Hyborian – Volume II (Review)

Hyborian - Volume IIHyborian are a stoner metal band from the US and this is their second album.

Hyborian’s first album Vol. 1 was infectious and moreish, and made a strong impression. Volume II continues with Hyborian’s hyper-palatable style, providing 40 minutes of anthemic tunes that are near-impossible to dislike. Continue reading

Brond – Graveyard Campfire (Review)

BrondBrond are a Bulgarian rock band and this is their debut album.

Brond’s music mixes riff-focused modern rock and post-hardcore/rock, with progressive, stoner, and noise/math rock tendencies. Wow. Now there’s a description. Delivering eight tracks across almost 44 minutes of music, Graveyard Campfire is a well-realised and enjoyable release, despite my mangling together of various subgenres in an attempt to loosely categorise it. Continue reading

Empress – Reminiscence (Review)

EmpressThis is the debut EP from Canadian doom band Empress.

Although classed as an EP, there’s still 29 minutes of material here to sink your teeth into.

I’ll say it straight away – Reminiscence is a massively enjoyable release. Continue reading

Hark – Machinations (Review)

HarkHark are a stoner/hard rock band from the UK and this is their second album.

Featuring rocking tunes, sludgy Southern vibes and progressive sensibilities, Machinations should easily appeal to fans of Baroness, Mastodon, Red Fang, Corrosion of Conformity and High on Fire. Continue reading

Appollonia – Dull Parade (Review)

AppolloniaThis is the fourth album from Appollonia, a Metal band from France.

This is Modern Metal with a Stoner/Progressive edge, somewhat akin to a mix of Mastodon, Baroness and Deftones.

Dull Parade has a strong production and everything sounds loud and heavy. The band strike a good balance between polished and gritty.

The vocals vary between cleans, semi-cleans and rougher shouts. These are performed well and have an undeniable charisma to them. All three band members contribute vocals to this release, so there’s a decent amount of variety and vocal layering going on. Melodies and harmonies abound, all richly textured and enticing.

The songs can be rawkus and confrontational or more emotive and considered, either way there’s an undercurrent of raw emotional intensity to the tracks, helping to give them longevity and depth.

Dull Parade is a thoroughly enjoyable modern interpretation of Alternative Metal with catchy songs and emotive content. It’s also heavy and uncompromising in its vision for what loud music should be.

Highly recommended.

Drawers – Drawers (Review)

DrawersFrench Sludge/Stoner Metallers Drawers release their self-titled second album, and as soon as you press play it’s party time at the dive bar for everyone!

Coming across as a mix of Crowbar, Baroness and Mastodon, this is an enjoyable romp through France’s underbelly of Southern-tinged bars. Moving from scrape to scrape all night long and out into the crisp morning dawn to reflect on what’s been lost; the songs are largely high-energy but have a forlorn air of lost-innocence which is somehow endearing.

It’s this aura of fragility coating the otherwise burly riffing and coarse vocals that adds a layer of depth to the band; that lets you know there’s more to this drunken bruiser than meets the eye. The riffs may be heavy and scuzzy but the melodies hidden underneath the obvious give the band a secret ingredient; the same could be said of the vocals also.

Drawers have an undefined edge to their sound that is as apparent as it is hard to grasp. A wonderful combination.

If you enjoy rocked-out Metal of this variety but are also looking for something a little different with it’s own individuality then I’d suggest this album be on your list of wants.