Monday, September 13, 2021

Kal-El ~ Dark Majesty (August Album of the Month )


Damn Kal-El, damn their eyes! I really wanted to appear kvlt and not include their latest album 'Dark Majesty' in my top five album releases for August unlike so many of my peers, but however much I resisted (And I listened to a LOT of albums, my shortlist numbered just over 80), I had no option but to return to 'Dark Majesty' and place it at the pinnacle of August releases.

Sure, there were a couple of albums that contained exceptional tracks that were superior to anything on 'Dark Majesty' but the crux of the matter is, containing an exceptional song does not make a great album, especially when compared to one which can be described as stellar from the first track to the last.

Lets face it, stoner doom albums are ten a penny, it takes a special album for a band to rise above the others and be noticed. Kal-El has done it by adding an ingredient I haven't come across too often in the doom genre, a sense of elation. It's the harmonies that do it for me, it's really magical the way the soaring vocals hitch a ride on some of the smoothest yet heaviest stoner doom riffs ever laid before the Sabbathian altar. Elephant Tree  touched on it with their track 'Bird,' but that's one track in a fantastic album in its own right, Dark Majesty is chock full of 'Bird's.'

Releasing such a fine album does, of course, present Kal-El with a problem, albeit a nice are they going to better this?

Saturday, September 11, 2021



Doom once again dominated the upper regions of my 'best of' list of albums for August particularly the occult/stoner variety and thrash was more prominent this time. Although I usually have more than a few death metal albums bubbling away in my list with Fearancy and Headshrinker, the brutal side of the genre is conspicuous by its absence. Indeed, Headshrinker is August's surprise package. I've tagged them as a death metal band but their album 'Callous Indifference' is far from straightforward, incorporating elements of thrash, doom and even post - metal into a rather dark sound.

So, the following bands take a bow


Kal-El is the fuzzed-out step-child of hard rock and heavy metal, often with hints of pyschedelic and blues rock as well as doom metal. Songs typically feature a bass-heavy groove, detuned guitars and mind-expanding lyrics...


Stoner/doom from Finland, Hämeenlinna

Polish stoner rock trio. Influences? California, Fuzz, Tony Iommi, arcade games, prehistoric era and Prehistoric game.

Headshrinker is a metal band based out of Denver, CO. A symbol of the mental health issues we all struggle to deal with, Headshrinker is inspired by persevering through dark times, and the will / strength to battle through when the outlook is bleakest. Headshrinker embraces the pain and finds the expression born out of raw emotion. We all struggle and only death is real

Flat Earth Rider is Suncraft’s debut album, written and recorded during 2020. The album is a collection of six unique tracks that show off the band’s wide array of songwriting prowess. They draw from diverse rock n’ roll influences, from the classic rock-inspired riff of the titular track, to the doomy chorus of «Commie Cannibals», the spaced-out vocals on «Adaptation» and the blast beat-induced ten-minute closing track «Bridges to Nowhere», this album is filled to the brim with genre-breaking tricks-up-the-sleeve.
Lyrically, the album ponders on themes of greed, alienation, loneliness and spirituality, reflecting upon conundrums of contemporary life. One highlight in particular would be the song «Flat Earth Rider», which paints a tragicomic picture of an imagined flat earther’s search for truth and meaning.


“Their Gods Will Come For You” is a new conceptual album from Texas classic doom band Witchcryer, featuring songs about gods across various ages of civilization throughout time. Featuring thickly-woven epics such as a Faustian tale of a damned soul swallowed whole by an apocalyptic leviathan, an account of a Mesoamerican sun deity teaching its doomed warrior people to fly, and a Roman goddess seeking justice for crimes against women, vocalist/lyricist Suzy Bravo says, "this is the album I’ve been writing in my head my entire life." Ambitious and dynamic, this is anthemic old-school metal mixed with weighty modern doom!

With a sound that has been compared to early Testament, Dark Angel and Sacred Reich DESECRATOR’s twin guitar attack, punishing rhythm section and blood soaked vocals have won over the old guard of staunch metal fans as well as recruiting a new wave of young thrashers. 


Another masterpiece by Without God crafted through hard work, as if one has plowed up black shriveled earth and sowed it with anger and aggression, fear and anxiety. The album is filled with yearning for magical worlds from where only a few can return. The work comes as "Siberian Tunes: The Green Light" EP featuring lightness, green tones and Russian lyrics for better perception.


