30/12/2013

My Top 5 Releases of 2013.

What an exceptional year for music it has been! I've genuinely not even had the time to really dig down with the albums outside this top 5 as much as they deserve. When you consider that includes new music from Uncle Acid, Brutus, Kadavar, Samara Blues Experiment and Cult of Luna, just to name a few off the top of my head, it borders on criminality. Anyway, these are just my favourite albums of the year.... no more, no less. 

5. Chivo - Cantankerous Rock (Self-released)



Thick and heavy stoner rock with excellent drumming (and songs!!). Reminds me of the first Truckfighters album. A quality album of punishing heavy rock from Spain.

4. Blood Ceremony - The Eldritch Dark (Rise Above Records)



Definitely softer in their approach but also more sophisticated, this is safely my favourite record by the band. Their medieval folk melodies are finally allowed to take ultimate precedence. Don't worry though, still plenty of heavy included! 

3. Clutch - Earth Rocker (Weathermaker)



I'm no advocate or dedicated fan, like so many are, but even I can acknowledge this represents another career height for Clutch. Their very best output since Blast Tyrant in my opinion. Each and every song is memorable and delivered with flair. I really like the production too, clear but with lots of punch. Y'know, phat ass sounding drums and shit. 

2. Church Of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum (Rise Above Records)



Another class act once again peaking. I definitely feel they've slightly shifted their style for this album.. it's a little faster paced, more Clutch than Electric Wizard if that makes any sense, speaking riff wise. Importantly however the groove hasn't left and the bass tone is absolutely delicious. I was compelled to nod my head in pure aural gratification every time I listened. The Japanese masters deliver another essential Doom album. 

1. Magic Circle - Magic Circle (Armageddon Shop)



I have listened to this album so many times this year. It's exceptional in the sense that it does the simple things very well. This might seem like quite an odd observation to make, but it results in the album having an enduring, timeless, CLASSIC quality to it. The vocal performance is extraordinary. It just works in so many levels with the riffs, the melody, the drum fills, the subtle bass licks generating a greater sonic experience. I cannot urge you enough check this out enough. Safe to say, I consider this a modern Doom Metal vintage that deserves it's place in any enthusiast's collection. Don't deny yourself!!

20/12/2013

Stone Dagger - The Siege of Jerusalem.



7" out on Electric Assault Records in February Mid-March 2014. I will be spilling the blood of your first born child for this piece of compressed ethenyl and don't you fucking doubt it.

Hellbenders.

Final post of the year goes to some of my fellow country men (sou Brasileiro porra!) who have crafted a hell of an album. Being very honest with you.. in regards to stoner rock/hard rock, or whatever? If it isn't slightly Doom leaning generally it isn't for me. I keep it safe and listen to the classic shit; 7Zuma7, Kyuss, Lowrider, Sgt. Sunshine etc. They're giving it away for free, check out the jams and enjoy.

Dude I met from New Barn, holla me on the e-mail down on the right side man!! Peace.



2013 - Brand New Fear



DOWNLOAD HERE

Otherwise;

MERRY
FUCKIN'
CHRISTMAS


From

Astral Doom.

07/12/2013

Down Under Doom.

The amount of quality releases that Australia has produced in the last 24 months is impressive;  just consider the new album from Clagg or the Milkmaids, The EP's from Motherslug, Sumeru and Zodiac. In addition to all of that you've also still have the vinyl for now (compact disc out in early 2014The Wizar'd's Ancient Tome of Arcane Knowledge. Consequently, it was straight forward to do a little regional feature, enjoy! 

Lizzard Wizzard - 2013 - Lizzard Wizzard


With the strength and penetration of an adamantium boner, I present you Lizzard Wizzard. The songs all feature some kind of low-intellect stoner humour which is totally awesome. Come with me / Ten thousand leagues / Under the T.H.Sea / Fuck your swim coach / And fucking choke / On this gnarly roach. Sound wise they kinda remind me of a Doom orientated Wo Fat with hardcore vox. Bust out your bongs and pizza slices.

Sun Of Man - 2013 - I


If you dig Colour Haze, Sungrazer.. or anything of that ilk it's pretty certain you'll fall in love with this band. LOTS of drum fills, heavy stoner riffs and kraut-rock explorations. Just listen yourself and let yourself become infatuated with the jams. Peace!  

27/11/2013

Dual Split Attack!

Iron Witch & The Atrocity Exhibit 7" Split

This isn’t the first time me and Withered Hand Records have crossed paths... the last time, maybe around 6-7 years ago was when I uploaded his band's album, Among The Missing, onto KerrazY Torrents (synonymous with the Metal Community at the time). Fair play to the guy, just asked for a link for where to purchase the badboy as well as offering to include a live video with it! Anyway, it gives me pleasure to let you know about a new 7” with two UK acts he’s putting out, Iron Witch and The Atrocity Exhibition.


