Southern Metal

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

Black Swamp Water – Awakening Review

“I grabbed this promo from the rattlesnake and scorpion-infested bin at AMG‘s Southwest office because I thought it was thrash. See, I’ve been on a thrash kick lately and I had no qualms grabbing another thrash release to review. The band name didn’t exactly strike me as a band that played thrash. But, who am I to judge? Maybe they’re swampy thrashers from the South, like Pantera and Exhorder. But, this is no thrash band. Everything I know about life is a lie.” Swamp romps.

Neker – Slower Review

Neker – Slower Review

“Hailing from Italy, Neker is the brainchild of… Wait a second. Neker? That’s… You’re sure that’s what you want to go with? Okay, so if any of you want to recommend this band to any friends or family, say it slowly and enunciate clearly. Maybe over-pronounce the K a little, just for safety’s sake. Neker is the brainchild of vocalist/bassist Nicola Amadori, with help from Daniele Alessi on drums and Alessandro Eusebi on guitars. The rest is all Amadori, and his passions lie with the roots of southern metal and sludge, speaking loftily of such renowned acts as Down, Pantera, Crowbar and Melvins.” Let’s get Neker!

Yer Metal Is Olde: Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

Yer Metal Is Olde: Pantera – Far Beyond Driven

“Few bands in the history of metal earn such massive amounts of acclaim and disdain across the broader metal community than Pantera. The Texan legends dominated the mainstream metal scene throughout the ’90s, after reinventing themselves from their questionable glam roots, developing into a testosterone-fueled juggernaut of thrash-based groove metal.” Driven to excess.

Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension Review

Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension Review

“Some 20 years ago, several prominent NOLA scene members activated Goatwhore and a new beast and underground supergroup was born, most notably featuring Acid Bath/Crowbar axeslinger Sammy Duet and Soilent Green frontman Ben Falgoust. It took a while before Goatwhore perfected their blasphemous style of sludgy, death-infused black metal, striking pay-dirt with the back-to-back punch of 2006’s A Haunting Curse and 2009’s Carving Out the Eyes of God. Since then they’ve been treading water with a couple of solid but less engaging albums, lacking the staying power of their best work.” Goats are excellent swimmers.

Temptation’s Wings – Skulthor Ebonblade Review

Temptation’s Wings – Skulthor Ebonblade Review

“A good concept album is hard to come by these days. When one does rear its ugly head, it seems to be the product of another band seeking the blessings of Helloween, Iced Earth, or Blind Guardian. Which isn’t all bad, considering some of my favorite concepts records are the American and German kind. What this means, though, is most of the concepts records I think of (except for King Diamond, of course) are of the power metal variety. What I don’t think of when I think concept record is doom metal; especially an independent doom metal outfit from North Carolina.” Skulthor who?? He’s not here, come back later.

Bill + Phil – Songs of Darkness and Despair Review

Bill + Phil – Songs of Darkness and Despair Review

“Collaborations between metal artists are quite common. The amount of “supergroups,” like Phil Anselmo’s own Down, can attest to that. Less common are collaborations between metal artists and people outside of metal. Sometimes these are successful, like when Anthrax teamed up with Public Enemy for “Bring the Noise.” Other times you get Lulu.” The South will writhe again.

Adrenechrome – Tales from Adrenechrome Review

Adrenechrome – Tales from Adrenechrome Review

“When I hear ‘sludge,’ I have a very specific sound in mind. I want wretched vocals, whiskey-soaked guitar riffs, and lyrics about living at the absolute nadir of human existence. I want it to live up to its name, flooding the sonic landscape with riffs that sound like they were written in an abandoned warehouse during an opium binge. Thus, I was a bit disappointed when first researching Ontario’s Adrenechrome and finding that the ‘sludge’ tag often used to describe them is, alas, very loosely applied.” What’s wrong with happy-go-lucky sludge?