Saturday, December 31, 2022
GODWATT ~ Vol III (2022)
Godwatt is often tagged under the stoner/doom label but this Italian band offers so much more. Whereas a lot of these type of bands from this area of the globe come ladled with lo fi fuzz, Godwatt riffs are lean, tight and bloodthirsty with fuzz sandblasted away into a granier sound metastacizing into crunching heavy metal.
Sunday, December 25, 2022
ANGELIC FORCES ~ Arise (2022)
Catchy yet brutally powerful heavy metal from the Netherlands. Most 'power metal' bands have their influences nestled somewhere in Judas Priest's discography and Angelic Forces' Arise, to these ears at least, points in particular to Priest's 'Jugulator' era. Riffs are mighty, the rhythm section pummels, vocals soar in all the right places as do the many awesome guitar solos.
Fist pumpin' headbangin' nirvana!
Thursday, December 15, 2022
ATOMWINTER ~ Sakrileg (2023)
I've just finished listening to Sakrileg the new album by Germany's Atomwinter so bear with me, I just need to scrub myself down with bleach and a wire brush before I resume putting down my thoughts on the album.........!
Right, that's better!
A bit of background on the band's catalogue so far. Their first album 'Atomic Death Metal' was released in 2012 and does exactly what the album title says playing straight ahead death metal of a particularly brutal kind. 'Iron Flesh' crawled into existence three years later keeping the brutality cranked to maximum pain thresholds but this time with a layer of crusty doom/death. 'Catacombs' followed in 2018 and was much the same but this time Atomwinter wanted to not only crush us but asphyxiate the last ounce of breath from our broken bodies with a thicker, poisonous mix.
Which leads me onto the new album Sakrileg.
It's the same crusty doom/death grisliness but this time it's all about the death metal riff. Brutality and filth still prevails but Sakrileg is the fastest album the band has yet written despite being weighed down with pustules and scabs.
This album will make even the leprous headbang.
Thursday, December 8, 2022
ONHOU ~ Monument (2022)
Pitiless sludge that is as grey and bleak as the album cover suggests. I'm not a huge keyboards fan but I have to admit, the chilling synth on Monument is perfect. It adds a sense of creepy foreboding by lurking in the background, scratching away at hulking post - sludge riffs. Angry vocals sound like a priest at an exorcism, frantically challenging the entity to reveal itself and this particular entity is malevolent and powerful and monstrous.
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
DEMONSLAUGHT 666 - Nekroslaughter Battlefield (2022)
I don't know about wearing bullet belts, artillery shell belts are better suited when listening to this incendiary Chinese blackthrash/speed metal band Demonslaught 666. Nekroslaughter Battlefield continues where 'Speed Alcoholic Evil' ended, spitting flesh shredding riffs that chop, chafe and worship at the altar of evil necromancy.
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
FALL OF THE IDOLS ~ Contradictory Notes (2022)
Classic Finnish doom wrought with emotion. Contradictory Notes is a fitful dream swaddled in nightmares, dark melodies tainted with sorrow. To these ears there is a My Dying Bride influence pulling the strings. This is Fall Of The Idol's first release in ten years and the four tracks on it were potentially earmarked for the bands 'Solemn Verses' album but tragedy struck the band which decided to go into prolonged hibernation but fear not, these songs have been honed and polished over the years so that Contradictory Notes can stand in its own lengthy shadow with its head held high.
Saturday, November 19, 2022
FOEHAMMER ~ Monumentum (2022)
There are fifteen major laws of physics and I've just finished listening to an album that defies them all. 'Monumentum' is the new album from Foehammer and it's apocalyptic fusion of sludge and doom has created a new lifeform that should be encased in concrete and buried deep into the earth. Never has sixty minutes of music been so destructive, even the feedback rumbles into territory occupied only by the likes of Conan but what takes 'Monumentum' even further is that not only does this crush, the sludge moisture creates a sucking quagmire that'll just engulf you into its heaving mass.
