Friday, May 25, 2018
I think I discovered Eagle Twin in 2010, a year after they released their first album "The Unkindness of Crows". It changed my perspective on what Doom Metal was or could be for sure. These two dudes were playing songs that had amazing riffs, yet everything was kind of loose and free in a way. The guitar sound was toasty as fuck, and Gentry Densley's voice was something unlike anything else I heard at that point in the genre. Incorporating Tuvan Throat Singing and using powerful animal imagery in his lyrics to coincide with his deep bellowing chants, Gentry was like a mad shaman of doom and gloom. The band released their second album "The Feather Tipped The Serpent's Scale" in 2012, and for whatever reason I didn't get the memo on this, and found out after the fact, but was delighted nonetheless.
So now here we are 2018, and history repeats itself once again. I thought maybe when I caught wind that they had a new single out, I'd catch it just in time. I even followed them on Bandcamp, so I would get an alert for when the album dropped. Again, I totally missed out on the day this came out, but I'm here to write that I fucking love this album. Four track, and 40 plus minutes of everything I explained above. I think this time around they added some some bluesier elements in there that added a layer of swagger and bravado, not necessarily missing from the earlier works, but a natural progression that just makes sense. Gentry's tone is just a fierce and fiery as ever, and perhaps even sludgier. The overall sound on this is just fucking massive, but I guess it should be if you're going to name your album "The Thundering Heard". I'm glad 2018 has given us some great releases thus far from some of my favorite bands, and this one is no exception. Great Fucking Album! Period! Cheers! -Samir
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
A few years after their self-titled full-length album, Italy's Satori Junk have once again emerged from the black of night to lure listeners into their den of hazy psychedelic doom with their new release "The Golden Dwarf". This time around there's a little less fuzz (especially around the vocals) to further expose the naked, unnatural horrors that await you. After a spoken intro the music starts all bluesy and ominous like a film noir before descending into the smoky underworld of stoner-doom with eerie acid-inspired keys over the top. Satori Junk absolutely nails the 60s/70s organ sound - something that lesser bands might use as a crutch - but even underneath its electronic wailing the riffage is heavy and can get thick as fuck as though you're wading through a horde of ghosts that are trying to drag you to the grave. There are a few subtle goth rock twists to the typical doom formula as well - I hear a touch of Bauhaus breaking through on tracks like "Cosmic Prison" and "Death Dog". The title track is full-on breath-taking terror from the get go, doom metal soaked in a chilling, gloomy atmosphere, but then halfway through it bursts into frantic rocking fury - but after all the energy is spent the song falls back into slow doom for just a minute before dissolving as the breathless instruments hopelessly struggle to stay alive. And then the final track comes in with a booming organ introduction that will blow you away - the heaviest cover of The Doors' "Light My Fire" that we will probably ever hear. If you thought that Type O Negative had already brought this song to the dark side then think again because Satori Junk kills all of the song's upbeat swing and instead creates a downtrodden doom with new keyboard and guitar solos that seem to dance and scream with a sick delirium. The whole album feels like a fever dream that takes place in a haunted mansion - something that will give you chills for weeks to come. If you're into doom that's horror-inspired, key-heavy, and/or psychedelic Satori Junk have really put together something special with The Golden Dwarf.-Brandon
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Montreal has a problem on their hands in the form of a group called Pink Cocoon. Guitarist and vocalist Zolla Marc and his shadowy associates are filling the airwaves with sweet, sloshy psychedelic doom that entrances listeners and leaves them stumbling through the night with rotten smiles and red eyes. This intoxicating sonic poison has been recorded across six tracks and the resulting EP has been dubbed "Alienation". Pink Cocoon evokes the sounds and dark spirits of staples like Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath but then sugar-coats everything using just a hint of bubblegum bounce to make it too delicious to resist. These are smoky graveyard jams bursting with an unnatural brightness and groaning under all the bluesy swagger and guitar leads. The tone wavers and teeters like a drunkard with a curse but the songs still strike with dirty intent and precision. Tracks like "Someone Is Out There" and "Child Of Death" throw in some catchy rock 'n' roll stylings a la Nirvana and it bleeds over the fuzzy stoner doom beautifully creating a brilliant image of death dancing wild and dreary-eyed. Scatter in a few eerie undertones and you've got yourself a dangerous set of songs that will have you ready to hop the fence to the cemetery and make the tombstones shake! -Samir
Friday, May 18, 2018
I'm not really one for Psychedelic Progressive Sludge, similar to the sounds of bands like Interarma and The Moth Atlas. Not that I have anything against those bands, but it's just not my thing. However, here we are with Scientist's new release "Barbelith", and I definitely dig this. I'm just gonna come out and say it, this is what Mastodon would have matured into if they would've taken a slightly heavier path. So thank (insert preferred deity here) we have Scientist now instead to listen to. Look up the term Barbelith on the internet, and your search will definitely lead you to Grant Morrison and his DC/Vertigo comic series "The Invisibles". The band's band definitely confirms this as a key concept for this album, along with psychedelics and the occult.
So what you get out of that is massive sounding Cosmic Progressive Sludge that is both grand and majestic. I think what I like the most about this album, is that the songs give themselves time to breathe where they will take it down a few notches, but then as soon as the heavy comes in, it's just devastatingly heavy sludge, and it's the anticipation for those moments that really does it for me. The not so Sludgy, Post Metal-esque parts are definitely good, and as worthy of the listener's attention, creating a sonic balance of interesting thinking person's metal.
