Cosmic Rock

DESERT ALTAR Self-Titled Album Review - Pat 'Riot' Whitaker



While Richmond, Virginia may be somewhat removed from the low desert environs of the U.S. west, that's not going to keep RVA's DESERT ALTAR from rockin' in the least.


The quintet - Piper Neddenien (Vocals), Michael Potts (Guitar), Zach Snowden (Guitar), Ed Fiero (Bass) and Mike Arjona (Drums) - recently issued their debut studio outing with the S/T Desert Altar. What it contains are seven songs of powerful, semi-metallic heavy rock instilled with occult doom and psyche rock nuances.


With abundant groove and solid, super tightly knit playing, DESERT ALTAR has the ability to get down like nobody's business. Songs like "Desert Sons", "Death Machine" and "Animus" are blistering, uptempo deluges of thick riffs and riveting rhythmic pulses. And then there's the aptly named Piper, her powerhouse vocals surge with steadfast resilience and range, from sultry crooning to over-the-top deliveries, she nails them both.


I especially dig when the D.A. crew take the road rife with either doomened excesses or outright psychedelia, like those found on "Follow", "Dark Descent" and the crushing album closing "Rise".


Check out DESERT ALTAR for yourself at the links below and since I'm headed to the RVA region myself, I may do the same live at one of their upcoming gigs. Those can be found on their Facebook page.


DESERT ALTAR on Facebook:


DESERT ALTAR on Bandcamp: