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Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus
Spirit Knife


Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus are:
Karl Apelmo: vocals, guitar
Micke Pettersson: guitar
Viktor Källgren: bass
Henke Persson: drums

Additional Musician:
Patrik Kolar: organs

Recorded at Puch Studios, Stockholm, Sweden.
Produced by Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus.
Recorded and mixed by Viktor Källgren.
Mastered by Chris Goosman at Baseline Audio Labs, Ann Arbor, MI.
Artwork and illustrations: Sebastian Thomsson
Design by Rickard Lindblom and Micke Pettersson.
Photography by Rajdarn.
Published by Small Stone Records (ASCAP).

Reviews for Spirit Knife...

The Ripple Effect

 This album has been perhaps the most interesting record I've listened to all year. I'll be honest and say when I first listened I must not have been fully engaged as I wasn't bragging it up until months later after giving it a random spin. As with every single release on the Small Stone roster the expectation level is high and the return on those expectations is usually met. With the Ratgang Malibus, expectations were superseded with a fondness not often felt with a new music release.

For those that listen to music fanatically, like me, you may start to get a bit jaded over time and your listening preference tends to seek out tunes that are off the beaten path, yet still have that familiar buzz within the neighborhood of your normal taste. Spirit Knife is exactly that. I can confidently say that nothing quite comes as close to nailing its own genre with my name on it as does this release.

Side A wastes no time in lassoing your soul with the opening track, “Fog by the Steep.” Slowly building and completely haunting the living hell out of me in exciting fashion, the calm psychedelic intro breaks ferociously into a jagged vocal scream searing straight to your core. The intense storm of foggy riffs encapsulate a sense of bewilderment amongst its passionate cries. I could, and have played this song over and over as its 10 minute duration keeps you on the edge of your earbuds the entire time. As the A side continues, the classic Zeppelin-esque vibe ignites like 1970’s grade leaded octane. Misty fuzz laden grooves swirl to a tribal rhythm as Karl Apelmo echoes a mesmerizing harmony. Elements of classic, stoner and psychedelic rock, present themselves on any given moment throughout, ranging from precision solos, to hallucinogenic moans of psychotic grandeur, to meditative lullabies.

Side B continues the spirit of mystical enchantment with more wondrous wailing. Starting off similar to the kickoff of side A, “Clang's” high energy force palpitates like a stampeding buffalo's heart throbs in an Indian chief's hands. Ritualistic fuzz steams into the spirit world of riff rock. “Point Growth” tans the album's hide with a dreamy tempo taking the trail of tears towards the closing title track. “Spirit Knife” slits the spiritual vein and transfuses its cerebral prowess unto the aural canal.

It may have taken a few spins to set in but JIRM left a lasting impression on me taking it straight to the top of the Small Stone throne. And I'll say it again. Unless you're living under a large one, Small Stone is on your radar and they have been annihilating the competition with consistently great releases thus far in 2014. I quickly grabbed the dark blue transparent 180g vinyl LP as soon as I saw it available and it's quickly becoming one of my most played albums on the turntable. I'm not gonna be one of those guys and say "it sounds better on vinyl" but I will say "it's a great sound for vinyl" as some albums just are. Well worth your money for a fantastic sound, sexy look and dynamite artwork.

- The Huntsman

August 5th, 2014

Ride With The Devil

For those of you, like myself, that have never heard of this Swedish four piece, Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus plays their own type of super mellow, spaced-out Psychedelic Rock with a vintage vibe. Listening to "Spirit Knife" is more like taking a cosmic journey than simply listening to an album, the huge, soaring vocals that command your attention from their first utterance, but are never oppressive, always relying on dynamics and pitch to sound huge as opposed to sheer volume. With every change of the song you're greeted with a new, expansive soundscape, each like it's own separate universe, all are similar and all are unique in their own way. Like the track "Sworn Collision" has a mellow Grunge, SoundGarden kind of thing going on, while a track like "Once Levitated" strikes me as a song that probably would of gotten decent radio rotation back in the '70s. The sheer scope of the songs is one of the most common traits, they sound so much larger than what you'd associate with a four piece group, enveloping and even overwhelming the listener just a bit. The guitar tone is understated at times, but can become colossal, dominating the song and cracking down like a bolt of lightning without a moment of hesitation. The stand out track for me on the whole thing was the album's closing, and title track, they're all excellent selections of music, but that's the one that really got me hooked and made me hit repeat when I got through the first listen. "Spirit Knife" kicks off with a distorted guitar part that ramps up into a screaming guitar riff before dropping off into an ambient lull, where the singer starts to unleash his vocal performance in his usual melodic fashion, punctuated with huge highs and lows over the course of the track. The guitar is always trailing close behind, ready to breakout at a moments notice, and a rhythm section that is tight and always providing a subtle groove to get you moving. With the whole track seeming like a build up, until the very end where you're ferociously attacked with howling guitars, and raw vocals for a climatic end to an amazing album and song. You could probably spend a year engineering a machine that won't fit together as perfectly as all the parts of this band fall together to create a monumental wall of sound. While you can find their earlier releases on their own bandcamp, this  album is released through Small Stone Records, and can be purchased in any form through their bandcamp. With so many impressive albums coming out this year, and with so many more to go, this may not get all the deserved recognition, but don't be that guy, give it a spin.

