I’m not the type of person who often remembers their dreams. However, I do remember a few. One of them was from when I was a teenager or something. Probably after watching The Blob or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I had this dream where I was trapped in a dank sewer trudging through the sludgy sewage while Charon floated in his boat behind me and whacked me with his oars. Listening to Empress/Abscess by Immortal Bird reminds me of that dream. It’s dark, sludgy, and smacks you around. Elements of black metal and thrash round out this roughly 30 minute romp. The artwork is pretty rad too.
Check it out, share with you buddies, toss some couch change at the band, and let us know what you thunk. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
In my free time when I’m not attached to some video game or repeatedly listening to whatever album I’m currently hot on I like to scour through Bandcamp and Metal State’s Haulix promo pile (for those who don’t know, Haulix is a commonly used streaming/downloading platform for giving reviewers access to promo albums) and see if anything catches my ear. With literally hundreds of records to choose from at any given moment I don’t have the time nor the will to listen to everything. So, what do I do to narrow down my selections? Well, first there are certain P.R. reps we have a good rapport with as well as the very rare, well written review request (for another article, but, independent bands, proofread your shit, keep it short, and use Bandcamp or some other super easy streaming service). Otherwise, I break a Golden Rule. I judge a book, errr, album by its cover.
Ever so rarely an album comes by that encapsulates the soul band. From a group’s particular style to even their namesake, these albums showcase all that is and has propelled them into the leaders of their genres. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son from Iron Maiden, Pelagial by The Ocean, and Panopticon by Isis are some examples of records that lay in this very small group with both fan and critical praise being forever lauded upon them. But the big daddy of them all belongs to Scenes from a Memory by Dream Theater. It is of my opinion that no other album sums up a band as perfectly as that record does. The music connected to the narrative, the ‘dream’, which is played out through the album, the ‘theater’, is executed so perfectly and passionately I had never thought no other album could ever achieve the multitude of musical accomplishments as deftly as it has done. That is until Between the Buried and Me unleashed their latest record, Coma Ecliptic, unto the masses for me to listen, absorb, and consume ravenously.
Who needs more doom metal in their life? Everybody! That’s who! Doom is awesome. Especially when there are so many bands doing cool and interesting spins on the genre. My latest peruse of Bandcamp has let me to check out Khemmis (clicked on it mainly because that cover art is freaking awesome. Do you hear that bands? Even in the digital age, kick ass cover art still sells.) A crusty layer of fuzzy stoner doom touched with spatterings of old-school hard-core, NWOBHM, and death metal will hammer your eardrums with some wonderfully chunky grooves. At times you get a tune that is like Pallbearer’s tone crossed with Iron Maiden’s bombastic leads and solos other are a Candlemass’ stomping grooves meets Madball’s beatdown vocals affair. As crazy as those cocktails sound Khemmis pull them off with ease, gusto, and panache. Regardless of the stylistic mix they are jamming with Absolution simply rocks hard front to back and is a must listen for any discerning doom fan. Listen, buy, support, share, doomstomp!!!!! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Right off the bat, the most striking thing about Vattnet Viskar’s sophomore album would be its bright and happy cover art. If you didn’t know any better you could imagine that an album of cheery electronic music lies within it. However, Vattnet Viskar is a post-metal band and that photo isn’t as cheery as you may think it is. If you are from my generation (the 80s) or earlier you surely remember the Challenger mission. Things didn’t go very well and spaceships exploded and lives were lost. The photo in the cover art is inspired by a photo of Christa McAuliffe while she was on a ‘Vomit Comet’ training simulation about a year prior to being tragically lost in the Challenger launch disaster. It’s a quite a surreal and contrasting pic. So happy and at a peak in life only to have it all soon violently ripped away from her. But, still kind of life-affirming in a way. Now, does that cover art look a bit more metal to you?
As expected, 2015 is shaping up to be yet another stellar year for us metal fans. And with Iron Maiden, BtBaM, The Sword, Deafheaven, Avatarium, and Ghost releasing new material in the coming months, it’s only up from here. Here’s a selection of some albums I’ve enjoyed quite a bit in the past half of the year. Check ’em out and share what you’ve been digging on. Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Release Date: 7 April 2015
Length: 54 minutes
Genre: Progressive Folk Metal
Studio Albums: Olden Tales & Deathly Trails (2012)
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The piss and vinegar of L7, the snarl of Kitty, the trippiness of Kylesa, and the brutality of a runaway train packed full of dynamite and peanut butter. Washington quartet Mercy Brown’s debut, self-titled LP is flat-out beastly. Teetering between sludgy riffs, punk rock attitude, shattering death metal, and psychedelic prog tendencies, this record really took me by surprise. The vitriol that pours from vocalist Sera Hatchett’s lungs inject so much personality into the already top-notch performance’s of her bandmates. Whether she’s crooning clean vocals or bellowing death growls, this girl is crushing someone’s skull into the ground while doing so.
Between memorable songwriting and diverse, engaging songs this is a record I wholly recommend you give your attention to and toss some couch change to. Give it a listen and let me know what you thunk. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!!!
It all makes sense… we’re capable of beauty.
Through sounds which make one cringe. The dogs only hear us now.
For the first time tears came to my eyes while I was listening.
Noise brings so many things… make my tingling skin freeze.
I’m positive that nearly every metal fan, especially the lovers of the more extreme spectrum of the genre, have heard this before. “But with all that noisy growling and screaming, how do you understand what they’re ‘air quotes’ singing?” To which we usually reply along the lines of something like “You get used to it.” or “It’s like learning an accent.” Yet regardless of how we break it down or try to explain it they just look at you with their head slightly cocked like a confused puppy and then you usually just give up and go about your day. Read the rest of this entry →
Picture if you will a scene where an army of Dr. Dooms wielding Swords of Doom +2 agility are battling a horde of Thulsa Dooms brandishing Bastard Axes of Doom +1 charisma atop Mt. Doom for the right to doom the doomed Earth and it’s doomed inhabitants. That is pretty much the way it is when spinning the Vænir, the new record from Swedish doomsters Monolord.
Sounding like a mix of Yob, Pallbearer, and good ol’ Candlemass this record is relentless in its approach to doom. The sludgy tones mixed with mammoth riffs will probably make this one of the most crushing doom records I will hear this year. I particularly like the reverb-y vocals which add in heavy psychedelic elements.
If you like your doom metal filthy and thicker than frozen peanut butter do yourself a favor and grab this beast. You won’t be disappointed, Scouts Honor. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!