Thursday, March 22, 2018

Noose Rot - The Creeping Unknown (2018)

Noose Rot features members from Gatecreeper, Skeletonwitch, and Wolvhammer, and they have an OSDM sound that incorporates elements of Sludge and Death/Doom. This shit hits hard with it's production sound. Nothing fuzzy going on that's for sure. It's aggressive, it's chunky, and it's got a swamp vibe to it, while at the same time is as crushing as a wrecking ball destroying a mausoleum. I'm definitely a sucker for the slower deep sludge grooves that these dudes for sure revel in, but for the most part "The Creeping Unknown" is dedicated to bludgeoning, pulverizing Old School Death Riffs, set to the sounds of a modern production. Speaking of riffs, they're fucking contagious, with this one. I can't get enough of this that's for sure.
The guitars and bass definitely have that murky low deep thick sound to them, but like I mentioned above a certainly chunky, and resemble something that's distinctly Death Metal, and a little less Doom Metal. Definitely some hefty crunch going on here. As expected from what I've described thus far, the drums hit pretty fucking hard, and are pretty fucking relentless as well. I mean even when the drums are slowed down or whatever for a dank sludge groove, the drums are still fucking annihilating the shit out of the riffs.  The vocals are spot on perfect. They capture the feeling and atmosphere of this release keeping it strictly death growls, and high pitched shrieks. A classic sound that doesn't need to be fucked with. If it ain't broke, don't fucking fix it.
Overall, really fucking great EP. Highly recommended for sure. It delivers everything I like about Death Metal and Sludge in 4 impressive tracks. Great songwriting, great sounds, great band. Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Blue Cheese - Reborn Into Void (2018)

Blue Cheese is on the rise! No longer content to be your favorite food, now it can be your favorite band too! These dudes are sauntering out of Montreal, Qu├ębec with their second album "Reborn Into Void" - a rowdy slab of stoner rock with some dirty blues on the side. Yeah, that combo means there are riffs for days and some jams you'd have to be dead to ignore. The guitar tone attacks you with a sharp fuzz that feels like a jolt down your spine and the vocals come crashing in scratchy and rough - either this guy has been gargling with gravel or he's got some serious cottonmouth, someone get him some water! Most of these songs are packing a rugged groove with some 70s hard rock inspiration just a whiff of something wicked in the wind - a tinge of doom to twist things in the direction of darkness. The second track "Uncrowned Queen" is probably one of the most stand out tracks on here, starting with a cocky swagger that gives off some Sleep vibes (think Dragonaut) before revving the engine and taking off! But it's not a full on stoner party here, there are some dives into smoky, moody passages for you to get lost in and space out on. The title track is one of these and closes the album by letting you down nice and slow with a few heavy blows thrown in here and there. If you're not listening to this one already you're missing out, so get on it already! -Brandon

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Crimson Altar - MMXVII (2018)

The time has come to light the black candles and let the ritual commence, for Crimson Altar has arrived from Portland, Oregon and they will be leading the incantation with their newest release "MMXVII". They put out this demo in preparation for their upcoming full-length (due later this year) and if this is any indication of what's to come then they wield a shadowy power that may yet rule over us all. Crimson Altar is a wellspring of murky female-fronted doom metal with occult leanings and a sound that evokes the mystique of a spring night in Transylvania. There's an almost otherworldly duality here between the dusty riffs that feel like they're crawling out of the crypt and the fresh, nearly spiritual air that the flute and two acoustic guitar passages bring. The combination will leave you enchanted by the unnatural twilight and you may find yourself in a manic trance singing praises to Pan under the light of the full moon. Atop this are the bewitching vocals invite you to submit to your wicked inclinations and welcome the gloom of night as your mistress - and you'd have to be a fool to refuse. I'd say the band owes more to Bedemon than Blood Ceremony, but you can definitely hear the influence of both. So when you're ready to commit your heart to the darkness, you're going to want to check this out! -Brandon

Friday, March 16, 2018

Thra - Mourn (2017)

Definitely file this under shit I missed in 2017. Well honestly, this only came out in December so I'm not too far behind on this one, but holy fuck is this a gnarly sounding blackened nugget of crust sludge. Like imagine Brainoil if you put them in the Blackened Sludge/Death Doom blender and you get Thra. This shit is nasty as fuck, and just as pissed off. These dudes play with the subtlety of cavemen, and are about as chill as a pack of mange-ridden wolves looking for their next meal. Ferocious and mean, these heavy. dissonant sun baked riffs are nothing to fuck with.
Like I mentioned Brainoil comes to mind, but when it comes to their guitar tone the only other band I can think of is Blessing The Hogs. It's a sound that's definitely more in line with other forms of Extreme Metal than your typical Stoner Doom or Sludge. Feedback is strewn between riffs and helps with creating a misanthropic atmosphere. The bass although it's hard to pinpoint sometimes in the mix, is most definitely there and it's distorted as fuck and fits right in with the overall nastiness of the band. The vocals are fantastic with its shrieking cries of hate and misery. There's also a lower death growl vocal that's employed at various times for great effect. Going along with the whole Extreme Metal vibe, the drummer seems to be avoiding the regular Stoner Doom or Sludge tendencies of just playing slow, and is pretty varied making use of interesting fills as well as decent foot work on the double kick.
I highly recommend this tasty sliver of rage inducing sludge. My only complaint is that this release is only 3 songs, and they're kinda short, so I'm definitely anticipating more! If you like your Sludge Doom being a few shades away from just being straight up Death Metal then this shit is probably for you. Great stuff! Cheers! -Samir

