Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Kingnomad - The Great Nothing (2018)

Each time Kingnomad appears, it seems like they're stepping out of an otherworldly fog as enigmatic travelers presenting music created from a place just beyond the outskirts of our conscious minds, and the delivery of their second full-length "The Great Nothing" is no exception. Now however the Swedish band is bringing an extra dose of cosmic and creepy vibes and kicking some more doom rock into their heavy psych formula - and I love it! From the opening group vocal harmonies on "The Yoga of Desolation" you'll get a glimpse into their eerie leanings before they bring things back with a brighter prog rock spirit on "Cosmic Serpent", and from there effortlessly snaking around styles but always conjuring evocative melodies that seem to resonate just beneath your skin. Between their dark/light dichotomy and chilling organ tones Kingnomad almost brings out an spooky rock 'n' roll boogie, but they tend to go wandering off into more exploratory head space before letting you get too comfortable in any one spot. It definitely hits some epic moments and with the acoustic guitars and the magic in the keys you'll hear sparks of Uriah Heep and other sorcerous 70s sounds dancing around the stern and steely-eyed rock grooves. The last track seems to go off in a dozen different directions over the course of 20 minutes, but it all twists around and melts back together at the origin point through the power of occult mysticism. There's no doubt The Great Nothing is an absolutely awesome record so let Kingnomad take you into the swirling void and show you all its unearthly splendor! -Brandon

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Skincarver - Shades of A Shallow Grave (2018)

Combining Sludge grooves with Grindy Metallic Hardcore, Skincarver pummels the senses, while eviscerating your body with their new release "Shades of A Shallow Grave". It's not full on Grindcore and its not full on Sludgecore either, but it meets somewhere in the middle where riffs are delivered with a severe crunch or unload like a thick pungent ooze. It has the characteristics of a crocodile swimming in the sewers. Surrounded by refuse and slime the hulking beast slowly waits to feed and when it does it goes into a frenzy sloshing the gross sewer water around painting the tunnels with shit and rat guts.
 I'm really digging the bass sound on this. It's not super detuned or anything but it adds that extra heftiness in there, that creates a good balance of Sludge and Hardcore grit. It has a prominent place in the mix as well, and is not so overly distorted that it's nothing but low end noise, which I like. It also pairs well with the guitar parts which already have kind of a disgusting swampy low end, which I mean in the best way possible. I always dig a really good versatile extreme metal drummer, and you definitely get that on this release. They aren't pigeonholed to strictly slow Sludgy stuff, and you get a nice variety of double kicks and blasts. Similar with the vocals. No clean singing of course, which I prefer, but nothing that is purely just death grunts. Anyway, every time I listen to it I wish it was a little longer because I have been enjoying it that much. Hopefully I won't have to wait another two years for a follow up to this one. Good shit! Highly Recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Grave Disgrace - Sabbatharium (2018)

Goddamn, I don't know how such a killer band slipped under my radar for so long, but Grave Disgrace are here to rip open some caskets and terrorize the world with their third full-length album "Sabbatharium". This is the good shit with unholy stoner-doom so heavy that it'll drag you to hell, played nice and low with deep, powerful riffs coming at you from now until you die and then beyond! It's chock full of fuzzy wobbling bass, deadpan moaning vocals, and the stale rank stench of death unearthed from a Transylvanian graveyard in every single note. More than anything else, these guys are masters of ultra-evil, psych-tinged blues with guitar leads that make Robert Johnson's legendary trip to sell his soul at the crossroads seem like a picnic with the church choir. The massive sound, the hulking pace, and deliciously messy layering makes every track feel like a dark and joyous fever dream torn from the mind of something undead. It's a macabre vein of slow and profane doom that reminds me of all of the things that made me fall in love with this wicked genre of music in the first place - and then it builds on it! Sabbatharium is the sound of a curse that you don't want lifted, instead choosing to offer yourself up to the darkness and wallow among the damned. I don't know how to turn the volume down on this one - it's loud, lumbering, depraved and I don't want it to stop! -Brandon

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Howling Eye - Sonorous (2018)

Last year The Howling Eye helped us wander through the galaxy and see both dark and beautiful things lurking among the stars with their debut EP "Dying Sun". Now the Polish cosmonauts are ready to take us on another journey through the fringes of space with their new album "Sonorous". Twisting off in even more wild and dazzling directions than before, Sonorous showcases a variety of tunes spanning psychedelic stoner, pensive post-metal, bright and hazy doom, and more. The album kicks off with "Kairos" whose first half bangs out a tantalizing stoner jam before cosmic radiation turns it into the kind of funk that you just can't fake! Afterwards "Stranded" comes blasting out the gates heavy and hard before losing steam and setting you to drift aimlessly among quiet trippy tones. Out there you can start to explore some moody post-metal styles on "Reflections" before crashing into "The Potion" which returns to some more terrestrial sounding stoner-doom with another chunk of funk and even a dash of surf rock thrown in. It closes on the 16-minute "Weedblazer" which burns through stoner rock territory with a wicked groove, then goes dipping into the darkness before ending in a smoky, forlorn corner of the universe. Compared to last year's fuzzed up Dying Sun, Sonorous strays much further from its stoner-doom source to offer a more vivid, varied, and far-reaching tour of the stars - and that ain't a bad thing! Just turn the volume up and let The Howling Eye take you space trucking in whatever direction they want to take you! -Brandon

Friday, August 3, 2018

ИЛ (IL) - Нечисть (Nechist/Undead) (2017)

So here's another great one from 2017 I missed and I want to specifically call out Rob Hammer for posting this on his YouTube channel. If you do not follow it, you should, because a lot of the shit that I personally post about ends up being on his channel. So if you enjoy the bands I post about and don't already subscribe, do it! Anyway, so here's the band ИЛ which according to Russian to English translators is IL. The name of the album is "Нечисть" and the translation for that came out to be "Scum" while Rob states in his YouTube video for the album, that the translation is "Nechist" which is an evil spirit. The reason I'm explaining this is because I think both translations fit with how I would describe this album (***Update I'm being told it means Undead and not Scum***). It has a real thick and equally filthy Sludge Doom sound to it, but it also has this evil foreboding presence to it, which you can definitely gather from looking at the cover art as well. The book matches the cover for this one!
This album feels like it was birthed in a swamp, and features some punishing riffs that are heavy as fuck. The overall mix is excellent especially for the sound they are going for. The guitars are thick like fog penetrating haunted forest.  The vocals are wretched and miserable enough to feel right at home with these gloomy ass tunes. The drums are what you'd expect, but at the same time he does do some blasts that harken back to their blackened roots. There's a whiff of psychedelic influence that is noticeable, albeit masked by the noxious fumes of the dank riffage. However, the contrast between light and dark is barely noticeable, as its passage of time is quite limited. With that being said, I really did enjoy this one. I would say it's a contender for being one of my favorites of the year, but it's actually from last year, so it's kind of disqualified from that. Oh well, highly recommended either way. Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Saint Karloff - All Heed The Black God (2018)