For Fans Of; Pink Floyd, Dead Meadow, Led Zeppelin

- Skip


June 30th, 2014

The Ripple Effect

I’ve been a fan of JIRM for a few years now.  I became hip when I reviewed their last release, Bloom, which Small Stone has re-issued.  The expectations were really high for Spirit Knife.  First and foremost, Karl Apelmo’s voice is the most underrated voice in rock and roll right now.  Why?  Well, he can be a dead ringer for Jeff Buckley.  That is good news since we aren’t going to be getting anymore Jeff Buckley records.  I hear people talking about wanting another JB record...so here's the closest thing to it...but that is all that needs to be said about it.  I think it can be an insult if a musician or group of get talked about solely because their sound is reminiscent of someone else’s.  Then again, if you have heard Jeff Buckley, you know how much of a compliment that is and how amazing it is that anyone gets that close.  Luckily, JIRM would kick ass even if there wasn't a dead alternative icon with an operatic voice to compare them too.  They don't really sound like Jeff Buckley.  Ok....

JIRM have made a beautiful record.  Spirit Knife is much darker than Bloom.  It’s pretty heavy.  The vocals RAGE. Especially in the throat shredding opener Fog By The Steep.  I’m not one for taking apart records song by song.  That gets boring and you should listen to the record for yourself.  Let it be known: Spirit Knife does not disappoint.  It’s one big cohesive trip without any tracks under 4 minutes and most over the 5-6 minute mark.  It’s really easy to get lost in the heavy, slightly retro, psychedelic swirl that is Jeremy Irons and The Ratgang Malibu’s signature.   It’s a big step forward and it leaves me anxiously waiting for their next release.  Hopefully it comes out quicker than the three years it took to get Spirit Knife to my ears.

- Ian Gerber

June 9th, 2014


I was honestly expecting another stoner psychedelic doom band based off of the info and album art but I got some good classic rock tunes. The vocal work is substantial, the music is nostalgic even though it’s my first time listening to these guys. Bravo! The guitar work, effects, drum beats and overall feeling on this album just rains down upon me and I definitely enjoyed what I was listening to. Spirit Knife is beckons to the bands of old and gives us something knew. Was a nice break from the usual metal release.

- 4 out of 5

- merginator

June 1st, 2014


Not gonna lie, these Swedes sucked me in with their bizarre band name. I’m not sure if there was actually a movie in which The Man in the Iron Mask leads a sedan-driving rat gang…but a quick Google search strictly points to Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus. I would not be surprised if they were called something else on their next album; after all, there’s a reason why Alterbeast is no longer known as Gary Busey Amber Alert. ;)

That said, these dudes definitely don’t play technical death metal. Think post-rock mixed with heavy psych, which makes the Jeremy Irons connection all the more perplexing. Spirit Knife starts off with “Fog by the Steep,” which begins with some bluesy guitar noodling before the band comes in with a wallop somewhat akin to latter-day Neurosis—except that Scott Kelly never hit these high notes! But they take a psychedelic detour towards the end of the tune, which continues onto subsequent tracks.

“Sworn Collision” belies its name by being a softer ballad, with some slowly ringing riffs meandering beneath somewhat clean vocals. Likewise, “Once Levitated” doesn’t make much noise; it’s a laid-back bluesy number that seems somewhat akin to Dead Meadow jamming on Classics IV (first time you’ll see that name in a review here, I’m sure). But “Clang” brings back the rock with a driving, organ-driven number that has shades of Rush and Led Zep without quite sounding like either. I dunno man, maybe it’s just the vocals…

Alas, while this album does have its heavier moments, I think I expected something with Jeremy Irons’ name on it to be a bit more bad ass.

