Demons and Wizards Share New Single and Video for “Diabolic”, New Album Incoming

Power Metal supergroup Demons & Wizards (Iced Earth + Blind Guardian members) have announced their highly anticipated album III for 2020, due out on February 21 via Century Media Records. Watch the spectacular video for the new single, ‘Diabolic’ right now! Continue reading

PODCAST: Episode 65 – Puppy Talks About New Music, and  Pure Rock Majesty

London’s brashest export Puppy has been taking the world by storm the last few years. After the release of their album The Goat (Spinefarm Records), the band toured ceaselessly and won fans the world over. Now they have surprise-released a new EP, III, and have more stuff in the works soon, including a co-headline show with Bokassa in December. Check out our interview with the entire band and stop wrecking your life by sleeping on Jock, Will and Billy, clearly twisted maniacs. Continue reading

Bask Share New Music Video, New Album Incoming

North Carolinian Psychedelic rock group Bask will release their third studio album, dubbed III, on November 8 via Season of Mist, their debut label debut. The band only recently announced their signing. The album was recorded and mixed by Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon, Minus The Bear, etc.). The album art and complete track-listing can be found below. Watch the video for the first single ‘New Dominion’ now! Continue reading

EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Waingro – “Merrin”

Ghost Cult is proud to partner up with Sludgelord Records for this exclusive stream of the brand new Waingro single – ‘Merrin’. The track comes from the Vancouver-based Stoner Rock power trio’s new album, III, out next week. The track is short, to the point and heavy as hell! You can purchase and stream the track, and pre-order it today. Jam it out right now!  Continue reading

Crowhurst – III

 

I’ll let you in on a little secret when it comes to reviewing metal and hardcore. If Converge’s Kurt Ballou produced or recorded an album, chances are that the getting is going to be pretty good. Two songs into Crowhurst’s III (Prophecy Productions) I found myself wondering who manned the boards and – lo and behold – the aforementioned Ballou handled the affair at the now legendary GodCity Studios. Praise the maker. Continue reading

Indesinence – III

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Boasting members from illustrious UK acts such as Fen, Binah and Code, London doom/death dealers Indesinence are packing a pretty impressive line-up. Having been lurking in the shadows of the underground for nearly fifteen years now, their previous two records Noctambulism (Goat of Mendes) in 2006 and Vessels of Light and Decay six years later won numerous plaudits but were too far under the radar for most people to take notice of the ominous darkness contained within. Third record, the imaginatively titled III (both Profound Lore) is unlikely to win many new admirers, but for those who already dwell in the shadows, it’s a welcome treat.

While most doom/death acts are content to rip off My Dying Bride and hope the listeners are too miserable to notice, Indesinence have their own clearly defined sound; one that uplifts as well as bruises, with shades of dappled light amidst the stygian gloom. They’re still slaves to the lengthy track however as songs evolve over several minutes, with riffs unfurling languidly to strike at their own pace, while the stark, pounding drumbeats batter the listener into submission.

First track proper ‘Nostalgia’ is appropriately titled, for it calls to mind the sheer bleakness of US masters Evoken, as the devastatingly sad lead guitar work provides the perfect counterfoil to the gut-punching of the rhythm section. ‘Embryo Limbo’ sets the scene with some stately clean-picked notes before giving way to some crushing riffs that flirt with mid-paced mid-90s death metal, like Incantation after a heavy dose of lithium.

The first real burst of pace occurs on ‘Desert Trail’ with brisk blastbeats and strange melodies contributing to a strong feeling of malaise but the best is saved for the end of the album as the tortuous crawl of ‘Mountains of Mind/Five Years Ahead (Of My Time)’ soon gives way to a frantic chugging section, aided by eerie keyboards before a gloriously exuberant solo emerges from the mire and it becomes apparent that the band have wandered into full-on dark prog territory. The triumphant end-section is worth the price of the whole album.

Most bands would call it a day there, but Indesinence decide that things need to remain grim, which they do with aplomb on the seventeen minute dirge of ‘Strange Meridian’, an oppressive crawl through agonized soundscapes. The riffs are depressing, the vocals are truly anguished and were it not for another burst of soaring lead-guitar to end things again on a breathless, stargazing note, the whole thing might get too much. There really is no need to tack on a ten minute dark ambient closing track to finish things off though.

A difficult and undeniably too-long album, III is nonetheless a masterful and imposing piece of work. Doom/death is a naturally restrictive genre, but Indesinence have proven themselves to be one of the finest acts working in its field. Full-on misery can often get a bit one-note without some other forces to counteract the despair, and there are enough ideas going on here to ensure that even for an album approaching eighty minutes in length, attention will be maintained and engaged. The heirs to Disembowelment? Why not, eh?

 

8.0/10

 

JAMES CONWAY

Xerath – III

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When most metal bands attempt to introduce non-metallic elements to their sound, the results are often disastrous. It took Fleshgod Apocalypse three albums to effectively blend classical refrains with blasting death metal while the introduction of opera to black metal that Arcturus ‘perfected’ is regarded by many as unforgiveable. However, sometimes the combining of disparate styles is a joy to behold, as Basingstoke bruisers Xerath once again prove with their emphatic blending of the rough with the smooth on third album III (Candlelight).

While it may be lazy to assert that all the quartet do is play groove metal with orchestral keyboards swirling away in the background, when it boils down to it, that’s not too far from the truth. What makes the band special, however, is just how good the songwriting is, as the infectiously twisty riffs of album opener ‘I Hold Dominion’ demonstrates. The keyboards that make up so much of the bands’ sound, and indeed, their identity aren’t just merely tacked on, they flow in time with the riffs and enable the arrangements to take on a more profound and grand aspect than one might expect. Catchy hooks like the soaring chorus to ‘I Hunt For The Weak’ don’t do any harm either.

New guitarist Conor McGouran has integrated seamlessly and his massive Meshuggah-esque riffs make the music seem urgent and alive, such as the stomping heaviness of ‘Autonomous’ and the staccato assault of ‘Passenger.’ Vocalist Richard Thomson may occasionally lapse into a Devin Townsend impersonation but it’s likely you’ll be enjoying proceedings too much to care. As with Xerath’s previous two albums, III feels like the soundtrack to an epic sci-fi film with stunning visuals and profound themes. While it’s just heavy metal at the end of the day, you can’t help but feel that the four members of the band are reaching for the stars, and one day they might just succeed.

 

8.0/10

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JAMES CONWAY