Helmet

Gorilla Wizard – Tales From the Cauldron Review

Gorilla Wizard – Tales From the Cauldron Review

“Long Island, New York is a strange place. Geographically speaking it’s the penis of the Empire State, and essentially a vast, sprawling suburb for New York City that runs from the rough n’ tumble boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens through the tony Hamptons and on to the picturesque Montauk lighthouse. Though city adjacent, it has a culture and vibe all its own. Think of a tense middle ground between The Jersey Shore and Goodfellas and you’re in the right zip code. It’s a place of rowdy attitude and stubborn pride, as depicted in the various lyrics by favorite son Billy Joel, and it’s not for everyone. But hey, if you don’t like it, you can fuck off back to whatever garbage town you crawled out of. From this raucous suburban jungle comes the silverback charmers in Gorilla Wizard as they peddle their unruly take on riffy stoner/sludge metal.” Professor Ape.

Lo-Pan – Subtle Review

Lo-Pan – Subtle Review

“It’s not easy to stand apart these days, especially when it comes to stoner metal. You can change up vocal styles as much as humanly possible, throw as many outside musical influences that your songs can handle, and go off the deep end lyrically to the point of needing either a severe dry-out period or even a full-on intervention from friends, family, and various loved ones. The fact remains that stoner metal, when you take a good, hard look at it, hasn’t evolved much, and it’s getting harder and harder to do something new. Which is fine, because we kinda like it like that.” Stones don’t evolve.

Final Coil – The World We Left Behind for Others Review

Final Coil – The World We Left Behind for Others Review

“I’ve never been much of a post and/or alt-rock guy, but the expertly crafted promo blurb for unsung U.K. act Final Coil captured my interest enough to review their 2017 debut, Persistence of Memory. It was an engaging little album too, mixing post-rock, restrained prog and grunge for a fairly unique sound. The album had its flaws, but I sensed a band that could go on to bigger things. Now a mere year and a half later, their sophomore effort The World We Left Behind for Others arrives with little fanfare, but that same sense of potential and promise.” What we leave and what we keep.

KEN mode – Loved Review

KEN mode – Loved Review

“What the fuck is that? A demented shadow person? A medieval executioner? The nightmarish specter of your father asking you why you haven’t eaten your Brussels sprouts? These are the questions you’ll ask yourself as you try in vain to fall asleep tonight, knowing full well that leering figure is definitely not standing right at the foot of your bed. In a way it’s fitting, because KEN mode’s music is equally likely to leave an impression.” Sludge monsters.

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

“Anyone who’s seen The Wire knows Baltimore can be a rough place, but on Memorial Day weekend every year, things get especially brutal. Hundreds of rabid metal fans from all over the world descend on ‘Charm City’ to participate in Maryland Deathfest, and the result is four days of moshing, headbanging, and partying like it’s 1989.” Death to all.

Vital Breath – Angels of Light Review

Vital Breath – Angels of Light Review

“Alternative metal is among the broadest of genre tags in heavy music. A few months ago, UK act Zedi Forder impressed with their solid interpretation of the alt metal style on their self titled debut. Alas, I broached this second LP offering from France’s Vital Breath with both trepidation and cautious optimism when I saw they were also listed under the alternative metal umbrella.” Alternative to what?

Gravdal – Kadaverin Review

Gravdal – Kadaverin Review

“It was the gorgeous construction of Torturmantra‘s “Mishandlet” (guested by Niklas Kvarforth), that roped me in. This past encounter with Gravdal, and hearing of guest appearances from members of Satyricon, Taake, SAHG, The Ruins Of Beverast, Seven Impale and Orkan along with lyrical contributions by V`gandr (Helheim and Taake) would seem to cement Kadaverin as a “must-hear” release. But does it?” The black metal circus arrives.