Samúel Ásgeirsson – Guitar, vocals
Þorsteinn Árnason – Bass, vocals
Dagur Atlason – Drums, vocals
- Where’s the Time?
- Super Duper Van
- I’m Off
- Stoneman Snowman
- Sushi Sam
- Got Game
Hailing from the barren, volcanic landscape of Iceland, the unholy trio Volcanova are set to unleash their debut album Radical Waves in August 2020 and erupt onto the hard rock scene with killer grooves and mountainous riffs as if forged in the fires of Hekla itself.
Volcanova was founded in the summer of 2014 with principle song writer Samúel Ásgeirsson on guitar and vocals. After some lineup changes, the band settled on a winning formula with Þorsteinn Árnason (Rock Paper Sisters) on bass and vocals and Dagur Atlason (Churchhouse Creepers) on drums and vocals.
After extensively touring their home country and performing with the likes of Elder, Brain Police and The Vintage Caravan, the band now have their sights set on trips abroad and before lockdown, when live music was still going strong, they played in Glasgow venues and completely won over the Scottish crowds. Armed with their fantastic debut album Radical Waves, Volcanova are poised to convert the world to their high-octane brand of crushing doom and progressive sludge metal.
It wouldn’t be a review of a doom or sludge metal album without a mention of Black Sabbath, so I’ll keep it brief. Throughout Radical Waves, it’s easy to spot the influences and not-so-subtle winks to the godfathers of heavy metal. Tracks like ‘Mountain’ and ‘Stoneman Snowman’ would not be out of place on Vol 4 or Masters of Reality, with their planet sized riff passages and thumping bass lines that follow underneath. Vocally there is only a hint of a certain Prince of Darkness as the trio, who share vocals and provide harmonies, take it to the next level with an energy and copious amounts of fun to create their own joyous noise. It’s easy to picture Volcanova having an absolute blast while recording this; smiling all the way through as they perform ‘Sushi Sam.’
‘Super Duper Van’ is a rollicking good time with a bouncy riff and lots and lots of cowbell (because you can never have too much cowbell) as it takes us on a hallucinogenic journey through outer space, while ‘M.O.O.D.’ has some of the thickest guitar parts and best doom vocals I’ve heard in a long time; taking a leaf from Mastodon’s book with their triple vocal approach that deepens and expands the overall sound and volcanic riffs that erupt at every turn.
In a stoner/sludge metal album, groove is absolutely key for me. Without grooves, the music can get a little stale. It’s a necessary part of the sound and thankfully, Radical Waves delivers in spades. Every single song here is filled with a propulsive groove that keeps the record flowing nicely, especially ‘Where’s the Time?’ and ‘Got Game.’ The exquisite performances on drums and bass provide a tight rhythm section as the thunderous guitar and clean vocals soar over the top and bolster the album into the stratosphere. I really wish I could find something to dislike here, but it’s impossible. Volcanova have scratched every itch with Radical Waves and it hits the spot every time.
Simply put, Radical Waves is one of the greatest debut albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. A debut album is a statement of intent; an announcement to the world of what you are. Volcanova deliver their statement with all the charm, musical know-how and balls-to-the-wall bravado they can muster, and it completely pays off. Crank this album as soon as you can, with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Radical Waves is a huge record, in every sense. It’s a thrill ride just waiting for you. Ride that wave into Volcanova’s world, you will not be disappointed.
Review by Jack Merry
Radical Waves is due out 21st August 2020 on The Sign Records