Friday 30 June 2017

For Those Aboot to Rock: A Countdown to Canada Day. The Olde edition

Three years can seem like an eternity to even the most die hard doom fan, particular if your favourite band hasn’t deliver any riffs during that time.  Take the band Olde for example, after delivering their self-titled debut and garnering critical acclaim from the doom underground, fans have been clambering for  their crushing sonic blows. Fear not, because Olde are set to return on  August 11 with their  STB Records debut Temple”, an album that delivers everything “Olde” did but  with added weight, ferocity and that much needed hook laden fuzz they’re know for. 

So with Canada Day a mere 24 hours away, not only can you check out a brand new sonic demonstration in the form of Now I See You but we have given free reign to Olde guttermouth and bassist Cory McCallum to choose the best underground riffs from the Canadian underground.  Check it oot below to find oot what is all aboot.   (my Canadian naturalisation is complete)

By: Cory McCallum

It is almost Canada Day, by golly, and what better way to celebrate 150 years as a nation than to strap on your toques, fire up the bacon and crank some crushing and under-appreciated Canadian bands.


Luke Roberts (of Thantifaxath and Pale Mare, also metal heavyweights) stretches out in his band Ayahuasca"Yin" is a beast of an album; a conceptual trip through the dark regions of Roberts' psyche. The delightfully-complex guitars and rhythm section set the scene for the incredible vocals (the harmony work on this record is second-to-none). 

RIYL progressive sludge with a real focus on smarts, with a smattering of 90s grunge, punk rock and traditional heavy metal to boot. Coincidentally mixed by our own Greg Dawson (which is how I found oot aboot them).


Hawkeyes are a six-piece instrumental psychedelic doom band out of the Kitchener-Waterloo area, but they might as well be from space. These dudes are in no hurry to get anywhere, and their patience is a welcomed-virtue. For fans of FloydMogwai or virtually anything loud and droney, Hawkeyes consistently brings the goods with songs that are sonically rich and textured and pay close attention to dynamic and movement. Strap in and launch off. 


Full disclosure: OLDE would not exist without Sons of Otis.  It's not that long a story, but it boils down to our Greg recording Sons of Otis and having a "holy-shit-I-gotta-do-that" epiphany.
Are Sons of Otis underappreciated?  Arguable.  Does everyone who digs heavy music know who they are?  No, and they should.  SOO are by far Canada's crown princes of Sludge or Stoner Metal or Heavy Psych, or whatever the hell else you want to call them.  They do it all and they do it all tremendously well.

I would hazard that there hasn't ever been a heavy band that can "lock into" a riff or a groove the way Otis can.  When all three (very capable) musicians get on that same page (and sometimes, by design, it takes a while to get there), things get REAL in a hurry.  Fat fat fat bottom end, a rhythm section that operates like a two-brained octopus (hunh?), guitar tones that make your toes curl and possibly the most inconsequential lyrics of all time (note: I am not taking a swipe at Sons of Otis' lyrics.  I am saying that the sounds and the songs are so goddamned heavy and hypnotic that Ken Baluke could be singing out a recipe for butter tarts {awash in reverb and echo and whatever else tickles his fancy}, and I would be pleased as punch).  A modern-day legend, still going strong.  Hail Otis!


Unfortunately, many of us probably have a story about seeing a great band play to almost no one.  Mine involves Shallow North Dakota, Hamilton's finest purveyors of noisy, progressive sludge rock (humour me; they kind of defy easy categorization) playing in my shit hometown to about ten people in a Mediterranean restaurant.  SND existed in a bit of a vacuum; they were heavier and more daring than anyone else in the Southern Ontario scene at the time and were making brilliant records and demolishing live audiences years ahead of their time (or at least half a continent away from where they would have been huge).  Canada's Melvins, in a way, but even calling them that with complete respect and admiration is unfair and reductive.  Regardless...when you want a bit more edge, something a bit more fierce, punishing and unrelenting, turn to Shallow North Dakota.  A fave amongst many Ontario metal heads over the age of 30 or so.


