Monday, November 15, 2010

Modest Machine

Formed in early 2007, Moorpark, California's Black Sheep Wall play an aggressively heavy blend of down-tempo, sludge, and doom metal. Characterized by the monumental amount of anger, disgust, and desperation in their music, Black Sheep Wall have earned themselves a cult following since the release of their debut, I Am God Songs, in 2008. The album, which features artwork by Admiral Angry mastermind Daniel Kraus, is an exhausting collage of down tuned guitars, dissonant vocals, and pounding drum beats. Although not overly technical or entirely perfect, I Am God Songs is a fantastic record that leaves the listener in awe of its punishing sounds and raw emotions.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fog Cutter

Recently signed to Phil Anselmo's Housecore Records, New Orleans, Louisiana sludge/doom outfit haarp are set to release their debut full-length, The Filth, in November 2010. In the meantime, here are the band's demo EP's from 2007 and 2009, along with their 2009 split with fellow Louisiana band, Thou.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Circling The Drain

Formed in 2004, Los Angeles, California's Admiral Angry play an aggressively bottom heavy blend of sludge and doom metal. While their name may evoke visions of a cartoon villain in a pirate costume chasing around Scooby Doo and the Gang, Admiral Angry's sound is far more violent and disturbing than their name lets on. One listen to their debut full - length, Buster, and you realize that this band is more like the sonic equivalent of a rabid beast that would abduct the aforementioned cartoon heroes, force them to live in a well in his basement, and piss on them until they drown. A majority of the band's work was orchestrated by lead guitarist Daniel Kraus (aka THE Admiral), who passed away tragically in February of 2009 after a lifelong bout with Cystic Fibrosis. After his passing, the remaining members of the band decided to return to the studio to finish recording the EP that they had been working on with Kraus before he died. The result of these sessions is A Fire To Burn Down The World, a one track, 23 minute long assault on the listener's aural sensibilities. Although the band claim to have enough material written to complete at least one more album, it remains unclear whether or not they will continue to record under the Admiral Angry moniker, or if they will go their separate ways and move on to new projects.

*** If you enjoy what you hear, please make an effort to buy a copy, as the band have decided to donate all proceeds from the sale of their music to Cystic Fibrosis research ***

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Idol Of Perversity

Formed in late 2006/early 2007, London, England's Pombagira play a particularly epic brand of doom metal that leaves the listener in awe of what they've just experienced. Originally formed as a three piece, Pombagira now operates as a two man doom metal machine, opting to use six amps instead of four. Their debut album, The Crooked Path, is a five track, two disc behemoth that clocks in at just over an hour and twenty minutes. With an arsenal of songs that consistently run longer than ten minutes at a time, Pombagira are not a band for everyone. The average listener will not be able to devote the attention required to digest the band's trance inducing swan songs. But if you consider yourself an avid fan of anything doom related, and you have a few hours to kill, I would highly suggest that you give Pombagira's discography a listen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Polite Society Blacklist

Formed in 2006, New Orleans supergroup Arson Anthem have been assaulting listeners with their music since the release of their self-titled EP in 2008. Comprised of vocalist Mike Williams (EyeHateGod, Outlaw Order), guitarist Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual), bassist Colin Yeo (Ponykiller), and drummer Hank Williams III (Superjoint Ritual, Assjack), Arson Anthem play straightforward, crusty, pissed off, grind punk with elements of sludge and classic hardcore thrown in for good measure. After losing his home and most of his belongings to Hurricane Katrina, Mike Williams moved into an apartment owned by Anselmo. The two began spending their spare time listening to Anselmo's record collection, and remembering a time when bands like Discharge, Sheer Terror, and Negative Approach ruled the world. Forming more out of a necessity to vent frustration than a desire to make new music, Arson Anthem began to take shape. After recruiting Hank to play drums and Colin to play bass, the band spent three days in Anselmo's Lousiana studio, Nodferatu's Lair, in February of 2006 recording their debut EP. Released on Anslemo's Housecore Records label in 2008, the EP is an eleven minute long masterpiece of unforgiving, blisteringly fast hardcore that starts off strong and never lets up until the last seconds of the final track have ticked away. Slated for an October 2010 release, the band's debut full-length, Insecurity Notoriety, finds Arson Anthem delivering more of the same. The production is low-fi and raw, the vocals are gruff and caustic, and the guitars scream at levels that are near painful. The packaging is low-budget and unpolished, and the attitude is intense and nostalgic, which is exactly what the band was aiming for. In a world where everything in the DIY metal underground has become watered down and exploited to the point of nausea, Arson Anthem provide a refreshing shot of adrenaline to a musical landscape in desperate need of resuscitation.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tarpit Carnivore

