EP REVIEW: Midnight Dice – Hypnotized – Underground Power Records

Coming off a self-titled demo in 2019, Midnight Dice’s first EP, Hypnotized (Underground Power Records/Hoove Child Records), sees the Chicagoans continuing to build their momentum. Comparisons to the musicians’ previous band Satan’s Hallow remain inevitable as Hypnotized rides on a similarly anthemic Classic Metal style. However, there are also developments that show the band beginning to carve out a more distinct identity. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Vestal Claret – Vestal Claret 

While a self-titled album often serves as a summary of an artist’s particular style, Vestal Claret’s third full-length is unlike anything else they’ve done before. The Doom Metal that defined the occult collective’s past efforts has been completely phased out in favor of a subdued presentation that is somewhere between Folk and introspective Psych Rock. An esoteric aura still wafts with vocalist Phil Swanson (Hour of 13, Sumerlands) offering his signature mournful, nasally wail, but the vibe has more in common with Hexvessel or Sabbath Assembly than Pagan Altar. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Greyhawk – Keepers Of The Flame

The first full-length album from Seattle’s Greyhawk is a particularly interesting iteration of the NWOTHM scene. A focus on hooky songwriting with an epic tone makes for easy comparisons to such contemporaries as Visigoth and Traveler as the production carries a polished sheen similar to the likes of Haunt or Idle Hands. While these factors would initially suggest that the band is just another notch in a long line of derivatives, they find a lot of ways to set themselves apart on Keepers Of The Flame (Fighter Records).

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ALBUM REVIEW: Burial – Satanic Upheaval

Mancunian trio Burial stand out for more reasons than the impressive collective build of its members: its particular brand of Blackened Death has ensured that the band maintained a popularity within its locale and beyond. Their third album Satanic Upheaval (Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings) is its first outing in four years and is just as uncompromising in its approach. Continue reading

Horseburner – Thief

Ripple Music is one of those labels, that you can pretty much buy all their albums without hearing them, and they are just going to be strong from start to finish. They have a great roster and one of the newest additions for 2019 is Horseburner! They do not burn horses and in fact, are sweet dudes from what we gather. Their music, however, gives no quarter at all: punishing the ears and the soul. Rising from West Virginia, these guys get their Stoner Rock and Trad influences on without being derivative or sacrificing that base instinct to rock. On Thief, Horseburner establishes themselves as a major future creative force. Continue reading

Age Of The Wolf – Ouroboric Trances

In further proof of Metal’s worldwide appeal, dropped-out troupe Age Of The Wolf hail from Costa Rica. There’s pedigree in the ranks too, with ex-Corpse Garden six-stringer Christopher de Haan at the forefront of their sound, and the Extreme Metal experience of the quartet lends a seriously hard edge to Stoner-flavoured debut Ouroboric Trances (Aural Music). Continue reading

PODCAST: EPISODE 15 – Erica Stoltz of Sanhedrin on “The Poisoner” Album

Ghost Cult had the pleasure of catching up with Erica Stoltz of Brooklyn’s trad/stoner band Sanhedrin. They just released their excellent new album The Poisoner via the Cruz Del Sur label. Erica caught us up on the process of creating the new album, working with co-producer Colin Marston, the bands’ hands-on approach to sound recording and writing collaboratively, contrasting the classic scenes between New York and San Francisco, her lyrical inspirations and personal experiences that color the new album and much more! Continue reading

Druids – Monument

When Iowan trio Druids‘ EP Spirit Compass (Self-release) hit my ears sixteen months ago, I was staggered by the apparent ease with which the bandmelded the darkness of Sabbath and the violence of Mastodon with the joyous, Summery Grunge of Blind Melon. It made for a heady mix and new offering Monument (The Company) promises the same excitement amid a paradoxically heavy flexibility. Continue reading

Magic Circle – Departed Souls

While bands such as Pallbearer and Khemmis have been roundly lauded as the prime exponents of modern Progressive Doom, Boston’s Magic Circle has received less attention but is no less of a creative talent. The third album Departed Souls takes up where predecessor Blind Journey (both 20 Buck Spin) left off but sees positively lumimous advances from a whole host of instruments. Continue reading

Lost Society – Riptide: Live at Manchester Academy 3

When it comes to the heavy scene of Finland, your average metalhead is likely to associate it with a plethora of power and melodic death metal bands that established themselves during a period in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The strength of such acts, which included Stratovarius, Children of Bodom and most infamously Nightwish, not only helped put Scandinavia on the map but to this day remain the icy nation’s most popular and recognised exports. However, despite a long-lasting legacy steeped in epic choruses, neo-classical soloing and gliding keyboards, it so happened that in 2010, a humble quartet from the small town of Jyväskylä by the name of Lost Society would bust down the gate with a relentless thrash album aptly titled Fast Loud Death. It was a release that harkened back to the very earliest days of Metallica and Exodus, and was so instantly beloved by thrashers around the world that it solidified the band as one of the most energising new faces of the genre. So much that when the band dared to change their style up on their latest release (2016’s Braindead – Nuclear Blast), many of their fans were left feeling at best, puzzled, and at very worst, betrayed. On the back of this polarising release, Lost Society welcomed a mosh-ready Manchester crowd for a night of thrash, groove and everything in between on their very first UK headline tour. Continue reading