for Beastmaker’s music, it is very much raw, powerful and simple doom metal with a creepy vibe. The riffs are loud and crunching, but the echoey and British-sounding clean vocals add an eerie edge. I’m reminded of Bobby Liebling of Pentagram there, though these guys are heavier. Nothing really new about Beastmaker but I dig what I hear. As for Taarkus, they opt for the female fronted occult doom rock sound. The tinny and tweedly organ tone here sounds mid-60’s if not older, making this a very dated sounding release. The female vocals are exactly what you would expect and the appearance of a flute ala Blood Ceremony is no surprise at all. I don’t dislike the two Taarkus tracks but this just sounds like more retro occult rock which we have plenty of already.