Nadir – The Sixth Extinction (Review)

NadirNadir are a sludge/death metal band from Hungary and this is their sixth album.

The Sixth Extinction features 33 minutes of sludgy death metal. Think of a cross between Crowbar and Bolt Thrower and you’ll not be too far off from where Nadir operate. There’s also a touch of Obituary, Coffins, Incantation, and High on Fire here and there. Continue reading

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Hyborian – Hyborian Vol. 1 (Review)

HyborianHyborian are a stoner metal band from the US and this is their debut album.

Although quite short at only 32 minutes in length, this is an album that’s undeniably enjoyable. 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

Sardonis – III (Doom)

SardonisAs the name suggests, this is the third album from Sardonis, who are an instrumental Stoner Doom band from Belgium.

Sardonis combine elements of Stoner Metal, Doom and Sludge into their songs. There’s no vocals, so the emphasis is purely on the music itself.

The album has more variation on it than you might think too. It avoids being a one-dimensional Stoner-fest by adding in elements of these other genres so that the band take you to many different places throughout the journey. The band are obviously equally comfortable playing at all kinds of speeds, and this is another reason that they keep things interesting.

The album has an incredibly warm and textured recording, benefiting their sound by focusing the listener’s attention on what matters.

Huge riffs are a big part of their repertoire, as befitting an instrumental band of this nature. This is not all they’re capable of though, as they also know how to build atmosphere and mood across these 39 minutes.

Occasionally I have mixed feelings about bands that are entirely instrumental; sometimes I think vocals would enhance the music and other times I know it would merely detract from what they have created. With Sardonis I think it’s a mixture of the two, although favouring the latter. Maybe a few added vocals on one or two tracks in a couple of places, leaving the bulk of it instrumental? Regardless, III is a massively enjoyable release and the lack of vocals doesn’t hold it back at all.

Recommended for fans of Karma to Burn, High on Fire, Judd Madden, Lord Dying, Pelican, etc.

Favourite Track: Forward to the Abyss. Because who doesn’t love a 12-minute Pelican-esque Doomathon with a hint of Earth to the guitars?

XII Boar – Pitworthy (Review)

XII BoarXII Boar are from the UK and this is their début album. They play Stoner Rock/Metal.

This is gritty, Metallic Rock ‘N’ Roll in the vein of Orange Goblin that will find a nice home in the hands of fans of Corrosion of Conformity, Down, Lord Dying, Crowbar, High on Fire, Apostle of Solitude, etc.

XII Boar play feel-good music with an earthy, raw quality. The singer is full of charisma and attitude, as is the band as a whole really.

The songs are catchy and memorable slabs of rocking distortion and hot guitar licks.

It’s an easily identifiable style but the band play with such passion and conviction it’s easy to get swept up in their enthusiasm. The NOLA influence is apparent in their riffs but this has been filtered through the UK and Orange Goblin’s legacy is definitely felt in XII Boar’s style.

Pitworthy is an enjoyable album with a good sound and belligerent swagger. Have a listen.

Lord Dying – Poisoned Altars (Review)

Lord DyingThis is the second album from US Sludge Metallers Lord Dying.

This is all about worshipping the riff and following the path of everything heavy.

Oh, and the album cover is just perfect.

Lord Dying shout and bellow their way through these 8 tracks with belligerence and a confidence born of too much alcohol and a natural ability. They know they’re better then most so why shouldn’t they show what they’re capable of?

If you’re a fan of Crowbar, High On Fire, Red Fang, Mastodon, The Obsessed, Orange Goblin, etc. then you’ll no doubt find a lot to enjoy here.

Essentially mixing High On Fire and Crowbar, Lord Dying provide a lot of meat throughout this 37 minute album. It’s not purely a riff-fest either as the band do concentrate on songs more than just stitching different guitar parts together.

The singer has a throaty snarl that has character and recalls a younger, angrier Crowbar singer. He also has a knack for catchy rhythms and vocal patterns that mark the brain like jagged grooves.

The attitude exuded from these tracks is as palpable as the riffs themselves. This is a visceral band that you feel you can almost touch, although I can’t help but imagine them being quite toxic if you did.

Very, very nice. Feel the poison flow through your veins and revel in it.

In the Company of Serpents – Merging in Light (Review)

In the Company of SerpentsIn the Company of Serpents are from the US and this is their latest EP. They play Doom/Sludge.

Just three tracks and over 21 minutes of heavy, heavy music; In the Company of Serpents play tar-black Doom with an emphasis on riffs and a crushing delivery.

The vocals sound anguished and tormented, like some damned soul released from Hell just long enough to tell everyone how bad it is. Rough and mournful.

The fuzzy guitars propel the tracks forward and the band know a good riff when they hear one. The colossal weight of the guitars drowns everything else out; the rest sound like a mere afterthought.

The songs sound like demented Black Sabbath tracks that have been left to fester and then, when they’re at their most ripe, covered in a layer of Sludge so thick that only the guitars are recognisable.

In the Company of Serpents are always an enjoyable band whenever I encounter them and this EP is no different. Like a car crash of Black Sabbath, High on Fire, Generation of Vipers and filthy Sludge Metal in general; they deliver the goods, although they may be a bit reeking and despoiled by the time they get to you.

Recommended.

Astrakhan – A Tapestry of Scabs and Skin (Review)

AstrakhanAstrakhan are from Canada and play Progressive Metal. This is their latest EP.

This is powerful music with plenty of dynamics and personality.

Think Progressive Metal with a modern edge; kind of in the vein of what Mastodon do but without really sounding like them too much. Couple this with elements of bands as diverse as Alice in Chains, High on Fire and Metallica…

Hard Rock mixes with a Sludge feel and strong clean vocals dominate everything. Stoner simplicity and technical complexity merge together. They are at once cohesive and divisive; multiple influences congeal into a coherent whole and result in four very impressive songs.

The sheer force of charisma generated by the singer is draw-dropping. To further muddy the waters of genre-definition, he sometimes sounds like he could easily front an Avant-Garde band like Arcturus or Manes with ease.

The distortion feels alive and the riffs have a vitality to them. Each of the songs flexes its musical muscles and exudes feelings that are both epic and emotive.

Their music is textured and rich with riffs that propel the songs onward with real passion and vigour.

Top quality. If they can translate their obvious talent into a full length album they’ll be on to a real winner.

Mortals – Cursed to See the Future (Review)

MortalsMortals are from the US and play Black Metal. This is their second album.

This is a Crusty form of Black Metal that takes the Darkthrone sound and kind of crosses it with a band like High on Fire to create something a bit different yet recognisable instantly.

This is an album of long songs that are primitive but not in a negative way. There is a sort of primal power to the riffs and energy that the band offer the listener.

The vocals are serrated rasps that call out to the darkness and the terror within. They’re ably produced and a satisfying listen, the same of which can be said for the album as a whole really.

The song lengths give the Darkthrone-esque riffs time to germinate and seed, allowing the band to develop them fully.

The tracks are bleakly emotive and hit the spot whether the band are playing fast and sharp, slow and dirge-like or mid-paced and rocking. Whatever, it all hinges around razor sharp riffing and a guitar tone to die for.

A very nice release indeed. Old-School Black Metal with a helping of Sludge and arrogance. Just what the doctor ordered.