SPLIT RELEASE: Shrieking / Puddleglum Split

2020 has already been a busy year for San Diego electronic darkheart Shrieking. Debut album Let the Galaxy Burn (Self-Release) was released in January; a single, Truth About Demons (Self-Release) appeared at the beginning of May, and is closely followed by this Split (Self-Release) with St. Louis Dungeon Synth project Puddleglum. It’s a curious and enticing prospect, enhanced by both bands weighing in with a healthy representation of the material. Continue reading

REVIEW: Carnivora – Bogdweller

Salem, Massachusetts modern metallers Carnivora is a band Ghost Cult has been following for many years and through several incarnations. The band has continued to grow and improve while keeping what makes them, them for a lack of better verbiage. They have always placed an importance on monster riffs, deep grooves and generally short blasts of fun metal tracks that don’t overstay their welcome. On their new single ‘Bogdweller’, the band has hit a new level with the addition of vocalist Haydee Irrizary (Aversed, Zahra Lux). Continue reading

Tool – Fear Inoculum (Single Review)

As far as most mainstream bands are concerned, Tool has likely never cared about writing or releasing singles, and wouldn’t at all if the entire conventional music industry says “you have to”. Nope. I supposed Tool wants to “be a tree” to paraphrase one of my favorite superhero flick soliloquies from a few years back. They want to challenge themselves. To change. To transform. Otherwise, why keep at it? Anything else is presumptuous. So as we examine this title track of their new album Fear Inoculum (RCA), let’s put it out on main street that this is the title track of an unreleased album, and it’s hard to judge this as a stand-alone piece of music without hearing the rest as it is probably intended. In terms of expectations, the track has nearly a million plays on YouTube alone in less than eight hours, so fans are hype and the curious are also digging it.  Continue reading

Street Sects – Gentrification III: Death and Displacement

I’m not going to pretend to know much about Street Sects or their Gentrification serial album, but what I do know is that Gentrification III: Death and Displacement (The Flenser) is six minutes of fire breathing intensity and disjointed electronic sounds. In other words, I fucking love it. What I’m not entirely sure of is why the entire Gentrification movement isn’t available as one solid release? Continue reading

Slipknot – Solway Firth

Slipknot teased us and teased us that they were going to drop a succession of insane new tracks before We Are Not Your Kind (Roadrunner Records) made its debut August 9th. While ‘Unsainted’ featured straight out brutality with nary a moment of let up except for the sugary chorus, ‘Solway Firth’ is another animal altogether. Continue reading

SINthetik Messiah – Black Sheep

My mother always told me to not judge a book by its cover. I have always tried to heed the words of my wise Madre’, but sometimes in doing music reviews I consign to oblivion that idiom. Case in point, when my editor sent me the new single by SINthetik Messiah, Black Sheep, I was tad incredulous. My feelings stemmed from seeing the heading on the Soundcloud link, #cajun industrial bass. I had never, in all my Skullgurl years, have encountered a musical group described as this. I started reading the bands press release, and SINthetic Messiah is described as Cajun electronic/industrial bass there also. Well, slap my fanny and call me fancy, I had just been given the gift of a brand new musical experience. Continue reading

Turkey Vulture – Boxer

I am from the big, big city (New York) and have never really been a small town type of guy. Sure, I lived in a podunk in New Hampshire for a year which was pretty isolated and anxiety-inducing in its own way. That being said I have no earthly idea what a Turkey Vulture is. Maybe it’s like the psychotic and scary Fisher Cat I heard so much about and never saw up North. Well I looked it up, they kind of look like the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal, is protected by federal law, (thanks Wikipedia) and found out it is a very real, mean ass bird, that is a scavenger (not a shock), but also feeds on the dead. So we are talking one serious bird. Turkey Vulture the band, is also very serious. Continue reading

Slipknot – Unsainted

Welp, the wait is over. We finally got a sample of Slipknot album number six and the sound of it is good so far. It turns out ‘All Out Life, surprise released last Halloween is not on the new album, but what a good advertisement that track is when it says the album title over and over in it. The band has been promising brutal new music in their interviews, so we finally get to be the judge of that. Every band says their new album is their best. Slipknot, no a stranger to bravado and backing up, but they have been careful to steer clear of such a prediction. 2016’s .5: The Grey Chapter (Roadrunner Records) was phenomenal, so surely the pressure to perform is there. Continue reading

Mastodon – Stairway To Heaven

Covers are a funny thing in music. Nowhere else in art is this level of flattery both respected and derided. Copies or recreations of painting or sculpture are often labeled as “influenced by” or worse, a forgery. All the remakes Hollywood keeps ramming our eyeholes with are mostly flaming hot garbage at summertime in New York City. With cover songs, the best ones are often not a note for note recreation of the original, unless it is an underrated artist or a little known song. From ‘Yesterday” to ‘Cum On Feel The Noise’, Covers have earned a place in our musical culture not only as a novelty. Others can take a well-known song and take it to new heights. Mastodon has done some stellar covers (‘The Bit’ from Melvins, ‘Emerald’ by, Thin Lizzy) and has now added all-time classic rock anthem ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin to the mix. Done in tribute to their late manager Nick John on the Stairway To Nick (Reprise Records) 10″ single for Record Store Day 2019, since Nick was a massive Zep fan. Tragically he passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer in 2018. Mastodon will donate the proceeds from this release to research for that very disease. You can actually say they did it “because Nick John would have wanted it that way”. And you’d be right. He’d be touched. Continue reading

Rammstein – Deutschland [Single Review]

Anticipation can cloud over artistic impact. After the best part of a decade, single ‘Mein Land’ and live opener ‘Ramm4’ are the only glimpses of new material the world has seen from the mighty Teutonic titans. Since 2009’s stellar Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (Universal), the world has held its breath in baited wait for a seventh Rammstein studio album. Does this towering decade of monolithic expectation dull the impact of brand new single, ‘Deutschland’? Continue reading