Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bubbling With Possibilities...

Olmeg - Primordial Soup (2014)

Back with their second album to follow up on 2012's Slab, Australian outfit Olmeg deploy what they've described as 'sludge groove', a more melodious approach than usual to the snarling guitar and loose-nutted bass of that musical genre which edges in on heavy psychedelic and desert rock territory.  With a solid line-up of 9 full-bodied tracks, and a grip that's unwilling to fully let go of the grimy side of sludge, the new album packs a focused punch of head-banging rhythms at a tempo that keeps the momentum in motion.
There's plenty of riffs that sound simultaneously familiar and new, with the tune-turned ear of the band balancing out the more violent tendencies they might have drawn from their influences, with one of the more upbeat tracks being "Told You So", which works the title in as a looping chorus before letting the guitarist rip into a tasty line of shredding you'd be hard-pressed to find coming from the more misery-soaked musical groups.  The vocalist/bassist does a great job of handling the high and low, while the drums shift nimbly between energetic emphasis and keeping things grounded, with a move towards the heavier end of things in the back half of the album.  If you want to hear how sludge sounds after some cooking in the merciless sunlight of the southern hemisphere, this crew has a large helping of Primordial Soup ready to fill your ears.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Attalla, Outlaw Order, Fuzz Evil, Hijo de la Tormenta, Tumbleweed Dealer


Monday, December 29, 2014

Won't Get Fooled Again

Greevace ~ Pulling the Wool (2013)

 I met the guys in Greevace at a show recently, and while I wasn't quite sure what to make of their sound at first, I was definitely intrigued. If you're looking for some simple genre classification, good luck with that, the best I can do is call it Heavy Metal for you. They seem to pull something out of every magic hat they have at their disposal when it comes to making music. "Doom, Sludge, Thrash, Stoner, Punk?" "Yea, we'll use all of it." This is how I imagine the first band meeting went. Last year, they released "Pulling the Wool", and I regret I missed out as long as I did. It's not very long, at just four tracks, all of which clock in somewhere between three and four minutes in duration. But it's all about quality over quantity sometimes, and this is one of those times. Picking a favorite track to talk about wasn't easy, I got it narrowed down to the last two tracks on the release, then I pretty much had to flip a coin. I ended up going with the instrumental closing track "Nautilus/Anunnaki", and it's like a harrowing trip through a long forgotten region of space. Opening like a spacey Stoner Rock track, it's only a matter of time before it seems to take on a darker tone, after which it all falls apart and is replaced by a brutalizing Sludge Metal riff. Once that tapers off, it's back to the interstellar sounds of the opening section, over the course of the rest of the track the Sludge Metal sound surfaces again and again, until the two sections sound like they meld together towards the end. You can check out both of their releases, and stream them to your heart's content or buy them over at the group's bandcamp.

 For Fans Of; Black Sabbath, Fu Manchu, Down

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Upwards And Outwards...

Verdun - The Cosmic Escape Of Captain Masuka (2013)

Beginning with a low drone faded into doom-drenched bass, Verdun's latest album quickly cements its sludgy nature in the ears of its listeners.  With a title like The Cosmic Escape Of Captain Masuka, it's easy to expect the band might try to work some sort of narrative into its three songs, but if there is one, it's lurking beneath the gut-wrench vocals and grimy string-buzz, requiring some careful listening to decipher its story.  On the other hand, you could simply accept that they want to keep a certain distance between themselves and their audience and let the throat scrapings pour into your ears without worrying too much about the details.
Either way, you'll be getting a treacly dose of soured-on-the-world sludginess, everything down-tuned and resentful, and executed with a committed rawness that does the band credit.  They do find the time for a few reflective passages in instrumental reverb, though these are always tempered by a re-emergence of violence once the momentary calm has passed.  By the time the group hits the end of their last track, "JAXA", they've shown a good range of stylistic flexibility without ever losing their core sludginess; instead, the variations in approach enhance the misanthropic sneer of their music, and the drifts into sonic experimentation suggest that this would be one hell of a band to catch live.  Until you can manage that, though, this serves as an effective escape from the mundane bounds of the earth, so grab yourself a copy and hit the launch button.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Attalla, Dopethrone, Grey Widow, Wolf Blood, Celophys


Friday, December 26, 2014

Don't Fight The Rock...