With the immaculate songwriting skills and the perfect balance between harsh death metal fueled outbursts and exquisite melodic melancholy, HOODED MENACE unleash skeletal horror and somber despair onto their craving audience with 'The Tritonus Bell'!


The new style is still based on some of the original style elements, but taking a new and heavier direction to a modern form of melodic death metal.


TOXIC RUIN was formed in 2014 with a mission of blending classic thrash metal, old-school death metal and modern technicality and tones into a wicked headbanging brew. 


Five guys from the north of Spain playing loud and intense heavy music with a lot of influences.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

DEFORMATORY ~ Inversion Of The Unseen Horizon (2021)

Frenzied technicality and bulldozing brutality that couldn't have gelled any better if the tracks had been assimilated by the Borg. 'Inversion Of The Unseen Horizon' sounds like it's been lifted straight from the final scene of a slasher movie only this time the baddie wins. Every track is  relentless, a rabid assault weighed down by a growling vocal delivery that meshes seamlessly with the voracious myriad  tempo changes, shifting from complex Morbid Angel like structures to punishing Suffocation barbarity and I can't think of too many bands that have done this as successfully as Deformatory.

FFO Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Origin, Hate Eternal

Thursday, August 26, 2021

HEADSHRINKER ~ Callous Indifference (2021)

 If you think that an album featuring Pete Webber ( Havok ) is going to sound like any other thrash band, think again. 'Callous Indifference' is a death metal Frankenstein, all of the bleakest aspects of the genre have been sewn together into a schizophrenic tapestry of mental torment. Over the years I've read hundreds of interviews by bands, describing their latest opus as a statement reflecting the current psychogenic ill health of various band members at that time. With 'Callous Indifference' Headshrinker drags you into the inner chambers of the mind, force feeding you the anguish within. It's a harrowing listen but a captivating one all the same. I found myself trying to pick out as many examples of the death metal genre as I could, and there are many, however, rather than a chaotic mess 'Callous Indifference' actually works. There aren't many bands that can successfully blend grind with brutal tech riffs and throw in the odd doom passage ( Triptykon ) but Headshrinker does. 

Guaranteed to wipe the smile from your face!

Saturday, August 21, 2021

WITCHANGER ~ Witchanger (2021)

 Heavy, heavy Finnish doom with THAT guitar sound I love so much. Fathomless riffs that spit and growl as they bring you to your knees. A leviathan seance invoking gargantuan sounds, the vacuum crushes your chest driving splinters of bone through your heart. The guitar tone  is so immense it has it's own moon! 

It's going to take something really special to top this as my August album of the month

Monday, August 16, 2021

BORBOROPSIS ~ Decorticated Burial Of Delirium (2021)

Released earlier this year by the band and now exhumed by Solitude Productions, Decorticated Burial Of Delirium is a harrowing example of how to mould death, doom and funeral doom into a congealed morass of tormented anguish and unbearable agony. Sounding like the offspring of a hellish triumvirate of dISEMBOWELMENT, Dusk and Worship, there is a choking atmosphere of foul odour and poisonous foreboding, where only the condemned and the damned can enter the gate to the final track Decortication/Delirium and pass beyond, head bowed, shoulders slumped, all joy and hope abandoned.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

CONSUMPTION ~ Recursive Definitions of Suppuration (2021)


Any band that includes Håkan Stuvemark ( Wombbath) is going to have a particularly gruesome edge to it and Swedish duo Consumption doesn't disappoint. 

'Recursive Definitions of Suppuration' the band's debut, now available in 180 gram vinyl format, is a blood spatter analysis of the carnage left behind by the likes of Carcass and Autopsy. The sound isn't as murky which means the bloodletting caused by the eleven tracks of macabre sounding deathgrind on the album are more indiscriminate in their butchery of the ears. I'm not sure if Håkan Stuvemark is solely responsible for the vocal delivery here, if he is then many demons must inhabit his body because they are pretty varied, none pleasant, but not too extreme either, while the manic drumming of Jon Skäre gives depth to the grind, elevating it to death metal intensity and depth.

