Memphis, Tennessee has a heritage of rock n roll that is almost unequalled by any city except Liverpool. Let’s face it, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Roy Orbison, B.B. King and many other notables either originated here or got their break playing in the city. And it so happens that I have been contacted by another band that hails from Memphis, although it’s unlikely that their style of music will ever be mentioned in the same breath as those listed above. That’s not because I don’t rate them; it’s because they play uncompromising, heavy doom! Meet Galaxicon.
Galaxicon is Paul on drums, Ben on guitar/vox and Shawn on bass/vox. Between the three of them they construct a towering, dark edifice of doom so negative and angry that if you walked around it, you would most likely be sucked in. They bring to mind bands like Zoroaster, and thus their excellent spin-off, Order of the Owl, in the sense that they whip up an unrelenting fury that doesn’t just drift off into downtuned stoner, but hauls in influences from other areas such as Sabbath-y rock, the desperation of Death Metal and even the good time, whiskey – soaked groove of Weedeater.
On 7th July they release their debut album on Good for Nothing records, entitled ‘Old Gods‘. It is a diverse affair, because of the mix of styles and also tempos and structures. It’s mastered by James Plotkin, who also worked on the Slomatics excellent release amongst others. Never ones to shy away from complex timing changes, which is one thing I always loved about bands like Metallica and Sepultura, these boys have got a good ol’ grounding in music and it shows. It’s always a risk that things get too dark when listening to doom bands, but Galaxicon manage to pull it out of the swamp and crank up the tempo when things get too inward looking and intense. The sleeve design also wins points for having an inverted pyramid, a single eye and mystic symbols in one design.
Check this release out, crack the top of a bottle of Bourbon if that’s your thing, and whip up a doom in your living room with this one! Hot tip: start with track no. 1, ‘Serpent Savior’, crank up the volume and let the doom hit you!