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
GNÔLE ~ Walk On A Corrupted Soil (2022)
GNÔLE is a French sludge band that draws influence from the old school classics by Eyehategod, -16- and Grief. Their album Walk On Corrupted Soil is a brilliant example of how bands of this genre can avoid wallowing in a vat of murk like many of the modern sludge bands yet still sound just as heavy when riffs are allowed to breathe and are given an undercurrent of groove however warped and mutated.
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
DESECRATE THE FAITH ~ III
Desecrate The Faith is a US death metal band coming across as a gorier Cannibal Corpse. John Hull's vocals sounds as if he's feasting on innards and chugging buckets of blood while brutal riffs gouge bloody chunks with ruthless, congealed ferocity. What I love about this album is that Desecrate The Faith don't get completely submerged under the slop and are just as happy dishing out punishment with relentless savagery.
Friday, November 11, 2022
CRONOS COMPULSION - Cursed And Decaying EP (2021)
Cronos Compulsion's EP Cursed And Decaying sees the band at the second stage of decomposition (Bloat) where their noxious brand of doom/death necessitates a liberal dousing of Neutrolene to eliminate the stench of a coagulate of dissonant Carcass / Napalm Death riffs.
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
SHROOMS CIRCLE ~ The Constant Descent (2022)
Strung out passages of warm, deep, occult psych doom like a seance in an opium den, with the tantric mantras of Odile combining perfectly with some very heavy riffs underscored by eerie organ and mellotron weeping in the background.
Sunday, October 30, 2022
DEATHRATTLE PODCAST ~ Dirty Dozen (September 2022)
September was quite possibly the strongest month of the year so far for death metal releases which is reflected in the saturation of that particular genre in this months 'Dirty Dozen' with brutality being the requisite option. Even doom had to be heavily influenced by death metal to make my 'best of' and death/doom remains my most favoured of underground genres. It was also a strong month for thrash releases but, although there were plenty of contenders, only one made this list. One of the most notable patterns that has emerged over the course of the year is the lack of new stoner albums making the list. I still love it but I've found that they have to border on doom, or be suffocated in fuzz to fully grab my attention. That being said, there were still plenty of stoner albums released in September that are on repeat play.
With elements of punk, doom metal and grindcore, the band takes the soundscape to its extremes with the fast parts being faster and the slow parts sinking even further down the abyss of mankind.
Destroy My Brains, are a hard hitting aggressive Doom/Sludge Metal band from the frozen prairies of the North. Their harsh songs of pain, misery, drugs, and suicide fully corrupt the mind and ears of the unsuspecting listener.
Sweden’s undisputed masters of old school death metal. Formed by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström (both of Katatonia), Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) and Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity)
Indeed, that sick music for sick people quickly reaches its apotheosis with Of Boötes Void Death Spell, Reincarnated's full-length debut. To enter into this five-song/31-minute furnace is to step into a soundworld of utter sliminess, humid frequencies unhealthily spawning malodorous tendrils of tension and terror. Or, one could simply stand back and be summarily CRUSHED by the ceaselessly rolling tank-tread of DOOM that Reincarnated so effortlessly dole out.
Horror-fixated death metal supergroup Heads For The Dead are back with their third full length to transport you once again to the realm of classic horror movies and they do it most convincingly this time around, with a sound that has been suffused with all the necessary elements, including spine-chilling atmospheric parts and truly terrifying vocals
The "Torch" is an allegory on illumination through a work on our darkest and deepest self, where its fire will constitute the alchemical catalyst capable of deconstructing, purifying and then coagulating our new synthesis.
Friday, October 28, 2022
Gaul ~ Taken by the Twilight Tide (2022)
The first track is called 'Corrupted' which pretty much sums up this noxious slab of blackened doom/sludge. Any joyous emotion has been trampled on by dissonant sludge, traumatized by disheartening post black metal and buried under a virulent atmosphere of toxicity.
This is ground zero of extreme metal!
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
SLAUGHTER THE GIANT ~ Depravity (2022)
The album is called Depravity and contains various levels of it throughout, from pummelling technical influenced brutality to passages of operatic grandiose clouded by raging black metal sin. I haven't heard a band managing to marry both negative and positive emotion within the same album as successfully as Slaughter The Giant for a long time, maybe The Black Dahlia Murder influences helped. The tracks aren't overly long but because of their complexity they seem a lot longer, however, the really clever thing is how the band manages to keep the album flowing seamlessly despite the chaotic extremity.