In the spirit of breaking rules, I conclude with Friendly Rich, perhaps Canada's hardest-working weirdo and a truly underappreciated force hacking his way through the wilderness of the Canadian music scene.  If you are ONLY down with hearing me blather about metal bands, well...tough.  "Heavy" is relative, anyway. Friendly Rich (and, most often, his assorted Lollipop People) have been recording and releasing some of the most innovative and interesting (and yes, often the heaviest) music here in the Great White North.  If you have ever wondered what would happen if a travelling freak show crashed their caravan into a Hell's Angels clubhouse which just happened to be rented that night to, say, an Italian lounge lizard doing an interpretive presentation on the respective folk music traditions of various Eastern Bloc countries....and who hasn't wondered that....well, here you go.  Friendly Rich requires investment; your time, attention and, most importantly, your open mind.  It is an investment that, should you make it in good faith, will pay off in spades.

Plus....”Sausage Samba” is easily the greatest video of all time.

Honourable mentions- Seas, Sierra, Ol' Time Moonshine, Hammerhands, Godstopper, Yeti on Horseback, Algoma, Culted, Razor, Mutank, Sacrifice, Haitian Knife Fight, Kabal, The Shanks, Low Orbit....shit.  I'm putting my name in right now to come back and do this next year. 

Get crushed.  Happy birthday, Canada.
Olde Cory

Olde Band info: bandcamp || facebook

ALBUM PREMIERE: Spanish psych/doom trio Kabbalah begin their journey of "Spectral Ascent"

Emerging underground doom specialists Twin Earth Records will release “Spectral Ascent” by Spanish psych/doom trio KABBALAH on July 7th 2017. The band’s mysterious and fascinating sound contains flashes of occult rock, 70s retro and classic psychedelia drawing comparisons to such luminaries of scene from past and present such as Blood Ceremony, Coven, Deep Purple, indeed with such a talented line up armed with such a brilliant record, it likely this Spanish Trio will not only erase our post Brexit blues but see the band emerge as one of the forerunners on the scene.  Don’t take our word for it; judge for yourselves as we present “Spectral Ascent” in full for your listening pleasure.  Twin Earth Records are taking preorders now and are available here.   

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

ALBUM REVIEW: Pyreship - "The Liars Bend Low"

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 28/05/2017
Label: Black Bow Records

The Houston quartet deal in a captivating brand of complex sludge with a perfect balance of melody and grit. “The Liars Bend Low” is a debut brimming with potential for a glowing future. 

“The Liars Bend Low” DD//LP track listing:

1). Gravity
2). Machine Men
3). When Leaves Turn to Blood
4). Die-Sect
5). …Are We Dead Yet?

The Review:

Pyreship are set to make a big impression on the heavy landscape with their smouldering debut LP “The Liars Bend Low”. The Houston quartet deal in a captivating brand of complex sludge with a perfect balance of melody and grit.

Gravity” opens the show in grand fashion, a seven minute epic that takes the highlights of Baroness’Red” and mixes in the essence of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden to great effect. Vocals are used sparingly on “Machine Man” to make room for samples of Charlie Chaplin’s speech from “The Great Dictator”. The stirring words sit well within the build and release dynamics of the track and are sadly as relevant to the sorry state of the world now as they were in 1940.

As “The Liars Bend Low” progresses the music grows darker and heavier culminating in the awesome “Die-Sect”. An eerie sample from Twin Peaks sets the scene for a brooding intro that recalls the subdued power of Kowloon Walled City. The sparse clean guitar lines soon give way to crushing riffs that still maintain the haunting grandeur of the quieter passages. 

Although there are obvious influences to Pyreship’s sound, the band inject enough of their own personality and imbue these songs with a hefty emotional weight that makes them stand out from the crowd. “The Liars Bend Low” is a debut brimming with potential for a glowing future. 

“The Liars Bend Low” is available digitally here and on vinyl here

Band info: facebook

FFO: Kowloon Walled City, Baroness, ISIS (the band), Alice In Chains

Thursday 29 June 2017

FOR THOSE ABOOT TO ROCK: A countdown to Canada Day. Scott Miller of Anthesis chooses 7 bands from his personal vinyl collection

By: Scott Miller

For Canada's 150th birthday, I've gathered some of my favourite Canadian noise. It was too hard to choose from all the great Canadian extreme music out there, so I narrowed it down to 7 selections of currently active bands from my personal record collection. 

The Weir  – “Calmness of Resolve” (Sunmask) Calgary, Alberta 

These Rocky Mountain doomsters have captured a unique vibe on this album. For how uneasy this album starts off, I find it's actually a very calming experience overall. 4 tracks totalling over 40 minutes should give you an idea of what's going on here. Tons of mood and ambience with sparse bursts of harsh vocals.