-  Gruesome Greg

June 2nd, 2014


Can Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibu build on their last masterpiece Bloom? This question was overweight in space as the awaited successor SPIRIT KNIFE out of the speakers sounded. With BLOOM Jirm had in 2011 raised the level to such a level that an increase was hardly to be expected.

BLOOM was a psychedelic album with blues, stoner and hard rock influences. A very great strength of Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibu is the ability within their songs a lot aufzufahren different intensities. From beautifully gentle and calm punchy up to heavy and you can experience great increases and reductions. Their songs are a wonderful journey through a world of sound that has been indeed created by bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but Jirm have created their own kingdom in this world. Will another trip into the world of Karlos, Henke, Viktor and Micke worth?

Even the first song Fog by the Steep answers this question clearly. Not only you can meet old, cherished acquaintances Jirm country, there are also some new and impressive to discover. The song and the album at the same time start with psychedelic relaxed guitars, but even at minute 1:07, the four Swedes show surprisingly heavy. Just as the music has been virtually extended by one more level up, it also creates Karlos his exceptional voice even wrest more than BLOOM. The beloved voltage change is still present, but unlike the Swedes BLOOM present on SPIRIT KNIFE in the punchy Parts lot heavier and with more intensity. Without that one of the most beloved aspects of sound BLOOM had to suffer it Jirm have still managed to put on the Stoner-rock in their music to the forefront. Fog by the Steep is the perfect opener for the album. The 10:37 min number it creates show the most anticipated aspects of the album, but without the right to shoot all the powder. Because after this exceptional song still follows an almost 59 minutes long except album. In SPIRIT KNIFE located next great ballads like Sworn Collision or Once Levitated purely fast numbers á la Clang and wind Seized . If you then after the beautiful, peaceful Deep Hardened Woods thinks: better no longer goes it, Jirm have not yet ascended to the real highlights of the album. utilizing the ultra impressive epics Point Growth and Spirit Knife Swedes prove it to the specific bands our days are.

A mere five weeks have Jirm for this album, which they refer to as their "deepest, darkest and most epic journey." By law, any doubts that I was born too late, because I never could see Led Zeppelin live, have been taken from me with this album and the experience Jirm live to see. Thank you Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus!

- Rating 6/7

- Bolle

May 13th, 2014


Time to get serious and the next posts will know that work nor may fit better in that section DISCO WEEK because these days we expect a superb marathon each which works better. And unless you start with some guys from the north that album marked a major shaking in their live in the last days the foundations of our Iberian Peninsula.

Having destroyed the Spanish territory, Swedish Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus come into " The Room 235 " to introduce his new album called "Spirit Knife" third side of this Scandinavian capital under the American label Small Stone Records .

The Swedish quartet bathes a genuine spiritual balm accompanied by that musical goodness emanating your letters with a high degree of psychedelia in their guts. A fantastic journey awaits us to start this stratospheric walk in the great "Spirit Knife" .

Revived once again that communion between the time travel, the vintage generated during previous decades by the psych rock , intrusions to kraut German and sonic bath space sounds wandering around this brand new album.

A torrent of beautiful melodies give way to bright and beautiful acoustic passages in many parts of this new work with many nods to folk and acoustic moments these disk where the climax is intoxicating, but above all, let the finest part the band has never reflected. Nor ignores the strength of Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus are continuous since the time the band takes his whip to let perplexed impeccable style, and that stoner eaters and catchy riffs that make you vibrate excessively before another major this year.

raining for a decade this year. They were formed in 2004 and currently compose guitarists Karl Apelmo and Micke Pettersson , initial founders, Viktor Källgren on bass and drummer Henke Persson . They are native of the city of Eskilstuna but three years later they set up their base camp in the capital. After a small model, got some gigs with consequent formation changes. In 2005 the band was on a flashing point and after a temporary separation and the various side projects that had some of its components, resurfaced two years later with most of the forelimbs.

