Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Chivo - Waiting For So Long (2018)

It's been five years since Chivo released their last album, but the Spanish rockers have returned once more to kick up some dust with their latest album "Waiting For So Long" - it's stoner rock at its core, but ventures into some heavy territory for anyone looking to bang their head. Taking gruff vocals with rough riffs and plenty of rock 'n' roll energy and rhythm it makes a sound that's commanding like the edge of a general's sword. Tunes like "Hegan Egin" and "Gaijing Hunter" showcase a driven sound that's perfect for adrenaline-fueled joyrides - just make sure to crank up the volume to drown out the roaring engine! Throughout the album you'll hear these dudes channel a little bit of Kyuss - I pick it up on "Untermensh" in particular - to give things an urgent kind of groove. There's also a few tracks that give off some Helmet vibes too, so maybe they're just drawing a lot of influence from sounds of the 90s. It closes on "Cigarettes" a pensive acoustic tune that seems like a somber way to end things for such a rocker, but it gives the album its title with the repeated refrain of "I've been waiting for so long". This one's definitely off and running with hard hitting rock so get on it or get out of the way! -Brandon

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Frayle - The White Witch EP (2018)

An eerie blanket of fog covers the city of Cleveland, Ohio, but in spite of our instincts and the faint tinge of fear an unknown magnetic force pulls us in. There's a hand beaconing from out of the mist, and should we heed its summons we will be taken to the world of The White Witch, the debut EP from the duo known as Frayle. These tunes are made up of doom injected with some serious Deftones-style alt metal strains - now that could be dangerous territory, but given the way it comes together even the most discerning listener should be pleased. The main draw on these tracks is the vocals - they're celestial, airy, and feel like a gentle breeze across your skin sending a shiver down your spine. They caress the ear and the soul and lull the listener into a false sense of security - when you're at ease darkness subtly bubbles up and grows around you, separating you from the outside. You'll become transfixed as the sound emulates ghostly figures twirling in a pale mist, but with every passing moment they become more twisted and contorted as malevolent magicks work their way through the world's foundation. It takes a leisurely pace on a desolate path and the outcome is so satisfying. Now that the EP is out Frayle is prepping to release a full-length later this year, so once you're done jamming this keep an eye out for that! -Brandon

Friday, April 20, 2018

Radien - SYVYYS (2018)

Radien are definitely no strangers to this blog, as we have reviewed their previous release "Maa" here last year. The Finnish Sludge Doom five piece, has returned with a full LP this time around, and they do not disappoint. Raiden's music is born from desolate landscapes, striped of any color, and plagued with black and grey. With it's crushingly heavy disposition and a dissonant demeanor, these guys are like a sleeping giant with a disfigured face due to leprosy. It's grim and harsh, playing like a soundtrack to a film about the end of days, shot on black and white with a super 8 camera. The music is dark, miserable, and full of despair, and above all it's really fucking good. I think one of the major differences I noticed comparing "SYVYYS" to the previous release "Maa", is that they have taken advantage of their use of time and space, and have given some room to some meditative moments throughout. However, they still deliver with fierce monstrous riffs, that roar with a primal rage.
The strings on "SYVYYS" definitely have a sludgy texture to them, but this shifts when the guitar is playing the atonal melody leads which also helps create a clashing friction and grit to the riffs. There's definitely a grating hoarseness that is added by the vocals as well. All of this is plodded along as if shackled by chains in a frigid existence with deep feelings of regret and sorrow. It's the type of sound that's for a place where the sun doesn't shine, and you'd wish the rain would just wash it all away.
I always thinks it's pretty cool, when a band that we reviewed in our relatively short life as a blog releases new material. Especially when it's an new LP! Also these guy got signed to Black Bow Records this time around which is pretty fucking cool, because they are definitely becoming one of my favorite labels, and it's run by Jon Davis of the mighty Conan, which is fucking rad as well. Anyway, I highly recommend this one! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jesus Ain't In Poland - No Man's Land (2018)

Jesus Ain't In Poland name may seem a little peculiar, but don't let that get in the way of their crushing sound, because they are the shit! JAIP combine elements of Grind, OSDM, and Sludge/Doom to craft the epic dirge "No Man's Land". You might want to make some time for this one, since it clocks in at over an hour in length, but it's certainly something you won't regret. The music is definitely heavy as fuck, but as you progress through the album, you'll realize there are many peaks and valleys, as well as highs and lows. I don't mean this in an atmospheric way either (well maybe slightly towards the end it gets that way). This is pretty much a fucking steamrolling that either goes flying down a hill crushing humans, and pets and what not, or they slow down and maybe play something that slays in a totally death/doom sludgy way, or they play something a little more melodic while maintaining a certain level of intensity and brutality.
As far as production goes this is pretty slick but in an Extreme Metal kind of way. The strings are deep, with a nice thick detuned sound. The drums on this are pretty fucking heavy, especially on the kick and toms. Nice use of blasts and double kick on this as well. It's not over done, and seems to be used for the right amount of time to not get in the way of a nice groove when it's presented. The vocals are spot on. It's like a pitch perfect death growl that really sounds great over this assortment of tunes. Overall, this is really good, and definitely worth your time. Highly Recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard / Slomatics - Totem (2018)