Biipiigwan – “God's Hooks” (Handshake Inc.) Ottawa, Ontario 

This is the first album I heard from these no frills sludge cavemen. Pounding riffs in the vein of mid era Sepultura and early Mastodon dominate this album. How could you go wrong? Musky Rice leads the troop of revolving (top notch) members. You never know who you'll see playing for these guys live. 

Adolyne – “of ash / of shit / of shame” (No List) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 

If noise rock ditched the rule book and binged on 70's prog, more albums like this would happen. Throw in some piano, vocals on the edge of losing control and no fear of lengthy song structures and you've got one unique, noisy album. No doubt that this was put out by the leader of Canadian noise, No List Records. 

Shooting Guns/Hawkeyes – “Brothers of the Nod” (Pre-Rock / Helmet Lady) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/ Kitchener, Ontario 

Alright, we're getting two birds stoned at once with this one. Both bands bring the instrumental psych rock hard here. Tons of fuzz tones and relatively laid back, almost a jamming feel here that seems to come so naturally from both bands. This is a heavy hitter of desert rock grooves and psychedelics. 

The Great Sabatini – “Dog Years” (Sludgehummer) Montreal, Quebec 

This album sounds like you're actually standing in the room with these four dudes cranking out this sludge. The vocals are mixed low (just how I like it) and there's tons of dirt going on here. When they slow down and throw the POG on the guitars there's a new level of sludgy filth for the drums to pound through. Every band these guys are involved with kill it. Check out Greber & Angles for more heavy noise from these guys. Plus I hear that there's a new TGS album on the horizon. 

Hard Charger – “Bad Omens” (Wasted Time Records) Fredericton, New Brunswick 

Here's some crusty punk n roll to balance out those slow jams. These dudes come back sounding tighter and hungrier after every tour they do, which is a lot. This album makes me want to chug a beer and punch a hole in the wall. 

Napalm Raid – “Mindless Nation” (Rust and Machine) Halifax, Nova Scotia

This is how lo-fi crust punk should be. Injected with black metal and raging full force. The reverb drenched vocals are absolutely perfect in this mix and are my favourite part of this band. They've also got a brand new album out called “Wheel of War”.

11 IS ONE LOUDER: LLNN debut Live Studio Session of "Eye of the Covenant" and choose their Top 5 album picks

Self styled post apocalyptic hardcore maniacs LLNN seem to be entwined with THE SLUDGELORD, such is the regularity of their appearances here at headquarters, indeed their bludgeoning and mesmerising mix of sludge, hardcore and sci-fi Bladerunner driven madness is something to behold, and for that reason, when the opportunity presents itself to promote this band, then we’re absolutely gonna be on board. 

Following up their album “Loss” which was released last year via Pelagic Records was never going to be an easy task and yet, less than a year later, they came roaring back with new material “Marks” which formed their part of an split album with Wovoka released on June 16th again via Pelagic Records.  Much like on “Loss”, the wavering drone synths that are effortlessly merged with a raw hardcore-driven darkness define the subtle idiosycratic nuances of LLNN's very unsubtle, painfully overwhelming sound. 

"Eye of the Covenant" taken from "Marks / Traces" Split was recorded by Marius Costache at Studio148 as part of Live Studio Session and today we’re giving you the opportunity to stream it in full and if that wasn’t enough we have invited vocalist/ guitarist Christian Bonnesen to choose five records that are on heavy rotation on his playlist including one absolute pivotal record.  All of which you can check out below.  

5: Abandon – “In Reality We Suffer”

I don’t know how to describe this record other than by the following sentence: Complete and utter despair. Devastating despair! This is a really overlooked record and it’s sad, because Abandon were one of the best at cultivating an absolute hopeless vibe in their music.

Check out: “Piles of Pigs”.

4: Bohren & Der Club of Gore – “Black Earth”

Evil sounding stuff doesn’t have to be metal. 

Check Out: “Maximum Black”.

3: Shora/Merzbow - “Switching Rhethorics.

The Shora side of this split pretty much started the Copenhagen hardcore scene.

Check Out: “Discussing Watercolor Techniques”.

2: Elliott – “Song In The Air”
Beautiful record that’s dreamy, huge sounding and somewhat a forgotten

Check out: “Bleed In Breathe Out”.

1: Breach –“Kollapse”

I just fucking love this record. The way Breach build their melodies has always been inspiring to me, they always seem to do what I least expect. The guitar playing and the way they space their parts out and give each other room is genius to me.

Check out: “Mr. Marshall!"

