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

ALBUM REVIEW: Them Moose Rush – Dancing Maze

Croatian trio Them Moose Rush, for those who’ve never had the pleasure, are pleasantly bonkers. It’s kind of like putting Jane’s Addiction and Captain Beefheart in a blender, and seeing what crazy shit results. The chaotic twists and turns within third album Dancing Maze (Dostava Zvuka) are all named after random people’s belongings or actions and allow accessibility despite the complexity of the music. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Resent – Crosshairs

Everything in Canada is supposed to be nice, right? That Trudeau bloke’s boyish grin; the clean, crisp air; the way the natives go ‘Eh’ at the end of a sentence in a wonderfully endearing way. Tell that to Resent. The 2018 demo from the Victoria, British Columbia based quartet was one of the most frightening exercises in putrid Sludge I’d ever encountered, and new album Crosshairs (Dry Cough Records / Nerve Altar / Rope Or Guillotine) promises only to extend the suffering…

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ALBUM REVIEW: Binary Code – Memento Mori

Yeah, I know a little bit about Binary Code. My first brush with this New Jersey act traces back to 2010 when I was a mere college student and just starting my internship at 91.5 FM WUML Lowell. It was there that as a metal padawan I delved deeper into more progressive and heavier music and Binary Code’s debut LP Suspension of Disbelief (Metal Sucks Records) certainly fit those parameters. And on their third full length, Memento Mori (Memory Facility), they’ve still got it.  Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Frayle – 1692

Despite an apparent reluctance to classify herself as a white witch Gwyn Strang, vocalist for Cleveland Doom / Post quintet Frayle, identifies as a spiritual being in touch with strong forces, and debut album 1692 (Aqualamb Records/Lay Bare Recordings) comes with a rather plush book explaining ancient magick among other things. It’s a daring opening gambit, complete with album title surely referring to the Salem witch trials, but does the accompanying music live up to this?

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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: Barishi – Old Smoke

You remember the first time you heard Leviathan (Relapse Records) by Mastodon? I do. It was as if my world had shifted on its axis: a relentless display of monumental, complex power that left me unsure how to feel…except that it felt exciting, enlivening. I never thought that Vermont quartet Barishi would recreate those emotions: a great band yes, but its Harsh Stoner grooves had the intricacies without such immediate power. Suddenly, out goes vocalist Sascha Simms, being replaced by guitarist Graham Brooks and reducing the band to a three-piece. Third album Old Smoke (Season of Mist) follows. Fuck… Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Firewind – Firewind

The ninth album from Greek power metallers Firewind finds the band introducing their latest vocalist Herbie Langhans, the former Sinbreed frontman replacing fellow German Henning Basse earlier this year. And the eponymously titled Firewind (AFM Records) is a fine way to get things rolling with their new frontman. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Paradise Lost – Obsidian

Many consider the British band, Paradise Lost to be the fathers of the Gothic Metal genre. Formed in 1988, four out of the five members have been there since the beginning. This tight-knit group of guys is a prime example of a hard-working band who knows how to stay creative and original. The exploration and determination of this act has led them down some unique roads over the years. After experimenting on albums like One Second (Music for Nations)  and Believe In Nothing (EMI), Paradise Lost got back to their roots in 2015. They embraced their Death Metal background with the release of The Plague Within (Century Media Records) and 2017’s Medusa (Nuclear Blast). Now with the release of their sixteenth record,  Obsidian (Nuclear Blast), their heaviness is being fleshed out with even more distinct devastation.   Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Burial – Satanic Upheaval

Mancunian trio Burial stand out for more reasons than the impressive collective build of its members: its particular brand of Blackened Death has ensured that the band maintained a popularity within its locale and beyond. Their third album Satanic Upheaval (Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings) is its first outing in four years and is just as uncompromising in its approach. Continue reading