Sludge Metal

Eremit – Bearer of Many Names Review

Eremit – Bearer of Many Names Review

“Two years ago, German then-duo Eremit trudged onto the scene with a 68-minute, three-song mammoth, Carrier of Weight, an album that contained a foreboding atmosphere, a production that could crush an elephant like it was an empty aluminum can, and about six or seven total riffs between all three gargantuan-length songs. It was a bit much for me, but even then, I could sense the potential for these sludge-bearers to smother the masses and climb to the top of the heap where witches with bells sit upon oaken (Lewandowski-painted) thrones, surveying the wastelands forevermore. If there was something that the shitstorm that was 2020 and parts of 2021 taught me, it’s that patience is most certainly a welcome virtue, and time can soften an old fuddy-duddy like yours truly. As such, the now-trio-again have seen fit to unleash their newest beast, Bearer of Many Names, with a sleeker, heavier disposition.” Names with weight.

Nadja – Luminous Rot Review

Nadja – Luminous Rot Review

“I was surprised how unknown Nadja is around AMG Headquarters. I was parading around the new promo like a goddamn peacock, like “WAOW NADJA‘S GOT A NEW ONE GUISE” and was met by a chorus of “uh, who?” The Canucks’ offerings like debut Touched, Radiance of Shadows, and The Bungled & The Botched made regular appearances on my playlist before I lost touch with 2013’s dolphin-themed Flipper. Since, the duo has released five albums, culminating in 2021’s Luminous Rot, which attempts to bring “post-punk, cold-wave, shoegaze, and industrial” influences into the limelight alongside their trademark “dreamsludge” approach.” Dreamsludge on a sunny day.

Domkraft – Seeds Review

Domkraft – Seeds Review

“This album cover might be enough to scare away the more discerning fans, but we here aren’t paid to run away in fear or confusion. Nor are we paid enough to afford a pair of 3D glasses, which might be handy to see this artwork in its intended form. It is a messed-up, psychedelic trip of an image, to be sure, and in some ways it foreshadows what is to come on Seeds, the third album from Swedish doom/sludge/psych trio Domkraft.” Seedy fuzz.

Vokonis – Odyssey Review

Vokonis – Odyssey Review

Vokonis have been on my radar for a few years now. I jumped in when their debut, Olde One Ascending, was rereleased in 2018, and liked it enough to review their third album, Grasping Time, right here back in 2019. As I found out after purchasing their second release The Sunken Djinn, Grasping Time was a slight step back. It was still a fun record, and the trio came up with many great moments, at times displaying a real knack for catchy riffs and progressive arrangements, but it just seemed like that magic formula was still eluding them. When word of Odyssey came out late last year, my first thought was “Damn, that is spectacular cover art.” Then the inevitable follow-up: “I hope the music holds up.” Thankfully, it does.” Homeric.

Bongzilla – Weedsconsin Review

Bongzilla – Weedsconsin Review

“It’s high noon. Sweet Mary Jane is at the wheel. Her best bud Bongzilla is in the passenger seat. Master of Reality is rattling through the truck’s rusty speakers. The sun is setting. They’ve hit the jackpot. After sixteen years in a distant haze, Bongzilla is back. Muleboy (bass/vocals), Spanky (guitar) and Magma (drums) have awoken from their dazed slumber. Sixteen years is like sixty years in stoner time and a lot has changed. For one, the recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in many more states. Bongzilla is still on a mission for fweedom, however.” Weed the children.

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.

Eyehategod – A History of Nomadic Behavior Review

Eyehategod – A History of Nomadic Behavior Review

“Legendary sludge metallers Eyehategod is another high profile and revered NOLA band from the wrong side of the tracks, carving out a punishing career of ugly, hateful, feedback drenched sludge, including genre classics, Take as Needed for Pain and Dopesick. Built upon foundations of immense hardship, personal pain, resilience, and rocky turbulence, particularly those of troubled frontman Mike IX Williams, Eyehategod returned with a self-titled comeback album in 2014, their first LP since 2000’s Confederacy of Ruined Lives. It was a solid return, staying true to the band’s gnarled roots. The passage of time and age shall not weary Eyehategod.” Transient ugliness.