Category Metal

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Cardinals Folly- Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom

Cardinals Folly– Holocaust of Ecstasy & Freedom Release date: 2016Jun03 Label: Shadow Kingdom Rating: 4/5 Cardinals Folly return with a follow-up to Our Cult Continues!. Goats on the Left, sheep on the right, damning uptempo licks all around. Her Twins of Evil entice with harmony, scold with demonic drumbeats. Vaporous bass licks and ghoulish drums […]

Bloody Hammers - Lovely Sort of Death

Bloody Hammers- Lovely Sort of Death

Bloody Hammers– Lovely Sort of Death Release date: 2016Aug05 Label: Napalm Rating: 4/5 Think synth-doom. Lights Come Alive with scratches and pops, accompanied by a foreboding voice. The Reaper Comes, wielding a scepter of droning synth melded to soft drumbeats. Infinite Gaze to the Sun stomps with tasty, sludgy licks. Stoke The Fire and Catastrophe […]

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Castle- Welcome to the Graveyard

Castle– Welcome to the Graveyard Release date: 2016Jul15 Label: Van Records Rating: 4.5/5 Castle is doom as fuck. Black Widow snags the ears with blitzkrieg drums against urgent vocals. Hammer and the Cross plods along with a fuck-all guitar/bass attack. Veil of Death is set to melancholic vocals, giving way to upbeat licks. A quick Flash […]

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Candlemass- Death Thy Lover EP

Candlemass– Death Thy Lover Release date: 2016Jun03 Label: Napalm Rating: 4.5/5 Candlemass‘s first  release since the departure of Robert Lowe and return of Mats Leven. Death Thy Lover starts with a soft wail, echoing louder, melding with thunderous drums and epic bass. Thy Sleeping Giant plods along, guided by tortured vocals. Sinister & Sweet is kind-of similar […]

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Pallbearer- Fear and Fury EP

Pallbearer– Fear and Fury EP Release date: 2016Aug10 Label: Profound Lore Rating: 4.5/5 Pallbearer return with a remastered version of the title track and two covers, one of Black Sabbath and the other being Type O Negative. Fear and Fury defines them with a crisp, melancholy vibe. Over & Over is softer, thicker than the […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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” […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]