Formed in 2004 by ex-Floor frontman Steve Brooks, Miami, Florida's Torche play a unique blend of poppy metal and sludgy stoner rock. Rounded out by bassist Jonathan Nunez, touring guitarist Howard Johnston, and drummer Rick Smith (ex- Shitstorm), Torche have taken the metal underground by storm since their inception. Although, according to Brooks, they don't consider themselves a metal band, Torche have toured with many bands whose names are instantly recognizable to fans in the metal underground, such as Isis, Baroness, Black Cobra, Harvey Milk, and Boris. The band's second full-length, Meanderthal, was released in April of 2008 and was met with critical acclaim, ranked by Decibel Magazine as #1 on their list of the Top 40 Extreme Albums Of 2008. The band's latest effort, an 8 song EP titled Songs For Singles, was released on September 21, 2010. Although not as heavy or as memorable as Meanderthal, Songs For Singles is still miles ahead of the garbage that many consider to be good music these days. I doubt this EP will earn any Record Of The Year nods, but it should certainly be considered for your Top Ten.


     Whoa... It's been a while since I updated this thing. I went from posting at least once a day to not posting anything at all. I guess I've just been busy with school, work, birthdays, anniversaries, football season, etc. It's hard to keep a blog fresh by yourself when you have a life, I suppose. Anyway, to make a long story short (too late!), I'm back now. Did you miss me? Don't lie to me, fuckers, I know you did. Now that we've gotten the pleasantries out of the way, let's get back to business...

     Scion and Adult Swim recently partnered (along with various other record labels) to put together "Metal Swim", a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks by some of the best and brightest bands in the metal underground. Featuring appearances by bands such as Zoroaster, Kylesa, Jesu, Black Tusk, and Torche, "Metal Swim" showcases everything from stoner rock and sludge to headbanging thrash.  In an effort to help these bands gain exposure, Adult Swim and Scion have posted the compilation online for free, and since free music is what we do around here, I figured I would post the link here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Swallow The Anchor

Formed in 2006, Lafayette, Louisiana's The Devil And The Sea play a particularly bruising brand of rock-tinged doom metal. Rapidly interchanging discordant textures with lurid sludge grooves, The Devil And The Sea craft songs that slowly build into a wall of sound and then explode with bone shattering force. Drawing comparisons to bands like Cavity, Mastodon, and Pelican, The Devil And The Sea take their sound into often unexplored territory, playing basic rhythms without ever coming off as overly repetitious or dull. While they primarily play stoner rock mixed with elements of sludge and doom, this Louisiana trio stays away from the typical "sound like Sabbath" approach that so many bands in their genre adhere to. After signing with Acerbic Noise Development in 2008, the band released their debut full-length, Heart vs. Spine, in 2009. This album finds the band perfecting the art of all that is grimy, slimy, rude, and obscene, and was described by as "a triumph of a record".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spirit Molecule

Formed in the summer of 2003 by former members of Terminal Doom Explosion, Zoroaster have spent the last seven years rampaging across the country with bands such as Gojira, Mastodon, and Black Tusk. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, this three-piece doom/metal outfit have developed a sound that has been described as "menacing" and "unrelenting". Comprised of Bassist/Guitarist/Vocalist Brent Anderson, Guitarist/Vocalist Will Flore, and Drummer Rod Flore, Zoroaster draw influence from legendary sludge, metal, and doom acts of yore, such as Celtic Frost, Venom, Godflesh, and Black Sabbath. Mixed in throughout their oppressively heavy sound are experimental and psychedelic elements reminiscent of Melvins and Pink Floyd, adding to the overall sonic experience that the band themselves describe as "a dinosaur taking a shit."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

