“Packaged beautifully with Michael Cowell’s evocative artwork which helps convey the sense of despair and dread that the two bands were going for, this is a quality item for Doom for fans everywhere. There is more than enough distinction between the two styles to compliment each other and yet stand alone.
Chances are you’ll buy this as fans of the bands already, in which case you won’t find yourself disappointed as both offerings are condensed illustrations that see both bands focused and back to some of the strongest writing of their careers to date. If you are buying this as a sampler of their works, then this is an album length collection of music from two of the brightest, er, darkest bands on the scene today.”
— The Sleeping Shaman
“Heavier than a record breaking world's heaviest steak pud convention being held at the centre of a black hole!!!”
— The Internet
“Pick up the new split 12" between Grimpen Mire and Bastard of the Skies if you want your faith in the UK underground restored. The horrid, grimy doom of the former is a perfect sparring partner to the massive sludgy weight of the latter, and the seven songs in total will fall down on you like a million bricks. 8.5/10”
“Bastard Of The Skies are the first band to deliver their trademark crushing riffs with the heavy pummelling nature of Yarn. A track that shows why we rate Bastard Of The Skies so highly. The band leave no stone unturned in playing some fast paced and dangerous riffs to get you in the mood. If you're a fan of High On Fire then this band will speak volumes to you. Lead vocalist – Matt – pours his heart and soul into this song as his vocals are bleak as they come. You can feel his pain cutting right through your body.
Bastard Of The Skies unleash their primal fury once more on Bao Fu. It goes straight in for the kill with intense riffs that leave you no doubt the band mean business here. It ain't pretty but these Bastards have a job to do. So buckle up and shut the hell up as this song is one loud mean pissed off track that the band don't hold back from. There are a couple of moments where the band slow things down a bit but not for long as this band belongs in the darkness.”
— The Sludgelord
“Its a powerful start too, with deep, down tuned riffs meeting cold, unforgiving rhythm right from the off. Abrasive vocals, rumbling bass and the constant clamour of wood on skin and symbol all accompany Bastard of the Skies merciless, rolling riffs. capable of intense moments of slowed down savagery, this is clearly the bands most devastating and most mature release to date! Just as extreme and with lashings of groove, “Bao fu” takes up the baton and runs with it through to the equally well performed “Wounder” which continues the bands theme of monstrous riffs, crushing bass and filthy melodies! Completing side A, Bastard of the Skies unleash one final onslaught of grooved out, reverb drenched sludge power with “Old Vessels”, superbly seeing out their quote and giving Grimpen Mire a hard act to follow! [8/10]”
— Destructive Music
“This isn’t attractive music, and that’s the beauty. Despite ‘Tarnation’ being Bastard Of The Skies’ third release, this is a relatively unknown band with an accomplished sound. A statement that doesn’t fully make sense, with Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age and Orange Goblin fellow stoners doing the same thing, there’s no reason for Bastard Of The Skies to be as under appreciated as they are.
Imagine a crowd of hairy men drunk off their faces, lip scowling and zoned out to another planet, eight minutes of ‘(Roasted In The Depths Of The) Soar’ shows a side to Bastard Of The Skies that’s equally as self indulgent as someone who wears a gilet (google it), and that’s a positive.
Ideal for an angry drive home, the Lancashire four-piece’s sound will fuel you with enough angst towards the world and even the sight of an old couple in love won’t warm your heart.”
— Subba Cultcha
“So I got my claws into this last weekend and hell am I psyched with it. Not only because having seen them live recently and been completely blown away I’m in need to of good fix to carry on the buzz, but this tape is brutal! It’s a five track EP which was recorded in 2009 and released in June 2011, with a slightly different line up to who they are now however the spirit, brutality and solidarity of the material has never wavered it seems. I really like the production on this, super heavy, loads of weight, warmth, depth and bass, its loud! The tracks are a pummeling, gritty sludge rampage of choppy razor edged mountains and spewing volcanic crevasses of riffage, with dark as hell and brutal storm clouds looming threateningly above, it’s horribly dark, brutal, melodic, dissonant, and set off by throaty, abrasive roars and screams, overall its alive with an unspeakable raging energy. I cannot recommend this enough to those of you into Neurosis, Isis, Mastodon, Swans, Melvins.”
