Category Metal


Dopethrone/Fister Split

Dopethrone/Fister– Split EP Riff Dealer Release date: 2016May11 Rating: 4/5 Dopethrone hail from Montreal, QC with fuzzed out sludge. Fister hail from St.Louis, Missouri. “Host”(Dopethrone) comes at you dripping with bleak sludge. It could have been recorded a decade or two earlier. “The Failure” (Fister) sounds (and probably tastes) like what blackened doom would be. […]


Church of Misery- And Then There Were None…

Church of Misery– And Then There Were None… Rise Above Records Release date: 2016Mar01 Rating: 4/5 Church of Misery return with a completely different lineup (Tatsu Mikami the only remaining original member). “The Hell Benders”(The Bender Family) plods with dark, bluesy guitars, echoing their classic sound. I’d hate to run into a family like that. “Make Them […]


Cauchemar- Chapelle Ardente

Cauchemar– Chapelle Ardente Nuclear War Now! (NWN) Release date: 2016June05 Rating: 5/5 Cauchemar hail from Montreal, QC with an intoxicating blend of heavy/doom metal. “Nécromancie” tolls with damning riffs. “Sepolta viva” is merciless with its’ thunderous layers.Words cannot adequately describe “Funérailles célestes”, in which the melancholic vocals of Annick Giroux fully compliment the prowess of Francois Patry […]


La Chinga- Freewheelin’

La Chinga– Freewheelin’ Small Stone Release date: 20160325 Rating: First of all, love the artwork (from artist Jason Cruz) as it fits the musical style very well and is highly reminiscent of the stoner hard rock bands of the 1990s-early 2000s. “Gone Gypsy” gets you into the groove with dirty licks. “White Witchy Black Magic” […]


Boudain- Way of the Hoof

Boudain– Way of the Hoof Self-released Release date: 20160420 Rating: 3.5/5 Boudain hail out of Monroe, LA with their blend of stoner groove and doom metal. “Sleazy Feats” indeed with tons of hooks. “Neptune” a great road-trippin’ tune. I’m getting higher listening to “3Man” with the layered grooves and psychedelic riffage. “Disco Jimmy” blows desert […]


Orchid- Sign of the Witch

Orchid– Sign of the Witch Release date: 2015Jul18 Label: Nuclear Blast Rating: 3.5/5 Orchid‘s Mouths of Madness blew my mind. This EP is more than enough to tide one over until their next full-length. “Helicopters” is nothing but fuzz and snare. Trippy. “John The Tiger” and “Sign of the Witch” kneel at the altar of […]

Brimstone Coven - Black Magic

Brimstone Coven- Black Magic

Brimstone Coven– Black Magic Release date: 2016Jan29 Label: Metal Blade Rating: 4/5 Brimstone Coven return with the follow up to their excellent debut. “Black Magic” takes heavy influence from Black Sabbath. “Beyond the Astral” takes the ears on a mystical journey of fuzzy, bluesy proto-doom. “Upon the Mountain” channels the back-to-basics hard rock that dominated […]

Deafheaven – New Bermuda (ANTI-)

Released in October, 2015, San Francisco-based “hipster-black-metal”/”black-metalgaze” (scare quotes emphasized) band Deafheaven’s follow up to their amazing 2013 album, Sunbather, is tremolo picked, heavy, loud, blast beat and inhumanly high pitch scream filled masterpiece. The vocals function as a soaring, piercing, harsh noise accompaniment to the fast, intricate, sometimes proggy drums and wall-of-sound guitar. These overwhelmingly life-denying elements […]


The Sword – High Country

The Sword– High Country Release date: 2015Aug21 Label: Razor & Tie Rating: 5/5 Over the years, The Sword have blossomed from a strict doom sound into an amazing blend of progressive stoner vibes. “Empty Temples and Early Snow” flow with smokey riffs that lend them an amazing proto-metal vibe. “High Country” weaves a desert tapestry full of […]


Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats- The Night Creeper

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats– The Night Creeper Release date: 2015Sept04 Label: Rise Above Records Rating: 4/5 I’m hyped about this new release from Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats because I loved Mind Control. This newer release is a companion to the latter that draws from their back catalog. “Waiting For Blood” and  “Pusher Man” are soft, ominous […]


Speedtrap – Straight Shooter

Speedtrap – Straight Shooter Release date: 2015Sept11 Label: Svart Records Rating: 3.5/5 Lappenranta, Finland’s Speedtrap are heavily influenced by speed metal and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). “No Glory Found” hits raw, reminiscent of early Iron Maiden.”Torches Ablaze” and “Serve Your Master” move like a railgun at full capacity, annihilating the ears,. “Running […]


King Heavy- S/T

King Heavy– S/T Release date: 2015Sep18 Label: Cruz del Sur Rating: 3.5/5 King Heavy seem poised to take over the world after conquering their home country of Chile. “La Gargola” lunges forward at a blistering pace with a thundering drum/bass attack. “Life AD” stomps along with solemn vocals that give way to unforgiving beats. A heavier […]