The Cosmic Dead & Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs 12" Split

The Old Noise are putting out their very first release, ltd to 300 copies. The Cosmic Dead hail themselves "Scotland's foremost Hawkwind tribute band", as for Pigs x7? They're a little more difficult to pigeon hole.. but imagine a little hardcore, a little stoner rock and a little Electric Wizard  drone pieced together in some kind of disfigured jigsaw. It's good shit.  

23/11/2013

From The Vaults: Spirit Caravan Edition.




Shit is going to get emotional in 2014 man. I love Spirit Caravan.

18/11/2013

Doublestone.

This is mere formality. If you've not acquainted yourself with Denmark's Doublestone yet, now is your chance! They've just put their album up for a name your price download (with the 12" 180g vinyl available here). I was still enjoying the s/t EP they had put out earlier in the year and so didn't expect to see a full-length so quickly. Truth be told, I'm listening it from start to finish for the first time right now. You're going to like this.

Doublestone hit a really nice balance between that retro hard rock sound we're already familiar with (Brutus, Kadavar, Graveyard) whilst throwing in some proto-doom leanings (Burning Saviours, early-Pentragram, Witchcraft) which make them eminently listenable.

2013 - Doublestone [EP]


2013 - Wingmakers

04/11/2013

Sunburster.

I should of really done something cool for Halloween on the blog but, bleeeeeurgh, it didn't even come into my mind. Thankfully, Zodiac, who had previously featured on the blog put out a new song to mark the occasion. It's a little more melodic than their previous output, but still outstandingly good.



Moving on, considering the amount of 'typical doom' stuff I'd been sharing I thought it time to delve back into some stuff with hardcore/sludge tendencies. Consequently, I present Sunburster. The artwork is really killer for just a tape release. The music is exceptionally well crafted too. There is a somewhat angular quality to the riffs.. but that seems an inappropriate description when what you get is something akin to early Cro-Mags playing Sleep riffs. The drummer also is distinctly talented with some really elegant and sophisticated touches in the way he plays. If you like Eyehategod, Brainoil and groove, you'll feel instantly at home. Don't sleep on it...! 

2012 - Sunburster [EP]

22/10/2013

Space God Ritual.

I had been 'aware' of Space God Ritual for quite a while, but truth be told hadn't been all that impressed. Strangely enough, even the album they released only months prior didn't really engage me either. But it's a whole other story with Eldritch Tales. Space God Ritual are essentially a one-man band with singer - Brendan Butler handling all instrumentation with recent addition Alexander Olaff on vocals. The latter has good range, with a nasally tone which brings to mind Phil Swanson, Terry Jones or Eric Wagner. Remember the name though, because he his vocal performance really is outstanding.

The music also is of particularly note, even though it's one guy, the chemistry feels right! [This also seems an appropriate time to wedge in Tony Reed (Mos Generator/Stone Axe) doing a kick-ass solo cover of Forever My Queen by Pentagram.] Anyway, the album has a retro-doom feel, not unlike Uncle Acid but definitely more traditional. This is to no detriment of SGR however, with all the songs proving to be both catchy and distinct. This one has the ASTRAL DOOM seal of approval. Nothing beats the feeling of hearing new music and just knowing it's in line for some heavy rotation.

2013 - Eldritch Tales 

12/10/2013

March The Desert.

Still a little rough around the edges but displaying enough potential to emerge as one of the finer exports of British Doom, we have today the new release by Brighton's March The Desert. You'll hear strong hints of Sleep, with a little Kyuss thrown in. But more characteristically, there is a pop doom vibe (y'know like Torche) in regards to the really warm, vibrant sound they achieve.

And in non-music related news, if you have an iOS device, you wanna be checking out Rymdkapsel. Very addictive "meditative space" puzzle/strategy game.

2013 - Waves On The Moon [EP]

29/09/2013

Medusa.

Left forgotten in a basement in Chicago (USA) for over 35 years, Medusa's only recorded output finally sees the light of day. While satanic imagery is adopted for the artwork you don't get anything as heavy as Sabbath. Instead the songs are proto-metal with lots of rock/folk/prog influence, all appropriate for the era. 

The LP spans improvisational jams, ballads and your usual heavy rockers displaying Medusa's versatility and helping to create a genuinely thorough album experience. Just an honest shame there isn't more on it's way..



1975 - First Step Beyond

1. Strangulation (3:39)
2. Transient Amplitude (9:17)
3. Frustration's Foot (7:52)
4. Temptress (4:46)
5. Feelings of Indifference (4:20)
6. Black Wizard (6:07)
7. Unknown Fear (6:38)

DOWNLOAD LINK HERE

12/09/2013

Iron Heel.

