Kyuss continues to cast a large shadow over the stoner doom scene that is perpetual and ever-changing. This truth is no more certain than the shadow they cast over themselves and having to live up the expectations they set. Coming out of nowhere (really the Palm Desert in California), the band set the template for the genre with Blues For The Red Sun (Dali) and Welcome To Sky Valley (Elecktra), but were always going to be hard-pressed to keep that pace. Looking back on their final album And The Circus Leaves Town (Elecktra), it may have not have lived up to its lofty older sisters, but it has some gems that maybe were not appreciated at the time since the band was disintegrating. Continue reading
“The road to hell is paved with blood.”
Like many fans, Wayne Static’s tragic passing in 2014 hit me like a ton of bricks. I saw the band rise from the underground to spread their “Evil Disco” sound around the globe, touring with their heroes and influences, and even surpassing a few of the,. Wayne had much more music to give the world but little did we know. As it turns out, a lot more than we expected. Upon repeat listens to the new Static-X album listening to Project Regeneration Vol.1 (Ostego Entertainment Group), the band sounds fresh and raging as ever, and Wayne’s voice is not sad, but a triumphant middle finger from the great ether. Continue reading
Concentrating on a specific thematic concept for the first time, Thalassic (Metal Blade), the eighth full-length release by Finnish folk metallers Ensiferum, finds the band obsessing over – as the Greek translation suggests – the subject of things related to the sea. Continue reading
Stygian Crown’s full-length debut sits comfortably within the Epic Doom Metal niche, but their particular style comes from a more aggressive mindset than many of their peers. This is especially apparent with the guitar work, which exhibits a grainy tone and bulldozing riff patterns that are chunkier than the Classic Metal-derived fare of more conventional outfits. It never goes full-on Death/Doom but the band’s declaration of a Candlemass meets Bolt Thrower sound certainly makes sense when viewed through this lens.
Is it weird to have “should’ve leaned more into brutality” as your first thought upon completing a Metalcore album? Asking for a friend. That’s not to say that there is a total absence of the heavier and grimier stuff on Bury Tomorrow’s Cannibal (Music for Nations/Sony), but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if they would’ve squeezed some more juice out of the amps.
When the wolfsbane blooms, and the moon is full, the time will come for Powerwolf to release a compilation album. Yes, after the hugely successful The Sacrament of Sin (Napalm Records), the German lycanthropes bridge the gap until their next studio release with Best of the Blessed (Napalm), a “Best Of…” with a difference. Continue reading
Songwriters are often in pursuit of honesty. They want to express the contents of their souls with authenticity and truth. However, these expressions are often refracted through lenses of ambiguity which can leave the listener guessing as to the real truth at the source. It is perhaps less common, and maybe more courageous, for a songwriter to tell us what’s really going on in their day-to-day thoughts without hiding beneath the mystery of their poetry. Continue reading
While a self-titled album often serves as a summary of an artist’s particular style, Vestal Claret’s third full-length is unlike anything else they’ve done before. The Doom Metal that defined the occult collective’s past efforts has been completely phased out in favor of a subdued presentation that is somewhere between Folk and introspective Psych Rock. An esoteric aura still wafts with vocalist Phil Swanson (Hour of 13, Sumerlands) offering his signature mournful, nasally wail, but the vibe has more in common with Hexvessel or Sabbath Assembly than Pagan Altar. Continue reading
Having successfully secured the Cro-Mags name after a year-long court battle with former members John Joseph and Mackie Jayson, frontman and general hardcore legend Harley Flanagan follows up last year’s From the Grave and Don’t Give In EP’s (Victory Records) with In the Beginning (Mission Two Entertainment/Arising Empire), the first full-length release from the celebrated New York act in twenty long years. Continue reading
Next month will be three years since Chester Bennington ended his life. On what would have been Chris Cornell’s 53rd birthday, not only a fellow musician, but also his best friend and Godfather to his son, he took his life. It has been three years and the sadness persists. Bennington’s struggle with depression and substances was a public affair and through his lyrics, it felt like we knew what he was going through. An exceptional vocalist he fronted a band that dove into multiple genres. Either you liked Linkin Park or you hated them. Regardless, Bennington was the best vocalist of any mainstream band in the 2000s – but, before he told you to shut up, he fronted another band. Continue reading