Saturday, October 28, 2017

Iron Monkey - 9-13 (2017) / Unsane - Sterilize (2017)

So here's my bonus review for the week. Actually it's a double review, and it's about two bands that I discovered at different points in my life, and who became favorites of mine. They also both released albums recently, so I thought I'd review them together. Neither of these bands need me to write this, and honestly any band that I review on here doesn't either. I just do it because I love heavy music, and I think there are some that go under the radar and i'd like to not only listen to those bands, but also talk about how much I liked their shit. So this review is really for me, and I guess if you like these two bands, this review is for you too.

I remember reading about Iron Monkey and sludge in general in Metal Maniacs when I was an early teen. I wasn't sure exactly what sludge was, but once Crowbar had been name dropped in some articles, I got the gist. Slow, low, and played kinda loose, like the music was actually trying to mimic the movement of sludge rolling downhill. I saw advertisements for the S/T release, but I didn't hear it until a little later on. I was kinda pissed I had no heard them earlier. It's definitely a classic, and I've returned to it many times. They were like the result if Electric Wizard and Eyehategod formed a super group. They were that much of a Goliath. Piercing harsh vocals, a thick low end, and a Sabbathian Stoner Groove, that not only were trademarks of the Stoner Sludge Doom sound, but have been copied, borrowed, and stolen mercilessly since. Then after their release "Our Problem" they didn't put out anything else and that's because their original singer Johnny Morrow died. However, 20 years later released not that far off from the S/T album's original release, the band puts out "9-13". Considering how much of a classic the S/T album is, it would be hard to top that. While I can confirm that my feelings are pretty strong for their their first album, I feel like I can enjoy "9-13" in its own right without being over zealous about the first two releases. It sounded exactly how I wanted it to sound. Pure sludgecore bliss. The riffs are simple, catchy, and have this loosely swung swagger to them. They definitely kept a lot of the elements that made them great. Is this how they would've sounded if they just kept going in the first place? Who knows! I just know I'm really glad they finally did. It's fucking heavy and it crushes.

I'm guessing like most people I discovered Unsane when MTV put "Scrape" on heavy rotation. it wasn't quite metal, but it was definitely more abrasive and had more attitude than the Alternative Rock and Grunge that they were regularly showcasing. As a result I was hooked, and it also served as a gateway to Amphetamine Reptile; a label with a roster of bands who shared a similar sound. I of course have followed the band as they have jumped label to label including two of my favorites Relapse and Ipecac, and now they find themselves on Southern Lord with "Sterilize". Upon first glance of the album art, it looks as if the band has not lost its touch one bit, including their signature use of blood you can find as a constant theme throughout their entire body of work. Once I listened to it, I discovered this is probably some of their best work in a long time. It's heavier than most, it's just as abrasive as ever, and it's even got some of the sludgiest songs I've heard from them. It has all of their trademarks as well. Their jagged waltzing rhythms, the screaming, those stabbing leads, and that fucking bass sound. The band hasn't changed one bit. It's been five years since "Wreck" out, and it was even another five years before there was a release before that. I'm hoping that it won't be another five before we hear anything else from them, but in the meantime if I do have to wait, this album will tide me over for sure. It fucking rules! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hobo Magic - The World Today (2017)

I remember first hearing Hobo Magic a couple of years ago. I had stumbled across their self-titled album on YouTube and I loved the name so damn much I had no choice but to listen to it immediately. My ears were treated to some gnarly stoner tunes rooted in classic rock that was buzzing with a dirty kind of charm - more than enough to leave me satisfied! Now, three years after their debut, the guys in Hobo Magic are back with their next album "The World Today" and they've only gotten better! The band cleaned up the sound a little bit from their last release, but that doesn't mean they've cleaned up their act - these tracks are a wild mess of riffs and groove burning with organic energy. This album is noisy stoner rock at its core, but it's also happy to branch out in other directions. There are pockets of doom ("Frostbite"), ultra mellow jams ("The Poet"), and towards the end of "Lady Of The Groove" it just decides to give up on everything that came before and becomes jazz fusion for a couple of minutes (and you'd better believe it's the best jazz fusion you've heard all year). Every member of this trio is super talented and they go balls to the wall pulling off what is essentially musical stunt work in order to create track after track of uncontrollable, hard rocking hysteria - expect to be impressed. If this shit doesn't get your blood pumping then you might be dead. -Brandon

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Plague Years - S/T EP (2017)

