ALBUM REVIEW: Kadavar – For the Dead Travel Fast

It’s finally October so let’s get spoopy this month with Kadavar’s For the Dead Travel Fast (Nuclear Blast) while we try to figure out our costumes. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Crobot – Motherbrain

Three years after the release of Welcome to Fat City (Wind-Up Records) Crobot returns with Motherbrain (Mascot Records). I’ve actually been looking forward to this release for quite a while. I can’t get enough of dirty, rock jams. Continue reading

Sleep – The Clarity

Back in September, Matt Pike dropped a bombshell on us with news of a new Sleep record some time in 2017. The new year has come and gone and prior posts on the band’s Facebook page suggest that that the boys have indeed been hard at work in the studio over the last few months.  Continue reading

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Modern Ruin

I’m kicking off 2017 with Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ second studio release; Modern Ruin (International Death Cult). I’d heard of the group just a few weeks prior, after falling face first down a YouTube rabbit hole that started with Cancer Bats, jumped to old Gallows stuff, and finally landed on our band in question. I loved 2015’s Blossom (International Death Cult) and so had high hopes for this album. Continue reading

Red Fang – Only Ghosts

Red Fang Only Ghost Album cover

October is always a big month. It’s basically a month-long party for me with the greatest holiday in existence, Halloween, and my birthday is only a few days beforehand. In my experience, October is also a great month for new releases from bands that I love. This year, Portland, OR based stoner metal/rock band Red Fang return with their fourth studio release entitled Only Ghosts (Relapse Records). It’s different from their previous releases, but that’s part of what makes this album as entertaining as it is. Continue reading

Foghound – The World Unseen

Foghound – The World Unseen album cover ghostcultmag

 

This round brings Baltimore’s own stoner rock sons Foghound and their latest release, The World Unseen (Ripple Music), to the table.

Stoner anthem ‘Above the Wake’ opens the record with its slow, fuzzy groove putting the listener into the right state of mind before vocals kick in, making for a hypnotic combination. Even through repeated listens, this still remains my favorite track on the album because I feel like it’s really the only one that embodies that stoner rock spirit.

I also really like the third track; ‘Serpentine’. It has a great bass line that grabs you from the very beginning and makes you want to move. This song is mostly instrumental, the band choosing to let guitar riffs speak for them instead and it works well. It’s these slower, fuzzier songs that make Foghound bring out their stoner side and I wish there were more of them.

Things speed up quite a bit more as the album continues on and I believe this causes it to lose a bit of the fuzzy vibe and rely more heavily on just the rock aspect. The band also falls into the trap that many others in the genre have before them and veer into lyrical cock rock territory with ‘On a Roll’ and “Rockin’ & Rollin’ with your typical commentary about them having to keep moving along and not having time for “haters” but they’re not actually saying anything of substance that isn’t already on every other stoner rock record in existence. These two cookie cutter songs are the weakest on an album filled with otherwise decent music.

The World Unseen is, overall, a respectable sophomore release. There’s definitely potential there for growth and the creation of some really great music on future albums once Foghound find their footing and decide to break the mold a bit.

7.0/10

ALEIDA LA LLAVE

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Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution

Hammers of Misfortune – Dead Revolution album cover ghostcultmag

Hammers of Misfortune’s Dead Revolution (Metal Blade) marks the band’s sixth release after a lengthy hiatus. The name is a rather amusing one as the album as a whole fails to deliver any kind of revolution and is, in my opinion, dead. Well, maybe not quite. It is neither amazing nor terrible, it just…Exists in time and space as we know it.

I would like to tell you that I found one or two redeeming songs on the record but that was not the case here. Even with repeated listens, there wasn’t really anything that stood out to me as memorable. This applies to the title track, ‘Dead Revolution’, as well. It’s just your generic rock and roll anthem with a keyboard added to the mix.

They’re regarded as a progressive band but this record strikes me as little more than a nod to hard rock that takes itself to seriously. I have never listened to anything else in the band’s catalog so I can’t say where this stands when compared to their other work. However, it doesn’t really make me want to investigate their music any further either.

Although filled with aggressive riffs meant to get the listener’s heart pounding, this album fails to draw them in any particular direction, choosing to leave listeners bored and disinterested instead. If that’s your thing, then go for it. Me, I prefer a little more life and originality in a release.

4.0/10

ALEIDA LA LLAVE

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Ill Nino: 15 Years of Revolution Tour Live at Jewel Nightclub

Ill Nino 15 Years of Revolution ghostcultmag

Fifteen years ago, a Latin metal band from New Jersey took over the air waves. Fifteen years ago, my twelve-year-old life was forever changed. Fifteen years later and the boys in Ill Nino are celebrating Revoluton/Revolucion’s (Roadrunner Records) quinceanera by playing the album in its entirety and I just happened to be lucky enough to have two of those tour dates nearby.

They always play a good chunk of songs off of this record in general but there was still an air of excitement and anticipation at both locations as many of us weren’t quite sure what to expect. Now, when I say that Revolution/Revolucion was played in its entirety, I mean, every single song. Yes, even that one, the last track and possibly the only one your mother likes; ‘With You’. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much and part of me believed that, with the rest of the set list being so much heavier, that ‘With You’ would be forgotten and left out. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Did I cry? Like a giant, metal baby.

I would have loved to have seen ‘Fallen’ for the first time, maybe next time. For those of you playing at home, it’s a bonus track on the fancy red edition of Rev. As in the past, we were also treated to some favorites off of Confession (Roadrunner Records) with ‘Te Amo…I Hate You’, ‘Cleansing’, and ‘How Can I Live’, plus ‘This is War’ from One Nation Underground (Roadrunner Records). Still waiting on getting my Spanish renditions of ‘How Can I Live’ and ‘What Comes Around’…Someday…

All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I think anyone else who has been able to catch the boys on this 15 Years of Revolution tour will agree. The crowd sang along to every word of every song and we truly were a family.

A lot has happened since I picked up Revolution/Revolucion back in 2001. Ill Nino has remained close to my heart both as a band and as people and they have allowed me to form some incredible, life long friendships with fellow fans from around the country and even the world. I don’t think there will ever be an Ill Nino show where I am not immediately transformed back into that weird twelve-year-old girl, just starting middle school, and I’m okay with that because it just means that I get to hold onto that thrill and adoration for a little bit longer. Here’s hoping we get another special tour for when Confession hits fifteen in 2018.

Set List:

Intro – God Save Us

If You Still Hate Me

Unreal

Nothing’s Clear

What Comes Around

Liar

Rumba

Predisposed

I am Loco

No Murder

Rip Out Your Eyes

Revolution/Revolucion

With You

Te Amo…I Hate You

Cleansing

How Can I Live

This is War

WORDS BY ALEIDA LA LLAVE

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