ALBUM REVIEW: Many Blessings – Emanation Body

Ethan McCarthy‘s myriad recordings under his classification of ‘Noise’ are what many of us might name Harsh Ambient or Ambient Drone. Dystopian, disturbian, yet with elements of clarity that break through the crushing sound (and occasional soundbites of sex), many fans will have encountered these often challenging passages through his work with Primitive Man and here with his solo project Many Blessings. Sophomore album Emanation Body (Translation Loss Records) embraces more atmospheric airs whilst retaining much of that visceral anger. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Louise Patricia Crane – Deep Blue

Cutting her professional teeth among serious pedigree as a member of Psych-Rock collective The Eden House Orchestra, the ethereal vocals of Belfast’s Louise Patricia Crane have dripped honey with such luminaries as Monica Richards and Julianne Regan. Debut solo album Deep Blue (Peculiar Doll Records) sees a host of Rock legends lend a hand to create a work of strange, wistful charm, paying due deference to a number of influences in the process. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: High Priestess – Casting the Circle – Ripple Music

When LA trio High Priestess‘s eponymous debut High Priestess (Ripple Music) landed in 2018, it took my breath away with its mesmeric, Doomy hypnosis and occasional brutality. Waxing lyrical about it then, I was already eager and anxious to see if they could follow it. I needn’t have worried: sophomore set Casting the Circle (Ripple Music) maintains the impossibly high standards of that first album while enhancing the entrancing elements of their sound. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Green Carnation – Leaves of Yesteryear

When Green Carnation, the progressive Norwegian sextet that gave birth to avant-Black pioneers In The Woods, split for the second time in 2007, no-one gave it a cat in hell’s chance of reformation. Yet the green (ahem) shots of recovery spawned with 2018’s live album Last Day of Darkness (Prophecy Productions), and here we are with the band’s sixth album Leaves of Yesteryear (Season of Mist), in what is the 30th anniversary of its formation. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: The Earth Below – Nothing Works Vol 2: Hymns for Useless Gods

Deepak Raghu is an extremely diverse, creative entity. His previous forays into Rock and Metal have embraced many outlying elements such as Americana, Folk, and Soul: on Nothing Works Vol 2: Hymns for Useless Gods (Unheard Music), his latest outing with solo project The Earth Below, he melds those traditional sounds with melodic weight, in turn baffling and eventually ensnaring the senses. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Hyborian – Volume II

In some hypercritical sections of the Stoner world, it was suggested that Hyborian, Volume I (The Company), the debut album from Kansas City heavies Hyborian, was rescued from a certain monotony merely by some lighter, synthetic nuances. Whereas it may seem an indicator of a lack of imagination to see the follow-up named Volume II (Season of Mist), it’s an all-too-common error to assume that the content will follow the same path. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Diarchy – Splitfire

There’s a South Asian Metal renaissance afoot at present, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Stoner and Desert scenes. Splitfire (Unherd Music), the second long-player from Bangalore duo Diarchy, is the first release from new Indian label Unherd Music and gives the promise of an Eastern mysticism to some heavy grooves. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Khost – Buried Steel

Those who’ve known me for some time will have had their ears blunted by my constant praise for Birmingham, UK Industrial Doom duo Khost. Equal parts sampled violence, malevolent strings and vocal apocalypse, beautiful Eastern lamentations often deflect from that harsh path and create a nuance flavoured by the likes of VAST and Moby. Their fourth album Buried Steel (Cold Spring Records) sees a band now truly at ease with its style, happy to have edgy two-minute psalms populating a set in the knowledge that they serve a purpose for the whole.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Dukatalon – Involuntary Action

Ridiculously it’s a decade since Israeli juggernaut Dukatalon released debut album Saved By Fear (Relapse Records): a bruising yet incredibly inventive slice of Sludge that at times called to mind Led Zeppelin as much as it did the likes of Iron Monkey. Aside from a brief tour of the UK three years ago, little has been heard of the band outside of their native Tel Aviv, so what a beginning to 2020 with long-awaited new album Involuntary Action (Self-Release) hitting the hard drive. if only the band’s mouthpiece in the UK – Manchester’s ‘King of Nasty’, Eytan Wineapple – could’ve stuck around long enough to hear it. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Blackwater Holylight – Veils Of Winter

Blackwater Holylight (RidingEasy Records), the début album from the Portland, Oregon-based doomstresses of the same name, delivered not merely an enlivening quality but also realised founder member Alison ‘Sunny’ Faris‘ intent of giving heavier rock a new lease of life by incorporating more tuneful, lighter music into that sound. With second album Veils Of Winter (RidingEasy Records) the band, now a quintet with the addition of guitarist Mikayla Mayhew, aim to expand on that formula and the buzz created by that first release.

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