Sunday, 23 July 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Goatwhore - "Vengeful Ascension"

By: Jack Taylor

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 23/06/2017
Label: Metal Blade Records


“Forsaken” jumps out of your speakers and down your throat and suffocates and entertains the listener in the best way possible. There’s nothing quite like what this band can deliver – the riffs, vocals and drumming is first class and unique

“Vengeful Ascension” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Forsaken
2. Under the Flesh, Into the Soul
3. Vengeful Ascension
4. Chaos Arcane
5. Where the Sun Is Silent
6. Drowned in Grim Rebirth
7. Abandon Indoctrination
8. Mankind Will Have No Mercy
9. Decayed Omen Reborn
10. Those Who Denied God’s Will

The Review:

Goatwhore are a lean, mean, blackened death metal machine and one of the genre’s most hard-working and consistent outfits. Since the release of ‘A Haunting Curse’ in 2006, Goatwhore streamlined their approach and created their distinctive sound which they are well known for today. ‘Vengeful Ascension’ is the Lousianan outfit’s fourth full-length since the aforementioned album was released, with thousands of miles of touring accumulated over this period as well.

The first impressions are decent – “Forsaken” jumps out of your speakers and down your throat and suffocates and entertains the listener in the best way possible. There’s nothing quite like what this band can deliver – the riffs, vocals and drumming is first class and unique. However, the following nine tracks have lead me to believe that perhaps these guys could do with a hiatus. I’m not just saying this because of my great desire to see frontman Ben Falgoust’s other band Soilent Green get back together again, but more due to the fact that Goatwhore are starting to sound a bit stale. Without wanting to be too harsh, a lot of the tracks on here sound like they could have been B-sides from the excellent ‘Constricting Rage of the Merciless’ and ‘Blood for the Master’. I’d go as far to say that unless you’re a Goatwhore diehard, it’s probably worth giving this album a miss and heading for any of the band’s previous four records.

Sure, I appreciate some of the more experimental moments on this album, such as the slower, doomier tracks which mark some kind of progression for the band, such as “Where the Sun is Silent”, but overall, there’s not a lot on here to really get me out of my seat. That being said, Goatwhore are an amazing live band, and should they pass through my town any time soon, I’d have no hesitation is seeing them, even if they played a great deal of this new record.

“Vengeful Ascension” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

FFO: Skeletonwitch || Soilent Green || Belphegor || Absu

Saturday, 22 July 2017

REVIEW: Human Future - "Flat Earth Blues" (EP)

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 08/06/2017
Label: Truthseeker Music

This is another thrilling blend of jarring styles that Human Future bring together in seamless fashion.  Although it is a shame to lose such a distinctive voice in the UK heavy underground, the band can be proud that they went out with a bang.

“Flat Earth Blues” CD//DD track listing:

1). IV
2). Swine
3). Axiom
4). None Shall Survive Through The Churn
5). V

The Review:

Human Future’s new EP “Flat Earth Blues” is a bitter-sweet affair due to the band’s announcement of their untimely demise shortly after its release. The UK quintet’s swansong is an ambitious and exhilarating listen tinged with sadness that the potential displayed on this brief but beguiling release will go unfulfilled.

Bookended by two atmospheric keyboard soundscapes, “Flat Earth Blues” is a captivating journey through wild shifts in mood and genre. “Swine” begins in dark post-hardcore territory, an urgent razor-edged groove that comes across like a heavier Self Defense Family. The volume and intensity increases until the music drops away to an ambient cloud of hypnotic repetition and slow-burning psychedelic lead guitar. This soon erupts into a searing solo as the band strike into an epic finale that feels like the perfect meeting point between post-rock and prog.

The other main attraction here is nine-minute behemoth “None Shall Survive Through The Churn”. This is another thrilling blend of potentially jarring styles that Human Future bring together in seamless fashion. The first half of the track shifts between blissed-out choral passages and huge slabs of widescreen slide-guitar assisted heaviness that come across like a combination of Envy and Earth. The second half sees proceedings collapse into glorious controlled chaos, fuelled by some impressive drumming that teeters on the edge between mathcore complexity and all-out grindcore fury

Flat Earth Blues” is a fine parting gesture from Human Future. Although it is a shame to lose such a distinctive voice in the UK heavy underground, the band can be proud that they went out with a bang.

