Sludge

Tombs – Under Sullen Skies Review

Tombs – Under Sullen Skies Review

“In the early 2010s, powered by bands such as Deafheaven and Liturgy, “hipster metal” became the favorite pejorative for acts that thumbed traditional metal conventions. Embraced by the mainstream, many of these groups, unfortunately, just weren’t very good, which led to metal purists rejecting them. This resulted in said mainstream accusing said purists of being snobby gatekeepers. Cue lots of sulking, posturing and finger wagging. In among the noise, however, were some real gems that were unfairly tainted by the “hipster metal” label. Although less overtly “subversive” (read: “pretentious”) than their  Brooklyn counterparts, Liturgy, Tombs weirdly found themselves in this boat with their excellent debut, 2011’s Paths of Totality.” Trend Tombs.

Yer Metal is Olde: DOWN – NOLA

Yer Metal is Olde: DOWN – NOLA

“Supergroups. That exciting moment when you learn that members of two or more bands you love are coming together to create … well, if we’re honest with ourselves, usually disappointment. It’s rare that supergroups come close to fulfilling that promise and that’s probably because they can’t. That’s not their fault – expectations are always sky high as a new group coalesces but different fans want different aspects of their favorites to be front and center in the new entity. A rare example, however, of a supergroup not just living up to the hype but downright crushing – at least for this fan – is DOWN.” OLDEA

Raging Speedhorn – Hard to Kill Review

Raging Speedhorn – Hard to Kill Review

Raging Speedhorn. Now that’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time. And to be honest, I didn’t really expect to hear it again but it would seem it’s pretty Hard to Kill this six-piece from Corby in the UK. I first came across Raging Speedhorn when they opened the main stage at Ozzfest in Milton Keynes in 2001. I am almost certain that I saw them again at some point and, after conferring with one of my best mates, I think this may have been a rather unlikely-seeming slot opening for The Dillinger Escape Plan sometime around 2002 or 2003. I hadn’t thought about them since then until a few weeks back, when Holdeneye alerted me to the fact that we had received the promo for Hard to Kill and asked whether, as the only person to ever reference Raging Speedhorn on the blog, I was interested. Hell, why not.” Can’t kill the Horn.

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.

Jupiterian – Protosapien Review

Jupiterian – Protosapien Review

“Lured in initially by that artwork – unmistakably Mariusz Lewandowski but with a teensy variation on his typical hooded figure and preferred color palette – the advance track (“Mere Humans”) for Jupiterian’s Protosapien sounded huge; as in, geologically significant. This Brazilian four-piece was previously unknown to me, so off I scurried to the AMG archive dungeons to ensure that it could be mine to review! I was to be disappointed, as I discovered that a certain Muppet had in fact reviewed the last slab of atmospheric doom sludge dished up by Jupiterian. Then, when the news broke that Muppet was going to be pursuing interests outside The Hall, I realized that the follow up to 2017’s Terraforming was up for grabs after all.” Grab for the stars.

Hymn – Breach Us Review

Hymn – Breach Us Review

“The core of Hymn‘s sound is sludge doom, but with the intensity turned up to 11. There are riffs and enviable guitar tone enough to check the usual genre boxes, but the forceful drumming of Markus Støle and the vein-popping delivery of vocalist/guitarist Ole Ulvik Rokseth conjure the image of Thou as interpreted by 90s hardcore stalwarts Snapcase.” Breach party.

Unruly – Unruly Review

Unruly – Unruly Review

“Look, I’m not saying I judge books records by their covers but, come on, everyone likes nice artwork, right? When I’m plumbing the murkier depths of Bandcamp, a cool cover can lure me into that one extra purchase that I swore I wasn’t going to make. It’s just as well for Te Whanganui a Tara, Aotearoa (or Wellington, New Zealand) trio Unruly then, that I didn’t see the cover of their self-titled debut before I hauled it out of the promo pit.” Ugly is as Unruly does.