Stoner Metal

Grand Massive – 4 Review

Grand Massive – 4 Review

“Stoner rock and aggression mix about as well as water and oil. It’s more suited to laid-back breeziness or good-natured fuzz rock. It’ll tread into darker territories on occasion (Realms of Vision’s Through All Unknown two years ago was a memorable example) but beyond that, attempts at a darker form of the style frequently dissolve into sludge. The genre, not the metaphor. Grand Massive is a German stoner outfit who have been working on the road since 2008, and they try another angle, giving their stoner style some thrashy venom and just a whiff of old school heavy metal.” 4 for the desert.

Witchskull – A Driftwood Cross Review

Witchskull – A Driftwood Cross Review

“The April 24 release cycle is an interesting one for me: three bands I’ve reviewed before are dropping new albums. Since we usually review bands we’ve reviewed in the past, and we also usually review one release each per week, this is a conundrum. I’m too olde and slow to review three albums in a week, but I think I can pull off two. And that’s good news: it means I can avoid what is likely to be another travesty from Road Warrior. Instead I can focus on local up-and-comers Traveler and Aussie rockers Witchskull.” Witchy business.

Elder – Omens Review

Elder – Omens Review

“It didn’t become apparent how little I like Omens until I revisited Elder‘s back catalog. Running through the halls of their ethereal proghalla didn’t just make clear that, next to the sum of Elder‘s previous achievements, Omens isn’t great; it cemented that Omens isn’t good.” Disrespecting the Elder.

Megatherium – God Review

Megatherium – God Review

“There is one reason and one reason alone why I’m reviewing this album. It’s not the passable art, or the generally nice but fairly uneven roster of sludge and sludge-adjacent bands Argonauta Records have built up. It’s the handle, because Megatherium has to be one of the coolest band names I’ve ever laid eyes on.” Mega deficit.

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

Demonic Death Judge – The Trail Review

“The fantastically named Demonic Death Judge is a sludge/stoner quartet from Kymenlaakso, Finland, having released two EPs and three full-lengths of plodding and hazy dirges since 2009, The Trail being their fourth. Their first two full-lengths were nearly identical to Louisianan Thou‘s gloomy sludge affairs, pitching molasses-thick riffs, blackened rasps, and decidedly bleak themes.” The path unbakened.

Void of Sleep – Metaphora Review

Void of Sleep – Metaphora Review

“Italy’s Void of Sleep caught me by surprise with their excellent 2013 debut Tales Between Reality and Madness. Boasting a suave mix of sludge, stoner, doom and prog influences, Tales was a mighty first statement and addictive, refreshing album that firmly landed Void of Sleep in my sights as an exciting band on the rise. Sophomore album New World Order dropped in 2015 and found the band beefing up the prog and refining their sound. Though a solid album in its own right, it lacked some of the raw energy and penetrating hooks of the debut. Some five years later, Void of Sleep awaken from their slumber with third album, Metaphora, a highly anticipated release from my viewpoint.” Cuddling the void.

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian – Vol. II Review

Hyborian first bored into my consciousness with their single, “Head and the Sword,” an absolutely killer song that showcased a suave combination of sludge, stoner, and prog influences. To this day it remains one of my favorite songs, and it paved the way to their debut album, Vol. I, which took that single and pushed the style into heavier territory, most notably with the vocals. Comparisons are for the lazy amongst us, and that includes me, so let me put forth that there is definitely influence from early Baroness and Mastodon buried in these riffy songs, along with no small dose of High on Fire.” CROMulent.

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

Rosy Finch – Scarlet Review

“The hallway that led to my office in grad school was red. Both walls. I shit you not. To make matters worse the hellish tunnel narrowed as you approached its end—where, to no one’s surprise, you could find my office. Trust me when I tell you that five years of red walls can fuck with a person. Like grad schools, animals also use the color red to ward off people. Red can represent everything from lovers to the most gruesome of deaths. And Spain’s grrrl sludge group, Rosy Finch, is every bit as varying in its topics and delivery. With artwork that looks as though poor Carrie got it again, this is Scarlet.” Red is a slow color.

Stonus – Aphasia Review

Stonus – Aphasia Review

“While I can appreciate that certain substances can enhance a listening experience, I’ve always been a bit wary of music that seems designed to appeal to folks under the influence. Maybe I was burned by the rubbish techno of my youth — so repetitive that unless hopped up on MDMA, it’s damn near unlistenable. For that reason, I’ve steered clear of a lot of stoner doom/rock. If I don’t do any drugs, why would I bother with music for which getting high is a sine qua non?” In the weeds.