All Hail the Yeti – Highway Crosses

Few bands have suffered from the dreaded “sophomore slump” in recent memory as much as Los Angeles’ All Hail the Yeti, The metal world waited four long years following their promising, self-titled, 2012 debut, only to be greeted by the abominably disappointing Screams from a Black Wilderness (2016), which saw…

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Holy Grove – II

So it goes with doom and doom-adjacent artists, the suffocating wear-you-down nature leads to a common endgame. The physicality of gargantuan riffs and laborious rhythms take a toll, eroding one’s sunshiny disposition to a hopeless and dread-bogged torpor. Despite (or because of) this, we love it. We live to feel…

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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…

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Take a Dip in River Cult’s Halcyon Daze

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!

Hyborian – Hyborian Vol. I

Hyborian, out of Kansas City, MO, don’t sound like a new band needing more polish on their debut release, Hyborian Vol. I. I was given this album with the description of “Mastodon worship” and that isn’t that far off base. The band cite High on Fire and Crowbar as influences and you can definitely hear the former in the guitar tones. The reality, however, is this band lies somewhere in the very narrow valley of the above influences particularly on opening track, “As Above, So Below”. They are able to harness that same thrash-y malevolence and driving power as they raise the curtain on this effort.

The Obsessed – Sacred

Some legendary bands are unpredictable and that plays into their mythos. Others are legendary precisely because the thunder they bring is such their own that the consistency with which they produce it is a marvel unto itself. The Obsessed are one of those latter bands. Oft-cited and highly influential, Wino and company have been bringing their brand of sludgy doom metal to eardrums for nearly 40 years. If there is an “American Motorhead” they would be it albeit less prodigious in terms of actual output.

Khemmis – Hunted

Denver’s Khemmis materialized as quickly and supernaturally as the panel van wizard-style illustrations that grace their album art. Absolution, their impressive debut album from the not-so-distant 2015, bubbled up as a critical favorite, garnering attention from publications large and small – no small feat for an upstart band in an already populated scene. Taking nods from old-school progenitors like Candlemass and Thin Lizzy, Khemmis carry diverse classic vibes into the modern era, zeroing in on a more alloyed kind of retro revival than peers like Pallbearer or The Sword. Somehow, in wizard-like fashion, they’ve quickly conjured their follow-up, Hunted, a record that polishes the ideas presented on Absolution, but ultimately feels like an all-too-familiar sequel.

Graves At Sea – The Curse That Is

The Curse That Is is a fine example of the art of mixing. Its problem instead is that it doesn’t use the impressive chops these guys clearly have, leaving a lot of the album devoid of what makes parts of it so enthralling. The rest of the album, while having its share of great moments, falls somewhat flat when held to the light of “The Ashes Made Her Beautiful”. The rest is just that metal overlay alone, with plenty of groove to keep it from being completely dull. If more of the sounds contained within that track, for example, had been allowed to seep into the closing track, for example, something much more interesting would have been created. As it stands, The Curse That Is is a good album but one which tantalizes with its potential without fully delivering on it.