Nearly fifteen years ago, current Killswitch Engage members Jesse Leach and Adam Dutkiewicz teamed up to birth the collaborative project Times of Grace. This dynamic duo pushed their creative boundaries by conjuring a fresh take on the heavy-yet-melodic sound. They delivered their debut album, The Hymn of a Broken Man (Roadrunner Records) in 2011. The gloom and aggression let loose on that record was ignited by the brutally honest songwriting. The themes of struggle, heartbreak, and hope were potently delivered with a real and plaintive spirit. These two brought forth a discovery of powerful melancholy and now ten years later, they are offering a sequel to that revelation. Their second full-length Songs of Loss and Separation (Wicked Good Records) is carrying on the melodic mournfulness, yet wonderfully wholesome sound that is Times of Grace.
While Red Fang’s fourth album immediately stands out as their first full-length since 2016’s Only Ghosts, it seems to hearken back to the Sludgy aspects of their earliest ventures. Tracks like ‘Unreal Estate’ and the title track reflect strong Melvins circa (A) Senile Animal vibes with their trudging riff patterns and eccentrically howled vocal lines. ‘Fonzi Scheme’ and ‘Days Collide’ elaborate further the former putting in a particularly potent stomp and the latter benefitting the most from the disorienting atmosphere.
Working With God (Ipecac Records/Liberator Music) is the 24th release by the Melvins and features their 1983 lineup of Buzz Osbourne, Dale Crover on bass, and original drummer Mike Dillard (although they have been doing a ton of regular Melvins lineup activities with Steven Shane McDonald of Redd Kross). The record encapsulates the Hardcore and Sludge style Melvins have delivered since their genesis. The result is a fresh album that is thrilling and cathartic.
Having established a successful collaboration with 2020″s May Our Chambers Be Full (Sacred Bones Records, review here), Thou & Emma Ruth Rundle flesh things out further with The Helm Of Sorrow (Sacred Bones Records). The four songs on this EP are more or less cut from the same cloth. A blend of Sludge, Grunge, and Shoegaze serves as a stylistic backdrop for the dynamic synthesis and occasional clashes between Rundle’s harrowing restraint and Thou’s distorted violence.
We last saw Chicago rockers Dead Original was a few months back when their dropped a video for their track “Let it Bleed.” They are back today with a new video for their song “Blasted.” The hard rock trio from Chicago, that features in its ranks frontman Paul Wandtke who got his start in the music industry as a drummer for hire with Trivium, Kill Hannah, and even the hit musical Rock of Ages. Now leading his own group the band, which also includes Sean McCole on drums and Mike Petrasek (Bedlem) on bass, “Blasted” builds on the post-grun\ge vibes with some new moody darkness, via the track, highlighted by Paul’s great vocals. Check out the official music video for “Blasted” right now!
Dead Original is a new hard rock trio from Chicago, that features in its ranks frontman Paul Wandtke who got his start in the music industry as a drummer for hire with Trivium, Kill Hannah, and even the hit musical Rock of Ages. Now leading his own group the band, which also includes Sean McCole on drums and Mike Petrasek (Bedlem) on bass, has a post-Grunge sound mixed with some proggier moods. Check out the official music video for “Let it Burn right now!
Alice in Chains, when spoken out loud, is understood by all in earshot. Love them or not, every person who says they enjoy rock music in some format knows who they are. One of their finest works was the 1992 classic, Dirt (Columbia Records), which spawned five radio hits, peaked at number six on the Billboard charts, and has sold over five million copies worldwide. Now, twenty-eight years later, the next generation of rock stars have paid tribute to a timeless classic by each taking on a track to cover however they want; thus, was born, Dirt Redux (Magnetic Eye Records).
Having originally formed in Texas, Doom/Punk quartet Wailin’ Storms relocated to North Carolina and it’s possible that both areas may be contributing to the band’s thick soup of rebellion and a life in the darkness. Third album Rattle (Gilead Media) sees the band incorporate a Grungey, swamp-drenched edge to that sound, further uniting related yet disparate genres.Continue reading
‘Twas a mere fifteen months ago that Baton Rouge, Louisiana trio Woorms released debut album Slake (Sludgelord Records), its grooves twisted into nasty bites of hostile Sludge Metal. Follow-up Twitching, As Prey (Sludgelord Records), stays hot on the heels of that initial full-length, both chronologically and in temperament, but shows a maturity and an inventiveness far beyond its predecessor.Continue reading
For many, the nineties would prove to be the end of heavy metal as we knew it. Bands who rose to greatness in the preceding decade suddenly found themselves either retreading old ground, out of their depth trying to explore new territories, or simply grinding to an unceremonious halt. Within just a couple of years, denim, leather and even the term “heavy metal” itself, were out.Continue reading