You can typically find them lurking in the shadows on cloudy nights when the thunder starts to rumble and something unnatural is building in the air, but now the fiendish rogues of Saint Karloff have entered the waking world to twist souls and contort minds with their debut album "All Heed the Black God". This record is a dizzying concoction made up of stoner rock, psych-doom, and a touch of dusty occult magic dumped into an old wine barrel and stirred with Uncle Acid and Black Sabbath in mind. Saint Karloff groan with all the strange, wicked sounds of the night no matter whether they're hitting some mid-paced jangling tunes with a groove ("Ghost Smoker", "Dark Sun") or fast, driven, dire songs blasting wild-eyed through the darkness ("Space Junkie", "Radioactive Tomb"). The sound seems to induce a paralyzing panic where you break out into a cold sweat as your brain is crawling and seething, desperate to flee from some unseen force, but you're physically transfixed and your body craves more music. There's a vaguely ghostly presence about it as though it hits just the right frequencies to shake one or two nearby spirits loose and sets them free to fly about as the songs play - but not enough ghosts to slow the rocking energies that the band brings! It's just plain awesome heavy rock music brought to you from the dark side - check it out! -Brandon

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Lowen - A Crypt in the Stars (2018)

It is a thin veil that separates us from oblivion, but a new band has formed in London that seems to walk the line. Conjuring an otherworldly kind of doom metal Lowen harnesses the power of the void to create their haunting and heavy debut album "A Crypt in the Stars". The band mashes up ancient Mesopotamian history and mythos with cosmic influences and sound resulting in monolithic tunes with their own gravitational pull. Music will progressively shift between tense, contemplative passages that are perfect for thoughtful stargazing and dark, heavy riffs that will get your head banging. Layered on top are captivating ethereal vocals that seem to travel beyond this world and into the next with chilling incantations on themes of gods and battle. The album opens on a Middle Eastern inspired chant that seems to echo across a desolate landscape and into the recesses of your soul until guitar feedback signals the incoming heavy metal dominion and summons a raspy backdrop to contrast with the beautiful yet ominous vocalizations. As that trend continues through each song it leaves you floating in a sense of all-consuming mysticism as though timeless magicks are weaving their way through the ether to command fate. The final track "In Perpetual Bloom" starts with slow and trepidatious doom as arcane power mounts with each passing minute until it reaches an explosive climax and the sound unfurls to be scattered in the vast emptiness of space. A Crypt in the Stars is absolutely enthralling - once you turn it on you won't want to turn it off! -Brandon

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

GRRRMBA - Coalescence (2017)

I'm almost saddened that I had not known about GRRRMBA until only last week, but holy shit! This was one of those rare occasions where I spent most of my night listening to their entire discography on repeat. I cannot think of one thing this band does wrong. Their brand of Blackened Death Sludge is some top shelf shit. They're super fucking heavy, it's super fucking bleak and dissonant. With every bludgeoning groove GRRRMBA makes, you can feel the grime and muck as it escapes the blow to paint its surroundings pitch fucking black. These dudes seriously don't fuck around when it comes to playing bone crushing riffs that seek nothing but complete and utter devastation.
As far as I'm concerned these dudes are my ultimate go to band for Blackened Sludge. I don't know if it gets any better than this honestly. What also strikes me about this band is how well the songs are crafted as well. The band weaves their guitar and bass lines together in a barbed wire fashion that wanders a little from simple synchronization, but proves to be just as barbaric. I also love a drummer who plays in an extreme style despite playing slower or mid paced. It really adds another layer and dimension to the sound. The production on "Coalescence" is also phenomenal. That fucking bass sound is so pulverizing and really makes a difference with the overall sludge sound.
Anyway, there's no way of getting around it. I love this fucking band! I also know that they're about to drop a new album in September, and they have already a new track posted. It's definitely some heavy duty shit, and I can't wait to hear the rest! I provided a link to both their last release "Coalescence" as well as the new single below. So listen to this shit right fucking now! For real mandatory listening! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Magnatar - The Trail (2018)

When I first heard Magnatar's release "Vulgar" I was definitely anticipating a follow of some kind, but I didn't realize it would happen so soon! Even though this is only 12 minutes long, it's worth every bit of those 12 minutes. "The Melting Skin of My First Born Son" starts out with this wall of drone that ripples and swirls while the vocals roar and the drums crash like thunder. A perfect storm of Sludge Doom follows which culminates into a down pour of some serious ultra heavy riffage.
When we move into the second part of "The Trail" we hear the band change gears for the song "Markhor", and it definitely has an etheral vibe to it. While the riffs are lighter than the first song it still has a heaviness that's carried over transplanting this song in Post Metal territory. It's almost as of these songs are on two ends of a spectrum to showcase what it is exactly this band is trying to put out in the world. It's a departure from "Vulgar" for sure minus the crushing heavy parts, but I hope this is a sample of what's to come, and Magnatar builds a bridge between these two songs to create crippling Sludge that expands beyond its limitations within the genre. It was short but I really dug it! Highly recommend! -Samir

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sons of Geezora - Blast (2018)

The earth trembles. An unnatural screech sounds in the distance. Could it be...? Yes, it is! Rising up out of the underbelly of Québec City with a follow up to last year's self-titled debut, Sons of Geezora are back knocking over anything in their path with "Blast"! But what is the source of their new power? Ultra-concentrated waves of radiation that warp heavy-psych, bluesy 70s hard rock, stoner-doom, and lo-fi garage rock into one mutated mix-up with enough might to take down a supersized extraterrestrial or two! Now loose on the streets Sons of Geezora are unleashing their freaky, scrambled rock 'n' roll powers on an unsuspecting public and goddamn is it glorious. The unpredictable nature of radioactivity has made their powers volatile so each track on this album gives you different concentrations of its source material. Space Amoeba features a heavy blues boogie with a couple of small stoner-doom nuggets in the middle, bookended by thoughtful guitar lines that bring balance, peace, and pensiveness while Osaka Blues is an eclectic instrumental that delves into some southern style and extensive guitar leads. My favorite track here has got to be Corrosive Sap with its doom rock beginnings that go careening into a tangle of power lines for an electrifying, high-energy finish! There are a few terrifying moments where you can feel a shadow overtake you as though the foot of the great lizard king looms overhead - but it always results in a near miss and you get to live another day. Blast is such a great name for this - not only are you bound to be subjected to bursts of raw kaiju energy but it's also going to be a damn good time! -Brandon

