Boss Keloid “Melted on the Inch” Review + Stream…

Boss Keloid

Melted on the Inch – CD // DD // Vinyl

Holy Roar Records / Black Bow Records – released April 27, 2018

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Paul Swarbrick | Guitar
Alex Hurst | Vocals and Guitar
Ste Arands | Drums and Percussion
Matthew Milne | Keyboards
Liam Pendlebury-Green | Bass

Tracklist:
Chronosiam        07:14
Tarku Shavel       07:14
Peykruve              07:02
Jromalih              07:51
Lokannok            05:24
Griffonbrass       05:59

 

 

Review:

Boss Keloid are a Progressive/Groove Metal band from Wigan, UK and have been active since 2010. For me this release held a lot of mystery when I first received it. Looking at the cover I was not expecting what I got. I thought the album was going to be either an Art Rock or a Power Pop record. (and boy was I in for a shock when I started listening to the album.)

As with most prog bands, tempo is played with and changes a bunch. The first track is a great example of that. The band likes to play with different genres as well. A good chunk of the album is Metal while hints and parts of other’s types of music are overlaid and played in between parts of the songs.

The titles to these songs are in some fantasy like language and I cannot seem to find a translation or where they came from.

The vocalist has a pretty good range, if I wasn’t paying as much attention I would think there were at least two singers. At a few moments he reminds me of David from Disturbed, but with more range. The band hold their own as a unit; no one seems to be trying to outdo the other.

Live Band Shot 2

Three of the tracks are over 7 minutes long and the others are both 5 minutes long, with and while listening I never got bored or tired. The band go all over the musical board and, even though it sometimes gets a little messy (in terms of meshing genres, like in the beginning of Tarku Shavel) it never sounds bad.

Overarching album review:

Here is where I’d break down each track and give a brief synopsis of each. For this album I feel it will get redundant after the second track; so instead I will give a highlights version.

Boss Keloid sound great and, for the most part, blend elements of rock, world, progressive, and metal together really well. The lyrics are interesting and the delivery is executed good as well. The playing by the band never seems to be sloppy. Every song seems to be a part of one bigger song or jam session(s). Alternatively the album sounds like it is one big song. So no song in particular sticks out to me. That is not a bad thing or a dig at the band. This album sounds great and is a solid album.

If you enjoy more soundscape-y albums with progressive music, heavy rock and well written lyrics you should check out Boss Keloid and “Melted on the Inch”!   Top Year End Contender!

Band Logo

 

 


Bad Monster Black “The Doped Up Devils With Sexual Grooves” Review + Stream…

Bad Monster Black

The Doped Up Devils With Sexual Grooves (Re​-​release) – DD

Self-Release – Released September 13, 2016

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
King Jeremy The Wicked (Jeremy Vibbert)

Previous Releases:

The original 2014 release of The Doped Up Devils With Sexual Grooves
five more 2016 releases
Demos & Collections,
The Question of Sanity EP,
Darkside EP
Acoustic Jams Ep.

Original Tracklist:
Intro 00:32
Down And Outer 03:36
Trip Down Memory Lane 01:11
Drugged Up Dolls 02:19
Sex Devil 05:50
The Doped Up Devil 04:05
Satanola 03:48
Perversion For Profit 03:28
You Are The Prettiest Pill 04:06
Did You Know? 03:11
Low 05:38
Control 03:19
You Had This Coming 03:49
Outro 01:13
Nothing Song (Bonus Track) 03:30

Re-release Tracklist:
Intro 00:33
Down And Outer 03:19
Drugged Up Dolls 04:40
Sex Devil 06:01
Satanola 03:48
Perversion For Profit 03:19
Intermission 01:31
Nothing Song 03:29
You Are The Prettiest Pill 06:53
Low 05:51
Did You Know? 03:08
Devil’s Advocate 03:16
Stoned 05:17

 

The Doped Up Devil’s with Sexual Grooves (Re-Release)