With it's solid sleek production value, the guitars both glisten and growl when needed, with the heavier parts definitely hitting you in the gut with a sledgehammer. The low end on the bass is bowel shattering low, adding to the fullness of each song and giving it that distinct Sludge character. The drummer sounds like he has 4 arms, and the vocals have a decent range on here, mixing it up, and singing/screaming where necessary. Combining all these elements creates a whirlwind of sound textures that range from ethereal to thick concrete soup, and it's fucking spectacular and monumental. So yeah give this album a listen, it's definitely worth your attention. Cheers! -Samir
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Sixes return in 2018 with the slow and tortured evil sludge opus "Methistopheles". Clocking in at just over an hour with only 6 tracks, you better buckle in for this hell ride. However, long doesn't always equate to boring, and in this case with this release, it's a slow burn that is definitely rewarding and engaging all the way to the end. Now, if you're going to put something out that's an hour long, you gotta bring the riffs, and Sixes does just that. The riffs are nasty, filthy, and above all heavy as fuck. These detuned sludge grooves are addictive and depraved. Almost like they've been hiding in darkness with a blackened primordial slime, and they decided to climb out through the miasma, and dim the sunlight for the rest of the world. It's so fucking raw, and agonizing and it's great!
There's definitely some range on the musicality on this album, which is to be expected for something this long. The strings pretty much remain the same throughout, which is fine, because they sound disgusting and relentless like they should. However when the drums go into full Black Metal blast during the albums title track, you know you're not just getting your typical Sludge Doom release. While this concept is nothing new for Sludge Doom, it's cool that this band has at least decided to integrate this style, and venture out of the norm. The vocals jump from hateful sludge screams, to blackened shrieks, to death growls, and then to even straight up singing, and it adds some layers and thickness to this release, again making it not seem so straight forward or typical. Overall I really dug this, and it's definitely a contender for best of for the year. Cheers!- Samir
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Back in the year 2014 a bunch of Russian fiends calling themselves The Devil's Swamp plunged into the murky waters and recorded a nasty new album. However, the tracks sat dormant afterwards and in the years that followed the band split and dissolved. But now, rising up out of the mire reeking of putrid moss and decay is "Swamp Beast" the band's final album released from beyond the grave. Rank with the stench of warbling stoner/doom these tunes don't seem to have lost any potency during the years they lay in wait. Water-logged wailing vocals give the impression of a ghost crying for help and making threats at the same time, while they meld with instruments dripping thick gargled doom like wax all over you. It kicks in some burning Cajun flavor from time to time, especially in and around the guitar solos ("Allready" comes highly recommended). There's even a few pockets of Danzig-inspired bluesy horror tones with "Sex & Gun" taking the deep dive. But it's not all dank and damp as things start to dry out on the later tracks and give off some trippy desert vibes instead - songs like "Stoned Caravan" and "Under the Sunn" will get you out of the bog water and leave you stranded in sand. If you pick up the album, there's even an extra acoustic version of Stoned Caravan and some extra art to keep you occupied as you turn to dust in the hot sun. Swamp Beast is a pretty wicked album to close things out for The Devil's Swamp, but don't mourn their loss too hard - a piece of the swamp lives on under the name Unholy Slough, just expect something darker and more deathly! -Brandon
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
With engines roaring loud and heavy load in tow Electric Huldra is rolling in from out of the wastelands to deliver some fuzzed up hard rock with their debut release "Roadburner". The trio doesn't bother with a bass and instead doubles down on guitar to groan out the rumbling low end and solid rhythm that keeps these tracks running. "Roadburner" is going to hit you with riffs that were blessed and bleached by the sun out on the arid plains and then hauled across a few hundred miles of neglected highway just for fun. Most of songs tunes have some desert rock Kyuss-inspired touches (even in the vocals), but it flares up in full force on the title track which closes the album with hot winds, an almost tribal beat, and slow simmering grooves that build on themselves. However, that long desert trek only comes after more straightforward hybrid tunes like the mid-paced "Never Forgave" crashing in with its powerful rhythm and "Doubt In Me" which combines a danceable rock beat with catchy vocals and some wicked lead guitar licks. I don't know what it is about this album, but it really captures the feel of long drives alone through the Midwest - the world just fuzzes over and all you've got is the sound of the road and whatever tunes you're cranking. Definitely take this one out for a spin! -Brandon
Friday, May 11, 2018
However, just because you sound great doesn't mean you need to skimp on the riffs, and these dudes do not disappoint. Fall off the bone meaty riffs are strewn throughout, and spewed forth with the intensity of guts and body parts being thrown into a wood chipper, and shot out raining gore on a parade of the evil undead. As they feast on the rotten remains, let this album serve as the proper dinner music for it's carnage and butchery are comparable. It's short and sweet, but it gets the job done, and is a quick fix if you're craving some HM-2 worship at it's filthiest. Definitely worth your time. Cheers! -Samir
Thursday, May 10, 2018
This is some good shit. Tongue Party play addictive sludge and fuzz infused AmpRep style Noise Rock, for the gnarly weirdos out there who into stuff like Mutoid Man, Lightning Bolt, and Karp. I know there are four dudes in this band, but I swear there are two fucking basses in this band. That distorted low end is so fat and overpowering, but it'd the kinda noise I crave. Plus this is pretty relentless front to back. Riffs are shot out like laser beams in some sort of intergalactic warfare, and they pulverize you like colliding craters, turning you into space dust.
