The Sign Records

Craneium – Unknown Heights Review

Craneium – Unknown Heights Review

“Finland’s Craneium managed to accrue some low-level buzz on the strength of two albums of entertainingly fuzzy, buzzy pysch/stoner rock mixed with minor sludge and alt-rock influences. While their sound is sure to remind you of other bigger acts like Monster Magnet and Sahg, they’ve managed to do their own thing and create some interesting material with a unique spin. Now comes third album Unknown Heights, which after nearly three years of effort the band thinks is their best product thus far.” Trip to the brain stone.

Vokonis – Odyssey Review

Vokonis – Odyssey Review

Vokonis have been on my radar for a few years now. I jumped in when their debut, Olde One Ascending, was rereleased in 2018, and liked it enough to review their third album, Grasping Time, right here back in 2019. As I found out after purchasing their second release The Sunken Djinn, Grasping Time was a slight step back. It was still a fun record, and the trio came up with many great moments, at times displaying a real knack for catchy riffs and progressive arrangements, but it just seemed like that magic formula was still eluding them. When word of Odyssey came out late last year, my first thought was “Damn, that is spectacular cover art.” Then the inevitable follow-up: “I hope the music holds up.” Thankfully, it does.” Homeric.

Volcanova – Radical Waves Review

Volcanova – Radical Waves Review

“When you see the word “Iceland” floating on the oily surface of the promo sump, your thoughts turn immediately to black metal. That’s been Iceland’s chief metal export for some time now and the scene is well regarded and expanding. You certainly wouldn’t think of that exotic locale as the home of desert stoner rock, but Volcanova is out to change that with their fuzzed out debut Radical Waves.” Smoke on the ice.

Screamer – Highway of Heroes Review

Screamer – Highway of Heroes Review

“The tides of progress in metal will never erode the bedrock of the genre, that special thing we call heavy metal. The mix of power, strength, hope, and joy inherent in this little slice of the metal pie will always appeal to many metalheads so long as the genre continues to exist. Fortunately for Screamer, there will always be a place for records like Highway of Heroes. Fortunately for us, this means bands like Screamer will continue to make them.” Your mom’s a… nah, too easy.

Vokonis – Grasping Time Review

Vokonis – Grasping Time Review

Grasping Time is an album I’ve been keeping my eyes open for since 2018, when Swedish trio Vokonis re-released their 2016 album, Olde One Ascending. First, they spelled Olde correctly. Second, it was a damned fine debut, an oddly alluring progressive take on bands like Black Sabbath and Sleep, with a bit of Stooges and old Baroness mixed in. At that time, they stated they were working on a 2019 release, so I kept a sharp lookout, and lo! Here we are, with the band’s third album in hand.” Just like olde times?

The Drippers – Action Rock Review

The Drippers – Action Rock Review

“I’ve seen some unfortunate band names through the years as well. But I’ve yet to see one so proudly self-diagnose Gonorrhea as Gothenburg band The Drippers, following the template of The Plurals so richly mocked in Sum 41‘s “Still Waiting” video. But do they bring the fire or does Action Rock feel like a burning sensation when you pee?” Drip rock.

Nekrokraft – Servants Review

Nekrokraft – Servants Review

“If you were to guess what Nekrokraft and Witchery have in common, what would it be? OK, yeah, they’re both Swedish. What else? Nope, they definitely don’t play the same styles of metal—the former is more Swede-thrash oriented and the latter plays symphonic-black metal, in the vein of Dimmu Borgir. Give up yet? What these two groups have in common is their vocalist.” Scream us a song, you’re a screamer.

Throne of Heresy – Decameron Review

Throne of Heresy – Decameron Review

Antioch, the last album from Sweden’s Throne of Heresy, proved little more than its own existence. The “I riff therefore I am” approach to music did little to impress, and despite good pacing and a few fun songs, It was brought down by an uninteresting Swedeath sound and even more uninteresting boilerplate lyrics. Having thus consigned Throne of Heresy to the ignominy of the 2.5, I found myself not terribly interested in listening to their latest. Yet in my supreme magnanimity, I decided to give the band another chance with Decameron, and well I should have.” When Kronos plays a game of thrones, things get brvtal.