2019, the year that closes the decade and with it a lot of interesting releases in the Heavy Metal world. In this article, you’ll get to see my top 20 favorite albums of the year. It was no easy task to choose just 20, a lot of talented bands released quality stuff this year, but I believe these are the ones that close the decade on a high note and gives us hope for more in the future.
Sojourning to the Steel City, where the steel these days is mostly from the music, Descendants of Crom Festival enjoyed a second annual event recently and Ghost Cult was there. From the pre-fest gala and parking lot party (think of a modern “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” with stoner rock and doom fans), three nights of badassery at both Howlers and the Cattivo club, it was a rager. Shout out to the sponsors Blackseed Records and Riff Relevant among others. Highlights of the weekend included sets from Heavy Temple, Howling Giant, Doomstress, Come to Grief, Thunderbird Divine, Toke, Geezer, Duel, but really you can’t really go wrong with a deep lineup like this. We can’t wait for next year and round three! In the meantime, check out these photos by Dante Torrieri of Useless Rebel Imaging for Ghost Cult. Continue reading
Blackseed Records Presents the Descendants of Crom Festival, a three-day underground heavy music festival is taking over Pittsburgh, PA this coming weekend for its second annual event. Billing itself as “A Gathering Of Rock, Doom, Sludge, And Metal” in the Steel City, Descendents of Crom Fest takes place September 27th to 29th at Howlers and Cattivo clubs and features Mos Generator, Lo-Pan, Duel, Come To Grief, Heavy Temple, Worshipper, Devil To Pay, Freedom Hawk, Disenchanter, Geezer and many more. There is also a Pre-fest Gala and other events all weekend long! Full set times, venue info and ticket info can be found at the links below. Continue reading
Today is the day! America’s best underground brutal, blackened underground music festival, Shadow Woods Metal Fest begins today. Although a few bands have been last minute cancellations due to Hurrican Florence and Ghost Bath canceled their entire tour due to van troubles, the festival is 100%taking place with only rain expected at Camp Hidden Valley, in Whitehall Maryland. The lineup includes Abigail Williams, Xasthur, Aether Realm, Rozamov, Heavy Temple, A Sound of Thunder, Barishi, Destroyer of Light, Husbandry, God Root, Hepatagua, Cloak, Wolvhammer, Imperial Triumphant, Black Mass, and many more. Tickets are still available at the gate for you late deciders. Continue reading
Shadow Woods Metal Fest has announced the full lineup for the 2018 edition, their fourth year in a row. Returning for the fourth year in a row. Taking place from September 20th to 22nd, at Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center in Purcell, VA against the backdrop against the epic Blue Ridge Mountains, Shadow Woods IV features UADA, Tombs, Xasthur, Heavy Temple, All Hell, Bound By The Grave, Barishi, Destroyer Of Light, God Root, Husbandry, Imperial Triumphant, Rozamov, Wayfaerer, and many more listed below. Tickets are on sale now. Continue reading
Returning for the fourth year in a row, Shadow Woods Metalfest, the best independent metal festival in America is bringing together the best underground black, death, doom, and other extreme metal styles in one event. Taking place from September 20th to 22nd, at Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center in Purcell, VA against the backdrop against the epic Blue Ridge Mountains. The fest has already announced Heavy Temple, All Hell, Athame, Bound By The Grave, Destroyer Of Light and more, with all the headliners and more to be announced soon. Continue reading
Come no closer if you like God or happiness, as the very antithesis is available in this remarkably-packaged ‘split’, Endsville (Battleground), from Tucson quintet Godhunter and their Austin Doom counterparts Destroyer of Light.
The Arizona mob kick us off, their acoustic-toned ‘End Time Blues’ and ‘The Emptiness That is Left’ bookending four tracks of angry, raw Stoner. There’s a basic, Punk vibe to the minimalist style of ‘Divided States’ and ‘Anthropophobia’. The throaty squeal coursing through them is, however, somewhat inept, and accompanied by prosaic, unimaginative riffs and rhythm. Sadly this rather uninspiring, stodgy template continues throughout Godhunter’s offering; the Kylesa-lite ‘Cassandra Complex’ occasionally loads colossal weight upon the shoulders and is the standout track of their inferior set, but the slovenly growl and lacklustre riffs fail to stir the blood sufficiently. The closing coda of ‘…Emptiness…’, a diseased version of ‘Something in the Way’, desecrates Nirvana’s original whilst paradoxically landing a long-overdue significant punch.
Thankfully the rollicking, NWOBHM-infused Psych-Occult of Destroyer of Light fares much better. Opener ‘Electric Shadows’ finds ground between Moss and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats; the steady, cantering pace graced by Steve Colca’s dramatic holler, subtle samples and eerie chanting which add melody to pummeling riffs and Jeff Klein’s pounding bass. Some electrifying solo work to the track’s coda, meanwhile, helps to banish the memory of what has gone before. The dirty, monolithic chords of ‘Coffin Hunter’, Colca’s vocal tolling over them, are reminiscent of Iommi at his evil, crushing best, while devilish roars from the three-quarter point are utterly terrifying and offer more than Godhunter’s whole portion.
And here’s the issue: this is a ‘split’ in the real sense of the word, an immense second half in real danger of being overshadowed by the shambolic pointlessness of the first. The dazzling leadwork of the morose, pulsing ‘Forever My Queen’ proves the Texan outfit’s name to be misleading, lighting the path to sinister, bone-crushing closer ‘Valley Of The Dead’, and affirms the belief that Destroyer of Light should not suffer the sins of their undeserving co-contributors. Give the Trad Doom boys your time at the very least.