Not to say there isn't any variations in the speed on this, because there definitely is. As far as the drum beats go they are ping ponging all over the place. However, it the intensity that remains constant throughout, and it's just full speed ahead blowing your warp whistle and traveling through neon colored worm hole nightmares. It's simple and brutish, with a snotty attitude, and the temperament of a three headed mutant covered in slime. There's no way to get around it. This is definitely one of my favorite releases of the year, and a pleasant surprise to stumble upon. Well done dudes! Cheers! -Samir
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Goddamn, I hope you're fucking ready because something gnarly is roaring out of the sky at a million miles an hour and it's going to wreck us all - I'm talking about a fucking Hashteroid crashing in from outer space with a dank load ready to melt your flesh before you realize what's happening! This is a band that's here to hit you hard and fast with a style that mixes stoner metal with Motorhead's early years - frantic, upbeat, and kind of punky! And if that wasn't enough there's even some thrash on here to help tear things up, especially on the last track "...Return to Hash Planet". The combo comes together like a machine gun shooting bulldozers - there's no mercy, just a whirlwind of metal and uncontrollable riffage from start to end! But even with all the furious, fuming energy that comes screaming through your speakers, the tunes still return to a cosmic groove with a touch of fuzz that'll put stars in your eyes. Every instrument on this album is awesome with guitar, bass, and drums all pulling their weight AND THEN SOME - that's probably how this shit got into orbit! Vinyl record is coming via Cursed Tongue in June, but I'm not sure I can wait that long - this shit rips so hard and fast it burned through all my patience! Absolute killer of an album, you need to hear it NOW! -Brandon
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, for today you stand in the Temple Of The Fuzz Witch! Within these hallowed halls, three disciples of darkness send wicked stoner/doom rippling through the night. The band's debut release, which you can simply call "EP", offers up a trio of tracks that live up to the band's moniker by channeling the spirit of stoner/doom staples like Sleep and Electric Wizard. It's a headbanging, heavy groove snaking its way through the gloom here, leaving a thick trail of pungent smoke in its wake along with a touch of melancholy and a few bluesy trips and licks along the way. Each song seems to be soaked in more reverb than the last, so as the EP goes on it feels as though you're becoming more entangled in a spell, falling deeper and deeper into an effervescent shadow - but given how these jams sound, I'm not sure you'd ever want to come out of it! When all three of these dudes hit the rhythm together with guitar, bass, and drums it feels like you're being assaulted by an ogre's club - just being slowly mashed by a monstrous force. They're definitely driving some dark sounds into my ear holes and I love it! Rumor has it that Temple of the Fuzz Witch have some new stuff in the works - I'm looking forward to it! -Brandon
Friday, May 4, 2018
My favorite track off of this EP is for sure "Dejected", and it might be one of my favorite songs of the year for sure. It's tuned lower than the other songs making it extra sludgy (which I really like), and it just has these grooves that are ear worm material for sure. The drum beats on it too are slightly atypical as well of what you'd expect from a Sludge Doom song, or even the rest of this EP.
Overall I really dug this one, and I think you should check it out as well. The art might be deceiving, like you're gonna listen to something that sounds similar to Deafheaven (not knocking the band or Deafheaven or the art or whatever), but I definitely interpreted it as looking like galaxy colored concrete, which is a pretty good description of the EP as a whole. The themes are all there with space and all, and it has a this sort of primal demeanor to it, while also being filled with this sense of dread as well. Hope you dig it. Cheers! -Samir
Thursday, May 3, 2018
This year's 4/20 came and went, and we were gifted with the arrival of the first Sleep album in two decades. Not only that, but it was day that had many other releases as well. Sadly, a lot of them fell off my radar due to the excitement surrounding "The Sciences". Now that the cosmic debris has settled a couple week's later, and I've been wondering how Stoner Doom will survive now that "The Sciences" exists, but then again I hadn't listened to Klandestin's "Green Acid of Last Century" yet.
Stoner Doom definitely doesn't get accused of being the most original sub genre of metal or extreme music, and this is no different. However, this doesn't mean it's not good. In fact, this album is pretty fucking awesome. The sound is definitely killer. The massive riffs are thick are thick as weed smoke and are begging you to light one up while you listen along. The biggest take away I would say is the vocals, which are all clean, but the melodies stand out and create some memorable moments on the album. The riffs are simple, yet super catchy, and I think that's definitely an asset when playing this kind of music. If it's got a groove that can keep you planted while you're high off your gourd, then it's done its job. Highly Recommended for your next opportunity to bake out. Cheers! -Samir
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
When you name your band Electric Funeral, people are going to make assumptions about your music, but don't write this one off too quickly, because it goes far beyond prototypical Sabbath worship! Interspersing chanting, bells, organs, and other sounds borrowed from a satanic monastery with savage doom-ified stoner metal these Malaysian monsters are making the world a little more wicked with their debut album "Death, Cult & Serpent". Indulgent sound clips build up an evil atmosphere while the band comes crashing in with potent groove-heavy metal. It's definitely got more punch and aggressive attitude than you'd get out of a Black Sabbath clone. The vocals on this album are satisfyingly coarse and will burn through you like drinking a shot of corrosive acid. When you hear those shouts tearing through the air on the more driven tracks you can almost pick up on some faint hardcore influences - not enough to change the course of the songs, just enough to give the album a unique flavor. The last track "(The Offering) Conqueror Worm" is a killer 18 minute ride that starts with static and feedback then blossoms into a Pink Floyd inspired jam before switching to the band's striking stoner/doom and ending with both styles melded into one head-spinning haze. The mix of influences on this album is MUCH broader than the band's name suggests so don't hesitate to turn up the volume and let all the fiendish forces flow forth! -Brandon
