Mares of Diomedes/Dreich – Split (Review)

Mares of Diomedes DreichThis is a split between two sludge/doom bands – Mares of Diomedes from Ireland and Dreich from Denmark.

Mares of Diomedes start us off with two songs of bastard-heavy metal, lasting 13 minutes.

This is fuzzed-up and harsh, with colossal riffs drenched in distortion being unleashed like they are going out of fashion. With Continue reading

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Kalloused – Damn You Believer (Review)

KallousedThis is the debut release from Kalloused, a UK blackened sludge/doom band.

Kalloused have a powerfully heavy sound that they still manage to insert nuance into when the need arises. This release features a plethora of textured riffs that manage to show a certain degree of subtlety and finesse even when they’re smashing your skull in.

The band have a black metal element Continue reading

Swamp Witch – The Slithering Bog (Review)

Swamp WitchSwamp Witch are a doom/sludge band from the US. This is their debut album.

Sludge heaviness mixes with psychedelic hypnotic grooves to create slow, torturous music that takes the listener on a tour through forgotten swamps, populated by hideous witches, (do you see what I did there?).

Deep growled vocals act as a guide on this foul journey, paving a path through the murk with sheer force of diseased will. Continue reading

Boss Keloid – Herb Your Enthusiasm (Review)

Boss KeloidBoss Keloid are a Sludge Metal band from the UK. This is their second album.

Boss Keloid’s Sludge fuses Metal, Doom, Stoner and even Progressive Metal and Grunge into its tar-like embrace, offering the listener 59 minutes of compelling riffage.

With a huge, massive sound, Boss Keloid bring the heaviness with ease. The songs are chock-full of tasty riffs and the kind of guitars that can knock you over if played at full volume.

The Stoner-esque vocals sound really good, adding an extra level of colour and richness to already textured music. The singer has commanding presence, great personality and charisma, all of which are clearly felt through his voice.

The songs themselves are very satisfying, all the more so due to the decent amount of variety and interest that the album has. With almost an hour of music it would be easy to lose momentum or have some dull moments, but the incorporation of the various Metal sub-genres into the mix makes for a very endearing and engaging album.

Unlike some bands that use multiple styles as parts of their musical recipe, Boss Keloid don’t move from one easily identified sub-genre in one section to another; the band mix all of these elements into the songs together, holistically making the most of these influences to the betterment of the songs and the album as a whole.

Each track is recognisable as its own beast with its own identity, and pretty much every track has elements of the wider pool of influences mixed in.

An extremely impressive album. Herb Your Enthusiasm is a keeper.

For fans of Conan, Electric Wizard, Mammoth Storm, Orange Goblin, Down, etc.

Conan – Revengeance (Review)

ConanConan are a UK Doom Metal band. This is their third album.

If you haven’t heard Conan before – think heavy, think Doom, think crushing. They also have the album art to back this up.

Conan play heavy Doom Metal that reeks of axes and old blood. Not content with playing at only one speed, they also throw a bit of groove into the music here and there to keep things spicy, usually before descending into the slow pit of DOOOOOM for a while.

The singer’s vocals have always been slightly unusual; he somehow manages to pitch his voice as a strange cross between singing and shouting. It’s not an unpleasant style, (in fact it can sound quite powerful in places), but it’s one that always took a little getting used to, at least for me. Now that I’m acclimatized to it though, I’m glad it’s a bit different, and even jarring on occasion, as it gives the band a way to differentiate themselves from the masses.

This is a very strong album, as it could only ever be if you call your band Conan, I suppose. The songs are all very enjoyable and feature gargantuan riffs heavy enough to stomp entire cities. It’s the kind of music that you can easily get lost in, which can actually be quite dangerous as the riffs and vocals can batter and bruise if you’re not paying attention.

Another 49 minutes of crushing Doom from a band who are, at this point, experts in what they do.

Highly recommended.

Fortress – Unto the Nothing (Review)

FortressFortress are from the US and play Doom Metal. This is their début album.

This is Doom Metal with plenty of heaviness and bite.

Slow, colossal riffs ring out from the speakers, slowly trying to drag you into oblivion. I do like a band that knows how to play at a glacial pace.

The growled vocals sound like a howling daemon rising from the pit to swallow you whole, whilst the marginally less-deep vocals remind of the singer of Cathedral with a rougher voice mixed with the singer of The Meads of Asphodel.

This is Doom with an undercurrent of Sludge running through the waste pipes. There’s a wildness to Fortress that doesn’t need taming; it’s part of their innate appeal.

Feedback-laden, dirty and unkempt; Fortress remind of Grief, only with longer songs, mixed with a band like Conan.

Chunky, heavy riffs power the songs and some of the guitar parts have a Stoner Metal vibe to them. Everything is played at a snail’s pace though, so both Stoner and Sludge influences ultimately get poured into the same drain that’s filled to the brim with DOOOOM!

For quality Doom that’s crushingly heavy and a vibe of total despair and loss, look no further than Fortess.

Favourite Track: Either Lies & Fears; Slow. Heavy. Miserable. Compelling; or The Nothing, with subtle, ethereal female cleans in the background. Haunting.