Mastodon

Mastodon – Hushed and Grim [Things You Probably Didn’t Miss 2021]

Mastodon – Hushed and Grim [Things You Probably Didn’t Miss 2021]

“Yeah I know, anyone who gives two shits about Atlanta’s veteran modern metal/progressive sludge rock juggernaut Mastodon will likely have formed an opinion on their eighth studio album, and first double LP, Hushed and Grim. And I won’t lie, it is selfish reasons for including the album in this traditional end-of-year segment. We missed promo and the album turned out way better than a loyal but skeptical long-time fan was expecting.” Grim tales.

Lynx – Watcher of Skies Review

Lynx – Watcher of Skies Review

“Boy have we gotten lucky with some sweet traditional metal fare this month. Recent releases from both Black Soul Horde and Tower are sure to worm their way onto a few year-end lists—at least for the olde at heart. Upstart band Lynx aim to join this exalted group with their debut, Watcher of Skies.” Cat scratch fever?

Varego – Varego Review

Varego – Varego Review

“Talk about an art upgrade! Last time we saw Italian prog-sludgers Varego, their offering came wrapped in a decidedly undercooked wrapper. That turned out to be a bit prophetic, as the album innards were likewise short a few polishing sessions. 2 years have passed since then, and Varego have reverted from their inclusion on Argonauta’s roster to the solitary status of the self-releasing ronin with a self-named record. A mid-career eponymous album always serves as an attention grabber, a statement of identity. Along with the appealing cover, these are all strong indicators that the band is attempting a kind of rebirth, or at least a make-over.” Mastodonian.

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

“In 2017, NYC sludge band Somnuri released their eponymous debut to relatively little fanfare. No one around these parts seemed to catch it, but thanks to a personal connection to the band, I did. Somnuri was a solid mix of early Mastodon progressive sludge with Yob-ish doom tendencies. It was better than a self released debut has any right to be, with songs like “Kaizen,” “Inhabitant” and “Through the Dead” landing on several of my personal playlists. With the band on my radar, I’ve been hoping to see a follow up surface in our promo pit for some time. Lo and behold, Nefarious Wave comes to us courtesy of their new label Blues Funeral four long years after their debut. With such a gap between records, one would hope for, if not expect, a fair amount of evolution and refinement.” NYC tides bring strange gifts.

Horndal – Lake Drinker Review

Horndal – Lake Drinker Review

“Art always has a theme, even if that theme is not having a theme. Consciously or unconsciously, the theme informs the art, and never the twain shall be separated. But sometimes the thematic elements of a piece of art transcend their medium, taking on a life all their own and looming so large that it can be difficult for a critic to properly evaluate the piece. I’ve found this to be the case with Swedish band Horndal. Named for the small industrial town where some of its members were born and raised, Horndal is the sound of a town lamenting its own demise. Their debut album Remains told the story of the closing of the local steel mill and of the devastating and dehumanizing aftermath for the citizens of Horndal, and sophomore record Lake Drinker tackles the struggles created when tech monstrosity Google purchased huge tracts of land near the town in order to build massive server facilities.” Home is where the hurt is.

Dvne – Etemen Ænka Review

Dvne – Etemen Ænka Review

“If you ask me, Dvne is one of the greater discoveries of the last 5 years. After sampling them, based on a random recommendation from a random review, I’ve found myself increasingly absorbed by the Scottish band. They are still my favorite out of all the TYMHM reviews I wrote, and they landed a high spot in my end of year list in 2017. Needless to say, my anticipation for this weirdly named sophomore offering of sci-fi prog sludge was sky high.” The riffs must flow!

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

False Gods – No Symmetry… Only Disillusion Review

“I’m the biggest Eyehategod fan I know, and sludge gets a bad rap. I get it: much like drone, if you just amp up the distortion to an 11/10 and know how to abuse the blues scale, you’ve got it made. Of course, there’s more nuance, like the need for facial hair, flannel, intoxicating substances, a shotgun, and some dark woods in the Deep South, but that’s just pedantic. My point is, you wouldn’t expect Crowbar-esque sludge from some dudes in New York, New York.” Empire expanding.

Calyces – Impulse to Soar Review

Calyces – Impulse to Soar Review

Calyces’ mastermind is singer/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer Manthos Stergiou, late of Tardive Dyskinesia. This time around, Stergiou and his bandmates are going for a sound that is heavily influenced by Mastodon, Baroness, and Tool. This has been done to death, so the key to making it work is writing great songs and establishing your own original take on those bands’ sounds.” Impulse to ape.