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Shrooms Circle - Asylum (2018)

It has only been a few short months since the first recordings of the underground cult known as Shrooms Circle were distributed to the public. In that time their dark influence has spread rapidly, drawing scores of followers by seducing them with the sound of maniacal psychedelic doom metal offered up in devotion to the sinister forces that bleed through subtle cracks in the universe. They've quickly followed up their initial release with the full-length album "Asylum" which sees their wicked visions more fully realized and is poised to drag countless hallucinating souls into oblivion. Songs on Asylum swirl madly with massive warbling guitars, moaning vocals that seem to drain you, spine-chilling organs, and dizzying phaser and feedback to create a kaledescope of cult worship while maintaining the crushing force of doom metal. It's as though Shrooms Circle were able to take all of the most evocative scenes of classic horror cinema, splice them together, soak it all in acid, and then turn it into sound. Like a knife retracing an etching in stone this album refines the depraved ritual as it first appeared on their EP. In addition to the three new hymns ("Witches Are There!", "Out From The Grave", and "A House Behind The Hills") the "Asylum" demo track is now finished and fleshed out and the group has affirmed the unholy nature of the songs "The Druggist", "Trapped", and "The Island" and cemented them as dogma. As the slow riffage comes crashing down amid the mesmerizing procession of devilish psychedelics you'll realize there is no escaping the all-consuming sound. From the moment its twisted essence had reached your ears you were doomed to be haunted by the demented delirium that Shrooms Circle brings. Each song is a bottomless pit into which you'll fall eternally, swallowed by the darkness body and soul. Asylum is a monument of depraved and distorted doom - a brilliantly deranged piece of art for all to lose themselves to. -Brandon

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hexendrone - Heavy Drugs Smashed Amps (2018)

There is plenty of great Doom, Stoner and Sludge coming out of Russia and Hexendrone is definitely not an exception. Upon first listen to the opening track of "Heavy Drugs Smashed Amps" you are bombarded with feedback thick like a cloud of smoke presumably from said smashed amps, and that's the only warning before the band hits that first chord. After that you are exposed to an ungodly sound and tone. One that mixes copius amounts if fuzz and distortion with ultra detuned stringed instruments. It's something that conjures the images in my mind of barbaric caveman death matches, fighting each other with the teeth, claws and bones of predators, hunted for survival.
Then we are treated to the riffs (I'm not even done describing the first track let alone the rest of the album, but you get the idea). They seem to break up the chaos and give order and structure with monsterous and gargantuan presence. They're catchy as fuck as well. It's a suffocating mix of bludgeoning guitar/bass, irritated vocals, and slow yet violent drumming that is exactly what I need in my life right now music wise. It's simple and primative with it's agressive, and makes me want to band my head and pound my fists in approval. Comparisons to Conan would be easy to make, and while they do sound similar, Hexendrone are a different breed of Barbarians who seem hell-bent on forging their own steel, and quenching its thirst with the blood of both man and beast. I really dug this album and it's definitely a contender for my end of the year best of list. Highly recommend! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Pretty Please - Fur Model (2018)

Pretty Please hail from Atlanta, GA but you could've fooled me, because these dudes sound like they're from Aberdeen, Wa! Combining the Grunge of "Bleech" era Nirvana with the Sludge of early Melvins, and the Noise Rock tendencies of the AmpRep discography, these Atlantians play brutish grooves with a snotty attitude, and punk sensibility. Fierce yet catchy, "Fur Model" is a throwback to the 90s rock that didn't suck. While the major labels we're conquering and dividing the indie landscape to cash in on the Alternative craze, this is the kind of shit that slipped through the cracks. Too dangerous for modern rock radio, but enough hooks to lure you in.
I think the biggest takeaway is how much the singer sounds like Kurt from the "Bleech" album, and I mean this in a good way. Had this come out 25 years ago I might feel differently about it, but it's also so much more than that. The riffs are pretty aggressive, with a guitar sound that is mangled lacking any interest in fuzz for a more mechanical sound. Great bass sound, that fits in with that whole Noise Rock sound. Same can be said about the drums as well. The rhythms stray a little off the usual standard rock beats in favor of Jesus Lizard esque pocket grooves. I definitely dug this one. Not exactly the kind of Doom stuff we usually cover, but just as good. Highly recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ripis - Shadow Dies in Morning Light (2018)

A year after their full-length debut "Monolith" Ripis has once again distilled a gloomy mountain rain into heavy music and now presents their second album "Shadow Dies in Morning Light". While it's no less colossal than the first take, it turns down some of the wretched aggressive tones present on the previous album and replaces it with more chilling melancholy and mourning. On Bandcamp this is tagged as 'doomgaze' which is a term that I'm not super familiar with but just feels right - it's three parts doom and one part gaze where the slow, mammoth force of metal is slightly softened by a dreamy mist, but is made no less solemn because of it. The resulting sound is majestic and it has a blunted might perfect for leaving you desolate and alone in the valley seen on the album cover. There's a churning agony in the music that seems to sap your life away to produce a sharp haze of pensive guitar. A haunting voice only adds to the dreary atmosphere and the vocal melodies leave a spectral trail across each song - in particular the despondent pleas to 'kneel down and pray' on "Burdened by Stone" seem to channel something from beyond this mortal coil and could make your heart turn to stone. This album occupies a lot of headspace with its dismal ambience so get ready to be drawn in and left somewhere low! -Brandon

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Chill Child - Bong Colony (2018)

If I was president of the Band Naming Association and in charge of approving all band names then Chill Child would have to choose something different. When I first heard that name I guessed that the California three piece was playing some kind of poppy, semi-relaxing something-wave music. However, what Chill Child actually gives you is an out of control stoner punk party hopped up on rock and roll energy! Their new album "Bong Colony" starts off with the slowest, heaviest track (the title track) dwelling in mid-paced stoner metal that allows the smoke to spread, but after that the band decides to go on a "Beer Run" and gets your blood pumping by ripping through punk sound with a fuzzed-up reckless abandon. It barrels onwards from there with an onslaught of chords and riffs while the rhythm section injects some much welcome groove into the fast and hard hitting style as the vocalist belts out some delightfully nasty, gravelly shouts. It comes screeching through the sun with skater energy that makes it perfect for when you want to ride fast and cause some trouble. You really can't go wrong with any track on here, they're all quick and make you want to fuck shit up and have a good time - good luck not banging your head to this! So yeah, the name Chill Child may not be representative of the sound, but you better listen to Bong Colony anyway because this shit rips! -Brandon