Pentagram – Curious Volume

Pentagram– Curious Volume Release date: 2015Aug28 Label: Peaceville Rating:5/5 Life tends to foist surprises unto you with little warning, such as a new Pentagram release! “Lay Down and Die” wags its’ finger at you, taunting you with fast  licks. “The Tempter Push” is a 60’s blues-tinged trip  with commanding drums. “Earth Flight” is a distorted psychedelic […]


Lucifer- Lucifer I

Lucifer– Lucifer I Rise Above Records Release date: 2015Jun09 Rating: 5/5 Lucifer is the newest project of vocalist Johanna Sedonis, formerly of The Oath. Whereas the latter took influence from NWOBHM (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, et al), the former are described as “heavy rock”. “Morning Star” is heavily influenced by Black Sabbath with excellent guitar/bass interplay. […]


The Exploding Eyes Orchestra- I

The Exploding Eyes Orchestra– I Svart Records Release date: 2015Jun12 Rating: 5/5 I can’t heap enough praise upon the amazing debut from The Exploding Eyes Orchestra, which features five of the seven members of Jess and the Ancient Ones. “The Smoke” opens with a dose of mystic blues-tinged rock. “Crazy Heart” showcases soft-spoken vocals that […]


ROYAL THUNDER – Crooked Doors

Royal Thunder – Crooked Doors Release Date: April 7, 2015 Label: Relapse FCC OK Try: Any of the first 8 tracks I hate to start on a tangent, but Royal Thunder‘s CVI was easily one of the best albums of 2012–a perfect coalescence of the promises hinted upon throughout their self-titled debut EP: an updated […]


PRONG – Songs from the Black Hole

Prong – Songs from the Black Hole Release Date: March 25, 2015 Label: eOne FCC: 2, 3, 6 Try: 1, 5, 8, 9 Prong has seen some kind of renaissance in the last decade, releasing a slew of studio albums, a live record, and now a collection of covers. They eschew expectations across the board, […]


A FOREST OF STARS – Beware the Sword You Cannot See

A Forest of Stars – Beware the Sword You Cannot See Release Date: February 27, 2015 Label: Prophecy Productions / Lupus Lounge FCC: 1, 3, 5 Try: 2, 4, and 6 thru 11 when feeling adventurous You don’t go around saying bands are basically the spiritual cousin to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum all willy-nilly-like; proper analogs […]


Mammoth Mammoth – Volume IV: Hammered Again

Mammoth Mammoth– Volume IV: Hammered Again Release date: 2015Mar27 Label: Napalm Records Rating: 4/5 Australian stoners Mammoth Mammoth return with 10 dabs of hard rock insanity. “Life’s A Bitch” and “Lookin’ Down The Barrel” demonstrate two different sides (punk and hair metal) with the latter taking on a strong Guns N Roses feel.“Electric Sunshine” plays […]


Acid King – Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Acid King– Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere Release date: 2015Apr18 Label: Svart Records Rating: 3.5/5 Acid King was formed in 1993 in San Francisco, CA. Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere is their first release since 2005’s III. “Intro” plods along with smokey hooks and flourishes. A primer for what’s to come. “Silent Pictures” delves […]


Valkyrie – Shadows

Valkyrie– Shadows Release date: 2015May12 Label: Relapse Rating: 5/5 Valkryie is a four-piece formed in 2002 featuring Alan Fary (bass), Warren Hawkins (drums), Peter Adams (guitar/vox) and Jake Adams (guitar/vox). “Mountain Stomp” opens with solid organic hooks that channel Black Sabbath. “Golden Age” is the yin to the yang of “Shadow of Reality”, the former […]


Burnt Books – Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

Burnt Books– Where’s There’s Smoke, There’s Fire Release date: 2015Mar20 Label: Retro-Futurist Records Rating: 3.5/5 Burnt Books hail from Columbia, SC with a blend of hardcore, post-punk and sludge. “Shadow I Cast” is an old-school melodic stomper, followed by the wall of breakdowns on “Useless Emotions”. “Those Arms” lowers the pace to a sinister crawl […]


Luna Sol – Blood Moon

Luna Sol- Blood Moon Rise Release date: 2015o420 Label: Slushfund Recordings Rating: 4.5/5 Luna Sol hail from Denver and are comprised of David Angstrom (Hermano, Supafuzz), Shannon Fahnestock (Swindlers), Shanda Kolberg (Swanks) and Pat Gill (Feds). “Bridges” starts off with a spacey opening riff, breaking into desert sludge. “December” follows the lead with the perfect balance […]


Amaranthe – Massive Addictive

Amaranthe – Massive Addictive Release Date: October 21, 2014 Label: Spinefarm Records FCC OK Try: 4, 7, 11 Although Amaranthe have only been around for 5 years or so, the Swedish–Danish power pop metal sextet feels like their pedigree extends further. It could be that guitarist/keyboardist Olaf Mörck has been a part of the Gothenburg’s […]


Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Alice in Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here Release Date: May 28, 2013 Label: Capitol Records FCC OK Try:  2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 After a 14-year wait, 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue was a welcome return for Alice in Chains, which showed the reformed band had fresh vigor and was still […]


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