Sumokem “The Guardian of Yosemite” Album Review + Stream + Vinyl Release…


The Guardian of Yosemite – CD // DD (released October 6, 2017)

Cursed Tongue Records – Limited Vinyl (100) // TP Edition Vinyl w/ 7″ (20)

// Jet Black Vinyl (200)

Reviewed by Eric Layhe



Attack of the Mammoth (7:52)
Warning (6:44)
War Pipe / Rite of the Calumet (7:38)
Ogama (8:43)
Tisayac (9:34)
Mescalito/Meeting of the Half Moon (7:02)
Nantucket (10:05)
Emerald [digital-only bonus track] (4:05)

Band Members:
Jacob Sawrie – Vox/Rhythm
Drew Skarda – Percussion
Tyler Weaver – Lead
Dustin Weddle – Bass

Josh Ingram (RIP) – Lead
Alan Wells – Bass



To say the least, 2017 has been a huge year for heavy music. The year has granted us several new releases, most notably Mastodon’s Emperor of Sand. However, the music world often functions like archaeology – The deeper you dig, the more treasures you will find such as the gargantuan slab of Doom that is Sumokem’s “The Guardian of Yosemite”.

When I say gargantuan, I mean it. Each tune on this release is not only long, but feels like it has been custom-tailored to be as gigantic as possible, from the performance to the production to the composition. Every riff hits like a Warhammer to the temple and it wouldn’t feel right any other way. Each member is extremely in tune with one another and they really feel like a single living and breathing organism.

Sumokem’s Special Vinyl Release Date – Friday, January 12th, 2018

Limited Red_Gold_Wax_100

Special credit, though, goes to their lead guitarist. Every member is excellent at their instrument, but the guitar goes above and beyond to ensure that each and every solo is searing and quick, keeping the listener’s attention while still progressing the song further and further down into heavier and heavier territory as the album goes on.

It’s unbelievable just how heavy this album can be. It opens like a freight train, but by the time the epic-length dirge and album high point “Nantucket” begins, you can only be floored by how well Sumokem brings music back to its primordial roots. There is no feeling greater than finding a band that is both classic and novel – one that both pushes the boundaries of music while reminding us why we love it in the first place, and with its ultra-heavy prehistoric jams, Sumokem’s “The Guardian of Yosemite” has given us just that.

Band Pic

Iron Monkey “9-13” Album Review + Stream…

Iron Monkey

“9-13” – Vinyl // CD // DD

Relapse Records – Released October 20th, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

The Simian Rage Has Returned!!


Hey all you doom freaks this is The Ancient One and I have just learned of the return of Nottingham, England’s IRON MONKEY. Their original line up was: Justin, Greaves, Johnny Morrow, Jim Rushby, Doug Dalziel, and Steve Watson . Formed in 1994 this band of misanthropes sole purpose in life was to irritate and piss as many people off as they could. Spewing forth an  auditory assault of bellicose, nihilistic vocals IRON MONKEY then fronted by Johnny Morrow was doing a hell of a job. But, like the notorious  G.G. Allin they developed a cult of Misanthropic followers who liked what they were doing and so began IRON MONKEY’s then 3 year recording career that produced 2 albums and a split album with Japan’s Church of Misery.

Rumored by its cult of follower to have been playing when Pantera’s frontman Phil Anselmo had a near fatal heroine overdose the  IRON MONKEY S/T debut album  was first released on the Union Mills label. The release generated a stir that when combined with their insane live performances lead them to being signed on with Earache Records who re-released the album in 1997. Soon after its defection to Earache Records, IRON MONKEY released their  masterpiece of negative rock “Our Problem” in 1998. Then in the following year they released their IRON MONKEY/Church of Misery Split album. Following their split album the band members got involved in side projects and with the death of their unholy vocal terror  Johnny Morrow in 2002 it seemed IRON MONKEY was to be a legend relegated to compilations and box sets that old SLUDGE-CORE / PSYCHO-DOOM fans told the young’uns about. But the Fat Lady hasn’t sang yet.

Rather than call IRON MONKEY a memory,  Steve Watson and Jim Rushby with addition of current Chaos UK drummer Brigga have returned once again, this time on Relapse Records with their album “9-13″. So get yourself ready for this psychotic power trio to unleash their simian rage. While Johnny is no longer on this earth to assault us with his beastly vocals Jim Rushby who has taken up the mantle is a force to be reckoned with. Throughout the 9 original tracks and 48 minute album, Jim Rushby  assaults us with bellicose hate filled  rants as  Steve Watson lays monstrous fuzzed out sludge laden riffs with Brigga pounding out warlike drum beats.

