Wednesday, 20 March 2019

TRACK PREMIERE: 1782 deliver the perfect blend of stoner doom with "Oh Mary"



In 1782 Anna Göldi was condemned, she was tortured and killed, this was the last witchcraft trial in Europe. Fast forward to the present day and in honor of all the "witches" murdered by the bigoted minds of many generations, Italian duo Marco Nieddu and Gabriele Fancellu formed the stoner doom band 1782 and today at THE SLUDGELORD you can check out a brand new track by the band entitled “Oh Mary” which is taken from their debut album “1782” set for release on May 24th 2019 via Heavy Psych Sounds. Now douse those fires with water, turn up the volume and prepare to let your speakers die!!! You can preorder the album HERE




Band info: facebook

Thursday, 14 March 2019

VIDEO PREMIERE: Orso deliver the unique the intense and the monolithic with "Mitraillette"

Born again from the ashes of bands such as Kruger, Lausanne based instrumental post metalists, Orso play slow, thick and massive music, consisting of three guitars, a bass and drums, their music is tainted with dark melancholia.   Following up their debut EP “Primi Piatti” back in 2016, Orso are set to release their debut full length on the 5th April, entitled “Paninoteca” via Czar of Crickets and today we’re excited to debut a video for the track “Mitraillette” taken from the album. 
Preorders are available HERE and you can check out the video in full below. 

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Friday, 8 March 2019

VIDEO PREMIERE: Progressive sludge trio Everest Queen debut "Blood That Binds The Iliad"


Hey folks.  I promised you a double helping of riffs today and that is exactly what we’re going to do with another video exclusive from an amazing band who I think you are all going to love.  I am very excited to welcome progressive sludge trio EVEREST QUEEN to the SLUDGELORD.
On the 18th April 2019 EVEREST QUEEN will issued their debut full length entitled “Dead Eden”, and having heard many different versions of the record, from an early mix to the finished mastered version, “Dead Eden” is built upon desne thick riffs that crush, swing and shift from all angles. EVEREST QUEEN are elegant song writers because they undertake a more progressive approach to their songs which in turn enables their compositions to twist and turn, their music is like a mind blowing collision styles ploughed from bands such as Mastodon, Gojira, Isis, Baroness and Conjurer but all of which flow seamlessly together.
“Dead Eden” will be self-released by EVEREST QUEEN on CD and Digital formats on April 18th 2019 with pre-orders being taken HERE.  But let us not forget about dem riffs, check out the fantastic performance video for the track “Blood That Binds The Iliad” below.  Turn it up loud and watch your speakers die!!

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

VIDEO PREMIERE: Lisburn City death doom ensemble The Crawling debut "Rancid Harmony"


Happy Friday folks and what better way to kick start the weekend than offering out some righteous riffs and today we have two brilliant bands for your attention and if I am not mistaken, they’re both making their first appearances at the mighty SLUDGELORD.  First up is The Crawling from Lisburn city, Northern Ireland a band whose music personifies heft and the might of the bludgeoning riff, added to that a mix of guttural vocal to combine melancholy with weight, they churn out a heavy, doom/death ensemble.
The closure of 2018 would see the release of their sophomore album entitled ‘Wolves and the Hideous White” a reflective batch of songs that deals with the human desire to belong, the sacrifices made to be part of someone, disillusion from loss of self, and the final inability to escape.  “Wolves and the Hideous White” is available to order HERE but for now  less chitter chatter and let us deal out some riffs.  Check out the brand new video from The Crawling entitled “Rancid Harmony” which you can check out in full below as well as a band insight for the track. 
“Is experiencing a connection with someone on any level better than none at all? Rancid Harmony reflects the facade of enjoyment, the dance we sell to the world, when inside it’s nothing but rot, and everyone sees it.”


Band info: facebook

Thursday, 7 March 2019

TRACK PREMIERE: Baltimore Sludge/Grind Addicts MUSKET HAWK get destructive with "Dios Mio"



Baltimore Sludge/Grind Addicts MUSKET HAWK will release their long-awaited third album, “Upside of Sick” on March 29 via Unholy Anarchy Records. Continuing to plumb the depths of extremity, MUSKET HAWK seeks to annihilate any semblance of tranquillity and bruise the psyches of fans and unsuspecting victims alike. “Upside of Sick” scrapes its way through sludge reverberations, while provoking chaos through grindcore bursts with a punk aura that is as undeniable as it is palpable. 
So grab hold of something immovable and hang on for dear life as we debut a brand new track “Dios Mio” which you can check out below.  Turn it up and watch your speakers die. Pre orders are available HERE




Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Magic Circle, “Departed Souls”

By: Richard Maw


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 29/03/2019
Label: 20 Buck Spin




For those looking for a true retro sound, this will not disappoint.  70's to early 80's style doom rock- akin to Sabbath, early Pentagram, Witchfinder General and Pagan Altar, It's a quality release and one worthy of checking out.