Special People - David Carradine Style (2014)

With punk attitude, gnarly guitar, and a strong presence from the drums, Special People's latest release mixes an abrasive edge into a dirty cocktail of rock and heavy grooves.  Employing fuzz, crust, traces of no-wave, and the driving force of their considerable energy, there's an appreciable vitality to their music that blows past the usual constraints of genre expectations; they're just too busy channeling the riot through their instruments to be held back like that.
At the same time, they do have a dab hand at slipping from the outbreaks of noise and feedback into compelling rides along the more groovable sides of their influences.  This was done, I have to imagine, so that people at their live shows would be able to last more than 15 minutes through the floor-shaking sounds, but organized in the format of a full album, it also shows off the band's strengths across an impressive range of moods and techniques.  Of special note is the album's biggest track, "Dead Bald Eagle", which takes some cues from "Star-Spangled Banner" before twisting them beyond recognizability into expansive stretches of experimentation.  Fast-moving, hard-hitting, and enormously effective at seizing control of your body to get it moving in rhythm, David Carradine Style is a good pick for anyone who likes their rock wild and unrestrained.  Copies are available digitally or as one of 100 red cassettes the band had pressed for their lucky listeners, through the Special People BandCamp page.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Sex Scheme, The Heavy Co., Rizoma, Fear, Funeral Horse


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Burning Everything Down...

Deuil - Acceptance / Rebuild (2013)

As suggested by the title, this debut release from the Belgian group Deuil (which, on top of its handy resemblance to devil, translates as 'mourning') consists of two tracks.  The first of these, the 17-minute-plus "Acceptance", begins as a droning affair, shifting from vocals to a plaintive riff on buzzed-out guitar before incorporating a funereal dirge style into the works, and expanding further from there.  The stylistic adjustments are handled well, and even the most high-contrast shifts come through without throwing off the song's momentum, which builds to a fever pitch of sheer sludgy mania before spasming back into grimy feedback.  The boldness of opening with such a monster of a track helps impress the band's style pretty deeply, while at the same time demanding some repeat listens to really fill in all of the details.
"Rebuild" works in a similar fashion, though thankfully at about half the length of the first.  With layered sonics working to create an Earth-like vibe, doom-soaked riffs are stacked and grown into a tangle of sounds that take on a life of their own, with large-wave reverb fertilizing the thick haze.  The relative calmness of "Rebuild", apart from a resurgent thrashy coda, lets it work to release some of the tension built up by "Acceptance" without giving the listener too much mercy or relaxation.  It's some impressive work all around, and a hell of a first release.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Mastery, Yellowgoat, Abstracter, Bell Witch, Trees


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Skip's Top 20 for 2014

Top 20 for 2014

1. Bask - American Hollow
Every now and then a record comes along that you immediately love, you can't really explain it, but you know it when you hear it. It grabs you by the throat and makes you sit forward and really take notice. That was Bask's "American Hollow" for me, a minute into the first track and I could already tell that the album was going to be in pretty heavy rotation for a while, and it has been. With it's roots in some genres you don't always see listed together, they pull sounds from Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Post-Rock, even a little Psychedelic and Americana just to round everything out nicely.

2. Grüzer - Path of the Buzzards EP
Another of the groups I mentioned in my Rising Sons article was Grüzer, with their own brand of triple guitar attack Sludge Metal. Their EP "Path of Buzzards" was highly anticipated the moment I found out it was getting recorded, now after a couple weeks of getting a copy, and I don't know how many listens (suffice it to say, quite a few) it hasn't disappointed in the least and already earned a solid spot on my end of the year list.

3. Hooded Menace - Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze EP
The Labyrinth of Carrion Breeze EP is two tracks and just over 17 minutes of some of the heaviest, gnarliest, and most grotesque Doom Metal I’ve heard to date, with both tracks drawing on classic Vincent Price horror film "Cry of the Banshee". ~ Summoning Spirits

4. Greenleaf - Trails and Passes
The second track on the album, "Ocean Deep" opens up with a bashing drum solo that rides for a few seconds until the rest of the group drops in, creating a huge, spacious sound with the guitar tones in an attempt to contain the crushing groove of the track.

5. Fall of an Empire - Songs of Steel and Sorrow
These guys haven't left my playlist since I put them on it at the beginning of the year. Their first album "Songs of Steel and Sorrow" is a great work of Stoner Rock, incorporating traits of '70s Heavy Rock and Southern Rock into the group's whole vibe.