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
After last year's split with Black Urn on Caligari Records and a self-titled EP a few years before that, Shrine of the Serpent have elicited the force of a thousand black spirits to release their first full-length album "Entropic Disillusion" - a nasty piece of work that reaches depths lower and greater than before. The Portland trio have crafted an all-consuming death/doom sound roaring with murderous melancholy that will sap the life out of you, crush your wasted husk of a body, and cast you into the eternal abyss. It starts with the slow, growling dirge of "Descend into Dusk" which evokes an air of terror as you embark on this journey of anguish. However, it then falls into the quiet introduction of "Hailing the Enshrined", gently casting moody tones into a sparse, empty world until the relative tranquility tempts a ruinous behemoth to rear its head and attempt to dismantle any sense of peace and replace it with harsh misery doled out at a sloth's pace. The trend continues over the next two tracks (with a few bursts of bloodthirsty fury) using riffs and tone that could kill you and serve as your eulogy all at once. "Returning" is a break in the rancorous onslaught, but not in your torment, instead opting for unsettling ambient noise to keep you uneasy and ready for the inevitable resurgence of scathing despair. "Epoch of Annihilation" is that fated moment, starting as a slow, agonizing march but building into a violent waterfall of extreme metal bearing down upon you. "Rending the Psychic Void" will end your time in this unforgiving wasteland with coarse power and sorrow that will bring you to your knees. "Entropic Disillusion is an incredible trip through ugly, hellish misery - play it loud until it disintegrates every fiber of your being! -Brandon
Thursday, April 26, 2018
The first thing I noticed right off the bat was that the bass sound was so prominent. It really added to the overall disgusting sound of the mix, along with the sewage-like detuned guitar tones. I did enjoy the different layers of vocals they had going on. There was that old school Carcass sounding growl going on, along with your typical death growl, and then they had that gurgling pitch shifted sound which was pretty fucking sick. Again, adding to that layer of gross repulsive sound that these dudes revel in. These dudes a relentless with their execution, and clearly give no fucks. After listening to this album they definitely have become one of my new favorite bands. I'm going to go ahead and just put this to my end of year list as a personal favorite. Not many bands win me over like these dudes, but holy fuck, they totally rule. Highly Recommend! Cheers! -Samir
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
It's been five years since Chivo released their last album, but the Spanish rockers have returned once more to kick up some dust with their latest album "Waiting For So Long" - it's stoner rock at its core, but ventures into some heavy territory for anyone looking to bang their head. Taking gruff vocals with rough riffs and plenty of rock 'n' roll energy and rhythm it makes a sound that's commanding like the edge of a general's sword. Tunes like "Hegan Egin" and "Gaijing Hunter" showcase a driven sound that's perfect for adrenaline-fueled joyrides - just make sure to crank up the volume to drown out the roaring engine! Throughout the album you'll hear these dudes channel a little bit of Kyuss - I pick it up on "Untermensh" in particular - to give things an urgent kind of groove. There's also a few tracks that give off some Helmet vibes too, so maybe they're just drawing a lot of influence from sounds of the 90s. It closes on "Cigarettes" a pensive acoustic tune that seems like a somber way to end things for such a rocker, but it gives the album its title with the repeated refrain of "I've been waiting for so long". This one's definitely off and running with hard hitting rock so get on it or get out of the way! -Brandon
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
An eerie blanket of fog covers the city of Cleveland, Ohio, but in spite of our instincts and the faint tinge of fear an unknown magnetic force pulls us in. There's a hand beaconing from out of the mist, and should we heed its summons we will be taken to the world of The White Witch, the debut EP from the duo known as Frayle. These tunes are made up of doom injected with some serious Deftones-style alt metal strains - now that could be dangerous territory, but given the way it comes together even the most discerning listener should be pleased. The main draw on these tracks is the vocals - they're celestial, airy, and feel like a gentle breeze across your skin sending a shiver down your spine. They caress the ear and the soul and lull the listener into a false sense of security - when you're at ease darkness subtly bubbles up and grows around you, separating you from the outside. You'll become transfixed as the sound emulates ghostly figures twirling in a pale mist, but with every passing moment they become more twisted and contorted as malevolent magicks work their way through the world's foundation. It takes a leisurely pace on a desolate path and the outcome is so satisfying. Now that the EP is out Frayle is prepping to release a full-length later this year, so once you're done jamming this keep an eye out for that! -Brandon
Friday, April 20, 2018
Radien are definitely no strangers to this blog, as we have reviewed their previous release "Maa" here last year. The Finnish Sludge Doom five piece, has returned with a full LP this time around, and they do not disappoint. Raiden's music is born from desolate landscapes, striped of any color, and plagued with black and grey. With it's crushingly heavy disposition and a dissonant demeanor, these guys are like a sleeping giant with a disfigured face due to leprosy. It's grim and harsh, playing like a soundtrack to a film about the end of days, shot on black and white with a super 8 camera. The music is dark, miserable, and full of despair, and above all it's really fucking good. I think one of the major differences I noticed comparing "SYVYYS" to the previous release "Maa", is that they have taken advantage of their use of time and space, and have given some room to some meditative moments throughout. However, they still deliver with fierce monstrous riffs, that roar with a primal rage.
The strings on "SYVYYS" definitely have a sludgy texture to them, but this shifts when the guitar is playing the atonal melody leads which also helps create a clashing friction and grit to the riffs. There's definitely a grating hoarseness that is added by the vocals as well. All of this is plodded along as if shackled by chains in a frigid existence with deep feelings of regret and sorrow. It's the type of sound that's for a place where the sun doesn't shine, and you'd wish the rain would just wash it all away.