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Wednesday 28 June 2017

FOR THOSE ABOOT TO ROCK: A countdown to Canada Day with Dewar PRs 5 Favourite Canadian metal albums

By: Curtis Dewar

Despite the bad rep we have for being the home of Justin Bieber, Nickelback and Celine Dionne, we Canucks actually have a shit ton of great bands. From classic rock icons like Neil Young and The Guess Who to heavy metal legends like Voivod, Helix, Rush and Strapping Young Lad, there is no shortage of great music from the land of the great white north. For this Canada Day I've come up with a list of five of my favourite Canadian albums for you to rock out to. These are in no particular order. Crank em up and let me know if you enjoy:

Loverboy – “Big Ones”

Are they metal or are they rock? Who knows and who cares. While the band probably fits more into the AOR/Hard rock label than metal per se, they still have a ton of classic songs. Who hasn't rocked out at some point to tracks like "Working For the Weekend", "Hot Girls in Love" or "Lovin Every Minute of It"? No one.

Cauldron“Burning Fortune”

Cauldron are one of those bands that people seem to love or hate. The band's blend of trad metal with thrash pays homage to the 80's while also sounding fresh at the same time. While it's tough to pick just one of their album's I'd probably say that “Burning Fortune" is probably my favorite overall, beating "Into the Cauldron" by a hair.

Skid Row“Skid Row”

Before anyone pipes up-Yes I know Skid Row is technically from New Jersey, but Sebastian Bach is Canadian, so fuck you I'm counting it. While the band is commonly lumped in with glam metal, the fact is that Skid Row always leaned more towards the heavy side of things. The band's debut album is a beast and one of the best heavy meta albums of all times with classics like "Big Guns", "Sweet Little Sister", "18 and Life" and "Youth Gone Wild".

Goat Horn“Threatening Force”

Vastly underrated band that features Jason Decay pre-Cauldron. While the band isn't too far off stylistically from what Jason did later in Cauldron, the band made a ton of great songs before eventually splitting up. Recommended tracks "Threatening Force" and "Right Heavy Metal".


Awesome blackened death metal band from Vancouver. While it's not exactly music to party to, you can't deny that this is one of the best extreme metal albums of the last 10 years. 

TRACK PREMIERE: "Conscious Disease" by Philadelphia avant-garde sludge shamans GOD ROOT

Dante Torrieri (C)
Former Sadgiqacea vocalist/drummer Fred Grabosky brings us his new project God Root and following on from their 4 track EP last year, the band are back with their forthcoming release “Salt and Rot” set to hit the streets on CD and digital download on 11 July. 

As with Sadgiqacea, these Philadelphia avant-garde sludge shamans accentuate the heavy parts with quiet moments to create their own brand of primitive and tribalistic sludge, with  doomed cinematic soundscapes.  Each element is added very carefully as to not over saturate the compistional structure of the record, with songs often building tension until you are served with a crushing finale.  

For a band still in its infancy, imagine 'Eye Of Every Storm' era Neurosis with John Dyer Baizley circa 'Red Album' on vocals and you'd be halfway to close to what this record delivers and today we are pleased to be able present a new track in the form of “Conscious Disease”. You can stream it below and check out what vocalist Fred Grabosky (drummer/vocalist) had to say about it. Preorders are available here  and digitally here

"We are quite pleased with how this track came together. It's the most vulnerable and personal piece we've put out thus far. We created 3 personas and the song acts as sort of a dialogue between them. It's essentially the push and pull of oppressive forces, human frailty and self reliance. In some capacity, everyone can relate to this battle of control and weakness. Much like the rest of the album, we poured a lot of our personal pains and strife into this as a release and hope it can do the same for the listener. 

I think of a "conscious disease" as this sort of infectious and destructive thought pattern. It floats among us and attaches to us like a virus to a blood cell. We all know it's there, but we have the power to produce the antibodies to fight it off, or it can consume us whole."

God Rot Live Rituals

8/03 Brooklyn, NY
8/04 Providence, RI
8/05 Kingston, NY
8/06 Syracuse, NY
8/07 Ithaca, NY
8/08 Rochester, NY
8/09 Buffalo, NY
8/10 Cleveland, OH
8/11 Detroit, MI
8/12 Kalamazoo, MI
8/13 Milwaukee, WI
8/14 Chicago, IL
8/15 Indianapolis, IN
8/16 Lexington, KY
8/17 Pittsburgh, PA
8/18 Washington, DC
8/19 Philadelphia, PA 

All dates with SUNROT

Band info: bandcamp || facebook