“Flat Earth Blues” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

11 IS ONE LOUDER: Hair of the Dog drummer Jon Holt discusses his Top 5 Skateboarding clips

On 20/07/2017, hotly tipped Psych Rockers, Hair of the Dog returned with “This World Turns”, their third studio album and their most experimental and adventurous album to date.  As with previous albums, “This World Turns acts as a snapshot of the bands life experiences, but this time it focuses on themes of maturity, responsibility and reflection

Psychedelic Blues, classic rock, hard Rock all are present and correct, harking back to memories of when Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Led Zepp and certain Black Sabbath ruled the airwaves. Indeed if you dig the classic guitar sound of the 70s then you’re going to be in luck, because Hair of the Dog (a nod to Scottish classic rock band, Nazareth and a cheeky wink to the trio’s indulgent drinking habits) has you covered.  This World Turns” sees Hair of the Dog yet again crank up the intensity and maturity of their sound to deliver an album that is truly of another world.  The tone of the record is undeniably loud and heavy, but incorporates an atmosphere which is vibrant, full of energy and represents a band with a very bright future indeed.

Today with the album but a few days old in the ether of doom, we invited drummer Jon Holt, to kick back and talk about another of his great passions skateboarding, as we as we take our weekly trip into the extreme and turn the volume all the way up to 11. “This World Turns” is available here

Heavy music and skateboarding have been in my life for a long time. Both go hand in hand with each other. Both are outsiders, both are aggressive, both like to have a good time. Combined in a video part, music and skateboarding can create a visual and aural Gama bomb of awesomeness which will get you hyped to do almost anything; jam with your band, shred a curb or just get the hoovering done finally. So read my brief appetisers watch the links and then grab your Dyson and get some!

Arto Saari

The first and last parts of a skate video are the biggies. And Starting us off with an absolute banger at number 5 is the first part from Es year 2000 classic Menikmati.  The skater is Arto Sarri. The song is “Testing” by CKY. On the most basic of analytical levels you could just say that this video part is absolutely insane and be done with it. The energy of the skating matches the energy of the song perfectly. Arto comes out swinging and goes for death on numerous occasions. The instrumental smash to the senses that CKY deliver with “Testing” almost sounds how skateboarding feels like. On a deeper level I feel that this part represents the underdog. Sarri was then and always will be a skateboarder’s skater but at the time he was not as big a name as some of his Flip and Es teammates such as Tom Penny, Geoff Rowley and Sir Eric of Koston. And then there’s CKY who will always be synonymous with a certain Jackass. But with this video part Sarri and CKY claim a rightfully deserved glory. Sarri definitely received the recognition he deserved after it came out and went on to become one of skateboarding’s most respected skaters.

It’s a blue collar video part; you can tell Sarri worked hard for it. Cried tears of frustration, sweat buckets and bled for it. CKY would not have had much in the way of creative input into the part if any, however I am sure that they would have been hyped that the song was used in this part which is now deemed as a classic in its own right. As much as the part is a violent and aggressive piece of skateboarding, the upbeat nature of the track gives the whole thing a celebratory feel and you can’t help but get swept up in the infectious energy of both skater and song. And that is what happens why skateboarding and rock music collide. A classic part from a classic era of skateboarding.

Greyson Fletcher

We bid a fond farewell to the silky skills of 2000 era Es street skating and say hello sailor to the bearded bowl basher himself, Mr Greyson Fletcher. This is his first Pro part for Elements called, “In Perdition” which was released in October 2015. It begins with the ominous sounds of darkness as Fletcher floats in and out of a vast concrete monolithic snake run. The drone then gives way to riffs, riffs provided by Bolt Thrower. Yes, please! Now whereas with Sarri and CKY the marriage shouldn’t work but does, here with Greyson Fletcher and Bolt Thrower you have a perfect natural match. Fletchers style can be simply described as controlled chaos. Not the most technical wizard ever to roll on four wheels but there is no denying that he knows some dark arts. Some of the skating in this video part is literally death defying. He defies death. Straight up looks death in the eyes and says, “Not today death, old buddy, old pal! I have some more one foot ollies to knock out before we’ll be seeing each other!” It is a heavy, heavy part with a crushing soundtrack and the whole thing makes you want to crack a cold beer grab your board and go realise you’re not Greyson Fletcher.

