Author Archives: bbarratt

Empress- Reminiscence

Empress– Reminiscence Release date: 2018Feb12 Label: Self-released Rating: 5/5 Empess are comprised of members of Seer and Craters, inspired by obscure (to me) doom group Elder. The Offering is a wall of sound unto itself, raw and visceral. Immer projects eeriness flowing into thick bass hits. Baptizer is fucking killer, starting off with dank bass echo giving way to dirty […]

Jess and the Ancient Ones- The Horse and Other Weird Tales

Jess and the Ancient Ones– The Horse and Other Weird Tales Release date: 2017Dec01 Label: Svart Records Rating: 4.5/5 Jess and the Ancient Ones remain one of my favorite bands of the modern era. Death Is The Doors is complimented with  a kaleidoscope of garage-y rock. Shining is full of swagger, unbelievably catchy. I adore the […]


TROLL–S/T Release date: 2018Mar16 Label: Shadow Kingdom Rating: 4.5/5 Self-titled debut from Portland Oregon’s TROLL that reads like folklore. The Summoning/Troll brings a troll forth through the swamp, dredged by swampy hooks. Melodic sludge comes to mind on The Witch, leading into the muddy stomp of An Eternal Haunting. Infinite Death storms the gate with epic blues-tinged riffs, showcasing […]

Black Sabbath- The End: Live in Birmingham

Black Sabbath– The End: Live in Birmingham Release date: 2017Nov17 Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment Rating: 4/5 Recorded on February 4, 2017, this is the final live album from Black Sabbath and possibly their last release ever. It’s fitting that it was recorded in their hometown of Birmingham, UK. Honestly, every single track is amazing as it is […]

Electric Wizard – Wizard Bloody Wizard

Electric Wizard– Wizard Bloody Wizard Release date: 2017Nov11 Label: Rise Above Rating: 4/5 Electric Wizard return with their first new release since 2012’s Legalize Drugs & Murder EP. See You In Hell plods with foreboding vocals peppered with  sinister bass. Necromania is an up-tempo ode to fornicating with the deceased. How else to describe it? Hear The Sirens Scream […]

Lucifer’s Chalice- The Pact

Lucifer’s Chalice– The Pact Release date: 2017Sep29 Label: Shadow Kingdom Rating: 3.5/5 Lucifer’s Chalice hail from the UK with a strong occult influence spread over four tracks.Hung at the Crossroads brings demented thrash set to a tale of murder and intrigue. The Pact conveys a twisted sense of urgency set against thunderous bass. Full Moon […]

Howling Giant- Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2 EP

Howling Giant– Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2 EP Release date: 2017Aug25 Label: self Rating: 4.5/5 Follow-up to Part 1 from nearly a year ago. Henry Tate drones slightly, giving way to a thick, psychedelic essence. The Pioneer has sabbath-esque hooks, pleasing the ears. Visions of lush, mellow guitars, set to a gentle breeze. The Forest Speaks softly with […]

Doom Side of the Moon- Self-Titled

Doom Side of the Moon– Doom Side of the Moon Release date: 2017Aug04 Label: self-released Rating: 5/5 Doom Side of the Moon, led by members of The Sword and additional musicians, is a metallized version of Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon.  Speak to Me conjures grittiness, increasing in intensity with each note. Breathe (In […]

Tusmørke- Hinsides

Tusmørke– Hinsides Release date: 2017May12 Label: Svart Rating:  5/5 Hjemsøkte Hjem is an ethereal amalgamation of woodsy folk and punk unlike anything else I’ve heard. I Feel Like Midnight throws in some funk to compliment sounds of woodland animals. Rykende Ruin lifts your spirits with somber riffs straight from 1973. Lyssky Drom reaches out and […]

Beastmaker- Inside The Skull

Beastmaker– Inside The Skull Release date: 2017May19 Label: Rise Above Rating: 3.5/5 Beastmaker hail from Fresno, CA with this follow-up to Lusus Naturae, released just last year. Evil One lives up to its’ name, reminiscent of tracks from Electric Wizard and Uncle Acid. Now Howls The Beast lunges for the throat with sinister, foreboding vocals set […]

Sabbath Assembly- Rites of Passage

Sabbath Assembly– Rites of Passage Release date: 2017May12 Label: Svart Records Rating: 4/5 Sabbath Assembly hail from TX and NYC with a potent mix of occult rock. Shadows Revenge takes no prisoners with dark, foreboding riffs set to thick, rolling drums. Angel’s Trumpets is soft, melodic with dark, dirty bass licks.  Does Love Die is full of harmonic […]

Medusa1975- Rising From The Ashes

Medusa1975– Rising From The Ashes Release date: 2017Apr21 Label: Svart Records Rating: 5/5 Medusa1975 represents the evolution of Medusa, an obscure proto-metal group out of Colorado formed in the 1970s. Armageddon opens with somber notes, picking up in the middle with a punishing bass/guitar attack. Rage On is a lazy afternoon stoner jam. Indeed, man. Fall […]

The Obsessed- Sacred

The Obsessed– Sacred Release date: 2017Apr07 Label: Relapse Rating: 4/5 Formed by Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Saint Vitus),  The Obsessed return with their first record since 1994’s The Church Within. Punk Crusher and Haywire serve up punk-ish doom rock. Stranger Things is a  melodic romp through the desert. Razor Wire sounds a lot like a certain […]