Band Shot

While I had a great time listening to 9-13 it really seems to take off with the album’s 4th track “Toadcrucifier – R.I.P.P.E.R.” It is the point were I start hearing some ass kicking guitar leads to go along with the breakdowns. With Five short verses THE ROPE, NO HOPE, NO HOPE, THE ROPE, THE ROPE… The 7th track “The Rope” is a breakdown that prepares you and flows into “Doomsday Impulse Multiplier”. Listening to this album has truly damaged me!! Listening was like being attacked by a baboon in the throws of a PCP induced rage. Available on Relapse Records  “9-13” is set for release on October 20th, 2017!!

Additional Links:

Devil Electric “Self Titled” Album Review + Stream + Tour Schedule…

Devil Electric

Devil Electric – Limited Vinyl // CD // DD

Kozmik Artifactz – releases August 11th, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler


Standing at the cross roads of blue, rock, and psychedelic is the  Melbourne rock quartet Devil Electric. The band first debuted in 2016 and gained a sizable following among stoner, psych, a doom fans with “The Gods Below.” This 4 track fuzzedelic blues EP full was of bluesy vocals done by Pierina O’Brien and heavy riffs laid down by Christos Athanasias- Guitars, Tom Hulse -Bass, Vocals, and Mark Van De Beek- Drums. Encouraged by the fans response Melbourne’s Devil Electric is preparing to release its 2nd release; their debut “Self Titled” Full Length on Germany’s Kozmik Artifactz Records.

Tour Schedule


When describing the bands 2nd album Tom Hulse, the bands bassist, backing vocalist and co writer said in the album press release “Lady Velvet” was written with the idea of painting a picture at the forefront. I wanted to create images and draw a theme in the listeners mind within the first few lines, touching on opposing forces and building a character. The song is about the push and shove of relationships we experience with the world both on a human level and a fictional/dramatized one. There’s always light and shade in life and when you run your hand across velvet you can see it change in color and form, reflecting just that in a material form.” 

After listening to this album several times now I’d say Tom Hulse did a pretty good job describing both the song Lady Velvet and the entire album both lyrically and musically. While the band is most definitely rock they take a different approach to heavy rock than some bands. Throughout Devil Electric, Pierina’s bluesy vocal style adds a dark element to the music as Tom,  Christos, and Mark lay down the psychedelic heavy blues rock. This are showcased especially in the instrumentals ‘Monolith’ and ‘Lilith.’ The songs I like most from the Devil Electric album are ‘Lady Velvet,’ ‘Acidic Fire,’ ‘The Sacred Machine’ and most of all ‘Hypnotica’ as Pierina vocals really cuts loose.


Devil Electric will be released digitally, on CD and vinyl on August, 11th, 2017 and is available for per-order right NOW. If you are a fan of Graveyard, Kadavar, The Dead Weather, Blues Pills, The Well, Electric Citizen, Black Sabbath you may like this band. Don’t be afraid to comment and share our posts with your friends.  Strongly Recommend!!

Dead Ranch “Brumation” Album Review & Stream…


Brumation – Digital Download

Self Released – April 14, 2017

Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr


Formed – 2011

Hometown – Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Band Members – Chad Alsop-Guitar/Vocals,  Andre Cornejo-Guitar/Vocals, Ryley Devine-Drums & Alana Mercer-Bass/Vocals

Previous Releases – “Birds Of Pray” EP (2012) / “Antler Royal” (2013)

Review:   Self described with the tags ‘metal, noise, punk, sludge, hardcore, stoner’, this is the second full-length release from this four piece and has been a while coming. Emerging from what they describe as a place that is “8 hours away from everything, isolated in their winter city” they had already started touring Canada promoting the first release that was garnering play on college stations leading to recording the first full-length in early 2013. Touring steadily, this release signifies their dedication to their craft and commitment to doing what they do best… to be, as they themselves put it, ‘Catchy and Crushing’ all at once.


Band Pic


Seven tracks totaling 32 minutes, there is little doubt from the first power chord riff of ‘An Awkward Moan’ through to the narration filled ending of ‘Maple Ape’ that this band has paid it’s dues and is ready for more and they come out swinging from the first to the last.

The ripping beginning of ‘Blood Staff’ with all the angst you could possibly imagine to even faster paced ‘Tarred and Feathered’ with that pure fury that had been hinted at on the previous releases and left to shine through on this album. Even as ‘Garrulous’ has a slow fade in that fury-driven pace and raw edge is back in less than 30 seconds into the track and is as unrelenting as any other moment on this disc as ‘False Negative’ shows, brutal as fuck!!