 

Review:

I’ll let his Facebook bio explain: “Bad Monster Black is a project formed by King Jeremy The Wicked (Jeremy Vibbert). “Bad Monster Black: The Doped Up Devils With Sexual Grooves” EP was released late 2014 and did not fit the KJTW catalog, it was something different, it had swing, punch, and an undeniable groove that broke away from the thrash metal criteria. So shortly after releasing the EP, it was re-released under the name Bad Monster Black, and eventually taken off of the KJTW Discography. Thus, making Bad Monster Black the new home of the experimentation with swinging riffs, overloaded guitars, and a tongue in cheek attitude that makes the music even more fun to listen to. This isn’t music you’d take home for your family to listen to, and that’s how it’s intended.”

The sound of Bad Monster Black’s music is very 90’s; it is very reminiscent of the music of Puscifer, Marilyn Manson, White Zombie and even Rob Zombie’s solo work. Even though those influences are very prevalent Jeremy found a way to make it not sound too dated. Both releases have different track-listings and have a couple of different songs on each.

That being said I’ll make a somewhat in depth look on the tracks that are same (and what has changed on the remaster.) On the tracks that are different I’ll say what each of them do to make the release different.

Cool Logo_Girl

Almost all of the tracks stay except; Trip Down Memory Lane, The Doped Up Devil, Control, You Had This Coming, and Outro (on the original release) and on the re-release; Intermission, Devil’s Advocate, and Stoned. These tracks are either new (in the case of the re-release) or taken out (original) the only track is the Intermission which is a shorter version of The Doped Up Devil.

The tracks that stay almost the same; Intro, Drugged Up Dolls, Sex Devil, Satanola, Nothing Song, You Are The Prettiest Pill, Did You Know, Low. What did change was samples and some of the production. Overall there was less use of samples in the remaster and, in a way, that makes sense for the update to fit the Bad Monster Black catalog since the focus changed to more sleazy Rock. Intro, Did You Know and Low did not change at all, or not enough that change the experience.  Satanola is a standout that would fit nicely into any Puscifer album.

There are only two original tracks that are different, Down and Outer and Perversion for Profit. For the remaster the guitar solos were replaced by slower guitar parts and dirtier production.

“The Doped Up Devils with Sexual Grooves” – (Original 2014)

The original release is more of a current sounding album than the remaster and is a heavier/more metal than it as well. As I stated before; the main differences between them is that on the remaster the recording is less clean and more fuzzed out for that dirty 90s feel and the guitar solos that are in the original are changed to fit the dirty sound so the sound isn’t as muddy and has less of a touch of Metal. The sleaze is upgraded for a more solid Sleaze Rock feel. If you like music that is dark, sleazy, has hints of blues, lots of fuzz, Rob Zombie-ish (and at times Tonetta-ish in the remaster) this band and its’ albums are for you.

Bad Monster Black (King Jeremy The Wicked) is a prolific writer and pumps out high quality music on a regular basis.  To use Mr. Wicked’s own words about this album and his process, “This is a re-release from the 2014 version. The reason? This band is all DIY, Which means about 90% of the time it’s all trial and error.”   So Support!!!

Download the original HERE and the Re-release HERE

P.S. to King Jeremy the Wicked, if you would like to do an interview about this album please contact me.

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Dead Quiet “Grand Rites” Album Review + Stream…

Dead Quiet

Grand Rites – CD // DD // Vinyl

Artoffact Records – released November 3, 2017

Reviewed by Zachary “+Norway+” Turner

 

Lineup:
Aaron “Boon” Gustafson: Bass (Anciients, ex-3 Inches of Blood (live), ex-SprëadEagle)
Jason Dana: Drums (ex-Karen Foster, ex-SprëadEagle)
Brock MacInnes: Guitars (AnciientsTobeatic, ex-Venomous Tusk, Percheron, Rotting Hills, The Blood River Band, ex-Hammer of Hades)
Kevin Keegan: Guitars, Vocals (ex-Barn Burner, Klandestīn)
Justin Hagberg: Keyboards ( WorseBlack Wizard (live), Allfather, ex-3 Inches of Blood, Klandestīn, Ritual Dictates, ex-Roadrunner United, ex-The Villain Avian Symphony)

