Clutch has announced a new album for later this summer, Weathermaker Vault Series, named for their own record label imprint. The band has shared a lyric video for their updated cover of Willie Dixon’s classic blues track ‘Evil’. Dixon was the famous and inspirational bluesman whom Led Zeppelin copied and covered a lot early in their career, and ‘Evil’ has that same DNA with Clutch’s fingerprints on it too. Watch it now! Continue reading
Epic heavy gospel blues artist Zeal & Ardor has released a new single today, ‘Built on Ashes’. The track comes from his forthcoming new album, Stranger Fruit, due out on June 8th via Radicalis / MVKA. Continue reading
On their fifth and self-titled LP (Svart), Witch Mountain are trying to decide if they’re the most melodic Doom Metal act or the heaviest Blues band currently on the planet. Blues informed riffage has always been a part of Doom, and we dearly thank Black Sabbath for that contribution, but many a modern practitioner have ditched tradition in favor of harsher noise. Witch Mountain is not about modern convention, but about sticking with tried and true basics. Continue reading
In the beginning there was Black Sabbath. There was also Bedemon, but no one knew of them. And the world of Doom went about its business, for Bedemon were not the droids that were being looked for. Yet, the world of Doom was to realize its mistake and to come to know and love those that created the Bedemon, for their line up boasted none other than Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, Geof O’Keefe and occasional member Randy Palmer. So, it all worked out alright in the end. Certainly better than it did for the Stormtroopers.
Child of Darkness is a collection of demos and recordings the band made in the early 70’s, remastered and reissued by Relapse. It will surprise none to learn that this collection of proto-metal tunes is very close in sound and style to the works of the aforementioned infamous forefathers, though with tunes bluesier and less riff based, and with Liebling’s a cleaner tone to Ozzy’s.
Whether you see this as a curio or an essential purchase will depend on how deep your love of Doom is, and how interested you are tracing the lineage, as this line up (in this guise) and this collection of songs didn’t see the light of day until 2005, other than odd tracks on mythical bootleg records and tapes.
Even though this suffers in places from poor source audio quality (some of the tracks are notably warped or distorted), that doesn’t detract from the overall experience, and in fact, enhances the feeling of authenticity; overdriven dark blues that would form the basis of an entire genre a generation later. The simple but oh-so-effective laid back groove of ‘One-Way Road’ is a three minute template for desert rock and on the more considered ‘Into The Grave’ you can hear the origins of the sounds that would inspire and drive Monster Magnet.
Child of Darkness is a collection of good, dark and heavy bluesy proto-metal tunes from talented musicians who, while not having the same global impact as Sabbath, would nonetheless go on to make an indelible mark in the history of this beautifully ugly mutant we call metal.
It has been a number of years since Pain Of Salvation last graced us with their brand of melancholic metallic prog. Not quite a Tool or Chinese Democracy dynasty of nothingness of course, but still a significant period without one of prog and metal’s most overlooked gems. Such a shame that their return is with a self-indulgent stop-gap.
Falling Home (InsideOut) comprises of mostly stripped down takes on songs throughout their history, a brand new song of a similar ilk and two covers reworked to fit stylistically. The reworked efforts encompass their vast history including album opener ‘Stress’ which takes from 1999’s Entropia (InsideOut) and renders it into a lounge jazz number. In some cases these reimaginings both make sense and work exceptionally well; take the heavy blues of Road Salt One (InsideOut) via ‘Linoleum’ which becomes a much softer, near-ballad which still maintains subtle, up tempo mellotron. ‘Mrs Modern Mother Mary’ similarly sees is metallic air removed entirely, showing a much more delicate side and really showcasing Daniel Gildenlow’s diverse vocal delivery.
Sadly for all its well-realized moments there are also plenty that don’t hit the mark, and even ventures towards simple novelty and becomes very hard to take seriously. The aforementioned ‘Stress’ for example sadly brings to mind comedy acts like Richard Cheese, whilst the most notable of the two covers, their lounge take on Dio’s iconic “Holy Diver” holds absolutely no musical worth and is surely included purely as a joke.
With such a rewarding catalogue at their disposal, its more than well documented at how special a group these Swedes can be, capable of absolute magic; which makes this release all the more disappointing and near aggravating. A collection that ranges from sumptuous takes on already high caliber songs to those that prove either unspectacular or even simply pointless, and a release that will only appeal to a select few uber fans, and the creators themselves.