(By Leanne Ridgeway, Owner/Chief Editor, RiffRelevant.com)
Demon Eye sparked out of Raleigh, North Carolina around 2012, and is one of those bands that are truly fun to watch live. They’re having as great a time on that stage performing (if not more so) as anyone in front of them experiencing their set.
Demon Eye has their own blend of heavy classic rock, traditional doom and proto-metal, offset by distinctive vocals. I’ve had the opportunity to see them twice, and am rather excited to have the chance again in 2018. The band is scheduled to perform at both the New England Stoner and Doom Fest in April, and the Descendants Of Crom Festival in September. They released their third album last August, ‘Prophecies and Lies‘ (audio stream at the end of this article).
In addition to being the guitarist and vocalist for Demon Eye, Erik Sugg is also the guitarist for the Lightning Born, set to play this year’s Maryland Doom Fest in June. Despite the dark subject matter his bands tend to write songs about, Erik is one of the most good-natured and kind humans I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the past couple of years, and I look forward to seeing both his bands again.
I invited Erik Sugg to contribute a list of his favorite music releases from this past year, and was quite happy when he said yes. Erik has an insightful way of sharing music suggestions, and today is absolutely no exception.
RiffRelevant.com presents to you Erik Sugg’s Top Five of 2017! These are in no ranked order, he included a brief review of why he chose each of these five, and we also have each album streaming for you. Enjoy! – Leanne
Troubled Horse – “Revolution on Repeat“
A band that hits all my pleasure sensors. It’s high energy rock with an early ’70s influence and a dark edge. Very heavy and ominous without the usual methods, (tuning down, playing slow and low, etc.) They’re carrying on the Swedish tradition of sounding slick, tight, and evil via minor-key folk rock elements, and guitars that jangle rather than crunch.
(The) Melvins – “A Walk with Love and Death“
One of my all time favorite bands. They are endlessly inspired and don’t seem anywhere close to reaching the bottom of their well. This double album is chock full of heaviness, weirdness, and even some candy coated poppiness (due in part to their current bassist, Red Kross’s Steven McDonald).
Kadavar – “Rough Times“
One of the best power trios around today, and for me this is probably their strongest album since their debut. They’re a band that seems to understand the delicate balance of maximizing their stripped-down instrumentation, while not over doing it with the production and the aesthetic. They know how to write good hooks with powerful grooves while still sounding like a three piece.
John Garcia – “The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues“
I’m a long time Kyuss fan and always try to keep an ear out for anything John has been working on. He has a classic singing voice and could probably recite the ingredients to a cereal box and make me happy. It would be unfair, though, to pigeonhole John as a vocal talent only, because he’s great songwriter with a lot of good music inside of him. Some of the Kyuss covers on this record work better than others, but overall I found this to be a very strong release.
Six Organs of Admittance – “Burning the Threshold“
Probably an outlier of a selection, but for me this record brought many moments of peace and calm during a whirlwind year. Ben Chasney has been a prominent name in the psych world for quite some time, having been a regular collaborator with San Francisco noisters, Comets on Fire. Chasney’s on going solo project, Six Organs of Admittance, is a reminder of the power that one musician with an acoustic guitar can wield. It’s a little John Fahey, a little British Canterbury, and whole of Ancient Persian “incantations around the fire.”
Many thanks to Erik Sugg for sharing his favorites for the year, as well as to all the gents in Demon Eye for sharing their music with the rest of us. – Leanne
Here is Demon Eye‘s recent release, ‘Prophecies and Lies’. Grab a copy of it here.