Friday, July 13, 2018

Bongripper - Terminal (2018)

So here's another release people have been waiting 4 years for, except this is a band many readers are very familiar with. So here it is! The lords of Instrumental Doom have returned to inform us the diagnosis is now "Terminal". Two long as fuck tracks "Slow" + "Death" which deliver on the riffs, especially since after the wait. In a year that saw the return of both Sleep, Dopethrone, and Yob, Bongripper had some great albums that preceded "Terminal's" release, however this one definitely does not disappoint. My favorite part of any Bongripper song is when they go for that ultra detuned low end, and both songs have those moments. However that's not all this album has to offer. To me "Terminal" definitely sounded like it had a lot of Post Metal influences going on, and reminded me of early material from fellow Chicago Instrumental Sludge/Post Metallers Pelican.
The music itself lumbers like a Woolly Mammoth during the ice age, and carries the power of an avalanche taking that same Woolly Mammoth out. There's an apparent whiff of death in the air, obviously hinted at by the album/song titles/artwork, and it can also be heard in how the songs are constructed as well, like a circle of life except with riffs. Songs build themselves over time while gaining momentum and regenerating until they finally decay and whither into the ether. If you wanna learn how to write great Instrumental Doom songs, just listen to Bongripper, and this album is no exception. When playing, make sure you listen to this on full blast to experience the music vibrating against your bones. Mandatory listening for sure! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Secret Cutter - Quantum Eraser (2018)

Ultra heavy Sludge Grinders Secret Cutter return with their much anticipated follow up to their Self Titled debut "Quantum Eraser". With a myriad of great Sludge riffs to showcase this time around (played either fast or slow), "Quantum Eraser" seems worth the 4 year wait. For those who are new to Secret Cutter, you need to hear this fucking band for sure. They have the super detuned string section, the extreme metal drumming, and the blood curdling vocals. These dudes are a Grindcore band at heart, but what do you call a band that isn't hitting those blasts every other riff? That's why Sludge/Grind defines their sound so well. They write Grindcore songs that often drips and oozes with a syrupy texture.
 These dudes have their own sound for sure. If I could pin point any bands I would compare them to, it's maybe like a cross between Triac and Ed Gein, but their style is so versatile I could imagine these dudes playing with a wide range of bands. If you are looking for Sludge is that is absolutely pulverizing and brutal as fuck, then you've come to the right band. Secret Cutter might collectively like Grief or Eyehategod, but that's not the kind of Sludge these dudes had in mind when they were making "Quantum Eraser". I think these dudes knocked this one out of the park. Great fucking sound, and an awesome blend of everything I love about Sludge and Grindcore. A marriage of devastation and infected wounds. A vicious dog bite that just won't heal. Highly recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bog of Anguish - S/T (2018)

From the grimy depths of Dayton emerges a new wellspring of terrifying misery - Bog of Anguish. The band starts with a tumultuous kind of black metal and mashes it against the downtrodden style and foreboding atmospheres of doom before throwing in a bit of death metal accent to create one concentrated, horrific instrumental swill on their debut-self titled release. Bone-chilling synth tones lure you in like a siren leading a sailor to his death before the rest of the band batters you from every direction with a chaotic cacophony of ever-shifting extreme metal. The effect is harrowing and with every song you can feel your heart drop as the eerie keyboard parts ring out clearly - almost laughing at your dread - over the sound of screeching, squabbling guitar and pounding, stormy rhythms. Tracks start out slowly, teasing the tense, frightful atmosphere before letting the beast off the chain to revel in bedlam. It's an abhorrent, formless nightmare that appears as a chimera of all the things that make your heart stand still in order to feed off of terror, torment, and revulsion. Those who choose to visit the Bog of Anguish should be warned - you will not return with your soul intact! -Brandon

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Haunted - Dayburner (2018)

Haunted. Yeah, that name is not a fucking joke. With the first eerie organ tones that slowly rise off of their newest album "Dayburner" you can immediately feel a dark presence come over you that will not leave. Filled with occult-inspired doom metal that will have your head swimming the album is an overwhelming source of wicked, swirling darkness that will have your hair standing on end. It balances airy, bewitching vocals that will set your soul free to float in the ether with a low, rumbling backend that holds the weight of the void and makes the world tremble. It is as though the reaper walks among us and the band does his bidding. Spacey guitar solos and trippy touches will have your mind crawling through the heavy crashing riffage, burdened by visions of ghostly spirits pulling you towards the abyss. The album taken as a whole is phenomenal, but there's a few bits that I keep listening to over and over - the chilling introduction on "Mourning Sun" bursting into that hard, gloomy riff with paranormal stirrings, the eerie chanting of 'follow me, follow me' at the end of "Orphic", and the acoustic segment at the beginning of the title track that will give you goose bumps and flashbacks to Elephant Tree's self-titled album. Everyone's comparing these guys to Windhand - and that's fair - but if that's all you're getting out of Dayburner you're not letting it consume you fully! You must drink from the seas of reverb, allow the black haze to overtake you, and bask in the pale spectral glow! -Brandon

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Cult of Occult - Antilife (2018)

Spewing forth misanthropic hymns of lunacy, agony, and despair, Cult of Occult have crafted a hideous monstrosity with "Antilife". It's been three years since Cult of Occult's last full length "Five Degrees of Insanity", and this one doesn't disappoint with its dark clouds of Blackened Sludge Doom misery. Repetitive and oppressively bleak, "Antilife" is sure to crush anyone's spirits with its howling drones, and its suffocating riffs. It's slow, and it drags, as if chained to a builder in a dank dark cavernous dungeon, with no sign of light or life, outside of the maggots and rats eating scraps of food. That's where you will find this music dwelling.
The strings definitely have good tone to them, providing a wretched sound that is oozing with hate and self loathing. The harshness of the vocals are shrill and guttural, and when combined with the rest of the band it adds to this disgusting display of human suffering. A mediation on grief, sickness, and pain, "Antilife" is sore that will never heal. Did I mention that I liked this? I could see this ending up on a lot of people's end of the year lists. It's up there for me that's for sure. I definitely recommend checking this one out, and it will most certainly ruin your day. Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Thought Eater - Bones in The Fire (2018)

