ALBUM REVIEW: Crippled Black Pheonix – Benefyre


 

Banefyre (Season of Mist) is the twelfth album from Crippled Black Phoenix, the category-defying collective centred around Justin Greaves, a former doom metal drummer (for bands such as Electric Wizard and Iron Monkey) turned multi-instrumentalist songwriter. The current studio lineup of the band has Greaves joined by longstanding vocalist Belinda Kordic, plus more recent recruits Helen Stanley (keys, synths, trumpet), Andy Taylor (guitars), and new second vocalist and third guitarist Joel Segerstedt.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Jerry Cantrell – Brighten


The albums that Grunge legend Jerry Cantrell has released across his solo career and his mothership Alice In Chains always seemed to have an intertwined relationship. 1998’s Boggy Depot and 2002’s Degradation Trip seemingly attempted to fill the void left in the wake of Alice’s hiatus and Layne Staley’s passing while Alice’s comeback albums with William DuVall on board essentially felt like Cantrell albums with extra riffs. This symbiosis turned cyclical with 2018’s Rainier Fog, which shared quite a bit of noticeable commonality with Boggy Depot . So where does Brighten, his first proper solo album in nineteen years, fit into this dichotomy?

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ALBUM REVIEW: Thomas V. Jäger – A Solitary Plan – RidingEasy Records


As cool as it’s been to see some of doom’s most iconic figures go acoustic lately, sometimes it’s even more exciting when fresher faces try their hands at the style. Thomas V. Jäger is one such example, stepping beyond his duties as Monolord’s vocalist/guitarist to release a full-length solo album. It’s an especially interesting transition when you consider that band’s heightened melodicism on 2019’s No Comfort, and this album pushes the idea to even more introspective ends.Continue reading


The Neal Morse Band Live at The Space, Westbury, Long Island


There are talents and there are rare talents in this world like Neal Morse. The prolific progressive rock genius seems to top himself over and over throughout his storied career. Where others would just stand pat and repeat themselves, Neal continually writes, records and performs across a spectrum of styles. All of this has synthesized in The Neal Morse Band. Certainly not his final destination musically by a long shot, with 2016’s The Similitude of a Dream and the sprawling double album The Great Adventure (both InsideOut Music) he has gelled all of his various elements together impressively. Continue reading


Cellar Darling – The Spell


Metal and Folk go back decades. From the inception of the genre in the 1960s, folk literature and myths became a staple across a variety of Metal genres with their fantastical themes and imaginative escapism. However, the sonic and musical marriage of Folk and Metal is very different from those lyrical thematics both genres now share. Some amongst the Metal community would argue that the inclusion of ancient instruments such as panpipes, fiddles, and flutes makes the music sound corny and cliché and thus diminishes the aggressive nature of the metallic component of Folk Metal.Continue reading


Hexvessel – All Tree


The relationship between Metal, heavy music and other genres has always been an intriguing and often intertwining one, where artists seem to fall under our umbrella without sharing obvious similar qualities. Case in point is that of Hexvessel, who despite an ever-changing output and a folky base to their sound, have intrinsic links to their native Black Metal scene that has hardly ever even encroached into the territory of distorted guitars.Continue reading


The Sonic Dawn – Eclipse


It seems wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen is quietly earning a name for Rock bands in recent years, with retro Psych trio The Sonic Dawn gaining a particularly favourable reputation. Eclipse (Heavy Psych Sounds) is the band’s third full-length release in four years and, despite being influenced by undisclosed personal tragedy, the sound is as bright as ever.Continue reading


Komodor – Komodor


The world of Psychedelic Rock has enjoyed a population resurgence over the past couple of years, with all manner of newcomers coating their grooves in a warm, oscillating fuzz. In such a world it helps to gain patronage from a respected name and French sunshine crew Komodor have done just that: debut mini-album Komodor (Soulseller Records) carrying contributions and production work from Swedish Psych rulers Blues Pills.Continue reading


Haken – Vector


Oft breathed by those in the know in the same exhalations as Dream Theater, Leprous and Devin Townsend, London’s Haken frequently pass below the radar of those outside of Prog spheres. New album Vector (InsideOut Music) is, however, the fifth in the band’s ten-year existence and shows a level of accomplishment to surpass those more notable names.Continue reading