Thursday 30 April 2015

Faith No More - 'Sol Invictus' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18 May 2015
Label: Ipecac Recordings/
Reclamation Recordings

‘Sol Invictus’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. "Sol Invictus"
2. "Superhero"
3. "Sunny Side Up"
4. "Separation Anxiety"
5. "Cone of Shame"
6. "Rise of the Fall"
7. "Black Friday"
8. "Motherfucker"
9. "Matador"
10. "From the Dead"

Faith No More is

Mike Patton | vocals
Jon Hudson | Guitars
Billy Gould | Bass
Roddy Bottum | Keyboards
Mike Bordin | Drums


‘Sol Invictus’ is an album that only Faith No More could have produced. Unique and flavoursome, it bastardises and mutilates a plethora of styles and moods, moulding them to the shape of their own distinct musical mantra. Patton is on tremendous form, his caustic and witty lyrics in many ways the centrepiece to the record. He's the figurehead, the father figure even, of a dysfunctional family befitting of the silver screen; such is the excitement of the sparks the interweaving personalities of this band create when living alongside one another. But it's that perfect disharmony that we as the viewer, or indeed listener in this instance, love to see, it's what got us hooked in the first place.

The keys of Roddy Bottum are the musical voicing of the creepy uncle of the family, he acts dramatically, forcefully even, when all else in the house is quiet. When the atmosphere is rowdy meanwhile, you'll find him yearning sorrowfully out the way in the corner. The rhythm section is either side to the multi-personality of the Mother Hen. Half worried and frantic carer, half the proud and headstrong that, when called upon, will always pull her family through whatever hardship may come their way. Jon Hudson's guitars are very much the naughty son, the high octane, prank-making wild child who never does as he's told. Musically there's a shadowy moodiness to it that, somehow, couples itself with an edgy, punk driven energy when it should be a confusing juxtaposition. Similarities between guitars and keyboards are innate, and so often tangle up in the most inspiring of ways.

As a collective they are forever unpredictable. They slap you in the face when you expected a kick in the balls, they'll drop a punchline just as anger bubbles uncontrollably out of your throat. Lest we forget that 18 years is a hell of a long time away from the limelight. Sure, they've been ever-present on the European festival circuit since their 2009 reformation, a resurrection crowned with a headline performance at Donnington Park, but they've not been present like this in nearly two decades. Of course, adrenalised journalists will be dipping their quills in their finest ink to wax lyrical about how this 40 minute long record might just be one of the finest comebacks in rock n' roll history - and they'll be too quick to drop that clichéd and devalued c word - but I don't think we should seem so surprised. ‘Sol Invictus’ is an album that only Faith No More can make because there is simply no one like them. They're special, undeniably so; they don't fit into any category you may try and box them into, they swim upstream, alien to any contemporary movement that flows around them. As a record, it goes to great lengths to confirm that, but it's all done so effortlessly. They make 18 years in limbo worth it, more so forgotten about entirely, the second that first, crooked piano chord sways into motion like a wind-up toy.

The whole thing plays out very theatrically, raising its curtains to the dark and twisted inner workings of the Californian quintet's brain.  But at the same time, it's also a very delicate beginning. You'd think after such a long time away from the foray would see them turbo charged and going for the jugular from the off, but no. It emphasises the band's eccentric nature, never once do they fall in line with your predictions and it works brilliantly. The sulking theatrics of the title track have you hanging on a thread, waiting for the next move and it's one which comes in the form of an instant classic. ‘Superhero’ is a ravenous, blood thirsty monster of a song, driven by the apathetic spit of Patton's lyrics. The band are tightly coiled around one another here, an explosion of fast paced guitars, bass and drums who's aural submission timelessly makes room for an intelligent melodicism that seduces you like Eve with the apple.

