Mates, my mind wanders … and lately I have been caught in waking dreams of the Iberian Peninsula and the SonicBlast blowout I got me tickets for, finally. Owing to the power of dreams and the spirits of shaman mentalism, what should come upon my impious reviewers’ desk at The Sleeping Shaman but a split release called Mallorca Stoner Vol. 1. from two Spanish bands, Bis·Nte and Milana. Right on!!
Bis·Nte is a band created by Vicente Payá of the bands Golgotha and Unbounded Terror and vocalist Maria J Lladó who collaborated with Golgotha in 2020. After their initial collaboration they encouraged this joint project, creating a darker and more depressing act in the doom and stoner circus – and one more can’t hurt, can it? Golgotha features bassist and drummer from Yoko Factor in the persons of Andrea Trujillo and Pablo Herrero. In April Bis·Nte recorded their debut album Ancestral Punishment at the Black Night studios in Palma de Mallorca, mixed and mastered by Jordi Vaquero in his Bóveda del Sol studios in Barcelona.
Bis·Nte takes the plunge with Unbalanced, a misnomer as the song is a drowning operatic interlude licked by rhythms held on a leash, devil’s tritone guitar noodles and Diabolus-trip melancholy vocals that grab you by both ankles. Involuntary Act likewise is snout down in the vicious circle of too much exposure to metal music and bad weed in those precious teenage years. Maria J voices her dramatic contralto well and never fails to stick the forlorn song melody where the sun don’t shine – the lady has a compelling voice. I award High School Marching Band points for the recorded snare drum sound, both rude and real at the same time. After a few more listens I like this second Bis·Nte cut Involuntary Act more… but does this plodding grave digger’s lament get our rocks off … does it doom?
There are a whole host of great lady singers in European bands and Maria can be counted as one more…
Milana is a four-dude ensemble founded by David, Pedro, Guillem and Edu.Initially, Milana home recorded their first demo during the COVID19 quarantine intended as an inner healing work, then in early 2021 followed up with the two songs on this split in anticipation of a full LP in late 2021. In September 2020 Milana hit the stage at the Palma Pop-Rock contest, a legendary event in Palma de Mallorca and got to the semi-final through more than 150 contending bands, in the process earning two nominations as the breakout band from two major sponsors.
On Mallorca Stoner Vol.1, Milana takes aim and hits the furry spot on White Buffalo, not the Great White Buff of Sweaty Teddy song lore, but rimmed with that blissed out wang-dang sweet neck pickup stranglehold guitar wailing like my poppa used to do on a club night fueled on Maker’s Mark and an eight ball – it’s no wonder my college tuition evaporated – but the old man could kick out the jams. Forest Tale brings the bivalve mollusk Creed jam, mostly due to vocalist Pedro Ingles schucking Vedder-ese Stapp-isms, and when you got someone that can sing like that, how can a band not donkey-up? Well, they sorta do while tracking an iron-age rut with the band showing their Balearic influences by way of the Vandals, the Moors and The Who – highlighting the lowlights, as it were.
If I gotta pick a favourite on this little split sampler, I think the doom and gloom of Bis·Nte gives me a bit more warm and fuzzy SonicBlast semblance. There are a whole host of great lady singers in European bands and Maria can be counted as one more. Milana strikes me as a rock band with modern metal flourishes and an excellent singer as well. Both bands can write a song, the recordings and mixes are very good. Check out Mallorca Stoner Vol.1 and let me know what you think … and so it is my Brothers and Sisters.
Scribed by: Dani Bandolier