Stoner Metal

Megatherium – God Review

Megatherium – God Review

“There is one reason and one reason alone why I’m reviewing this album. It’s not the passable art, or the generally nice but fairly uneven roster of sludge and sludge-adjacent bands Argonauta Records have built up. It’s the handle, because Megatherium has to be one of the coolest band names I’ve ever laid eyes on.” Mega deficit.

Ocean Chief – Den Tredje Dagen Review

Ocean Chief – Den Tredje Dagen Review

“Doom is a tricky genre to get right. At least in my opinion. It has a fine line to walk, trading in tectonic riffs, bleak atmospherics and roared vocals, often at glacial speeds, it  risks sacrificing memorability on the altar of heaviness.  Swedish quartet Ocean Chief have done their time and paid their dues, however, and should be well equipped to avoid this pitfall.” Riff rafts.

Witches of Doom – Funeral Radio Review

Witches of Doom – Funeral Radio Review

“Pulling off the whole “gothic-doom-stoner metal” thing is no easy task. You need just the right blend of mood, meat and mist, and not every band is up to that kind of high level jiggery-pokery. Italy’s Witches of Doom have been lurking around the genre since 2014 with 2 full-lengths to their name, but third outing Funeral Radio is my first encounter with them. Their interesting cover art gleamed amid the fetid effluvium of the promo sump, and a brief sampling suggested something like a Danzig meets Alice in Chains grave cocktail.” Witch’s brewskis.

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.

Void of Sleep – Metaphora Review

Void of Sleep – Metaphora Review

“Italy’s Void of Sleep caught me by surprise with their excellent 2013 debut Tales Between Reality and Madness. Boasting a suave mix of sludge, stoner, doom and prog influences, Tales was a mighty first statement and addictive, refreshing album that firmly landed Void of Sleep in my sights as an exciting band on the rise. Sophomore album New World Order dropped in 2015 and found the band beefing up the prog and refining their sound. Though a solid album in its own right, it lacked some of the raw energy and penetrating hooks of the debut. Some five years later, Void of Sleep awaken from their slumber with third album, Metaphora, a highly anticipated release from my viewpoint.” Cuddling the void.

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.

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

“The hallway that led to my office in grad school was red. Both walls. I shit you not. To make matters worse the hellish tunnel narrowed as you approached its end—where, to no one’s surprise, you could find my office. Trust me when I tell you that five years of red walls can fuck with a person. Like grad schools, animals also use the color red to ward off people. Red can represent everything from lovers to the most gruesome of deaths. And Spain’s grrrl sludge group, Rosy Finch, is every bit as varying in its topics and delivery. With artwork that looks as though poor Carrie got it again, this is Scarlet.” Red is a slow color.

Stonus – Aphasia Review

Stonus – Aphasia Review

“While I can appreciate that certain substances can enhance a listening experience, I’ve always been a bit wary of music that seems designed to appeal to folks under the influence. Maybe I was burned by the rubbish techno of my youth — so repetitive that unless hopped up on MDMA, it’s damn near unlistenable. For that reason, I’ve steered clear of a lot of stoner doom/rock. If I don’t do any drugs, why would I bother with music for which getting high is a sine qua non?” In the weeds.

Shadow Witch – Under the Shadow of a Witch Review

Shadow Witch – Under the Shadow of a Witch Review

“I often marvel at the diversity of the wondrous art form of metal music. Doom is no exception, flowering beyond the traditional Sabbathian foundations. Along with its various genre affiliates, it continues to impress in genre depth without deviating too far from slow and heavy pathways. New York’s Shadow Witch lean towards a hard-rocking, bluesy, riff-centric stoner doom template on their third album, Under the Shadow of a Witch.” Wicked witches.