Previous Releases:
2014 – Demo
2015 – “Self Titled”

Tracklist:
Moon Curser 08:26
Blood Lovers 06:37
Corpse Revival 08:26
Disgraced 05:41
Fucking Oath 06:12
Dear Demon 08:10
Old Hopeless 06:37
Spiritual Abuse 05:02
Grand Rites 08:48

 

 

Review:

On bandcamp the band describe their sound as, “…influences ranging from doom metal to classic rock, Dead Quiet seeks to meld melody with catastrophe as they weave through a dissonant landscape of crushing metallic riffs and somber choral musings.” Dead Quiet masterfully delivers this is high fashion with “Grand Rites”.  If you recognize some of the members’ names above that is because Dead Quiet are the closest thing to a modern day “Supergroup”.

As a follow up to their first album it fits in well.  They have improved sonically and sound as if they are maximizing the talents of each member while making it a cohesive and flawlessly executed throughout the 64+ minutes and 9 tracks that comprises “Grand Rites”.  With their roster set, there truly isn’t a dud in this second album. Like I said before this album is an improvement over the first, they went from a good first album to a great second and sadly, more times than not, bands do the opposite due to a myriad of reasons; time constraints, label demands and just the overall pressure of the “Follow Up” from the “Big Debut”.

Keegan’s vocal delivery is certainly worth noting.  The songs are packed with acid laced lyrics ranging from Politics to Religion to The Thrill of the 1st kill in closer “Grand Rites” that name a few subject matters.   Keegan preaches to the listener; the concert goer. He draws the listener in to pay closer attention as it is impactful, powerful, meaningful, genuine and most important…..it fits perfectly with the band’s overall sound – a melting pot of Rock, Sludge and Metal.  We are only at the beginning of 2018 and we may already have a top 3 contender!!


Links:
https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Dead_Quiet/3540399775

https://deadquiet.bandcamp.com/

https://deadquiet.bandcamp.com/album/grand-rites

 

Dead Quiet Live!! Photo cred to @holtproductions Live Band Pic


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

Sumokem

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

 

 

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

Past:
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

http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/product/sumokem-the-guardian-of-yosemite-2lp-ltd-blood-gold-edition

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


Bell Witch “Mirror Reaper” Album Review + Stream…

Bell Witch

Mirror Reaper – Double CD // DD

Profound Lore Records – released October 20, 2017

Reviewed by Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

Hello everyone this is  The Ancient One and I want to tell you about a new album I came across just recently called Mirror Reaper by the Seattle based duo BELL WITCH. Founded in 2010 by Drummer/Vocalist Adrian Guerra and Bassist/Vocalist Dylan Desmond, BELL WITCH nearly came to an end. Unable to continue due to his struggle with alcohol and meet  contractual obligations, Dylan Desmond had to make the heartbreaking decision to release founding member Adrian Guerra and replace him with Jesse Shreibman, of the grind-core band Transient.  The two of them had been trying to keep the duo together in its original incarnation but were unable to do so because of Guerra‘s increasing addiction.  Alcoholism is motherfucker of a disease, with a mind of its own. On May 17, 2016, Adrian Guerra passed away in his sleep from heart failure while Mirror Reaper was being recorded.

For those unfamiliar with Bell Witch, the Duo occupies a special place in the metal scene as they rely on nothing more than bass, drums, and vocals to create their haunting funeral doom sound. The best way I am able to describe what they do is to imagine having nothing but black paint and a goal of painting a picture leaving no part of the canvas untouched by the paint forcing the artist to rely on texture to create the negative and positive spaces that make up an image. While many musicians can do this with sound to a point, BELL WITCH’s Dylan Desmond and  Jesse Shreibman have taken it to the next level on there 83 minute single track album Mirror Reaper.

