EP REVIEW: Wretched Empires – Bloom EP

I hadn’t registered so much as a whisper of St Louis trio Wretched Empires…until I learned that vocalist Tom Ballard was also the frontman for UK Sludge-Doomers Allfather. THEN my ears pricked up. Debut EP Bloom (Independent Release) shows the new outfit to be of a Blackened persuasion, which is even more of a surprise upon realising that the other two members of the unit were formerly part of Alt-Indie sextet Redbait. Curious indeed…Continue reading

The Mound Builders – The Mound Builders

After seven years of relative silence since their debut, the excellently monikered The Mound Builders use the opening minute of their self-titled sophomore album (Failure Records and Tapes) to well and truly set the scene. There’s a triumphant opening chord ringing out, with more than a hint of Volume 4 (Vertigo) about its tone, Ryan Strawsma hits a vintage clanking bass run and the swinging drums come in. By the time Jim Voelz’ raw shouts come in on top, we’re well underway to establishing this is going to be a fun, riffy, High On Fire fuelled uptempo Sludge Metal romp, with all the essential hints of Hardcore to pepper things up.Continue reading

Dumb And Dumbest 86: Twitter and Social Media Marketing with Allfather’s Tom Ballard

Social Media is not just crucial to keeping in touch with your fanbase, but actually helps with sales of albums and merch! Episode 86 of the Dumb and Dumbest Podcast is streaming right now!, and it’s about covers Twitter and Social Media Marketing with Allfather’s Tom Ballard. Tom and Allfather released a crushing new album last year, they equally crushed social media and made impressive sales for a band of their reputation. Dumb and Dumbest is a music industry podcast hosted by music executive Matt Bacon (Dropout Media, Ripple Music, Prophecy Productions) and Publicist Curtis Dewar (Dewar PR). Matt and Curtis chat with Tom and run through his bands’ wins, and how the steps you need to make your band more successful.Continue reading

GUEST POST: Tom Ballard of Allfather – Top EP’s of 2018

We have a LOT of time for UK Sludgey Hardcore/Metal act Allfather. Not only is their new album And All Will Be Desolation (Rotting Throne) a beast of a record, they also possess an arsenal of MASSIVE riffs, and those riffs also kill fascists. It’s true, it’s damn true! Staunchly political, and marrying this to a love of underground HEAVY music, spearheading a campaign to share and promote their contemporaries and those they love and share ideals with online, it only made sense to ask vocalist Tom Ballard to talk us through some of his favourite EPs of 2018. Continue reading

September 7th 2018 New Music Releases




Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world! Continue reading

Allfather – And All Will Be Desolation

While the first album (Bless The Earth With Fire) by the sludgy metal quintet Allfather aggressively raged against the injustices in the world, their second album, And All Will Be Desolation (Rotting Throne) shows a different take on the political landscape that is not often present in music: whereas most political music will call for, and show the fight against the power in a positive light – rise up and not think about the negatives of the movement – And All Will Be Desolation reflects on the sombre side of fighting against injustices across the globe.Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Allfather – ‘Black Triangle’, New Album Coming Soon

British riff-mongers Allfather are back, armed and dangerous, having confirmed the details of their upcoming second album And All Will Be Desolation, to be released via Rotting Throne Records on 7th September. And, being the amiable chaps that they are, Allfather have teamed with Ghost Cult to deliver an exclusive stream of a monolithic slab of riffs, bellows, sludge, hardcore, beards, metal, riffs and fuck you, all by way of the lead off track from …Desolation.Continue reading

Allfather – Bless the Earth With Fire

Allfather - Bless the Earth With Fire album cover ghostcultmag

Bless the Earth With Fire (Static Tension) is a relatively short first album from Rochester UK quintet Allfather but, my God, is it an utter brute. Played at a largely sedentary pace, the Sludgy sensibilities are offset by Hardcore-flavoured guitars which boot the monstrous bedrock squarely up the arse at frequent intervals.

Opener ‘Raskolnikov’ is the first of four fairly brief tracks which nevertheless crush boulders whilst fired with a rampant anger: its howling solos giving the bone-grinding, occasionally shredding riffs some emotional substance and lightening the slurring emphysema of vocalist Tom. The repeated roar “I’m a murderer!” is truly nerve-twanging, the rhythm and squall rising in turn to give the full threatening effect.

It’s a sound that brings to mind the bludgeoning hostility of Hang the Bastard, whilst possessing more invention and vitality. Follow-up ‘The Bloody Noose’ displays more vicious weight before dancing buzzsaw riffs awaken a marauding monster, sure to whip up pits everywhere. The Hardcore Thrash of ‘Mouth of the Beast’ subsequently rips along yet retains a remarkable heaviness, its colossal coda terrified by manically squealing leadwork; whilst the diseased Stoner of ‘Dark Actors’ attracts comparison to High on Fire, almost matching the Californians’ mammoth intensity with a mid-section of pulverising riffs and drums.

The rather splendidly-titled, eleven-minute closer ‘Death, and Hell Followed With Him’ is an epic which again displays the full flourish of the band’s creative hand. Wonderfully emotive and often atmospheric without ever losing potency, and with a perfectly timed quickening, it does however highlight the slight flaw in the make-up. Tom’s unflinching scour is often suited to the task yet sometimes appears tired and limited, always seeming more effective when the scream is employed – which is all too briefly. Thankfully here it’s overshadowed by marvellous instrumentation which gives fans of all Metal persuasions something to revel in.

The Bandcamp version has a bonus track, ‘Blood Red Sunset’, which barrels along at a medium pace, its devilishly groovy riffs and wailing solo ensuring rambunctious fun. Altogether Bless the Earth With Fire displays Allfather’s near-ideal balance of Goliath’s size and David’s lightning-quick devastation to the full.



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Exclusive Stream: AllFather – ‘Blood Red Sunset’

BRS pic

A chimaera of Sludge, Metal, Doom and Hardcore, the Medway (UK) has disgorged a barrel of riffs and grooves from the febrile minds of AllFather, riff-mongers almighty.

As a teaser of what shall be, and to bridge the gap between their self-released digital EP No Gods, No Masters and 2016’s impending Bless The Earth With Fire, for which the band are currently seeking a suitable label home, Ghost Cult are pleased to exclusively stream ‘Blood Red Sunset’, the EP’s bonus track, and a reworking of AllFather’s first ever song.

AllFather 2015

AllFather 2015 Photo Credit: Pheobe Capon of Pheobe Capon Photography

Vocalist Tom affirms:

The power of the riff compels us, and G̶o̶d̶ Iommi guides our hand. Like chucking Conan the Barbarian and Godzilla into a bear-pit, only the best ideas come out, bloodied, but alive! AllFather take those bloodied ideas and battle-hardened riffs and deliver their own brand of metal. Whether taking the sadistic advocates of austerity and racism to task, or revelling in the way the sun glints off a raised battle axe, AllFather recognise that the world is a hard, cruel fucking place, and write songs big enough scare off the darkness.

With a bonus track this good, one can only guess the quality of the upcoming release:


You can download the band’s earlier material on a pay-what-you-want basis via AllFather’s Bandcamp page but with the disclaimer that there is far, far, better to come…

AllFather Logo


AllFather play the following UK shows between now and the end of the year:

Nov 6: Lady Luck Bar – Canterbury, UK

Nov 13: The Red Lion – Gravesend, UK

Dec 11: Harp Restrung – Folkestone, UK