Slomatics and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard are each modern day titans, shaking the world with high-caliber sludge/doom until the earth cracks and fissures. However, when the two come together the result takes on a galactic scale, creating a soundtrack that invites the devourer of worlds to phase in from dimensions unknown and swallow the our planet and all who inhabit it. "Totems" is the new LP from these two juggernauts - it's a split album in the literal sense, but they've opted to deem it a "collaboration" instead and upon listening it becomes clear why. The songs from both bands meld together perfectly creating a consistent, killer, all-consuming behemoth of a sound. It starts with Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard's half which is composed of two songs, the first of which opens on a dark, retro film score synth before falling into the ever expanding jaws of doom. It's almost a bit cheesy, but that opening keeps you intrigued enough to get drawn in, then by the time the ethereal vocals start up you've been engulfed by the massive, cosmic sound with hammering rhythms and riffs heavy enough to have their own gravity. The backend just feels so deep it's like falling into a bottomless pit. Synths come in and out to breathe touches of terror and ambient astral noise. On Slomatics half they summon forces much in the same vein, but this time with even more atmospheric synths calling you to surrender yourself to the abyss. It feels like less of a shift to a new band, and more like they are building on the earlier tracks in a natural progression. They've got three songs here, two overwhelming doom opuses, that sandwich a dreary piano/synth piece titled "Silver Ships Into The Future" that seems to revel in lament for the end before the last track of the album. "Masters Descent" closes it up and it really feels like a culmination of everything that came before, but swelling to absolutely epic proportions. With a pair of bands like this I expected the result to be good, but not THIS good. This shit is on another plane of existence, calling out at a metaphysical level - it's the kind of stuff you'll regret skipping out on, so don't! -Brandon

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

LáGoon - Grim Ripper (2018)

There's a couple of dirty punks out in Portland calling themselves LáGoon that are tearing up the streets with the sound of their new album "Grim Ripper"! This is a punchy set of stoner songs (no long jams here) with plenty of streetwise grit. There's no bass on this one, which helps to keep it sharp - all the music you're getting is scuzzy guitar and loud, lively drum beats so you can get on board or get left for dead! Combine that with the deadpan vocals and the results are like an electric shock down your spine. All this fuzzy, rocking shit has a unique energy that almost feels like the inverse of what you're usually getting out of stoner rock - it's like a surge of adrenaline squeezed the soul right out of your body and left you an empty, dead-eyed husk, but you're still running like an animal. The Bandcamp page for this album says that it was heavily influenced by skateboarding which is pretty clear when you hear the lyrics, but beyond that the tunes and general attitude make it an amazing skate soundtrack. These guys definitely make me think of Fu Manchu and not just because of skateboarding associations - they've got a similar laid-back intensity and style, especially with the vocals. But overall, I think this album is best summed up with a sound clip from the first track - "if people don't like it... FUCK 'EM!" -Brandon

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Human Race is Filth - Liberate (2018)

Holy fuck, I don't even know if it gets any crustier than this. This is the shit! Like front to back this is just filled with shit that I really dig. Everything I like about Sludge/Grind/Crust/D-Beat gets some sort of representation here, plus everything from the sounds, tones, and even the pacing of the songs is like spot on for me. It has right amount of Grindy Blast Beats, Crusty D-Beats, and Slow Grimy Sludge parts. The riffs are fantastic and heavy as fuck. I guess what also blows my mind is that "Liberate" was only recorded last month. It's just so fucking good!
The guitars have that over distorted, fat, and bloated sound, with a slight HM-2 (not really sure if that's what they used) crunch, which really gives it that right amount of disgust that is perfect for the Grind/Crust sound. The bass is definitely over distorted, which is fucking terrific for the mix. The drums always seem to have the right beat paired with the right riff. The vocals range from shouts, growls, and screams, and they always seem well placed. Everything about this release just seems right to me, and makes sense.
As you could probably guess after reading my glowing review of "Liberate" and praise for THRIF, this has easily made it into the list of my favorites from this year. It's a crime to pass this one up. Required listening for sure. Cheers! -Samir