Groove Metal

Bear – Propaganda Review

Bear – Propaganda Review

“How much good groove metal have we even heard in the last decade? Unto the Locust was, in my opinion, Machine Head’s last good album, and that’s about where it ends for me. Groove-influenced bands like The Haunted have worked much better than bands that use it as its core. Belgian quartet Bear seek to subvert that formula by stapling several genres to its creamy groove center.” Grizzly grooves.

Grand Massive – 4 Review

Grand Massive – 4 Review

“Stoner rock and aggression mix about as well as water and oil. It’s more suited to laid-back breeziness or good-natured fuzz rock. It’ll tread into darker territories on occasion (Realms of Vision’s Through All Unknown two years ago was a memorable example) but beyond that, attempts at a darker form of the style frequently dissolve into sludge. The genre, not the metaphor. Grand Massive is a German stoner outfit who have been working on the road since 2008, and they try another angle, giving their stoner style some thrashy venom and just a whiff of old school heavy metal.” 4 for the desert.

HellgardeN – Making Noise, Living Fast Review

HellgardeN – Making Noise, Living Fast Review

“Dime’s untouchable riffs and solos, Vinnie’s one-of-a-kind kit work, Phil’s forceful presence, and Rex (somehow) pulling it all together. Pantera was a unique beast that survived and grew more popular with their thrashing musical shift with Cowboys from Hell. And, if the local radio station has anything to say about it, they’re still popular enough to throw at least six tracks into the weekday morning mix. But why the lengthy Pantera introduction when this is clearly not a YMIO piece? Because Brazil’s HellgardeN is the closest thing to Pantera‘s reincarnation you’ll ever hear.” Vulgar display of homage.

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.

Bonded – Rest in Violence Review

Bonded – Rest in Violence Review

Bonded is a German band that qualifies as both new and old when it comes to thrash. Rest in Violence is their debut record, but founders Bernd ‘Bernemann’ Kost and Markus ‘Makka’ Freiwald are both longtime veterans of Teutonic thrash legends Sodom. The duo has assembled an army of talent and is launching an all-out assault on the groovier side of the thrash subgenre tree. Will this initial foray hit with the force of an agent orange drop, or is it better off dead?” Bond jumpers.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

Yer Metal Is Olde: Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

“Few bands in the history of metal earn such massive amounts of acclaim and disdain across the broader metal community than Pantera. The Texan legends dominated the mainstream metal scene throughout the ’90s, after reinventing themselves from their questionable glam roots, developing into a testosterone-fueled juggernaut of thrash-based groove metal.” Driven to excess.

Shadow Limb – Burn Scar Review

Shadow Limb – Burn Scar Review

“Let me make something clearer: Shadow Limb sound like early (read: good) Mastodon. Like, a lot. The only way to experience the earnest, adventurous riffs and rhythms of tracks like “Rudiger; ” or opener “Asger Arisen” without immediately recalling Mastodon is to have somehow never heard Mastodon in the first place. Half mast(odon).

Messora – The Door Review

Messora – The Door Review

“I don’t know what makes something “avant-garde.” I remember going to an avant-garde art museum in Santa Fe, NM, where there was a movie exhibit of a haircut. Literally, two men and one woman get an identical buzzed haircut in the shade of a gazebo in the mountains of China. There’s new age music plucking around back there, walls are lined with identical shots of their new haircuts, and shadow boxes of locks of hair covered the floor. It was weird and challenging and difficult to understand, but I think about it a lot. So, if that’s what’s avant-garde, Messora ain’t it.” Hammer, don’t hurt ’em.