“I’m always excited to visit a new venue and I’m always excited to see Bastard Of The Skies, who had actually just hit the stage as I entered. I’m not used to gigs that actually start at a reasonable hour and on time to boot, so despite my springiness I was slightly taken aback.
Of course that was soon blasted out of me by the virulent sheet-metal-clad noise rock that the Blackburn-based Bastards were unleashing upon the venue from the stage, made all the more visceral by the excellent sound mix. As per usual, this was blistering stuff.
With gurning axeman Rob Beesley up-front, mirrorball lights glinting off of his glistening bonce, bobble-hatted drummer ‘Pudding’ Aldred thrashing the tubs and former-cybergoth-turned glamour chick Claire Horrocks holding down the low-end with vicious aplomb you do have to wonder exactly what guitarist/vocalist Matt Richardson is so worked up about…and make no mistake, this is the full-on ‘throbbing veins-a-popping, blood-curdling throat-sh”
— The Sleeping Shaman
“Tarnation is a massively worthy entry into the sludge arena and Bastard Of The Skies will hopefully be mentioned in the same breath as bands such as Old Man Gloom and perhaps even Neurosis in the future. This record is really bloody good and deserves your attention. ”
— Ghost Cult Magazine
“Kylesa do seem to have a penchant for promoting local bands, and tonight was no different. A real smorgasbord of North West talent was opened by the magnificent sludge of Blackburn's Bastard of the Skies, heavy as hell, with disembowelling riffs, bassist Claire conjuring the very thunder from the skies, and vocalist Matt
spewing forth raw tar from the pit of his stomach. The set highlight, "A Punch in the Fucking Lungs", did exactly what it says on the tin. The drummer smashed a Zildjan for God's sake. Like being stuck in the slow motion depiction of a possession, this was an incendiary half hour from the best opening act I've seen.”
“Sounding like the soundtrack to the end of the world, this album is not for the pop metal enthusiast. But for those that like their metal to deliver a swift kick in the balls and bludgeoning of their skull, this is an album that definitely deserves a listen.”
— Selective Memory Mag
“As long as BOTS keeps pumping ‘em out, I’ll keep dedicatedly listening. Seriously, BOTS are the cream of the UK sludge/doom crop. They are pissed and churning enough to appeal to the straight-laced sludge fans out there, and adventurous enough to turn the heads of listeners looking for something more than the same old, same old. That’s high praise around these parts, and anyone with an ear for off-the-beaten-path sludge should pick-up Tarnation and let the mayhem begin. It’s definitely the band’s best output yet, and a guaranteed contender for top sludgy doom album of the year! Killer artwork from Sean Schock (art for Buzzoven, Spirit Caravan, Yob, Coffins, etc.) tops off this monster disc.”
— Hellride Music
“Bastard Of The Skies play that marvellous trick of presenting a work that expounds upon each play. Discreet harmonies are there to be discovered in all the musical elements, seemingly changing on each listen; the deliciously heavy riffs embolden to become more cumbersome and overbearing; rhythms transform into the beat of Hades; the screams aesthetic shatters into a myriad of angular edges and so finally, the sense and tone of Tarnation is revealed.
This is Doom gone mad and for that, we should be darn grateful. Acquiesce immediately.”
“Building a solid wall of static filled hostility is no easy thing to achieve yet Bastard of the Skies successfully mount their defenses on this premise! Their album is a hostility charged battering ram to the chest of aggression, rage and damaging intent whilst never losing the groove element to their sound. “Tarnation” is an offering of immense talent and one you’ll listen too again and again. Watch out for these guys and gal in a town near you!”
— Destructive Music
“This album will evoke feelings of being kept in a very small, dark space knowing that at some point you will be pulled out to be involved in something very unpleasant indeed. That or it will make you feel like doing the same to someone else.
Highly recommended sludge with unseen twists and turns. This truly is a stunning record, so show your support to the band”
— The Sludgelord
“Challenging for nastiness album of the year Tarnation from British metalers Bastard Of The Skies is a thick corruption for the senses, a mugging of emotions through massive towering riffs, even heavier intensity, and a sludge driven enveloping noise of the highest order. Though the album arguably does not trigger the fiercest passions as some other similarly gaited releases it is impossible not to be impressed and in awe of the power and craft behind and fuelling the intrusive colossus.”
