In what seems to be the year of the sophomore releases for new bands in the scene, Knoll has come stomping back with their second full-length, Metempiric (Self-Released). Somewhere between grindcore and horror movies is where this record will be classified years from now. The use of shrieking vocals, traditional grindcore instrumentals, and uncomfortable brass sections (oh yeah, there are trumpets!) peppered in really make this album a formidable contender for end-of-year discussions, but is just uncomfortable overall, which is a commendation that is not handed out often.
It is not every day that one stumbles upon a one-person, blackened death metal band. However, today is that day! Vølus has dropped his sophomore release, entitled Thrown to the Abyss (Vargheist). The best way I can sum up this album has to be trancelike. I found time and time again that I would lose myself in the chaos that Justin Vølus has created while also bobbing my head in time.
In a time like the last few years, we all are looking for that good piece of news, that sense of accomplishment, that fix of dopamine, to keep us going. Sometimes the positivity, the harmony, the peace is just deafening and some gloom is needed. This is where Black Void resides with their debut release, Antithesis (Nuclear Blast). Born from the group’s other persona, White Void, of hard rock classification, is that good feeling inverse of what Black Void has put together. What that equates to is, crust punk competing with black metal to make a nihilistic ride through darkness.Continue reading
The three-man deathsludge machine, known simply as Primitive Man, has dropped four new blistering tracks in the form of an EP entitled Insurmountable (Closed Casket Activities). Mixing funeral doom, black metal, and harsh noise elements, this powerhouse from Denver, Colorado is one of the most abrasive, yet satisfying bands out there. After thirty-eight minutes, any first listeners will certainly start working on the rest of the group’s discography.Continue reading
One journey I have thoroughly enjoyed is the evolution of Sweden’s very own, Watain. The infamous black-metallers have released their seventh studio album in the form of The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain (Nuclear Blast). One of the shining notes that really sticks with me is each track down the list tries to outdo the previous track, of which is pretty successful. On the other side, this has been the first Watain release that did not have me hooked at first listen.
The UK doom scene continues to pump out solid releases and the latest from Alunah is no different. Strange Machine (Heavy Psych Sounds) kicks right off with the album track and does not let up on the psychedelic rock/doom metal mixture. A lot of fans of the scene tend to just say things like “Oh it’s just more Sabbath worship”, but rest assure, these Birmingham natives are not here to hit copy and paste.Continue reading
Once upon a time, I got a compliment on a hoodie I was wearing while ordering a beer at a brewery, and said bartender recommended a band called Falls of Rauros. I immediately checked them out and it was an easy win for my library of music. Now, the New England black metal group is back with another stellar release in Key to a Vanishing Future (Eisenwald Recordings/Gilead Media). Six tracks over the course of nearly forty-five minutes with each song keeping you intrigued is a true chef’s kiss.
There may not be a “classic” doom metal genre, officially (is there really an official subgenre list of heavy metal?), but when I think of the classic doom metal sound, I think of the UK style. Super beefy guitar riffs, slowed down tempo, lyrics about the occult and psychedelics, and of course, clean high end pitched vocals to tie it all together. Friends of Hell does just that on their self-titled debut album (Rise Above). Tas Danazoglou (Satan’s Wrath/ex-Electric Wizard), and vocalist Albert Witchfinder (Opium Warlords/ex-Reverend Bizarre) are the driving force behind this doom machine and seems like that is all that is needed.
Fresh off an instant classic and a slight name change, Vein.fm have returned with another chaotic work of art entitled This World Is Going To Ruin You (Nuclear Blast). The Boston (yes, I am very biased on this one) hardcore outfit came back swinging in this sophomore release that certainly lives up to its predecessor without being a copy/paste job. While the expected frantic song structures and nu-metal influences are here as expected, I felt an increase of melodic moments in this record, and that is not a disparaging remark at all.
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.