Friday, October 26, 2018

Brainoil - Singularity to Extinction (2018)

I have been following Brainoil since their beginnings, and this newest release is super fucking amazing. They have definitely come along way as a band, as their newest release "Singularity to Extinction" combines the scuziness of both old school Death and Sludge to create some nasty fucking tunes. The tones on this album are so fucking sick. When the the swollen catchy riffs mix with the death growl vocals, it's fan fucking tastic. The bass sound is fucking killer, and it really makes it's presence known on the slower sludge grooves. This is probably their heaviest release thus far. I really love the pacing on this album. It has the right mix of speed and slow sludge doom parts, not mention some solid mid tempo crunch. "The Spectre’s Vile Hand (The Shock Doctrine)" is a perfect example of this, and is easily my favorite track off of this release. It has a pretty memorable verse riff that I'm going to have a hard time getting out of my head. This is easily one of my favorites from this year. It's a banger of an album, and definitely their most brutal and savage to date. It's just primitive and raw, and it speaks to the lizard part of my brain telling me to run in circles and smash things with big rocks. Highly Recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fvzz Popvli - Magna Fvzz (2018)

There are two things you're going to realize right away with Magna Fvzz. The first is that Fvzz Popvli does not like the letter U. The second is that there is an ungodly amount of fuzz on this thing. Taking heavy psych and mashing in chunks of stoner-doom and garage rock these dudes have conjured up a potent cloud of smog that'll make you dizzy. All these tunes are banged out with low-key chaos behind a murky lo-fi filter. "And Let It Die..." kicks the album off simply with upbeat drums and mangled distortion on a reeling riff before breaking out into hazy garage rock with manic, spaced-out vocalizations and eventually giving way to a classic sounding guitar solo ripe with wah. Afterwards on "Napoleon" the band treads through twangy waters for the first half of the song before dark vibrations worm their way to the foreground and turn the bright and blunted tones into doom. "The Deal" swings things back up with some unhinged psych-fed rock 'n' roll that gets heavier by the minute until "Get Me" cools things down with a sort of indie strumming punctuated by scummy outbursts. The drums and bass that open "Rvmpeltvm" might make you think the song is going to burst into some kind of party tune, but then a slow building phaser has things veer off into more abstract and aggressive directions. But fear not! It's followed up by "Cherry Bowl" which delivers on the dashed expectations that you may have had earlier and then some providing plenty of good times. Magna Fvzz closes with the title track, a long, sprawling, and spacey experience complete with extra keys that will lead you out to an extraterrestrial atmosphere and bombard you with cosmic outbursts between subtler movements. This album is a pretty wicked variety pack soaked in Fvzz Popvli's own brand of ultra fuzzy goodness, so check it out, cause there's probably a little bit of your favorite flavor in there. -Brandon

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fórn - Rites of Despair (2018)


Fórn is a destructive force of misery slowly sweeping across the nation and consuming everything in its path. Submission will not save you - it only allow the inevitable to unfold sooner. On the full-length album "Rites of Despair" the band shows no capacity for mercy playing a brutal mixture of doom, death, and sludge violently stirred together and swallowed by a sea of gloomy anguish. Now tides are rising and the wretched swill is ready to devour all in its path. These songs roar slowly and dismally, with harrowing growled vocals and scathing riffs that make you feel like you're being crushed to death by a glacier. Rusty, melancholic leads emerge to wail over the tumultuous sounds of the undercurrent giving clear, agonizing melodies to latch on to. But for all of the album's cruelty and ruthlessness, it is by no means heavy-handed. Every third song is an atmospheric track (and there are plenty of similar moments in between) that will allow you to drown in a sense of emptiness and pain, feeling lost and alone for a few minutes before the extreme metal returns to grind you into dust. "Scrying Below the Wolf Moon" and "The Ancient Wisdom of Sorrow" are favorites of mine. Each finds a moment early on where they burst into visceral monsters and churn violently for a while, but then pause midway through for some quiet acoustic reflection burdened by woe - then pick the metal back up like they never stopped, now feeling even more forlorn than before. This is misery given a voice and you're going to want to hear all it has to say! -Brandon