Here's my part 2 of reviews for the week, where I go back and review a band who has already been featured on this blog, and is from my local scene. You probably don't know who Plague Years is, even though they've been featured here under a different name. Even then, I'm going to be humble and assume as a casual reader, you may have missed the review for the Nemesis Demo either. Well as you can probably gather, Nemesis became Plague Years, and have released a pretty fucking awesome EP that rips.
Again, like I mentioned in the Bone Folder review, this is kind of a departure from our regular Doom reviews, as this is Thrash Metal, and holy fuck is this a complete Thrash Attack. It's like Detroit's Plague Years bypassed all that Retro/Revival and Party Thrash shit and created something that's progression of what came before them that seems modern and isn't the NWOATM and they are definitely not walking the fence when it comes to moving into Death Metal either. It's totally Thrash Metal. It's aggressive, tightly wound, and ferocious as fuck. It doesn't matter if these dudes play slow, mid paced or go full on speed metal, they are a fucking force to be reckoned with, and are spitting out some of the best thrash riffs I've heard in a long time.
The guitars definitely have that familiar crunch to them, which is the culmination of decades worth or dialing in from others to find that great heavy thrash metal tone, which these dudes obviously have picked up on. It's got all of the Dual Guitar Melees, Dive Bombs, and Galloping Palm Muted Open E Strings that made me love Thrash to begin with. Not to mention the ripping leads as well. Again, the fucking riffs on here are some of the best written I have heard in a long time. I mean these dudes are the real dude when it comes to love for this genre. Some of these riffs could contend with some of the best of them. Now add in the drums with all of the double kick precision, and vocalist who's throat seems well suited for this kind of stuff. He's got a great voice as well. A step above just hardcore screaming. It's pissed, but it has some range to it. Definitely no clean singing allowed here.
Overall I'm vastly impressed with these dudes. Plague Years has to be one of the best bands in the Detroit Area IMO even though they are relatively new. They are definitely one of my favorites that I will follow and listen to anything they put out. I'd definitely like to check them out live, considering the frenetic energy that was captured on this recording. If it's replicated live, i'm sure their shows are straight bangers. Anyway, please go check this band, and check out other metal from the Detroit/Toledo Area. There's a lot of good shit in the underground that deserves some attention. Cheers! -Samir

Bone Folder - The Death Collective Volume 1 (2017)

This week my reviews are going to focus on bands that are both from my local area and have already been featured on the blog. Both bands are also not Doom related, as you have probably noticed over the last couple of months we have changed are our format to just be Doom Reviews while still posting other stuff on Facebook. So these two were obviously featured before that change, but I'll review good local shit no matter what it is, and Bone Folder's new full length is no exception.
The Toledo Apocalyptic Death Riders Bone Folder are back with the "The Death Collective Volume One". These Death Punkers rip through 11 tracks of blistering d-beat/metal punk worship, that will sweep you up in its tornado of mosh inducing anthems, and then throw you back down into the gutter lying beaten and bruised. It's got a fast and furious old school feel to it with lots of elements of 80s thrash and crossover thrown in the mix as well.
The most notable thing to point out on this release is all the guitar work. It's got everything from the ripping leads to the duel harmonies. The guitar players forge together to craft some tasty dbeat riffs, that seem to have a pinch of "Kill Em' All" added in there as well. Speaking of which the solos on this definitely seem Hammet-esque making good use of the wah wah during all the intricate solo work. The vocals on this album are super pissed. No clean singing at all, just straight up raw yelling and screaming.
"The Death Collective Volume One" is the soundtrack Fury Road didn't know it needed to have. It's full speed ahead with a few pit stops in the thrash zone for those extra breaks. It's the kind of pissed off music to listen to while riding into the sun set of post-apocalyptic blood red skies. It's a sand storm that captures the feelings and emotions of hopeless future, set to ruins. These dudes definitely have the matches to ignite the flames, and the gasoline to keep it going until it reaches every inch of this scorched earth,  Cheers! -Samir

Friday, October 20, 2017

Beerwolf - Planetfall (2017)