Band Pic

As with past albums BELL WITCH’s Mirror Reaper is a continuation of that which is ghostly. After reading an article about the new Bell Witch album in which Dylan Desmond explained that the track’s theme is about mortality and the experience of dying. Some may want to call this ambient and I suppose you could if you sat down reading a book and used it for background noise. But if you actively listen you will find it easy to picture in your head what is going on for the person on their deathbed.

With a steady mournful riff by Dylan Desmond and slow purposeful beats by  Jesse Shreibman, they sound like a mourner crying and the dying person’s fading heartbeat. When I got to the part were of the song in which Jesse Shreibman stops drumming I found it easy to envision those last moments after the heart stops as I listened to the soft crooning and the soft ghostly bass. Listening to this sort of messed me up as it reminded me of being in the room as my own father died.  While I am certain this album started out being an exercise in thought, I believe  Adrian Guerra’s death made the album a reality for  Dylan Desmond and  Jesse Shreibman that affected the end result leaving BELL WITCH fans with a monolithic masterpiece!

From BELL Witch’s Bandcamp page
“During the writing process we were devastated by the loss of our dear friend and former drummer, Adrian Guerra. In love and respect to his memory, we reserved an important yet brief section in the song for him that features unused vocal tracks from our last album. This specific movement serves as a conceptual turn in the piece, or point of reflection. We believe he would be proud of it as well.” Adrian Guerra (R.I.P.)


Mother Mars “On Lunar Highlands” Album Review + Stream + Music Video…

Mother Mars

On Lunar Highlands – CD // DD

Pepper Shaker Records – Releases December 6, 2017

Reviewed by Eric Layhe

 

 

Lineup:
Frank Attard: Drums, percussion, Clavinet, synth, meandering chaos
Paul Attard: Guitars, bass, synth, banjo-mandolin, piano, organ, complications
Dave Schembri: Vocals, harmonica, mellow vibes
Matthew Slager: Lead guitar on ‘Never Fail’

Tracklist:
Wrecker’s Reunion Ball (5:00)
Lost Planet Airmen (4:34)
Bean Stalkin’ (0:28)
Thought It Best To Cut You Loose (5:33)
Soap Bar Pick-Up Joint (3:41)
The Stalwarts of Saltwort Castle (9:31)
The Working Mind of the Creator (3:44)
Woodhollow Green (12:55)
Bean Stalkin’ Again (0:56)
Never Fail (4:13)
Bigger Than Fear (5:44)
On Lunar Highlands (8:35)
The Heavy Hand Of The Destroyer (4:14)

 

 

Review:
Sludge Metal can go in any one of many directions, and one of the most interesting just may be the original: The variety of Sludge both invented and perfected by Black Sabbath. That particular brand of Sludge Metal is heavily Blues-influenced and totally unafraid to incorporate highly experimental elements like irregular time signatures, tempo changes, and long complicated instrumental sections in a manner that is almost progressive. This style of music has existed since the late 70s and one of its latest disciples is Australia’s Mother Mars, and they exemplify it fantastically in their newest release, On Lunar Highlands.

As a listener will easily pick up on while making their way through the album, Mother Mars makes no attempt to pigeonhole themselves. They open with some sludgey goodness on “Wrecker’s Reunion Ball”, but they weave their way through several different styles like early-era Queens of the Stone Age-style desert rock on “Lost Planet Airmen” Psychedelic Folk on several songs, most prevalent in the interlude “Bean Stalkin’” and its brother-in-arms “Bean Stalkin’ Again”, and expertly execute a song that sounds like a long-lost B-side from Black Sabbath’s Paranoid in album high point “The Stalwarts of Saltwort Castle” (stream below).