I always thinks it's pretty cool, when a band that we reviewed in our relatively short life as a blog releases new material. Especially when it's an new LP! Also these guy got signed to Black Bow Records this time around which is pretty fucking cool, because they are definitely becoming one of my favorite labels, and it's run by Jon Davis of the mighty Conan, which is fucking rad as well. Anyway, I highly recommend this one! Cheers! -Samir
Thursday, April 19, 2018
As far as production goes this is pretty slick but in an Extreme Metal kind of way. The strings are deep, with a nice thick detuned sound. The drums on this are pretty fucking heavy, especially on the kick and toms. Nice use of blasts and double kick on this as well. It's not over done, and seems to be used for the right amount of time to not get in the way of a nice groove when it's presented. The vocals are spot on. It's like a pitch perfect death growl that really sounds great over this assortment of tunes. Overall, this is really good, and definitely worth your time. Highly Recommended! Cheers! -Samir
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Slomatics and Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard are each modern day titans, shaking the world with high-caliber sludge/doom until the earth cracks and fissures. However, when the two come together the result takes on a galactic scale, creating a soundtrack that invites the devourer of worlds to phase in from dimensions unknown and swallow the our planet and all who inhabit it. "Totems" is the new LP from these two juggernauts - it's a split album in the literal sense, but they've opted to deem it a "collaboration" instead and upon listening it becomes clear why. The songs from both bands meld together perfectly creating a consistent, killer, all-consuming behemoth of a sound. It starts with Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard's half which is composed of two songs, the first of which opens on a dark, retro film score synth before falling into the ever expanding jaws of doom. It's almost a bit cheesy, but that opening keeps you intrigued enough to get drawn in, then by the time the ethereal vocals start up you've been engulfed by the massive, cosmic sound with hammering rhythms and riffs heavy enough to have their own gravity. The backend just feels so deep it's like falling into a bottomless pit. Synths come in and out to breathe touches of terror and ambient astral noise. On Slomatics half they summon forces much in the same vein, but this time with even more atmospheric synths calling you to surrender yourself to the abyss. It feels like less of a shift to a new band, and more like they are building on the earlier tracks in a natural progression. They've got three songs here, two overwhelming doom opuses, that sandwich a dreary piano/synth piece titled "Silver Ships Into The Future" that seems to revel in lament for the end before the last track of the album. "Masters Descent" closes it up and it really feels like a culmination of everything that came before, but swelling to absolutely epic proportions. With a pair of bands like this I expected the result to be good, but not THIS good. This shit is on another plane of existence, calling out at a metaphysical level - it's the kind of stuff you'll regret skipping out on, so don't! -Brandon
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
There's a couple of dirty punks out in Portland calling themselves LáGoon that are tearing up the streets with the sound of their new album "Grim Ripper"! This is a punchy set of stoner songs (no long jams here) with plenty of streetwise grit. There's no bass on this one, which helps to keep it sharp - all the music you're getting is scuzzy guitar and loud, lively drum beats so you can get on board or get left for dead! Combine that with the deadpan vocals and the results are like an electric shock down your spine. All this fuzzy, rocking shit has a unique energy that almost feels like the inverse of what you're usually getting out of stoner rock - it's like a surge of adrenaline squeezed the soul right out of your body and left you an empty, dead-eyed husk, but you're still running like an animal. The Bandcamp page for this album says that it was heavily influenced by skateboarding which is pretty clear when you hear the lyrics, but beyond that the tunes and general attitude make it an amazing skate soundtrack. These guys definitely make me think of Fu Manchu and not just because of skateboarding associations - they've got a similar laid-back intensity and style, especially with the vocals. But overall, I think this album is best summed up with a sound clip from the first track - "if people don't like it... FUCK 'EM!" -Brandon
Friday, April 13, 2018
Holy fuck, I don't even know if it gets any crustier than this. This is the shit! Like front to back this is just filled with shit that I really dig. Everything I like about Sludge/Grind/Crust/D-Beat gets some sort of representation here, plus everything from the sounds, tones, and even the pacing of the songs is like spot on for me. It has right amount of Grindy Blast Beats, Crusty D-Beats, and Slow Grimy Sludge parts. The riffs are fantastic and heavy as fuck. I guess what also blows my mind is that "Liberate" was only recorded last month. It's just so fucking good!
The guitars have that over distorted, fat, and bloated sound, with a slight HM-2 (not really sure if that's what they used) crunch, which really gives it that right amount of disgust that is perfect for the Grind/Crust sound. The bass is definitely over distorted, which is fucking terrific for the mix. The drums always seem to have the right beat paired with the right riff. The vocals range from shouts, growls, and screams, and they always seem well placed. Everything about this release just seems right to me, and makes sense.
As you could probably guess after reading my glowing review of "Liberate" and praise for THRIF, this has easily made it into the list of my favorites from this year. It's a crime to pass this one up. Required listening for sure. Cheers! -Samir
Thursday, April 12, 2018
The guitars and bass on this have a thick distorted wall of slime, that slowly discharges itself from an infected oozing wound. The edges are draped with feedback, while these detuned riffs play along to the down tempo beats. The drums on "Neon Crosses" are pretty fucking minimal, but in a brutish caveman battle doom sort of way. The vocals are sickening and jagged, with the texture of rusty barbed wire. They definitely fall more on the Blackened Sludge Doom spectrum of vocals.
Overall I really fucking dug this. The art on this album cover really fits the feeling and sound on "Neon Crosses". I highly recommend this! Cheers! -Samir