 


“Departed Souls” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Departed Souls
2. I've Found My Way To Die
3. Valley of the Lepers
4. A Day Will Dawn Without Nightmares
5. Nightland
6. Gone Again
7. Bird City Blues
8. Hypnotized

The Review:

Magic Circle are on their second full length here; 70's to early 80's style doom rock- akin to Sabbath, early Pentagram, Witchfinder General and Pagan Altar. Vocalist Brendan Radigan is the current vocalist for Pagan Altar, so the reference point is a close one.

This reeks of old school through the sound, bass lines, delivery and production. For those looking for a true retro sound, this will not disappoint. The melodies in the title track opener and “I've found My Way To Die” are strong and will burrow their way into your psyche for sure. The album takes in 70's influences beyond metal; Jethro Tull and Wishbone Ash can be heard in the textures of the album, with softer tracks such as “A Day Will Dawn Without Nightmares” being a fine example of this broader pallet (see also Led Zeppelin in their quieter moments).

The more straightforward hard rock of “Nightland” also pays off and highlights the band's US origins (you could be forgiven for mistaking this outfit for geezers from England... but, no). Over the course of eight tracks, the band do experiment with both instrumentation, structure and dynamics. Magic Circle are not just a one trick pony, as “Gone Again” demonstrates with its shades of Coverdale era Deep Purple and Rainbow. The final three tracks (well, two and one interlude) are similarly varied and successful.

This is backwards looking retro proto doom/metal. It's a quality release and one worthy of checking out. It won't change your life, or replace your Pagan Altar albums, but it is good stuff nonetheless.




“Departed Souls” is available HERE

Monday, 4 March 2019

6 NEW BANDS: THE SLUDGELORD's "666 Pack Review" (February 2019)

By: Nikos Mixas

Well this year is already off to a quick start and here we are with February 2019’s edition of the THE SLUDGELORD’s “666 Pack Review”.  It’s been a dreary winter so far but the submissions have been quite the opposite.  Let’s see what arrived in THE SLUDGELORD’s inbox for this month.  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 dreary/doom inspired rating scale below: 

1 – Die.
2 – No one will remember your band after our review.  
3 – Can you be average and miserable?  You just nailed it.    
4 – The power of your darkness compels us.         
5 – Is there a thing such as happy gloom.  If there is, that’s what this is all about.  
666 THE SLUDGELORD bathes in tears of melancholy despondency and has only the upmost sadness from this offering of despair.

Caveat:  Even though the “666 Pack Review” is meant to offer humorous critique, there are no safe spaces here and your gripes will only make you sound like a bellyacher.  THE SLUDGELORD is a picky listener…and doesn’t care what you think of his opinions….

1). MoYan “Hypnic Fall” (Strasbourg, France)  Rating: 5

Here we go, some instrumental depression.



2). Lost Relics “1st” (Denver, U.S.A.)   Rating: 3

A rawer version of Black Tusk.

 
3). The Valley Ritual “Remembrance” (Orlando, U.S.A.)   Rating: 4

Black Metal Mastodon without Disneyworld influences



4). Mycelium “Disassemble Reconstruct” (London, U.K.)   Rating: 3

Instrumental Black Metal depression.  Production lacks.   

 
5). Void Tripper “Sabbath Worshipping Doom” (Fortaleza, Brazil) Rating: 2

The perennial opening band right here…

 
6). Seed of the Sorcerer, Womb of the Witch “Spell Book I: Ceridwen” (Denver, U.S.A.)   Rating: 666!

Guitar tone alone worth the 666!  

Band info: MoYan || The Valley Ritual || Void Tripper || Seed of the Sorcerer, Womb of the Witch

ALBUM REVIEW: Fange, "Punir"

By: Charlie Butler


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 01/03/2019
Label: Throatruiner




The spite of Fange's aural barrage is both terrifying and exhilarating, enhanced by an oppressive, ominous atmosphere and is highly recommended for anyone who wants to hear crusty sludge being twisted into weird new forms.