Thought Eater play Instrumental Progressive Sludge with a noise rock slant to it. They remind me of the band Noxagt for some reason. The grooves are jagged, and full of twists and turns,but it's a unique sound that's packed with enough sinister sounding riffs to keep my attention and focus. Although these dudes definitely flaunt their musical excellence, it's never done in an over indulgent way with excessive noodling. Thought Eater craft songs that are tightly wound like a watch, barrel forward with precise execution, and it's definitely exciting to listen to. Did I mention the bass player uses a 12 string bass? I'm kind of glad this is instrumental, because I'm not sure what kind of vocal style you would want to do over this. Sometimes shit like that can ruin the music, and these songs are enjoyable on their, and if it's not broke don't fix it!
I'm really digging the tones on this especially from the bass and guitar. It's almost as if the bass is more distorted than the guitar to give it more character. Both are distinctly noticeable, but the bass definitely has that distinct Noise/Sludge Rock sound I was talking about above. There's even some organ parts that kind of give it a 70s (a la Deep Purple/Pink Floyd) vibe without sounding like anything directly from that era. I mean you can tell the influences for Thought Eater are all over the place with their warped sounding riffs, and deviant melodies/harmonies. It's definitely a fusion of a lot of awesome shit but it's core is definitely in the swamps with the muck and the ooze. Anyway, really solid release, and it's a little bit different than the type of Sludge I usually encounter, but as good. Definitely recommend this one. Cheers! -Samir

Lord Vigo - Six Must Die (2018)

You shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But sometimes, after going through the book you can step back and say "Yeah, that cover was perfect for this". Right now that's what I'm thinking about Lord Vigo's latest release whose artwork features the undead shambling out of the sea on a misty, moonlit night with a ghostly ship in the background - this is exactly the kind of shit you're getting on their third album "Six Must Die". Their last two releases featured epic doom steeped in horror, but even though their new album is inspired by John Carpenter's The Fog the band trades in a little bit of their hellish terror for some adventure/fantasy sense and mixes it all into one enthralling sound. The opening instrumental track "Elizabeth Dane" sounds like it could be a heavy take on a pirate theme, but before the tone shift scares you away it dives into the depths on the next track "Doom Shall Rise" with metal riffage, organ tones, and chilling clean vocals prove that the band is still dwelling in the darkness. Although the songs are all strong and have some muscle to them - even some traditional metal moments - the album has a sort of ghostly presence about it, as though the spirits of vengeful warriors have risen to haunt the songs - or maybe that's just the combo of moaning synths and rhythms fit for nighttime marches across a battlefield. Even though they're branded as epic doom, Lord Vigo has always brought their own unique sound to the table and Six Must Die presents an exciting evolution of that style - it's got my recommendation! -Brandon

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Monje - S/T (2018)

In the streets and alleys of Buenos Aires there are whispers of something sinister that lurks in the shadows, basking in the darkness and drawing in anyone who dares to get close - Monje. They stalk the night dealing out addictive stoner-doom with goth rock sensibilities that emerge when the thundering riffage comes down to a simmer. The band's first album hits a lot of sweet spots on the stoner-doom spectrum, managing to work its way into a trashing stoner groove on tracks like "Paisaje del Horror" and creep through the darkness like a vampire slipping into your bedroom on "Punto Omega" with a whole lot of wicked stops in-between. The sound itself is a true creature of the night pounding and plodding through the darkness until it finds the right moment to strike. Monje sounds just as comfortable creating a warbling creepshow as they do a in the middle of a scathing assault, and you better believe you're getting both. With the vocals the range goes from 'low, ominous, and eerie' to 'demon crime lord on a rampage' and what more could you want? Monje have crafted their own kind of underworld and any way you slice it this album is a delightfully nefarious soundtrack for banging your head through the twilight. -Brandon

Friday, June 29, 2018

Disgusted Geist - Reign of Enthrallment (2018)

Mixing the filth/grime of Sludge with the stench of Old School Death Metal, Disgusted Geist rise from the miasma to deliver a truly sickening sound with “Reign of Enthrallment”. If you checked out the band's demo last year, and were impressed, wait until you hear this one! The sound on this is so vile and nasty in comparison. You could tell in the demo that the band was really drawing more from bands like Grief and Noothgrush, but with “Reign of Enthrallment” you get more Autopsy and the hideous swamp death of the Florida Scene. A truly repulsive sound that is pleasing to my ears.
The guitar tone on this whole album is near perfect sludge excrement. Pairing this with brutal riffs creates a crushing experience that is hard to resist. The vocals are sick too delivering classic death grunts that people are accustomed to with OSDM. It really adds to the whole atmosphere the band is trying to create here. The biggest change from their demo from last year is the drums. We move away from the slow snail paced Eyehategod style drumming, and move into Death Metal territory with all the double kicks and blasts you would expect to hear. I was definitely impressed with this band's first full length. I knew when I heard their demo this band was onto something special, but I totally didn't predict they were going to go in this direction, and I think it's even better than I imagined it being. I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up on a lot of year end lists, as its going to show up on mine for sure. Highly recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Medicine Noose - 7" (2018)

You know once those plodding drums, distorted bass, and feedback kick in this shit is going to be gnarly as fuck, and I was right. German Sludge/Doom peddlers Medicine Noose released this 7 inch earlier this year, but if you haven't heard it yet, this is some pissed hateful Sludge for sure. It has all the characteristics of 90s Sludge (think Grief, Noothgrush, and a sprinkle of Eyehategod), but it seems pretty fresh and just as mean. Definitely sound like these dudes are transplant from California from that era, but you get the point. It fucking rules, and makes me slowly bob my head to its infectious riffs.
The vocals and guitar are just spot on perfect for this kind of sound. It's just covered in sludge filth, from head to toe, and the band slowly moves along as if it's being dragged through gravel and broken glass. Agonizing, painful, and super fucking disgusting, this 7 inch is an instant mellow harsher if there was one. The band has a split 12 inch coming out in September with a band called Spewn, so I'm definitely looking forward to that. In the meantime, listen to this shit for sure! Only two tracks but still highly recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Bubak - Bubak's Revenge (2018)