Ymir’s Blood- Ymir’s Blood

Ymir’s Blood– Ymir’s Blood Release date: 2017Mar01 Label: Archaic Sound Rating: 3.5/5 I may have overstated my fondness for this release. Unleasher: Beerbarian is full of thick, crushing sludge with an old-school feel. 1589 impresses with medieval doom riffs and a pounding bass line. Origin of Iron hurtles at an epic pace with catchy bass licks. Immigrant Song is a decent cover of the Led […]

Unearthly Trance- Stalking the Ghost

Unearthly Trance– Stalking The Ghost Release date: 2017Feb24 Label: Relapse Rating: 5/5 Two words come to mind: night terrors. Into The Spiral dominates, acidic drumbeats, searing every inch of your being. Dream State Arsenal like a hellwolf, plodding with cavernous bass, encrusted drums. Famine drones into existence with lethargic licks. Lion Strength conjures thoughts of Saint Vitus, […]

Spagegoat- Superstition

Spacegoat– Superstition Release date: 2016Dec15 Label: Self-released Rating: 4.5/5 Monterrey, Mexico’s Spacegoat return with a new full-length. Their debut EP was a top pick of mine. “Doomensional” sets the mood with psychedelic doom riffage. “Transmuta” is a mid-paced bluesy stomper. “Superstition” is a favorite with its’ trance-y licks mated to somber vocals. There’s a strong Black Sabbath […]

Dawnbringer- XX

Dawnbringer– XX Release date: 2016Dec23 Label: Ektro Rating: 3.5/5 Dawnbringer recently split-up, which is a disappointment as I was a fan of Into The Lair of the Sun God and have yet to listen to the follow-up to that. “Why Would You Leave Me” opens on  soft note, seguing “Into The Maze”, which offers dark, […]

Lo-Pan- In Tensions

Lo-Pan- In Tensions Release date: 2017Jan13 Label: Aqualamb Rating: 4.5/5 Lo-Pan return from Columbus, Ohio with this excellent EP.”Go West” is quick and dirty with light sludge licks. “Long Live the King” evokes early-QOTSA with infectious hooks. “Pathfinder” soars over the rest with soft melodies giving way to a sonic attack. I admit, it’s not […]

Luciferian Light Orchestra- Black EP

Luciferian Light Orchestra– Black EP Release date: 2016Dec09 Label: Svart Records Rating: 5/5 Fans of Therion might be familiar with vocalist Christofer Johnsson and his newest project, the Lucifierian Light Orchestra.  I was blown away the first time I heard this and it’s taken me a while to put my thoughts to a page. “Evil Masquerade” greets with dark, […]

Captain Crimson- Remind

Captain Crimson– Remind Release date: 2016Oct14 Label: Small Stone Rating: 4/5 This is not the first time that I’ve reviewed anything from Captain Crimson (2012’s Dancing Madly Backwards was excellent). Remind has a lot of offer, starting with “Bells from the Underground”, which rolls with dripping grunge-lite hooks and catchy tempos. “Love Street” is full of bluesy […]

Kremlin- Kremlin

Kremlin– Kremlin Release date: 2016Oct07 Label: Svart Records Rating: 4.5/5 Kremlin hail from Helsinki, Finland. “Ghost Flyers” greets the ears with an organic rock soundscape with strong ’70s psychedelic/hard rock influences. “Cruhn” is highly reminiscent of Pentagram. “Lizards” takes one on a memorable romp with bluesy guitar and rolling bass, similar to Deep Purple. “Lizards II” increases […]

Void King- There Is Nothing

Void King– There Is Nothing Release date: 2016Jun21 Label: self Rating: 3.5/5 Void King hail from Indianapolis, IN with a blend of riff-heavy metal. Skull Junkie rips with dirty blues licks set against abrasive vocals. Brandy Knew changes it up with punk guitar/bass, flowing into filthy drums. Canyon Hammer rains down fire and brimstone. It’s […]

Howling Giant- Black Hole Space Wizard Part 1 EP

Howling Giant– Black Hole Space Wizard Part 1 EP Release date: 2016Aug12 Label: self Rating: 3/5 Prepare for lift-off Mothership descends with punishing guitar and surefire vocals. Exodus-Earth makes reference to H.G Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Dirtmouth whistles and pops, giving way to frantic drumming and chaotic vocals. Clouds of Smoke part to […]

Valient Thorr-Old Salt

Valient Thorr– Old Salt Release date: 2016Jul29 Label: Napalm Rating: 5/5 Valient Thorr hail from Chapel Hill, NC. Mirakuru hits the ground running, spewing forth infectious thrash licks (radio edit available). Lil’ Knife stabs gently with a touch of blues. Cut and Run rocks your eardrums with an epic bass imprint. No Count Blues sounds like […]

The Wounded Kings- Visions of Bone

The Wounded Kings– Visions of Bone Release date: 2016Aug26 Label: Candlelight Rating: 2.5/5 The Wounded Kings announced shortly before the release of this album that they would be disbanding. Beast is comprised of soul-crushing doom with a harmonious pause. Kingdom plods through the field, taunting the ears with wrenching hooks. Vanishing Sea mercifully finishes with […]