Rise Above Records

Witchskull – A Driftwood Cross Review

Witchskull – A Driftwood Cross Review

“The April 24 release cycle is an interesting one for me: three bands I’ve reviewed before are dropping new albums. Since we usually review bands we’ve reviewed in the past, and we also usually review one release each per week, this is a conundrum. I’m too olde and slow to review three albums in a week, but I think I can pull off two. And that’s good news: it means I can avoid what is likely to be another travesty from Road Warrior. Instead I can focus on local up-and-comers Traveler and Aussie rockers Witchskull.” Witchy business.

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Wasteland Review

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Wasteland Review

“Less is more. That little witticism has become the AMG mantra because it’s so very true. Most 75-minute albums are less enjoyable than a 45 minute version would be. Three Taco Bell Hard Taco Supremes are a better choice than six. It’s just how the world works. When it comes to the creepy stoner rock of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, this rule proves especially accurate. Though I loved their second album, Bloodlust and found their whole night stalker shtick endearing, I’ve never felt the same about any of their later releases. Wasteland is their fourth full-length and the recipe remains the same.” Creepy uncles and bad trips.

Axegrinder – Satori Review

Axegrinder – Satori Review

“We’ve seen this scenario before. Bands split up, go on indefinite hiatus or just drop off the face of the Earth, only to re-emerge years and years later with new material and a fresh load of crow’s feet. Axegrinder manage to take this to the next level, however. Their first album, The Rise of the Serpent Men, dropped in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down. Satori, released in the summer of the Year of Our Jørn 2018, is the follow-up, if you can still call it that. Twenty-nine years between releases makes the next Tool album feel rushed and might inspire G.R.R. Martin to take it a little easier on releasing the next A Song of Ice and Fire novel.” New olde beginnings.

Age of Taurus – The Colony Slain Review

Age of Taurus – The Colony Slain Review

“One of the most difficult tasks for an established band is following-up a successful debut. The task at hand has resulted in many a failure, as artists choke under pressure and fail to capitalize on their promising foundations, buckling under the increased expectation from the record label and swelling fan-base. A follow-up of any sort didn’t seem a certain prospect for UK’s doomers, Age of Taurus. The band’s 2013 LP Desperate Souls of Tortured Times, was a captivating debut, built on a slightly modernized, traditional doom foundation of robust, ironclad riffage and generous hooks.” Doom call it a comeback.

Septic Tank – Rotting Civilisation Review

Septic Tank – Rotting Civilisation Review

“In the mid-90’s, Cathedral was turning into a household name in the realms of British doom. The steaming, sleazy groove of the quartet was best described as the midway point of Black Sabbath, Clutch and Mötorhead, and has seen its fair share of progeny (like The Necromancers, for instance.) Unbeknownst to many, the band had a side project simmering away in the form of Septic Tank, which was often mentioned between the members but was kicked down the road as much as that novel you intend to write sometime. Five years after Cathedral‘s dissolution, the side project has sprung back to life with three of its original four members, including bassist Scott Carlson, guitar player Gaz Jennings and vocalist Lee Dorrian.” We’re getting the cesspool back together!

Octopus – Supernatural Alliance Review

Octopus – Supernatural Alliance Review

“Here we are, once again, gathered together under the metaphoric roof of the Angry Metal Hall. Our ranks comprise fans of all walks of metal, no two tastes are identical and yet we all convene here to bang our heads as one. What joins us disparate degenerates as children of the Jørn? What fantastic force unites the photometers, hamsters, and screaming boxes that plague our comment section? The answer holds as trve now as in those dark days preceding the internet: it’s the riffs, stupid. This obvious answer in turn poses an obvious question: “What does this have to do with Octopus’ Supernatural Alliance?”” What a big tent you have.

Beastmaker – Inside the Skull Review

Beastmaker – Inside the Skull Review

“Californian doomers Beastmaker take a familiar approach worshiping at the altar of classic Sabbath and Pentagram, grinding these well worn influences through a hazy stoner rock filter, complete with loose garage-y vibe. Already the band has a couple of releases under their belts despite their relatively short existence, but do these drugged-out heathens have what it takes to compete with the big guns?” Not to be confused with the Beastmaster, nor the Beastmilker.

Ides of Gemini – Women Review

Ides of Gemini – Women Review

“Almost a decade ago, when I had only gotten my head stuck in the alluring crevice that is metal for a few short years, I stumbled upon a little-known atmospheric doom metal band called Black Math Horseman. I hardly listened to any doom, nor bands with female vocalists at the time (I wouldn’t develop a taste for it until years later) so the album, titled Wyllt, never really stuck, but the concept intrigued me nonetheless. Now, many trials and tribulations later, I find myself back in the loving arms of Sera Timms’ haunting cry with a different band by the name of Ides of Gemini.” Ides wide open.

Galley Beggar – Heathen Hymns Review

Galley Beggar – Heathen Hymns Review

“April was a pretty jam packed month review-wise for yours truly and I had to pass on several albums I would have covered in less hectic times. Though my dance card was full, as soon as I heard a few seconds of Heathen Hymns by hitherto unknown to me Galley Beggar, I started clearing space. Galley Beggar may have a name that conjures images of the worst pirate-corish, Alestorm-wannabes, but they play what they dub “acid folk,” and freely admit to an obsession with old sounds and styles.” Magic, mushrooms, mandolins.

Troubled Horse – Revolution on Repeat Review

Troubled Horse – Revolution on Repeat Review

“Informal poll: who here is getting tired of the whole “retro rock” scene? It seems everyone and their dog wants to be in a retro band — especially those pesky Scandinavians. Whether it’s the proto-metal stylings of Sweden’s Saturn or the Survivor-core of Finland’s Brother Firetribe, or a litany of other bands flying the retro-core banner these days, retro seems to be the flavor of the month. Troubled Horse looks to add their crest to the mix with Revolution on Repeat.” Isn’t a troubled horse just a unicorn?