Training for a decade this year. They were formed in 2004 and currently compose guitarists Karl Apelmo and Micke Pettersson , initial founders, Viktor Källgren on bass and drummer Henke Persson . They are native of the city of Eskilstuna but three years later they set up their base camp in the capital. After a small model, got some gigs with consequent formation changes. In 2005 the band was on a flashing point and after a temporary separation and the various side projects that had some of its components, resurfaced two years later with most of the forelimbs.

The work contains uppercase topics as the exuberant "Wind Seized" and the echo produced mics Karl Apelmo , mixing the sweet guitar playing to transport you to another intergalactic dimension. To reach that unknown and desired dimension, just listen courts as "Sworm Collision" or the magnificent "Once Levitated".

Then there are other outstanding work as "Clang" Where reflect their stoner more addictive raised to the nth power, characterized by more machacones those riffs. The initial "Fog By The Sleep" , gives us more than ten minutes of the start of the disc, which may well leave everything embodied in a single song, making it one of the most complete of all the work.

The amazing final part of "Spirit Knife" leave more than one stuck to the seat at such sound show, with the sweet taste of stale. Beginning with beautiful passages with a more American flavor as "Deep Hardened Woods" , is in the great "Point Growth", where possibly the ultimate ecstasy is reached "Spirit Knife" , seeing some Swedes in grace as well as mark end of that unforgettable song.

Then there are other outstanding work as "Clang" Where reflect their stoner more addictive raised to the nth power, characterized by more machacones those riffs. The initial "Fog By The Sleep" , gives us more than ten minutes of the start of the disc, which may well leave everything embodied in a single song, making it one of the most complete of all the work.

The amazing final part of "Spirit Knife" leave more than one stuck to the seat at such sound show, with the sweet taste of stale. Beginning with beautiful passages with a more American flavor as "Deep Hardened Woods" , is in the great "Point Growth", where possibly the ultimate ecstasy is reached "Spirit Knife" , seeing some Swedes in grace as well as mark end of that unforgettable song.

This third album from Swedish ambitious project, again leave another as security for a label Small Stone Records . It is clear that the U.S. distributor knows what is at hand and your grill speaks for itself. In a year like this, many jewels that are taking, especially this spring, jewelry and disk presented today in which it leaves the view musical maturity reached Scandinavia is an album that can only be defined in one word: exquisite.

- Rating: 8.3

- Ruben Herrera

April 15th, 2014

The Obelsik

If you’re not yet friendly with the early-onset heavy psych sprawl of Swedish youngins Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus, chances are that by the time you make your way through their video for the song “Wind Seized,” you will be. Tomorrow marks the release of the Stockholm four-piece’s Small Stone label debut (third album overall), Spirit Knife, which follows the 2011 Transubstans release and recent Small Stone reissue, Bloom, in setting a dynamic, flowing course throughout its 59-minute run and across eight tracks that run a gamut of updated classic influences. Cuts like “Point Growth” delve into sweet, wide-open, Cream-style psychedelic blues, distinguished immediately through the use of organ, while elsewhere, “Sworn Collision” takes “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” head-on to a place no less endearing for its relative minimalism.

The key to the album, though, is immersion. Much as one might look at the moniker Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus and feel lost within it before getting to the last syllable, so too does 10:37 opener “Fog by the Steep” prove encompassing, a languid, rolling groove demonstrating an underlying core of heavy rock that consistently works its way into and through the ensuing full-length as guitarist/vocalist Karl Apelmo, guitarist Micke Pettersson, bassist Viktor Källgren and drummer Henke Persson — as well as guest organist Patrik Kolar, whose contributions aren’t to be forgotten — weave smoothly through atmospheres alternately rambunctious and serene, drawing rounded lines between so that Spirit Knife eases the listener along their path. A catchy shorter cut like “Wind Seized” (for which you can see the video above) retains its airy vibes, and likewise, the space-rocking finale title-track keeps its songwriting in focus even as its swirl seems to consume the album whole, and this balance between gives Spirit Knife not just a sense of consciousness, but of accomplishment as well, the band offering old Zeppelin-style soul in “Clang” and carving their identity in passages in the dream-echoes of “Deep Hardened Woods.”

I won’t lie: Spirit Knife surprised the living hell out of me the first time I heard it. Not just because the band is relatively few in years, but because it’s an hour long and they seem to have no trouble holding it together for that stretch. The closing duo of “Point Growth” and “Spirit Knife” provide both apex and post-script, and in the fullness of their sound, the scope of their influences and the edge of individuality they bring to them, Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus are every bit worth the investment of time and attention.