Saturday, October 22, 2022
OVERSHOOT - Arbitrary Diagnosis (2018)
Arbitary Diagnosis is the only release so far from Indonesian band Overshoot. There is the occasional nod to the likes of Stormtroopers of Death with the staccato vocals of Wahyu Andryan sounding similar to Billy Milano in parts. However, Arbitary Diagnosis is a more aggressive affair, the crunch of thrashing riffs causes inner ear trauma and don't lose their potency when hurling at hyperspeed and the faint 'crossover' influence steps tentatively into the path of death metal rather than hardcore or punk.
Monday, October 17, 2022
EARTH OF DISTRUST ~ Victimology (2013)
Bandcamp reveals yet another gem from its bosom, this time its Earth Of Distrust from Greece. The overriding influence on Victimology is the rich vein of thick globs of humid, sludgy doom which allows all the other gnarly elements of crust, hardcore and punk to orbit the planet sized riffs without the album disintergrating into unruly chaos.
Saturday, October 15, 2022
TRANSCENDENT BARRIER ~ Divided (2022)
Thoroughly miserable sludge doom that crackles with dissonant funereal pain. No songs slither above snails pace and all leave trails of tortured, mucous riffs bereft of light. When you think the band can't get any heavier, a key is turned, the bottom drops from the floor and you're sucked into an emotionless vacuum of bereavement.
Thursday, October 13, 2022
BLOODSOAKED MACHETE ~ Blood Soaked Machete (2022)
Carniverous death/thrash with Slayeresque solos shrieking in agony. The songs are mainly mid paced but accelerate with maniacal ferocity before frequently impaling the listener on colossal groove barbed hooks.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
MORBID STENCH ~ The Rotting Ways Of Doom (2022)
Six glutinous tracks of leprous doom death, congealed into a carciogenic mass of zombiefied riffage. The monstrously viscous production gives the feeling of (very) slowly sinking into a deep pit of steaming offal. The Rotting Ways Of Doom is gloriously loathsome from start to finish, shambling from track to repugnant track, heavily laden with corpulent doom and virulent death.
Music from the Charnel Pit
Monday, October 10, 2022
SEA OF SNAKES ~ The Serpent & The Lamb (2022)
The Serpent & The Lamb the new album from Sea Of Snakes is one of the snappiest albums I've heard so far this year. The album is lathered in groovy, fuzzy stoner riffs, lubed with AiC like sleaze and swollen with Sabbath influenced doom often blemished with a darker, funerealistic taint.
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
BRETHREN HOGG ~ Relative Swine (2022)
There's nothing soft and mushy about Brethren Hoggs's brand of stoner. Fuzz has been stripped away leaving rusty bare metal that rocks hard. Each face Brethren Hogg shows us is uncompromising, stoner riffs have a grungy groove, forays into doom are lean and heavy with slow paced thrash like riffs laced with a faint whiff of Mastodonish prog.
Friday, September 30, 2022
LORD OF CONFUSION ~ Evil Mystery (2022)
Haunting doom alchemy from Portugal. I reviewed Lord Of Confusion's 2019 EP Burnin' Valley earlier this year and their new album, Evil Mystery isn't too dissimilar, however there are some stellar improvements. On Burnin' Valley the keyboards of Carlota Sousa who also provides vocals, dominated the ep but on Evil Mystery guitar and keyboards stalk each other in perfectly layered harmony alongside the chants from the coven of Carlota to chilling effect. This album is like the sudden tap on the shoulder in an empty room, or a nightime walk in a fogbound cemetery, crawling with dark places and creaking, rusty iron gates.Be sure to bear an Apotropaic mark to ward off unwelcome spirits when you listen to this excellent album.
The greatest compliment I can give to Lord Of Confusion is that, although the band is Portugese, Evil Mystery has earned a place among the standard bearers of classic Italian style doom.
