San Diego's instrumental stoner/psych/blues/hard rock act Earthless now find themselves on Nuclear Blast Records for their latest release Black Heaven, and they've added a new element to their '70s influenced sound…vocals. That's right boys & girls,
guitarist Isaiah Mitchell finally lends his nasally Ozzy/Zakk Wylde/Ronnie Van Zandt styled vocal ramblings to Earthless' heavy fuzz soaked music, and the results make for one hell of an enjoyable album in Black Heaven.Touching on classic '70s styled hard rock, Southern Rock, stoner, funk, and psychedelia, Black Heaven fires on all cylinder from start to finish, the trio obviously having a blast delivering their already lethal music now to potentially scores of new listeners.
"Gifted By the Wind" busts out of the gate with some kick ass wah-wah and talk box guitar effects, the rhythms kicking butt ala early Grand Funk Railroad or The James Gang while the guitars scorch with the intensity of Robin Trower, Tony Iommi, and Joe Walsh. "End to End" sees Earthless do what they do best, delivering psych induced stoner rock, slashing guitars and effects eventually giving way to meaty riffs and propulsive drumming, Mitchell's vocals this time around sounding not unlike Walsh on those first few James Gang albums. At nearly 9-minutes, "Electric Flame" is massive, chock full of fuzzy riffing and scorching lead guitar, the rhythm team of bassist Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rubalcaba working overtime laying down some fiery grooves. "Volt Rush" is one of the albums two instrumentals, this one a brief yet crankin' torrent of classic Krautrock for the modern age, while the epic title track conjures up images of Black Sabbath, Captain Beyond, and Sir Lord Baltimore with its massive riffs and energetic band interplay. Mitchell really turns it up here, his screaming Jimi Hendrix/Tony Iommi styled explorations just face melting and jacked with intensity. Black Heaven closes with the bluesy "Sudden End", another lengthy piece with more of a somber tone, bits of Sabbath, The Allman Brothers Band, Mountain, and Lynyrd Skynyrd drifting over a smokey haze of tight grooves and whisky soaked guitar solos.
This is a really fun, hard rocking album from a band who have really opened up their music to the masses by adding vocals to their already successful formula. Fret not though, their near legendary instrumental explorations are still intact here, but overall their music now has a certain accessibility factor as well that makes them an even greater force to be reckoned with. Do not miss this one!
1) Gifted By the Wind
2) End to End
3) Electric Flame
4) Volt Rush
5) Black Heaven
6) Sudden End