What's most impressive about ‘Sol Invictus’ is how the band are able to resonate every mood, style and aesthetic that makes up this most complex of mosaic sounds without every letting the momentum slip. ‘Sunny Side Up’ and ‘Black Friday’ unmask their more poppy, light hearted side with hip shaking rhythms and a bright musicality while the veneering and venomous ‘Matador’ sounds at points like a dark flamenco musical, a lavishly decorated stage and rapt audience jolting into your imagination in an instant. The grinding bass and snarling vocals on ‘Separation Anxiety’ and the contemptuously crazed and evil ‘Cone of Shame’ then, are very much the flip side of the album’s happier songs. The former unravels maniacally, every spec of the canvas painted with just the right colour in just the right places, the drum fills are on point, the crescendo lurching impeccably. The latter though, is simply a filthy, love-at-first-listen kind of song. It leaves you breathless. ‘Motherfucker’ is a piece of nightmarish prose from Patton, backed suitably by his cohorts. It’s poetry. If Jim Morrison was still around today, he’d be writing songs like this.

You could sit and list every element of spectacle about this album, every moment that grips you vice-like – such is the attention to detail here. But all you really need to know is this: ‘Sol Invictus’ sounds like Faith No More and no one else. It’s diverse, thrilling. The burdening weight of expectancy may have hinged on their shoulders, the desperation from the fans of this record being worth the slow and painful wait, but Faith No More didn’t even seem to notice. They perform like they never went away and, when it sucks you in, it honestly feels like they never did.   

Words: Phil Weller

‘Sol Invictus’ is available USA and Europe

For more information:

Tuesday 28 April 2015

The Sludgelord News: Weedeater unleash new track called "Bully"

WEEDEATER are now premiering a new track taken from their forthcoming full-length 'Goliathan', which has been scheduled for release on May 18th. The intoxicating crusher "Bully" is exclusively streaming via these official media partners:

Metal Obsession (AU)
Rock Hard (DE)
Rockzone (ES)
Inferno (FI)
VS-Webzine (FR)
Rockoverdose (GR)
Metal Wani (IN)
Andfari (IS)
Eternal Terror (NO)
Against Magazine (PT)
Zero Tolerance (UK)

The band commented in an indisputable way regarding their new album: "In terms of 'Goliathan' the listeners should prepare themselves for what may possibly be one of the best five WEEDEATER records to date!"

'Goliathan' is already on pre-sale via the Season of Mist shop at this link:

Track listing is as follows:

01. Processional
02. Goliathan
03. Cain Enabler
04. Bow Down
05. Battered & Fried
06. Claw of the Sloth
07. Bully
08. Joseph (All Talk)
09. Reprise
10. Benaddiction 

WEEDEATER have previously announced new European dates in May and June. The notorious Southern fried sludge outfit will hit the road accompanied by partners in crime TODAY IS THE DAY. The rampage will have ignition at Temple Fest in Bristol, UK on May 29th and continue to steam through ten more countries until the final show at the renowned Hellfest in Clisson, France on the 21st of June.

Please see below for a complete list of concerts.

Source: Season of Mist

Red Sun Festival: Three Days of Heavy in the Heart of Cardiff

If there's one scene in South Wales that has forever refused to die, it's where the bone-crushing riff and the beard wearers thrive: The metal scene. A scene all about heavy as hell music in small, sweaty rooms designed to blow your ears out, all the while infused with a rock n’ rolling groove driven fuzz that you just can’t argue with.

It's been here for as long as anyone here can tell you, forever finding its way into a select few venues, before often being booted back out. It has lived under bridges, in churches, and in basements of bars that don't really want you to know what's going on down there. As far as establishing a permanent home is concerned, well, it does have some long term friends, but let's just say that there's a long list of supportive venues that are sadly no longer with us, and a shorter list of venues who are seen to currently support the scene regularly on a local level.

Has any of this affected the strength of the scene? Pfft! No. Difficulties such as that don’t stop the people who make and those who mosh along to the music. The scene has stood strong with a grimace and low strung guitar throughout, it has spawned and said goodbye to countless bands who have gone down in local legend status – Taint, Diabolo, & The Witches Drum to name but a few. They’ve toured the land and these days, finally, it seems the scene has actually set up shop on Womanby street, with The Moon Club, Fuel Rock Club, and Clwb Ifor Bach; all now well-known venues for hosting a night out that confirms your need for earplugs.