This only came out yesterday and apart from the sometimes clicky bass drum, it's absolute heaven. It has a very traditional doom metal feel to it, while also maintaining a crossover, stoner element to it's vibe. That all said, apart from a few surprises everything is kept in a Vitus like pace. I guess it kind of reminds me of Goatsnake or Serpent Venom with the big heavy riffs and powerful vocalist.

It has been a good while since I've heard riffs truly as heavy as these whilst remaining incredibly groovy throughout. As a first release proper release (y'know, not a demo), Iron Heel establish both maturity with a genuine love and understanding of the cavernous riff. 

2013 - Book Of Grief

30/08/2013

Hypnotist.

EDIT: Just reposting to give this more exposure!

How these guys have remained unnoticed for so long I honestly cannot fathom. Considering you've got labels like Nuclear Blast picking up both Witchcraft and Graveyard, you'd of thought there would of been some interest around an emerging band as quality as this one.

Anyway.. there is essentially no information on this band to be found apart from their stated Russian origin. This is at it's simplest hard rock with a large dose of that proto-Metal flavour (Deep Purple, Leaf Hound, etc). The vocalist might not be to everyone's taste but has a truly powerful range and an undeniable character. The music is catchy (the 2nd song especially) and the musicianship doesn't let you down. Astral Doom demands a full length!

2011 - 101 [Demo/EP]

22/08/2013

The S.I.G.I.T.

The ambiguity of hard rock means that plenty of bands we'd perhaops fancy end up going under the radar. This is always particularly the case if they don't show up in the more well trodden paths bands take with similar sounds. Though in the case of The S.I.G.I.T. (The Super Insurgent Group of Intemperance Talent) there are perhaps a few reasons for this. Primarily however it seems to be the fact their Indonesian and have also been picked up by a big independent label in the country which seems to be pushing them towards a more mainstream audience ala Wolfmother. 

Anyway, check the teaser and see if you like it.. I thought the album was pretty strong. 



2013 - Detourn

1. Detourn (3:35)
2. Let The Right One In (2:19)
3. Son Of Sam (3:01)
4. Gate Of 15th (2:51)
5. Tired Eyes (4:57)
6. Owl And Wolf (5:12)
7. Black Summer (3:48)
8. Red Summer (3:48)
9. Ring Of Fire (4:31)
10. Cognition (3:48)
11. Conundrum (6:18)

21/08/2013

Windhand - Orchard.



This album is going to be SWEET.

17/08/2013

Dirt Merchant.

Still rough around the edges but displaying much promise and growth from their demo, Dirt Merchant (Richmond, USA) offer energetic, fast and riff based rock 'n' roll. This marriage of post-amplification blues with Lemmy-esque vocals feels just right. I have a thing for simple choruses.. they're sing along, they often display wit and character and you know for sure this isn't some pretentious GY!BE bullshit that you're dealing with (genuinely not hating, just making my point). Dirt Merchant serve up my aforementioned 'likes' with plenty of fuzz and balls.   

Definitely one of those bands which really are intended to be enjoyed with a cold beverage under the molten glare of the sun. 

2013 - Wolves In Apeskin [EP]
 

06/08/2013

Moloch.

Though perhaps quite a familiar name for those in North England, Moloch are still relatively unheard of considering they represent some of the best Sludge the British Isles have to offer. One of the Moloch dudes also runs the fantastic and essential 'Feast of Tentacles' label/distro. News is they've got a spilt coming with Meth Drinker which I expect will make Zero Dark Thirty's depiction of torture seem like Sesame St.

This is all freely available so chuck a in quid or two!

2008 - Moloch



2011 - Posession

28/07/2013

Wicked Inquisition.

It's a delight to be able to nearly every week post some new music I've heard and really enjoyed. I've got a real soft spot for melodic doom, particularly the Maryland scene. Wicked Inquisition from Minnesota keep it heavy but with real touches of rock n' roll.

I've mentioned previously how Valkyrie are one of my favourite bands around, so when you find a band who also adopts just those slight touches of NWOBHM goodness with the heavy doom riff... I just dig it. It also has a slight old-skool corny feel to it which makes it all the more wonderful. The last track in particularly impresses.

2013 - Silence Thereafter [EP]

18/07/2013

Lost Realms.

Sweltering heat recently. It's kept me busy and lazy all at the same time. Not a lot of things in life get better than listening to some jams in pure sunshine. Anyway, the new Goatess album is my release of the moment, written for and by fetishists of the heavy doom riff.