— The Ringmaster Reviews Introduces
“I’m not sure what is was, but the sound was perfect and their brand of apocalyptic sludge just seemed to click so well. The band, additionally, were on great form and as tight as possible delivering a blistering set from start to finish.
The vocals provided by Matt Richardson along with his horrific face pulling, where just as tormented as the music, you can feel the suffering. They seem slightly out of the place, in between these two bands as they are a lot harsher, but all family outings need a black sheep and they certainly stamped their mark on this gathering.”
— The Sleeping Shaman
“After hearing Tarnation in its entirety, and putting it into context after its predecessor, I am left with one overriding thought – that if Bastard Of The Skies were from the US, or even any other country outside of the UK, people would be swarming all over them. One can only hope that this release will see Bastard Of The Skies take their rightful place in the firmament as one of the premier bands within the world of genuinely heavy music.
As far as heaviness and impact are concerned, Bastard Of The Skies are Godzilla and the listener is Tokyo.”
— The Sleeping Shaman
“The beast has completed the prophesy, the world left in smoldering ruins, and the set stage for the next era to emerge…. to wait for another beast to incarnate the TARNATION of the generations to come. For fans of High-on-Fire, Clagg, and all worshippers of heavy sludge goodness. 9/10.”
— The Robust Fellow
“Their recent split LP with Catatomic proved they had the tunes and this follow-up and extension of sorts proves they have loads of ideas to back it up too. Chops like the ones displayed throughout the album, from the whispered sections of A Punch In The Fucking Lungs to the slow motion tar pit exhalations of (Roasted in the Depths of the) Sloar show BotS are not simply a pounding metal beast, but one that stalks its prey before chomping down hard.”
“Bastard of the Skies are a hulking metallic beast that churns riffs like a giant robot jaw chewing cars. Impassioned screams and some mid-paced hardcore-inspired chops give them a weighty, stoner rock-gone-tar-like sound. It's as if someone gave Eyehategod a clean-up, it's not offensive and sick like the New Orleans troupe can be, rather a 90s stoner rock band gone sludge. The strident Sabbathian worship turning over under the surface is palatable, but BOTS have their own sound. The chug-chuggery is pleasingly head-nod inducing and tracks like 'The Knuckles of Saint Bronson' showcase their bestial heroics perfectly.”
“Bastard Of The Skies is a sludge metal beast if there ever was one and it has been on the rampage since 2006. Hailing from the dark and muddy grounds of Blackburn in the UK the quartet makes bands such as Kylesa, Conan, Crowbar and High On Fire freak out on envy. Their monstrous riffs weave forth an expert tapestry of simple but stomping sludge structuring and acidic metal hooks. Their first four songs are like one big gigantic volcanic groove that sloshes and burns and bleaks and intoxicates. Full frontal rage delivered by full force drums, maddening basswork and fiery guitars. And then before the two bonus tracks delivered by Catatomic are up we are treated to the cover ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’. Which not only turns the Neil Young classic into an early nineties alternative metal gem filled with all sorts of doomy references. It also shows that these freaks are capable of so much more. It sure as hell leaves one wanting more; and more is just a corner or two away.”
“The riffs cut right through the sound and through the eardrums and it is made just that bit heavier with the addition of a second guitar player. There are pulverizing grooves and an amazing amount of infectious chug and the short tune is nothing short of nasty, ferocious rock. Call it sludge metal, stoner or whatever you like, tunes like this one have a sound and style totally unique to the band. Bastards of the Skies can't be tagged by any one genre.”
“The BOTS stuff on this split is just fuckin’ great. It’s their heaviest set of tunes to date, the overall feel coming off as 16 stabbing High on Fire in the throat, leaving Crowbar to lay underneath the wound in hopes of drinking up the pouring jugular blood, while Unsane sits in the corner laughing their drunken asses off at the slaughter.”
— Hellride Music
“As a massive Neil Young fan I was in two minds at the thought of a metal cover of “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” (I guess it could never be worse than Annie Lennox’s attempt…) but the Bastards pull it off, sounding like Crazy Horse fronted by King Buzzo. They manage to put their own stamp on it whilst staying true to the original, throwing in one or two alternate notes to put a sinister spin on the otherwise cheery middle-eight of the song. The risk clearly pays off and it’s a great way to end their 5-track contribution to the split. Pat yourselves on the backs lady and gentlemen.”