There is no mercy! There is no escape! Prepare for the thunderous force of Bubak and the unrelenting fury of their second EP "Bubak's Revenge"! This is a pair of dudes with just drums and bass that manage to sound fuller than bands three times the size, playing stoner/doom/sludge that will pummel you with ultra-heavy sound! If you've listened to Bubak's first EP you know they're good, but this new release takes things to a new level with a loud, savage might. It comes charging at you with a driven, almost punky speed and energy, but played deep and low with heavy metal fury. Combine that with the dirty bass and vocal tone and it really feels like Bubak is on the attack - it's fast, harsh, and it's going to tear into you and force you to bang your head whether you're ready or not! There are a few slower passages scattered about that ensure that your wounds are deep but the assault never stops! It's like a massive ogre ripping through the forest on a path of destruction all for the sake of fun. The bass and drums here are each wicked and catchy in their own right, ripping through memorable line after line - taking no prisoners along the way - until you can feel the sounds vibrating in the hole where your soul is supposed to be. Then when the vocals come at you like shotgun blasts on top of that you know that these dudes are on a warpath and you can get out of their way or die. There's not even a moment or a note of filler, you're just hammered with metal until the end. I don't know who wronged Bubak or what they did to incur their wrath or inspire their revenge, but if you're reading this... Keep fucking doing it! I need more of this shit! -Brandon

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Self-Hatred - Hlubiny (2018)

With cold looks on their faces and eyes that seem to stare off into the distance the members of Self-Hatred emerge from a Czech graveyard visibly burdened in a state of quiet misery. Their anguish is palpable but it is also their fuel in producing extreme atmospheric doom coated in the ash of burning death and black metal. On Self-Hatred's second album "Hlubiny" (or "Depths" for those of us who don't speak Czech) the band explores themes of death, loss, and sorrow in both music and word (though you may need translate the lyrics). These songs are built on a foundation of slow, growling doom that will gnaw away at you but when patches of more extreme metal rear their head the sound will let loose and maul you without losing the downtrodden essence at its core, carefully balancing both the violently grim and the tragic. The key work on this album is chilling and atmospheric, shifting between organ, piano, and ominous string tones as the mood fits, providing a great range of variety but always lending power and depth to each song. Check out the second track "Odraz" where it carefully syncs with the rhythm to create a massive cathedral style sound and the last track "Epitaf" which sees the keys take on many new forms throughout the song's progression. Guttural vocals evoke a primal sense of grief that has been unearthed from a place beyond conscious recognition, as though all vocalist knows is misery and it consumes until it comes pouring out verbally. Hlubiny is like the soundtrack to some eldritch horror rising up out of the woods in the heart of winter and then making a solemn march to throw itself on a funeral pyre - only stopping to wreak havoc on those that would stand between it and its bleak goal. Definitely recommended for those who can bear the weight of despair! -Brandon

Friday, June 22, 2018

Welcome to Holyland - S/T (2018)

I can't think of an opening riff in recent years that got me hooked liked the one from “War” on Welcome to Holyland's S/T release. It's so simple and catchy, and also made me think, if all the great sludge riffs have probably already been written, then Welcome to Holyland may have discovered some of the last remaining ones. I'm going to be bold here and just say this is some ugly/filthy yet punishing sounding shit. The guitar tone is so fucking sick, and it's like the perfect sound for sludge doom, and the vocals fit perfectly with the special blend of nasty that the band spews forth on all four tracks.
 Plus the riffs just have a groove to it, which I think is what also makes them so catchy. I wouldn't say that all songs a groove-laden , but even the shit that drags and drones, still is captivating enough to pull you in. This is an amazing fucking debut by a band, that everyone needs to check out right now. I couldn't be more ecstatic about a new band/release. Yeah Yob just released an album, and I'm sure a lot of people were excited about that. I mean I know I was. However, I can honestly say I was more impressed by this release than that one. This is the kind of shit I started this blog for. It's those moments where you find something that just stops you in your tracks, and you just say damn, someone figured out exactly what you wanted to hear. Obviously this is one of my favorite releases of the year thus far. Highest recommendation possible for this band! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Flood Peak - Plagued By Sufferers (2018)

Sounding like a Blackened Sludge version of mid 90s Neurosis, Flood Peak delivers the rain to wash the filth and the garbage away with “Plagued By Sufferers”. A torrential downpour of darkened hymns and fractured odes in the key of ugly, Flood Peak create the perfect storm of slow grimy riffs with agonizing execution. The music itself is very primal, as if it were born in a cave, and never has seen the light of day. When it finally feels the burn of the sun's heat, it retreats and trembles back into the darkness. This band and its sound exist on this plane.
The guitar chords are preoccupied by diminished and minor tones, and that's what makes Flood Peak's sounds so grim and ghastly. The distorted bass on the other hand seems to wallow in the muck, and a lot of the band's pummeling low end. The vocals have a lot of grit and guttural anguish that one would expect listening to music like this. It fits with the feel and the tone, bringing together a harsh reality that can drown you in the tears of despair. Get your fucking life vest on, because in the sea of shit, you wanna be damn sure you're gonna float. I'm not really sure what that last line has to do Flood Peak or their release “Plagued By Sufferers”, but I do know I was compelled to write that after listening to it a few times. I guess I feel gloomy and this put my in a dour mood. This shit is bleak, and you should definitely check it out! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Witch Mountain - S/T (2018)

Although the band was founded over 20 year ago and their new, self-titled album is actually their fifth full-length, this release still represents a first of sorts for Portland's Witch Mountain. Although they've been teasing the world with singles for the past couple of years, this is the first full release to feature singer Kayla Dixon and bassist Justin Brown who have been with the band since 2015. But even with the new(ish) faces in the lineup, Witch Mountain is still playing the same style of traditional doom metal fronted by powerful, bewitching vocals that they've become known for and goddamn - it might just sound better than ever. The album kicks off with "Midnight" which stirs up the darkness as it hammers on slow, hard, and steady while Kayla showcases more soul in the vocals than we've ever heard before. It sets the tone and a precedent for the rest of the album of wicked songs and riffing - and the band doesn't disappoint! Every track has its own kind of magic and command over the shadows as the tunes conjure a devilish aura. The guitar work has plenty of evil, bluesy style to it and the music keeps giving me flashes of classics like Trouble and Reverend Bizarre but with a modern dynamic depth. The album closes with the 14 minute odyssey "Nighthawk" which combines all of the albums strengths into one magnificent track that starts off ominous and bluesy before lashing out with some metal brutality and then ending in a bone-chilling vortex that swirls everything together. This album is a treat for longtime fans and newcomers alike, so put it on and play it LOUD - it's worth the hearing damage! -Brandon

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fading Bliss - Journeys in Solitude (2018)

