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

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Demon Head - The Resistance (2018)

Man, I love Demon Head. If you haven't heard these dudes yet, they're coming out of the wilds of Denmark playing diabolical doom rock and they're playing it clean - little to no fuzz found here. A year after their sophomore album "Thunder On The Fields", they're back with a new EP called "The Resistance" featuring two tracks of earthy magic. There's a sort of natural mysticism in everything these guys do and this EP is no exception! The first song on here is the title track with bass lines and guitar leads seem to take inspiration from early metal or even proto-metal, but put a gloomy twist on things while maintaining the band's pure tone. The more pensive moments serve to create a spark of fear and doubt, but then the song comes galloping back with an air of grim hope. The other tune on here is "Rivers Of Mars" which seems to bring just a touch of bayou flavor to Demon Head's sound. It's a bit brighter and more rock oriented, but the vocal tone casts a sinister shadow over the track. The vocals across both songs manage to hit this beautiful balance of deadpan and soulful with a subtle hint of Danzig - it's a unique voice that fits the band's style perfectly. This pair of tracks makes a great addition to the Demon Head discography, but with the short length it's got me hungry and wanting more! -Brandon

Friday, May 25, 2018

Eagle Twin - The Thundering Heard (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

Slave Hands - World Rid Of All Living (2018)

Slave Hands is the epitome of the Old School Sludge sound. The band provides us with a perfect mix of "Gluey Porch Treatments" era Melvins, Eyehategod, and Grief on "World Rid Of All Living". This latest release has the band melding slow moving metal and hardcore punk, and grinding it down to a filthy pulp of misery and despair. It's worth mentioning the moments of dissonant guitar parts that add a layer or dread to music that's already putting its listener at unease and agitation. Each song trudges along at a sloth's pace, as if we are experiencing our last day's on Earth in a barren wasteland, poisoned, starved, and looking for shelter and food under a harsh unforgiving sun. With its fat, blistered strings, its sickening vocals, and its slow yet violent drumming "World Rid Of All Living" takes all the raw primitive Sludge sounds of the past to inform us of our dark days in the future. And if the brutality on this recording is any indication of what's in store for the human race, it's a grim fucking outlook for sure! I definitely dug this one. I'm a sucker for this Old School shit. Highly Recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Satori Junk - The Golden Dwarf (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

Pink Cocoon - Alienation (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

Scientist - Barbelith (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 - Methistopheles (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

The Devil's Swamp- Swamp Beast (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

Electric Huldra - Roadburner (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

Vomitheist - Graveyard Flesh Orgy (2018)

What a name for an album. The song titles are some real keepers as well ("Corroded by Acid" is my favorite, while "Nailgun Rampage" would make a great movie title, and "Slimewalker" would make a great band name). The Swiss band Vomitheist play Old School Swedish Death Metal like it was meant to be seen and heard. Just straight up putrid and vile, with violent nasty riffs, played with a manic frenzy. If you're a fan of the Stockholm sound (famous for it's use of the Boss HM-2 pedal), then you're gonna love this shit. I really don't care about the haters out there, because it's a trend I have not grown tired of it. It's such a tried and true sound, because it's so fucking raw and disgusting. It's no wonder it gets used for various sub genres outside of Death Metal.
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

Tongue Party - Looking for a Painful Death (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

Hashteroid - S/T (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

Temple of The Fuzz Witch - EP (2017)

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

Nervewrecker - Murmur (2018)

UK Sludge Doom purveyors Nervewrecker deliver a hefty slab of heavy duty riffage with their new EP "Murmur". This release hits hard, while also throwing in some atmospheric ambiance, drone hits, and a slight stoner vibe towards the end. Living up to their namesake, these dude do not disappoint with their onslaught of slow and heavy glacial sized riffs. Thick distorted strings meld with sickening blood curdling screams, and it's all set to the heavy yet slow march of the drum's mighty thud.
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

Klandestin - Green Acid of Last Century (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

Electric Funeral - Death, Cult & Serpent (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

Shrine of the Serpent - Entropic Disillusion (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