6. Doctor Smoke - The Witching Hour
Another album that I'm thinking everyone had fairly high expectations for, is the latest release from Ohio's fearsome foursome Doctor Smoke, called "The Witching Hour". And even with it being almost the end of the year, the doctor has put down a hellacious slab of doomy, Heavy Rock that stands out from the crowd of similar albums that came out this year, and there were many.

7. Act of Impalement - Echoes of Wrath EP
The track "Echoes of War" opens up their latest EP and you couldn't ask for a better example of their sound, mixing the Black Metal styled vocals with bone crushing mid-tempo riffs, it breeds a feeling of complete disgust and hatred, and it's absolutely stunning.

8. Half Gramme of Soma - Marche au Noir
After their self-titled release from last year, they shouldn't need much of an introduction as that should have done all the talking for them, but the five piece Half Gramme of Soma are a heart liquifying Stoner Rock strike to the chest for those of you who aren't familiar.

9. Tumbleweed Dealer - The Western Horror
What they've put down is a spooky instrumental Stoner Rock journey through the old west, where the cloudy mist hugging the ground at night is pot smoke. 

10. Slow Season - Mountains
Playing off the retro sound is the cool thing to do nowadays, but doing it and doing it well are two different animals. Lucky for us, Slow Season sound like they have the chops to of headlined their own world tour back in '73.

11. Druglord - Enter Venus
The formula is easy; take three very experienced musicians and let them play heavy, disgusting, strung out Sludge. In this instance, the execution is flawless. Recorded and mixed in the fall of last year by Garrett Morris from the group Windhand, Enter Venus is as good a sophomoric effort as you’ll ever see. ~ Summoning Spirits

12. Black Hand Throne - IV
If you're looking for that sense of despair and pure annihilation in a Stoner Doom album, look no further than "IV", or pretty much any Black Hand Throne album for that matter. Their sound is that of men with doctorates in the ways of Stoner Doom Metal, taking what the pioneers did, building on it, and making it their own.

13. Stonebride - Heavy Envelope
Their style of Heavy Rock with Blues, Alternative, Doom, and even a little Psychedelic influence has always the right buttons for me, and this go 'round is absolutely no different.

14. Wo Fat - The Conjuring
The formula hasn't changed a great deal from their last effort, or even their earlier releases, you're still repeatedly smacked around by the torrential Stoner Rock assault that you've come to expect from this band. Sure, it's only a five track album, but with none coming in under a six minute duration you'll be hard pressed to find five heavier tracks this year.

15. Thieving Coyote - Thieving Coyote EP
Thieving Coyote play a liquored down style of Southern Hard Rock and Stoner Metal. If you drowned Orange Goblin in Jack Daniels and propped the corpse up at one of those country bonfire parties, where they blast Lynyrd Skynyrd out of a truck's stereo system all night, the next morning you'd have Thieving Coyote pulling themselves off the ground in a hazy stupor.

16. Seritas - Seritas
This hard hitting, dynamic duo from Michigan play what they have coined "Garage Doom", they lay down fuzzed out early doom riffs that almost take on a Stoner Rock vibe a couple of times in terms of just pure fuzz and groove.

17. Jupiter Zeus - On Earth 
Some of the songs have a very spacey feeling to them, not only in lyrical content, but in atmosphere. Occasionally giving the listener the impression that they could be floating in the great nothingness while the song plays on.

18. Le Mur - In Tenebris
After the creepy organ intro that sounds like it could be lifted from a horror movie, the album really gets moving with the second track "Cage", at eleven and a half minutes it's the longest track, but probably also one of the most straight forward in terms of structure and timing.

19. Steak - Slab City
The title track of the album pretty much sums everything up for you, an excellent representation of their sound, and one of, if not, my favorite of the entire album.

20. Hawkmoth - Calamitas
It opens up with the track "Exsanguinating in the Overflowing Bath", a slow, blissful soundscape that suddenly turns into a ferocious storm of twelve ton riffs and a thundering drum line. This is one of the songs that really gives off a Kylesa vibe for me, and Hawkmoth completely kill it with this one.

These were the top twenty albums that I reviewed over the year, and isn't very different from my regular top twenty list. I'd like to thank everyone who follows the blog, and took the time to read any of the reviews or other posts that have gone up the past year, and I look forward to doing it all again next year.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

From Inner Earth...