Friday, October 19, 2018

MooM - Third EP (2018)

Never heard of MooM before until recently and I dig their sound. The band combines Powerviolence and Sludge to craft some pretty wicked tunes. Whether the music is played fast or slow, it makes no difference as the band crushes, kills, and destroys its way though six blistering tracks with gnarled riffs and cutthroat precision. I really dig the mix on this one. I mean everything sounds ravaged in general with loads of feedback and distortion, but the mix is just pristine, because everything is just coming at your so clearly without anything being muddled. It's really awesome because this is super pissed music, and the impact is just full force peal you skin off your face type shit.
The vocals on this definitely more in line with the hardcore aspects of Powerviolence and they are hoarse as fuck. Like I mentioned above with the mix, there's nothing muddled between the guitar and bass, as you can hear both of them cutting through on the mix, and they're pretty fucking fierce. The drums on this are pretty fucking sweet too. Nothing too technical but lots of great blasts and punk beats. The grooves and the riffs have got me hooked though. They're catchy as fuck, and nothing on this is filler. I'm glad I stumbled upon MooM, and I hope they release a full length at some point, because I'm pretty sure it would be and end of the year worthy release. The EP is super short, so make sure you listen to their other shit as well. Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Hazytones - The Hazytones II : Monarchs Of Oblivion (2018)

I really like the Hazytones, so I had no doubt that their second full-length album was going to be anything less than awesome - but even so, when I first listened to their new, mightily named release "The Hazytones II: Monarchs of Oblivion" I was still blindsided by how great it was! While their original self-titled album stuck mainly in stoner and heavy psych territories, this time around they've made things darker and doomier - and they weren't exactly full of sunshine to begin with! The Hazytones bring us tons of... well, hazy tones! Fuzz works its way through the soul of the sound at a swaggering pace with riffage wrapped around it and raspy reverberating vocals on top. The band manages to elicit the feeling of a cool autumn breeze through a graveyard without dwelling on the gloom or the terror, leaving a picturesque, slightly moody backdrop for some shady tunes. There's just a touch of the blues on here that peeks through from time to time - you can hear it on "The Great Illusion" as it chugs through the introduction before it disappears into the low, dusky, and vaguely mystical groove before it bursts through again during the guitar solo. My favorite track on here is "Hell" which starts out as a supremely catchy rock tune that will have you singing along, but then halfway through it dives into heavier waters and develops out of doom sensibilities. The two-parter "Monarchs of Oblivion" definitely stands out too, with Part 1 hitting some evocative vocal melodies and rock 'n' roll bounce while Part 2 gets into a sauntering doom. This is a great one for all the wicked folk out there who want to stir up the darkness! -Brandon

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Chronobot - Chronic Titan (2018)

While at first you might think that Chronobot is a robot with control over time, it turns out that they're actually a band (that may have control over time)! Hailing from Saskatchewan in Canada these dudes are shaking foundations and warping minds with their new album "Chronic Titan". It's like Sleep's Holy Mountain played on a warbly record player in a haunted house - it's got big ass stoner grooves and riffs but takes plenty of dark turns that will have you wandering through a trippy nightmare. In addition to a mountain of riffs there's some wicked, shrill, possessed organ on here - half the time following the riff and the other half creating its own eerie avenues in the sound. "On The Level" and "Goblin King" show off some of those spooky twists on the more doom-heavy tracks complete with cosmic effects and whistles. But this album isn't a total creepfest and there are plenty of beefy, hard-hitting jams that will hit you like a sack full of stones. "Get Broke Or Die Tryin'" and "Laudercycle" take this approach with harsh vocals on slow grooving stoner metal that's going to crack a couple ribs just for fun! The opening track "Cheebacca" has it all though mixing the chilling organs with the catchy riffs to create a ghoulish party! I've been jamming this one over and over and I'm still not tired of it - check it out for yourself! -Brandon

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Corrupt Moral Altar - Eunoia (2017)

