Sludge

Chat Pile – God’s Country Review

Chat Pile – God’s Country Review

“Hopelessness is both a universal and local phenomenon. It’s always the same handful of pressures that cause it; resource inaccessibility, environmental/health factors, power held by the unscrupulous, etc, but every place has its own particular aesthetic of hopelessness. Despondency in, say, Guangzhou, China will look, sound and feel different than it does in the American Midwest. Sludge/Noise band Chat Pile call their debut album God’s Country “Oklahoma’s specific brand of misery,” and indeed their name itself comes from the piles of toxic waste, left over from an unregulated lead and zinc extraction industry, poisoning towns in the Sooner State.” American nightmares.

Mantar – Pain is Forever and This is the End Review

Mantar – Pain is Forever and This is the End Review

“After smashing out three albums and gathering loads of momentum over a five-year period, Mantar have remained quiet on the recording front, aside from a collection of cover songs. Pleasingly, Mantar return with their anticipated fourth offering, boasting a cool album title and minimalistic cover art. Can Erinc (drums) and Hanno (guitars, vocals) muster the creative energy and belly fire to deliver a knockout punch?” Moretar!

Yatra – Born into Chaos Review

Yatra – Born into Chaos Review

“Some bands insist on pushing envelopes, demanding listeners’ attention by challenging genre norms and breaking new ground. Yatra is not one of those bands. These Maryland natives had a prolific first few years, releasing a stoner doom debut in 2019 and following it up with two sludgy riff-fests in 2020. Their last album All Is Lost earned praise from our very own GardensTale, establishing Yatra as a lean mean sludge machine without reinventing any wheels. Its follow-up Born into Chaos promises a shift in sound, from the band’s stoner origins to no-frills death metal. As an avowed death metal lover, I couldn’t help but be intrigued.” Yatra, Yatra, Yatra…

Back to the Grindstone: Pig Destroyer – Prowler in the Yard

Back to the Grindstone: Pig Destroyer – Prowler in the Yard

“Back to the Grindstone is a love letter feature dedicated to the appreciation of all things grindcore. This most extreme of extreme niche genres has been kicking since the late ’80s, growing in underground stature as the years march on. The rule of thumb to this feature is simple; spotlight will be on grind albums old and new, though will not include releases from the past five years, or albums previously covered on this website. Genre classics, underappreciated gems, old school and nu school will be covered, highlighting albums aimed at established fans and curious listeners interested in diving into the cesspool of the grind scene.” Pearls about swine. 

Mares of Thrace – The Exile Review

Mares of Thrace – The Exile Review

“Well, this came as a surprise. Shame on me for not paying closer attention to social media, but local duo Mares of Thrace have suddenly returned after a ten year hiatus with their third album, aptly titled The Exile. 2012’s The Pilgrimage was one of the first extreme metal albums I bought and liked, and then Thérèse Lanz and Stef MacKichan disappeared. Turns out they simply moved on with real life, but Lanz is back, accompanied this time around by Casey Rogers on drums and bass. For those unfamiliar with the band, they play a unique brand of metal that borrows from doom, sludge, prog, noise, and a bit more, and for two people they pack a massive punch.” Return of the Mares.

Crowbar – Zero and Below Review

Crowbar – Zero and Below Review

“For over 30 years, Louisiana’s own Crowbar have been an institution, with guitarist/vocalist/main man Kirk Windstein helping redefine how downtrodden doom can be, and creating a pathway for future sludge worshippers to follow in his sizeable footsteps. During those years and eleven albums, Windstein and his crew of (forlorn) merry men provided a wealth of classics, with the likes of “All I Had (I Gave),” “Time Heals Nothing,” and “Planets Collide” (among a slew of others) laying the groundwork for many purges and cathartic sludgery. That said, with the exception of an occasional curveball, you pretty much know what to expect from Crowbar at this point.” Welcome to the Iron Bar.

Møtivatiøn – The Infinite 8 Steps tø Pøwer / Møney / Møre Review

Møtivatiøn – The Infinite 8 Steps tø Pøwer / Møney / Møre Review

“Supergroups are not uncommon in metal. I’m sure each of you can think of three such acts—of perhaps varying quality—in just a couple of seconds. Here are the first three that came to my mind: DOWN, Demons & Wizards and, for some reason, Them Crooked Vultures, which may not even qualify as metal. Also operating on that fuzzy edges of metal is today’s subject, Møtivatiøn. Where those previous bands are supergroups, using that term for Møtivatiøn is an insult to supergroups: the population of this record classifies it as a super conurbation.” Your life needs coaching.

Backslider – Psychic Rot Review

Backslider – Psychic Rot Review

“Sludge is a versatile genre. Sure, there are bands that play it straight, taking the shit I spray out of my gutters in the spring, putting a sprig of parsley on it and saying “$7 digital, $35 plus shipping vinyl.” There are also bands who use it as one disgusting ingredient in their extreme metal soufflé, or like a condiment on their br00tal burger. Death doom not nasty enough? Put a little sludge on it. Prog too weenie? Sludge it up! Philadelphia’s Backslider fall into the latter category, combining filthy fucking dirty sludge with grindcore and knuckle-dragging hardcore.” Sludge grinding, pit minding.