Monster Coyote – Neckbreaker (Review)

Monster CoyoteThis is the third album from Brazilian Sludge/Stoner Metal band Monster Coyote.

With a colossal and crushing sound, Neckbreaker holds nothing back. The album is aptly named, let’s just say that.

Living in the same hinterland between styles that is inhabited by bands such as Ilsa, Serpent Eater, Northless, Colombian Necktie and the like, Monster Coyote play heavy, nasty music that’s too upbeat to be Doom, too gnarly to be pure Metal, and too rocking to be Death Metal. It’s somewhat how you might imagine Mastodon would sound if they had fallen in love with heavier, nastier music after their first release, or maybe Clutch if they developed a love of Sludge Metal.

The singer has a formidable roar that doesn’t let up. His caustic, gruff tones are a joy to listen to as the music rumbles and chugs its way through the 40 minutes of playing time.

The music is all about the crushing riffs and relentlessly aggressive heaviness. What separates them from some of their peers though is that instead of fusing this with Doom or Hardcore, they instead choose to fuse it with a Stoner Rock sensibility that means these tracks are all endowed with high energy and furious vitality.

The band know their stuff when it comes to playing and some of the longer tracks give them ample opportunity to develop their art. The drums in particular are a really satisfying listen, all rolls and pounding beats.

Emotive without being weak and strong without being brutish, Neckbreaker is the perfect recommendation for anyone into heavy, aggressive music that knows how to rock the fuck out.

Highly recommended.

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Seven Sisters of Sleep – Ezekiel’s Hags (Review)

Seven Sisters of SleepThis is the third album from the USA’s Seven Sisters of Sleep. They play Sludge Metal.

On this album Seven Sisters of Sleep combine a lot of influences from a wide array of nasty, extreme sub-genres into their potent brew of Sludge Metal. Doom, Hardcore, Death Metal, Black Metal, Grindcore…it pretty much all gets a look in at some point in these 50 minutes.

This is nasty music that seems to revel in the filth and dirt, with no stone of depravity left unturned or unsoiled.

This is a wild and dangerous ride through all things heavy, taking pit stops in the aforementioned styles and mashing them together with all of the subtlety of a maniac with a very big hammer. Having said that though, there’s a fierce guiding intelligence at play behind the scenes here, and the band obviously know what they’re doing with the material they have bloodily birthed.

There are a lot of giant riffs on this release and whether the band are playing fast, slow or anywhere in between, they steer this ship of gloom with unerring accuracy through the fog of Sludge. Or something. I think my metaphors got a bit out of control there. Regardless, think of Ezekiel’s Hags as the nastiest form of Doom, shot through with streaks of blast beats and a predilection for terror.

The vocals are every bit as nasty as the music, even more so as they have a real splenetic fury to them.

This is an exceptional release full of horrorful energy and a testament to what you can do with the variety and interest that can be had with Sludge Metal.

I can easily imagine fans of Ilsa, Serpent Eater, Secret Cutter, Colombian Necktie, Cult of Occult, Behold! The Monolith, Nightslug and Eyehategod taking a real shine to this. I know I have.

Ambassador Gun – Tomb of Broken Sleep (Review)

Ambassador GunThis is the third album from US Grinders Ambassador Gun.

Ambassador Gun play their music with harsh melody, Hardcore abandon and Grinding brutality. On paper their Grindcore is no different to many others’, but in reality the riffs and melodies used are quite atypical and interesting.

The band are upbeat and have their blasting moments, but this is more about the songs having an energy about them rather than speed for the sake of it.

The tracks are somewhat of a cross between the Hardcore d-beat of a band like Martyrdöd, the experimental, unusual Grind of Cloud Rat, the insectile mayhem of Discordance Axis and the Sludge edge of Colombian Necktie.

There’s lots of dynamics on display here and these are songs that are built to last. The band use melody well, but not in a melodic way; I know this sounds almost contradictory, but this is not a melodic band in the obvious sense. However, they achieve it in a muted, angry way and their songs have their own internal colour and sparkle because of this, despite the abrasive, serrated veneer.

This really is an exceptionally enjoyable release with enough bluster and brutality to have an instant appeal, yet with enough nuance and depth to be long lasting once the initial appeal of the violence and carnage has faded.

This is 26 minutes of exciting, visceral Extreme Metal. Highly recommended.

Colombian Necktie – Twilight Upon Us (Review)

Colombian NecktieColombian Necktie are from the US and this is their début album.

The band have a basis in Hardcore but build elements of Sludge and Metal on top of this to create something heavy, raw and nasty. I’ve been watching this band’s development over the last few splits and EPs that they have released and it seems that with this album they’ve taken everything they’ve learned and ramped it up to the maximum.

A suitably crushing sound heralds the start of the album and it immediately draws you in. The recording is arid, focused and everything sounds both tight and loose at the same time.

Colombian Necktie have a relatively varied sound that employs bits from many different Metal subgenres and puts them to work creating this monument to Hardcore Sludge. Sludgecore, if you will. And I’m glad they did as it sounds just great.

This belongs to the same stable of bands such as Charger, Eyehategod, Enabler, Mistress, Serpent Eater, Ilsa, etc. – bands that are doing their own thing by their own rules and make a virtue out of the heavy, filthy and unclean.

For the most part Colombian Necktie’s songs are tightly compressed balls of rage. Hardcore and Sludge sensibilities combine along with the odd Stoner Rock moment to create an album with a vicious swagger and an attitude that just won’t quit. Add to this the odd synth effect, some other interesting ideas and the emotional closing track Kevin’s Song, (which is by far the longest track here), and you have an engaging and diverse album.

The singer is impressively rabid the whole time and sounds like he would be great live, which of course can be extended to the entire band.

Considering their past releases I was hoping this would be a good album but they have more than exceeded my expectations in this. I knew it would be of a certain quality but wasn’t expecting an album of this depth and nuance.

A highly recommended listen for all connoisseurs of heaviness.