Chad Fernandez

For those who don’t know, this is how it works; you watch a skate video for the skater or the team that you like and for the skating you know will be insane. You hear the songs and you either know them and think nice choice or you don’t know them and think, who the bloody hell is that? That song is fucking awesome sausages. This is how it went down with my next choice; Chad Frenandez’s part from Globe’s Opinion. This video features the master stroke of White Zombie’sThunder Kiss 65” as a fittingly crusty soundtrack to the crusty but stylish manoeuvres of Mr Frenandez. I could probably just stop writing here and let you click the link, as this part just needs to be seen and heard. However, I shall impart this advice on to thee instead; “Thunder Kiss 65” is now a personal classic of mine and that style of rock or metal is what I listen to the most. This is all because of this skate video part. To be honest if I think about it, this skate part can really take the credit for being a musical seed in my inner consciousness. Which evolved over the years into darker and heavy matter. Without this part there would be no White Zombie and therefore I’d never know what stoner rock was and then never care to listen to Down and Pantera and then look back to their ancestors in Zeppelin and Sabbath and then we would never have Hair of the Dog…so really without skateboarding and this video part there would be no band for which I am writing this top 5 to promote on social media…mind blown…So, don’t make that mistake! Watch this video part and bang your head along to the early stoner riffs which can open the doors to the whole kingdom of riffery! 

Riley Hawk

Penultimate rocking skate part goes to Riley Hawk and his part in Transworld Skateboarding’s 26th full length skate video, “Outliners” released in August 2015. It’s a modern part but Riley Hawks style and musical tastes mean it is steeped in retro fuzzery and riffs for days. Those riffs are provided by Sacri Monti, a band I did not know of until I watched this part back in 2015. After a quick google and a search on my music streaming platform of choice, I have their album at my fingertips and I can say this to those bothering to read this that it’s a beast. It’s trippy and fuzzy but also knows when to be slow and heavy. Go find out about the band and give their self-titled album a listen. I do not obviously know for sure but I can imagine Hawk chose this song himself. He has used Sabbath in previous parts and other retro or actual 70’s stoner rock type tunes. He looks like a guitarist in a 70’s rock band and IS actually the guitarist in a band which plays retro rock called Petyr, as yet not released on my music streaming platform unfortunately but I will be looking out for them! The part is a solid, shredders gnar fest. It feels hot and dusty just like the song and Hawk blasts through difficult trick after insane mind bender like he was just ollying up a curb. He is definitely one of my favourite modern skaters. For his skill, his style, his musical influences and humble persona. This part is a prime example of the new guard tipping the hat the the old guard but at the same time progressing forward into the future of both skateboarding and rock music.

Geoff Rowley

Last but by no means least - because basically you can just forget everything I have just written and all the other videos I have made you watch and just press play on this last one cause it’s the fucking best thing ever – is Mr Geoff Rowley. It’s not a part as such but an advertisement; an Airwalk ad (remember when Airwalks were everywhere!) This is mid to late 90’s footage which I first saw in a 411 video I had when I was around 13 or 14. I had just started skateboarding and 411 was a VHS magazine which opened our naive Aberdeenshire dwelling eyes to what skateboarding was over in its spiritual home of California. This 30 second clip of Geoff Rowley was all I needed to consolidate what I already suspected; I fucking love skateboarding and I fucking love a good heavy riff on a guitar! In those 30 seconds it not only conveys more danger, rebellion and cool as fuckness than all the rest of my top 5, it also makes you want to skate more or grab a guitar or start a band or just go out and fucking live more!

It’s like visual and aural coffee, when I’m not feeling it some days I’ll just watch this clip and it lifts me out of my funk. There is a heat to the footage, it’s dowsed in summertime, making you yearn for those lost adolescent days of just hanging with your mates, drinking some beers, skating and listening to good music. It is heavy music and skateboarding in perfect unison. That music is the opening riff from “Sink with Kalifornija” by Youth Brigade. The skater is Rowley. And the rest is history…

Band info: Facebook  || Bandcamp

LIVE REVIEW: SOS Festival, Manchester, July15th 2017 Blaze Bayley Headlining

By: Richard Maw

As many readers of the blog will know, Blaze Bayley has featured twice recently; first for a review of his two latest (superb) albums and again for an interesting and detailed interview about his creative process and touring plans. As Blaze was headlining the tenth anniversary of the independent SOS Festival in Manchester, I thought I would go along and complete our series of features with a live review. With a day ticket at only £10, and three days for only £15, the festival represents serious value for money. Unfortunately I could only make the middle date- so it was off to Manchester once family commitments were completed to catch as many bands as I could.

