Wednesday, 16 January 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Great Falls, "A Sense Of Rest"

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 21/12/2018
Label: Corpse Flower Records |
Throatruiner Records |
Init Records

…the band have expanded their sonic horizons to cover new levels of punishing heaviness.  Jagged shards of damaged post-hardcore now give way to crushing low-end riffs like a collision between KEN Mode and “Remission” era Mastodon

“A Sense Of Rest” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. The Accelerationist
2. Not-For-Sale Bodies
3. Kettle Logic
4. We Speak In Lowercase
5. Thousands Every Hour
6. Baldessari Height
7. I Go To Glory
8. Scratched Off The Canvas

The Review:

Great Falls decided to throw Album of 2018 lists into disarray with the late December release of the monstrous “A Sense Of Rest”. The Seattle trios last LP “The Fever Shed” was a taut thirty minutes of barbed noise rock fury. In the three years since its release, the band have taken their furious back catalogue as a foundation and crafted an expansive beast of an album.

“The Accelerationist” wastes no time introducing the listener to Great Falls in full flow with an onslaught of razor sharp guitar, pounding drums and churning bass. It soon becomes apparent that the band have expanded their sonic horizons to cover new levels of punishing heaviness.  Jagged shards of damaged post-hardcore now give way to crushing low-end riffs like a collision between KEN Mode and “Remission” era Mastodon. “Not-For-Sale Bodies” continues the barrage, culminating in a lumbering finale that demonstrates how much weightier “A Sense Of Rest” is compared to previous offerings. 

The highlight here is the monumental fifteen minute centrepiece, “We Speak In Lowercase”. It feels simultaneously like Great Falls unleashing all they have achieved to this point in one slow-burning epic and a huge leap into the unknown. The opening sections are unexpectedly melodic, delivered with a restraint and vulnerability that bring to mind Kowloon Walled City's amazing “Grievances” LP. Demian Johnston's vocals are at their most affecting here, from an exposed despairing howl at the beginning of the track building to an imploring scream at its climax. As the band dynamics move between quiet and loud, the tempos shift accordingly leading to a stirring slow-motion coda of shimmering reverb-heavy distortion.

It's as if Great Falls anticipated the state of awe the mind-expanding “We Speak In Lowercase” would leave the listener in by following it with “Thousands Every Hour”. The opening minute or so of screeching feedback followed by a skipped groove, one chord riff brings you back down to earth with a dose of punk rock urgency.

“A Sense Of Rest” is an incredible release from Great Falls. A perfect blend of ragged noise rock, devastating riffs, dark melody and ambitious songwriting, this LP should earn them some well-deserved attention.  

“A Sense Of Rest” is available (LP USA) HERE, (LP Europe) HERE and CD HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

TRACK PREMIERE: BLCKWVS return with their trademark monolithic doom on "0165"

An ambitious undertaking that has been 4 years in the making, on February 22nd 2019 German Doom/Sludge outfit BLCKWVS will issued their new album “0160” via This Charming Man Records. It will come as no surprise to those familiar with the band that every song is recorded and released in their typical, monolithic style,  but not only that the record is teaming with guest appearances.

Musically 0160” sounds like a bulldozer flattening everything that stands in the way and today at THE SLUDGELORD you can check out a brand new track feat. Sarah from BLACK VULPINE below. 

Band info: facebook || instagram || bandcamp

Monday, 14 January 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Malevolent Creation. "The 13th Beast"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18/01/2019
Label: Century Media Records

Resolutely traditional, old school Florida death metal with a modern production, iIn other words, for fans of the genre and band it is an absolute winner

“The 13th Beast” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. End The Torture
2. Mandatory Butchery
3. Agony For The Chosen
4. Canvas Of Flesh

5. Born Of Pain
6. The Beast Awakened
7. Decimated
8. Bleed Us Free
9. Knife At Hand
10. Trapped Inside
11. Release The Soul

The Review:

Malevolent Creation are certainly one of death metal's old school elite and even with powerhouse vocalist Brett Hoffman gone, the band (Phil Fasciana and able cohorts) press forward. Lee Wollenschlaeger is a fine death metal vocalist, as is demonstrated by his opening growl on “End The Torture”- and he brings an almost NYHC aggression to his delivery. Once again, the sound is razor sharp, the production suitably brutal, the sound is timelessly death metal.