Moving along to the actual point of this post though.. Lost Realms play with a definite Sleep influence. It's quite an odd one though, while it has that same characteristic minor pentatonic groove in the rhythm section it isn't a carbon copy at all. While it has that same hazy, jam atmosphere to the songs beyond this lies something a little more sinister and uncouth. The image of a stumbling jovial homeless man, warm beer in one hand, incredibly poorly constructed joint in the other with trousers wet of urine: this is the human manifestation of Lost Realms. Sure life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (Hobbes, 1651) but that's all the more reason to get smashed once in a while ain't it? 

2013 - 2-13 Demo

11/07/2013

Pelican - Immutable Dusk.



New song from the forthcoming Pelican album out via Southern Lord on October 15th. Not been excited or listened to much of this 'sound' in the last few years anyhow, but this has a really nice texture to it. I can't see it topping Cult of Luna's Vertikal to be quite honest though. 

24/06/2013

Electric Lords.

Yet again my Sennheiser earphones have died on me. Not very happy as they cost £40, hardly pocket change. Sennheiser, you've lost a once loyal customer. It's now the Shure SE215 for me. Not cheap but I've had first hand experience with them and the sound quality + durable build make it worth all the extra money.

Anyway, today we have another band playing something more along the lines of stoner rock. In similar fashion to the Doom bands emerging from the Iron Curtain, Moscow's Electric Lords (RUS) also have a tendency  to go for the big, groovy riff category. The songs aren't particularly new or special, but just really capture what must of been the studio atmosphere; energetic, boisterous and damn good fun.

2013 - Pyramid [EP]

17/06/2013

Deep Aeon.

Deep Purple are a hell of a band. I don't actually always think of myself as being a particularly big fan of theirs, but whenever I put on In Rock it always gets played to the end. They've just perhaps ended up being a tad unappreciated by my generation and particularly those more favourable to heavier sounds, unfortunately.

Deep Aeon from Düsseldorf (GER) bring all the elements you'd expect from a hard rock band looking towards these past masters for inspiration. Thick but warm guitars with a definite emphasis on driving rock 'n' roll sound. The vocals have a slight garage rock tinge to them sometimes, which really is a fresh change from underwhelming John Garcia croons you typically encounter. A really neat release and a definite prospect in the stoner rock world.

2013 - Icy Spring Recordings [EP]

11/06/2013

Earth.

Earth's return with the old American West soundscapes of Hex was widely recognized as success. However, plenty still murmured about the lack of low-end which had once dominated previous their previous releases. I didn't necessarily mind either way, it was a stunning set of songs.

Limited to 500 copies and recorded in New York in the same year as its release, what we have here is a completely organic experience of Hex. Is it because the drums are seem fuller, with more echo? The symbols brasher? Is it the groan and drone of the amplifiers? I don't think I can personally put a finger on it. But something kept me coming back to this over the studio recording time after time. See what you think.  

2006 - Live Hex: In A Large City On The North American Continent


Disc 1

1. Plague Of Angels (14:47)
2. Ouroboros Is Broken/Coda Maestoso In Fb Minor (11:10)
3. Raiford (8:41)
4. Inquest Concerning Teeth (7:13)
5. Lens Of Unrectified Night (9:21)
6. Other Ghost-Like Symptoms (9:13)
7. Land Of Some Other Order (9:57)

Disc 2

1. Dire And Ever-Circling Wolves (9:05)
2. Divine And Bright (5:11)

PREVIEW SONG HERE
DOWNLOAD LINK HERE

08/06/2013

Vista Chino - Dargona Dragona.

For whatever reason, Vista Chino (Kyuss without Josh Homme - essentially), have uploaded their new track on Soundcloud but decided against being able to embed it on other webpages. Nevermind, I used a little ingenuity and put it up on YouTube myself!

The sound quality of the track is pretty bad. I doubt it will sound anything close to this low-fi on the actual album and it's just been put out this way to build anticipation. I'm not that keen to comment on it either until I hear it properly, Garcia ends up sounding gruffer than Chris Cornell in his Audioslave days. Definitely not right.

04/06/2013

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

Considering the only thing ever good to come out of Newcastle was Alan Shearer (and even then he's genuinely awful on MoTD) it was actually a pleasure to discover that the Pigs x7, also hailed from the land of Tyne.  

Pigs x7 definitely have a refreshing sound. Beginning with what feels like an indie/hardcore punk perspective on stoner rock by the end has morphed into Electric Wizard drone riff territory - with plenty in between. Not any band can hold your attention for 20 minutes, let alone on their first release! Leaves me quite curious how they'd go about writing a full-length release while keeping it as eclectic as this.  

2013 - The Wizard And The Seven Swines [EP/Single]

25/05/2013

Wieczny Powrót.

