YOB

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

Somnuri – Nefarious Wave Review

“In 2017, NYC sludge band Somnuri released their eponymous debut to relatively little fanfare. No one around these parts seemed to catch it, but thanks to a personal connection to the band, I did. Somnuri was a solid mix of early Mastodon progressive sludge with Yob-ish doom tendencies. It was better than a self released debut has any right to be, with songs like “Kaizen,” “Inhabitant” and “Through the Dead” landing on several of my personal playlists. With the band on my radar, I’ve been hoping to see a follow up surface in our promo pit for some time. Lo and behold, Nefarious Wave comes to us courtesy of their new label Blues Funeral four long years after their debut. With such a gap between records, one would hope for, if not expect, a fair amount of evolution and refinement.” NYC tides bring strange gifts.

Robots of the Ancient World – Mystic Goddess Review

Robots of the Ancient World – Mystic Goddess Review

“Sometimes a band name conjures a very specific image or reference before you know a single other thing about it. In the case of Portland, Oregon’s Robots of the Ancient World my mind went immediately to the slightly plump and rather ungainly automata portrayed in the distinctly average film, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. That apparently invincible army was sent to devastate humanity in payment for various slights our race committed against elves and the like. Scroll over to reality and another thing apparently sent to devastate humanity, Covid-19, was playing havoc with Robots of the Ancient World, almost ending their sophomore effort, Mystic Goddess, before it properly got off the ground. The five-piece entered the studio to record the follow up to their 2019 debut, Cosmic Riders, only for producer Jack Endino to fall ill, “wrecked from this weird flu from hell,” as Robots guitarist Justin Laubscher puts it.” Infected bongs and olde bots.

Kosmodemonic – Liminal Light Review

Kosmodemonic – Liminal Light Review

“Sometimes around this place, you pick up a promo and just have a good feeling about. You look at the cover and read the promo blurb and, without even hearing a note, you start to mentally prepare yourself for the tongue lashing Steel Druhm will dish out, as you submit an absurdly high score. In the case of Brooklyn’s Kosmodemonic I was making just these preparations.” Grate expectations.

Self Hypnosis – Contagion of Despair Review

Self Hypnosis – Contagion of Despair Review

“What do you get when two stalwarts of the British stoner and doom scenes come together to make a record they felt was too experimental for their existing projects? Self Hypnosis is the brainchild of Camel of Doom main man Kris Clayton, partnering with Esoteric’s vocalist, guitarist and occasional keyboardist Greg Chandler. The trio is rounded out by drummer Tom Valleley. Combining elements of Clayton and Chandler’s other projects, Self Hypnosis are now ready to drop their avant-garde debut, Contagion of Despair.” Doom trancers.

deathCAVE – Smoking Mountain Review

deathCAVE – Smoking Mountain Review

Smoking Mountain bills itself as a heady mix of doom, sludge and psychedelica. It’s named after a mountain just south of Seattle, which sounds suitably ominous. It also gives the listener a good idea of the density they’re about to encounter. In reality, it’s a fascinating spectacle of a band in a constant tug-of-war between glorious movement and the densest inertia. Will this turn out to be like a rugby scrum – full of effort but going nowhere (unless it’s England being pushed over by the mighty South African pack in the World Cup final)? Or do these competing forces light a serious fire?” Smoke and stone.

Fuil Na Seanchoille – The Crossing Review

Fuil Na Seanchoille – The Crossing Review

“Single-song albums. The reason Holdeneye and Twelve no longer speak. The reason there’s still a bloodstain in the copy room after Diabolus went after El Cuervo for suggesting that Winter’s Gate ‘Isn’t really a single song, is it? I mean… not really…’ Ya see, the very idea is divisive. But it’s also philosophically interesting. What makes a song? A unifying idea or theme? If parts of a song are so different as to be unrecognizable, have you not just chewing-gummed two songs together? In this era of instant gratification, where listeners have goldfish-like attention spans, are these epic tracks justified? Or just a needlessly pretentious gimmick?” Long did the wind blow.

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer Review

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer Review

“After almost six years of reviewing here, I’ve noticed American bands latching on to certain trends. Just a decade ago, everyone and their cousin was aping the Gothenburg sound, mixing it with d-beats and hardcore (and some whiny) vocals, and calling it a day. Nowadays, doom is the nectar du jour, and many a band is gulping it. Here in America, you have two prevalent strains: the airy, dreamy, almost progressive take that bands like YOBKhemmis, and especially Pallbearer have crafted, and then there’s the so-70s-your-sideburns-are-showing Blue Oyster Cult Scoobie-Doobie-Doom “Occult” doom that’s been sweeping the nation. So which side does Invocation of the Lucifer, the second album by Cincinnati upstarts Cult of Sorrow, land?” Culting the herd.