It would seem fitting then, that these three venues will soon be the destination for Red Sun Festival, Cardiff's first ever, multi-venue, strictly heavy music festival. Inspired by the likes of London's Desertfest and Holland's Roadburn - amongst many of which have sprouted up in the past few years - Red Sun aims to once and for all put the South Wales heavy scene on the map and establish a yearly celebration of all things doom-laden.

Running over the May bank holiday (1st-3rd) the idea behind the festival is to witness “heavy music in all its forms,” explains the events bookings manager Owen Bowley. “The event is also intended to work as a UK showcase of the underground heavy music scene, with all 65 bands hailing from these shores. How many modern festivals out there can boast that?

“We’ll be taking a certain emphasis on the talent emerging in and around South Wales, interspersing the bands who we think are really making waves around these parts, along with the bands who we've been really wanting to bring down here for a while now. Personal highlights include local sludge lords Hogslayer, who are currently making stupidly large waves in the scene. London's Steak, signed to Napalm records, and whose recent album, recorded at Thunder Underground Studios where the albums such as ‘Songs For The Deaf’ were born, even carries a visit from rock royalty in Kyuss front-man John Garcia. We also have Bristol’s drone giants Thought Forms, who are just out of this world, Oxfords Desert Storm, who are practically becoming a household name for stoner-rock, and Hastings' Admiral Sir Cloudesely Shovell, who are basically 70's rock n’ roll personified,” Owen continues concluding: “This doesn't even begin to explain the vast depth of genres the weekend boasts, there is something for anyone who isn't afraid of a distorted guitar and we're keen to provide something for the more extreme elements of metal too. We haven't focused on putting on a few 'big name' headline acts to wow people into buying a ticket, the aim was to have a consistent line-up right from the moment the doors open 'til when we all stumble out at the end of the day. The massive bonus of the festival is that it is being spread across several stages hosted by a number of venues, all of which are literally one minute apart from each other. Because of this we have taken great care to map out the timings and actually make it possible that, should someone really wanted to, they could actually catch some of every single band on the line-up.”

As if that weren't enough, the organisers are also intent on driving home the link between the heavy music scene and the extremely talented artists involved within the bands. All artwork for the festival is hand drawn and designed by 'The Dead Hand', and it features an evolving set of psychedelic monsters settling into a mountain backdrop for a pilgrimage of metal. There will also be a collection of artists sharing their wares at the festival, with the hope of something mind-twisting to look at wherever you go over the weekend. Festival artist Gareth Day explains “There has always been such a strong link between art and metal, and it is as interlinked throughout the UK as much as the bands are. Almost every underground metal band has a ridiculously talented artist within the band, drawing their album covers and posters, designing their t-shirts, etc, and we hope to really show that off that talent alongside the music itself here at Red Sun.”

Red Sun Festival takes place on the first May bank holiday (1st-3rd), in The Moon Club, Fuel Rock Bar, & Clwb Ifor Bach. Tickets are £20adv, and for more info go to

Words: Phil Weller

Monday 27 April 2015

Shakhtyor - 'Tunguska' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 24/04/2015
Label: Cyclone Empire

‘Tunguska’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Baryon 09:43
2. Pechblende 03:42
3. Zerfall 10:28
4. Schlagwetter 07:01
5. Tunguska 07:24
6. Solaris  09:50

Shakhytor is:

Christian Müller | Bass
Nils Langbehn | Drums
Christian Herzog | Guitars, F/X


Shakhtyor return with more rumbling post/alt. Metal instrumentals. The German group follow up their self titled opus with six tracks of morbid complexity and darkness. Opener “Baryon” sets the tone with creepy dynamics and truly devastating bass sound.

“Pechblende” offers up a sound effect laden intro and then more angular instrumental sounds over its (relatively) short playing time. All of the tracks here are over seven minutes in length except for this one.

“Zerfall” is ominous and brooding and builds a real atmosphere before punishing sections of grinding riffage. “Schlagwetter” mines similar inspiration and again uses dynamics amidst the carnage to de-construct and rebuild. The title track is a noisy beast while the nigh on ten minutes of “Solaris” finishes this impressive album strongly and allows the musicians to spread their wings further for the playing time.