As is standard (now and then) the drums are triggered and thus audible in their intricacy. The sound is pro-toolsed and the performances are spot on. These days, you would be hard pressed to find the endearing amateur aggression present on some of the biggest bands' debut recordings, but what you get instead is machine like precision born of experience.

There are blasts aplenty (“Agony For The Chosen”), some very thrashy moments (“Mandatory Butchery”), plenty of shifting tempos (“Canvas of Flesh”) and all of these elements rearing their heads at various times in most tracks. Over the course of eleven tracks there is no real relaxation time- just straight ahead death metal. This is, though, so what did you expect?!

Try out “The Beast Awakened” if you want a flavour of the best elements of the record in one track (it slays!), but if you like Malevolent Creation you are pretty much guaranteed to like this album. Is it their best? To some listeners it will be, to some it will be “another” good MC album. That the band are keeping quality control high and are still putting out impressive records is highly commendable and something that cannot be said of many old-school bands.

That there is nothing new here goes without saying- “Decimated” would fit on any of their albums past or present- but death metal is a taste you develop and if the bug has bitten you in the past, suffice it to say that this album will satisfy all death metal needs and wants you may have.

As the album progresses through “Knife at Hand”, “Trapped Inside” and “Release The Soul” you will know exactly what kind of album this is: resolutely traditional, old school Florida death metal with a modern production. In other words, for fans of the genre and band it is an absolute winner. Enjoy.

“The 13th Beast” is available HERE

Band info: facebook

Friday, 11 January 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Deadbird, "III: The Forest Within The Tree"

By: Pim Latuny

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/10/2018
Label: 20 Buck Spin Records

Deadbird has made a profound, meaningful, crushing record.

“III: The Forest Within The Tree” CD//DD//LP track listing:
1. The Singularity
2. Luciferous Heart
3. Heyday
4. Alexandria
5. 11:34
6. Brought Low
7. Bone & Ash
8 Ending
 The Review
After ten years Deadbird is back with their third record called III: The Forest Within The Tree”. A concept album? Maybe, and if you take a look at the mysterious but brilliant artwork that idea is confirmed again. More than four years they have worked on this album and they sound heavier, proggier and above all more dynamic.
The record has similarities with “Morningrise” by Opeth but with more doom/sludge metal influences. The acoustic parts are a nice contrast against the doomy guitar riffs and there are grunge and punk influences, especially when all the band members sing together. A band like Alice In Chains is obviously an influence, which is always a good thing. But don't be scared, Deadbird does not imitate them, they have their own sound and they realize that. The album contains eight songs and every song is packed with ideas that blend seamlessly, making each song a voyage of discovery. “Heyday” is a good example of this; without warning you are pulled into a deep forest where forest spirits show you the horrors of mankind: capped trees, dead rabbits and bears stuck in bear traps. “Alexandria” sounds like a battle song as if a forest warrior addresses his troops and “Bone & Ash” is a straight-forward sludge punk song.
The music is heavy and at the same time melancholic, and it is perfectly balanced. Just like the sound effects such as wind, insects or birds that are very subtly interwoven within the music. But the vocals are the icing on the cake. Without the scream, the grunt scream or the singing together, this record would be less awesome. It really gives a very dark autumnal atmosphere to this album.
Deadbird has made a profound, meaningful, crushing record. “III: The Forest Within The Tree”, can mean a lot, for me it stands for man's creativity, and how we can let that grow if we take the chance or get the chance to do so. And Deadbird certainly took that opportunity.
“III: The Forest Within The Tree” is available here

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Thursday, 10 January 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Lumbar, "The First And Last Days Of Unwelcome" Reissue

By: Matt Fitton

Album Type: Full Length
Originally Released: 12/11/2013 
Resissue: 11/01/2019
Label: Southern Lord Recordings | 
Argonauta Records | Anima Recordings

The First and Last Days of Unwelcome cover art 

“The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” is just a big ol' stick of Doom. If you cut it in half it would not only thank you, but it would actually say 'D-O-O-M' in giant letters down the middle. Killer riffs slower than the expansion of the sun, soaking wet with amp fuzz down tuned to -11. Harrowing and perfect in every single way”

“The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” CD//CS//DD//LP track listing:
1. Day One (05:04)
2. Day Two (02:58)
3. Day Three (02:24)
4. Day Four (02:26)
5. Day Five (02:07)
6. Day Six (05:02)
7. Day Seven (04:45)