After I had bought my ticket and completed the interview with Blaze I was offered a press pass to complete some interviews to really get a flavour of the festival from both a fan and band perspective. Blaze's manager Mark Appleton is the head honcho at Rocksector Records and he and the team had put together a strong and cohesive bill for each day.

Housed this year at The Longfield Suite in Prestwich, Manchester, travel was easy; straight off the motorway and free parking! The venue itself was excellent- great sound, decent bar, good food, a selection of merch stalls... all boxes ticked. Even the toilets were clean. The atmosphere and vibe was friendly- clearly there were a lot of folks who knew each other, but that is not a bad thing; no trouble here, that was for sure.

Well, on to the music: I arrived just in time to watch Primitai after being given my press pass by the very hard working Heather, who was running interview slots and generally shepherding people around. Primitai delivered- new rhythm section in place- a tight and focused set which was not dissimilar to the energetic performance I watched the band turn in at High Voltage Festival in London, 2011. Front man Guy Miller worked the crowd with aplomb, a muscular vocal and physical presence. Three albums in, the band are back and revitalised. I spoke to Primitai's Tipton/Downing (or in this case Srjdan and Sergio) team about where the band have been and where they are headed to now, along with their thoughts on the day:

What's your experience been like of SOS Festival today?

Srdjan: Yeah, it's been excellent. We always appreciate playing a festival which gives bands a chance to play. There are some big guns headlining and it has been a great experience so far: really well run, really good sound guys and stage hands. It's world class!

With three albums under your belts, how do you choose the set list?!

Srdjan: When you have released an album you establish pretty quickly the sort of “hits” if you like. We throw in album tracks, sometimes. At a festival, we try to hand out the hits- I say that in inverted commas! We're an underground band.

Sergio: A good thing is most of the songs, the audience really liked, so...

Album number four, can you give us a glimmer of when it might get here?

Sergio: Well, one thing we have realised over the years is that you have to keep up the momentum. We have booked the mastering for January, so we have a pretty tight deadline. If all goes to plan it should be out in May next year.

Last time I saw you guys was at High Voltage in 2011.  What are the difference between playing a big commercial festival like that and an underground festival like this?

Srdjan: It has been top notch here. This is no difference in terms of efficiency of running things. The sound was actually better here! The only difference was that it was bigger and we had to get taken to the stage in golf buggies.

Sergio: For me this has been the best time!

What are your touring  plans for next year?

Sergio: We are going to try to get on bills like this a couple of times a month. It's hard to schedule a week long tour.

Any bands left to play with who you haven't? A wish list is fine!

Sergio: For me, Symphony X

Srdjan: The legends: Accept, Saxon, well we have already played with them but I'd love to do it again!

Highlight gigs of this year?

Srdjan: We did a headline gig in Reading where I grew up. A pretty full venue and the crowd were great. Coming back ten years later was great. SOS festival has been great too.
Sergio: I really like festivals. I think for me, when we released the album the crowd was close- really close to us and I really liked it. After what the band had been through- we made the album!


Next up was Die No More, straight out of the metal Mecca of... Cumbria. I enjoyed their set hugely; turning is as they did a set of thrash/trad metal; mid-way between Priest and early Metallica/Testament. The band played hard and really won the crowd over, whose volume increased as their set went on. I must admit to never having heard the band prior to this gig, but I was impressed. Their closing self titled anthem was a festival highlight for me as the band got the crowd going and fully involved. Band's like Die No More are around in the UK underground- you just have to hear about them and a festival is the perfect way of doing so.

I caught up with bass player Martyn Simpson and lead guitarist Kev Smith after their set about the band's journey:

What has your experience been like!

KS: Hot. Hot and awesome!

MS: Very good crowd. Very receptive- a lot of fun.

KS: We played two years ago and we got a great response. This one was a great show. I think it got better as it went along.

Explain a bit about what the band is about, what genre you are operating in and what your inspiration is for doing it?

KS: A lot of people have labelled us thrash, but we are kind of between...