While Mother Mars is an extremely skilled band, they really show their true talent when their songs are heavier and longer. When Mother Mars give themselves room to breathe, their songs gain an organic energy that is nearly second to none, especially when they decide to allow themselves what is a particularly decadent instrumental section full of guitar solos, bass riffs, and plenty of interplay between the band’s members.

Additionally, there are only 3 members of Mother Mars, though you’d never guess it from listening to them. These Heavy Space Rockers are incredibly adept at filling a space with as much noise as it needs to sound full and heavy without making it sound unnecessarily chaotic. It is chaotic, to be fair, but as Mother Mars proves, chaos is not always directionless. As the band simulates what can only be described as the sonic equivalent of a Solar Storm, they always make sure to include a clearly understandable sense of direction, as the songs always make sense, as a band full of gentlemen this talented should. If you are interested in Bluesy, Spacey, Sonic-adventurous Sludge Metal, and you have 70 minutes to kill, look no further than Mother Mars’ “On Lunar Highlands”. It is skillful, it is eclectic, and most importantly: it is heavy.

Album Logo


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:

http://ironmonkey.bandcamp.com/album/9-13

https://youtu.be/5Bc1vnGpu_M?list=PLq6NULtuhFumlE6qykJxcStiDhhYfJzpv

https://youtu.be/L-S-LsLJqIc?list=PLq6NULtuhFumlE6qykJxcStiDhhYfJzpv

https://youtu.be/_JH0os_xukQ?list=PLq6NULtuhFumlE6qykJxcStiDhhYfJzp


Clouds Taste Satanic “The Glitter of Infinite Hell” Album Review + Stream…

Clouds Taste Satanic

The Glitter of Infinite Hell – CD // DD

Self Released – October 31st, 2017 on Helloween!!

Terry “The Ancient One” Cuyler

 

Yum…May I have a second helping?”

                  

Hey everyone this is Terry the Ancient One and I got some more kickin’ Doomaphonica for your Rocktober by  Clouds Taste Satanic. Formed in 2013,  Brooklyn’s instrumental Doom Quartet is made up of bassist Sean Bay, drummer Christy Davis, guitarist Steven Scavuzzo, and guitarist David Weintraub. While pretty close mouthed about themselves on their Facebook Page and just as mysterious in Encyclopedia Metallum, They have managed to amass a small army of followers which I think is due to the fact Clouds Taste Satanic is promoted mainly by their loyal and deeply devoted fans through word of mouth and social media outlets.

While “DOOMED & STONED”  has been quoted as saying “one of the most remarkable and tragically unknown metal bands of our time continues to reach new creative heights.” in their review of latest album by Clouds Taste Satanic.  I must say I disagree on the part about them being tragically unknown. If they are then tell me why I am seeing them all over Facebook’s various metal and doom pages and communities and in the big underground Webazines: Decibel Magazine , CVLT Nation, DOOMED & STONED, Outlaws of the Sun, The Sludgelord , Metal Bandcamp, Sleeping Shaman  and these are just the big ones. DOOMED & STONED, as cool as I think you are I think you’ve smoked a bit much.

Band Logo

Now that I have probably pissed off the Rolling Stone of doom music I will tell you a little about Clouds Taste Satanic latest musical offering  “The Glitter of Infinite Hell.”  Scheduled to be released October 31st, 2017, this 4 song, 74 minute demonic masterpiece of doom backs one hell of a punch. It’s songs fell like an opium dream turned into nightmare. Quite possibly inspired by Old Scratch himself “The Glitter of Infinite Hell” seems to tell the story of Lucifer’s rebellion and fall with the songs Greed, Treachery, Violence, and Wrath.

