Sludge Metal

Goden – Beyond Darkness Review

Goden – Beyond Darkness Review

“We’ve discussed revivals before, and tributes aplenty. Just look at Sweven‘s Morbus Chron tribute–kind of a bit of both, and to mixed reactions. The list goes on: Black Sabbath and Heaven and HellImmortal and Abbath. Musicians looking to revive an old project under a new name must tread lightly, as we don’t want Morbus Chron 2.0, for example, but something that acknowledges the past while taking a fresh step forward. Today’s topic of discussion, New York’s Winter,  a relatively quiet 90’s death metal act that nevertheless influenced the development of the death/doom niche with its murky and sprawling tunes.” Winter is coming back.

Alkymist – Sanctuary Review

Alkymist – Sanctuary Review

Alkymist are here to enhance their own maturation of the progressive metal medium, imbuing a curious genre-bending identity to the extreme metal pot. Dragur are the undead – icy, chaotic, magical creatures risen from the dead to live a second life. They are the malevolence of alchemy and at the heart of this record. SanctuaryAlkymist‘s second full-length – is the sound of humanity in refuge, fighting against the twisted world of alchemy’s waste.” Magic against mankind.

Shatter Brain – Pitchfork Justice Review

Shatter Brain – Pitchfork Justice Review

“When I saw the eye-catching cover for Shatter Brain‘s debut full-length, Pitchfork Justice, I immediately assumed they were a thrash band. I was about 1/8th right, as this Australian act mixes sludge, grind, death and punk with speed for what can only be described as an unruly and boisterous sound. Pitchfork Justice is an album that wants to be many things, sometimes all at the same time, and this leads to some interesting moments to be sure.” The mob is revolting.

The Ditch and the Delta – The Ditch and the Delta Review

The Ditch and the Delta – The Ditch and the Delta Review

“The furious, enraged opening salvo of “Maimed,” the lead track on The Ditch and the Delta’s eponymous second album, is probably an accurate representation of exactly how nearly all of us feel right now – especially up here in bunghole Alberta, where it simply won’t stop snowing (not that we’re allowed to do fun things outside anyhow), which only adds insult to injury.” Sludge therapy.

Barishi – OId Smoke Review

Barishi – OId Smoke Review

Barishi‘s 2016 release Blood from the Lion’s Mouth retained the peculiar progressive power of their inconsistent debut, adding a visceral and claustrophobic edge to their sound. It was a much more streamlined effort that showed glimpses of a band working towards something exciting. It lacked a sense of unity. Instead, it consisted of short tracks that dramatically varied in tone and mood, strong in their own right but less stable when held in context: a tasting platter. Old Smoke arrives after a four year silence, a long time between records these days.” Smoke em if you got em.

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

Calligram – The Eye Is The First Circle Review

“How can music communicate the feeling of dread? While all styles are able, metal’s inherent darkness fits like a glove. While it’s easy to provide aural bludgeoning or emphasize excess, the discipline of restraint takes time and effort. From the post-metal dirges of Neurosis, the avant-garde buildups of Eryn Non Dae., the spiraling doom of Swallowed, the blackened payoffs of Cultes des Ghoules, and the death metal environs of Desolate Shrine, it revels in darkness, plays with menace, but most notably, waits patiently.” Waiting in the darkness.

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

“The fantastically named Demonic Death Judge is a sludge/stoner quartet from Kymenlaakso, Finland, having released two EPs and three full-lengths of plodding and hazy dirges since 2009, The Trail being their fourth. Their first two full-lengths were nearly identical to Louisianan Thou‘s gloomy sludge affairs, pitching molasses-thick riffs, blackened rasps, and decidedly bleak themes.” The path unbakened.

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian first bored into my consciousness with their single, “Head and the Sword,” an absolutely killer song that showcased a suave combination of sludge, stoner, and prog influences. To this day it remains one of my favorite songs, and it paved the way to their debut album, Vol. I, which took that single and pushed the style into heavier territory, most notably with the vocals. Comparisons are for the lazy amongst us, and that includes me, so let me put forth that there is definitely influence from early Baroness and Mastodon buried in these riffy songs, along with no small dose of High on Fire.” CROMulent.