MS: Not everything is full tilt. There is a lot of stuff in between. With the EP we did there is a lot of melody and choruses.

KS: We got into the melodic side of it. Now we still have that thrash side, but we always had in the back of our mind to have catchy parts.

MS: It went away from “right we have a riff” to “How do we build around this?”

KS: We have the heavy side and the melodic edge.

What is next for the band?

KS: Well it's funny you should say that, because this is our last gig for a while! We have been at this for five years non stop and we need a break from the band. There have been times... how many times have holidays with family and this and that been put aside?!

MS: It's one of those never say never things. We're not going to stop playing music.

KS: We think we have written some great songs with the band and we don't want to lose that. We have built up over years of hard work. We just need some time to re-charge the batteries. We can count on one hand how many times we have cancelled a gig- really!

How did you move out of Cumbria to playing elsewhere?

KS: Well, Cumbria is one of the places where we least play! We went to Manchester a lot. We have been all over the place; Europe, down south, Wales, Scotland. If you can meet another band that likes you- we met Absolva. They took us under their wing and took us to Europe. Getting help like that is a massive boost.

MS: Great bunch of guys. Had a lot of good times.

Dream gigs: who would you play with?

KS: It could never happen for obvious reasons, but Pantera! I used to love that band and I still do.

MS: For me it would be Maiden!

Tough support gig there!

KS/MS: Oh yeah!

Are there any bands out there that you could recommend to readers of SLUDGELORD?

MS: Hellion Rising from Newcastle. Groove based, but a lot of Sabbath in there. They are on it every gig.

KS: A Jokers Rage and Massive Wagons.

Thanks guys.

Next up were Pythia, who I missed  most of  due to interviewing (from what I saw, they were professional and theatrical symphonic metal), so it was time for food and a patient wait for Northern Ireland's Screaming Eagles. Bearing in mind that Blaze Bayley was headlining and Primitai and Die No More are at the, shall we say, start of  the harder edge of the metal spectrum it was an excellent change of sound to hear these Norn Iron lads crank out some no frills hard rock. Coming on string with a mix of AC/DC and G 'n' R, these boys played an energetic set of world class sounding songs. From opener “Ready For The Fall” to the excerpt of “It's a Long Way To The Top”, they didn't put a foot wrong. Why they aren't up there with countrymen The Answer and the likes of Airbourne, I have no idea.

In between bands the festival has a second stage at the back of the hall, featuring acoustic acts only. What a great idea! I caught Gemma Fox and Bad Pollyanna who turned in entertaining short sets and kept the crowd's attention, armed with nothing more than acoustic guitar and voice. Credit to them.


Finally, the headliner was set to take the stage. Come 9.30pm, Blaze's side men (made up of members of Absolva) blasted into the title track from “Endure and Survive”. Blaze made a dramatic entrance, announcing his intentions to kill with metal in menacing style, before working the crowd with all the energy of a man who has fronted the greatest band in metal. From there, there was no let up; “Escape Velocity”, “Fight Back” and “Dark Energy” all featured. Blaze's era of Maiden was very well represented by “Futurereal”, “The Clansman”, “Man on the Edge” and “Lord of The Flies” (which closed the show). The band played the songs with bags of energy and quickened the tempos here and there to keep the momentum of the show going. Martin Mcnee played an engaging drum solo, while Karl Schramm handled bass parts very solidly indeed. Chris Appleton, the band's not so secret weapon shredded for all he was worth and was joined by brother Luke (also of Iced Earth) for the show's final songs.

Blaze himself was in full voice, entertaining the crowd and offering up some very heartfelt thank yous in between songs. Wolfsbane'sManhunt” even made its way into the set. With thirty years of songs under his belt, the set list was very well paced and cherry picked much of the best of his work; “Silicon Messiah” was represented, but notable for its absence was anything from “The Man Who Would Not Die” (one of his finest records). Frankly, though, to nit pick about a set list for a one and a half hour headline show would be ridiculous. The set was a triumph and I did not hear one word of dissent from people after- all enthusiastically agreeing that that it had been a triumph. Blaze immediately came out to the merch booth after playing- not so much as a breather- and began signing records, taking photos with fans and generally being an all around nice guy.

