Distributor/label: Svart Records
Released: 9th November 2014
Buy Album: http://www.recordshopx.com/artist/house_of_capricorn/morning_star_rise/
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/thehouseofcapricorn
Michael Rothwell – Drums
Scott Blomfield – Guitar
Marko Pavlovic – Vocals
1. The Road To Hell Is Marked
2. In The Light Of Lucifer
3. Our Shrouded King
5. The Only Star In The Sky
6. Ivory Crown
7. Watching Falling Angels
8. Covenant’s Ark
9. Dragon Of Revelations
Stoner rock and the occult? An interesting mix and something that doesn’t purport to having too many amongst its ranks. Enter New Zealand’s THE HOUSE OF CAPRICORN, the band from a land Down Under worshipping the man from down under Earth’s surface, with their latest “Morning Star Rise” – “an unholy, antipodean hymn to a looming end, all in the blinding light of the Devil”. And loom it does.
There is no QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE-feel to this record, every song possesses a darkened veil surrounding it and lurches with malevolent intent. “The Road To Hell Is Marked” opens in energetic fashion, with a racing riff above thumping drums and Marko Pavlovic’s hellish bark before groaning into “In The Light Of Lucifer”, where the energy is maintained whilst Pavlovic adopts a cleaner, moaning vocal that only adds to the hazy, stoner feel.
This is par-for-the-course with the rest of the album: energetic odes to Lucifer (the Morning Star, hence the album title!), but it’s the two longest tracks where the band really find their niche. “Ashlands” sounds exactly as its title suggests; a post-apocalyptic barren wasteland in audio form. It drones, crawls and drags along in a darkened haze but still sounds heavy, emotive and malevolent – a perfect centrepiece. Album closer is the terrible, wasted remains of a Earth’s devastation; a wicked, heavy, lurching beast of a track befitting the mythical creature it shares its name with. “Dragon Of Revelations” rumbles into life; dissonant arpeggios atop half-time drums and Pavlovic’s moans of despair all sum to an ominous total.
There are times when the stoner haze on some tracks begins to blur them into a greyish background – THE HOUSE OF CAPRICORN almost disappear into a comfort zone and do what comes naturally, rather than push onto something that can really stand out. It’s a tried-and-trusted approach, clearly, and works but perhaps something more would really get the album as a whole singing. Nevertheless, the performances and production balance this out and offer a pleasurable enough listen.
“Morning Star Rise” will please fans of the occult quite happily and those of a stoner disposition will certainly enjoy grooving away to this. THE HOUSE OF CAPRICORN have made a solid record that sits just fine amongst the stoner rock hallmarks, whilst the lyrical content will certainly have kept Satan pleased.