Promising demo from a young Polish band. The quality of the recording is a little raw, but the talent definitely shines through.  I particularly like the fact they sing in Polish as it works with the music melodically, but also gives it a mysterious quality to anyone who doesn't speak the language. 

They play what I'd call a very straight style of Traditional Doom Metal. Simple, heavy riffs driven forward by their vocals. Not unlike Hour of 13, The Obsessed and 80's Pentagram in many ways. Yet another band to keep your eyes peeled on! 

2013 - Demo [EP]

18/05/2013

Nymronaut.

As a whole I'm not all that keen on instrumental acts. Not because I don't necessarily like the music, but because if the musicians aren't keeping the listener on their journey, the absolute absence of vocals tends to slowly come to the surface of proceedings. 

So while Berlin's (GER) Nymronaut aren't strictly an instrumental band (one track has vocals), they don't fall into the aforementioned pitfall. They've found quite a comfortable mixture of heavy riffs and dreamy ethnic jams which sound so damn effortless yet holds attention all the way. Vinyl being pressed!  



2013 -  Nymronaut [EP]

11/05/2013

Treeburner.

So, describing the sound of this Memphis, Tennesee (USA) band isn't the most straightforward of things. However, I don't have any doubt however it fits very much within the realm of this blog. It's kinda like Rwake, but not really either. The overwhelming reason Rwake even came to mind was the gloomy nature of music, it's organic sounding production and the use of multiple vocalists. Treeburner have quite a lot more going on, there definitely isn't a strict influence carrying the entire release but for the aforementioned gloomy vibe. It's all left quite subtle however, left to suffocate under its own themes.

I don't expect wide appreciation for an act like this, merely because whilst they adopt influences from different genres it remains genuinely unique to their own expression. But nevermind that, this is quality stuff. 

2013 - Treeburner [EP]

02/05/2013

Demon Eye.

Strong proto-Doom stylings from this North Carolina (USA) bunch. There genuinely is a real plurality of influences going on which keeps every track feeling inspired. I enjoyed the musicianship in particular, just little things like the use of cowbell/tambourine by the drummer really enhance the whole package. Some really great lead work to be found here too - though you'll notice that straight off the bat. But yeah... after enjoying the songs just give it a spin again concentrating only on the drumming, cause I personally think he kills it.

No official physical release exists as of yet. But! You can definitely get your hands on a t-shirt with the band logo by contacting them over at their Facebook page. They also made a pretty cool little video with plenty of 70's vixens for us to enjoy.



2013 - Demon Eye [EP]

30/04/2013

Desertfest London 2013.


If you actually want something resembling an account of this event, I'd set my sights over at The Obelisk instead, with proper coverage of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is me just sharing some thoughts and enthusiasm for some of the bands. 






My festival itinerary over the three days;

Friday: Kadavar, Hexvessel, Yawning Man, Mars Red Sky, Black Moth, Crystal Head

Saturday:  Unida, Wo Fat, Pagan Altar, Lowrider, Turbowolf, Chron Goblin

Sunday: Pentagram, Cough, Witch Mountain, Truckfighters, Belzebong, Naam, Victor Griffin's In-Graved, Glowsun




I caught Elder just a few days before this festival and had such a good time I find it absolutely appropriate to register my delight. That Nick DiSalvo guy was so clean with his guitar work it became stupid at times. Never pass up a chance to see Elder if you can. NEVER.

Anyway, Friday was generally a lukewarm affair not having much affinity for anyone but Kadavar. Yawning Man was more fun than expected, but being familiar with their material made it much easier to enjoy their set. Black Moth where my surprise act, heavy doom rock riffs aided by powerful vocals - check out a single here

Saturday opening bands were okay, not bad. Lowrider was quite good but definitely could've been a tiny bit tighter, though this is all excusable with the lack of live experience and the decade long hiatus. Pagan Altar's Alan Jones was just absurd on the guitar, an overwhelming assault of NWOBHM guitar lead goodness. Wo Fat brought thunderous groove with their jammed out vibe. As for Unida? I don't even think their stuff is that strong... but vocal power of John Garcia for the first time won me over pretty much instantly. Definitely will have to make it out for Vista Chino when they come around.

The last day started pretty well with Glowsun and then Victor Griffin's In-Graved (pictured above). The venue was criminally under populated for the latter. I mean, he is the guitarist on all those classic Pentagram albums after all!! Also, Belzebong ended their set with a new song which sounded pretty awesome and  confirms some new music beyond 'Dungeon Vultures' will be forthcoming. But days highlight definitely has to be Pentagram. The new guitarist delivered and it was great to hear some new (but old) songs in the setlist!

