All Them Witches – ATW

If there was anything to glean from All Them Witches’ previous output, it’s that they aren’t the kind of band to repeat themselves. Each album serves as a unique Polaroid snapshot of the group at that particular moment. They’ve been there. They’ve done that. Continuity is of no concern; variety…

High on Fire – Electric Messiah

If High on Fire’s newest—Electric Messiah—was, in fact, inspired by a dream Matt Pike had about Lemmy, then opener “Spewn from the Earth” is a statement of purpose. Pike has always reminded me of Lemmy as a vocalist and High on Fire always incorporated a bit more thrash than some…

Den of Antiquities – Blue Cheer

Many bands have been cited as the first founders of heavy metal – Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple… you’ll even hear chirps of Grand Funk Railroad or Blue Oyster Cult – but if you asked me? I’d tell you that the first sparks of metal could be found at a back-to-school fundraiser in Sacramento, California, a good five years before any of those bands would put riff to record. Mid-September, 1965 a group of British-invasion struck teens come together to celebrate the new school year and with them, the first glimpse of what would become an entirely new subculture. Featured at this benefit were two bands, the Hide-a-Ways (later known as the Oxford Circle) and Group B, whose members would go on to form a powerful, groundbreaking, and quite literally deafening blues rock power-trio. For your consideration, the first heavy metal band – Blue Cheer.

Path of Might – Hallowed Gate Style

Path of Might can serve as an excellent example of the blending between light and heavy; this St. Louis based band first made its appearance on Heavy Blog on the merit of their insanely thick riffs, high octane composition and overall blistering aggression. However, their most recent, Hallowed Gate Style, is a clever departure from all of this. We say “clever” because it’s not a clean break; some of the main sensibilities of the band’s original sound have been maintained, creating a heavy and muscular take on progressive stoner metal/rock.