The time has come to embark - to delve into the heart of despair in search of beauty viewed through a lens of pain - as guided by the tormented souls in Belgium's gothic doom ensemble Fading Bliss. The band's second full-length album "Journeys in Solitude" delivers on the title by taking you on a trip of sorrow and lament traveling through four separate biomes: "Ocean", "Mountain", "A Forest", and "Desert" as the tracks are so named. Under the weight of a tragic atmosphere each song walks slowly, giving you time to absorb everything that's going on here - and there's a lot. Elegant piano melodies, ethereal female vocals, growling male vocals, bursts of slow, calloused metal played in death tones, ominous synthesized strings, impassioned, forlorn guitar leads, and more all come together creating a grand kind of doom that's drowning in woe. As if the band wasn't already doing enough shit right, the third track "A Forest" is indeed an extended cover of the Cure's classic song that brings even more depth and darkness than the original, immediately drawing you in with a haunting essence that never lets up. This album has a refined sense of melancholy that quietly ensnares you in the shadows - there are a few big, swelling moments and a couple of extreme metal blasts but the real power here is in the serene, melodic misery that builds those up. Fading Bliss have definitely captured some beautiful grief here so I recommend checking it out! -Brandon

Friday, June 15, 2018

Beastmaker - EP. 1 (2018)

I was quite surprised to see a new release from Beastmaker, but according to guitarist/vocalist's Trevor William Church's Facebook, this is the first of a string of EPs using unused tracks. Also mentioned in his post is their departure from Rise Above Records, and the band's new direction moving away from "Horror Doom" and even taking on a second guitar player. Beastmaker is definitely one of my favorite newer Doom bands from the past five years, so whatever they plan on doing, I will be sure to listen to it, just like I did this one.
Right away I noticed a slight difference in the way this batch of songs sounded compared to their last two LPs. The Horror Doom sound was definitely there, but it also seemed like they were definitely going for a Proto Metal vibe as well. The riffs were simple yet catchy as always, but it definitely had a more 80s metal/hard rock influence to it, which kind of made me think of Ghost if they were actually a Doom band. The solos fucking ripped as well. Overall, I liked what I heard. I'm looking forward to the next couple of EPs, with the band finishing up this chapter of their musical journey, only to open a new chapter with a fresh start shortly thereafter. Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

King Goat - Debt of Aeons (2018)

Although the throne sits in a low place King Goat seems to tower above its kingdom with a dark, domineering majesty. The English band's second album "Debt of Aeons" evokes a foreboding kind of grandeur with doom metal that touches on both the epic and progressive scales. Their sound can be sprawling - exploring gentle tones that become more eerie, then blasting doom in a traditional vein before it grows into the epic, wandering off with divergent melodies, and then finally exploding in strains of bleak, extreme metal all in one long progression. There always seems to be some quiet chaos brewing in the background, subtly threatening to burst through and upset the balance, but the band demonstrates their power by maintaining control and enforcing a twisted sense of harmony. The variety gives it an almost cinematic quality as though the music itself has a story to tell - but if you weren't paying close enough attention to that, the vocals certainly do. They're almost operatic the way they soar and swell, plundering the shadowy depths, conquering nigh impossible heights, and then ripping into snarling growls as they recount tales both fantastic and forlorn along with the occasional backing chants to enhance the mood. Although the music is somber generally speaking, this is an album that seems to be overloaded with passion as you can really FEEL the music through its intensity and emotion. This is definitely something you're going to want to hear - no exceptions! -Brandon

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Postmortal - Soil (EP) (2018)


As the thunder starts its low rumble and a sea of dark clouds rolls in Postmortal beckons you to enter their dungeon. Upon entry, you realize that even in the dim light the band is still casting long, ominous shadows and that here in their subterranean realm the gloom and the furor of the rainstorm is being amplified by the power of their debut EP "Soil". Crashing in with a grumbling sorrow, the band delivers three tracks of woeful death doom that flirts with the gothic style of My Dying Bride and just a touch of skin crawling eeriness. Instrumentally, the songs creep slowly with tones that are languid, lamenting, and loud all at once - it's a horde of ghosts and demons bleeding through the cracks in the walls swarming you with every kind of misery at once. These tunes hit you from two sides simultaneously with a low, wretched, roaring back end but also clear heartbreaking agony up front. It's not going to mash you right out the gates - it comes in like the rising tide, growing larger with every wave and every moment until eventually you find it enveloping you as you're being dragged into the depths by an awe-inspiring melancholic force. The vocals are comprised of deathly growls so deep that you can - and will - fall into them. You shouldn't miss out on this so get ready to descend into darkness and embrace the miserable end! -Brandon

Friday, June 8, 2018

Hell Obelisco - Swamp Wizard Rises (2018)

Upon first listen you would figure Hell Obelisco was born in the Stoner Sludge swamps of NOLA, but these dudes are straight outta Bologna, Italy! With a deep bass heavy rumble that's sure to awaken every witch and wizard from Salem, ME to Salem, OR, "Swamp Wizard Rises" is a raucous hell ride, that casts a spell with its Stoner Riffer Madness, and its Sludgy Doom and Gloom mastery.
Hell Obelisco give off this Southern Metal vibe that makes me think of a beefier and sludgier version of Corrosion of Conformity with a dash of Down and a hint of Goatsnake. I've been kinda burned out on the Stoner Doom stuff as of late, so it was nice to come across this, where the fuzz gets traded in for heavy slabs of tasty Stoner Riffage. I have no doubt in mind that the aforementioned Swamp Wizard approves of this, and wake and bakes to this shit, before he has risen for the day.
The riffs are catchy as fuck, and this definitely had my head bobbin along to it, so it has my approval for sure. There's plenty going on in "Swamp Wizard Rises" to please Lords of the Stoner/Sludge/Doom World and beyond. So pull out your favorite pipe, light it up your favorite strain, and bask in the pungent stench of this worthwhile release. Highly Recommended! -Samir

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cult of Flesh - Wendigo EP (2018)

Combining Elements of Blackened Sludge and Atmospheric Doom, Cult of Flesh challenges the expectations of these sub genres, creating Extreme Heavy Music that defies the norms. I guess the point I'm trying to drive home here, is that when I read the description I was expecting something a little bit colder, and a little bit more grim. However, I mean you can even take a look at this cover art and sense that it's going to be a little bit different. I will start by saying, I am pretty sure, especially after listening to it a few times, that each song on here is different sounding, so it's not quite a constant stream or relentless attack. Another thing that struck me as being a little odd was the chord progressions/musical note choices used to compose the songs. They weren't as dissonant as I would have thought or expected.
Well I guess since I've mention what this EP is not, I should probably try to explain what it is. At times it's sludgy as fuck, but on the other end of the spectrum there's an acoustic part. There's even hints of Death Doom in there with the slow double kick, but all of that is fleeting and doesn't last long, moving on to something different maybe a few bars later. It's a wide range of things, and it's a culmination of a lot of good sounding things whether they might seem pleasant and ethereal to chaotic and aggressive with everything between. I dug this because it was a change of pace for me, as far as Sludge goes, and it was catchy as fuck. Definitely recommend this. Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Smoulder - The Sword Woman (2018)

