As I stated in a previous post, for some reason I always thought the songs released as singles by Kylesa were pretty cool, but never grabbed me and made me want to check out a full album them. Theoretically, they should be right up my alley, big fat stoner and doom riffs and a female singer that doesn’t bleat like a goat. But alas, just never made the connection. Then an email from their PR landed in our inbox with a link to their new single “Unspoken” and I checked it out. Immediately I was head over heels for the tune and its dreamy groove. So I vowed I’d check the record out when it landed. Luckily, the fine folks over at Pitchfork have secured an advance stream of their new album Ultraviolet for everyone to listen to. A few songs in and I’m digging it well enough, it’s already secured a purchase. Give it a listen while its up (the streaming ends on May 28, 2013) and let us know what you think of it. As requested by one of our readers I will do a full review of it probably sometime next week. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
If you read my review of the new Orchid album last week you’ll know that A. I really liked it a lot and B. there is a heavy early Black Sabbath influence in their music. I even went as far as to say there exists a strong possibility that the best Black Sabbath record to be released this year may not be by Black Sabbath, but Orchid. It’s really that damn good. And really, at the end of the day, even if the album does have a definite Black Sabbath vibe, every track on the record is golden and good music is good music. So, if you dig some riff driven, fat and groovy heavy metal, do not miss this chance to give a listen to the In the Mouth of Madness stream courtesy of Cvlt Nation (also a really cool site you should pursue while digging on some Orchid) , which I am sure to try to cram down your throat at least a few more times before 2013 is up. Enjoy and share your thoughts on it. Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Have you ever gotten an album, listened to it, liked it a lot, then somehow it gets lost in the mix only to be rediscovered on a random date down the road where you proclaim “Why the hell haven’t I been listening to this obsessively since I first got my hands on it”. That is the case with me and Royal Thunder’s debut record CVI. Last week I popped the album in for shits and giggles and something clicked and I have not stopped listening to it multiple times a day since.
Royal Thunder is a pretty hard band to describe. On the surface I could say they’re a stoner rock band in the vein of a more rock and roll focused early Baroness with a chick on vocal duties. But that wouldn’t do them justice. While there are some very immediate songs on the record that rock from first note to the last like “No Good”, the real genius in this record shows when they take a nod to the post-metal/rock approach and let the songs build up into a moment where all the elements of the beginning of track come together for a huge stoner rock crescendo. In particular the tunes “Shake and Shift”, “Drown”, and “Blue”. They may not have the most immediate starts, but man, after all the pieces fall into place it’s nirvana. They also have a penchant for some delightfully haunting doom tunes. Tunes like “Sleeping Witch” and “South of Somewhere” are the kind of stuff beautiful nightmares are made out of.
So, when all is said and done, CVI is a triumphant and diverse album that needs you attention. If you take a moment and listen with an ear closer you will be fully rewarded with a an album that is deep, dynamic, exploratory, and soulful, yet doesn’t get lost in itself and delivers on the hard-hitting rock and roll. Give a listen, tell your friends, and let us know what you think of Royal Thunder. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Often considered one of the earliest pioneering bands in the stoner metal realm, Sleep’s bluntly titled 2nd album, Dopesmoker (AKA Jerusalem), is reveled as their crowning gem in their short but sweet discography. Upon its initial release the band was going through some money and legal troubles paired with a label who didn’t really give much a shit about promoting Sleep, so unless you actively sought out a record from the band on or very close to release day, chances of getting some fresh-baked tunes by Sleep were pretty slim. And even as the band gained popularity, getting ones hands on anything other than the debut, Witch Mountain, was still a tad difficult, not to mention that even though the stoneriffic songwriting on Dopesmoker was of top quality, the recording and sound quality was equivalent to that dry, brown, dirt weed that comes from Mexico.
Lucky for us stoner metal fans, Sleep contacted Southern Lord Records about re-releasing the much-lauded after Dopesmoker record with some shiny new production and remastering. The finished product is upon us, and daaaamn does it sound great. Props to the remastering team for really bringing this record to life. Dopesmoker still retains that gritty, sludgy, and raw sound like the original, but now I can listen with 300% less tape hiss and the sounds still taste like colors. If you dig on some hazy stoner metal, you can’t go wrong giving this album a listen. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
In 2011, Southern Lord was contacted by Sleeps’ Al Cisneros about the possibility of releasing a deluxe version of the classic Sleep recording: Dopesmoker. Cisneros wanted to breathe some new life into the old beast and finally have the original vision of the album fully realized. Southern Lord was overwhelmingly ecstatic about the challenge of taking the reigns of one of the most important recordings in the history of Heavy Metal! The Lord version features brand new artwork by long time Sleep artist, Arik Roper, who created something specifically special for the albums’ rebirth. The biggest difference between this new version and the old releases is the phenomenal remastering job by Brad Boatright . His vision was to enhance the original recording without changing it drastically. What he has done makes this epic opus sound invigorated, more powerful with renewed clarity and all-around unbelievably mammoth. His work was enthusiastically approved by the band and considering how focused, vigilant and protective of their masterpiece the band is, that is nothing short of a miracle! Also exclusive to the reborn version of Dopesmoker, is an unreleased live track of one of the best songs the band ever did, Holy Mountain. The cd version of the album is sheltered in a digipac with embossed artwork. Includes unseen photos and a “riff-chart” the band created in order to follow the epic journey that Dopesmoker takes us all on!
