Sludge Metal

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.

deathCAVE – Smoking Mountain Review

deathCAVE – Smoking Mountain Review

Smoking Mountain bills itself as a heady mix of doom, sludge and psychedelica. It’s named after a mountain just south of Seattle, which sounds suitably ominous. It also gives the listener a good idea of the density they’re about to encounter. In reality, it’s a fascinating spectacle of a band in a constant tug-of-war between glorious movement and the densest inertia. Will this turn out to be like a rugby scrum – full of effort but going nowhere (unless it’s England being pushed over by the mighty South African pack in the World Cup final)? Or do these competing forces light a serious fire?” Smoke and stone.

Pale Horseman – For Dust Thou Art Review

Pale Horseman – For Dust Thou Art Review

Pale Horseman have only been around for eight years, but For Dust Thou Art is the Chicago sludge quartet’s fifth album and their 2017 effort, The Fourth Seal, showed enough promise that I kept their name on my radar. I’m a fan of the (rather typical) influences I could hear on that record – early Mastodon, Neurosis, High on Fire – and thought the band was onto something good despite the overly long compositions. I’ve been looking forward to hearing how they hone their craft for the past three years now, hoping to hear them set themselves apart from what can often be considered a very homogeneous genre.” All we are is sludge in the wind.

MIGHT – MIGHT Review

MIGHT – MIGHT Review

“I’ve been wondering for the past several months when I might find myself reviewing promo altered or inspired by the global pandemic and quarantine life, and MIGHT just might be the first one in my hands. A mere two days before the planned start of recording of their new album, life as we know it came to a staggering halt. Lockdowns became the norm in Europe, and Ana Muhi (vocals, bass) and Sven Missullis (guitar, vocals, drums) decided to move into their studio and forge ahead with recording on their own terms.” COVID-core.

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.