Saturday, November 10, 2018

Rolling Up Shrouds...

Tombtoker - Coffin Texts (2018)


Coming at us out of Baltimore, Maryland, the five-piece band of Tombtoker bring their debut EP out on the heels of their demo, which released about half a year ago. Infusing the standard stoner doom metal with a sludgy bit of punk energy and antagonism, the group merges crunchy riffs with sharp beats while keeping a swampy vibe active underneath. Over the course of the EP's ~20-minute run, Tombtoker capably demonstrate their facility with cranking out hard beaters alongside more withdrawn doom indulgences, and the band operates with such tightness to their playing that it's hard at times to pick out the individual guitars from their twining grooves. A solid first full release, and those who've been looking for stoner metal with a harder edge would do well to check these guys out.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Acid Witch, Attalla, Bitchcraft, Wizard Smoke, Wolf Blood




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Saturday, November 03, 2018

Passing Through Pain...

Hesperian Death Horse - Živ (2018)


When we last heard from the Croatian group of Hesperian Death Horse, the year was 2014, and they'd not only done a concept split with fellow Croats Hazarder (on the theme of Nikola Tesla), but also released their first full-length album. Now that they've returned, they've revealed that said first album (Mrtav) was actually the first part of a concept album trilogy, starting with death and ending with birth. Živ is the step between those extremes, with the title translating to 'life,' and featuring (like Mrtav) four songs, each bearing a subtitle. Živ is also a bit shorter than that first album, but considering that relative durations of life and death, that seems appropriate.
With a deep and brooding atmosphere combining doom's weight with blackened virulence, the music grows in creeping fashion, moving through passages of slow-moving heaviness and faster aggression (kind of like life, you may be thinking). The synthesis of the two produces some great tension and stirring melodic developments, and the sections which cycle a riff while gradually escalating the harshness really bring the emotional thrust to bear with finesse. HDH find an impressive amount of range and material to be drawn from the interaction of the two styles, and while the length of the album makes it prime for vinyl issuing (fingers crossed), it's also likely to leave you hungry for more. Of course, that's much preferable to having too much piled on, so cheers to the Croatian crew for the excellent album, and here's hoping it's not quite so long until the last piece of the trilogy is set upon the world.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Heavydeath, Mamaleek, Open Tomb, Ulver, WarHorse




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