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...

Morbid Evils ~ Supernaturals

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 ~ Ghosts Of A Darkness To Come

 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

Eruption ~ Tellurian Rupture

Fast, guitar-based and infectiously melodic metal, with pounding drums and soaring vocals.

Sithter ~ The Master Of Suspense

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.

Omen Stones ~ Omen Stones

US Stoner/sludge

Early Moods ~ Early Moods

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.

Old Tomb ~ Phantom Hour

Stoner doom from Slovakia

Hellgrav ~ Rottomatic

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!

Consumption ~ Necrotic Lust

Death metal is not dead yet and it’s gruesome, yet fascinating future is here in the form of Consumption!

Swarn ~ Whispers From Beyond

Dream-infested hallucinatory
death metal

Autonoesis ~ Moon of Foul Magics

Thrash/Death/Black metal band

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)

Mad Shadow is a British Columbian band that has released 3 records as far as I am aware and, I suspect, is named after the 1970's Mott The Hoople album of the same name. 

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.

Friday, September 16, 2022

DEAD VOID ~ Volatile Forms (2022)

I've just sat through the entirety of  Volatile Forms the debut full length from Danes Dead Void and I feel that the next time I go outside I'll be forced to ring the Leper Bell shouting "Unclean" to everyone I meet such is the unadulterated toxicity of the turgid doom death. If any album has leprosy this is the one. Cut through the choking gloom and you're assailed by a maelstrom of negativity, emotionally bereft, like staring into the eyes of a Golem. There are few bands that take doom and death in equal parts and mould both into a danse macabre but Dead Void  has succeeded, creating its own Frankenstein monster shambling from track to heaving track.

File under A for Apocalyptic

Thursday, September 15, 2022

ARES KINGDOM ~ In Darkness at Last (2022)

US death metal relentless in its savagery. In Darkness At Last the latest album by Ares Kingdom matches the tradition of the bands earlier catalogue of releases of not allowing any room to breathe. Its a full on thrashing death experience. Place the cursor anywhere on any track and you'll be torn apart by a landmine of incendiary riffing.

File under V for Vicious.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

ABÖRIGEN ~ Misantrop​í​a (2022)

Misantropia begins with a blast of feedback overlaid with creepy, skeletal off kilter piano that slowly becomes more manic until the first huge blast of deathgrind mows you down, a killer opening to a totally killer album right to the end of the very last track which, incidentally, is a Napalm Death cover. Misantropia really is a relentless album, crusty, with a vein of blackness running all the way through it. What I particularly love about it is the length of some of the tracks averaging around four minutes, lengthy for this type of music. What this does is allow the crust, death, black and grind to congeal into a thick bludgeoning sludge.

File under F for Filth

Thursday, September 8, 2022

DEATHSTORM ~ Blood Beneath The Crypts (2016)

Most thrash bands can be labelled within a particular narrow band whether it be Bay Area, Crossover of 'sounding like' Slayer, Exodus, Kreator etc and thats fine with me as long as it gets my head nodding and feet tapping. What elevates Deathstorm ( The Austrian version) above the majority of its peers is the fact that this band never rests on its laurels in one place. The tempo shifts from one album to the next, track by track, all slay mercilessly whether slashed to pieces by speed, chopped up and diced by mid tempo crunch or simply dragged to your knees by death metal influences.

There is a three track demo cassette ( Swarming ) due in November through Dying Victims Productions that brings yet another chamelionic shift, this time into the era of late 80's American thrash with a slightly rawer sound akin to Dream Death circa Journey Into Mystery.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022



It's surprisingly difficult to compile a playlist of purely 'sludge' bands such has been the genres evolution over the years so this playlist will often step into the realm of doom, stoner and 'post' sludge. I've chosen bands of various levels of obscurity in the hope that you discover something new that has been lost in the passage of time.

The Playlist ~ 

AAPOAA (Pre Graves At Sea) ~ Peasants ~ EP (2013)

Ba'al ~ An Orchestra Of Flies ~ Ellipsism (2020)

Cairns - Sludge Doom from France ~ We Are A Spit In Your Booze ~ Cairns (2020)

Damned To Earth ~ Down In The Basement ~ Damned To Earth (2021)

EARTH SHIP ~ Catharsis ~ Iron Chest (2016)

Facedowninshit ~ Rough Sleep ~ Nothing Positive, Only Negative (2006)

Gale ~ We Could Have Been Gods ~ Gale (2019)

THE HAG ~ Black Widow Woman And Her Shiny Knife Party ~ Gasoline Arms (2011)

I, THE UNLORD ~ 1000 Gallons Of Piss Turned To Gold ~ Praise The Most Dead (2012)

JAGGED MOUTH ~ Fallen To Incarnadine Loam ~ Louthing (2016)

Kalibos ~ Colossus ~ Hexa (2017)

LACRA ~ Tromen ~ Imperio De Cuervos (2015)

MAG ~ Pragneinie ~ Mag (2020)

NAGA ~ Hyele ~ Inanimate ( 2016)

O.D.R.A ~ Tkacze ~ V (2017)

PADRE LOBO ~ Batalla ~ Padre Lobo (2015)

Quallus ~ Old Fear ~ Quallus (2019)

Remembrance Of Lysergik Funeral ~ 1604 ~ American Tape (2012)

S.L.U.G ~ Bleeding ~ S.L.U.G (2013)

Taigan the band ~ ULie ~ Pure Manure (2021)

UFO GESTAPO ~ Peace Crap ~ Ufo Gestapo (2008)

VAEE SOLIS ~ Ennoia ~ Adversarial Light (2015)

Waft ~ G.C.C.G ~ Chronolith (2015)

Twelve Boar ~ Quint~ Pitworthy (2015)

YANARI ~ No Moral High Ground ~ Marine Leg (2018)

ZATOKREV ~ Reveal ~ (2007)

ABISMO ~ Terremoto Cranial ~ Demo (2011)

BAD ANGLE ~ Seriously Considering Going Back To Drugs ~ Bad Angle (2013)

CANOPY ~ Life Is Just Terrible ~ EP (2015)

DAMNWEEVIL ~ Human Insult ~ It's Always Darkest Before It Goes Pitch Black ( 2009)

Thursday, September 1, 2022

REINCARNATED ~ Of Boötes Void Death Spell (2022)

There's a new sickness spreading from Thailand and its in the lifeless form of  Reincarnated. This is grim, cadaverous doom death, the ghastly thing under the bed! I wouldn't be at all surprised if this had been recorded in a mausoleum with the vocalist sealed in a coffin. What I particularly love about Of Boötes Void Death Spell is the fact that there is no compromise between the two genres fused together,  the death metal aspect of the album is suitably horrific while the doom entity definitely dooms, mixed together it's the aural equivalent of a freakish Victorian circus exhibit.