If you like this type of thing (fans of Today is The Day is a possible reference point) then you will love this album... if you are not a fan instrumental post metal then it won't change your mind, even though it should. In short, this is a fine album of heavy and atmospheric instrumental post metal. I welcome it.

Words by: Richard Maw

‘Tunguska’ is available here

For more information:

Sorcerer - ‘In The Shadow of The Inverted Cross’ (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 24/3/2015
Label: Metal Blade Records

‘In The Shadow of The Inverted Cross’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. The Dark Tower of the Sorcerer
02. Sumerian Script
03. Lake of the Lost Souls
04. Exorcise the Demon
05. In the Shadow of the Inverted Cross
06. Prayers for a King
07. The Gates of Hell
08. Pagans Dance

Sorcerer is:

Anders Engberg | Vocals
Kristian Niemann | Guitars
Peter Hallgren | Guitars
Johnny Hagel | Bass
Robert Iversen | Drums


Sorcerer are something of an oddity as they were originally around the underground 25 years ago with a couple of demos. Being Swedish, I suppose they were overshadowed by the death acts of the time... Well, here they return/kick off with their first full album proper. It's epic doom of the organic variety. I was instantly reminded of Dio-era Sabbath on hearing the opener “The Dark Tower of The Sorcerer” and this feeling continued with tracks such as “Lake of The Lost Souls”. This is classic epic doom- with a 70's/80's vibe to boot. The leads are exemplary, the vocals are stellar and the band as a whole plays naturally and with conviction.

The songs are long and often feature grandiose hooks and riffs. If you have any interest in Dio, Sabbath with Dio (early or later incarnation), Rainbow's “Rising”, or any kind of doom that is based in fantasy rather than street themes, then this is essential listening. It's dark, fantastical and supremely well executed. A track by track run down simply is not necessary, because the description above tells you all you need to know. Classic doom, in every sense of the word.

Words by: Richard Maw

‘In The Shadow of The Inverted Cross’ is available now

For more information:

Gladiators Eat Fire - 'Avant Garage' EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 25/04/2015
Label: Alive & Breathing Records

‘Avant Garage’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Shapeshifter
2). Smoke Tactics
3). Vertical Event Horizon
4). Duke Mongrel
5). Bohemian Decadence

Gladiators Eat Fire is

Brian Kim
Mark Blazer
Curtis Parker
Ian Iddings


Since the release of their explosive debut EP in 2008 “Keep The Beat Alive” GEF have been gaining attention with their intensely passionate live performances. Their 2010 full length, self-titled album, made clear inroads into deeper, experimental, musical territory, following with the raw and unfiltered “Psychedelic Hogwash” in 2012 and performing at various festivals including Chaospalooza they once more emerge from the shadows to uncurl, stretch and unleash the culmination of over half a decade or aural experimentation upon the world.

Seattle based hard-core rockers Gladiators Eat Fire (GEF) unveil their upcoming record; available from 25th April via Alive and Breathing Records it features some of their most ambitious material to date, ferocious, unique and psychedelic it holds a lot of promise.

Recorded and mixed by renowned engineer Matt Bayles (Mastadon, The Sword, Botch) and mastered by Ed Brooks (Pearl Jam, Portugal, The Man) they harness all their talents to throw forth ‘Avant Garage’. A five song offering that transcends from heavy rock riffs to full on psychadelia smoothly and with aplomb.

‘Shapeshifter’ immediately slaps you in the face with a heavy rock riff, insistent drum work and sludge filled bass that enrobes the vocals superbly. The stoner rock slant adds intrigue, the metal screams whilst short lived adding an extra layer to the already fully loaded base.

‘Smoke Tactics’ brings an immediate change, yet one that sits well, more metal screamage and heavy riffs makes this perfect thrash material for anyone wanting to rage, whining guitar, thumping drums make this one another win. With hints of exuberance and intoxicating backing tracks, once more this hints at the psychedelic without hitting full blown off the wall status. Hanging tight to the rock roots, it shows another dimension to a band that is slowly turning out to be a revelation.