The Swedish duo The Moth Gatherer’s debut album is quite interesting with its unconventional style of experimental/sludge/post metal. They have created an ambitious and tasteful mix of different music styles combined with lots of effects, which results in heavily atmospheric songs that aren’t always an easy listen. This is haunting and hypnotic music suited for fans of ISIS, Cult of Luna and Neurosis. It’s very difficult to describe it due to the pure emotional nature of the songs.
One thing I love more than a concept album that is lyrically held together and forms a narrative, is when a band works to have the music behind the lyrics really come alive to add yet another point for the narrative to build on. Such is the case with Dutch symphonic black metal band Carach Angren and their album Where the Corpses Sink Forever. And in case that symphonic part may scare you away, be assured it isn’t used in the gimmicky way all too many bands have been abusing it lately, but their mastery of orchestra conduction really works wonders to build some amazingly detailed scenes much like a quality film score enhances the impact of the visuals. Paired with the 7 stories that tie into 1 over arching tale the horrific visuals the words and music create one of the most well constructed and inspiring concept records I’ve heard in recent years. How I never took the time to really sit down and appreciate this band alludes me, but I hold it to Dream Theater’s Scenes.. levels as far as mastery in concept album creation goes.
Basically the story goes like this. A soldier is charged to execute 7 prisoners and when he carries out their sentences he notices that the captured are grinning and laughing as his bullets pass through him. The prisoners turn out to be demons who have captured the soul of the soldier and committed him to an eternity of suffering for his war deeds. Each of the songs tells the tale behind each demon (or more specific, the 7 deadly sins) ranging from settings of WWI, WWII, and Vietnam and recounts some of the most horrid stories and acts ever committed during war-time. Baby eating, the Holocaust, a violinists last stand, a child’s vision of his own death, and other tales of macabre and brutality will be told. But even in their extreme nature there is a sense of hope and beauty hidden underneath all the blood and viscera.
So, give the album a listen and check out the video and let us know what you thought. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
This interesting tidbit was sent to us some weeks ago and while not the most ‘metal’ thing in the world, maybe some of you out there will get a kick out of it, I know I did. Basically it’s a trilogy of E.P.s by an instrumental band called Robot Monkey Arm which pay homage to great film scores like the ones you would hear in a Spaghetti Western, ’70s Exploitation Flick, or cheesy Sci-Fi movie. The band doesn’t do exact covers, but instead uses the atmospheres of the scores to create some cool atmospheres in their original scores. In the music you get an eclectic mix of metal, funk, prog, surf rock, chiptune, and jazz, and it’s all a damn good time on each tune. My favorite of the bunch is a tune called “Cinema Vomitif” where there is this whole ‘James Bond does Mortal Kombat in Hell after ingesting a couple tabs of blotter acid’ feel to it.
So, if you dig movie scores, especially those of the ’60s and ’70s, and experimental music, do give this E.P. Trilogy a listen. And as always, if you dig it pass the good word onto your buddies and stuff. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
Reverse what we’ve been building for, destroy any progress
We’ll turn ourselves into machines
Hard to realize the depth and low that we’re reaching
Erase the steps to evolve into something with meaning
Reverse our evolution cycle; declining minds prevail to shun the will of expanding insight.
Grow no longer. The light has died, in this form we can’t survive.
We reverse design through time. We reverse the flow of life.
I have found a lot of fantastic debuts from bands lately and ‘Endlessly In Motion’ by Moth is another impressive one. It was released only two months ago and I knew this record was a must-buy after the first time I heard it. It’s hard to put this music into a genre and to describe their sound. I would say Moth has a Gojira-like influence on their songs, a kind of proggy death, with similar emotional vocals, repeating guitars and heavy, fast-paced drumming. They added ambient moments together with some clean sections and the result is an album with complex music that is easy to listen to and like.
It was the unique cover art and the band name that drew my attention to this record. For a fan of Dark Tranquillity and old In Flames, like me, this was a really nice find! Elysian created a fine and diverse melodic death metal album that I think metalfans of any genre can appreciate. It’s aggressive music with a melancholic mood, with bits of traditional heavy metal, thrash and some proggy influences at times.
Since the moment I first heard Kentucky by one man band Panopticon back in August I think I’ve written how great it is and how much it moves me more than enough, even awarding it the #2 spot on my Best of 2012 list. But unfortunately, for many getting their hands on this record was something quite difficult as it was only released on vinyl and unless you were a reviewer, getting you hands on a digital copy was daunting unless you felt comfortable utilizing Google for the shady approach. Well, I said the second that this album is readily available I would be one of the first people to let you know, and so here I am. Kentucky is available on Bandcamp for you to hear in its entirety (a front to back, solid playthrough is highly recommended) and for purchase for next to nothing, only $3.oo.
The music on the record is a combination of progressive black metal and American bluegrass music and tells the tale of the plight of the coal miners in Kentucky, and by proxy, all around the U.S. For something much more in-depth you can read my full review here while you listen. But, please, I implore you, listen to this album (and also take a look into the subject matter of the album, some quick Google searches will send you to some really eye-opening stuff). It truly is deserving of all the praise I’ve been giving it and I’ve been listening to it regularly since August and it hasn’t lost any of its initial impact. I hope you all enjoy this wonderful record, and as always, if you dig the album share it with your fellow metal brethren and drop a few bucks towards the artist. Peace Love and Metal!!!