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?

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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.