‘Vertical Event Horizon’ with an almost sitar like guitar opening backed up with dense drums, immediately the heavy groove grabs you from the start, with a nod to classic rock/stoner influences yet fresh and appealing in its approach. Around half way through the chanting vocals with trimmed down yet substantial backing refreshes the aural palette demanding attention like a petulant toddler. Stoner riddled vibes surrounded by a fug of weed smoke; I can almost smell the patchouli oil.  ‘Duke Mongrel’ is a totally different beginning, almost chilled out in their approach; this adds a nice break to proceedings before the hefty stuff begins in earnest, this blend works so very well here. Showcasing each individual talent with riffs, solos, vocals, yet never once stepping into the egotistical wankery that could have easily captured them.

‘Bohemian Decadence’ is reminiscent of Baroness at the start, chilled and relaxed, almost prog like, they offer diluted heaviness easing the listener gently into a full frontal assault of the senses. An ethereal freak out worthy of being called an Acid trip with gritty guitar, eerie vocals, adamant drums all working together to produce a superb ending to what has proven to be an immense record.

GEF embrace the creepy, they have injected their straight talking, no nonsense blistering hard rock with a massive dose of psychedelic guitars that weave their way through every song like lost souls searching for their way home.  A perfectly haunting soundtrack that raises goose bumps from the vocals alone; repetitive, hollow and distant like they are being sung by someone trapped for years in a room down a dank deserted hallway. Add the twisted guitar and dense drums and you are not safe as GEF come to hunt you down, breathless and covered in dirt from crawling out of their graves.

Words by: Kat Hilton

‘Avant Garage’ is available here

For more information:

Unleashed - 'Dawn of the Nine' (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/04/2015
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

‘Dawn of The Nine’ CD//DD track listing:

1. A New Day Will Rise  3:51
2. They Came To Die  3:13
3. Defenders Of Midgard  4:37
4. Where Is Your God Now?  4:29
5. The Bolt Thrower  3:49
6. Let The Hammer Fly  4:10
7. Where Churches Once Burned  5:18
8. Land Of The Thousand Lakes  4:15
9. Dawn Of The Nine  6:41
10. Welcome The Son Of Thor!  4:34

Unleashed is

Johnny | vocals, bass
Tomas | guitars
Fredrik | guitars
Anders | drums


Yep, Unleashed are one of those bands that I ALWAYS meant to listen to and get into... but never did. My laziness has most likely denied me years of quality listening. Ridiculously, I even saw them live in 2006 (Masters of Death Tour, I think) having bought tickets to see Dismember primarily, then turned up to find out I had missed them. I settled in to watch Unleashed instead and was very impressed- death metal for sure, but very much in the Swedish style without endless blast beats but with great riffs and hooks. Nearly ten years later, I have finally got around to listening to them properly with this, their latest record. Johnny Hedlund remains in place as the big man at the front, rumbling bass and Swe-death vocals present and correct.

The twelfth (!) album in this veteran band’s canon features the Norse themes of past records interwoven as a story, I believe. If you like your mythology, or Asatru or whatever you would call it, there will be things for you to enjoy here.

Opener “A New Day Will Rise” and the second track “They Came to Die” set the stall out admirably. This is great stuff- hooky, good riffs, stellar and meaty production and an undercurrent of dark atmosphere running throughout. The Viking themes run throughout the album- “Defenders of Midgard” is an obvious example. It gives us changes of tempo, unusual riffs and no small amount of trad metal influence. It would appear that this best sums Unleashed up; they are undoubtedly Swedish death metal, but of the old school variety- there is no re-route to sellout, just trad metal sensibilities combined with death metal styling and years of experience.

“Where Is Your God Now?” ramps up the pace and aggression and is much more extreme. The verses go for a thrashing tempo, though, with some melody here and there in the riffs. Again, Unleashed's assault is tempered by dynamics and song craft- it is not just mindless blasting. “The Bolt Thrower” features a chugging main riff and is a stand out track for me. How much of this is a reference to the band, I am not sure, I am fairly certain that Thor is a main influence for this one. A war between the gods of Asgard and Christ seems to be shaping up (about time!) thematically. Lovely solo and nice tempo shifts, too.