Opening Track off “The Glitter of Infinite Hell”

The songs feel like an opium dream turned into nightmare. What’s really cool about this album is the songs sound like the titles they are given. Through a brilliant combination of Doom, Sludge, Psychedelic Rock and Stoner riffs; “The Glitter of Infinite Hell’s” tracks manage to convey the meaning of the songs titles. For instance, the opening track ‘Greed’ sounds like a hulking beast lumbering across the land it laid waste filling its maw in a vain attempt to satiate its endless hunger. I could continue about every track but I think you are going to have to listen for yourselves to fully understand.  You now have your soundtrack for Halloween this Year compliments of CTS!!

Break out your headphones for this one boys and ghouls  Clouds Taste Satanic has some amazing ear candy ready for you. In “The Glitter of Infinite Hell.”  If you can’t afford this one, beg your  mom, dad, wife, husband or don’t buy that $6.00 Cup of Coffee for One Day… and spend the $5.00 to get the digital download, or $7.00 for the CD. If that doesn’t work, sell blood, volunteer for an experiment, sell sperm/eggs or you could try to sell your soul to Satan. In the mean time here are some of their past videos and a Bandcamp link to the new album.

Band Pic

Additional Links:
https://www.facebook.com/CloudsTasteSatanic/videos/970541083038312/

https://www.facebook.com/CloudsTasteSatanic/videos/1106859459406473/

https://cloudstastesatanic.bandcamp.com/album/the-glitter-of-infinite-hell

https://www.facebook.com/CloudsTasteSatanic/


Monolord “Rust” Album Review + Tracks Stream…

Monolord

Rust – Vinyl // CD // DD

Riding Easy Records – Release Date September 29th 2017

Reviewed by Andy “Dinger” Beresky

 

Lineup:
Thomas V Jäger – Guitars & vocals
Esben Willems – Drums
Mika Häkki – Bass

Born:
2013

Review:

I don’t write many reviews of actual doom albums, for good reason.  It’s a surprisingly complicated subject, not to mention a very personal one.  The whole stoner doom “genre” has a rather rich history, which through inexplicable luck, I’ve been privileged enough to play a small part in.  Like any other “genre” (and I use the word very loosely), it’s tough to pinpoint its exact birth, the point where it all started.  There are obviously precursors, though for me, the first real groundbreaking record of the genre was Sleep’s Holy Mountain.  And what exactly made it so groundbreaking?  It was such a convincing replica of the Black Sabbath model, condensed into a power trio, that even Black Sabbath said that Sleep did it best.  Perhaps you’ll already see where I’m going with this.  Stoner doom isn’t generally about innovation and originality, unless you’re YOB.  It’s more about the VIBE, man….

Sleep once again pulled off a landmark album with Jerusalem/Dopesmoker, which was innovative only in that it pushed the limits of length and repetition to their logical extreme, eschewing traditional songwriting structures in favor of elements from classical composition and Eastern motifs.  Perhaps most importantly, it established the importance of unique tones and massive low end above all else.  It’s largely unimportant from a critical perspective that the album is so monotonous – the repetition actually works in its favor, whereas with other genres, it would not.  Dopesmoker simply punishes, relenting only in shorter, quieter sections.

Other groundbreaking albums in the genre followed suit – Acid King pretty much perfected the combination of fuzzed out post-Sabbath riffs and ethereal vocals on Busse Woods.    Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone pushed the limits of production to the very extreme, with spaced, blown out vocals, hyper fuzzed guitar, unearthly effects and massively distorted bass.  I often deride this album as my least favorite of the Electric Wizard catalog, sheerly because it doesn’t sound GOOD.  However, that was never the point.  It doesn’t sound like anything else that came before it, and that’s why it’s so important.  I remember the first time I heard that bass burst in with that massive riff from “Vinum Sabbathi”, and my jaw literally dropping in disbelief.  Nothing had ever sounded like this up to that point.  Nothing.  Sure, Witchcult  Today sounds much better, Black Masses has much better songs….and Dopethrone will always hold a special place in my heart.  When you get into these groups, there’s only a couple ways you can get out….

