Road to SonicBlast Moledo 2019: Five bands you must see on August 10
It is that time of the year again when we eagerly anticipate for the coming of another edition of SonicBlast Moledo, while talking to you about a few of the bands that will take part of the lineup and we think you should not miss, by any means necessary. Okay, maybe not so dramatically, but we do mean it to some extent – SonicBlast in itself is a festival no one on this beautiful blue rock should miss and the following are all reasons enough to uphold that sentiment. So, without further ado, allow us to introduce you to some of the finest bands that will be performing on the third and final day of of SonicBlast Moledo 2019.
Quite possibly the biggest name SonicBlast has ever had in its lineup, the legendary Om are a band without equal. Formed in 2003 by Al Cisneros, one of the founders of the equally legendary Sleep, Om have become an institution of the stoner genre, a result of their pensive and spiritually charged music that has greatly evolved over the years. Letting go of the usual guitar riffs that are well-known within the genre and focusing on a more bass, drums and vocals approach, Om’s sound is deeply rooted in Indian and Arabic influences, as well as hinduism and catholicism, making use of instruments like the tambura and inviting the listener to medidate and contemplate the vastness of space/time. Mind-expansion and spiritual ascension are direct results of overexposure to records like Advaitic Songs, Pilgrimage or God is Good, both of which are heavy and premonitory, but also purifying and esoteric – you will be mesmerized by the crystal clear grooves, the dancing divine rhythms and Al’s soothing yet ominous chants that invoke images of religious pilgrimages and self elevation.
Not a usual sight on European shores and much less in Portugal, Om will cause the ultimate spiritual gathering at SonicBlast, once they hit the Main stage. Get ready for a transcendent experience unlike anything you have ever seen, for a true spiritual pilgrimage is upon us.
After a cancellation back in 2016, due to complications with vocalist Mike IX Williams’ health, it seemed that a return to Portugal by Eyehategod was out of reach. Fast forward three years and the mighty kings of NOLA sludge will be finally making their presence known in Moledo. Against all forms of conformism by nature and eternally ofending your local shitty politician, Eyehategod have made a career of being pissed off at the state of things, always with a misanthropic outlook on life and with a middle finger and fist always at the ready. Their sound is like an aggravated assault on a bar fight with beer, chairs and teeth flying around – an aural assault that consists of screeching guitar riffs, gut-punching beats and venomous vocals that are as filthy and fucked up as sludge was meant to be. Classic records such as Take as Needed for Pain and Dopesick will invite you to take a deep look into the entrails of a screwed society that has absolutely no chance of surviving and you too will be screaming for societal revolt afterwards.
Renewed and revitalized after the aforementioned turbulent times, the quartet of vocalist Mike IX Williams, guitarist Jimmy Bower, bassist Gary Mader and drummer Aaron Hill are preparing the follow-up to their monumental 2014 self-titled LP, but before they head out to make the final studio preparations, they will stop by SonicBlast to teach us a lesson in violence and blood. Get ready for some nasty bruises.
Going from misanthropic sludge to the more occult side of things, we got the Richmond, Virginia doomsters known as Windhand. Master conjurers of a more psychedelic and ethereal form of doom and stoner, Windhand distill unhuried riffage that is complemented by the haunting and somber, yet instrospective voice of Dorthia Cottrell, a truly one of a kind vocalist within the genre. Just take a listen to their Soma and Grief’s Infernal Flower records, as well as their self-titled debut, and marvel at the otherworldy atmosphere the band creates, that is present in tracks like “Woodbine”, “Summon the Moon” and “Forest Clouds”, among others.
Like Eyehategod before them, Windhand were forced to cancel their appearance at SonicBlast 2016. They are making it up to us though – not only will this be their definitive debut in Portugal, they will also be presenting their latest studio effort, Eternal Return, which was deemed as one of the best records from last year and is shockful of instant doom classics. If occult doom be your craving, then let Windhand into your mind and allow them to penetrate your very soul with a mystical and obscure force – you won’t regret it.
This one is very special for a lot of people attending SonicBlast this year. Formed in 2007, in the city of Madrid, Toundra follow a tradition in post-metal of creating instrumental music that not only envelops the listener in a rich atmosphere, but also tells a deep and compelling story. That is this Spanish quartet’s greatest achivement and asset, and one they continually explore to brilliant results. Songs like “Strelka”, “Kitsune”, “Ara Caeli” and “Tuareg” capture the imagination of the listener with their rich melodies that help visualize a world where nature meets legend and magic, something that has earned the band a great deal of respect and reputation over the years.
The band has performed in Portugal before, but this will be their first time at SonicBlast. You might think they are an odd choice for a stoner festival, but you’d be suprised how well the band blends in any sort of musical gathering. And if you still have any doubts left in your mind, do yourself a favour and catch Toundra on the Main stage – you will be taken on an auditory journey that you will never forget.
Self-described as a loud five piece rock band, San Diego’s Sacri Monti might be a relatively recent band, having been formed earlier this decade, but their passion and roots run deeper than you think. Influenced by early 70s hard rock and krautrock, as well as psychedelic and prog rock, Sacri Monti could be described as a supergroup of sorts – they share members with Radio Moscow, Monarch and Sigil of Dragon, after all -, though saying that is their defining quality wouldn’t be doing the band justice. More than just a one time thing or a jam band, Sacri Monti take the San Diego sound as a basis and expand on it, mixing it with the aforementioned influences and creating a musical style that is entirely their own.
This past month of July, the group released their sophomore record, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour, a record filled with enchanting grooves that catapulted the band to the front row of the genre. And since they have a brand-new release, a return to SonicBlast is in order. And if back then, they delivered an extraordinary performance, we are expecting nothing less than that when they step on the Main stage on the Saturday.
Article assembled from suggestions by the Lore team
Words by Filipe Silva