[sic] Magazine

Lonely Kamal – Death’s-Head Hawkmoth

When running the corridors of castle ROCK, it pays to respect those in its hall of fame, but these Norwegian longhairs worship at the altar a little too fervently and a lot too often. The album’s closing statement, “The Day I’m Gone” lasts 11 minutes and has visions, perhaps aptly, of being of a Hawkwind epic and it’s not miles off, but neither is it especially close. Amidst gratuitous guitar-on-guitar action, frontman Thomas Brenna intones that when he’s “walking on holy ground, nothing is sacred”. He’s mistaken, of course.

Death’s-Head Hawkmoth is Lonely Kamal’s fifth long-playing blast of heavy rock since 2008 and not much has changed in their world during that time. Impervious to modern influence, it’s an album full of decent, but unremarkable rockers. There are loud and brash tracks like “Psychedelic Warfare” at one end of the scale, hard radio-friendly stompers with concessions to the blues and the heavier side of retro psych-rock, and sludgy bouts of riffing courtesy of Brenna and Stian Helle at the other.

The overlong opener, “Fascist Bastard”, twins the sound with big stoner-rock vibes only to ruin them with naff, doomy vocals. A cutesy music-box sample derails “More Weed Less Hate” before its begun too, before the whole thing erupts with feedback, growling bass and Espen Nesset’s marauding percussion to lay waste to all before it. In turn, “Inebriated” is another huge, whiteknucle rocker that cruises on overblown 80s grooves and solos. It’s still naff, but this time Lonely Kamal just about get with it, cliché track names and worse lyrics included. It turns out some things are indeed sacred, and they tend to leave a bad taste in the mouth when handled with incorrect reverence.

Best track: “Inebriated”

~Death’s-Head Hawkmoth is out March 23rd 2018 via Stickman Records.~