Sludge Metal

Barishi – OId Smoke Review

Barishi – OId Smoke Review

Barishi‘s 2016 release Blood from the Lion’s Mouth retained the peculiar progressive power of their inconsistent debut, adding a visceral and claustrophobic edge to their sound. It was a much more streamlined effort that showed glimpses of a band working towards something exciting. It lacked a sense of unity. Instead, it consisted of short tracks that dramatically varied in tone and mood, strong in their own right but less stable when held in context: a tasting platter. Old Smoke arrives after a four year silence, a long time between records these days.” Smoke em if you got em.

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

“How can music communicate the feeling of dread? While all styles are able, metal’s inherent darkness fits like a glove. While it’s easy to provide aural bludgeoning or emphasize excess, the discipline of restraint takes time and effort. From the post-metal dirges of Neurosis, the avant-garde buildups of Eryn Non Dae., the spiraling doom of Swallowed, the blackened payoffs of Cultes des Ghoules, and the death metal environs of Desolate Shrine, it revels in darkness, plays with menace, but most notably, waits patiently.” Waiting in the darkness.

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

“The fantastically named Demonic Death Judge is a sludge/stoner quartet from Kymenlaakso, Finland, having released two EPs and three full-lengths of plodding and hazy dirges since 2009, The Trail being their fourth. Their first two full-lengths were nearly identical to Louisianan Thou‘s gloomy sludge affairs, pitching molasses-thick riffs, blackened rasps, and decidedly bleak themes.” The path unbakened.

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian first bored into my consciousness with their single, “Head and the Sword,” an absolutely killer song that showcased a suave combination of sludge, stoner, and prog influences. To this day it remains one of my favorite songs, and it paved the way to their debut album, Vol. I, which took that single and pushed the style into heavier territory, most notably with the vocals. Comparisons are for the lazy amongst us, and that includes me, so let me put forth that there is definitely influence from early Baroness and Mastodon buried in these riffy songs, along with no small dose of High on Fire.” CROMulent.

Goblinsmoker – A Throne In Haze, A World Ablaze Review

Goblinsmoker – A Throne In Haze, A World Ablaze Review

Goblinsmoker‘s Toad King began a narrative arc about amphibious forest dwellers who are served by a goblin underclass. A Throne In Haze… is the second installment of the planned trilogy. While fun, this story is superfluous, since the lyrics are sparse and delivered in an unintelligible blackened rasp. A Throne In Haze... is a trim 26 minutes over three songs, and it’s all riffs, baby.” Let them eat riffs.

Rat King – Vicious Inhumanity Review

Rat King – Vicious Inhumanity Review

“Do you want your face ripped off? Are you desiring to have your skull bludgeoned to concussive proportions? Do you want both at once?? Look no further, ’cause deathgrind’s got you covered. From the swanky animal-lovin’ veganity of Cattle Decapitation, the hardcore crusty punch of Misery Index, the tech wankery of Dying Fetus, or the murky brutality of Infernal Coil, it’s a style characterized by one focus: knocking your lights out hard and fast. In spite of the savage atmosphere, it’s a style royally ruled by the the upper echelon of the aforementioned acts, and a trickle-down effect of its underlings.” Reaganomics killing you.

Sorxe – The Ark Burner [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Sorxe – The Ark Burner [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Hitting our promo bin for the first time in 2014, there was little Grymm found interesting on the band’s debut. But when Matter & Void hit the deck three years later, my eyebrows glued themselves to the top of my head. And seeing them play that album live is still one of the best performances I’ve ever experienced. What didn’t hit our bin was this year’s The Ark Burner. But, thank the stars, I’ve been keeping tabs on this band for all you sludge suckers out there. But, will Sorxe continue their streak?” Ark of triumph.