Friday, May 25, 2018

Eagle Twin - The Thundering Heard (2018)

I think I discovered Eagle Twin in 2010, a year after they released their first album "The Unkindness of Crows". It changed my perspective on what Doom Metal was or could be for sure. These two dudes were playing songs that had amazing riffs, yet everything was kind of loose and free in a way. The guitar sound was toasty as fuck, and Gentry Densley's voice was something unlike anything else I heard at that point in the genre. Incorporating Tuvan Throat Singing and using powerful animal imagery in his lyrics to coincide with his deep bellowing chants, Gentry was like a mad shaman of doom and gloom. The band released their second album "The Feather Tipped The Serpent's Scale" in 2012, and for whatever reason I didn't get the memo on this, and found out after the fact, but was delighted nonetheless.
So now here we are 2018, and history repeats itself once again. I thought maybe when I caught wind that they had a new single out, I'd catch it just in time. I even followed them on Bandcamp, so I would get an alert for when the album dropped. Again, I totally missed out on the day this came out, but I'm here to write that I fucking love this album. Four track, and 40 plus minutes of everything I explained above. I think this time around they added some some bluesier elements in there that added a layer of swagger and bravado, not necessarily missing from the earlier works, but a natural progression that just makes sense. Gentry's tone is just a fierce and fiery as ever, and perhaps even sludgier. The overall sound on this is just fucking massive, but I guess it should be if you're going to name your album "The Thundering Heard". I'm glad 2018 has given us some great releases thus far from some of my favorite bands, and this one is no exception. Great Fucking Album! Period! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Slave Hands - World Rid Of All Living (2018)

Slave Hands is the epitome of the Old School Sludge sound. The band provides us with a perfect mix of "Gluey Porch Treatments" era Melvins, Eyehategod, and Grief on "World Rid Of All Living". This latest release has the band melding slow moving metal and hardcore punk, and grinding it down to a filthy pulp of misery and despair. It's worth mentioning the moments of dissonant guitar parts that add a layer or dread to music that's already putting its listener at unease and agitation. Each song trudges along at a sloth's pace, as if we are experiencing our last day's on Earth in a barren wasteland, poisoned, starved, and looking for shelter and food under a harsh unforgiving sun. With its fat, blistered strings, its sickening vocals, and its slow yet violent drumming "World Rid Of All Living" takes all the raw primitive Sludge sounds of the past to inform us of our dark days in the future. And if the brutality on this recording is any indication of what's in store for the human race, it's a grim fucking outlook for sure! I definitely dug this one. I'm a sucker for this Old School shit. Highly Recommended! Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Satori Junk - The Golden Dwarf (2018)

A few years after their self-titled full-length album, Italy's Satori Junk have once again emerged from the black of night to lure listeners into their den of hazy psychedelic doom with their new release "The Golden Dwarf". This time around there's a little less fuzz (especially around the vocals) to further expose the naked, unnatural horrors that await you. After a spoken intro the music starts all bluesy and ominous like a film noir before descending into the smoky underworld of stoner-doom with eerie acid-inspired keys over the top. Satori Junk absolutely nails the 60s/70s organ sound - something that lesser bands might use as a crutch - but even underneath its electronic wailing the riffage is heavy and can get thick as fuck as though you're wading through a horde of ghosts that are trying to drag you to the grave. There are a few subtle goth rock twists to the typical doom formula as well - I hear a touch of Bauhaus breaking through on tracks like "Cosmic Prison" and "Death Dog". The title track is full-on breath-taking terror from the get go, doom metal soaked in a chilling, gloomy atmosphere, but then halfway through it bursts into frantic rocking fury - but after all the energy is spent the song falls back into slow doom for just a minute before dissolving as the breathless instruments hopelessly struggle to stay alive. And then the final track comes in with a booming organ introduction that will blow you away - the heaviest cover of The Doors' "Light My Fire" that we will probably ever hear. If you thought that Type O Negative had already brought this song to the dark side then think again because Satori Junk kills all of the song's upbeat swing and instead creates a downtrodden doom with new keyboard and guitar solos that seem to dance and scream with a sick delirium. The whole album feels like a fever dream that takes place in a haunted mansion - something that will give you chills for weeks to come. If you're into doom that's horror-inspired, key-heavy, and/or psychedelic Satori Junk have really put together something special with The Golden Dwarf.-Brandon

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pink Cocoon - Alienation (2018)

Montreal has a problem on their hands in the form of a group called Pink Cocoon. Guitarist and vocalist Zolla Marc and his shadowy associates are filling the airwaves with sweet, sloshy psychedelic doom that entrances listeners and leaves them stumbling through the night with rotten smiles and red eyes. This intoxicating sonic poison has been recorded across six tracks and the resulting EP has been dubbed "Alienation". Pink Cocoon evokes the sounds and dark spirits of staples like Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath but then sugar-coats everything using just a hint of bubblegum bounce to make it too delicious to resist. These are smoky graveyard jams bursting with an unnatural brightness and groaning under all the bluesy swagger and guitar leads. The tone wavers and teeters like a drunkard with a curse but the songs still strike with dirty intent and precision. Tracks like "Someone Is Out There" and "Child Of Death" throw in some catchy rock 'n' roll stylings a la Nirvana and it bleeds over the fuzzy stoner doom beautifully creating a brilliant image of death dancing wild and dreary-eyed. Scatter in a few eerie undertones and you've got yourself a dangerous set of songs that will have you ready to hop the fence to the cemetery and make the tombstones shake! -Samir