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Today is your lucky fucking day because you're about to learn about Spitter, an instrumental stoner/doom/sludge duo that's ready to lay waste to southern Russia. Their debut release "Boozycreeper" features 5 songs that strip heavy music down to bare elements - nothing more than bass and drums - and then push it through a noisy filter of foul fuzz that practically turns the sound into a biological weapon. There's no guitar, no vocals, and you're not going to care because this shit hits you in the chest like the fist of a giant ape. It's a thick, groovy slop that will slosh its way through the airwaves and give birth to a swamp in your head. The gurgling sound of the bass conjures images of the primordial ooze and every note is another bubble swelling up out of the muck - but then the crash of the drums makes those bubbles pop and splatter. You'd better believe there's a whole lot of heft to it; you can feel the weight dragging you down into the frothy, churning mire until you're choking on putrid bog water. The bass tone and noise really make these some dirty tunes, but that's exactly why you're going to love this - it's just a bunch of nasty groove covered in pond scum and there's nothing to hide. But even with all the noxious noise, you'll still get wrapped up in the rhythms - it's just under 40 minutes long, but every time I play this monster it seems like it's over too quickly. Your speakers are going to hate you if you're not playing this, so turn the volume up already! -Brandon
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Somewhere deep in a rank, underground cavern is a grand cathedral - beautifully architected and seemingly out of place in this foul, forgotten cave. Constructed in ages long past, it has been a site of secret worship for centuries. Here, a dedicated group of devotees perform black masses, typically under the influence of the psychedelic mushrooms found growing on the walls and floor of the cavern. The cult bears the name "Shrooms Circle" and they have committed the recordings of their unholy service to tape (courtesy of Golden Dawn Recordings) in hopes that all might revel in the profane glory that was once hidden from the world. So what wicked sounds have been unearthed? Otherworldly doom metal with psychedelic stylings, backed by an ancient, moaning organ and fronted by wailing vocals that echo through the chamber and into your mind. It starts out massive and then somehow grows even bigger until it becomes all you can fathom and completely swallows you. The rhythm section creates an impenetrable wall of warbling, supernatural sounds while the guitar produces distorted fuzz tendrils that snake off wildly in a dozen different directions before being yanked back with a satisfying crunch. It's extra thick with plenty of trippy tones - more than enough to make you dizzy. There are moments on here where you feel as though you're being cracked open and you seep out of your own body as a black ooze in order to fill a demon lord's goblet. It elicits some Electric Wizard vibes, but ripples off in ways that may seem contradictory at first - the organ puts it in a more formal setting and the way these guys play feels more unhinged - but the results are incredible. Two of the tracks have been labeled as demos, which is probably for the best because the full-fledged songs would have been enough to put listeners into a hypnotic trance, ready to offer themselves as blood sacrifices upon the altar! Shrooms Circle is heavy, dangerous, evocative, and on these recordings you can truly hear the invocation of evil - sounds that will corrupt souls and drive people mad with lust for the darkness. You've been warned! -Brandon
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
With a wicked snarl out of Philadelphia, PA the band Witching stirs a bubbling cauldron. Inside is a fragrant brew of stoner, sludge, and doom all melting into one savage poison fit to liquefy organs and burn through flesh like acid. It's the band's self-titled debut and it's decadently nasty like you wouldn't believe, striking a great balance between harsh and catchy stoner-doom. "Witching" was a great name for this because there's definitely some magic in the way the sound comes together and bundles so much toxic goodness in one package - only five tracks and I'm hungry for more! It begins deceptively gently with a song titled "Baby Bird" with a minute of pretty acoustic guitar pickings before being swallowed by the seething, boiling sounds conjured up from out of the darkness. The guitar tone has a nice sharp edge to it while summons deep, pungent riffs from the underworld - there's a faint odor of rot and decay but there's no way to keep yourself from grooving to some of these! The band definitely hit a sweet spot with the evocative rhythms and searing style. Up front, the vocals comfortably shift between rough, wretched shouts and despondent doom moans that evoke a haunting feeling. There are even a few black metal twists on the tunes (as you may have guessed from the band logo) - you can hear it clearly about midway through "Burning Girl" when the song becomes a buzzing, pounding assault. Really rad shit all around, I'll definitely be playing this one some more! -Brandon
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Borgonaut is a band with a rumble that's going to get your bones rattling and turn your brain into mush. These dudes are casting a creeping darkness over their native Italy with their first EP and the country may never recover. Here we've got three tracks of stoner-doom that are heavy like a load of stones, so watch out because you might snap your neck while banging your head! The sound is thick and meaty with guitar, bass, and drums all bringing their own overwhelming weight to the table while the vocals sprinkle a nice scratchy flavor on top. The first song on here is "Fifty Rider" and I have to assume they're riding a heard of rhinos or something because this is the sound that a mass of dangerous, lumbering beasts makes! For a slow, plodding song it's pretty damn catchy too and it's hard not to join in when they shout out "FIFTY RIDER". The riffage on this release is colossal and you can feel a dark gleam in each one that seems to be imbued with evil spirits. On top of that, there are some inescapable moments of groove across the EP, but it comes through strongest at the end on the band's eponymous track - at some point it just falls into a hole of rubbery riffs that throw you around and leave you to fend for yourself. Some high quality shit for a first release! I definitely want to hear more from these dudes - need a full-length soon! - Brandon
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Septic Rot is your new favorite band, but you just didn't know it yet. Or at least that's what happened to me when I caught a video of them playing live recently. All I could think is "Where the fuck did this band come from, and why haven't I heard of them?". Well, first off they're from NY, and second, I'm not quite sure why I'm just getting to them now. "Cult of Grief" was released last May but it's still worth checking out today. As in now! Right fucking now!
Anyway, Septic Rot play Grinding Hardcore that pulls no punches, doesn't try any fancy stuff, and gets straight to the fucking point, which is playing catchy pissed off music. Septic Rot kind of reminds me of this local band from Detroit, called Pure Hiss. Very similar things going on in both bands. In fact, I mean I think it would be cool if they reached out to each other. Why not?
Songs explode with an array of blasts and punk beats while the guitar/bass parts are fast and furious, hellbent on burning everything to the fucking ground. The vocals kind of go back and forth between screams and shouts, and there's definitely enough sandpaper grit in them rub the skin off of your face. Together this band is just a whirlwind of cataclysmic rage, and I think it's great.