Slug Salt Lava - Radiated Soundscapes EP (2014)

Ersin Taş is back, now with a pair of fresh faces helping him construct the sludgy crunch of Slug Salt Lava.  While the production does sound a little cleaner than on previous releases (and the music slightly less aggressive overall), the edges are still there, provided mainly by the sharp tones of the guitar while the bass and drums explore some intricate and carefully-paced rhythms.  Staying (mostly) free of vocals so as to fully focus on their instrumental work, Radiated Soundscapes adds five tracks of grim hammering and mean melodies to the group's catalog, all of them with fittingly epic and post-apocalyptically-inclined titles, from "Titans of the Wasteland" to "Infested Mountain" and "Perished Shores", that last of which pulls the EP to a solid close with its somber notes.
The material put together for this release shows that Slug Salt Lava still has plenty of ideas and fuel for its slow-burning metal, with more undoubtedly being forged as you read these words.  Start familiarizing yourself with the sound of Slug Salt Lava if you haven't already, and stay tuned for more news from this force from Turkey.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Fleshpress, Evoken, Gallow God, Eibon, Tons


Friday, December 19, 2014

Ride For The Light...

Lords Of Beacon House - Lords Of Beacon House (2015)

Serving as advance notice for their upcoming debut LP, the three tracks released by the Los Angeles-based Lords of Beacon House so far are a cocktail of '70s-styled heavy rock, stoner-friendly grooves, and some smooth production work.  With the slow-stomp bar rock of "Distant Thunder", the head-swim desert blues rock of "Seven Days", and the Purple Sabbath flavors of "Cool Water Blues" as a chaser, the band has put together an attention-catching teaser for their first release.  Certainly worthy of being played at high volume, these tracks should be getting plenty of play before the band unleashes the rest of the LP through HOMHOMHOM Records, so beat the crowds by familiarizing yourself with the group ahead of time, and be sure to set some money aside to grab a copy once the album is out.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Brimstone Coven, The Hunted Crows, Mother Mars, Celophys, The Heavy Eyes


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Don't Call 'Em That

Amniac ~ Infinite (2014)

After a well received demo, the Greeks of Amniac have returned with their first full length album "Infinite". They tend to take the Post-Metal route with their music, utilizing melodic soundscapes just as well as crushing, Sludge inspired riffs. Simply calling them another Post-Metal band wouldn't really be fair though, while they pull some influence from that direction, they're probably also one of the most interesting bands I've heard that are put under that banner. Usually, Post-Metal just sort of bores me, you listen to ten minutes of ambient noise and neo-psychedelic soundscapes just for a riff and heavy jam session that lasts two and half minutes, then you get another three to five minutes of random noises to end on. While I'm sure there a number of people this would appeal to, I'm not one of them. Amniac seems to have figured out the secret to keeping things interesting on a track to track basis, using hundred ton Sludge riffs to drive the track forward like a steamroller, making sure things never get stagnant. Their opening track "And the Others Just Survive" could serve as a benchmark for their work, you'll get a good idea of their sound, but they have much more in store over the final six tracks. Opening with an expansive guitar part, it doesn't take long for it to all come crashing down in the form of a bone shattering riff and the guttural vocals of someone who clearly chews glass on a regular basis, they're pretty sick. Switching up again, and slowing the mammoth riff down some for a period of time, only for it to come roaring back as a sonic death march. Towards the end of the track that opening guitar part makes a final appearance that leads into an outro section that is closer to a Doom Metal song than Post or Sludge Metal, and a damn good one at that. While you can pick up the CD version from Distroball Records, you can also grab a digital version from the Amniac's bandcamp for just a few bucks if that's more your speed.

For Fans Of; Neurosis, Isis, Cult of Luna

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Drowning In Toxins...

