Music fans love a good supergroup. However, a lot of times the results may vary and the resultant music that felt like it would rule on paper doesn’t translate in the end. Well, that sure isn’t the case with Disciples of Verity. Not only does the band boast a who’s who of dynamic talents from across Rock and Metal (Living Colour, God Forbid, Negative Sky, Sekond Skyn), their debut release Pragmatic Sanction (The Label Group/InGrooves) has a ton of memorable songs; heavy enough for the real headbangers, but catchy enough for the masses. Continue reading
After a four year absence (a handful of single releases aside), Pennsylvania-based Black Crown Initiate return with their third full-length release, Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape (Century Media). From black metal to progressive rock via blasts of technical death metal, BCI effortlessly combine a whole range of differing styles resulting in their most captivating and assured record to date.
The evolution of Salem, Massachusetts metallers Carnivora continues on their latest single, “Witch City”. The band eschews some of their classic Modern Metal, Brutal Tech Death, Thrash, and groove-heavy tendencies to bring forth a mature, straight-forward melodic powerhouse of a track.
As hinted by the title, Doom II (Self-Released) isn’t Witnesses’ second overall album but rather their second to expand on the Doom Metal style that was established on 2019’s To Disappear And To Be Nothing. Its predecessor’s combination of glacial riffing, distraught vocals and bleak mood is well-preserved here and the overarching narrative of a ship lost at sea allows them to be conveyed even more powerfully than before. Convoluted naming conventions aside, it’s a bold leap forward by every metric.
High Spirits’ endearing sincerity has always been a shining contrast to the often-sour realms of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and that feelgood brightness is needed now more than ever. While it’s been four years since the release of their last album, 2016’s Motivator, the Chicago project’s fourth full-length doesn’t skip a beat and their established blend of AOR and Classic Metal is well intact. You always know what you’re getting but it’s presented with far too much enthusiasm to ever feel stale.
Whenever the subject of UK thrash metal arises, Bristolian act Onslaught are always one of the first names mentioned. From their 1985 debut to their split in 1991 and eventual reformation in 2005, the band have been one of the leading lights of the genre. Often heralded as the “English Slayer”, like their now defunct US counterparts, Onslaught draw from a history of both punk and classic metal to make their point.
Time To Pay (Self-Released) is the new EP from Connecticut’s Turkey Vulture, a duo consisting of Jessie May (guitar, vocals, bass, cello) and Jim Clegg (drums, artwork). The EP is a force of incredible energy that nods to a deceptively diverse set of influences. This is punk; this is doom metal; this is stoner rock. Above all, it emanates a refreshingly raw and gloriously unpolished power. Continue reading
Massive Wagons‘ fifth album House of Noise (Earache Records) delivers unabashedly old fashioned Rock n Roll with lashings of riffs, hooks, and humour that will put a smile on anyone’s face. It builds on their fourth album, and Earache debut, Full Nelson by doing more of the same, but bigger and better. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix.
It’s been just a little over a year since Purification unleashed their first album, Destruction Of The Wicked, but their second already comes with some interesting developments. The style on Perfect Doctrine (ODLC PRODUCTIONS, INC.) may be rooted in the same post-Reverend Bizarre Doom Metal, but the Portlandians’ dynamic has dramatically shifted. The recruitment of drummer Count Darragh has led to them growing from a duo to a more conventional trio, allowing Lord Donangato Resurrected to focus on lead guitar alongside William Marshall Purify’s established rhythms and warbling vocals.
Black Spirit Crown’s first proper album sits right on the line between Doom and Stoner Metal with hints of Prog seeping through. The fuzzy riff work is rooted in Sleep and Electric Wizard tradition, the hustling tempos remind me of Orange Goblin, and the tripped-out atmospherics and vocal filters echo Howling Giant or Mastodon. These traits were already distinct on the Red Sky EP released in 2017 and the Cleveland group takes them to even further extents with Gravity (Self-Released).