Alice In Chains

Grief Collector – En Delirium Review

Grief Collector – En Delirium Review

“I don’t consider myself to be a serious fan of doom metal because my love of the genre is fairly limited. So you may be surprised to see that I picked up En Delirium, the debut full-length from Minneapolis, Minnesota’s Grief Collector. Well, I’m a sucker for doom metal of the epic variety, so when I saw that former Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, vocalist Rob Lowe was fronting this relatively new project, I snatched it up without hesitation, marveling that the release had passed through the Steel filter on its way into the promo bin as I did so. Add to that the satisfaction of knowing that I’d stolen some Minneapolis doom right out from under Cherd of Doom‘s nose, and I simply couldn’t wipe the dumb smile off my dumb face.” Where’s the grief?!

Yer Metal Is OIde: Alice In Chains – Alice In Chains

Yer Metal Is OIde: Alice In Chains – Alice In Chains

“Seattle rock legends Alice In Chains may not strictly qualify as metal, but they are widely regarded within the metal community, especially compared to the other big name bands of the famed grunge era, which tend to polarize metalheads. Perhaps it’s the blanket of sorrow and darkness enveloping their sound, coupled with the sludge and doom influences, that compliment their hard rock core and melancholic acoustic forays. Although Alice In Chains are still chugging along admirably to the present day, it was the band’s ’90s heyday and era with doomed frontman Layne Staley that remains the classic and defining era of the band.” Alice lives.

Gargoyl – Gargoyl Review

Gargoyl – Gargoyl Review

“Ever since the early seeds of the Gargoyl project came to public light, I have been anticipating a debut album. Lo and behold, the band, featuring Revocation‘s Dave Davidson (guitars) and Luke Roberts (vocals/guitars) from the underrated Ayahuasca, has arrived with their self-titled LP. Blending dark, brooding, unsettling atmospheres, Gargoyl play off-kilter progressive metal with avant garde tendencies and a strong ’90s grunge vibe, most notably drawing influence from Seattle rock legends Alice in Chains. On paper the combination has a hell of a lot going for it, however, nailing the execution and establishing a strong identity are challenges to overcome.” Super groups, man…

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.

Temple of Void – The World That Was Review

Temple of Void – The World That Was Review

“Debut album Of Terror and the Supernatural was a killer compound of death-doom. But Lords of Death also began to incorporate traits that might be more familiar to Alice in Chains or even Pearl Jam. Now, The World That Was prepares to thunder into immediate proximity with the same weight but a clear shift in intent. Fear thee not, ye acolytes and thralls –  monumental riffs still fill these halls. But, to quote the band, themselves: “your face is different, but we’ve met before…”” Killdozer or dozing off?

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.

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

“And then a record comes along that takes me right back to that storied past and refills my magic bar to 100%. Mistress of the Gods, the debut album from Germany’s Vision of Choice is one of those records. After close to thirty spins of this 57-minute monster, I’m still trying to come up with the best way to describe what it sounds like. Here’s the best I got: take the masculine riffs and baritone bellows of a band like Omen, mix it with some German speed a la Helloween or Blind Guardian, add some eccentric Savatage flair, and round it out with Mötley Crüe and Van Halen, and you might get close.” Hot pocket o’ metal.

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

“Following my last couple of year-end lists, it should now not come as a shock that I spent more time fleshing out my historical knowledge of music than my contemporary knowledge. In honor of my abject failure in keeping my eye on the present, I have received approval to document my ever-deeper plundering of previous decades in an article detailing my favorite older records which I first heard in 2019.” Old things, young ears.

Tylor Dory Trio – Unsought Salvation Review

Tylor Dory Trio – Unsought Salvation Review

“If there is one word that kept coming to mind over and over while I played through Unsought Salvation, it was “potential.” Tylor Dory Trio are a group with a ton of it, showing throughout that they have the musical chops to pull off something truly remarkable. All that seems to be holding the band back right now is experience.” PE = mgh.

Lamassu – Into the Empty Review

Lamassu – Into the Empty Review

“Stoner rock is one of those genres where it’s hard to put into words what separates the great records from the tediously competent. What is it that makes KyussWelcome to Sky Valley or Sleep’s Dopesmoker nigh-on perfect records, while another album with all the same constituents just barely scrapes a 2.0? Well, as I say, it’s hard to put into words but, possibly because of its close relationship with the blues, great stoner has a ‘feel’ to it, a ‘know it, when you hear it’ quality.” Empty feelz and bluesy thrills.