Fange - Poisse (2014)

With a sound that practically seeps dirty black tar from your stereo's speakers, Fange deliver a particularly virulent strain of sludge on this, their debut EP.  Whether bleeding feedback to a keening drone, kicking their way through a sticky groove, or vomiting out the vocals, Fange keep things from settling comfortably into place.  Since we're talking about sludge, that's a good thing, and the band delivers some satisfyingly filthy sounds to keep the oppressive atmosphere writhing along; they also pack in some suitably creepy audio samples, always a plus.
The big shot of the six songs is "Suaire", which takes the techniques used in the rest of the release, and really opens them up over the course of eight minutes of madness, but the EP as a whole does a great job of keeping the material from ever losing its vicious edge. If you've been going into withdrawal waiting for a truly dirty sludge release, this is the place to get your fix.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Zeppheroin, Meth Drinker, Open Tomb, le bomje, Lightsucker


Monday, December 15, 2014

The Doctor Has Arrived

Doctor Smoke ~ The Witching Hour (2014)

Another album that I'm thinking everyone had fairly high expectations for, is the latest release from Ohio's fearsome foursome Doctor Smoke, called "The Witching Hour". And even with it being almost the end of the year, the doctor has put down a hellacious slab of doomy, Heavy Rock that stands out from the crowd of similar albums that came out this year, and there were many. One thing they do very well, beside catchy vocal melodies, are guitar solos. If the power of the riff compels them, the power of the solo forces their hand at gun point. Of the nine tracks that make up "The Witching Hour", the third on the album "Evil Man", was my star track. You know the tired old bit about music 'speaking' to you? Well, this one slapped me, and commanded me to pay better attention on my first listen. Opening up with a spontaneous torrent of sound, the band jumps right into it and put down an all too fitting groove, with the guitar being sure to howl it's hard edged Doom riffs. A little after the one minute mark the song switches up some, and the bass thumps and rumbles along, but the drums slow up just a bit and the guitar stops riffing and slowly plays a long when the vocals first make their menacing first appearance, along with the addictive melody that comes with it, the sort that makes you want to sing a long every time you hear it. While this lasts for a while, the guitar solo cranks up around the five minute mark, and shatters everything that you thought you once knew about the song. While CDs are already out at their bandcamp (people outside the US should use Totem Cat Records, to save on shipping), the vinyl is slated to be released sometime early next year. So, go get your smoke, and drink, and whatever else you'd like, then come pay the good Doctor Smoke a visit.

For Fans Of; Graveyard, Black Sabbath, Pentagram

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Serpent Surfaces...

Yama - Ananta (2014)

Riding high off of the warm reception for their demo, and a packed performance at Roadburn '14, Dutch stoner rock group Yama have readied their debut LP for release upon the world.  Filled to overflowing with crunchy guitar riffs, confident drum backing and complex rolls, and a bass like thunder, the band does an excellent job of fusing the pieces into an energetic and unpredictable whole.  They show an open fondness for shredding and syncopation, with the songs frequently breaking out into rocket bursts of unrestrained wildness, before just as easily switching back into a more easy-going and melodically-focused mode for a stretch of their limbs and performances.
All in all, it's a very respectable range of music covered by the band, and quite the accomplishment for a first album.  One of my personal favorite moments in the run was the arrival of a well-played harmonica in "Ruach Elohim" around the mid-point of the album, mixed with some wide-phasing pedal effects and a classic stoner rock groove of rhythm and atmosphere to create something all the band's own.  Other high points include "Migraine City", which seems tailor-made for expansion and improvisation during live gigs, while delivering a dependable slice of doom rock in the studio form found here, and the two-part "Swordsman Of The Crossroads", which get more open with a traditional doom influence.  The members of Yama seems to have plenty of fire under their feet, so stay tuned, try to catch one of their live shows if you can, and ready yourself for the arrival of Ananta.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Wolf Blood, Demon Head, Moon Curse, Bitchcraft, Saint Vitus


Friday, December 12, 2014

A Dangerous Prescription...

Yanomamo - Ativan And Whiskey (2014)

With their slogan of "SLUDGE RIDDEN DOOM", it's not too difficult to guess the musical inclinations of Australian outfit Yanomamo.  With their latest single, following up on two releases from earlier this year, the group continues to make a name for itself in the dirty field of sludgy doom.  Good guitar tonality, goosebumps-inducing drum-work, and some mean bass come together in a crunchy collision of crustiness, while the vocalist's growl-howl provides a grim gilding.  Bolstered by a well-chosen audio sample, the song moves into more aggressive grooves in its latter half, picking up the energy and letting the group show off another side of their talents, finishing with a decisive bang.  It's a decent bit of chew for your ears, so tune into Yanomamo's output if you've been hungering for some sludge with real bite to it.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Meth Drinker, early EyeHateGod, Moloch, Serial Hawk, Naga


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Going Down Together...