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
MONASTR ~ On Your Knees (2022)
Typical of a lot of 2 piece bands, Monastr sounds like a 10 piece such is the noise that eminates from the debut full length On Your Knees. The album follows the usual post - metal formula, moments of quiet, brackish reflection before the sludge kicks in. I was going to describe the change in tempo as 'detonate' but this implies an upward explosion whereas the sludge riffs in On Your knees are too weighty to rise above ground level. A lot of post- metal bands are tagged with sludge, some disappoint but Monastr deliver granite riffs of ground shaking proportions.
File under B for Bleak
Monday, September 26, 2022
DEATHRATTLE PODCAST ~ Dirty Dozen (August 2022)
August 'Best Of' suggests that the Podcast is taking an ever increasing shift into more extreme metal territory considering the sparse number of hard /classical rock bands that are featuring during the last few months. Having said that, sludge bands are having to expand their sound to get a look in after years of listening to this type of music and becoming somewhat numb to the monotony of a lot of this genre. This has been demonstrated by The Master Of Suspense by Sithter becoming my Sludge album of August due to the fact that, although there is definitely an element of Eyehategod worship going on here, there is sufficient punk/crust overtones married with a raw guitar sound to make this album stand out.
I guess similar could be said about the other bands that made the list, Stone Nomads for example could easily have been my Doom album of the month, such is the constant shifting between doom and stoner influences within their Fields Of Doom album, however I had to go for the enormity of the droning sounds of Morbid Evils to fill that particular slot.
Stone Nomads ~ Fields Of Doom
The sons of Sabbath, raised in the Texas fields of doom, we are STONE NOMADS... Experience an amalgamation of Doom, Southern Sludge, and all things Metal on a stoned out Sabbath trip...
Helmed by the Rotten Sound vocalist Keijo Niinimaa, Finnish band Morbid Evils give us their own dark, twisted and unbearably heavy interpretation of death/doom/sludge metal music which is both awe-inspiring and riveting.
Nightbearer do not only stick to the harsh sound and trademarks of the Old School Death Metal they love but give it a decent modern twist. They take the listener for a phantastic, yet bloody and brutal journey through the world of Robert Jordan's "The Wheel Of Time
Japanese band Sithter's newie is an ungodly tapestry of Eyehategod style sludge and the begrimed punk of Buzzov.en, crudely stitched together by feedback contaminated riffs sounding all the more brutal due to the excellent mix.
The self-titled full length debut of Los Angeles quintet Early Moods is a marriage of classic underground doom like Candlemass, Witchfinder General, Pentagram, Trouble and Saint Vitus, paired with traditional “big box” Heavy Metal melodies and song structure.
German death metal with a relentless HM-2 sound that grinds you to your knees. There's nothing new here and I'm sure Hellgrav couldn't care less, I certainly don't while I sit here listening to the album in all its downtuned, blood spattered glory!
Death metal is not dead yet and it’s gruesome, yet fascinating future is here in the form of Consumption!
Saturday, September 24, 2022
GOATROACH ~ Plagueborn (2022)
Finnish deathsludge consumed by bilious hatred. Songs of darkness stalk a path of bleak terror from your speakers to eventually infest the Tympanic Membrane of your inner ear before inducing coma. After the global pandemic, Plagueborn from Goatroach is a new, more virulent strain of sludgy death evolving from track to track adding elements of doom, black metal and crust into an already highly toxic viral load.
File under G for Grim
Thursday, September 22, 2022
MAD SHADOW ~ Mad Shadow (2008)
The band has frequently been compared to Led Zeppelin, by and large I can see why as there are hints on some of the tracks especially 'Long Road Blues' but listening to this album in depth after many years I detect a smoother blend of classic, melodic blues rock with hints of metal in some of the songs. Whoever these guys sound like, they can certainly play, licks are coated in sufficient sleaze to ensure the album doesn't sound too polished and the vocals are excellent, delivered with bluesy angst.
Note ~ The 2013 album 'Heavy Blues' is HUGELY influenced by early Led Zeppelin. Awesome blues influenced tracks, has by and large, enveloped the classic rock feel of the first album.