The Review:

Lumbar is a Doom expression by three friends from the US Northwest, all of them fairly revered within their sonic circles. A project that consists of Yob's Mike Scheidt, Tad Doyle from Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and Aaron Edge (of one time Himsa). 'The First and Last Days of Unwelcome' is not only a cosmic event of grand proportions (i.e. VERY good), it also serves as a one-off snap shot of a place and time.
Lumbar has unfortunately been sidelined to just a studio project, due to the fact that Edge (who played all the music on the recording) has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and would be unable to play a musical instrument live as a consequence. Sad as this may be, it appears that you cannot keep a good man down and Edge is already formulating a new heavy endeavour in Portland for which he will be providing the vocals. We do, of course, wish him the absolute best. A good way to do this is to convey just how great this album truly is.
'The First and Last Days of Unwelcome' is seven tracks long, and numbered as days. I wish this album actually did last a week, but bucking recent Doom and Sludge trends the 7 tracks amount to 24 minutes of bite-size gold. As much as this noise fiend loves a marathon, I also like more done with less. And there is so much on offer here.
'Day One' is instant satisfaction. Scheidt's classic holler is pure Doom delight, and the music keeps up too. Beautifully morose waves of fuzz wash over you, and you realise that you're in riff country, where the real flavour lives. The bass wobbles, and the drums crash, both of them in a death grip. As if anything else was expected at all.
'Day Two' is another sullen delight. The atmospherics in the background are faint yet intricate, and when the heavy rolls in it does not disappoint. Pretty much void of any hope or light, and you would not want it any other way.
'Day Four' is just rolling crush to begin, like a rolling pin from the left hand of death. And then it becomes all wistful and echoing at the mid-point, which is tremendous. You constantly forget about the relative brevity of these tracks, due to the sheer variation that is on display at times.
Best in show goes to 'Day Six', for just being a big ol' stick of Doom. If you cut it in half it would not only thank you, but it would actually say 'D-O-O-M' in giant letters down the middle. Killer riffs slower than the expansion of the sun, soaking wet with amp fuzz down tuned to -11. Harrowing and perfect in every single way. Edge really outdid himself throughout this thing, and it serves as a fitting testament to his playing if he never manages to commit another Lumbar recording to tape.
This is real Album of the Year contender stuff  and 'The First and Last Days of Unwelcome' could not be more of a welcome spectacle.

“The First and Last Days of Unwelcome” is available digitally & on cassette  here. LP & CD is available here

Band info: Facebook

VIDEO PREMIERE: Belgian doom duo SLOW debut re-recorded remastered version of "The Break of Dawn"

On January 25th 2019 code666 will release a re-recorded, remastered and remixed version of “IV – Mythologiae” by Belgian doom duo SLOW. The album will be released on vinyl, CD and as a digital download.

The album was previously released in 2015 in very small quantities and sold out quickly. Now, due to a data loss the album has now been completely re-recorded, remastered and remixed and includes a never before released bonus track "At The Break of Dawn", as well as new artwork.  Today ahead of the release which is a couple of week from now, we can present an exclusive premiere of a track lifted from this massive slab, entitled “The Break of Dawn” which you can check out in full below. 

Band info: facebook

VIDEO PREMIERE: French blackened sludgecore purveyors ERLEN MEYER debut Coton Cardé

So far this year I have listened to 3-4 great records and I can safely say that the fierce French blackened sludge-core purveyors ERLEN MEYER have arguably released my favourite record of 2018 so far.  Yes it is only 10 days old, but 2019 is going off with a fucking bang and on January, 25th of 2019 Argonauta Records are on the verge of releasing the best album of their long discography so far.
 On 'Sang et Or', the French-based power quintet’s sophomore continues the experience of a concept that is paying tribute to the dark novels of Agatha Christie and the spine-chilling stories of Alfred Hitchcock. ERLEN MEYER are breaking boundaries of the monolithic and the crushing, mixing the sludge and Hardcore styles it won fame for, to deliver a devastating and utterly captivating record.
Today, THE SLUDGELORD is sharing a brand new video and the opening cut taken from their upcoming album! Watch and listen to the album opening track 'Coton Cardé' below.  Turn it up and watch your speakers die.  Tres bien ERLEN MEYER!!! Coming as CD and Digital Download formats on January 25th 2019, album pre-orders are now available HERE

Band info: facebook