Friday, May 18, 2018

Scientist - Barbelith (2018)

I'm not really one for Psychedelic Progressive Sludge, similar to the sounds of bands like Interarma and The Moth Atlas. Not that I have anything against those bands, but it's just not my thing. However, here we are with Scientist's new release "Barbelith", and I definitely dig this. I'm just gonna come out and say it, this is what Mastodon would have matured into if they would've taken a slightly heavier path. So thank (insert preferred deity here) we have Scientist now instead to listen to. Look up the term Barbelith on the internet, and your search will definitely lead you to Grant Morrison and his DC/Vertigo comic series "The Invisibles". The band's band definitely confirms this as a key concept for this album, along with psychedelics and the occult.
So what you get out of that is massive sounding Cosmic Progressive Sludge that is both grand and majestic.  I think what I like the most about this album, is that the songs give themselves time to breathe where they will take it down a few notches, but then as soon as the heavy comes in, it's just devastatingly heavy sludge, and it's the anticipation for those moments that really does it for me. The not so Sludgy, Post Metal-esque parts are definitely good, and as worthy of the listener's attention, creating a sonic balance of interesting thinking person's metal.
With it's solid sleek production value, the guitars both glisten and growl when needed, with the heavier parts definitely hitting you in the gut with a sledgehammer. The low end on the bass is bowel shattering low, adding to the fullness of each song and giving it that distinct Sludge character. The drummer sounds like he has 4 arms, and the vocals have a decent range on here, mixing it up, and singing/screaming where necessary. Combining all these elements creates a whirlwind of sound textures that range from ethereal to thick concrete soup, and it's fucking spectacular and monumental. So yeah give this album a listen, it's definitely worth your attention. Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sixes - Methistopheles (2018)

Sixes return in 2018 with the slow and tortured evil sludge opus "Methistopheles". Clocking in at just over an hour with only 6 tracks, you better buckle in for this hell ride. However, long doesn't always equate to boring, and in this case with this release, it's a slow burn that is definitely rewarding and engaging all the way to the end. Now, if you're going to put something out that's an hour long, you gotta bring the riffs, and Sixes does just that. The riffs are nasty, filthy, and above all heavy as fuck. These detuned sludge grooves are addictive and depraved. Almost like they've been hiding in darkness with a blackened primordial slime, and they decided to climb out through the miasma, and dim the sunlight for the rest of the world. It's so fucking raw, and agonizing and it's great!
There's definitely some range on the musicality on this album, which is to be expected for something this long. The strings pretty much remain the same throughout, which is fine, because they sound disgusting and relentless like they should. However when the drums go into full Black Metal blast during the albums title track, you know you're not just getting your typical Sludge Doom release. While this concept is nothing new for Sludge Doom, it's cool that this band has at least decided to integrate this style, and venture out of the norm. The vocals jump from hateful sludge screams, to blackened shrieks, to death growls, and then to even straight up singing, and it adds some layers and thickness to this release, again making it not seem so straight forward or typical. Overall I really dug this, and it's definitely a contender for best of for the year. Cheers!- Samir

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Devil's Swamp- Swamp Beast (2018)

Back in the year 2014 a bunch of Russian fiends calling themselves The Devil's Swamp plunged into the murky waters and recorded a nasty new album. However, the tracks sat dormant afterwards and in the years that followed the band split and dissolved. But now, rising up out of the mire reeking of putrid moss and decay is "Swamp Beast" the band's final album released from beyond the grave. Rank with the stench of warbling stoner/doom these tunes don't seem to have lost any potency during the years they lay in wait. Water-logged wailing vocals give the impression of a ghost crying for help and making threats at the same time, while they meld with instruments dripping thick gargled doom like wax all over you. It kicks in some burning Cajun flavor from time to time, especially in and around the guitar solos ("Allready" comes highly recommended). There's even a few pockets of Danzig-inspired bluesy horror tones with "Sex & Gun" taking the deep dive. But it's not all dank and damp as things start to dry out on the later tracks and give off some trippy desert vibes instead - songs like "Stoned Caravan" and "Under the Sunn" will get you out of the bog water and leave you stranded in sand. If you pick up the album, there's even an extra acoustic version of Stoned Caravan and some extra art to keep you occupied as you turn to dust in the hot sun. Swamp Beast is a pretty wicked album to close things out for The Devil's Swamp, but don't mourn their loss too hard - a piece of the swamp lives on under the name Unholy Slough, just expect something darker and more deathly! -Brandon