Let’s think of 2021 as the year that will reveal the ultimate artistic expression of all creators out there and, personally I am very excited with what the year promises pertaining to music releases especially in Metal. The year starts with the right foot with this release by Portugal’s Stoner Metal band Miss Lava and their fourth effort Doom Machine (Small Stone). This album explores how psychedelic and experimental sounds mix so well with Stoner Rock/Metal, with passages that go straight from heavy riffs into spacious soundscapes that will transport you somewhere else in the cosmos.
Hallows Eve was quite an anomaly back in the halcyon days of Eighties Heavy Metal. Even going by the standards of a time when subgenres were still nebulous and ill-defined, the Atlantans’ approach was difficult to pin down. Utilizing familiar tropes in unfamiliar ways, their Alice Cooper-inspired horror theatrics set them apart from their Speed Metal peers while their Punk attitude was a far cry from King Diamond. Their 1985 debut album, Tales Of Terror (Metal Blade Records), is easily the rawest and arguably the most endearing iteration of their Horror Metal formula.
Based out of Indianapolis and featuring a who’s who of veterans from such bands as Obscene, Harakiri, and Bulletwolf, Mother Of Graves makes a strong first impression with their debut EP. The group’s melodic approach to Death/Doom makes no bones about the influence from Paradise Lost and Katatonia, mixing the former’s mournful leads with the latter’s mid-tempo pacing. One can also detect traces of Novembers Doom in the vocals and Dan Swano’s signature touches on the mastering.
To celebrate the holiday’s the Music Marketing Mixer group has released a MASSIVE playlist of some of the best up-and-coming musicians in the hard rock/metal scene. The five and a half hour playlist comes from the members of the group, which is free to join on Facebook, provides music industry marketing advice from industry experts, coaching, free webinars, and coaching for bands and solo artists. Brought to you by The Dumb and Dumbest Podcast, BDWE Media, Dewar PR, Dropout Media, and Ghost Cult Magazine, the group is free to join at this link here. The playlist has over 60 tracks and includes tracks from artists such as Lindsay Schoolcraft, King Gorm, Caustic Casanova, 20 Watt Tombstone, The Inferno Doll, Duncan Evans, Alpha Bootis, Gravehuffer, Gaia Guarda, Casket Robbery, and many more! Jam out to the list here.
En Minor is a project that had been rattling around in Philip H. Anselmo“s head since he was a child; they are an unexpectedly emotional and deeply serious sound that freefalls out of the genres most of the band members are associated with, including Anselmo himself, and into uncharted territory. Unconventional and, in many ways, experimental, their 2020 release, When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out (Housecore Records) is steeped in reverence to the Jazz tradition in New Orleans, and maybe more markedly serves as a morose interpretation of a Jazz Funeral March with hints of Vaudeville; an unironic gothic twist on Tom Waits that Anselmo has since self-described as Depression Core.
As much as I enjoy Reverend Bizarre and plenty of Sami Hynninen’s other various projects, I’ve honestly not been as enthused about Opium Warlords. Their experimental brand of Drone Doom tends to be rather hit and miss, producing ideas that can be intriguing but more frequently stretched beyond their limits or constructed haphazardly. Their fifth full-length album, Nembutal (Svart Records), doesn’t promise anything different yet I find its execution to be somehow more palatable than anything else they’ve released.
Today on the block we have Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes by Australian Stoner Doom band Fumarole, out now from the excellent Interstellar Smoke Records. I’ve heard a couple of their singles and dug what I heard, so I was definitely stoked to get the album in hand. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes starts off pedal down and never really lets up. Loaded with hooky as hell riffage, driving rhythms, and killer spots where the bass and drums lay down the groove while the guitar has its fun. The solos are tasty, they have a rock feel sprinkled with some blues that truly add to the overall vibe.
Today marks the sixteenth anniversary of the murder of Dimebag Darrell Lance Abbott of Pantera and Damageplan while on stage at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio. Although we are sad at the occasion and we prefer to honor how he lived most of all, we can’t overlook the significance of the loss to the world of metal. Somewhere in the world right now, someone is strapping on a guitar and learning to play those songs, licks, and solos, which is at the very least, a comfort to know. As we do every year, we pay tribute to this fallen hero. Jam out to some classic Dimebag and Pantera tracks and raise a glass or smoke (or both) to the legend of legends on guitar! Getcha pull!
Formed in Worcester, Massachusetts in 2016, five-piece thrash outfit High Command follow up their 2017 debut full length Beyond the Wall of Desolation with digitally released single Everlasting Torment(both Southern Lord). Continue reading
For their seventh full-length studio release, Irish thrashers Gama Bomb return with a 19th-century nautical theme. Sort of like Moby Dick except with a Yeti, Sea Savage(Prosthetic Records) finds the band dressed like a hairier version of the cast of arthouse horror film The Lighthousewhile presenting the album as a play split into two acts. Or at least try to anyway, as they inevitably end up getting sidetracked into songs involving movies and martial arts.