Here’s to genuinely hoping that 2023 would be a decent year for stoner rock releases – with the existence of records like The Lord Knows (Ripple Music) by the Swedish newcomers Tidal Wave. The Swedish stoner scene has always been all-around fascinating to me, with big names I admire such as Besvärjelsen and Skraeckoedlan, or even the all-time legendary Truckfighters. It’s always refreshing to see up-and-coming names coming right in, too.
Critics who claim Rock And Roll is dead have not listened to Wisconsin native Jared James Nichols’ self-titled third album (Black Hill Records) which is filled with twelve pieces of evidence to the contrary. Nichols is known for his signature pick-less style and is one of only four global ambassadors for Gibson Guitars, which certainly sets expectations high for what you are about to experience.Continue reading
Tony Iommi has confirmed that the album Black Sabbath made with Tony Martin (read his new album review here) will be reissued in 2023. Iommi discussed the re-releases in a post on what would have been drummer Cozy Powell‘s 75th birthday on Thursday, December 29th. Iommi shared the following message:
When Ronnie James Dio joined metal legends Black Sabbath in 1980 the former Rainbow frontman’s appointment couldn’t have come at a better time. Sabbath were a sinking ship. A drowning vessel from which enigmatic frontman Ozzy Osbourne had been trying to escape for some time. However, even though it was painfully clear that new blood had to be added to halt the band’s alarming deterioration the hostility that greeted Dio from some corners was quite shocking.
Part of San Francisco’s famous Bay Area thrash scene, Blind Illusion may have only produced one full-length studio album during their initial eleven-year existence but that record, The Sane Asylum (Combat Records) still remains an undisputed classic of its time. Not only famous for adding more technicality, diversity, and flavour to a scene that ran predominantly on speed and aggression, Blind Illusion also ended up being responsible for the creation of alternative funk metal act Primus, the band at the time featuring former Possessed guitarist Larry LaLonde and batshit bass wizard Les Claypool.
in 1980, Ronnie James Dio left Rainbow and joined Black Sabbath to form an unholy union of Heavy Metal greatness. Now BMG will release newly remastered versions of both classic Dio/Sabbath albums expanded with rare and unreleased music. Heaven And Hell: Deluxe Edition And Mob Rules: Deluxe Edition will be released separately on November 4th and November 18th, 2022. Each album will be available on 2-CDs, or a 2-LP set. Due to space constraints, both vinyl editions include a selection of bonus material from the CDs. The music will also be available via digital download and streaming services the same day. Pre-order the album now:
Canadian quartet Monster Truck have returned with new album Warriors (BMG). This is their fourth record and the title track kicks things off in fine fashion – it is a bouncy number with retro, eighties-era Iron Maiden guitar harmonies provided by guest axeman Dave Baksh of Sum 41 fame. This track sticks to Truckers tried and tested formula, fuzz drenched southern rock with chunky riffs, catchy choruses and chant along backing vocals that do not outstay their welcome.
This recipe served them well on 2018 predecessor True Rocker and the same is true here, as the propulsive, no nonsense boogie of ‘Golden Women’ shows. Perhaps the best taster of this is ‘Fuzz Mountain’, a Black Sabbath inspired chugger which is helped along by the insistent background hum of keys.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, Slipknot have been criticised for many things over the years, but playing it safe is one accusation that rarely arises. While it’s true the Iowan nine-piece possess a patented, signature sound, it’s also clear they’ve never been afraid to take chances, pushing the envelope at every turn. Even on their 1996 full-length demo Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. Slipknot were taking risks. Risks that led to the reward of a major label deal and a hugely successful career built on a foundation of unpredictability.
It is always impressive to me when people from already awesome projects can create another interesting and vital branch on their musical tree. That is what Mike Snow (Seas Of Winter, Apricitas) and Aki McCullough (mighty Dreamwell) have accomplished with the awe-inspiring Necroplanet release Negative Space (self-released). Only Author & Punisher‘s latest comes to mind as something close to capturing the gigantic scope of dirgy and semi-industrialized emotion on display here. Cosmic funeral doom that isn’t for the faint of heart and which will soon become a minor addiction you will want to spin alone in the dark after a long day. It makes total sense that it is a concept record about isolation and emptiness.
Clutch, the irrepressible quartet from Maryland, America have just graced our ears with a new record Sunrise On Slaughter Beach (Weathermarker) – their thirteenth record, coming four years after Book Of Bad Decisions. It is unmistakably a Clutch album, full of hearty riffs and deft turns of phrase, but it is a shorter and more varied one than its predecessor.