With warriors' blades and adventurers' hearts Smoulder rides forth to bring us epic doom from the north! ... So long as you're somewhere south of Toronto, otherwise it's epic doom from some other direction. Their debut release "The Sword Woman" strikes thrice with three tracks of sinister might, each one darker than the last. The band must have dipped into a witch's smoking cauldron because every song has a deadly kind of magic brewing and bubbling within. There's a beautiful swirl of darkness to the sword and sorcery themes and the guitar leads emerge from every angle infused with faded starlight. The title track kicks things off by swinging a heavy hammer at slow, even pace with lyrics inspired by and lifted from the Robert E. Howard story of the same name. Its style makes it an incredible soundtrack for any of Howard's fantasy writings, be it Conan, Red Sonja, or whatever gets your blood boiling. When the refrain calls out "I sell my sword to the highest bidder to ride with my brethren" it's nearly impossible not to sing along. Afterwards "Voyage of the Sun Chaser" conjures a sorcerous metal assault with mystic and commanding vocal melodies laying on top. The final track on here is a cover of Nightmare's "The King Is Gone" re-titled "The Queen Is Gone" - the original already burned with a fantastic, wicked power but Smoulder has found a way to make it even darker and deeper, exposing the doom that once lay dormant! This is a must for anyone into heavy sounds, fantasy, and epic doom. It's got me drooling over what a full-length might sound like, so I'm hoping that's coming next! -Brandon

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dying Hydra - S/T EP (2018)

New out of Denmark is Dying Hydra - a monstrous trio of hell-beasts intent on ruination with their debut self-titled EP. Playing atmospheric sludge unearthed from a place beyond human conception Dying Hydra is lashing out with a rancorous fury and a touch of misery. They establish a moody baseline, letting a natural gloom settle in with quiet, rippling passages but then the band bares their fangs and sinks their teeth in causing an explosion of malevolence and vicious energy. The aggressive, heavy rhythms rip through the airwaves leaving a subtle, melancholic trail in their wake. It's as though they've summoned a storm for the sole purpose of proving they can shout louder than the thunder - and damn if it doesn't work, because this shit could put a hole in the sky. You can practically feel the hydra using its necks like tendrils to wrap around you and throttle you in time with the savage rhythms. Beneath the roaring sludge, gentle melodies form in the vapor creating an incredible duality between the rampaging monster and the forlorn ghost. I imagine this is what it would sound like if High On Fire covered Pelican songs - a pummeling force hammering out nuanced tunes. You can't deny that this EP came out pretty wicked so do yourself a favor and check it out! -Brandon

Friday, June 1, 2018

Dopethrone - Transcanadian Anger (2018)

2018 is shaping up to be a good year releases for sure. With Sleep's first album in two decades and the return of YOB, Doom Metal has had some pretty major releases. Dopethrone of course is no exception. The scuzzy Stoner Doom peddlers from Montreal are at it again this time with "Transcanadian Anger", an album that is full of stoner riffage that's sure to invoke your inner fuzz demon and wake and bake the dead with its dank fumes. Somehow Dopethrone is able to achieve what many bands can't within this genre, and it's taking the conventions and making them not suck, or boring, and while still being catchy and heavy as fuck. A lot of young bands can fall victim to this, but Dopethrone are veterans, and they can out smoke these young whippersnappers with their bongs in hand.
It's not like Dopethrone really changes anything up either. The band still retains its infernal vocals, its fuzzed out massive pentatonic stoner riffs, and it's slow yet furious drumming. You get a little treat on this one as the band pays homage to ZZ Top under the disguise of "Kingbilly Kush". Dopethrone reminds us once again, that just because nothing's new under the sun, doesn't mean you can't slay at what you do, and that's exactly what this band does album after album. If you haven't already heard this one, check it out, I highly recommend it. Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Slund - If You're Angry And You Know It, Clap Your Hands EP (2018)

So here's another great release by Slund. Even though this blasts by in under 12 minutes, this is definitely worth your time. For those unfamiliar, Slund is a one man project that combines Doom, Sludge, and Grind in a cacophony of bludgeoning riffs and high speed violence. Slund's recent release "If You're Angry And You Know It, Clap Your Hands" sees the band stripping away most of its Doom trappings, and mainly retaining the sludge aspect for the sake of deep grooves. If anything I feel like this release has more of a power violence feel to it (call it grindviolence or whatever, sometimes labels just become redundant at a certain point), at least compared to the previous albums. The samples on this release between tracks are fan fucking tastic. They definitely add a sense of cynicism and humor to the tracks for sure. This EP is fucking awesome, so if you're already a fan of Slund, I don't really need to convince you to listen to it or whatever, because you probably have. However if you're a newbie to the band, this might be a good place to start, and just work your way back archaeologically. Quick, Brutal, and Straight to The Point, Slund decimates with this  enjoyable Sludge/Grind offering. Highly Recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Yith - IMMEMORIAL (2018)

The eternal abyss has a hunger that knows no bounds, forever swallowing any unfortunate soul who makes the mistake of wandering too close to its endless maw. And at the center of that abyss - the very origin point - there must be something that sounds like Immemorial, the second full-length album from the one-man monolith that is Yith. With a masterful combination of the bleakest elements of black metal and doom metal, this is music that will reduce you to nothing more than dust floating forgotten across a desolate wasteland. It draws upon the slow, gloomy atmosphere of doom painting a bleak backdrop over which an unforgiving swill of black metal noise cascades like a waterfall. Touches of quiet synthesizer serve to heighten the tension, sending a chill down your spine and letting you dwell in a sea of foreboding before throwing you into the crashing waves of dark, melancholic sound. There are some terrifying melodies that emerge to evoke a sense of supernatural dread and the bitter, ripping force of the vocals seems to maul you with every word. The last track "Wilderness" provides a few moments of quiet reflection with a distant, forlorn churning that allows the overwhelming torrent of misery from the previous tracks to soak in. "Immemorial" is definitely an album you need to hear because it's as good as it is bleak - and it's bleak as fuck. -Brandon