ALBUM REVIEW: Colossloth – Plague Alone

In the world of Ambient Industrial music, the UK has some rather notable exponents. It’s a proud standard, maintained by – among others – ‘Wooly’ Woolaston, the sole member of Leicestershire’s magnificently-named Colossloth. His fifth album Plague Alone (Cold Spring Records) was devised prior to the heinous virus presently shrouding the world and in retrospect seems strangely prophetic rather than historical or imaginary. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Okkultokrati – La Ilden Lyse

Most reviews and articles concerning Norwegian dark hearts Okkultokrati seem to contain slightly differing classifications of the band’s sound. I’m no different: if you’re going to mould the likes of Motörhead, Emperor, and Sex Pistols into a ball of spewing hate, you’re playing Punk / Black ‘n’ Roll as far as I’m concerned. Anyone care? Of course not. More interesting is the decision of certain band members to change their stage names in a move that seems purely designed for new album La Ilden Lyse (Southern Lord Recordings), and which corresponds with a further evolution of the sextet’s direction. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: In The Company Of Serpents – Lux

Denver Stoner/Sludge outfit In The Company Of Serpents has spent most of its eight years as a fluctuating two-piece, with only vocalist and guitarist Grant Netzorg as the constant. The arrival of Vermin Womb‘s JP Damron to the drumseat has seen an expansion to a trio with the addition of ex-Black Sheep of Kali stringman Ben Pitts and, maybe as a result, fourth album Lux (Self-Release) adds elements of invention and atmosphere to the core sound, demonstrating welcome growth. Continue reading

Watch Metallica Perform “Blackened” Semi-Unplugged from Quarantine

In the first performance since their last date of the WorldWired tour, S & M 2 Concerts in San Francisco, Metallica performed via video recording from isolation. Lars Ulrich just suggested Metallica may write a new album during the quarantine. Watch the band take on an interesting “half plugged” version on their classic song ‘Blackened’, which has an almost Country and Western/Middle Eastern feeling to it. Continue reading

Metallica and Billabong Release Final Collection Inspired by “And Justice For All”

Metallica and Billabong LAB has announced the fifth and final product delivery in the Billabong x Metallica 2019-2020 Collection of menswear in their collaboration. Titled “…And Justice For All”, this latest selection of apparel is inspired by Metallica’s classic fourth album and features previously unreleased concept art by boardsports-affiliated artist Pushead in a limited release of cross-branded surf trunks, T-shirts, and corduroy jackets. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Yatra – Blood of the Night

Yatra‘s 2018 début album Death Ritual (Grimoire Records), rather than being a “grower”, receded in appeal due to the unflinching harshness of their slow, Doom-laden sound and the voice of Dana Helmuth, which sounds as if Gaahl had been gargling on hop-bombs. There were flickers of invention in the Maryland trio’s sound, however, and these are further explored in follow-up Blood of the Night (STB Records). Continue reading

Age Of The Wolf – Ouroboric Trances

In further proof of Metal’s worldwide appeal, dropped-out troupe Age Of The Wolf hail from Costa Rica. There’s pedigree in the ranks too, with ex-Corpse Garden six-stringer Christopher de Haan at the forefront of their sound, and the Extreme Metal experience of the quartet lends a seriously hard edge to Stoner-flavoured debut Ouroboric Trances (Aural Music). Continue reading

Glassing – Spotted Horse 

A thunderous crack of guitars explode outwards above a deluge of dextrous percussion. It all swirls around the listener before reaching a fever pitch and bursting into its main atonal, bending riff. This is just the mere beginning of ‘When You Stare’ from Blackened post-Hardcore outfit, Glassing, a band clearly out to not just pique interest, but demand attention. The vocals have an ominous amount of reverb to them, giving the same halfway-down-a-corridor feel of the likes of early Emperor or any Black Metal luminaries for that matter. The actual screaming itself, however, has far more in common with contemporaries like Tripsitter and We Never Learned To Live, with its strained and passionate delivery evoking repressed tender emotions rather than scathing the eardrums with rhapsodies of hellfire. Continue reading

Dreadnought – Emergence

When allied to a sonic experience the term ‘Dreadnought‘ usually alludes to a bruising encounter with little imagination or subtlety. Not so the Denver quartet bearing that name, whose brand of Prog Metal is an eclectic mix of the weird, heavy and profoundly charming, and which spans many genres of music. Continue reading