— The Sleeping Shaman
“This a heavy album, there's no denying that, but Bastard of the Skies manage to be both heavy and tuneful and make every riff count. Several tracks, including A Legendary Temper and Lariat have got a serious groove to them and the album as a whole is constantly moving and developing. This is a record that is both well executed and carefully thought out, two things that mean Ichor! Ichor! holds up to repeated plays. Solid and with plenty of dynamics Ichor! Ichor! Has more than enough ball shaking riffs and fluid instrumental passages to keep you coming back for more.”
— Thee Big Black
“They take the dense sludgy examples set out by Grief and The Melvins, add some of Baroness’s technical finesse and then wrap it all up in some claustrophobic Am-Rep worship. They then proceed to batter these influences around your head with the occasional lull to let more subdued moments such as the intro to “Splendour! Splendour!””
— Die Shellsuit Die
“The sludge band Bastard of the Skies has a song called "Can You Fly, Bobby?"
Best. Song. Title. Ever. Forever. The. End.”
“Recorded and produced by the band themselves in their own studio and mastered by the prolific James Plotkin, the sound of 'Ichor! Ichor!' is weighty and forceful, the glutinous crunch of the guitars and the pulsing bass pushed to the forefront, with occasional guitar flourishes that rise above the dense, deadly morass and pull the listeners ear in further, moments that either ring out sweetly or jar dischordantly. The vocals are a buried roar or occasional whisper, lurking beneath the scabrous surface and adding further bite to the scalding stew of sound, along with the propulsive clatter of the drums, but its the weighty heft of the guitars that drive Bastards Of The Skies' mighty war-engine, huge,monstrous and heavier than a death in the family.”
— The Sleeping Shaman
"Ichor Ichor" shows the band is still growing and getting better and more intense at delivering quality Sludge Metal. I don't really see how they can get any better than this to be honest, this is a killer disc from start to finish that sounds more American than it does British. Bastards Of The Skies can now rest knowing that they have risen to the top of the pack of Sludge Metal bands and there seems to be millions of those right now. Where they go from here is anybody's guess but for now i put them in the top five Sludge groups in the world. They have created a timeless, musical benchmark for Sludge Metal bands everywhere. Listen to Bastards Of The Skies people and hear how its done. Pulverizing goodness.
“Anyone into hateful sludge/doom should check this out, because the heaviness is there in spades, but keep an ear open for the band’s sublime melodic touches and angular songwriting. It’s that stuff that elevates BOTS even higher above the crowded sea of unknown bands plying a similar doom/sludge trade, catapulting them to the status of a band you may not have heard of, but should get to know as soon as humanly possible!”
— Hellride Music
“You get the feeling that this band would absolutely destroy live as they mercilessly beat the listener into submission on disc...lashings of filthy, sludgy metal that never lets up...expect great things from these brutes.
— Rock Sound
“Blackburn riff-kings Bastard Of The Skies go to show that you don't need to come from the oppressively hot south of the US to play filthy, overwhelming, sludgy metal with conviction...Awesome - the soundtrack to drowning in a swamp full of your own shite.
— Zero Tolerance
“Relentless low-end metal that'll rumble right over you in that High On Fire/Melvins/Fudge Tunnel manner of theirs. They've a bit of a groove to the relentlessly heavy sludge, not just dumb riffing..Quite why this band aren't big news all over the pages of the glossy metal press I don't really know.
— Organ Magazine
“All of the songs featured are beasts... BOTS’s sound is rooted in southern American rock/metal akin to Down and Crowbar, yet they have injected their own personality into the songs, genuinely setting themselves apart from their peers.
— Load Of Noise
“...about as heavy as it gets without slowing down the tempo.
“...the wall of noise that these guys create is truly something to behold...”
“If this is just a demonstration of what Bastard Of The Skies can do then this band could well become 'Underground Kings'. This is seriously good stuff...we need to hear more from this band.
“As good a collection of modern doom as you are likely to hear. What's most impressive is the adept way other styles are introduced. At a shade over 39 minutes it seemed a lot shorter, which is always a good sign, especially with music this intense. I shudder to think what this will sound like live.