‘The Skinning’ is equally frenetic in approach and execution and prove that DEAD RANCH are a force to be reckoned with.  ‘Maple Ape’ is the bookend on this album and while filled with as many time shifts and fretboard-flying as the previous tracks, this one stands above the rest with this demonstration of just how musically ‘tight’ they are and let us know this album is well worth the wait we have endured in anticipation. Buy it NOW, share it with EVERY pair of ears you can and support them live if they come anywhere close… and above all else, keep it LOUD!!

Band Logo


The Ditch and the Delta “Hives In Decline” – Album Review & Track Stream

The Ditch and The Delta

Hives in Decline – Vinyl // DD

Battleground Records – Released date: May 12, 2017

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall


The Ditch and the Delta are Elliot Secrist (guitar/vocals), Cory Quist (bass/vocals), and Charles Bogus (drums).The reason I’m starting this review with these dude’s names, is because they need to be known…this band needs to be known. Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, to say The Ditch and the Delta are a power trio would be disrespectful. I would comfortably describe them as a three piece of destruction.  Releasing their very solid debut EP titled, We Rust last year. We Rust was a small primer of what to expect from these heavyweights. Now comes Hives in Decline. A brand new full length that will be released via the formidable Battleground Records.

The Ditch and the Delta are a splendid oxymoron. Sludgy, yet clean, a touch of doom while still pristine. Metallic with a sheen, though no doubt heavy as an industrial sized machine. These three guys are  an amalgamation of all of my favorite late 90.s/ early 2000’s Relapse bands. Such as Mastodon, Baroness, Neurosis and Burnt by the Sun to name a few. The Ditch and the Delta are the heaviest jazz band ever…although I’m not talking free form here. I’m talking intelligence and weight. Dissonant chords and mountains of power. I’m talking beautiful devastation.

Live Band Shot

The title track opens the record with a soft low feedback intro that builds and triggers immediate anticipation of what is coming forth…and holy fuck does it come! It comes in the form of a gloriously sophisticated riff that bounces from harmonics to thunder, from thunder to harmonics. The crushing rhythm section kicks in with a mid paced off time groove that compels instantaneously. It then slides directly in to a slow paced dirge of heaviness. Hives in Decline starts off this record with teeth.The Ditch and the Delta have an immediacy that ups the intensity and power to a level most bands fail to even come close to.

Second track, Fuck on Asphalt (streaming below) starts with a surge. A badass grooving tempo set by the animals on bass and drums, contrasted against a more melodic riff. Albeit still heavy as steel. Another thing this band does so flawlessly, is mix the beauty with the brute. The center section has amazing, layered and varied leads twisting and turning into each other. Stunning guitar work by Secrist to say the least. The duel vocals of Quist and Secrist really shine on this song. ‘Fuck on Asphalt’ is an amazingly written tune.

‘Sleeping Dogs’ is next. ‘Sleeping Dogs’ is special…very special. It begins with a sludgetasticly deep, hefty, one note riff, that pummels as it varies over the first half of this jam. As they have the whole record, Bogus and Quist serve up a heaping helping of weight. Straight to the face. Now for the second half. Oh my god…the second half. This is where the magic starts. The Ditch and the Delta start throwing boulders like they are pebbles, for the next two minutes. Bombastic riff after bombastic riff. The gazillion ton hammer of the low end, and the thunder bringing drums. Again…’Sleeping Dogs’ (streaming below) is a very, very special song.

Band Logo

The boys give us a little well needed respite on the fourth track ‘Dry Land’.  A western tinged instrumental that lets the listener catch their breath. A chance to make sure the guns are clean. Bellies are full, and heads are clear… For the battle continues on.

‘Til Body Quits’ starts the second half of the record. This song is mostly straight forward sludge. I cant praise the rhythm section of The Ditch and the Delta enough. Kory and Charles don’t just lay the foundation, the dig the ditch, as Elliot traverses the delta. The lead in the latter half send you directly into the Egyptian deserts of pharaohs. Another heady, but filthy song that is expertly executed.

The final two tracks on Hives In Decline wrap this journey up with down tuned celebration. ‘Mud’ is a technically furious, discordant jaunt of bliss.  The closing track, ‘Dread Spectacle’ leads us on our final march towards the pinnacle. With magnificently placed clean vocals (the only time on the album I might add) singing “body of mine, don’t fail me now.”

Perfect ending. Perfect record. Perfect band.

In closing, The Ditch and the Delta have written a collection of emotional, thought and mind provoking, intense songs. Real songs. Complete songs. Mr. Secrist, Mr. Quist, and Mr. Bogus…I salute you. As a listener I am awed, and as a musician, we now must all step our games up. The Ditch and the Delta have raised the bar. Do whatever needs to be done. You must find and listen to the tremendous Hives in Decline.