After a year and change of no live shows, every single band on the planet has got to adapt themselves into the world of live streaming. The few live stream concerts I’ve seen have portrayed each band’s unique style and vision, but none as bizarre as The Melvins’ Volume 3: Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! which aired last Saturday, May 1st. The complete show is exactly what you would expect from this legendary band. The live stream started with acoustic versions of ‘Dark Brown Teeth’, a King Buzzo cover, and ‘Up The Dumper’. The most interesting and funny aspect of this particular live stream is that it felt like you were hanging out with the band in between songs. Each transition from song to song had a small interview that started with the whole band, then with Buzz Osborne, followed by Steven McDonald, and finishing with Dale Crover. Each interview featured hilarious stories of the band and their lives that covered the usage of masks to, of course, weed. The overall performance of the band was superb with a sound the sound quality you would expect from a band like The Melvins and the visuals were in the more psychedelic side that went along well with each of the played tracks. Overall this was a fun and refreshing way of conducting a live stream event and one that only sets up for the upcoming return of live shows.Continue reading
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.
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – L.W.
As indicated by the title, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard’s seventeenth full-length essentially serves as the second half of 2020’s K.G. and picks up where it left off stylistically. L.W. (Flightless Records) sees the completion of the microtone trilogy that started with 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana, emphasizing a similar mix of Middle Eastern scales, rhythmic percussion, and loosely flowing song structures. ‘Static Electricity’ and ‘See Me’ do the best job of dialing that vibe with their upbeat pacing while the grandiose chugs and life-affirming chants make the closing ‘K.G.L.W.’ one of the band’s most over the top Doom Metal dives to date.Continue reading
Released almost exactly a year to the day from the Coronavirus outbreak being officially declared a global pandemic, Louisiana sludge merchants Eyehategod take the last twelve painful months and turn them into a forty-minute outburst of depressive rage and explosive nihilistic aggression.Continue reading
Funny, before writing this review I had just finished a very interesting conversation about Swedish bands with someone as passionate as I am for Swedish music and we concluded that there must be something about being born in Scandinavia that automatically increases your chances of being good at making music. Spelljammer proves this point with their latest effort Abyssal Trip (RidingEasy Records). An equally catchy, beautiful, heavy, and dark album that brings a scenario that can be only compared as being a collection of Black Sabbath’s darkest, twisted tracks but heavier and more melodic. And it’s impossible not talking about Black Sabbath when talking about a Stoner/Doom Metal band, but this Swedish trio can easily be in the same conversation.
Let’s think of 2021 as the year that will reveal the ultimate artistic expression of all creators out there and, personally I am very excited with what the year promises pertaining to music releases especially in Metal. The year starts with the right foot with this release by Portugal’s Stoner Metal band Miss Lava and their fourth effort Doom Machine (Small Stone). This album explores how psychedelic and experimental sounds mix so well with Stoner Rock/Metal, with passages that go straight from heavy riffs into spacious soundscapes that will transport you somewhere else in the cosmos.
The second full-length album from Denver’s Green Druid promises broader influences compared to its predecessor, 2018’s Ashen Blood. It’s certainly true to an extent as the harsher vocals pop up more frequently and a couple of segments go-between post-Rock and Death Metal, but At The Maw Of Ruin (Earache Records) ultimately keeps to a steady Stoner Doom template. Comparisons could be made to their fellow Coloradans in Khemmis as the album utilizes a similar combination of monolithic riffs, drawn-out structures, and a desolate atmosphere.
Cortez’s third full-length album shows a certain spark that was merely hinted at the Boston group”s previous releases. This is immediately established with the opening”No Escape,” which comes crashing in with a template more in line with Classic Metal than their usual Stoner Rock. I find myself reminded of Cauldron or Castle as the driving tempo sustains a reverb-friendly production job with a slew of flamboyant guitar leads, gritty bass, and chanted vocals to go around.
This year has been as chaotic as anyone has ever seen. And for chaotic times we need good, solid, tight riffs, and Junior Bruce provides them on their album Pray For Death (Sludgelord Records). The Florida quintet brings an album with absolute bangers for fans of Stoner/Sludge Metal. Having a clash of different styles, Pray for Death is an album that reflects the collective anger society has against whatever anyone they choose to be mad about, still combining a certain melancholy that grows some of the most interesting aspects of Junior Bruce.
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