“Punir” CD//DD//LP track listing:


1. Ceinturon
2. Chien De Sang
3. Les Boyaux De La Princesse
4. Opinel
5. Il Reconnaîtra Les Siens
6. Maintien De L'Ordre
7. Second Soleil

The Review:

Fange are setting the bar high for filthy heaviness in 2019 with new LP “Punir”. Familiar elements can be detected within the Rennes quartet’s sonic onslaught but they bring them together to create their own unique brand of horrible noise. 

Ceinturon” rips into life with a cloud of buzzing evil riffage that sets expectations for a no-nonsense crusty death metal hellride. While a lot of “Punir” delivers on these expectations, there is a whole lot of other unexpected nastiness going on too. The previously mentioned opener and “Les Boyaux De La Princesse” take the listener on intense journeys into the heart of darkness, melding punk metal filth with lumbering weighty sludge. The spite of Fange's aural barrage is both terrifying and exhilarating, enhanced by an oppressive, ominous atmosphere. The ever-present cloud of reverb that cloaks proceedings and the heavy use of chorus-laden lead guitar creates an awkward, uneasy feel that sits somewhere between gothy post-punk, black metal and noise rock. This strangeness serves to intensify and amplify the surrounding carnage and lends “Punir” a very distinctive sound.

Opinel” and “Maintien De L'Ordre” offer two brief left turns into pure noise, agonised howls and programmed beats. Although short, these tracks demonstrate the full breadth of Fange's sonic arsenal and could easily support an album of their own. The pay-off of “Opinel” in particular begs for more material like this, coming across like Death Grips being played through a stereo that has been thrown down a flight of stairs, then set on fire. The climax of closer “Second Soleil” utilises these noisy electronic elements within the context of their more metallic material to great effect. The unexpectedly subdued finale creates a hypnotic air of dread by opting for a slow floor tom heavy thud which soon becomes swamped by distorted beats and rising tides of hissing static. 

Punir” is a punishing release from Fange, highly recommended for anyone who wants to hear crusty sludge being twisted into weird new forms.

Punir” is available HERE




Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Saturday, 2 March 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Overkill, "The Wings of War"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/02/2019
Label: Nuclear Blast 



Overkill have never made a bad album and with “The Wings of War” they have made another good one. I expected nothing less and once again Overkill have delivered


“The Wings of War” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Last Man Standing 5:49
2. Believe In The Fight 5:03
3. Head Of A Pin 5:56
4. Bat Shit Crazy 4:33
5. Distortion 6:09
6. A Mother's Prayer 3:58
7. Welcome To The Garden State 4:42
8. Where Few Dare To Walk 5:25
9. Out On The Road-Kill 4:41
10. Hole In My Soul 4:47

The Review:

Overkill roar back into action two years after “The Grinding Wheel”. I reviewed that beast at the time and judged it to be a continuation of their superb run of form since 2010's “Ironbound”. “The Grinding Wheel” was somewhat meandering in song structure and perhaps dipped just a little before the middle of the record in terms of energy and catchiness.

“The Wings of War” sees the band with a new drummer- Jason Bittner of Shadows Fall fame- who was expected by many to bring the band a new enthusiasm and perhaps some musical changes. Ron Lipnicki was the best drummer Overkill had up until his departure and his contributions in terms of energy and bringing the real thrash back cannot be overstated. It was Lipnicki, in my view, who played on the band's very best records and his precise and wildly energetic style was a major plus point from “Immortalis” onwards.

Bittner brings similar energy and plays a blinder here- lots of fills where the kick drums reinforce the stick patterns and lots of fills where the hands and feet answer each other. Bittner is the state of the art in terms of thrash drumming and the band could not have found a better replacement.

Regarding the rest of the record, Overkill have continued to keep their output quality astonishingly high. The first four tracks are absolute rippers. The opener “Last Man Standing” builds via a machine like intro to a classic Overkill thrasher, “Believe In The Fight” is more varied in tempos but similarly aggressive. “Head of a Pin” starts slower but introduces a familiarly swinging time feel that Overkill excel at when they use it. “Bat Shit Crazy” is a heavy and catchy beast and made for the live arena. So far, business as usual.