23/04/2013

Age Of Taurus.

With their first full length out on Rise Above Records coming in just over a month I thought it only appropriate to help aide the deserved anticipation. Much like Hour of 13 there is plenty of Doom Metal influence around this band's sound. However, the real debt musically does lie within the much broader world of Heavy Metal. 

The whole vibe of the release is pretty corny... but this isn't done unconsciously, it is embraced fully by the band and they definitely prosper for it. Just like HBO's representation of Game of Thrones captures the imagination as some 'Ye Olde England' fantasyland, this really could be considered the musical equivalent. Tales of gore, pillaged villages and merciless warriors. Don't let this underplay the musical quality either, some of the tempo shifts, chorus riffs and lead work are literally faultless.

In regard to getting this on some physical format, I guess the band have some tapes left and can be contacted on their Facebook page. Otherwise, no other way to get your hands on this apart from digitally! 

I'll cut loose your body but I'm keeping your head...

2010 - In The Days Of The Taurean Empire [Demo/EP]


1. Unto The Hour Of The Dead (6:08)
2. Unborn Destroyer (5:24)
3. Barren (4:40)
4. The Age Of Taurus (7:07)

PREVIEW SONG HERE
DOWNLOAD LINK HERE

19/04/2013

Black Sabbath - God Is Dead?



Single from the upcoming Black Sabbath album. I won't say much more than that. But really, just go listen to the latest Count Raven album instead. You're just doing yourself a disservice listening to this. Very weak stuff.

14/04/2013

Valkyrie - Mountain Stomp.



Awfully late on this. But nevermind! Valkyrie are definitely one of my favourite bands. Their love of driving melodies, NWOBHM plods and duelling guitars along with powerful, groovy riffs leaves me powerless to resist. This is just a new/previously unreleased? song, for a 7" with Earthling, with both bands hailing from Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. You can still get the spilt from Earthling and Tension Head.

13/04/2013

From The Vaults: CoM Edition.



A new Church of Misery music video, which also happens to be a new song from Thy Kingdom Scum. Pretty sure this is going to be widely acknowledged as a musical peak for them - so far, so good.

But the point of this post is to reinforce what I have on the right of the page, you know, where it says support your underground. Sure, it is a preachy, condescending sort of message.. but I mean it with the best of intentions. I thought the best way to genuinely encourage people is to show that I also try to do my part. In addition it means a chance to show all the bits you pick up along the way. This time we have some promo material, French tour poster and a set list from the CoM Halloween show I attended back in 2006 with Sourvein, The Ocean and Olde Crone. Not a bad line-up eh? 


10/04/2013

Zodiac.

Why have so many Doom Metal bands who resemble the "finished article" just emerged from the abyss? It strikes me as a very strange phenomenon. Last year it was Pilgrim - they unleashed Misery Wizard without prior fanfare and on a Metal Blade imprint no less! In similar fashion this post is here to tell you about another "finished article", Australia's Zodiac.  Only released as a demo there is certainly an air of maturity which just exudes from these 24 minutes. The songs plod along and slowly but surely entwine you with musical and vocal hooks. 

While this release certainly edges towards the more traditionally minded Doom fan I think there is plenty for those who aren't particularly into that side of the genre to enjoy. Which reminds me, if you like this keep your eyes peeled for Chile's Procession, they have new album coming out in the next few weeks!

2013 - Zodiac [Demo]

23/03/2013

Bong Breaker.

A strong offering from some dudes in Holland. This post isn't down to a new discovery on my part, rather it has more to do with them having their first full-length coming out soon. So it is only logical to share what I thought was quite a strong demo. I don't think there is anything too fresh or different going on but the execution is delightful, a particularly essential component when dealing with long song lengths.  

2012 - Bong Breaker [Demo]

19/03/2013

Temple Of Europa.

Big riff, hypnotic vox doom from Santa Cruz, California. I thought it was pretty good. EDIT: Just slipped in some artwork from the band's Facebook page. I also wanted talk about this demo a little more as I've found myself listening to it quite often.  

As expected from a demo offering everything is still little raw around the edges. Does this rawness enhance the vibe and quality of the songs? Unfortunately, I can't say that they do. However, present in addition to this raw quality on the demo is every element on this demo to put out a leading (y'know, well known release of the year) doom album in the near future. I have my fingers crossed for this band.


2012 - Demo

10/03/2013

Revelation.

My awakening to Revelation was, admittedly, rather late on. Thirteen years had past since their last album until 2008, when 'Release', my first encounter of their music came out on Leaf Hound records. This was around the time I started madly scouring the web for Hellhound releases and slowly but surely investigating the whole Baltimore scene. Anyway, it was only about 2010 that with the balancing act of life that I sought out 'Salvation's Answer'. I was blown away, the buzzsaw guitar tone, the socially concious lyrics and that melange of doom, thrash and even death metal at times was absolutely astounding. The song writing has an undoubtedly timeless quality about it. For me this exists as a forgotten classic, I can only urge you listen and enjoy. 