To sum up then, for £10 I got to see four and a bit bands, two acoustic acts and had a great day out. I was actually very kindly placed on the guest list for all three days, but I just could not do the Friday or Sunday; it's my loss, as I would love to have soaked up more of what the festival had to offer. This was undoubtedly the best independent festival I have attended in the UK and represented absolutely superb value for money.

If you fancy a metal fest next year and you don't fancy paying silly money to get piss wet through in a field in the Midlands, then get yourself to Manchester and try out bands in a friendly setting for true fans. Highly recommended.

ALBUM REVIEW: God Root - "Salt and Rot"

By: Mark Ambrose

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: July 11, 2017
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death (Digital) &
Independent (CD)

God Root have managed to craft one of the most ambitious, progressive, and emotionally harrowing offerings of 2017.  The cosmic journey of “Salt and Rot” is one that will leave you shaken to your fleeting, human core.

“Salt and Rot” CD//DD track listing

1. Reclamation
2. From Hounds to Silent Skies
3. The Peak is Our Threshold
4. Conscious Disease

The Review
Deep time is one of those concepts I return to over and over again, hovering between meditation and obsession.  In short, deep time (or geologic time) is the scale with which we measure planetary, galactic, or universal history.  It’s the point at which humanity becomes a fraction of an instant, where the movement of tectonic plates becomes the respiration of the Earth, where the lifetimes of stars and their clustered masses indicate the inevitable decay of those things we view as eternal.  This type of timeframe literally exists outside human understanding, and breaks down into various metaphors.  Two years, for instance, is infinitesimally small – a fraction of a fraction of a second to a planetary consciousness.  Yet in human reckoning, empires collapse, dynasties ascend, species go extinct.  And, for God Root, in a brief two year span, they’ve managed to follow up an impressive debut with a masterful LP that balances human struggle with transcendent melodies. “Salt and Rot” is a shamanic expedition into the heart of entropy itself, a pitch black encapsulation of universal decay, a record written in the altered consciousness of deep time.

Like their self-titled first release, “Salt and Rot” opens with a nearly instrumental piece: “Reclamation”.  Between the tribal drumming and monastic chants, the track begins like an ascent from primordial tidal pools.  Yet with Jordan Stiff’s electronic manipulations and feedback, timeframe becomes fuzzy – harsh noise melds the prehistoric and apocalyptic while the beat crawls toward dissolution.  From Hounds to Silent Skies” refocuses the collective around a churning sludge riff.  The tremolo lead is a chilling counterpoint to the sonic and emotional heft that bursts from the speakers.  This ineffable sorrow is by design: as part of a project dubbed “Let Go”, God Root’s friends and family entered the studio to contribute their most personal thoughts and memories, which were manipulated to preserve anonymity.  These ghostly echoes through “From Hounds to Silent Skies” transform the song into an exorcism rite.  Ross Bradley’s repeated bass figures highlight the unbearable tension and chaotic tightening of Grabosky’s drum fills, culminating in complete tonal collapse.  God Root gives their nameless vocal revenants and feedback free reign before a reprise that, with its clear lead harmonies, is triumphant and transcendent.

“The Peak is Our Threshold” is a noisy, textural freak out that recalls Wayne Bell & Tobe Hooper’sTexas Chain Saw Massacre soundtrack” – another momentous work that evokes corporeal and cosmic decay.  Grabosky’s drumming, like some of the best metal drummers, is equal parts pound and swing, and here he really gets to rip.  In fact, it’s jazz as fuck.  The relative excess leads perfectly into the measured precision of album-closer “Conscious Disease”.  A delirious mix of drums, bass, restrained vocals and spoken word builds for nearly two minutes before kicking into pure sludge head banger mode.  Once again, the unpredictable lead guitar work serves as perfect counterpoint to the earthy riffing (think Celtic Frost at their most avant-garde).  In its final two minutes, “Conscious Disease” aligns around minor key guitar harmonies and propulsive rhythms that feel like some final, terrible elevation beyond the merely human into some boundless outer realm.

