Heavy Psych Sounds Fest for Psych-Stoner Rock
By Kitty Doherty . November 26, 2019
Heavy Psych Sounds Records curate an unmissable festival for Berlin’s psych heads.
Along with sniffly noses, 4pm darkness and ankle-length leather coats, Heavy Psych Sounds Fest is hitting Berlin this winter. On December 6th and 7th, the festival will drop an avalanche of psych-doom-stoner sludge on willing punters.
Taking place at Zukunft am Ostkreuz and Bi Nuu, and with headliners including Monolord and Planet of Zeus, there is nowhere else for rock & roll’s heaviest fans to be that weekend.
Heavy Psych Sounds, the Rome-based record label, promoters, bookers and organisers of the festival (i.e. overachievers), began Heavy Psych Sounds Fest back in 2014 as a celebration of the incredible bands on their label. “We love our bands, we want them to play on a good stage,” Gabriele Fiori, the festival’s organiser and owner of HPS Records, told BLY.
Despite HPS being a “small label” where they try to “create a family”, they are eminent in the psych, doom, stoner and ’70s hard rock scenes, and regularly showcase the biggest bands in the biz.
Having taken place in London, Paris and Athens in previous years, this year’s festival is held in Berlin and Dresden over the same weekend. Planet of Zeus, Black Rainbows, Dead Witches and more play Zukunft on the 6th and Monolord, Giöbia, Alunah and more hit Bi Nuu on the 7th.
“Like an ever-flowing stream of lava you can’t help but dance to.”
The name Monolord is on the tip of every doom and stoner fan’s tongue. The transcendent Swedish trio (Thomas, Esben and Mika) have been likened to Sabbath, Pentagram and Sleep, and have played Levitation and Desertfest, as well as countless world tours.
Their distinctively sludgy sound found a new, crisper incarnation on their latest record No Comfort, which was released in September 2019 on Relapse Records. It’s the first Monolord album not recorded by themselves in their rehearsal room.
Their HPS Fest performances will culminate a long tour, but fortunately “playing live is what drives us, it never gets old. All cities have their own unique charm which is luckily incomparable. And there’s only one Berlin.” They promise “intensity” and a sound like “an ever-flowing stream of lava you can’t help but dance to.”
I don’t know about dancing, but if this is anything like their previous shows, there’s a high chance you’ll find me at the front slow-motion-head-banging like nobody’s business.
“It sort of sounds like the voice in the back of your head that sometimes tells you to quit your job and pursue what you really want.”
The Sonic Dawn call their latest album Eclipse “a journey out of the darkness.” And they’re not wrong. The self-confessed “rock & roll group with a psychedelic sound” hail from Copenhagen, but their music transports you to the hazy sun of the ’60s West Coast psych scene.
The long-haired trio (Emil, Jonas and Neil) heighten the groove on this latest album, but reliably maintain the catchy melodies, metaphysical themes and fuzzy Hendrix riffs their fans are used to. “It is perhaps more catchy,” they tell me, “but also stranger than our previous LPs. It is an album full of contrasts, with a sound ranging from hypnotic acid rock to jazzier cinematic excursions.”
The band are notorious for non-stop European touring since they first signed with Levitation Records in 2014, and with the release of Eclipse in February this year (on HPS Records), and a recent tour with desert rocker Brant Bjork, they are showing no signs of slowing down. Let your hair down, throw on some paisley and catch them at Bi Nuu on the 7th.
Get your Heavy Psych Sounds Fest tickets here and check the Facebook event for up to date info.
Heavy Psych Sounds Fest
Brought to you by Heavy Psych Sounds, GreyZone Concerts & Promotion and Elbsludgebooking
December 6th at Zukunft am Ostreuz, Laskerstrasse 5, 10245
December 7th at Bi Nuu, U-Bahnhof Schlesisches Tor, 10997