Windhand Virginia isn’t quite the secret it used to be. The state that begat staples like GWAR and Alabama Thunderpussy has shouldered its way into the greater metal collective with nothing short of a rouse this side of the 21st century. Landmark records from Pig Destroyer, Lamb of God, Inter…
Do you like to throw your ears to the whim of open, swirling compositions? Or are you just a sucker for the fuzz? Either way, the debut long player from Brooklyn’s River Cult has you covered. At a glance, Halcyon Daze is a dirty, bluesy, and doomy stomper of a record. Thickness in tow, it hits like a champ enough to satisfy those strong of neck. At the same time, it’s complete with loose, jammy structures, gradual and dramatic builds and breaks, fat tones, and freak out solos – it has all the ingredients for a truly great heavy psych record. With five tracks at a hearty seven-minute minimum, it gives you plenty to get swept up in without compromising their unique vision that brings these worlds together. Lucky for us, these dudes break from the (what can be) formulaic nature of these genres, and come out with a truly spectacular 2018 record. Head on over the jump to stream the entire thing!
Greetings Heaviest of Heavy Bloggers! Let me be the last to wish you a Happy New Year and welcome you back to Doomsday, our monthly roundup of the most noteworthy doom-centric releases from the past few weeks that deserve special recognition. As you may have already noticed, 2018 is starting…
Ah, Electric Wizard. If you don’t know them by now, you will never, never, never know them. No you won’t. Well, scratch that; maybe you will. After all, the legendary doom outfit has just put out their ninth (!) full length record and, although it seems unimaginable that there could be metal heads unfamiliar with the band’s discography and sound, it’s incumbent to remember that not everybody is as old as dirt like yours truly. In fact, it’s been over twenty years since the band first started releasing music so it stands to reason that there are plenty of readers who weren’t even born when Dopethrone dropped and left its massive resin stain on the world of stoner doom and sludge. While that certainly makes me feel old, it also presents an exciting opportunity for younger listeners. THIS IS NOT A DRILL: if you have never listened to Electric Wizard’s seminal album Dopethrone, you are required to take an hour today and give it a spin. Arguably as important as any album in the genre, Dopethrone cemented the sound of filthy, distorted, bass-heavy stoner doom and paved the way for hundreds of bands and albums that followed in its smoky, bongwater-soaked path.
For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.
Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure trove, others find themselves drawing a blank at the end of the month due to the breakneck pace needed to keep up to date with what’s been released. Which brings us to this Heavy Blog PSA: a weekly roundup of new albums which pares down the the week’s releases to only our highest recommendations. Here you’ll find full album/single streams, pre-order links and, most importantly, a collection of albums that could very well earn a spot on your year end list. Enjoy!
Ufomammut are a strange band. Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat. The Italian trio of metallers moonlight as professional graphic artists in the Malleus art collective, and also have an expansive back catalog of albums that plunder elements of psychedelic, stoner, and sludge-infused doom with reckless abandon. Given this mix of styles, the band are fairly difficult to pigeon hole into any specific subgenre niche in metal. Which is simultaneously both one of the best things about their music and one of the worst aspects of it when trying to explain how they sound in a review. But bravely shall I endure for the cause.
Subtlety isn’t a common approach when it comes to sludge metal, which rather favours blistering, distortion-focused guitars and thunderous drums since the notoriously volcanic heaviness of genre spearheads Electric Wizard and Weedeater. Although in a genre that finds it’s bands in a battle of extremes, seeing who can cause the most damage to the PA system with their amps, the 2010s have seen sludge been taken down a number of different avenues. We have Mastodon using it as a basis to conjure up progressive, multi-layered musical odysseys, Indian using noise experimentation to make it as hellishly freaky as possible, to Bongripper putting an emphasis on the direct riffs in creating a mood through repetition. However, we have Melbourne underground head-turners Sundr, dragging the style even further out to a much less assertive sound, yet a much more ethereal and tension-building experience on their vertiginous sophomore LP, The Canvas Sea.
Comeback albums are in vogue this year, especially for rock music and its offshoots. At the Drive-In, Gorillaz and nearly every major shoegaze pioneer (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride, Slowdive, etc.) have all resurfaced for returns-to-form or late-career flops, depending on whom you ask. The fact many of these bands had been laid to rest for decades certainly contributed to disappointment among some fans, as did the heightened expectations created by their pre-breakup classics. Part Chimp bucks the drawbacks of all these metrics with their hiatus-smashing record Iv, which provides and incredible delivery of the band’s signature blend of sludge-ridden noise rock and stoner metal. The band’s comfortable position in the underground and relatively short hiatus—they disbanded in 2011 and reunited last year—has allowed Iv to feel less like a comeback album and more like a reunion with a beloved friend, where good memories come flooding back and it feels as though everything is still in its right place.
There’s no dearth of bands inspired by the likes of Motorhead or the Obsessed but many miss the mark when trying too hard to emulate their forebears rather than putting their own aggressive stomp on the tried and true sound. This particular blend of blues-y, groove-laden metal often stays too long in its own lane, rarely straying from the formula to stretch and add enough of a band’s individual identity, but when a band is able to take this style and bend it to *their* will is where we get something unique.