Ludicra

Vhöl – Deeper Than Sky Review

Vhöl – Deeper Than Sky Review

“Bay area supergroup Vhöl seemed to come out of nowhere with their self-titled 2013 debut. Led by Hammers of Misfortune/Ludicra guitarist John Cobbett, Vhöl contains members from both bands but proved to be a different beast entirely, combining disparate elements and metal subgenres into something truly original. Two years later, the follow-up Deeper Than Sky arrives, and given the band’s pedigree and the quality of the debut, my expectations are high.” The Doctor has a man crush.

Ninkharsag – The Blood of Celestial Kings Review

Ninkharsag – The Blood of Celestial Kings Review

“Reaching the fourth decade of living can be a somewhat stressing time in anyone’s life. Yourself, friends and family start to be affected by an almost insurmountable amount of maladies of body and mind. One may be what could only be defined as chronic musical disappointment.” Will a throwback black metal act trigger the symptoms?

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Vhöl – Vhöl

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Vhöl – Vhöl

“Being the jaded old fuck that I am, there are very few musicians that I go into straight-up fanboy mode for these days. One of those individuals is guitarist John Cobbett. Who, you ask? Cobbett is a member of prog sextet Hammers of Misfortune, and has done time in both Slough Feg and Ludicra, which puts him at the center of San Francisco’s present-day metal scene. When Ludicra abruptly folded after touring for 2010’s brilliant prog-black-metal opus The Tenant, I was genuinely bummed out. Lucky for me, Cobbett quickly assembled a new outlet for his heavier material, dubbed Vhöl.” Are you worried you might have missed some precious metal this year? We worry too, so we’ll start bombarding you with our selections of quality albums we didn’t get to review, but would hate to see you miss. Here, Mr. Fisting brings you the new project from the ever interesting John Cobbett. You’re welcome!

Hammers of Misfortune – 17th Street Review

Hammers of Misfortune – 17th Street Review

Few obscure, under-ground bands find the level of respect and reverence that San Francisco’s Hammers of Misfortune has. These avaunt-garde weirdos have been doing things their way since 2001 and slowly building appreciation and acclaim along the way. Deftly defying genre tags and easy (lazy) categorization by reviewers like myself, they’ve churned out a uniquely progressive amalgam of NWOBHM, folk, doom and ’70s rock. So unusual is their sound, the only truly comparable band is sister/brother act Slough Feg, with which they’ve swapped influences and members over the years. It’s a pretty safe bet if you like the Feg, you’ll dig what the Hammers are cooking too. Of the two, the Hammers were and are the weirder, more experimental outfit and under the leadership of guitarist/vocalist John Cobbett (ex-Slough Feg, ex-Ludicra), they’ve traveled some strange roads but always packed truckloads of melody and quirky charm. After an overly long wait since 2008’s Fields/Church of Broken Glass, we’re finally treated to their fifth album 17th Street and its a reassuring blast of sonic strangeness, musical eccentricity and refreshing innovation. Although not crushingly heavy or shockingly aggressive, its plenty metal, hugely melodic, catchy and most importantly, original! If that doesn’t sound good to you, go read my diatribe about black metal.

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon is a three-piece progressive metal band from San Francisco that was formed in 2005 and that is releasing their third full-length All We Destroy via Profound Lore (which is being distroed by Sound Pollution in Sweden, by the way). Since their 2007 debut, the band has been hailed as something totally unique on the metal landscape, and in 2011 this is still very true. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that they are a singular voice in the area in such a way that there is very little functional comparison to a reader understand what it is that they do, and more specifically why it’s so damn successful. However, as a music reviewer that’s my job (or in this case, ridiculously time consuming habit), so I shall wade fearlessly into the fray and hope that you, angry reader, are left with a sense of why you should head over to Profound Lore’s website and purchase the record.