Rorcal / Process Of Guilt - Split (2014)

The first half of this split is provided by the Swiss ensemble of Rorcal, who progress through their three song set of "IX", "X", and "XI".  From the start, their music is charged with violent energy, rattling at a break-neck speed through walls of drum assault, grinding bass drone, chainsaw guitar, and vocals that sound like gravel was gargled before heading into the studio.  It's largely pretty sludgy, but electrified into a blur of the usual attributes, which is a refreshing strain to come across in a genre that too often finds bands slavishly imitating their predecessors without bringing much of their own personality to the table.  Luckily, that's far from the case with Rorcal, who have stamped, stomped, and smashed their identity into every moment of the music.
For the second half, Portuguese outfit Process Of Guilt take the reins for their own saga in three movements, "Liar".  With the nine-minute opening segment, they manage to wrest the listener's attention away from Rorcal's fury, and shift focus to a slower (but no less intense) helping of sludge, heavy on the doom and bass.  As they progress through the song's pieces, things got rougher, faster, and angrier, with the music slowly melting into a stew of harsh feedback, bass bedrock, pounding percussion, and bellowing vocals before trailing off into a decaying drone.
Between the two bands, they've put together an impressively unrelenting and varied channeling of sludge, with their styles serving to complement and enhance the listener's appreciation of each.  With 666 copies pressed on vinyl, there's enough here to satisfy most sludge fans' cravings while introducing them to some new artists deserving of their attention.  Get on it!
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Hesperian Death Horse, Grey Widow, Gnaw Their Tongues, Moloch, Open Tomb


Monday, December 08, 2014

Open the Envelope

Stonebride - Heavy Envelope (2014)

 I've been listening to these four guys from Croatia for a while now, hopping on the Stonebride bandwagon around '08/'09, after "Inner Seasons" was released. Their style of Heavy Rock with Blues, Alternative, Doom, and even a little Psychedelic influence has always the right buttons for me, and this go 'round is absolutely no different. From the opening track "Movies, Movies" you're immediately presented with a crunchy, distorted riff, an infectious vocal performance, and a groove that doesn't quit until the track does. No fancy intros, no movie samples, just ass kicking Heavy Rock music from the very beginning, with the song taking on an even doomier sound as it proceeds. Around the halfway mark you have a mind melting guitar solo that is like a rush of adrenaline, and really kicks the second half of the track into high gear. As you proceed through the six tracks that make up "Heavy Envelope", you get to the closer, and it's an excellent one in the song "Venomous". With behemoth riff, and even more gnarly groove in the mix, that vocal performance still cuts through it all and really shows off some range in this one. As you get in the track a little more you come across the guitars players going back and forth, and it's probably the most heaviest game of dueling guitars you ever have or will hear. As you move toward the end of the seven and a half minute track, you too a section where their Psychedelic influences shine through in the form of a rhythmic chant sort of thing that serve as the vocals all the way through the end. While you can't find the album on their bandcamp quite yet, it will be up there soon, with CDs on their way back from being printed and vinyl slated for sometime the first of next year, it would seem the guys in Stonebride have their work cut out for them keeping up with all the buzz this one is going to start up.

For Fans Of; Kyuss, Sungrazer, The Dwellers

Saturday, December 06, 2014

From Dank Soil...

Bomg - Polynseeds (2013)

From the rich bass echoes of their intro on through the last notes of "Sannikov Land", the debut album from Bomg is a heady brew of deep-tuned doom, with some mighty riffs through which they slowly groove, and a voice like ghosts on the wind to serve as the guide.  Though the album came out in July of last year, it's getting to make the rounds once again thanks to a 50-copy tape pressing from Breathe Plastic (available for order through the label's BandCamp page) and plans for a vinyl issuance in the near future.  Strong enough to stand side-by-side with the biggest amp-rumblers in doom metal today, this should be on the radar of any Sleep-addled, Earth-bound, or Cough-afflicted listeners who just can't got enough of massive stoner doom riffage.
Describing the individual songs isn't really the way to experience this album; they're all big enough (even with one split into two parts) that the incoming vinyl release will have to be a double-LP beast, at the least, to hold all of the smoke, so there's really nothing more to do than let it engulf you for an hour or so, and let your senses reel as the guitar, drum, bass, well-used vocals, and a deep stash of surprises whirl around like the perfect psychodoomelic storm.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Windhand, Cough, Ladybird, Sleep, Salem's Pot


Friday, December 05, 2014

Exclusive First Look!...

