Americana

Lathe – Tongue of Silver Review

Lathe – Tongue of Silver Review

Tongue of Silver represents two landscapes. It beats down upon the dead soil of the barren American West, empty and lonely winds plastering sun-bleached hills. But it pulses with the beating heart of its folklore, as legendary as it is flesh and blood. It’s a tall tale of the mundane, paying homage to not only Americana, but to the crushing weight of drone metal. The story it tells is not of speedy gunslingers or soul-searching troubadours but found in the negative spaces “somewhere between sand and rust:” a living, breathing, and uniquely American commentary on expansion and decay.” American threads.

Wailin Storms – The Silver Snake Unfolds Review

Wailin Storms – The Silver Snake Unfolds Review

“I liked a lot about Wailin Storms’ 2020 album Rattle. Reading back over my review, I mention doom metal, post-hardcore, the High Lonesome Sound, haunted hollers and swamps and David Eugene Edwards. I called it “fire-and-brimstone snake-handling speaking in tongues nightmare music,” and friends, that’s practically my erogenous zone. The major issue with Rattle was a dearth of compositional ideas. Still, they’re one of the few gothic Americana acts out there with a metal heart, so I had high hopes for any potential follow up.” No steppy on snake.

Vital Spirit – Still As the Night, Cold As the Wind Review

Vital Spirit – Still As the Night, Cold As the Wind Review

“Back in 2020, around the time Wayfarer were turning heads with their black metal of the Old West on A Romance With Violence, I discovered an EP seemingly out of nowhere by a Canadian two piece who, in my humble opinion, one-upped that admittedly good album. From the Navajo sand painting cover art to the Ennio Morricone spaghetti western passages to the lyrical focus on pre-colonial Americas, Vital Spirit threw their hat into that incredibly small ring with their Coloradan brethren with In The Faith That Looks Through Death. Consisting of Kyle Tavares and Israel Langlais, both of crusty meloblack band and AMG darlings Wormwitch, Vital Spirit continue their self described “saccharine black metal of the West” on their debut full-length Still as the Night, Cold as the Wind.” Black is the new spaghetti.

An Evening Redness – An Evening Redness Review

An Evening Redness – An Evening Redness Review

“”Only that man who has offered up himself entire to the blood of war, who has been to the floor of the pit and seen the horror in the round and learned at last that it speaks to his inmost heart, only that man can dance.” So goes a notable passage from Cormac McCarthy’s bleak masterpiece Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West. It’s a brilliant and endlessly quotable novel that serves as the source material for An Evening Redness’s debut offering of Americana-tinged drone/doom.” Harvester of Moon.

En Minor – When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out Review

En Minor – When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out Review

“Were I to begin giving the weeks of my life names like some sort of week-naming goon, “When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out” would be a top-level contender for this past week. As a title, it’s perfect; overly lengthy, blunt, and definitely different. In a slight deviation from the metallic usual, the American group En Minor, headed by one Philip Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals), has let loose their debut album, When the Cold Truth Has Worn Its Miserable Welcome Out, to unsuspecting masses. Given my earlier week-naming sentiments, this probably should be a match made by destiny – but is it?” Cold and miserable.

Wino – Forever Gone Review

Wino – Forever Gone Review

“Scott “Wino” Weinrich is at a point in his lengthy and influential music career where he can do pretty much anything he wants. He can cut more albums with his seminal doom act, The Obsessed, or perform with that other seminal doom act, Saint Vitus. He might even pursue collaborations with a who’s who of musicians as he did with Dave Grohl in Probot and with German dark folk artist Conny Ochs. Another option would be to record an album of stripped down, bare bones acoustic Americana rock. It seems as Wino ages, his heart gravitates back to that final option more and more.” Forever Wino.

Wailin Storms – Rattle Review

Wailin Storms – Rattle Review

“Five years ago, Madam X found Wailin Storms’ debut full-length One Foot in the Flesh Grave to be a tasty treat, accurately calling it a mix between Danzig and 16 Horsepower. Their sound, which has changed little in the interim, is what you’d get if you conducted an experiment on band composition. Tell the bassist he’s playing in a doom outfit, tell the guitarist it’s psychobilly, tell the drummer to play post-hardcore, and let vocalist Justin Storms do exactly what it says on the tin. For an album that falls somewhere outside the usual bounds of metal, Rattle is all hot-blooded heaviness.” Weather the Storm.

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Tohu Wa Bohu, a Hebrew phrase found in Genesis describing the Earth as “formless and empty” before the creation of light, is the second album from this Texan quartet, and it’s chock full of earthy darkness. First track “Raziel” creaks into the world sounding like a lost track from Nick Cave and Warren EllisThe Proposition soundtrack crossed with Low Estate era 16 Horsepower.” Lost in Americana.

Huntsmen – Mandala of Fear Review

Huntsmen – Mandala of Fear Review

Huntsmen was one of the best left-field surprises of 2018 with their American Scrap album. By mixing progressive sludge and Americana, they created a sound not quite like any other. The songs neatly encapsulated heartfelt stories about working in the coal mines, a tragedy in Atlantic City, and others, closing on “The Last President” which included a dramatic performance by Aimee Bueno as the POTUS who unleashes nuclear Armageddon and hangs herself right after. It was a potent storytelling format that was bolstered by strong riffs, earnest vocals and succinct songwriting. So it makes sense that Mandala of Fear continues in… Wait… Does that promo sheet say “85 minute double LP dystopian concept album?!”” More as less.

Bask – III Review

Bask – III Review

“Asheville, North Carolina. A bizarre cultural potpourri famous for its beer, food, music scene and road construction, Asheville is one of those strange places that is both cripplingly flawed and difficult to resist. It’s a fascinating place, and it has my heart. So it should come as no surprise that I Bask in the glow of III, an Americana-spiked hard rock album that comes direct from my current hometown. We write infrequently about stuff from or within spitting distance of this city, but it seems like every time we do we like what we get—I direct you to Aether Realm and Undrask, for starters—and Bask’s latest continues the trend.” Sweet home Carolina.