Black Sabbath

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

Here Lies Man – Ritual Divination Review

“Like many of you, I’ve spent significant time over the years wandering musical paths far from our beloved metallic bae. In some cases, this has made me something of an amateur expert, as in the rangy field of Americana. In others, I’ve invested enough time as not to be a tourist, but not enough to be considered a deep diver. This is the case with Afrobeat. I’ve passed many hours with the father of the genre, Fela Kuti—easy enough given his song lengths—and with compilations like the incredible Nigeria 70 box set. I’ve also enjoyed the work of revivalists such as Brooklyn, New York’s Antibalas, so when I stumbled across Here Lies Man in the promo pit, a side project of Antibalas members infusing Afrobeat with Sabbathian riffs, I snapped it up greedily.” Don’t be grabby.

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

“Then there’re examples like Fast Eddie Clarke walking away from Motörhead and the canning of Ozzy Osbourne by Black Sabbath. Anthrax, Exodus, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest lost their vocalists, who psyched everyone out and returned later anyway. In some cases, end-of-era albums are more like transition pieces—bridging the gap between the band of old and the band of new. Arguably Metallica‘s …And Justice For All fits the bill. It was clear that Justice was different, but it wasn’t until Metallica arrived that everyone saw what Justice really was. King Diamond‘s The Eye is also such an album.” Fading eyesight.

Pallbearer – Forgotten Days Review

Pallbearer – Forgotten Days Review

“Spear-heading the surge of American doom metal in the 2010s, Arkansas’s Pallbearer were the saddest and slowest of the cohort which also includes the likes of Khemmis and Spirit Adrift. With a simmering melancholy and towering doom-laden riffs, they were simultaneously the most traditional but most fresh of these acts. 2017’s Heartless saw them leaning into progressive territory (and copping them the ‘Progbearer’ nickname) as it strove for expansive soundscapes and used dynamic song-writing. 2020 has been an especially sad year which would seemingly provide plenty of days to be forgotten; how fares Forgotten Days in this context?” Pall of shame.

Somnus Throne – Somnus Throne Review

Somnus Throne – Somnus Throne Review

“The mysterious and unidentified crew that make up Somnus Throne are said to hail from New Orleans, Texas and L.A., and on their eponymous debut they are content to allow their music to make the introductions for them. Listeners can expect to be greeted by psychedelic stoner doom in the vein of Sleep, High on Fire, and Mastodon, heavy on the massive riffage and song-lengths and light on innovation or originality.” Thronesmoker.

Laser Dracul – Hagridden Review

Laser Dracul – Hagridden Review

“Drawing on both the atmospheric doom of Black Sabbath and Witchfinder General’s stoner rock, Laser Dracul deal in dirty, lo-fi, rolling riffs, underpinned by the rumbling bass and rough, hollow cleans of Michael Brander. Sounding a bit like Dozer run through a Sleep filter, there is something oddly comforting about the sludgy rock on show on Hagridden.” Of lights and undead lords.

Volcanova – Radical Waves Review

Volcanova – Radical Waves Review

“When you see the word “Iceland” floating on the oily surface of the promo sump, your thoughts turn immediately to black metal. That’s been Iceland’s chief metal export for some time now and the scene is well regarded and expanding. You certainly wouldn’t think of that exotic locale as the home of desert stoner rock, but Volcanova is out to change that with their fuzzed out debut Radical Waves.” Smoke on the ice.

Sound of Origin – The All Seeing Eye Review

Sound of Origin – The All Seeing Eye Review

The All Seeing Eye is a dense, heavy slab of bluesy, stoner doom, mixed with some sludge, which pays clear homage to its influences (Black SabbathKyuss), without being an obvious rip-off. Where it differs from its EP predecessor is the delightfully nasty edge that Bulsara’s vocals provide.” Angry stoners.

Unruly – Unruly Review

Unruly – Unruly Review

“Look, I’m not saying I judge books records by their covers but, come on, everyone likes nice artwork, right? When I’m plumbing the murkier depths of Bandcamp, a cool cover can lure me into that one extra purchase that I swore I wasn’t going to make. It’s just as well for Te Whanganui a Tara, Aotearoa (or Wellington, New Zealand) trio Unruly then, that I didn’t see the cover of their self-titled debut before I hauled it out of the promo pit.” Ugly is as Unruly does.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

“Hello, controversy! In all of metal, one of the most controversial topics is Black Sabbath with and without Ozzy. Passions are inflamed and regrettable words are spewed in both directions any time this debate comes up. Being a human completely lacking in emotion or empathy, I don’t care about it. I want good albums period, and let’s be honest, this record’s predecessor was Never Say Die!, undoubtedly one of the band’s least finest moments, with or without their infamous leading man. No matter what came next, it was a low bar.” Vintage evil.

Pale Divine – Consequence of Time Review

Pale Divine – Consequence of Time Review

“Generally speaking, bands don’t wait until their 25th year in existence to hit their peak. Don’t tell that to Pale Divine though. Pennsylvania’s best kept secret has been quietly churning out beefy classic doom albums since the turn of the century, basing their sound around Trouble, Black Sabbath and Pentagram, with a gritty biker rock edge making everything feel sturdy and muscular.” Time has been good to some of us.