From beneath a veil of smoke emerges a killer three piece out of Tampa, Florida - Beerwolf. They're ready to shake the skies with their new album, "Planetfall", a massive stoner-doom meteor crashing in from out of the cosmos. Fans of the Sword are going to find a ton to love here - this release covers a lot of the same territory both musically and thematically. It comes down hard, bursting with an upbeat groove and soaring 70s style riffs, all carefully crafted and brought together under a psychedelic influence with a heavy metal finesse. It seems to lean on more stoner elements than doom, but when some of the dark, rumbling low tones finally come in, it creates a gloriously full sound that feels like an awakening in your soul. The lyrics are fantasy-fueled blasts that sound like they're straight out of a Frank Frazetta painting - some may call it cheesy, but it's exactly the kind of shit I love. But if that bothers you don't worry because the album is also peppered with instrumental tracks and they feature some savage guitar solos screaming with classic style - I especially recommend the fourth track, "Haze Arcane". Once the music starts it's hard to turn it off as you get swept up in a thundering swagger that just exudes energy. This album is just flat out awesome, so turn it on and turn it up! -Brandon

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Daxma - The Head Which Becomes the Skull (2017)

They came from the void unleashing an overwhelming sorrow - a deep-seated grief from which we may not escape. Last year, Daxma put out their first EP "The Nowhere of Shangri-La", featuring only a single song entitled "Eons Apart". It is an immense 30 minute track of elegant, atmospheric doom that manages to evoke a comfortable sorrow and sense of longing. But as powerful as the EP is, it's only a herald for something even bigger: the band's first full-length album, "The Head Which Becomes the Skull". It refines the sounds heard on their EP into a deep, all-consuming abyss in which an alluring post-metal/doom hybrid empties your soul over the course of six songs. The music grumbles with slow, sinister rhythms and resonates in a lonely cosmic ambiance. Over top of this, guitar, violin, and both male and female vocals take turns singing out melodies of lament that will cast shadows in your heart. Everything is incredibly somber, but at the same time it has a chilling beauty that leaves you transfixed as you're drained of all joy and cast into the endless ether. This is an album that is both crushing and subtle in equal measure, working the band's creeping sonic despair into a massive, heavy riff and then back again. It's the sort of sound that will haunt you when you're alone on a quiet night - when you can feel the notes still reverberating in your mind. This is really an incredible piece of work, but it's not for those weak in spirit. Listen if you can handle it! -Brandon

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Seer - Vol. 5 EP (2017)

Seer play filthy/nasty blackened sludge that sounds like Neurosis if they were heavier, darker, meaner, and maybe listened to more Black Metal. These dudes from Vancouver don't fuck around when it comes to making super heavy music that pairs well with a full moon night, haunted forests, and decrepit old castles. Playing slow and low, each riff as that slug, chug, and crunch that makes listening to sludge metal a rewarding experience. Now mix this together with the ancient evil primordial ooze these dudes spew forth, and you have the hideous monstrous creation that is Vol. 5.
I will say before consuming this release, (IMO) it digests well if it goes down whole, rather than being enjoyed through individual songs. If you were going to go about doing it that way, I'd say cut to the chase and listen to "The Face of the Earth Was Darkened and a Black Rain Began to Fall". The song is ten minutes long and combines with the other three tracks I'm pretty sure this is still the majority and true meat of Vol 5. Tidal Waves of heavy riffage push forward cosmic debris and organic rottenness, as the vocals chants about life, death, and eternal void. Speaking of which the vocals have a pretty good range on this EP, moving between sung to visceral sickening shriek with great ease. Although I'm not really sure it's all the same person, since there are several credited. While the other songs are just as great, they all seem to support this central core to form one moving entity devoid of light.
The atmosphere on Vol. 5 is gloomy as fuck. One only needs to direct their attention to the last track titled "The Mantra is Recited Within the Catacomb of Shuggnyth" a structure-less jam that sounds like it's straight out of some sort of satanic ritual scene from an old exploitation movie. Either that or a Kenneth Anger film. If you click on the lyrics for the song on their bandcamp page (whatever they're chanting is in decipherable) it reads "…and a putrid miasma rises". I feel like this one line could describe the entire album. It's definitely some good nasty evil shit. Cheers! -Samir

Reflex Machine/Ghost Embryo Split (2017)

Here's a split from two rustbelt noise sludge rock bands that's pretty fucking rad. The first half is from the Columbus duo Reflex Machine, who sprinkle a little nod of heaviness from Mastodon, a dash of weirdness from the Melvins, but ultimately are At The Drive In/Mars Volta worshipers at heart. Ghost Embryo are the real heavy hitters on this split, with their sickening bass heavy low end, that is gnarly as fuck, and really nasty sounding. Loads of distortion and feedback create an atmosphere of noise sludge dread, with some no wave tendencies added in for good measure.