If “The Wings of War” differs from recent records it is in song length- only one track exceeds six minutes and most are concisely under five minutes. “Distortion”, the longest track is also one that I have not taken to yet; it is slower, meaner, moodier... nothing wrong with that as I love Overkill's 'different' albums such as “I Hear Black”- which was a Sabbath influenced murky metal record. However, the long intro leads to... another intro before the track starts its insistent mid tempo groove. To be fair, “Distortion” is not a bad track but it does break up the momentum of the previous 40% of the album. It has a killer ending, but the hooks here just don't do it for me. The distorted bass that heralds “A Mother's Prayer” is  a much needed wake up call, but again the track does not thrash as hard as the opening four tracks. It's still thrash, but with a hefty dose of traditional heavy metal in there as well.

The comparative energy dip of the preceding two tracks is consigned neatly to the past when “Welcome To The Garden State” kicks off after a textbook “Noo Joisey” sample. Overkill excels at this type of thrash/punk hybrid when they choose to write them. It leaps out of the speakers and really kicks off the latter half of the record. Encompassing as it does the band's pride in their home state and their fuck-you-too attitude it promises to be a big live staple and a fan favourite at home and abroad. A killer that doesn't take itself too seriously.

The final three tracks keep the quality high and the material varied. This is not a straightforward thrash album like, say, “Electric Age” and instead mixes the band's thrash, groove and Sabbath influenced material to good effect. “Where Few Dare To Walk” is a good example of a slower Overkill power house. It's moody and dark and it WORKS. The track is more heavy metal than thrash and those seeking an adrenaline hit are pointed to the album opener, but this is quality metal.

The band go for the throat on “Out On The Road-Kill” and turn in a song that would have fitted neatly on 90's crusher “From The Underground and Below”. It grooves and hammers its point home with thrash and finesse- not to mention a killer solo.

The album closes strongly with “Hole In My Soul” which features a kind of smorgasbord of the album as a whole- it has a moody intro, thrash tempos, a fair amount of melody in the vocals and superb individual performances from all band members. Bittner's drums are mechanically precise and superbly produced. The triggered sound of previous records is present here and if you listen to early thrash albums these days, you can hear just how much extreme metal has benefited from technological advancements in recording. Verni's bass is as crushing as ever while the guitar duo of Linsk and Tailer is rock solid as per. Bobby Blitz Ellsworth continues to defy age and gravity with his soaring screams and is the major recognisable factor in Overkill's sound.

Overall, then, “The Wings of War” represents a continuation of the run of form that Overkill have held for the last decade while also ringing the changes in terms of variety of material. This is a more melodic and slightly more restrained work than the previous four albums. In my view, it is as strong as “The Grinding Wheel” but does not quite reach the godly heights of “Ironbound”, “Electric Age” or “White Devil Armory”. For a band going since 1980 (!) whose frontman is pushing 60 years old, the energy levels on display here are incredible. Overkill have never made a bad album and with “The Wings of War” they have made another good one. I expected nothing less and once again Overkill have delivered

“The Wings of War” is available HERE

Band info: official || facebook


Thursday, 28 February 2019

ALBUM PREMIERE: DUN RINGILL offer fans a dark and doomy "Welcome"


When The Order of Israfel took a one year break from September 2017, the rhythm section Patrik Andersson Winberg (Bass) and drummer Hans Lilja (also in Lotus) grabbed the chance to create new music again together with Patrik's old band mate from the Doomdogs era, Tomas Eriksson (Intoxicate and ex Grotesque).
To make this exciting project of DUN RINGILL as great as possible, the band teamed up with Gothenburg's fellow musicians, guitarists Tommy Stegemann (Silverhorse), Jens Florén (also in Lommi & ex- live guitarist for Dark Tranquillity) and Patric Grammann (SFT, Neon Leon). Of what started as a dark and doomy jam project with Nordic folk influences, should become something bigger: This Friday, March 1st, DUN RINGILL will release their first full-length album, “Welcome”, with Argonauta Records! Ahead of its official release, you can stream the album now and in full, exclusively with THE SLUDGELORD “Welcome” is issued on CD, LP and Digital Download formats  and is available to purchase at: www.argonautarecords.com
Says the band “We are super stoked that we finally will be able to show the world our beloved debut album that we recorded last year and we are extra happy that The mighty Sludgelord are streaming this beast exclusively before it is released officially!”




Band info: facebook

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: The Air Turned To Acid, "Black Zen Instruction"


By: Chris Bull

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 20/12/2018
Label: Independent



'Black Zen Instruction' is a superlative of sorts, used to describe the unearthly, off kilter song structures and relentless brutality this band bring to the table.