Revelations entire back catalogue is free to download over at the bands own label website, Bland Hand Records. Nice quote on the page too; "I don't want to sell my music. I'd like to give it away because where I got it, you didn't have to pay for it." - Captain Beefheart. 

1991 - Salvation's Answer



1. Lost Innocence (6:25)
2. Salvation's Answer (8:24)
3. Infinate Nothingness (4:54)
4. Paradox (3:04)
5. Images Of Darkness (6:50)
6. Long After Midnight (5:16)
7. Poets And Paupers (5:20)
8. Waiting For... The End (6:33)

PREVIEW SONG HERE
DOWNLOAD LINK HERE

08/03/2013

Serpent Throne - Brother Lucifer.



These are actually some of the guys behind that Pentagram 'Last Days Here' doc. They play instrumental doom with a definite focus on guitar leads and melodies which call to mind Scorpions, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy. This is the title track for their forthcoming album, I expect heavy rotation.

EDIT: Full album streaming below. Enjoy!

07/03/2013

Belzebong - Dungeon Vultures.



New song from the boys from Poland. Shame this is merely a teaser, the real thing is 14 minutes long! I'll get my chance to see them later this year, so maybe I'll hear it all then. EDIT: The complete version of the song is available to stream here

01/03/2013

HMELU Presents Dopesmoker.



Calvin Armstrong (cello), Brian Courage (bass), and Kelson Zbichorski (drums) from the Heavy Metal Ensemble of Lawrence University performed Sleep's Dopesmoker on June 2nd, 2012, in the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel.

I don't know why and I don't really care. This is awesome.

26/02/2013

Evilhorse.

This actually came out last year... but I imagine apart from those keeping up with the Spanish scene most would have missed it (you all know Moho and Monkeypriest at least though, right?). Anyway, there is quite rather difficult mixtures of styles in play here... quite trippy, psychedelic moments but all set against the kind of mid-paced 'doomy' moments you'd expect from Celtic Frost. These musical shifts keep the long songs feeling fresh and are definitely enhanced by the production on this release, the bass just feels absolutely thunderous, the drum symbols are crunchy and the guitars are given a suitable level of clarity. 

The amount of quality releases popping up for free on Bandcamp is literally ridiculous.   

2012 - Cabeza De Vaca

21/02/2013

Marble Chariot.

I'm wanting to keep at least a weekly presence with new posts. I am, however, still withholding from posting everything I'd like to share all at once just to guarantee that I always have something cool to put you people on. There is so much good free music these days... sometimes it feels almost unfair not to acknowledge it all. But my intention here is only to please my tastes and to highlight those artistic endeavours I can personally connect to and genuinely enjoy thoroughly.

Anyway, this post is about 'Marble Chariot' from Bordeaux, France. They play a melancholy style of Traditional Doom Metal, thematically similar to Pallbearer yet distinctly different musically. For a first release I thought it revealed a sophisticated  level of song writing. You are given time to enjoy musicianship and let the vocals hook you into the vibe and melody of the songs. If a full length album is on the way, expect something monolithic. They've already shown a lot more than potential.  

2013 - The Burden Is So Heavy... [EP]

16/02/2013

Tentacle.

Almost a week late on this one. In fairness however I only got round to signing up a Bandcamp fan account yesterday and only caught sight of this then. Tentacle, a side-project of the relentless Ice Dragon dudes, is finally out with an LP length release. I really dug their Void Abyss EP from last year and although I've only just given the new release a quick stream on Bandcamp it already sounds even better.

Tentacle play with an otherworldly dirge, wailing vocals and subtle Sabbathian-plod melodies. I just imagine this is exactly what those reptilian space aliens that David Icke is always on about would listen to, maybe not on Earth, but definitely on a spaceship. In all seriousness though, to me, they've tapped into quite a unique vibe with this project so give it your time and possibly your money!

2012 - Void Abyss [EP]




2013 - Ingot Eye

14/02/2013

Animal Machine.

Three-piece band from Mexico who play (their words) 'Stoner Rock'.. though I'd certainly put them in the Metal category. The riffs are all the heavy, left to breathe moments you would find in Kyuss. The vocals really work for me too, a tuneful shout, all in Spanish.

2012 - Animal Machine [EP]

09/02/2013

Ocean Chief Documentary.


