Warm – The Human Exemplar

Grunge is not a genre which I enjoy. However, many of its elements can be incorporated into other styles with pleasing results. The most successful of these, to my ears, are the vocals. Something about that raspy Chris Cornell dynamic just gets me going, reaching into places of excitement and lazy wonder. When you take these and you overlay them into metal, mostly the slower, more fuzzy sub-genres, you get an instant match. In the honey-rich lows of such bourbon infused drawls their lives a tension which meshes beautifully with feedback and deep drum rolls. Here, then, is where I introduce you to Warm. The band does, and has been doing since 2011, exactly what I just described. Their brand of stoner is reinforced with a vocalist who has learned well the lessons of the 90's and their rock.

King Goat – Conduit

King Goat have basically managed to inject new energy and dynamic into the tired stoner/doom formula. Much like HARK before them, they've found a new way in which the pieces of the musical puzzle fit. The fact that they're unsigned and relatively new makes perfect sense. Innovation lies in the periphery, where the need to outperform the competition is all. It'll be interesting to watch them from now on, to see exactly what they'll do with the new exposure and upcoming music. Will they deepen their unique take on the genre, turn to more conservative avenues or throw us another curveball? One can only hope for the latter, since King Goat at their best when keeping us uncomfortable and on the edge of our seats.

Boss Keloid – Herb Your Enthusiasm

There are some words and comparisons which almost force you to write themselves down. Certain bands and musical styles all bow towards a central source, like so many sunflowers swaying in a warm, noon sun. Such is the case with Boss Keloid. Try and find a review about this band that doesn't reference a certain well known band that's been in operating for more than twenty years now, its name derived from the fortunate juxtaposition between an auto-mechanical part and a collection of hens. However, this simple and straightforward comparison often robs the band of their hard work and the truly unique sound that they've managed to produce with this, their second release. Sure, the bass is thick and flirts with the vague filigrees of rock n' roll, whatever these are these days. But along the vocal lines and intricate guitar parts lives a completely different beast, one more fueled by bands like HARK, Sleep, and Witchcraft then those legendary, bearded gentlemen of big news fame.

For Fans Of – Sleep

For Fans Of is a column that takes one very well-known and popular band that our writers and readers are fans of, and then our staff write about a small group of lesser-known bands that do similar things and who we think you all might like as well and give a listen to. Whenever we discuss the topic of discussion for our next For Fans Of segment, one of the first things we consider is what genres we haven't picked veteran bands from yet. FFO: Emperor came about due to the desire to cover black metal, and this time around, the colossal riffs of doom metal became the theme of the nominating process. And while there's no shortage of bands deserving of the inaugural doom FFO, there's really no contesting our final selection of stoner-doom legends Sleep, one of the pinnacles of the genre with an amount of influence approaching that of Black Sabbath. From the the heavy stoner imagery to the even heavier riffs to the band's demise creating to equally incredible bands (High on Fire and Om), there really is no way to understate just how important these Cali potheads were for the genre and metal as whole. As we all wait for the recently reunited band to (hopefully) release a new full-length, check out some of the newer doom bands that have capably carried the pot leaf flag into new and exciting territory.
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HARK – Crystalline

What is it about stoner sound that holds so much power? Is it the unbridled joy in simply letting the guitars go, keeping your sound dirty and free? Or perhaps the rolling drums simply reverberate in that certain way to set our hearts a-thumping. Whatever it is that makes this genre so powerful, HARK have heaps of it.