“Black Zen Instruction” DD track listing:

1). 4 Combined
2). Hounds
3). Pinstripe Grey with Party Welts
4). Anketell Brewer
5). It’s A Long Walk to Coney Island
6). Gutterpunk
7). The Tent Murders


The Review:



I'll admit it; I absolutely love The Air Turned To Acid. As human beings, they rank highly as some of the most genuine and friendly I've met. As musicians, they're phenomenally talented and oozing with the kind of creativity that most bands can only dream of, churning out riffs that will have guitarists saying 'why didn't I think of that?'

'Black Zen Instruction' is a superlative of sorts, used to describe the unearthly, off kilter song structures and relentless brutality TATTA bring to the table. For a debut album and their 2nd proper release after the 2015 split with Tides Of Sulfur (my band, coincidentally), this is stomach churningly good. The tempo switches on 'Hounds' and the ferocity of 'Pinstripe Grey With Party Welts' makes it hard to comprehend how TATTA, a band that rehearse only a handful of times a year, can sound so cohesive and focussed. Vocalist Rich Repper brings a Eugene Robinson like unpredictability, most notably to tracks like 'Anketell Brewer' and 'Gutterpunk', howling, growling, screaming and barking like a man possessed while knowing when to let the guitar work of Will Saunders and Leo Stuart shine through with their mathematical view of sludge riffs and jarring disharmonies a key component of their sound. Just listen to 'The Tent Murders' and you'll understand why this band is deserving of the phrase "criminally underrated".

The Air Turned To Acid are a band who are often overlooked and underappreciated in today's metal world. By no means is this a slight on them, they out play and outperform many of their peers and offer something truly different in heavy music, something that is sorely lacking. Do yourselves a favour; listen to this right fucking now!



“Black Zen Instruction” is available HERE




Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Monday, 25 February 2019

ALBUM REVIEW: Usurper, "Lords Of The Permafrost"

By: Richard Maw


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/03/2019
Label: Soulseller Records



“Lords of the Permafrost” represents the best comeback any fan of the band could have hoped for after so long away.  Slick and primitive in equal measure, the album represents primal aggression delivered expertly. Recommended.


“Lords of The Permafrost” CD//DD//LP track listing:


1). Skull Splitter
2). Beyond the Walls of Ice
3). Lords of the Permafrost
4). Cemetery Wolf
5). Warlock Moon
6). Gargoyle
7). Black Tide Rising
8). Mutants of the Iron Age


The Review:


Usurper return! These Chicago warlords were hard at the coal face through the 90s and early 2000s before splitting around 2007 (I think). I recall reading a lengthy explanation of vocalist General Diabolical Slaughter's resignation from the band many years ago in Terrorizer that went along the lines of the fact that he “was done” and now only wanted to play video games and smoke weed. Perhaps the whole band felt the same way a few years later?!

No matter, they are back and sounding as vicious as ever. Naturally, the band benefit from modern recording techniques as demonstrated by the clear yet very gnarly production on offer on “Lords of The Permafrost”. The opening of “Skull Splitter” recalls the early days of death metal- bands often got in some calm before the storm- but from there on out, this is heavy and feral stuff. Blackened thrash/death probably sums these guys up and they do it with all the commitment of Venom at their best. There are some huge riffs, great vocals and inventive drum patterns (bonus points for the use of a closed high hat).

The chug of “Beyond The Walls of Ice” sees the band demonstrate their ability to still get necks snapping with a serious groove. It's good to see the band stick to fantasy and supernatural themes; it's just not the kind of forum for nuanced political criticism or anything socio-political. This is metal, as purely forged as any.

The title track is a rolling tank, “Cemetery Wolf” is aggressive and rabid, “Warlock Moon” mixes tempos and high and low pitched riffing to good effect. “Gargoyle” and “Black Tide Rising” continue a fairly furious assault before the manic “Mutants of The Iron Age” brings the carnage up one more level before the album concludes.

“Lords of the Permafrost” represents the best comeback any fan of the band could have hoped for after so long away. This is a must for fans of Venom, Entombed, Whipstriker, Skeletonwitch etc. Slick and primitive in equal measure, the album represents primal aggression delivered expertly. Recommended.

“Lords Of The Permafrost” is available HERE





Band info: bandcamp || facebook