CONCERT REVIEW: Mastodon – Opeth – Khemmis Live At The Masonic


 

The Masonic Temple is one of the most outstanding buildings in Midtown Detroit. The regal Neo-Gothic architecture and cathedral-like design makes it a prime tourist attraction for Motor City. Part of this historic building’s appeal is the theatre and its massive stage. The stateliness of this structure and the 55 by 100 foot theatre platform made it the perfect pick for Mastodon and Opeth to bring their co-headline tour. The bands rolled into town on a cool Spring evening last week and brought Denver’s own Khemmis with them. Having three currently hot and popular bands under one roof is every modern metalhead’s dream.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Crowbar – Zero and Below


From the swamps of Louisiana, legendary New Orleans sludgelords Crowbar return with another collection of songs so uncompromisingly heavy that each one arrives with its own gravitational pull. As entirely expected, Zero and Below (MNRK Heavy), the band’s twelfth full-length studio release pulls absolutely no punches, delivering even more high-quality riffage with the same single-minded determination that saw them smash their way onto the scene over thirty years ago.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Matt Pike – Pike vs The Automaton


Absolute legend of stoner doom and sludge metal, Matt Pike has lifted off with his first solo album entitled Pike vs The Automaton (MNRK Heavy). Being known well for his work in Sleep and High on Fire, Matt takes all of the things he loves from those projects as well as other influences to put together a fantastic psychedelic rock album. Groovy, heavy, and really something for everyone can be found here to be enjoyed.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Red Fang – Arrows


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.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Mothman And The Thunderbirds – Into The Hollow


Ever since I was a kid, I have had a deep interest in cryptozoology. While I can accept most of these hypothetical creatures as misidentifications or outright fabrications as an adult, there is still the part of me that likes to imagine the possibilities. As a musician myself, a cryptozoology-themed band has also been on my bucket list for a long time. I’m sure plenty of bands with that sort of theming are out there, but the debut album from Mothman And The Thunderbirds makes for a particularly interesting variation.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Bongzilla – Weedsconsin


 

Bongzilla’s fifth album comes with an interesting set of curveballs, being their first full-length release since 2005’s Amerijuanican as well as their first to be recorded as a trio. However, very little has changed about the Wisconsinites’ vision in the sixteen years they’ve been away. As evidenced by an appropriately dumb but endearing title like Weedsconsin (Heavy Psych Sounds), the Sweet Leaf remains the focal point of their aesthetic and their Stoner-Sludge sound is as potent as ever.

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LIVESTREAM REVIEW – Crowbar


Directed by Mike Holderbeast (Exhorder/High on Fire) what you see (and hear) from “Crowbar from New Orleeeaanns!” third slab of live streamage is what you’d expect to get… Crowbar playing a bunch of songs in an empty bar. Continue reading


EP REVIEW: Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle – The Helm of Sorrow


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.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Yatra – All Is Lost


While All Is Lost (Grimoire Records) is the second album that Yatra has released in 2020, it is hardly a retread of its predecessor. The extreme elements that were merely blooming on Blood Of The Night are pushed to even further extents this time around. The drums have a much more aggressive presence with several busy fills on display while the fuzzy guitar and bass tones are much fuller. It never goes into full Blackened territory, but the more active Stoner-Sludge approach makes their High On Fire influence even more apparent.Continue reading