‘Let The Hammer Fly’ opens fast and furious and makes use of thrashing beats propelling riffing that could be doom paced at times- a neat trick. “Where Churches Once Burned” reinstates Mjölnir to its rightful place as the tide turns in the Norsemens' favour while the riffs and solos come thick and fast over some deathly thrashing. ‘Land of The Thousand Lakes’ pays geographical tribute while the title track rolls slow and low until a galloping riff takes hold for the solo. The leads, incidentally, are of great quality throughout and really bring light and shade to some tracks.

The record closes with ‘Welcome The Son Of Thor!’ Thrashing pace meets melodic and sinister riffing, bringing to mind the glory days of the Swedish death metal scene. It's straightforward, really: if you like Dismember, Entombed, Hypocrisy et al you will like Unleashed. It is such a shame it took me so long to catch up, but now that I have I plan to work through their back catalogue. Real Heathen death metal!

Words by: Richard Maw

‘Dawn of the Nine’ is available now

For more information:

Great Falls/Thou - Split 7inch (Review)

Album Type: 7inch Split
Date Released: 04/05/2015
Label: Hell Comes Home

Great Falls/Thou Split 7inch DD/7” track listing:

1). Great Falls – Wingwalkers (Shellac Cover)
2). Thou – A Prayer to God (Shellac Cover)


Split releases are like catnip to me, even more so when they include a band I am familiar with! Such is my love for this new split, is in no small part due to the inclusion of resident grime throwers Thou in a noise laden duel with Great Falls, covering none other than heavy noise mongers Shellac

Kicking off Side A, is ‘Wingwalker’ from the 1993 release Uranus, as performed by Great Falls, and man do they know what’s up! They give a tight performance of this manic track, staying pretty close to the original sound and furious fever of the vocals. It feels a little more pent up and more frustrated than the original tune, but that just adds to the ferocity. They are a bit slicker production wise, but they channel some hellacious energy into this recording. It'll be love at first listen as you stomp new holes in your house or workplace. 

On to side b, we have a vicious performance of a very vindictive song, ‘A Prayer to God’, by Louisiana sludge trawlers, Thou. First off, I love these guys; second, they make a very angry, personal song even heavier. The original is a prayer to bring ruin and pain to two people in the singer’s life, the second of which he wants to end on a hard note. Thou take that, and make it almost blasphemous in their normal, dirty way. It’s a char-filled fuzz block of a song, and my personal pick of the two on offer. If you wrong someone and they are listening to this song near you: RUN.

Splits are a great way to sample bands to see what they are about, what influences them, and how they want to bring their own energy to a project.  This record does no less, giving two excellent bands, 7 inches of wax and two choice covers from a legendary band.  Find it, buy it, break shit.

Words by: Hunter Young

Great Falls/Thou Split 7inch’ is available here

For more information:

Treedeon - ‘Lowest Level Reincarnation’ (Album Review)

Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 02/03/2015
Label: Exile on Mainstream

Lowest Level Reincarnation’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

01 Love Turns Liquid
02 Blankapitation
03 Satan’s Need
04 Extinction
05 Wendigo
06 Venus With Teeth
07 Lowest Level Reincarnation
08 Terracide


On today's playlist, the new album from Treedeon, ‘Lowest Level Reincarnation’ and If that title doesn't give you a hint, the first track ‘Love Turns Liquid’ will kick you into the drag of reality. Going low, sometimes slow, and always heavy, this album isn't just your everyday doom fest.

Treedeon play a very soulful sort of depression, slow, heavy and fuzz laden, with a delicious back beat, and male/female vocals that are dredged from the bottom of a whisky bottle. It's raw breakdown music, for when life hits just a bit too hard. Their riffs are just slow fists to the gut and temple, dragging you down into sonic depths and darkness. There's no speeding them up either. It's like listening to a train coming in pitch darkness. The sound, while somewhat muddy on the rhythm, is very articulate when they throw pieces of molten lead at you.

