Thursday, April 26, 2018

Butcher ABC - North of Hell (2018)

How the fuck have I never heard of Butcher ABC before? They've been around for over 2 decades and not once have I heard of them. What a fucking crime, because Butcher ABC fucking slays. These death dealers from Japan deliver a classic sound that's slowly fed through the meat grinder. This album was ridiculously good, and had so much fucking groove to it as well. If Ghoul's string section sounded more like Coffins, and they had a thing for General Surgery and early Carcass, you'd get something like Butcher ABC. This is just 11 tracks of putrid and filthy sounding Gore Grind, and I think it's fan fucking tastic. It has simple meaty riffs, and it's catchy as fuck.
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

Chivo - Waiting For So Long (2018)

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Frayle - The White Witch EP (2018)

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

Friday, April 20, 2018

Radien - SYVYYS (2018)

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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

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

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard / Slomatics - Totem (2018)

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

LáGoon - Grim Ripper (2018)

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Human Race is Filth - Liberate (2018)

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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Leechfeast - Neon Crosses (2018)

Leechfeast just revel in that filthy nasty sounding Sludge Doom, and that's exactly what you get with "Neon Crosses". Four tracks of sluggishly slow doom dirges soaked in tar-like grime and heaps of refuse. It's disgusting and dirty, and that's what makes it so appealing. This is the kind of sludge doom that I go looking under rocks for sure. It's definitely slimy in nature, but there is also an ethereal quality to it as well. The mood and tone can change from being ghastly and almost demonic to haunting and atmospheric. Regardless, Leechfeast batter their riffs with agonizing cruelty, set to the dragging pace of a snail under a dying red sun.
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

Spitter - Boozycreeper (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

Shrooms Circle - S/T (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

Witching - S/T (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 - S/T EP (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