This is the soundtrack to your own post - mortem.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

WITHOUT GOD ~ Siberian Tunes: The Green Light (E.P) 2021

 I'm in the fortunate position where I receive lots of promotional  material. Some are really nice surprises, others tend to be put on the back burner as they just don't suit the kind of music I feature on the Podcast. There are a few however that make the heart skip when you see the name of the band featured in the promo. The email I received featuring a new release from Without God made me break out into a sweat. I've followed these Russian guys for years and eagerly snapped up every album and EP they've produced and never been disappointed by any of them. 

So, is 'Siberian Tunes: The Green Light' any different? That's a big no! It's excellent as always. Four tracks of psych tinged stoner doom, slightly more polished than what has gone before but no less heavy. Copious amounts of sludge is still apparent, however the added metallic crunch to the riffs add a potency that manages to tarnish the extra polish which is further scarred by the excellent, slightly acidic lead work that manifests itself throughout this album. One of the aspects of Russian metal I've noticed over the years is the propensity for the vocal delivery to be on the harsh side but this isn't the case with Without God, instead, vocals on 'Siberian Tunes: The Green Light' gel perfectly with the stoner undertones of this E.P.

Did I say EP? Damn, I want a full length to satisfy my craving for more music from Without God.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

CRYPT MONARCH ~ The Necronaut (Album of the Month July 2021)

Trying to work out an 'Album of the Month' is pretty difficult especially when you listen to so much and embrace so many different styles and genres. This month has been slightly different though. In spite of all the excellent albums that July has birthed, 'The Necronaut' by Costa Ricans Crypt Monarch has hoisted its immense bulk head and shoulders above the rest. It's the guitar tone that's done it for me, moist and saturated in so much fuzz that if you could squeeze each track, gelatinous riffs would drip through your fingers. I like my doom in all its various forms and there is a surprising amount of diversity out there but if I could become Frankenstein for a day and mould together various bloated doom body parts, it would evolve into the corpulent stoner doom entity that Crypt Monarch has become.

As you would expect, 'The Necronaut' isn't a rollercoaster ride, instead, saddle up this Jurassic monolith and let the droning momentum take you where it will.

Sunday, August 8, 2021


A busy month as always with the top three of my favourite albums for July dominated by doom. The biggest surprise was the album 'The Ultimate Dream' by Ukrainians Brilliant Coldness. I play a lot of death metal on the show but tend to be extremely picky when it comes to technical death metal, however Brilliant Coldness doesn't let technical wankery get in the way of a ferocious onslaught.