I'm hoping for more from this band in the future! Cheers! -Samir
P.S. I just found out they changed their name to High Cost.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Incoming! More awesome shit from out of Portland - this time in the form of "Retreat of the Glaciers", the second album from the wicked spellcasters in Mane of the Cur. Using mystic rhythms, hard-hitting riffs, and darkness abound it strikes a chord somewhere between 70s-inspired hard rock and doom metal. It kicks off with the title track creeping in slow and mysterious with flute and synth creating an arcane atmosphere throughout a heavy, crawling instrumental jam. It isn't until the second track that the vocals come seeping out of the speakers, but when they do, they get tangled up in your soul and lead you away to disappear into the night. Generally the flute/synth/vocal combo evokes the magic on this album while the guitar/bass/drums hit the root of rock slowly and methodically like a blacksmith pounding steel. My favorite track on here (and the most doomy) has got to be "1 Bullet" with its chilling synth flutters and evil riffing. It starts out eerie but it gets real dark within the last minute of the song when things take a trippy turn and the layered vocals paint a scene of melting ghosts calling out to you. Come for the occult flavor, stay for the slow swirl of hard rock - or you could probably flip those depending on what you're into! Either way, these are some tunes you're going to want to hear. -Brandon
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
In the city of Curitiba, Brazil there is a one-man band putting out music like black tar bubbling out of a crack in the earth. Hikan (or 悲観) is Japanese for pessimism or disappointment - and that all makes sense when I tell you that the first two albums under the Hikan banner were woeful pieces of depressive black metal. However, the third and most recent release "Begotten" seems to turn over a new leaf (presumably a pot leaf) and transform the sound into a stonerfied force of doomy sludge. Gone are the hammering drums and crestfallen wails, and in their place are evil grooves and harsh, firey shouts - out of the darkness and into the light is a calloused, snarling monster! The first two tracks ("Begotten" and "Dirt") unfold slow and rough as though they are coming to terms with their metamorphosis from black metal to coarse stoner/sludge/doom chimeras and are tenuously clawing their way out of the cocoon to only burn under a hot sun. But with the third and fourth tracks ("Traps" and "Sick") beast is fully formed - a nasty creature massive enough to topple buildings with its swaggering riffs and aggressive attitude. Here you'll hear some scathing rhythms and hoarse vocals that could peel back layers of skin! The EP ends on a cover of Eyehategod's "Anxiety Hangover" that's sharper and more jagged than the original - it feels like someone's threatening you with a rusty knife up against your throat. I'm not sure what prompted the change in Hikan (I mean, presumably some THC) but the results speak for themselves - let this shit wreck you! -Brandon
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Noose Rot features members from Gatecreeper, Skeletonwitch, and Wolvhammer, and they have an OSDM sound that incorporates elements of Sludge and Death/Doom. This shit hits hard with it's production sound. Nothing fuzzy going on that's for sure. It's aggressive, it's chunky, and it's got a swamp vibe to it, while at the same time is as crushing as a wrecking ball destroying a mausoleum. I'm definitely a sucker for the slower deep sludge grooves that these dudes for sure revel in, but for the most part "The Creeping Unknown" is dedicated to bludgeoning, pulverizing Old School Death Riffs, set to the sounds of a modern production. Speaking of riffs, they're fucking contagious, with this one. I can't get enough of this that's for sure.
The guitars and bass definitely have that murky low deep thick sound to them, but like I mentioned above a certainly chunky, and resemble something that's distinctly Death Metal, and a little less Doom Metal. Definitely some hefty crunch going on here. As expected from what I've described thus far, the drums hit pretty fucking hard, and are pretty fucking relentless as well. I mean even when the drums are slowed down or whatever for a dank sludge groove, the drums are still fucking annihilating the shit out of the riffs. The vocals are spot on perfect. They capture the feeling and atmosphere of this release keeping it strictly death growls, and high pitched shrieks. A classic sound that doesn't need to be fucked with. If it ain't broke, don't fucking fix it.
Overall, really fucking great EP. Highly recommended for sure. It delivers everything I like about Death Metal and Sludge in 4 impressive tracks. Great songwriting, great sounds, great band. Cheers! -Samir
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Blue Cheese is on the rise! No longer content to be your favorite food, now it can be your favorite band too! These dudes are sauntering out of Montreal, Québec with their second album "Reborn Into Void" - a rowdy slab of stoner rock with some dirty blues on the side. Yeah, that combo means there are riffs for days and some jams you'd have to be dead to ignore. The guitar tone attacks you with a sharp fuzz that feels like a jolt down your spine and the vocals come crashing in scratchy and rough - either this guy has been gargling with gravel or he's got some serious cottonmouth, someone get him some water! Most of these songs are packing a rugged groove with some 70s hard rock inspiration just a whiff of something wicked in the wind - a tinge of doom to twist things in the direction of darkness. The second track "Uncrowned Queen" is probably one of the most stand out tracks on here, starting with a cocky swagger that gives off some Sleep vibes (think Dragonaut) before revving the engine and taking off! But it's not a full on stoner party here, there are some dives into smoky, moody passages for you to get lost in and space out on. The title track is one of these and closes the album by letting you down nice and slow with a few heavy blows thrown in here and there. If you're not listening to this one already you're missing out, so get on it already! -Brandon
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
The time has come to light the black candles and let the ritual commence, for Crimson Altar has arrived from Portland, Oregon and they will be leading the incantation with their newest release "MMXVII". They put out this demo in preparation for their upcoming full-length (due later this year) and if this is any indication of what's to come then they wield a shadowy power that may yet rule over us all. Crimson Altar is a wellspring of murky female-fronted doom metal with occult leanings and a sound that evokes the mystique of a spring night in Transylvania. There's an almost otherworldly duality here between the dusty riffs that feel like they're crawling out of the crypt and the fresh, nearly spiritual air that the flute and two acoustic guitar passages bring. The combination will leave you enchanted by the unnatural twilight and you may find yourself in a manic trance singing praises to Pan under the light of the full moon. Atop this are the bewitching vocals invite you to submit to your wicked inclinations and welcome the gloom of night as your mistress - and you'd have to be a fool to refuse. I'd say the band owes more to Bedemon than Blood Ceremony, but you can definitely hear the influence of both. So when you're ready to commit your heart to the darkness, you're going to want to check this out! -Brandon
Friday, March 16, 2018
Like I mentioned Brainoil comes to mind, but when it comes to their guitar tone the only other band I can think of is Blessing The Hogs. It's a sound that's definitely more in line with other forms of Extreme Metal than your typical Stoner Doom or Sludge. Feedback is strewn between riffs and helps with creating a misanthropic atmosphere. The bass although it's hard to pinpoint sometimes in the mix, is most definitely there and it's distorted as fuck and fits right in with the overall nastiness of the band. The vocals are fantastic with its shrieking cries of hate and misery. There's also a lower death growl vocal that's employed at various times for great effect. Going along with the whole Extreme Metal vibe, the drummer seems to be avoiding the regular Stoner Doom or Sludge tendencies of just playing slow, and is pretty varied making use of interesting fills as well as decent foot work on the double kick.
