If a band is featured on one of Weedian’s releases, you can bet your ass they play some of the best Stoner/Doom/Psych out there. That’s the case with Milana, a four-piece Heavy Psych Blues band from Mallorca, Spain.
Featured on the Weedian Trip to Spain in March 2022, Milana’s name derives from a bird of prey that can be seen hovering over the fields of their home island. Milana says this island is a place of “spectacular natural beauty” and the home of heavenly landscapes and “old legends and lore.”
This is some killer inspiration for the type of music Milana makes, a heavy blend of Psychedelic Blues with all the fuzz and attitude we’ve come to expect from the very best of Stoner Rock.
Milana was formed in late 2019 and has thus far released just one EP split with BIS NTE called Mallorca Stoner Vol. 1. They play a blend of their brand of Mallorca Stoner Rock, referring to the island off the eastern coast of Spain from where they hail.
Milvus is their debut full-length LP. While they are newcomers to the Stoner scene, they have already grabbed the attention of several heavy underground tastemakers. A quick look at their Spotify profile shows them featured on several playlists, including those by Slightly Fuzzed, Riff Haven, and other notable Doom Charts contributors.
Milvus Album Review
Release Date: April 14, 2023
Track 1 – The Last Witch
This is an album that’s heavy from front to back, and the first track, “The Last Witch,” sets the tone from the get-go. Pedro Ingles’ vocals stand out for their almost operatic tone, hitting some high notes that surprised me.
Midway through, “The Last Witch” slows down, then revs back up into instrumental madness before the chorus refrain. A brief guitar solo tops things off at the end for a very satisfying start to the album.
Track 2 – Celestial Bird Spirit
“The Last Witch” is the shortest track on the album, but this next one clocks in at six-and-a-half minutes and is more of the album’s standard length. Given that the band is named after a bird of prey, “Celestial Bird Spirit” is another ode to the mystical being the band is so fascinated with.
“Celestial Bird Spirit” is also the lone single that was released before the album dropped on April 14. It’s easy to see why. Along with the heaviness that is part of the Milana sound, Ingles’ vocals shine on this one, too.
Track 3 – Impermanence
At more than 11 minutes, “Impermanence” is by far the album’s longest track. It’s also the one that takes the most risks songwriting-wise. It starts slow and melodically before Ingles’ vocals kick in and take us for a ride.
This was my favorite track and one that was the most psychedelic. The brooding feel carries throughout with multiple instrumental sections and one very killer, bluesy guitar solo from guitarist David Oliver. The whole track has an epic feel and is by far the most ambitious effort on the album.
Track 4 – Lucid Reality
The next track is much shorter but features just as much riff-heavy punch. I liked the guitar tones on this one and the wobbly effect created. And like everything else on this record, it comes to rock.
Along with “Impermanence”, “Lucid Reality” is a song that relies heavily on creating different atmospheres and textures, throwing in a great guitar solo, and balancing the tension between lighter and heavier sections. It’s good listening.
Track 5 – Gray City Lights
“Gray City Lights” is the second-longest track, clocking in at nearly eight-and-half minutes. The fuzz-drenched riff hits hard in the beginning, followed by a distorted recording of American blues legend Howling Wolf from 1966.
Howling Wolf tells us what the blues are all about, while Milana plays their own brand of heavy psychedelic blues. Given the narrative speech of Howling Wolf that’s featured, it makes sense that this track is the bluesiest on the record.
David Oliver’s guitar playing and Ingles’ vocals reminded me of an acid-drenched Stevie Ray Vaughan, which was a spectacular thing to behold. Oliver’s guitar solo in this one was also my favorite on the entire album.
Track 6 – Whispering Wind
“Whispering Wind” closes the album with just as much heavy exuberance as Milvus started with. The track has everything a Stoner Rock fan could ask for and is played with the same frantic urgency as the rest of the record.
Standout Tracks: “Impermanence,” “Gray City Lights”
Pros: Milvus is an excellent debut record from a band we will hopefully be hearing about more in the future. I can’t say I know much about the Spanish Stoner Rock scene, but judging by Milana’s offering here, it’s one to keep an eye on.
At first glance, I thought this would be another standard Stoner Rock record, but I was sorely mistaken. Milana combines many genres and elements on Milvus, including the fuzzed-out riffs of Stoner, the experimentation of Psychedelia, and carrying on the legacy of American Blues masters.
While you’re at it, go check out the Weedian Trip to Spain, which features Milana along with other top Stoner/Doom/Heavy Psych acts from Spain. I’m certainly looking forward to hearing more from Milana!
Cons: I can’t think of too many things I didn’t like about Milvus. It hit just perfectly on my first listen and all subsequent listens. I may say I wish it was a bit longer and with more tracks, but I think the 42-minute-plus run time was ideal for this type of music.