I can't go on with this review without mentioning the amazing video the band released for 'Evitative". A lot of green screen hallucinatory psychedelic imagery going on here. It's clear by looking at this video that these dudes aren't the heathen hesher types, and are more inclined to be experimental, and that's what you get with their batch of songs. The guitar tone on this reminds me of the way King Buzzo's guitar sounded on the "Jared and Coady era" Melvins albums. It's fuzzy, kind of mechanical sounding, and almost synth like. The rest of the songs play out with flashes of heaviness mixed in with weird chords, and drum noodling. The split ends with a rendition of "Untitled" by Interpol, and this doesn't seem out of place in the least bit, and they pay tribute to it, while also making it sound like one of their own. Here's the original for comparison.


 The cover is almost like a break for Ghost Embryo to enter the fray, coming in swinging with both fists like a ravaged insane caveman, defending itself from a pack of wolves. Simple, harsh, primitive, and brutal, Ghost Embryo hit back hard, creating Noise Sludge music for people who like their rock n roll messy and not dissonant. Freeform noise and feedback from the bass distortion become essential to the riffs, creating something that's a little different, but firmly places these dudes in noise rock territory. Shout out for the "Female Trouble" sample at the end of the split.
Experimental and weird, this split is not necessarily intended for those into your typical Sludge/Doom fare, but I see no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this. It's heavy shit, and if you're a fan of noise rock that's on the sludgier side of things, you'll dig totally dig this. Cheers! -Samir

Friday, October 13, 2017

Eternal Black - Bleed the Days (2017)

Working their way through the tombs of Brooklyn, New York is Eternal Black. They come covered in sweat and grave dirt bearing their first full-length studio album, "Bleed the Days". These guys drink deep from the well of Wino and it shows - this is doom played heavy and low, drawing inspiration from the Obsessed, Saint Vitus, and all of their ilk. It's stretched out with fuzz and grit, pulsing with devilish rhythms and the murky trappings of the night. Guitar, bass, and drums come together to make this thick, groovy thunder that you can feel reverberating through your body. As the instruments gnaw at you the vocals bellow out with a deep grumble and I can't get the image of an insidious werewolf out of my head. The album manages to be gloomy without being joyless using this upbeat serpent's swagger that keeps it bumping from side to side as it writhes through the graveyard, twisting around headstones and monuments. The music comes together with this sort of pride in its grim nature, as it smirks and revels in the darkness. This is true doom through and through so let it take you to the inevitable end! -Brandon

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Golden Bats - Superplateau EP (2017)

You hear about a lot of terrible, deadly creatures out in Australia, but perhaps the most dangerous is a one-man project in Brisbane by the name of Golden Bats. Over the last several years Golden Bats put out quite a few short releases of caustic, doomy sludge that will seep into your mind and eat away at your brain like acid, leaving you hollow as soon as the music ends. The most recent of these corrosive emissions is "Superplateau", the second one this year after "Falling Sparrows" back in April. There are only two tracks on this EP, but that's all that's necessary to start dissolving your insides. It starts with the title track - rhythm-heavy with a sawtooth guitar tone and biting vocals diluted in reverb. Like all their material, it's harsh and hits hard enough to knock you over. About halfway through there's a guitar lead that comes in to leak out this sticky, sinewy sorrow that opens your eyes to the desolation throughout the rest of the song. The second track, "Noose Jig", creeps in with some eerie, experimental strings plucking away, but then with the gong of a bell it explodes into a scathing metal that starts burning your skin on contact. It comes in waves of misery rolling in, then out, but never releasing you completely. Then as quickly as it came in, it dissipates into a neat sort of a western theme to try to ease you back to a stable point, but you've probably been reduced to dust. This music poses a serious threat to anyone who comes in contact, so listen at your own risk! (But seriously, take that risk, because this shit is awesome.) -Brandon

Primitive Man - Caustic (2017)