Tour Schedule

There’s a few other landmark albums I’ll reference for context – Warhorse released As Heaven Turns To Ash, offering a sound that branched into death metal territory, utilized more dynamics and pushed the extremes to which a guitar can be downtuned.  Despite their sole album, they’re always going to be fondly remembered as the band that blew Electric Wizard off the stage when they ventured to our lovely continent on their first American tour.  Around the same time, Sloth borrowed Electric Wizard‘s gear and somehow unveiled a real corker of an album that seemed to stop both time and space in the wake of its gravitational field.  Goatsnake dropped a couple key albums around the turn of the millennium, matching big tone with accomplished vocals and making Sunn 0))) amps a household name and a much valued commodity.  A little later down the line, The Sword’s main achievement was in marketing and promotion, though they did introduce faster tempos and broke away from the established power trio format, utilizing NWOBHM inspired harmonies.  Conan pushed the limits of volume and heaviness with their first release, issuing forth a single-minded and monolithic statement of intent.  Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats injected sugar coated Beatles-eque harmonies into their psych-doom, and frankly, also changed the face of marketing by deliberately cultivating an air of mystery, concocting a lovely yet bogus legend around their origins, and then initially refusing to play live.  This combination resulted in massive hype.

Of course, there’s also the first Black Pyramid album (full disclosure: I am a member of), which for some inexplicable reason made quite a splash at the time.  I don’t know – I just tried to draw influence from these bands, and I also tried to write good, brutal songs that mix things up in terms of tempo and style.  I wrote the lyrics to be evil in a way that I didn’t think evil was fully explored in the genre.  That’s it.  It wasn’t rocket science or anything, and I’ve honestly never fully understood the appeal.  I guess it just hit the right spots at the right time.

Band Pic

Enough ruminating on the past, let’s fast forward to the present.  It’s 2017, stoner doom is somehow still a thing, and Monolord is the band of the movement.  They are a Swedish trio and their bassist was previously in the grind outfit Rotten Sound, whom I rather like.  The other two were previously in Marulk, whom I’ve never heard.  I suppose that doesn’t matter all that much, as they’re in Monolord now, and I’m writing about them.

What can I say about Monolord?  How do they contribute to the landscape of the genre?  Well, first off, their name is an excellent description of their sound.  Secondly,  they’re very obviously influenced by most of the bands I’ve listed above, with the obvious exception of The Sword.  There’s some serious Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Acid King worship going on, so if you dig those bands, I don’t see any reason you’d write this off.  Thirdly, they’re a relatively young band, though not green by any means.  Their first album was released in 2014, and they’ve had an impressive array of releases since.  A single here, an EP there, a sophomore album in 2015; they’re certainly staying busy and making a name for themselves.  Their sound has stayed pretty consistent from their first release, and it’s everything that you’d want and expect from a good stoner doom band – downtuned, fuzzy guitar interspersed with trippy effects and bursts of feedback, huge bass tones, spaced out vocals, and a rock-solid drummer holding it down underneath all that precious noise.  They tend to stretch song lengths upwards of ten minutes at times, though I’d be hard pressed to define what criteria differentiates their decision to keep a song shorter or to extend it.  If I had to venture a guess, I’d say they just ride out the riffs that they really, really like to play, and this lends an authentic, organic vibe to what they’re all about.  That’s vitally important in a genre that’s so inherently derivative.

pics and patches

If anything, I’d say that the consistency has been Monolord’s strongest suit up to this point.  They haven’t made many efforts to tread new ground, and up until, they haven’t really felt the need to.  Their second album, Vaenir, is a little more polished than the debut, and this was exactly what they needed to do – double down on what’s obviously working.  The Lord of Suffering 10″ showcased a little more maturity in the songwriting department, and it’s still exactly what you’d expect.  This brings us up to Rust, where they’ve thrown out everything that’s come before, re-written the proverbial book and drastically redefined who they are as a band.

….

