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Louder Than War - December 2012

West Midlands band General are a hard rocking proposition, something their new album, Where Are Your Gods Now?, leaves you (and Adrian Bloxham) in no question of doubt about.

General are from Coventry. They rock like they’re made out of granite and they swing like a bastard hanging from a splintering gallows. This is proper Rock. They hark back to a simpler age, when the sounds of guitars were slow, loose and open. When drummers just hit bloody hard and the bass made your insides vibrate.

From the first line of ‘better dead’ the question delivered over building drums and a blues guitar groove to die for. This record is dark, dirty and enormous. The guitars are immense. The blues boogie that is scrawled all over the sound makes this album worm it’s way into your ears and lodges itself right inside your skull. This is no one trick pony either, the second track ‘Make or Breakdown’ is even nastier and cuts a meaner sound. ’Bullet Train’ has a faster drum pattern, it echoes the feel of a train. The bass is low down and bowel moving and the noise grows and grows until the vocal cuts in and the song explodes.

Anticipation is what makes this album so good. You know that at some point it’s going to lose everything and go hell for leather but the massive sounds seem to leave no room for this. Until you realise that the subtlety is hidden way down in the mix, it’s the way that the guitar solos have to fight their way out of the layers of sound, the way that the vocal just matches the feel of the music perfectly on every song, from a rough, gentle croon to a primal blues howl. It’s not a metal or punk voice, it’s one made for Rock with a capitol R, it sounds like he has to make an effort to keep up with the rest of the band, not strained, but as if it’s not easy, and who wants easy?

‘Out Of The Sky’ is just over seven minutes long, the soft acoustic introduction has jarring stabs of guitar over the top as if the the sound is trying to escape the bounds of the quiet. The track is tearing at the seams to contain itself and you know that it’s going to give and the dam will burst. When the noise comes it sounds like the sky is burning. A dark doom laden classic, the noise fades and the acoustic guitar and rough, broken voice ends the song ‘It’s brutal and it’s tragic like a fatal lullaby’ It’s just over seven minutes long and ends too soon.

‘Blood of the Pig’ is massive and slow, stoned and glorious. It’s unstoppable and sounds like its falling deep into the mud and filth of the world. ‘Hell In Your Eyes’ has a psychedelic feel, the vocal is rich and vibrant and the music starts off delicately, and as the vocal builds the music builds to match it. The riffs get heavier and darker and the voice begins to howl out the words to be heard over the noise. More doom laden darkness. ‘Feel The Same’ is hip swinging dirty blues rock and the boogie beat carries on with ‘Monkey City’ with its guitars sounding just out of synch, it lurches forward dripping attitude and broken guitar strings. ‘Hydrogen’ is the last track and at eleven minutes is a monolith of a song, slow, steady and heavier than a planet.

This album needs to be in your collection. Sometimes, when the sky is dark and the rain is lashing down you need something heavier than everything else to bury you in the dirt and blackness. Celebrate the noise. General have made the rock album of the year.

Metal Hammer Magazine - October 2012

So many bands amble along the dusty path of Sabbath-inspired psychedelic metal that it’s often hard to distinguish worthy wheat from general chaff, but General have nimbly leapt over the usual generic trap doors.

Although there’s an undeniable debt owed to Monster Magnet, this Coventry crew have injected plenty of their own sonic drug cocktail into the lumbering riffs, nerve gas solos and bleakly soulful proclamations that coalesce around a core of flagrant groove worship, resulting in a satisfyingly fresh and refined strain of trippy bombast.

Whether you’ve baked your brain with high-grade weed or not, this is a consistently absorbing saunter through the dark side of hippiedom that reaches a thrilling peak of woozy lethargy on sprawling finale Hydrogen, a song so gloriously primitive and steeped in blues juice that it threatens to rip a hole in the space-time continuum and hurl us all screaming back to a Hawkwind gig in some godforsaken council estate squat in 1971.

A powerful reminder of what it really means to get psyched.


339 Metal Blogspot - October 2012


“Where Are Your Gods Now?” by General is tonight’s main topic of discussion. Let’s get started, shall we?

First and foremost, this album is STRAIGHT UP DOOMY STONER SLUDGY PUDGY NOISY FREEFLOWING ELECTRIC GUITARS FORMING ALL WALL OF NOISE RUCKOUS ROCK. If you’re not into that sort of thing, please, feel free to leave the room. However, if you love to groove, than crank up the volume and lets dip into the land of General!

For this album, I’m not going to go to in depth, or worry about analyzing each song track-by-track. I’ve always enjoyed listening to this kind of album with nothing to do but chill and enjoy the dirty, fuzzy tone of the guitars. General has established an immense wall of sound that provides an overall feeling of goodness. They’re a little bit of rock, a little bit of doom, a little bit of sludgy goodness.

Some standout tracks in my mind include “Make OrBreakdown,” “Out of the Sky,” and “Feel the Same.” The album has an incredible tempo that seems to move from beginning to end. Although the guitars’ tones and tunings seem to remain constant and unwavering throughout the recording, General is able to weave a complex weave of energy and emotion in each track. To state that every song sounds the same would either mean that you were flat out not paying attention to the music, or that you picked up the incorrect album. They are strong in what they do, but they do not limit themselves to any one influence of the genre.

I thoroughly enjoyed this album from beginning to end. If there is one thing that I found ultimately interesting while listening to the album, it was General’s ability to completely surprise me with each track. Their formula is far from simple, but these musicians make it appear as easy as tying their shoes.