So I'm just going to call it. This is most likely going to be album of the year for me. I remember the first time I heard or saw anything about Primitive Man. I was just scrolling Facebook and there was one of those sponsored ads for "Scorn" before they were signed to Relapse, and judging by the art, I was like fuck yeah I want to check this band out. I was not disappointed and they were an instant new favorite. After years of releasing follow ups of EPs and splits, the band has finally returned with their LP successor to "Scorn" titled "Caustic". Boy is this fucking heavy.
Primitive Man has to be one of the heaviest bands on this planet, with their brand of Misanthropic and Dissonant Extreme Doom Sludge. Adding in elements of Death, Black Metal, and even harsh/ambient noise, these dudes have the filthiest, nastiest, and most disgusting sound around. Every down beat, and every down stroke on this album is like a hammer to the head. Nothing but relentless blow after relentless blow. I feel like this is definitely more devastating than "Scorn", but does it really even matter? I mean these guys have a sound that it is unmatched, and they just keep playing the bleakest shit imaginable. To me it just seems like the most logical continuation of what they are trying to achieve as a band. For a band that is already as intensely heavy as they are, the only way they could change as a band is to go softer, and I can't say that they have. They are simply one of the best Sludge Metal bands out right now, in its most extreme form period.
So pretty much what I'm trying to say is this is the kind of shit to look forward to, and then it exceeds your expectations. Not like, I can't wait for this to come out, and it's just as good as I thought it be. No, this is definitely some great phenomenal shit! So I'm glad "Caustic" did that for me. I can't say how many of my favorite bands over the years have released shit and it's been disappointing. Not this time. Also thanks Relapse for having this band on your label. There was a time where Relapse was really putting out the best of the best when it came to heavy shit in the early 00s and then all of those bands, either went to other labels, or they just went away entirely. IMO there was large gap of time where I thought their releases were hit or miss. However, I think lately with a few releases from older bands who have signed on to the label (Magrudergrind, Iron Monkey, etc…) and newer bands like Iron Reagan and even Primitive Man, they seem to be back on track with where I've seemed to of left off. There are definitely a lot of good labels out there, but for me Relapse always has a soft spot in my heart, and have released a lot of my favorite albums. Now including this one. Cheers! -Samir

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Temple of Void - Lords of Death (2017)

Detroit Michigan's Temple of Void return with their new album "Lords of Death", and it's a heavy slab of Death/Doom which seems to capture the classic sounds and stylings of both classic late 80s to early 90s Doom Metal and Old School Death Metal. So instead of just sounding like every other Death/Doom band out these dudes sound like they really dig on shit Earache and Roadrunner put out in the late 80s early 90s minus all the blast beats and shit. Nothing on here is faster than a mid-tempo gallop, but don't expect these dudes to be playing those drone riffs either. These riffs are meaty as fuck, and these dudes know how to write some catchy fucking grooves as well.
 The sound on this is just so fat and crushing. The strings have moments where there are melodic and create an atmosphere of murky melancholic witchery. However most of the time, it is pure relentless brutality with bone snapping heavy riffage. These grimy rotten riffs are detuned and straight from the dankest crypts. Untombed and fully rotted, these riffs sound even better with the gut wrenching death growls of the vocals. Just like everything on this album, they are layered on thick and fat, oozing forth like a rivers of blackened slime, while the strings and drums crunch forth in an unholy unison. The total package is nothing short of fucking awesome Death and Doom delight.
Prepare to be pounded back into the grave with "Lords of Death". Temple of Void have managed to outdo themselves, and deliver an album that is way more heavier and way more Devastating than their first release "Of Terror and The Supernatural". While their first release seemed more along the leanings of Hooded Menace both with the cover art and their overall sound, this release sees the band branching out, and getting back to their deathly putrid roots, conjuring a morbid masterpiece that will satisfy fans who fiend for heavy duty riffage. I totally recommend bobbing your heads along to these grim hymns of disgust. Cheers! -Samir

Friday, October 6, 2017

Ruff Majik- A Finch in a cherry tree (2017)

Ruff Majik is an untamed trio of musical sorcerers out of Pretoria, South Africa that is brewing up something completely unique. Over the course of a year, at the change of each season, they're releasing a new chapter of "Seasons", a full-length album made up of four parts. The first part, "The Hare and the Hollow", was released at the June solstice coinciding with winter in the southern hemisphere. Now, with the recent September equinox and the advent of spring in South Africa, the band just put out the second chapter in the series, "A Finch in a cherry tree". It's got a sound that refuses to be pigeon-holed, twisting together all kinds of wild music and spitting out an erratic combination of ground-up goodness. The first track "Last of the witches" starts out striking with an electric urgency - it sounds like an alarm flirting with funk before being trampled by hard-hitting heavy rock. This transitions into "It flies at night" a gloomier tune playing like a doom rock offshoot that brings some more grit and danger to the mix. The final song of the set is "Hanami Sakura (and the ritual suicide)" which begins all bluesy, like it was born in the bijou, but builds up into some heavy metal thunder. All these parts are brought together by a common thread - a distinctive timbre, like a chirpy rumble, that runs across the tracks. These tunes are volatile but make up a potent elixir that should last us long enough to see what the next solstice will bring! -Brandon