Simply and without reservation, “Salt and Rot” is one of the best records I’ve heard this year, and a uniquely disorienting listen.  With its balance of inhuman tones and ritual chant, it feels simultaneously outside of history and utterly indebted to it.  Packing such epic arrangements into a 33 minute record feels impossible, as lesser acts have failed to pack similar ambitions into double disc efforts.   This paradox got me back to that concept of deep time.  For some reason, the writers and artists who have captured its essence are masters of economy: H.P. Lovecraft, Ursula K. Le Guin, and the musical mystics of God Root.  They have managed to craft one of the most ambitious, progressive, and emotionally harrowing offerings of 2017 and left me craving their next revelation.  God Root will be touring the US throughout August in support of this milestone with fellow northeastern sludge masters Sunrot.  If their live ritual approaches the sheer menacing power of their recorded output, quite a few people will be singing their praises this autumn.  Whether or not you manage to witness their dark magic in person, the cosmic journey of “Salt and Rot” is one that will leave you shaken to your fleeting, human core.

“Salt and Rot” is available on CD here and digitally here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook  || Instagram

Friday, 21 July 2017

VIDEO PREMIERE: Howling Giant deliver a brand new cosmic crusher with "The Pioneer"

Howling Giant, a progressive metal band that upped their Bostonian roots and moved out to the weird cosmos of the American South that is Nashville. No twangy guitars here and don’t even begin to think that Howling Giant are “whisky soaked” or “bluesy.” Howling Giant has a sound that is as clear and crisp as it is raw and spacey. They dive deep into the well of progressive rock as well as take off for joy rides into space. They mix these trips with a healthy dose of youthful humor and beer drinking, coming out on the other end sounding like the bastard child of Elder and Red Fang.

Their cleverly titled EP, and second release to date “Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 1,” released in August last year, was the start of a three part series and judging by songs such as Dirtmouth,” that we premiered the video of here, Howling Giant has the discipline to take their time fleshing out riffs without losing sight of the song, their energy and passion is felt throughout, which is the glue that held that EP together. Less than a year later and Howling Giant are back and August 25, 2017 will see the release of Part 2 of their “Black Hole Space Wizard trilogy.

So if you are one of the many that wishes Mastodon had continued in the cosmic, crushing progressive manner of “Crack The Skye” and “Blood Mountain”, and if you’re a fan of Elder, Red Fang, Melvins, Baroness, Rush then Howling Giant is your dream band! Today we’re very excited to debut a brand new new track from their forthcoming release “Black Hole Space Wizard: Part 2”, you can check out “The Pioneer” below.

Band info: Big Cartel || Bandcamp || Facebook || Youtube || Last.FM || Instagram

Thursday, 20 July 2017

6 NEW BANDS: Nikos Mixas' 666 Pack Review July 2017

By: Nikos Mixas
By: Joshua M. Wilkinson

It’s the July edition of THE SLUDGELORD’s 666 Pack Review!  We’re over halfway through the year and it’s about as hot as it’s going to get!  So….it’s time to drink beers and review bands!  If you’re new to this, each and every month we handpick 6 review submissions and critique them by only using 6 words, then we rate them on a scale from 1 to 666!  Check out our awesome (burp!) rating scale below: 

1 – I liken this band to having too much to drink.  I’m going to get sick… 
2 – Two is a lonely place to be…like drinking by myself. 
3 – If you want to be just average, like a pilsner, that’s cool with us.
4 – Four, four beers makes you good…just like fried pork rinds.   
5 – This is solid stuff and that’s not the alcohol speaking! 
666THE SLUDGELORD thinks that you deserve a keg party for your efforts! 

Even though there was some partaking of adult beverages during the review process, let’s make it clear that it was done responsibly…with metal!!!  THE SLUDGELORD is a picky listener…and doesn’t care what you think of his opinions….

Bonglord - “Bonglord” – (Ann Arbor, USA)    Rating: 2

Not even bongs can save them….

Ogimaa - “Desolation” – (Winnipeg, Canada)   Rating: 4

Sick guitar tone makes me happy.

Gamma Goat - “Nocturnal Harvest” – (Gilman, USA)   Rating: 3

Soundgarden meets The Sword meets beer.

Ripis  - “Monolith” – (Austin, USA)   Rating: 5

Windhand and Cough orgy with Pabst

Cutlass  - “Cutlass” – (United Kingdom)   Rating: 1

I changed my rating twice…ugh…

Elder Devil  - “Graves Among The Roots” – (Fresno, USA)   Rating: 666!

Went to the school of NAILS.

Band info: Bonglord || Ogimaa || Gamma Goat || Ripis  || Cutlass || Elder Devil