I’m just kidding, none of that is true.  Any one of the songs on Rust could have comfortably fit on a prior release.  That’s by no means a bad thing – I’ve already touted the consistency of their artistic vision.  The subtle though obvious shift this time around is that they’re beginning to make more use of the studio to explore more textures and sounds, and it makes for delicious little surprises interspersed between gargantuan riffs.  After opening the album with two pretty straight forward songs, the title track initiates with a haunting organ intro that drives the catchiness of the vocal hook home.  Once the riffs do actually drop, it makes for an extremely effective counterpoint.  It’s a seemingly little thing, and it makes a whole world of difference.  This is my favorite track on the album, and I think it’s the best song they’ve written to date.

They follow this up with “Wormland”, an instrumental with slower, more deliberate riffing that takes a stark turn once again into more melodic territory, with a most triumphant, transcendent lead guitar line once again surprises by finishing up with a violin echoing the same melody.  “Forgotten Lands” once again surprises us by making ample usage of its near 13 minute run time, detouring into a full-blown psychedelic breakdown mid song, with a delightfully wonky guitar solo and more exotic, modal guitar work.  The final song, “At Niceae”, basically utilizes a false ending.  It’s an otherwise standard track for Monolord, except that the riffs fade out, leaving us with feedback.  I thought the album was over, and then an acoustic guitar kicked in, overlaid with some heavily echoed vocals and a sorrowful melody.  It’s a great conclusion to a well executed album.

Monolord_Band Pic

As I stated earlier, there has been a maturity inherent in the development of the band, and it’s firmly showcased on Rust.  It’s not like they’ve gone full prog or anything – they still do what they do best, which is just heavy, zonked to the nipples doomliciousness.  There is simply an increased emphasis on melody within the songwriting itself, while retaining the heavy, trippy sound that’s made a name for them.  As far as how it fits into the continuum and tradition of the genre?  Well, they’re currently on top of the game.  Electric Wizard’s last album was far from their best work; it’s most likely their weakest.  Veterans like Acid King and Goatsnake are only sporadically active.  The Sword have a full-blown musical identity crisis on each album.  If Sleep actually drops a new album, that will be a game changer based on the strength of the one song they’ve recorded since their reunion.  Since for some inexplicable reason, there’s still a lot of interest in this sound, it leaves a lot of room at the top for more established bands that aren’t quite stoner royalty yet,  like Windhand and Cough, as well as newcomers who are able to make a name and get some momentum behind them, like Monolord and Vokonis.

In closing, I’m continually perplexed at the longevity of stoner doom.  Other genres that are so pigeonholed and overspecialized have only occupied a single moment in musical history before they’ve been forced to evolve or become redundant and obsolete.  You can’t really call it a trend – trends quickly rise and fall within the realm of heavy music, though doom’s rise in prominence has been slow, steady, and continual.  Indeed, there are those who have already evolved beyond their humble roots, bands like High On Fire, Elder and YOB.   What is it about turning up really loud, tuning down really low, and aping Black Sabbath that’s had such a lasting, overarching appeal?    Is it that musically, it digs right to the very roots of metal, the birthplace of all things heavy? Is it some primal, ritualistic element buried deep within the collective human subconscious?  Is it an attempt to identify with, and thereby transcend the darker aspects of human nature?  Some kind of catharsis for our more socially unacceptable emotions and fantasies? Once again, I don’t really know.  I can tell you that even I’m not immune to its perpetual pull – even though I’m bored with the more common cliches associated with the genre, I’m such a sucker for a huge, over-amplified Sabbath riff.  In that regard, Monolord has delivered the goods in spades.  As always, my brain jumps right head to “what are they doing to do next?”  It’s a fair question even now.  Will they continue down the path of predictable consistency, with a pragmatic and gradual approach to change, or will they choose to truly branch off into the outer limits, returning to us with some unique permutation of psychedelic doom-inspired mayhem that will blow our minds like the forebearers of the genre did before them?