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Watcher's Guard - S/T EP (2017)

Is it just me, or has there been a bunch of cool shit coming out of Scotland recently? This time, it's an the form of an earsplitting self-titled EP from Watcher's Guard. They're playing slow, heavy, traditional doom occasionally broken by some fast, old-school metal flashes that will have you offering up your soul in tribute. The sound brings to mind a lot of doom classics and it's definitely been through the dungeons of gloom, but it's not quite wallowing in darkness. With both the instrumental and vocal tone, it's as though it stepped out of the shadows and into the moonlight - still a child of the night, but illuminated by a pale glow. It's a breath of fresh air without straying too far from the source - new doom in an old style without feeling tired. That alone should make it worth your time, but it's pretty powerful on top of that! All three tracks pound out a thick metal that will summon the howling winds of despair! There's a lot of weight to this one, try not to get crushed. -Brandon

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Ledge - Cold Hard Concrete (2017)

Ledge is the new Sludge project from John Hoffman (Weekend Nachos). Now that Weekend Nachos has called it quits, I'm pretty excited to see that out of the ashes of the old band, rises the phoenix of another rad one. While the two bands are different ends of the extreme spectrum (Weekend Nachos = Grind/PV), these two bands differently share the same DNA, and that is quite apparent with "Cold Hard Concrete". Think of Ledge as being the slower version of Weekend Nachos, or if Weekend Nachos decided to be a Sludge/Doom band than to play d-beats and blasts. You definitely get that Weekend Nachos low end here. Nothing but slowed down detuned hardcore sludge riffage. Definitely cut from the same cloth as bands like Greif and Noothgrush. This shit is heavy as fuck, and super pissed as well. The crushing massive riffs from the strings paired with Hoffman's vocals, make this a sludge record that's going to be hard to put down. Front to back this shit is like getting beat with a sledgehammer. It packs the intensity and ferociousness of hardcore, but with that "Gluey Porch Treatments" Sabbath meets Black Flag slowness we're accustomed to with Sludge. There's little flurries of d-beats and blasts here, but it's limited and this is definitely for the slow riff fiends. Not really sure if Hoffman did all the instruments on this one, as it doesn't really mention anyone on the bandcamp page as being in the band, but evidence from other articles shows this may be the case. Either way, this album is the shit. Definitely one of my favorites from the year as far as sludge metal goes. As far as I'm concerned, this is how it's done. Dude just decided he wanted to make some Sludge Metal and he succeeds massively. Do not pass this one up, it fucking rules! -Samir

No Funeral / Livid - Split LP (2017)

I've been meaning to review this for a while, but for whatever reason I sat on it. Enough is enough, this split needs to be talked about, even If I'm a little late to the party. So here we a split from two great Doom bands from Minneapolis, MN. Both have their own take on the genre, but together combined they make a pretty awesome split, and their end product is both crushing and hauntingly devastating. I first stumbled upon No Funeral when I heard their "Misanthrope" full length, which I ended up reviewing for this blog earlier in the year. These Midwest miscreants deliver when it comes to filthy depraved sludge doom. With two tracks totaling to about 20 minutes, No Funeral's side of the split is definitely relentless, with dope sickened dread inducing riffs, and plenty of harsh vocals and feedback to slather them as well. If you're a fan of "Misanthrope", or this is your first introduction to the band, you will not be disappointed.

Now for something that's not quite the same, but just as aurally pleasing, we have Livid's side of the split. Livid has this great big sound that is both epic and grand. They seem to swap toward the traditional side of doom, with a glacial pace, and the fuzz of stoner doom without the high. They've got the clean vocals thing going on, and it sounds like they were recorded in an empty cathedral as they echo and trail along with the rest of the song's 18 minute journey through the cosmos and the unknown. There is definitely a similar sound here to Pallbearer, but I wouldn't call them copycats. Maybe both bands are really big on Solstice. Do yourself a favor and check out this split if you haven't already. It's pretty fucking awesome, and being someone from the Midwest, it's pretty fucking sweet that we are in the presence of such awesome Doom bands. I'm definitely interested in what either band is going to put out for future releases. Cheers! -Samir