Effectively serving as the second Idle Hands album under a new name, it only makes sense for Unto Others’ Strength (Roadrunner Records) to continue the mix of Classic Metal and Gothic Rock last seen with 2019’s Mana. However, debuting with a sound balancing two distinct styles like this inevitably raises the possibility of a tug o’ war taking place on subsequent offerings. In this scenario, it begs the question whether the band will prioritize their Metal side or their Gothic side. But as they say in that one Taco Bell commercial: “Why not both?”
Of all the bands on the Gothic Rock/Heavy Metal fusion bandwagon, Poltergeist may be the most committed to those Post-Punk aesthetics. The style on their third EP remains closer to Joy Division than Judas Priest with a heavy emphasis on chilling synths, stiff bass-heavy rhythms, and disinterested vampiric baritones. This is especially true on the first two tracks as the opening ‘Electricity’ goes full Synthwave and ‘Through Clouded Eyes’ follows it up in ominously subdued fashion.
Despite promising to move away from Heavy Metal in favor of a Post Punk sound in marketing materials, Lunar Shadow’s third album still features many of the band’s established quirks. The guitar tone’s lessened distortion promises a less in-your-face attitude, but the actual playing is still based around intricate sweeps and trills. The drumming also continues to mix in some aggressive fills and double bass patterns with the more upbeat rhythms while the vocal delivery still consists primarily of a shrill wail with some variation for mood.
With the release of their fourth full-length, Demon Head has gone from a particularly rustic Occult Doom band to full-on Goth Rock with a few sparse Doom elements. Glossy guitars and Robert Smith-esque vocals among other elements became prominent with 2019’s Hellfire Ocean Void and Viscera (Metal Blade Records) pushes them to an even further extent. But while this album should feel like the culmination of a well-realized evolution, the results are those of an unfortunately awkward misstep.
For the most part, Solstafir’s seventh full-length album follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, 2017’s Berdreyminn (Season of Mist). The songwriting still largely favors the band’s subdued side with influences ranging from Post Punk, Prog Rock, and Ambient greatly informing the Post Metal whole. Tracks like ‘Rokkur’ and ‘Her Fall From Grace’ are heavy on atmosphere with extensive space to breathe and ‘Or’ throws a curveball with its almost Jazz-tinged rhythms.
When listening to Forgotten Days (Nuclear Blast), Pallbearer’s fourth full-length, it’s hard to remember a time when they were ever this riff-driven. The title track sets an immediate precedent with its beginning feedback transitioning into pummeling yet catchy verses, a surprisingly hooky chorus, and a softer bridge that manages to keep the momentum going. ‘The Quicksand Of Existing’ and ‘Vengeance Ruination’ serve up even more heaviness in the album’s second half with the former’s straightforward chugs standing out. Considering past jabs I’ve made about Pallbearer being one of the most riff-adverse groups in Doom Metal, it’s a very refreshing change of pace.
Crosses (sometimes stylized as †††) a post-Punk and 1980s Gothic synth-pop influenced side project of Deftones frontman Chino Moreno may indeed be springing back to life for 2021. In a new interview with “The Boo Crew”, Bloody Disgusting’s weekly Podcast, Chino was interviewed by the gang to discuss the new Deftones album Ohms (review here), his horror episode score for Hulu’s Into The Dark series, stalking Anton Levay’s house in San Francisco, his favorite horror movies, and much more. Asked about Crosses, Chino confirmed that back at the end of 2018, the band had completed 6-7 songs with the idea of finishing them and teased some activity on social media at that time. When pressed about a future release Chino remarked that the break from Deftones touring to support Ohms until 2021 “might provide the chance to complete the new record”. Ghost Cult also interviewed Reyka Osburn of Death Valley High in 2019 and commented that he worked on new music with Chino, some of which was for Crosses too. Crosses released their self-titled album in 2014, and two other EPs, and toured the world several times. The band includes Moreno, Shawn Lopez (Far), and Chuck Doom. The interview was excellent and we suggest you check it out, like and subscribe to The Boo Crew Podcast too! Continue reading
Idles have come on in leaps and bounds since their last album Joy As An Act of Resistance (Partisan Records). It’s not even been 5 years since they were playing 100 capacity venues, yet here they are today having sold out giant venues like Alexandra Palace in under a day. With two giant albums under their belt, the big question was how the Bristol band were going to not only top it, but maintain the astronomical growth they’ve been on for the past 3 years.
Considering the lengthy silence between Chrome Waves self-titled EP in 2012 and 2019’s A Grief Observed, it’s great that the group has been so prolific since their comeback. Their second full-length album, Where We Live (Disorder Recordings), picks up where its predecessor left off while featuring its own set of changes. Dustin Boltjes (ex-Skeletonwitch, Sacred Leather) is on drums in place of the tragically passed Bob Fouts, and the eclectic influences behind the band’s melancholic sound are given room to expand even further.Continue reading
We caught up with Dez Fafara of Devildriver to discuss his upcoming new album Dealing With Demons I, out on Napalm Records on October 2nd, 2020. We chatted with Dez on the state of the word, changes to the bands’ songwriting approach for this new record, considering different angles for lyrics and vocals, his long relationship with Napalm Records, plans for the next album after Dealing with Demons II – already being written, some musings on Coal Chamber, Dez’s many business successes – especially his new record label, and much more. You can order Dealing with Demons I here, and check out our chat! Continue reading