KEN Mode – Loved (Review)

KEN ModeKEN Mode are a noise rock/hardcore band from Canada and this is their seventh album.

Loved is 35 minutes of violent mood and vicious emotion. Primarily mixing together metal, hardcore, and noise rock, the album also contains elements of extremity that come from black and death metal backgrounds, as well as moments of industrial and experimental forays. Saxophone is used relatively frequently. Continue reading

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Mantar – The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze (Review)

MantarThis is the third album from Mantar, a German black metal band.

I’m a latecomer to Mantar’s work, but I can tell you that if you’re looking for filthy, ugly blackened metallic punk that’s still catchy as fuck, then they stand head and shoulders above most of their peers. 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

Melvins – A Walk with Love and Death (Review)

MelvinsMelvins are a US sludge/metal/rock/doom band and this is their latest album.

A Walk with Love and Death is an album of two halves. The Death side is a ‘normal’ Melvins album, (whatever that means in the context of their ever-changing style), while the Love side is a film score to a short film that shares the same name as this album. Continue reading

Beehoover – Primitive Powers (Review)

BeehooverBeehoover are from Germany and play Stoner Doom. This is their latest album.

About their previous album The Devil and His Footmen I said “This is an uncommon band who provide an uncommon listening experience” and I stand by that statement for this newest one.

The band remain a two-piece drum/bass combo that provide the listener with a quirky and characterful interpretation of Stoner/Sludge/Doom that mixes elements of artists like Mike Patton, Tool, Primus and Melvins into its enjoyable and personable style of music.

Considering the makeup of the band there is a lot of content to enjoy on Primitive Powers and the songs are quite infectious. The band are adept at adding real atmosphere into their sound, with the bass seemingly capable of expanding to fill all of the areas that the guitars normally inhabit with other bands, and then some.

The drumming is complex, yet easy to get on board with; along with the music’s warm and intimate production it makes for a very satisfying sound.

Maybe I’m misremembering, but the songs on this album seem stronger and more concise than that of The Devil and His Footmen, and also seem to have a greater abundance of atmosphere and progressive tendencies too.

Either way, Beehoover’s latest release is a left-field success and I heartily recommend it for something a little different. Your ears will thank me.

 

Mammoth Salmon – Last Vestige of Humanity (Review)

Mammoth SalmonThis is the début album from US Stoner/Doom band Mammoth Salmon.

We met this band previously with their enjoyable Call of the Mammoth EP.

On this new release the band continue their warm, organic and massively chunky and fuzzy approach to the genre. The songs are like a friendlier, less-evil, more-welcoming version of Electric Wizard mixed with a bit of Melvins.

The band also seem bigger and better this time around, in pretty much every respect. The guitars are more in-your-face and the vocals more confident.

The riffs are big and the grooves are colossal. The guitars and charismatic vocals are frequently in perfect sync, complementing each other and creating songs that have real presence.

Occasionally the distortion fades somewhat and the band indulge in a bit of lazy, exploratory mood-setting with a casual solo over the lonesome bass, almost as an afterthought.

Very nice.

This album has personality, songs and giant riffs. What more do you want from this kind of band?