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Wytch Goat - Kult Of The Wytch Goat (2018)

If you're a fan of Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Church of Misery (which if you're reading this, I'm guessing that's a yes), then you might wanna check this one out. While this definitely has more of an old school Stoner Doom feel to it, and borrows heavily from its predecessors, "Kult Of The Wytch Goat" works because of it's overall spooky atmosphere and sinister nature. The catchy riffs don't hurt either. With its occult leanings, and all around evil vibe, this release is the perfect soundtrack for wycthes gathered at black masses. 
One thing you'll notice for sure is the soulful swagger of the vocals, which haunts the listener with memorable melodies ghastly sing a longs. The strings are thick with fuzz and often join together as one, but it's when the guitar enters into a repetitious trance like lead, the bass weaves a web of intrigue and keeps you locked in before the two join together once again for a colossal riff fest. 
Through it's dread and foreboding horror, Wytch Goat are able to craft and conjure up some decent tunes that will more than likely get your head bobbing along to their maniacal stoner grooves. If you're gonna play Stoner Doom that sounds like this, you gotta bring the riffs along with the spliffs, and these dudes definitely deliver. Looking forward to hearing more from them in the future. Cheers! -Samir

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Druid Lord - Grotesque Offerings (2018)

I think the folks over at Hells Headbangers are desperate to see me go broke. On top of their incredible distro selection, they keep releasing all these wicked albums that I am powerless to resist. One of their more recent tactics in their war against my wallet is Druid Lord's "Grotesque Offerings". The band's second album is a contorted clump of horrific death/doom that will eviscerate you and drag your mangled carcass into the crypt! The first track is titled "House of Dripping Gore" and I think the imagery that the name conjures really captures the band's sound well - a fine estate with walls coated in bloody chunks of flesh, slowly creeping downward before suddenly dropping to the floor with a wet slosh. House of Dripping Gore also emphasizes the DEATH in death/doom - hell, if you didn't bother listening to the other tracks on the album you might just think this was a slow-paced death metal album. It starts to get gloomier with the second track, but it never loses those scathing death metal sensibilities it establishes up front - it just melds with the thick sounds of horror-inspired doom. As the album creeps on you'll start to hear organ/synth touches that bring moments of sophisticated terror to the agonizing atmosphere, but it's really the brutal, low, hard-churning metal that will keep you coming back. There are other death/doom bands playing in similar veins (Hooded Menace for instance), but damn do Druid Lord make their shit GRUESOME. So if you like your music grisly, Grotesque Offerings is going to do it for you! -Brandon

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Windhand/Satan's Satyrs - Split (2018)

Windhand and Satan's Satyrs - a sinister pair of bands each with some impressive releases under their belts - have come together to create an undeniable force of evil in the form of a new split album. Their titanic union has enough weight to open a portal to the underworld and let the denizens of hell come crawling out of the dark. But each band is going to take a very different approach in conjuring their demons - Windhand is slow and solemn, while Satan's Satyrs is rocking and rancorous. Windhand contributes their two tracks first, coming down with massive doom metal that slowly swirls with pentagrams and burning candles to evoke something mystic. "Old Evil" will hit you pretty hard with the fuzz and slow, smoky grooves and then "Three Sisters" quiets down to draw you in deeper using an ominous tone and a screeching organ that will make your hair stand on end. Guitar, bass, drums, and vocals all speak their impure intentions clearly with every note devoted to their dark ceremony. However, Satan's Satyrs is next and they don't need any of the black magic or profane rituals to make something unholy - they simply play on the evil already burning in your soul. Their three tracks are sleazy, motorized, completely wicked, and extra fun! "Alucard AD 2018" charges through the night high on speed and sin and I think "Succubus" is set to the unnatural rhythm of the devil's laughter. The last song "Ain't That Lovin' You, Baby" puts a pretty nasty spin on that sweet spot where rock 'n' roll grows out of the blues and then kicks it into high gear at the end. Different styles but the album's evil nature brings everything together to make one otherworldly hunk of metal that will drive you screaming into the dark - turn this one up once you're ready to take the plunge! -Brandon