New and exclusive baby!

Thats right, sit back and strap in as our friends over at Pink Tank Records bring you a second track from Libido Fuzz's upcoming psych rock masterpiece 'Kaleido Lumo Age'.
After a long hard slog in the studio the wait is almost over, and following on from Redemption Of the Bison, new track Oblique Strategies shows just what a beautifully dark psychedelic masterpiece awaits... 


Short And Sweet...

Maston - Opal Collection (2014)

Consisting of tracks culled from earlier works and unreleased material, Frank Maston's Opal Collection lands squarely in the more fragile regions of psychedelic influence, putting croons and acoustic guitar to work in service of the man's warm analog soul.  There's tambourines, female guest vocals, bells, whistles, and all the other accoutrements you might expect from poppy psych-folk, perfect for locating people interested in setting up a drum circle. The tracks are fairly short (even dipping to less than a minute in duration), but the sweet tones coaxed from the guitar and glitter from the synth make for a pleasant and light-hearted refresher if you need a break from the chill of winter.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Au Revoir Simone, Beck, David Lynch, Harry Cloud, Portishead


Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Coated In Filth...

Mudbath - Corrado Zeller (2015)

Starting off with the lengthily-titled "Thus I Saw The Destructive Voracity Of An Obsessive Ritual", Mudbath's new album makes it clear from the start that they're willing and ready to delve into the nastiest muck you might want in your sludge, and to pay attention to details along the way.  Once you make it past the track-list and into the actual music, greetings come in the form of monstrous growls of bass-amp vibrations, ringing out to slowly decay, and setting the album's tone as effectively as the track names.  After some dwelling in the acoustic establishing shots, it's off into more concrete and aggressive territory, with measured beats of the drum keeping things grounded as the guitar gets sharper and a hissing howl breaks loose from the vocalist.  That increasing menace continues its pace through the rest of the song's eleven minutes, before they move on to a shorter track (in both name and duration), "Shrim Alternative Healing Center".
The middle of the three tracks folds neatly from one piece of bassy resonance into a new one, working some blast-beats into the proceedings and shifting into tremolo mode on the guitar, making some very respectable blackened sludge in the process (though it's referred to as "dark hardcore" in the release notes) before shifting back onto more traditional ground.  The last and longest of the tracks, the simply-named "Salmonella", rumbles along like a war machine for a few minutes before reintroducing the vocals with more restraint, throwing themselves beneath the waves of mighty crushing riffs, and finding several other ways to keep the song mad and unpredictable for its full eighteen-minute run-time.
The album is a deeply impressive follow-up to the band's EP debut in 2012, and if it were coming out a little earlier, would be a strong contender for 2014's impending album of the year lists.  As it is, you'll have to wait until the end of January to get your hands on a copy, either digital or vinyl.  Mark that date on your calendar as a day for some doom sludge indulgence, and try not to get too pulverized.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of;    Bell Witch, Trees, Ufomammut, Cough, Abstracter


Monday, December 01, 2014

Across the Ethereal Plane

Trysth ~ Soulchambers (2014)

So, two guys start a Black Metal band, then a third guy shows up and they turn into an Atmospheric Sludge Metal band. Sounds like a bad joke, right? Well, that is Trysth's back story, the condensed version at least, and they're most certainly not a joke. These three gentlemen from Bulgaria have ventured into the great unknown and returned with a haunting creation in their first full length album "Soulchambers". Lacing dark, ambient passages with bone crushingly heavy Sludge Metal through the entire album turn it into the soundtrack to an astral catastrophe. While the atmospheric parts are well done, and really create a different space in their duration, the Sludge Metal sections really drive the point home, with a nine pound hammer. From the mostly menacing vocals and crunchy, mammoth guitar sound to the full bodied bass tone and bludgeoning drums, they could easily get by on their Sludge credentials alone, but adding that atmospheric dimension really gives them that larger than life sound in the end. My favorite track has to the "The Undying", and their sixteen minute opus is pretty much a microcosm of the entire album, utilizing everything you've just heard and putting it all on one track to leave on. and it's sixteen minutes of your life that you'll get lost in, but never regret losing. The album came out earlier this month on Serpent Eve Records, and you can pick up the CD and cassette versions at their Webstore, or pick up the digital copy on Trysth's bancamp with their "name your price" deal.

For Fans Of; Isis, Neurosis, OMSQ