CRYPT MONARCH ~ The Necronaut

"Invoked in mid-2020 by the members from Age of the Wolf and VoidOath, Crypt Monarch hails from San José, Costa Rica. The power trio’s self-labeled “necromantik stoner doom” style is replete with malevolent riffs in crushing intensity, groove-oozing atmosphere, and psychedelic pathways." CALLIOPHIS ~ Liquid Darkness
The third album by the German band refines the finding of the previous full-length work, in the best way demonstrating the professionalism and ability of the musicians to combine a dense clean sound with a technically perfect performance. This is doom death metal of the highest standard, cruel and loud, but not devoid of a share of atmosphere, and, most important, individuality and unique mood. GRIEVING ~ Songs For The Weary
"GRIEVING are following the footsteps of their forefathers, with sounds of doom accompanying them as they weave stories of devils, witches, ghouls and the endless capacity for evil in the heart of every human being. Singing songs for the weary, they grieve over this dying world" BRILLIANT COLDNESS ~ The Ultimate Dream. Plan B: Disposal Of Humanity
"This material is something new in extreme music. Imagine Niccolò Paganini plays extreme metal that's what it's all about! We call it "Academic Death Metal". This music played at the limit of physical abilities. It's a powerful energetic flow of minds and feelings; a journey to the world of magic and wizardry of the human mind's endless abilities!" VRYKOLAKAS ~ And Vrykolakas Brings Chaos And Destruction
"This is the 2nd version of our 3rd album. The first version was recorded back in 2010 and could not complete the vocals. 5 out of the original 9 songs from the 1st version were re-recorded here: 1. Silkhannas Falls From Grace 2. Kaf-Fa-Ra 3. Yajuj Majuj Versus The World 4. The Dajjal Brings Chaos 5. Seven Steps Above Six Under. The original version sounded really chaotic, befitting the album title but with only vocal guides recorded by Khairil. Maybe we will release that as a demo in time to come. We decided to re-record this album with 3 new songs and reset the tempo of the songs to make them heavier." TEMPLE OF DREAD ~ Hades Unleashed
"Despite the two extremely strong previous albums, we managed to pack a few more bits on top! “Hades Unleashed” definitely contains our strongest material so far”, says Markus Bünnemeyer, guitarist of the North German Death Metallers. “The album keeps what our name promises - even if we experiment more within the genre boundaries than on the previous albums. We have written the fastest songs of our career so far and slowed down the pace significantly on some of the other songs. All in all, the listener gets a fat piece of Old-School Death Metal, seasoned with a good portion of eighties thrash." DIABOLIZER ~ Khalkedonian Death
"Turkish torchbearers of diabolical abomination Diabolizer finally back with their debut album "Khalkedonian Death"! 8 tracks of unrelenting and savage Death Metal raids that will just leave you mouthwatering for more! Featuring members from Engulfed, Burial Invocation, Hyperdontia, Decaying Purity." MOURN THE LIGHT ~ Suffer, Then We're Gone
"At one moment delivering crushingly massive riffs, only to jump at the next turn, galloping along with shades of classic power metal taking hold and leading the way. All the while focused on incredibly memorable songs, with catchy hooks and singalong choruses." FELL HARVEST ~ Pale Light In a Dying World
"Compared to its predecessor, it has more progressive elements while maintaining the straightforward doom and death metal tropes, and lyrical concepts. It is recommended for fans of Paradise Lost, Opeth, and My Dying Bride." CAVERN DEEP ~ Cavern Deep
"The start of the expedition. One archaeologist and 49 men stand at the gates of a previously unknown civilization, for a moment staring down into the bowels of the mountain before they begin their decent. The journey downwards turn out to be more dangerous than expected, they climb down through whirling stairs lit only by organic fluorescent lights.. Further down the path turns more and more crumbled, eventually they must use ropes to traverse the broken bridges and tunnels over the deep chasms below. Filled by the promise of treasure they continue downwards. Many men go missing as they’re tasked to explore diverting tunnels, they never return and their screams are followed by silence. the only thing found is their safety ropes, driven by greed the archaeologist continues the expedition." BOTTOMLESS ~ Bottomless
"BOTTOMLESS plays nothing but unadulterated Doom Metal in the vein of the ancient masters, a slow and fervent display of Heavy Metal and dusty riffs." VANTA ~ Zero Kelvin
"Zero Kelvin is a collection of dystopian lullabies. A journey through landscapes of disphorian metaphors. A bottle filled with the frozen water of the black sonic river."

Saturday, July 31, 2021

ACIDEMIA ~ Podridão (2021)

Doom of such depth it crushes like a neverending freefall through the Jovian atmosphere. Deep enough to excavate bedrock from a fathomless ocean. No need to visit the dentist with this album as your teeth soon rattle and fall out along with your eyeballs, such is the potency of the rhythmn section which is ablolutely devastating. There is some psychedelic ambience in here but don't expect any respite, all it does is feel like barbed wire pulled through one ear and out the other. Don't worry about your brain though, it's been turned to mush anyway. Immense Doom!

HALFAYA ~ Blunderblues (2021)

 This has all the ingredients of a South American stoner record. It's loud, it's brash, and although the album title hints at a blues based stoner sound, thats been blasted apart by the driving Fu Manchu like riffs and then laid to rest in a shroud of fuzz.

Thursday, July 29, 2021


First review after quite a hiatus, although the Deathrattle Podcast has continued to terrorise the internet and what a nasty one I've picked to start with. Once you cross the threshold with this bleak nugget of post sludge pain, there's no way back into any form of joyous light. There is a modicum of succour within 'Descent' due to the clever use of progressive elements throughout the album but the hardcore style beatdowns quickly asphyxiate you under a thick blanket of ash choked riffs.

'Descent' is a very clever album in the way the various styles of metal gel. Although this is essentially a sludge album, you can't point your finger and say for an absolute fact that it is because there's so much going on, there's even a passage during the tracks 'Necromancy' and 'Clockwork' that could pass for Rush among the carnage, vocals aside. 

'Descent' is out tomorrow and I'll leave you with a link to the band's Linktree so if you're interested in checking out the album, you can keep up with proceedings there.

Steve ~ Deathrattle Podcast