All in all, this album kept me banging my head the entire way through. Strangely, I also had a giant smile on my face the entire time. The album is not so much a new take on doom, as it is a doom band that has made a nice little home within the genre. I would imagine that even non-metalheads of the scene would enjoy this disc. I don’t believe it would be a must have to them, but I know that it will definitely get regular spins from me. In fact, this is a definite track to keep around – for any time or activity of the day! I didn’t rank it that high, because frankly, it’s not exactly mind blowing. BUT- with the previous remark stated, I would URGE YOU TO BUY A COPY! This is a great metal album to have in your collection, whether it’s your physical or virtual collection. Land mark album? Not necessarily… Must have? Oh, yes.


Metal Kaoz - September 2012


Have you ever felt that you have already listened to an album before having pressed the play button to make things stranger it belongs to a totally unknown to band? Well, that happened to me with UK’s Heavy rockers / Stoner metallersGENERAL. Warning: the content of “Where Are Your Gods Now?” is extremely catchy and addictive, full of heavy riffs. Don’t be fooled by the Industrial-like cover artwork and approach with caution.

From the first CD spins, you’ll understand that GENERAL draw influences from many bands of nowadays Stoner / Groove / Heavy Doom Rock scene like ORANGE GOBLIN, GRAND MAGUS, (a slice of) SERPENT VENOM and the most Blues-y version of MONSTER MAGNET. Sounds interesting, huh? “Where Are Your Gods Now?” contains 9 ultra-catchy songs, full of Doom-y Stoner-delia, having all the necessary ingredients to remain inside your stereo/mp3 player for days. Graham Stokes is a charismatic singer with a timbre standing between Wino’s vagrancy and Eddie Vedder’s quiver-y Rock vocals, adding a unique element to the overall sound. Tracks like “Bullet Train”, “Blood Of The Pig” and “Monkey City” contain awesome in-your-face riffs, showcasing the band’s creativity, even though the aforementioned déjà-vu feeling is still there.

Of course, the music does not give an answer to “Where Are Your Gods Now?” that seems to be kind of a rhetorical questionbut it’s recommended when hanging out with friends, enjoying a bunch of strong cocktails and it’s ideal to work in the background and help you concentrate on doing a certain task. I just wonder what GENERAL will release after this little masterpiece. , yes.


The SludgeLord - September 2012


So what do we have here? Another Stoner Metal band from the UK. What makes this band standout from the other great Stoner Metal Bands from the UK.
Well I will tell you. Firstly General has a certain Gaz from ace UK Doomsters – Alunah – on guitar. Plus their excellent debut album – Where Are Your Gods Now – has been mastered by the legendary Billy Anderson and recorded by Greg Chandler.

And it sounds amazing from the word go. You can hear every grizzled Stoner Metal riff to perfection.
Now back to the album. Where Are Your Gods Now is a 9 song full throttle 54 minute blast of Stoner Metal carnage. Taking influence from the classic Stoner Metal bands of Monster Magnet, Clutch, Kyuss and Fu Manchu.

But adding some great Doom/Sludge Metal influences to their music as well. If you were brought on mid 90’s to early 00’s Stoner Metal then you’re going to love this like I did.

Opening track – Better Dead – shows that General mean business from the offset. Lead superbly by ace vocalist – Graham who has a hint of early Dave Wyndorf about him. The band showcases their own blend of high voltage pummelling riffs.
You know from this song your in for a great ride. OK it might not be breaking any new barriers but when the music sounds this great you just don’t care.
Just strap in and listen to the almighty angry grizzled sounds of General. As they do sound like an old grizzled Army Veteran who has seen it all before. The carnage, the destruction and not wanting to care anymore.

Up next is Make OrBreakdown which sets out the foundations for this great album. A 5 minute blast of machine gun type Stoner/Sludge Rock riffage that is very hard to ignore. It will have you head-banging or playing air guitar from the very first second.

Now the next song is where the album takes off in a big way. Bullet Train is a 6 minute blast that Monster Magnet would be proud to call their own. This is where the band is at their most ferocious and angriest. As Graham shouts out “I don’t need you anymore”. This is where General come into their own existence and where you will love this album.

General show with their next song – The 7 minute – Out Of The Sky they can slow things down to a gentler pace which shows the band in a devastating reflective pace. But still as powerful as the other 3 great songs that came before it. This is the band’s “lighter/mobile phone in the air” song that all great bands need to slow things right down before the normal business of pounding heavy riffs carries on as normal.

And carry on they do. Especially with the next track.- Blood Of The Pig – A mean dirty Sludge Rock song that showcases this bands talent once again in writing a hard hitting riff. Led superbly well yet again by Graham. It has a cool psych rock vibe that makes it one of the albums standout tracks.
OK I have reviewed the first 5 songs and that is all the songs I am going to review as I don’t want to spoil it for you anymore. But believe me the album has 4 more excellent tracks to show why I rate General so highly.

The last song Hydrogen is an 11:42 minute monster of a track that will have you pressing the repeat button over and over again.

Where Are Your Gods Now is truly thunderous affair that should get them noticed in the ever expanding Stoner Metal scene. Like their army rank they have battled through the ranks to proclaim themselves as one of the brightest hopes of UK Stoner Metal.

General might not win any awards for originality but they make up for it with the amount of amazing hard hitting riffs on show from start to finish.

An excellent album from a great band that I am expecting big things from in the years to come.

You can buy Where Are Your Gods Now from Catacomb Records from all good stockists now

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