The drumming is perfect, medium tempo, and exactly right for what they are pumping out. Vocals, both male and female, alternate between ragged yelled singing (it's really hard to describe until you hear it, then you'll get what I am trying to say) and a vicious scream that cannot be pleasant without some nice narcotic help to dull the edge. It's a vicious exclamation point to their sonic manifesto, and is oddly touching to the soul.  My personal pick goes to ‘Wendigo’, #5 on the track list. It has a slowish build up to the explosion of sonic excess, and reminds me of scenes from biker movies, a super gritty low life, needing open country and trouble to find.  I love the groove on this song and frequently find myself fixating on it

Speaking of runtime, these songs do get a bit more traction than most bands like to put in with this much energy, short being 3:28 and long being an excruciating 11:59. They eke out every single piece of energy they can drip into the music, and then wring it out onto the listener, like a Watain show, but with much less showering. The album is all intensity with a backroom honky tonk blues feel.

On the whole this record is pure filth and whilst you won't be thrashing around, sit back and feel the poison creep through your veins. Similar to grabbing a hot electrical wire, ‘Lowest Level Reincarnation is just not easy to let go of.

Words by: Hunter Young

‘Lowest Level Reincarnation’ is available here

For more information:

Sunday 26 April 2015

Shrine of the Serpent - 'Shrine of the Serpent' EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 04/03/2015
Label: Materia Prima Records

‘Shrine Of The Serpent’ CD//DD track listing:

1).  9 Gates Of Shadow
2). King In Red
3). Gods Of Blight

Shrine of the Serpent is:

Todd Janeczek | Guitar, Vocals
John Boyd | Guitar, Vocals
Garret Hubner | Drums


Only the best of the best Doom can create that indefinable feeling of dread and that sinking feeling like no other, heavier than the ton weight squashing wile coyote cloaked in atmosphere, sombre and unceasing. Portland band Aldebaran members alongside Tenspeed Warlock and Roanoke come together for their new project Shrine of the Serpent (SOTS)

Releasing their eponymous, self-titled, three track debut of monstrous death doom to rapturous reception, I have a listen and see what they have to give.

‘9 Gates of Shadow’ is an eerie beginning; spoken words oozing doom and gloom, setting the scene for the heaviest riff you can imagine, blacker than the devils soul. With full blown ferocity it appears and pitches a tent in your lugholes. Hubner’s drum work pounding into the skull and Janeczek’s death metal roaring encapsulating the vibe totally; like a wounded animal in pain he persists. Torturous and unrelenting it churns the stomach and chills the psyche of all those who are brave enough to listen before ending with some atmospheric playback.

‘King In Red’ with a shudder I listen, whiny feedback; atmospheric sound effects hinting at the psychedelic before the aural assault begins. Pure evil, dark and dank in its misery has arrived and by the love of all that is Satan, you know it! The plaintive, melancholic riffs harken back to the sounds of Solitude Aeturnus and Candlemass; heavily accented by growling vocals and double-kick drumming for a full on emotional effect. An epic offering of just under 12 minutes, not once does it ease up, never giving the listener time to get bored or to even breathe, it is relentless in its awesomeness.

‘Gods of Blight’ opens up with a female vocal passage to begin with, a gloomy, Edgar Allan Poe style story, supernatural in presentation creating the perfect demonic atmosphere. Riffs cloaked in murkiness and shadow creates that sinking feeling with ease, the despondency in the lyricism palpable. Here as throughout the album, they blend sludge, doom and death metal with bravura making one hell of a tune.  Whilst there is only 3 tracks to this EP, this record keeps to one of the key features of doom metal: the length of songs. Each song is over 8 minutes long, with the longest just under 12, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in quality; all of them have an incredible feel.
Combining death and doom metal does not always work, in this case it does, and fabulously.

‘SOTS’ is a monolith, with Janeczek’s vocals; gut wrenching and raspy, lyrics that are about as death metal as they come- just short of Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth. Spine chilling, buzzing riffs and inordinately heavy drums all working in synchronicity, significantly enhanced with a dark atmosphere that sends shivers, chills and dread coursing through the listener just as it should.

With their ability to mould huge, mean, ugly riffs into mammoth landscapes of sorrow and despair, it is the raging black soulless melody of SOTS that holds the attention, opening portals in the mind to dark imagery and wonderment.

An impressive debut from a band that understands the aural conveyance of tortured souls and mental anguish.

Words by: Kat Hilton

‘Shrine of the Serpent’ is available here

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