Friday, June 29, 2018

Disgusted Geist - Reign of Enthrallment (2018)

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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Medicine Noose - 7" (2018)

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Bubak - Bubak's Revenge (2018)

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Self-Hatred - Hlubiny (2018)

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

Friday, June 22, 2018

Welcome to Holyland - S/T (2018)

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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Flood Peak - Plagued By Sufferers (2018)

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Witch Mountain - S/T (2018)

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fading Bliss - Journeys in Solitude (2018)

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

Beastmaker - EP. 1 (2018)

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

King Goat - Debt of Aeons (2018)

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Postmortal - Soil (EP) (2018)


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

Friday, June 8, 2018

Hell Obelisco - Swamp Wizard Rises (2018)

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

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cult of Flesh - Wendigo EP (2018)

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Smoulder - The Sword Woman (2018)

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dying Hydra - S/T EP (2018)

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

Friday, June 1, 2018

Dopethrone - Transcanadian Anger (2018)

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