- H.p. Taskmaster

April 28th, 2014


Jeremy  Irons  &  The  Ratgang  Malibus  are  a  band  from  Sweden  that  plays  a  mixture  of  kraut,  psychedelic,  space  and  stoner  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Spirit  Knife"  which  will  be  released  by  Small  Stone.

  Clean  playing  starts  off  the  album  and  after  a  minute  it  starts  getting  more  heavy  and  psychedelic  sounding  along  with  a  good  amount  of  melody  as  well   as  adding  in  70's  style  proto  metal  vocals  and  they  also  bring  in  a  mixture  of  both  clean  and  heavy  parts  and  the  guitar  solos  enhance  the  classic  rock  sounds  of  the  recording.

  When  the  album  goes  into  other  songs  you  can  hear  a  great  amount  of  doom  metal  influences  being  added  onto  the  recording  an d the  song s that  are  on  the  album  sound  perfect  for  a  LSD  trip  sitting  with  its  retro  sounds  but  done  in  a  more  updated  manner  and  as  time  goes  on  by  the  music  starts  getting  into  a  more  psychedelic  space  rock  direction  on  some  songs  while  others  are  in  a  harder  direction  close  to  early  metal  but  with  a  more  psych  approach  and  the  album  contains  a  mixture  of  both  shorter  and  long,  epic  tracks  along  with  some  of  the  later  ones  bringing  in  more  blues  rock  elements.

  Jermey  Irons  &  The  Ratgang  Malibus  create  a  very  interesting  sound  with  their  music  adding  in  heavy  doom  and  stoner  rock  with  a  great  amount  of  psychedelic  and  space  rock  sounds  to  create  an  album  that  is  very  retro  yet  original  and  modern  all  at  the  same  time,  the  production  has  a  very  professional  sound  where  you  can  hear  all  of  the  musical  instruments and  the  lyrics  cover  the  Paganism  of  some  of  the  more  primitive  tribes  that  live  in  the  smaller  islands  across  the Pacific.

  In  my  opinion  Jeremy  Irons  &  The  Ratgang  Malibus  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  kraut,  psychedelic,  space  and  stoner  rock  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Wind  Seized"  "Clang"  and  "Spirit  Knife". 8  out  of  10.  

-  OccultBlackMetal

April 19th, 2014

Mass Movement

Lately there has been a resurgence in 70’s style rock and roll. The groovier, more atmospheric bands get classified as stoner rock, which works for me even though I don’t get high. One of the cool groups that I came across (in my mailbox, in the form of a review copy of their album) is Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus. They sound to my ears like a blissful mixture of Soundgarden at their grooviest and Pink Floyd, creating a terrific album of sunny day, top down, cruising music. Songs like Fog by the Steep, Sworn Collision and Deep Hardened Woods have grooves that would make a vinyl record envious. I’m not entirely sure what a Ratgang Malibu is but I am sure that this is a great batch of songs from a band with a future in the music industry.

- Jim Dodge

April 23rd, 2014

Lords Of Metal

The opening track starts off with a mysterious tension, but explodes in something chaotic, heavy, psychedelic and intense, that makes me think of Lenny Wolf teaming up with The Drones, trying to reach a Neil Young kind of expression (including some great off-tune contributions). Music like this is certainly not suitable to the average listener; this probably will appeal to a small selective group of listeners. The length of the tracks are not really according to current standards also, containing spun-out parts, sudden changes and some true (psychedelic) outbursts. The production is pretty early seventies, just as the song material, which is obviously influenced by several kraut rock bands and Led Zeppelin. Because Im not that familiar with their previous material, I made a trip to YouTube to conclude the new release being slightly heavier. Still, on this latest album its not only a chaotic musical hurricane, the heavier stuff is neatly combined with variations of even ultimate laid-back parts. Some tracks which even seem to have resemblances with eternal easy rippling (pretty eastern) brooks, are a bit too much for even me. Despite my personal preference going towards the more solid stuff, I want to get my hands on some of their previous material; these guys sure know how to make some fine music!

April 4th, 2014

Album Tracks

  1. Fog by the Steep
  2. Wind Seized
  3. Sworn Collision
  4. Once Levitated
  5. Clang
  6. Deep Hardened Woods
  7. Point Growth
  8. Spirit Knife

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