Silence In The Snow – Levitation Chamber


No metal band is complete without an inane photo shot. Usually, this features several hairy blokes standing in a quarry, forest, graveyard or branch of FarmFoods (Editor’s note: unless you are Morrissey). They will be tilting their heads at an angle, their useless arms hanging at the side like flaccid eels, or folded in a sort of passive-aggressive way. Their t-shirts will not be tucked in. They will all be staring at you like you’re in a carpet warehouse and they want you to pick a shagpile. Apparently, this makes you want to buy the album.Continue reading


Gorilla – Treecreeper


 

Perhaps it’s churlish at this point to note that UK Stoner Rock band Gorilla is being just a bit misleading with the title of its new album, Treecreeper. (Heavy Psych Sounds.) Put simply, gorillas don’t climb trees. Well, alright, juveniles and lighter adults have been observed to do so in the wild. But the metal-as-fuck silverbacks don’t, because they’re too heavy, MAAAAAN. Continue reading


Heilung – Futha


Heilung are not merely a Neo-Folk Band. Nay – they are a high concept Neo-Folk band, as shown by their new album Futha (Season of Mist), which is apparently about women’s bits, as opposed to the last album Lifa (also by Season of Mist), which was about men’s bits or something. Look, I’m paraphrasing the press release here. Leave me alone.Continue reading


Yawning Man – Macedonian Lines


Is there anything a band can really do without? Drummers and bassists are indispensable. Guitarists summon the magic and give the punters something to throw things at. Keyboardists? Well, sometimes they’re OK. The dude with the bagpipes? Folk Metal is the new Sex.Continue reading


Darkthrone – Old Star


 

This review was brought to you by many things, but mainly sleep deprivation. It seems the new Darkthrone album, Old Star (Peaceville), is such an objet désiré that it could only be reviewed via a stream released the day before the album hits the shops. So, if I start weeping, and cross-reference any talking squirrels, take some comfort that I am doing all this for you. Continue reading


1782 – 1782


One of the stranger aspects of Metal is its ‘thing’ for women being burnt at the stake. Doom Metal, in particular, positively thrives on it, as bands like Witchfinder General and, err, Burning Witch makes only too clear. So it shouldn’t really a surprise that there is not only a (Sardinian) Doom Metal band called 1782 (named after the last year a “witch” was burnt in Europe), but that its self-titled debut (Electric Valley Records) is a full-on concept album of hag-burning excess.Continue reading


Saint Vitus – Saint Vitus


At what point does a band stop striving and just settles into a never-ending victory lap? Take L.A.’s finest Doom Metal group, Saint Vitus, who’ve been at it since the late seventies, and pretty much defined the genre in the eighties. And yet, here we are, in 2019, and a new self-titled album (Season of Mist) from the band is due out soon. It also sees the return of the band’s first lead singer, Scott Reagers, after a twenty-four-year break.Continue reading


Lice – Woe Betide You


Brazilian avant-garde Black Metal act Lice probably thinks its name evokes horror, decay, and disease. For me, it mainly brings back memories of my childhood, as I had bottle after bottle of insecticide poured over my head because my leprous sibling had picked up yet another infestation from his dirtbag mates, and we all had to be deloused again. But I digress.Continue reading


Stellar Master Elite – Hologram Temple


With a name like Stellar Master Elite and an album title like Hologram Temple (Unholy Conspiracy Deathwork), one might expect a band with the sort of melodic death metal pretensions of Scar Symmetry and its ilk. The truth is, this German Blackened Doom outfit ploughs its own furrow, harsh and abrasive, spaced out and ethereal, forlorn and crushing. Hologram Temple also delves into some deeper issues – what’s real? What’s not real? Are we any different from machines? Has the band been reading a lot of Philip K Dick? Can we have sex with fax machines? And so on.Continue reading


Lord Dying – Mysterium Tremendum


You can’t fault Oregonian sludgesters Lord Dying for compromising on their band name. It’s so Doom-friendly, you could hang yourself off it, right after smoking the carpet because it might be made of hemp. Nor can you fault the title of their third album, Mysterium Tremendum (eOne), redolent, as it is, of harsh truths and cosmic indifference.Continue reading