I highly recommend this tasty sliver of rage inducing sludge. My only complaint is that this release is only 3 songs, and they're kinda short, so I'm definitely anticipating more! If you like your Sludge Doom being a few shades away from just being straight up Death Metal then this shit is probably for you. Great stuff! Cheers! -Samir
Thursday, March 15, 2018
If you're a fan of Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Church of Misery (which if you're reading this, I'm guessing that's a yes), then you might wanna check this one out. While this definitely has more of an old school Stoner Doom feel to it, and borrows heavily from its predecessors, "Kult Of The Wytch Goat" works because of it's overall spooky atmosphere and sinister nature. The catchy riffs don't hurt either. With its occult leanings, and all around evil vibe, this release is the perfect soundtrack for wycthes gathered at black masses.
One thing you'll notice for sure is the soulful swagger of the vocals, which haunts the listener with memorable melodies ghastly sing a longs. The strings are thick with fuzz and often join together as one, but it's when the guitar enters into a repetitious trance like lead, the bass weaves a web of intrigue and keeps you locked in before the two join together once again for a colossal riff fest.
Through it's dread and foreboding horror, Wytch Goat are able to craft and conjure up some decent tunes that will more than likely get your head bobbing along to their maniacal stoner grooves. If you're gonna play Stoner Doom that sounds like this, you gotta bring the riffs along with the spliffs, and these dudes definitely deliver. Looking forward to hearing more from them in the future. Cheers! -Samir
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
I think the folks over at Hells Headbangers are desperate to see me go broke. On top of their incredible distro selection, they keep releasing all these wicked albums that I am powerless to resist. One of their more recent tactics in their war against my wallet is Druid Lord's "Grotesque Offerings". The band's second album is a contorted clump of horrific death/doom that will eviscerate you and drag your mangled carcass into the crypt! The first track is titled "House of Dripping Gore" and I think the imagery that the name conjures really captures the band's sound well - a fine estate with walls coated in bloody chunks of flesh, slowly creeping downward before suddenly dropping to the floor with a wet slosh. House of Dripping Gore also emphasizes the DEATH in death/doom - hell, if you didn't bother listening to the other tracks on the album you might just think this was a slow-paced death metal album. It starts to get gloomier with the second track, but it never loses those scathing death metal sensibilities it establishes up front - it just melds with the thick sounds of horror-inspired doom. As the album creeps on you'll start to hear organ/synth touches that bring moments of sophisticated terror to the agonizing atmosphere, but it's really the brutal, low, hard-churning metal that will keep you coming back. There are other death/doom bands playing in similar veins (Hooded Menace for instance), but damn do Druid Lord make their shit GRUESOME. So if you like your music grisly, Grotesque Offerings is going to do it for you! -Brandon
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Windhand and Satan's Satyrs - a sinister pair of bands each with some impressive releases under their belts - have come together to create an undeniable force of evil in the form of a new split album. Their titanic union has enough weight to open a portal to the underworld and let the denizens of hell come crawling out of the dark. But each band is going to take a very different approach in conjuring their demons - Windhand is slow and solemn, while Satan's Satyrs is rocking and rancorous. Windhand contributes their two tracks first, coming down with massive doom metal that slowly swirls with pentagrams and burning candles to evoke something mystic. "Old Evil" will hit you pretty hard with the fuzz and slow, smoky grooves and then "Three Sisters" quiets down to draw you in deeper using an ominous tone and a screeching organ that will make your hair stand on end. Guitar, bass, drums, and vocals all speak their impure intentions clearly with every note devoted to their dark ceremony. However, Satan's Satyrs is next and they don't need any of the black magic or profane rituals to make something unholy - they simply play on the evil already burning in your soul. Their three tracks are sleazy, motorized, completely wicked, and extra fun! "Alucard AD 2018" charges through the night high on speed and sin and I think "Succubus" is set to the unnatural rhythm of the devil's laughter. The last song "Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby" puts a pretty nasty spin on that sweet spot where rock 'n' roll grows out of the blues and then kicks it into high gear at the end. Different styles but the album's evil nature brings everything together to make one otherworldly hunk of metal that will drive you screaming into the dark - turn this one up once you're ready to take the plunge! -Brandon
Friday, March 9, 2018
Here lies Ilsa's Relapse Record's debut "Corpse Fortress", and it's a crusty slab of Doom Sludge that is blackened to perfection. While this release probably won't offer anything that sounds new or fresh to people who have one ear firmly placed on the Sludge underground, the repugnant sounds emanating from this moldy tomb are worth the listen. Ilsa has been around for a decade now, and it looks like all of that hard work pummeling people with brutish tones is definitely paying off. This release is slow, agitated, and heavy as fuck. The riffs are infectious like the plague, and are just as lethal. The tones and sounds on this are about as ideal as they get when it comes to Sludge Doom hymnals and volatile caveman-esque diatribes. These dudes have a crazy raw energy about them that's delivered with a feral and frenzied intensity throughout each of the album's 11 tracks.
The guitars and bass work together to create this deep, massive, and bloated sound, that's sure enough to shake the cobwebs and dust off in any crypt. Again I'd like to emphasize that the tones and sounds overall are like the epitome of what I would consider good when listening to Sludge Doom. Light on fuzz and heavy on chugs. Everything from the right amount of distortion, to the right amount of feedback. It's definitely spot on. I really like the drums on this as well, and the way that they know exactly what to play for each riff. It's not all low and slow, as there are some d-beat moments, some double kick OSDM/Death Doom moments, and one example of the strings and double kick playing in unison that pretty fucking sweet, but wasn't common throughout. The guttural screech of the vocals are like icing on a festering cake of sewn together skin, with bugs and maggots crawling underneath.
Overall I really dug this. I may have to revisit it again by the end of the year to see if it's going to be one of my favorites, but I'm pretty sure this is going to make it. Awesome release, highly recommended! Cheers! -Samir