So I posted on our Facebook page about Corrupt Moral Altar more than a year ago, but failed to ever produce a review for them. I'm kind of shocked I didn't because this is really good shit. They're like the equivalent of getting your head repeatedly bashed into the pavement. This band is like the best of both worlds, dominating on opposite ends of the spectrum. The precision of the blasts and double kick are so flawless and brutal, yet at the same time "Eunoia" is like a weeping wound with putrid sludge oozing out. It's a constant barrage of super fucking heavy riffs, and blistering blasts. Yet it also seems like their musical tastes aren't limited to the genres already mentioned, as I can detect a little post hardcore in there as well. There's definitely a frenetic energy to it throughout the entire album, and it's quite relentless. I'm a big fan of the way the guitar and bass sounds in the mix on this one. The low detuned bass definitely comes out, and the strings together just produce this fat crushing sound. I'm honestly really surprised I didn't proclaim this band when I originally posted about them on Facebook, as my new favorite band. This is the kind of shit I am currently seeking out right now, and I can't get enough of. Seriously, send more bands my way that mix Death, Grind, and Sludge. Highly recommended! Cheers! -Samir

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Cult of Salem - Unhallowed Rites (2018)

Epic death/doom - it is a rare amalgamation to behold, forged in ancient crucibles under the watch of hooded mages with fiery eyes and dark intent. It sinks to deep, melancholic lows hidden beyond the shadows in the human heart in order to draw upon powers of a bygone age and roar with a scathing, primal rage. It is this scarce commodity that Cult of Salem brings to us with their debut album "Unhallowed Rites". Hailing from Germany the band blends traditional doom, epic doom, death/doom, and a few near-gothic symphonic arrangements with themes of evil and Lovecraftian horror to create awe-inspiring songs of darkness. It's as though Cult of Salem found the rift between Candlemass and Paradise Lost, erected a gilded palace there, and then summoned an orchestra of spirits to haunt the place. Chanting choirs and melodic guitar leads bleed through the band's grim yet thundering determination creating a loud storm of stark and beautiful misery. Low, warbling, nigh-operatic vocals descend into biting death growls in the unholy din. Placid moments will either erupt into a sharp, bleak barrage of anguish or ascend to inspiring heights with mighty riffs and synth. I keep listening to this over and over and losing track of time as I get lost in the otherworldly vortex of dark and exquisite sounds. This is truly consuming - Cult of Salem is a cult worthy of your devotion! -Brandon

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Wizard Hand - S/T (2018)

From the unceasing work ethic and ever-busy fingers that brought you Crushing Yellow Sun is a brand new stoner-doom project that's going to have you crawling through a dungeon in chains - Wizard Hand. This stuff takes a heavier and less psychedelic approach than Crushing Yellow Sun, trading in the long, trippy guitar solos for a low and groaning stoner sleaze. Dark and murky songs slog their way through the gloom led by the sound of dirty, crunchy riffs and grumbled vocals pontificating on themes of zombies, wizards, and weed. It treads at a relatively slow pace and with blunt steps which gives things a weary kind of feel but you still get a sense of its dormant strength - like a tired warrior dragging a giant mace on the ground behind them. "Dying Wizard's Sleep" and "Instrumental #2" ditch the vocals instead opting to let the music stir up the darkness and explore the shadows that they've created. On top of all that, there may or may not be a hidden track at the end featuring a doom-ified version of a KISS classic - but you'll have to pick it up the album to know for sure! Whole thing comes across dark, natural, and a little nasty - just the way I like it! -Brandon

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Friday, October 5, 2018

High on Fire - Electric Messiah (2018)

I remember when I first read about read about High on Fire. It was some article about heavy metal bands to be on the lookout for and I remember it specifically name dropped High on Fire and Mastodon because I checked out both bands and was immediately hooked. 16 years later in the same year Sleep dropped a new album on 4/20, we also get “Electric Messiah” High on Fire’s 8th album. Only Matt Pike could release two albums in the same year, and have them both be contenders for Best Album of The Year. I’m actually really glad I liked “Electric Messiah”, because I was pretty disappointed with “Luminiferous”. I’m not sure if this is already popular opinion, but for the most part, a lot of the songs weren’t very memorable with maybe a few exceptions here and there. This one is a definite ripper, and continues to solidify Matt Pike as a true Riff Lord. This album is jam packed with one excellent riff after the other. Also production wise, “Electric Messiah” is one of High on Fire’s heaviest albums yet. This is the band’s third outing with Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studios, and out of those albums this one is my favorite. I think I may have listened to this 5-6 times in the past day. Anyway, I don't really need to convince you of anything. If you're reading this, you probably already knew High on Fire rules. Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Altars - S/T 7" (2018)

