Mastodon

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.

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.

Yatra – All is Lost Review

Yatra – All is Lost Review

“I reviewed Yatra’s debut early last year to a mixed result. Death Ritual was not without promise, but the stoner doom with blackened snarls didn’t quite live up to what it could have been with slightly tepid songwriting. Naturally, I was curious about how their second album, All is Lost, would fare. A year and a half in current conditions is a pretty fast turnaround; the dangers of rushing lurked in the shadows. And that’s when I found out that All is Lost is, in fact, their third album, after releasing Blood of the Night under a different label in January. 8 months gestation, in 2020?! Who do they think they are, Vardan?” Enjoy ov deep stoner sludge.