War, Wisdom, And Rhyme

Formed in 2003, Savannah, Georgia's Baroness was founded by former members of punk/metal outfit Johnny Welfare And The Paychecks. With a diverse sound that spans everything from prog to sludge, Baroness have developed a sound that appeals to more than just run-of-the-mill metal fans. From 2004-2007, the band recorded and released three EP's, titled First, Second, and A Grey Sigh In A Flower Husk (split with Unpersons). After signing to Relapse records in 2007, Baroness began recording their first full-length, Red Album. Recorded at The Jam Room Studio in Columbia, South Carolina, Red Album finds the band expanding upon their sonic vision, combining colossal riffs and haunting vocals with melodic accents and intelligent guitar work, and was named by Revolver Magazine as 2007's Album Of The Year. Playing almost 250 shows a year, the band have criss-crossed the US three times, the UK and Europe twice, and have played at multiple international music festivals such as SXSW, MacRock, and ZXZW in the Netherlands. Their second full -length, Blue Record, was recorded at The Track Studio in Plano, Texas in early 2009, and was released on Relapse Records in October of the same year. Blue Record debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and was named Decibel Magazine's #1 Record Of 2009.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Waiting For The Moon To Speak

Described as everything from sludge to math metal, Cleveland, Ohio's Keelhaul have been pushing the boundaries of genre classification since 1997. Comprised of guitarist and vocalist Chris Smith (Integrity, Terminal Lovers, False Hope), bassist and vocalist Aaron Dallison (Escalation Anger, Ringworm, Abdullah, State Of Conviction), guitarist Dana Embrose (Suicide King, False Hope), and drummer Will Scharf (Craw), Keelhaul have carved a niche for themselves among fans of bands such as Mastodon, Isis, and Knut. Asked to describe their sound, members of the band have been known to respond with answers like, "Annoying" and "Post hardcore progressive acid rock". After a self imposed hiatus from 2004-2008, the band entered the studio to record their latest effort, "Keelhaul's Triumphant Return To Obscurity", which was released on Hydra Head records in 2009.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Claw

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Acid Tiger are rock/punk hybrid, featuring drummer Ben Koller (Converge/United Nations) and guitarist Lukas Previn (United Nations/Thursday/The A.K.A.s). Infusing raunchy punk with white knuckle rhythms reminiscent of Grand Funk Railroad, Acid Tiger make music that you can dance, drink, fuck, and fight to. Rounded out by vocalist J. Rattlesnake (The Goddamn Rattlesnake) and bassist Adam Wentworth (Bloodhorse), the band is truly best described as a hybrid, taking elements from its member's collective outfits, without sounding like any particular one at the same time. On their self-titled debut, released through Deathwish Music, the band effortlessly melds together their wide variety of influences, ripping through the album's seven songs with an energetic swagger that defines Acid Tiger as a truly unique and diverse animal.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Slugs In A Salt Circle

Formed in 2004 by former members of Will Haven and Oddman, Sacramento, California's Abominable Iron Sloth have masterminded their sound into a devastatingly heavy mix of sludge, doom, and hardcore. Described by lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Godfrey as, "Old nihilistic punk mixed with doom" AIS are a Molotov cocktail of a band, ready to incinerate your eardrums and leave you in the burn unit at your local ER. The band creates this sound with a relatively minimal approach, fusing filthy guitars, primal drum pounding, and unnerving vocals that convey true horror. Originally featuring three former members of Will Haven (Jeff Irwin, Mitch Wheeler, and Mike Martin), Abominable Iron Sloth is now comprised of Godfrey, bassist Aubrey Debauchery, and drummer Andre Sanabria. After releasing their self-titled debut on Goodfellow Records in 2006, the band developed a cult following and signed to Black Market Activities to release their sophomore effort, "The Id Will Overcome" in April of 2010.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tower Of The Elephant

Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Akimbo was founded in 1995 when bass player and vocalist Jon Weisnewski and drummer Nat Damm met in their high school gym class. Sharing a love for DC hardcore and punk, the two quickly became fast friends. Since playing their first show on Halloween night in 1998, Akimbo have had no less than 11 guitarists, finally settling on Aaron Walters in 2006. After opening for Melvins and punk icon Jello Biafra in 2005, the band was approached by Biafra and signed to his label, Alternative Tentacles, to release 2006's "Forging Steel And Laying Stone". Also released on Alternative Tentacles was the band's first album with Walters on guitar, 2007's "Navigating The Bronze". In late 2007, Akimbo played a show opening for Converge and Neurosis, and was asked by Neurosis frontman Steve Von Till to join his label, Neurot Recordings. In October of 2008 the band released their most critically acclaimed album to date, "Jersey Shores", a concept album inspired by a series of mysterious shark attacks that occurred on the beaches of New Jersey in 1916.  Showing a substantial deviation from the style of their earlier recordings, "Jersey Shores" offers spiraling, melodic lines intertwined with crushing, drop-tuned chugging, the end result of which is a post-hardcore masterpiece. With a discography that channels everything from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to Converge and Melvins, Akimbo are a band quickly on the rise in the metal underground, and a great addition to any music fan's collection.

*Note* All of the downloadable copies of Jersey Shores seem to have vanished. I can't find a good link to it anywhere. I'll keep looking for one, but in the meantime I would suggest buying it from iTunes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Exorcism Of The Host

Founded by lead guitarist and vocalist Mike Scheidt in 1996, Eugene, Oregon's YOB have been punishing listeners with their brand of doom for over a decade. Cited by Scheidt as being influenced by bands ranging from Soundgarden and Neurosis to Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath, YOB have developed a diverse and unique sound that sets them apart from other doom metal bands. Originally comprised of Scheidt, bassist Lowell Iles, and drummer Greg Ocon, the band has seen several line up changes throughout the years. For the recording of the band's 2001/2002 full length debut, Elaborations Of Carbon, Scheidt recruited ex-Thrombus member Isamu Sato on bass, and ex-Lightweight drummer Gabe Morley. Drawing comparisons to bands such as Sleep, Burning Witch, Electric Wizard, and High On Fire, YOB's debut full length was met with much critical praise. In 2002, the band signed Abstract Sounds and began recording their sophomore release, Catharsis. Featuring a stronger production value and three songs clocking in at 50 minutes, Catharsis saw the band taking their sound in an even darker, heavier direction. After signing with Metal Blade Records in 2004, YOB released their third full length, The Illusion Of Motion and embarked on a headlining tour of the US. Following the release of the band's fourth album in 2005, Sato and Foster left the band, and after six months of searching for replacements, Scheidt announced in January 2006 that YOB was disbanding. In 2008, the band was reformed and began recording and playing shows again, releasing their fifth full length, The Great Cessation, on Profound Lore Records in 2009. Combining thundering, potent guitar riffs with a brain jarring rhythm section, YOB have secured their place among doom metal's elite. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rock 'N' Roll Is Straight From Hell

Born Stuart Daniel Baker, Albemarle, North Carolina's Unknown Hinson has developed a rabid cult following since his debut in 1999. Sporting glued on sideburns, blacked out front teeth, and his dark hair slicked back to reveal a prominent widow's peak, he has often been referred to as "hillbilly vampire". Known as "ever womern's dream and ever jealous husband's worst nightmare", Hinson is revered worldwide as a hell raising, hard drinking country western singer with a preference for "party liquor", sexy women, and fine guitars. Fusing elements of rocakbilly, country, and psychobilly, Unknown's live shows are truly a sight to behold. Dressed in his signature black rodeo tailor coat and black ribbon necktie, Hinson and his band rip through their "chart toppin' hits" at ear splitting volume, often adding extended guitar solos and crowd participation to the mix. Known to tour for months and months at a time, the self professed "King Of Country Western Troubadours" always takes time after his set to meet every fan that has stuck around, graciously taking pictures, signing shirts, posters, CD's, and body parts. In addition to his work as Unknown Hinson, Baker also provides the voice of Early Cuyler on the Adult Swim program Squidbillies, as well playing bass and lead guitar (sans his Unknown Hinson costume) in Billy Bob Thornton's band The Boxmasters.