Sad news to report as according to MetalSucks and Brooklyn Vegan, frontman Will Mecum of legendary instrumental Stoner Rock band Karma To Burn (sometimes stylized by their fans as K2B) has died. Mecum died April 29th, 2021 as a result of a traumatic head injury from an accidental fall. Initially, there was some confusion as to when he actually passed away, but he officially passed on April 30th. The band confirmed the news with a message on Facebook. Will formed Karma to Burn with bassist Rich Mullins and drummer Nathan Limbaugh in 1994 in Morgantown WV, and signed with Roadrunner for their self-titled debut album which was their only album to feature a dedicated vocalist. Following two more albums (1999’s Wild Wonderful Purgatory and 2001’s Almost Heathen), Karma to Burn disbanded but they reformed in 2009 and went on to make three more albums (including 2014’s Arch Station), and released the Mountain Czar EP in 2016. Earlier this year K2B released Thee Rabbit Hole, an album of demos.
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 →
Cave of Swimmers’ first album isn’t much longer than the two EPs they’ve previously released, just barely hitting thirty-two minutes long. However, Aurora (BroomTune Records) serves as a dramatic leap forward for the Miami duo. The songs are rooted in the same hyperactive Heavy Psych last seen with 2015’s Reflection but there is more time devoted to exploring their more in-your-face influences. The resulting hodgepodge of Stoner Rock, Prog, and Classic Metal ends up being somewhere between Hammers Of Misfortune and Galactic Cowboys with a bit of King Gizzard for flavor.
Working With God (Ipecac Records/Liberator Music)is the 24th release by the Melvins and features their 1983 lineup of Buzz Osbourne, Dale Crover on bass, and original drummer Mike Dillard (although they have been doing a ton of regular Melvins lineup activities with Steven Shane McDonald of Redd Kross). The record encapsulates the Hardcore and Sludge style Melvins have delivered since their genesis. The result is a fresh album that is thrilling and cathartic.
At first, Jakethehawk’s second album closely adheres to the relentless wave of Stoner Doom. But while Hinterlands (Ripple Music) is rife with the heavy riffs and spaced-out psychedelia typical in the genre, it reveals a deep pool of influences that include Prog Rock, Shoegaze, Alternative, Folk, and a bit of Southern Rock among other tastes. The results are similar to the eclectic blend seen on Fostermother’s 2020 debut, though with a dramatic scope more in line with the likes of Howling Giant or Sergeant Thunderhoof.
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.
Today on the block we have Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes by Australian Stoner Doom band Fumarole, out now from the excellent Interstellar Smoke Records. I’ve heard a couple of their singles and dug what I heard, so I was definitely stoked to get the album in hand. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes starts off pedal down and never really lets up. Loaded with hooky as hell riffage, driving rhythms, and killer spots where the bass and drums lay down the groove while the guitar has its fun. The solos are tasty, they have a rock feel sprinkled with some blues that truly add to the overall vibe.
Ukrainian Psychedelic Stoner band Stoned Jesus will stream their 2019 10th anniversary concert today, “Live at Green Theatre” show for fans. They played an intimate concert in Kyiv at the Green Theatre and are now premiering the full live-show exclusively on the Napalm Records YouTube channel, today at 7pm CET. Set your reminders and come back for the show! Continue reading →
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.
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.