Nice little documentary on Swedish doom metal band, Ocean Chief. Suggested for those who like huge riffs but never before their due. New album out this year, written and recorded with two new members in the band. Hope they reach England's shores one day!

05/02/2013

Magic Circle.

EDIT (17/11/13): Still easily one of my favourite releases of the year. Everything I said before still stands - this is an outstanding Traditional Doom album with touches of NWOBHM melody. It took me quite a while to actually find out where you can buy this album, but fortunately, it is available via Armageddon Shop. An internet presence is still nonexistent but it is known they're all from a bunch of Boston Hardcore bands.

For some real reviews I point you towards the following; The Obelisk and Roadburn.

2013 - Magic Circle


1. White Light (8:40)
2. Rapture (5:13)
3. The Greatest Escape - White Shores (7:09)
4. Scream Evil (6:09)
5. Conquering Nocturnity (6:25)
6. Magic Circle - Cloven In Two (7:40)

PREVIEW SONG HERE
DOWNLOAD LINK HERE

04/02/2013

Rise Above Records Sampler: Poisoned Apples.

This came attached with Classic Rock magazine #181, which is in UK stores now. I literally just bought it for the new Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats track, but it also happened to feature a new Age Of Taurus track which confirms their debut album is still forthcoming! Good stuff. Anyway, tracklist and link below.

2013 - Poisoned Apples



1. Cathedral - Tower Of Silence (6:51)
2. Astra - Quake Meat (6:39)
3. Purson - Spiderwoods Farms (5:09)
4. Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats - Poison Apples (4:17)
5. Hidden Masters - Into The Nights (3:31)
6. Saturnalia - Winchester Towns (7:57)
7. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Red Admiral, Black Sunrise (7:04)
8. Troubled Horse - One Step Closer To My Grave (4:07)
9. Rog & Pip - Why Won't You Do What I Want (2:43)
10. Sheavy - Pictures Of You (5:01)
11. Age Of Taurus - Embrace The Stone (8:01)
12. Septic Tank - The Slaughter (2:31)
13. Moss - Horrible Night (10:54)

DOWNLOAD LINK HERE

29/01/2013

My Top 5 Releases of 2012.

Everything in this list can be easily found on the web, so no links! Anyway, as it is still January I feel it is still perfectly legit to put out an end of year list detailing my favourite releases of the past year. Lets begin;

5. Pallbearer - Sorrow And Extinction (Profound Lore)


What hasn't been said about this album already? Dense, melodic, atmospheric yet relentlessly heavy. With all the buzz there would always be an inevitable backlash. Having been a fan of their '2010 Demo' all I can say is that I was left very far from disappointed.

4. Goat - World Music (Stranded Rekords)


There isn't anything new going on here, just some really engaging, catchy, afro-psych freak out music. This is exactly the sort of thing you could recommend to the people who hear Corrosion Of Conformity and think it's similar to Nickelback (true story). They'd think it was cool, and in all fairness they'd be damn right.

3. Windhand - Windhand (Forcefield Records)


This is just one of those great riff-led Doom albums, sounding like a mash of 'Come My Fanatics...'-era Electric Wizard and hypnotic female vocals, reminiscent of Acid King. Everything that is right with Doom is right in this album, the riffs, the fills, the licks, the vocals. An essential for any enthusiast of the genre.

2. Kadavar - Kadavar (Tee Pee Records)



Really simple, straight forward, retro-rock. Infectiously catchy! There isn't really too much to talk about this album. If you empathize with its goals you'll have trouble not listening to it. Rock n' roll always prospers. 

1.  The Wandering Midget - From The Meadows Of Opium Dreams (Eyes Like Snow)


Four years on from the very solid 'The Serpent Coven', these comedically named dudes from Finland have stepped up another gear completely. The song writing has really been taken up an notch and resembles Yob in terms of  the diversity and dynamics used. The Midget still lean stylistically to that traditional doom flavour but there is much more going on, very cool stoner riffs, drawn out but playful drum fills and cleverly deployed musical hooks. The production also has a very strange, organic feel to it too. I sense a true classic will emerge from The Midget sooner rather than later.

27/01/2013

Black Sabbath and Heavy Metal Documentary.



"This film investigates the original heavy metal sound born in the UK, as pioneered by musical heroes Black Sabbath in the 1970s. After an initial meet with Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, Jesse (of Hughes of Eagles Of Death Metal) plans a pilgrimage to the UK to get the behind-the-scenes facts on how Sabbath formed and what they were like on the road; why the Midlands was such a fertile breeding ground for heavy metal; and how the term "heavy metal" came about in the first place. Buckle up and come along for the ride. Heavy metal thunder's gonna reign."

Decent enough. Pagan Altar make an appearance and it actually features some stories about the Sabb I hadn't even heard about before.