Oh this is fucking good. This shit is less than 8 minutes long but it seriously crushes throughout its entirety. Altars combines repulsive Death/Grind with filthy sounding Sludge, to create a monstrous sound that reeks of putrid riffs. I understand it's a 7" but I wish this had like 3 times the amount of music, but it's that fucking good. Seriously dudes, write some more fucking tunes! This is some really good shit! I was sold on this as soon as I heard the opening riff from "Unholy Retribution". It's a gruesome slow groove that's just nasty from the get go, and then everything explodes when the blasts and double kick come in, bludgeoning your ears with aural carnage. There's so much feedback coming from the guitar while it's playing that it literally sounds like a table saw at times, and I think it really adds to the disgusting aura this band is trying to put out there. That fucking bass sound is perfection on this 7". It's so fucking deep and guttural, and it cuts right through the mix to destroy your soul. I couldn't imagine spending that much more time writing about this since it was only 7 minutes long, but it's totally worth a listen, if not like ten. I couldn't tell you how many times I have listened to it. Maybe a dozen, and I still keep bobbing my head to it. Cheers! -Samir

Also I might as well sneak this one in here as well. Ramuh features members of Maruta and Full of Hell and they totally fucking rip. The riffage on this one is top notch for sure. You should totally check this out. It's even shorter than the Altars 7"!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Pantheist - Seeking Infinity (2018)

Pantheist have distilled the things that make you feel cold and alone and used it as a foundation for their harrowing, soul-eroding sound! It's been seven years since their last album but the band has finally returned with their latest funeral doom opus - Seeking Infinity. "Devastation" might be the best single word to describe what you're going to hear over the course of this hour long album as you practically feel yourself dissolving in the face of eternity. But Seeking Infinity is not an album that will just destroy you outright, immediately crushing you under the weight of its massive, drawn-out, melancholic riffs - atmosphere is the name of the game here. Beginning with organs, ambient sounds, and piano it starts evoking beautiful, desolate scenery like abandoned, decrepit cathedrals and wastelands bathed in ghostly light. Savage, sorrowful, slow metal bleeds up from underneath and enhances the feeling early on, but as the album progresses, the distinct elements become more intense. Layers with synth arrangements, gentle reverberating guitars, and chanting make the atmosphere transcendent and ethereal while the doom metal gets darker, harsher, and more crushing with low deathly growls that could abandon you in the abyss. Despair seems to echo through every note and ripple across your skin leaving goose bumps. It's an incredible mix that feels natural yet unsettling all at once, tapping into something almost metaphysical. This one's deep and highly recommended - fall into the sound as soon as you can! -Brandon

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Rito Verdugo - Cosmos (2018)

A name like "Cosmos" has me thinking of trippy, spaced-out, psych stuff, but with Rito Verdugo's Cosmos you're only going to get a glimpse of that as you speed through the stars strapped to the back of a rumbling rocket! Taking off from Lima, Peru with no signs of slowing down these dudes are on a collision course with anything and everything! Fueled by explosive rock 'n' roll rhythms and guitar leads that go off like fireworks Rito Verdugo is a band that's out of control, taking fast-paced stoner rock and burning it with some heavy psych and just a touch of doom for flavor. These songs romp and charge like a rhino with enough vigor to crack its own horn! From the first wild notes on "Sombras" you can tell that this is a band possessed by their own untamed spirits and damn if it isn't contagious! Subsequent tracks tease with slower intros before breaking out into a driven, chaotic, and rocking good time that'll have stars spinning around your head! There are a few moments on here where you think they might be out of breath, like the warbling groove on "Prisionero" or the spacey sounds that turn into a mid-paced stomp on "Navegante", but it only takes a little bit of time before the band is buzzing with energy again and rips through the night sky like a bat out of hell! There's no hi-fi bullshit here, just down and dirty rock 'n' roll, so play it loud! -Brandon