Friday 29 June 2018

VIDEO PREMIERE: Catania doom magisterium Haunted debut "Dayburner"

Almost two years since their last appearance on THE SLUDGELORD, Haunted are back and are readying the release of their new album “Dayburner” which is available in a variet of formats via Twin Earth Records, Graven Earth Records, and DHU RecordsForged in Catania in 2015, once again Haunted deliver their s(low) sub-sabbathian doom and this latest chapter has been recorded by Carlo Longo at NuevArte Studio in Catania and mastered by the renowned producer Brad Boatright (Sleep, COC, Yob, Obituary, among others) at Audiosiege Engineering in Portland, Oregon.

Today THE SLUDGELORD presents the exclusive reveal of the new single ‘Dayburner’ which you can check out below

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

VIDEO PREMIERE: Ukranian progressive stoners Stoned Jesus debut "Hands Resist You"

On September 7th STONED JESUS will deliver their next solid load of progressive stoner rock on Napalm Records entitled “Pilgrims”.  With their fourth album the Ukrainian trio offers much more than your usual Kyuss wannabe or your average desert session band and let’s face it Kyuss hasn’t but out a record for nearly 25 years and we need some fresh jams.

With “Pilgrims”, STONED JESUS have delivered a multi-faceted album mixing groove with noise rock elements, lots of proggy infusions and giant such as Mastodon and Melvins come to mind in terms of tone and texture.  Make no mistake STONED JESUS can’t be pigeonholed and “Pilgrims” is very fine album indeed.  The band comments on the new album:

"This record was inspired by our relentless touring and the feelings you get - or more precisely you lose - because of it. It's weird how disconnected one becomes when constantly surrounded by people. Musically it's pretty different from what we've done, it's more song-oriented but simultaneously more challenging than before - sonically and structurally"

Today THE SLUDGELORD is stoked to host UK premiere of STONED JESUS’ brand new video for “Hands Resist Him” which you can check out below

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Thursday 28 June 2018

INTERVIEW: A year and a half in the life of Kurokuma

Blowing brains wide open since the release of an early two track demo in 2014, Sheffield based atomsmahers Kurokuma have made quite the impression on the doom scene, supporting the likes of Crowbar, Trap Them, Conan, KEN Mode, Skeletonwitch, Goatwhore and Samothrace.  

As well as tours with Dvne and then Vinnum Sabbathi in 2017, it seems that despite the gap of almost two years since the release of their acclaimed debut EP “Advorsus” Kurokuma have built a solid foundation based upon their devastating lives shows and unrelenting work ethic.  

Now as we begin to the enter the second half of 2018 and although they have never been away, Kurokuma are set to make some big announcements and we felt it was appropriate to get the scoop.  I recently hooked with Kurokuma drummer Joe E. Allen to chat about the roots of the band and what the future holds.  Check it out below 

Can you give us an insight into how you started playing music, leading up to the formation of Kurokuma?

Joe: Jake and myself have known each other since we met a long time ago at Corp in Sheffield. After I moved back from Japan more recently we were hanging out, smoking, listening to Electric Wizard, jamming, you know. Isn’t that how all doom bands start? We also wanted to make sure we were adding more exotic instrumentation and rhythms into the mix. We found our exotic bassist, George through an online ad after our original one left.

For those people unfamiliar with your band, are there any bands on the scene past and present that you would use as a reference point bands to describe your band, and who or what continues to inspire you and push you to try new things?

Joe: It was originally Black Tusk, Black Breath and other bands that start with Black. The more primal, rhythmic elements came from listening to “Battle Against Clown” from the Akira soundtrack, me playing the taiko drum in Japan and a shared appreciation of South American electronic music. Also George being a percussionist as well helps.

We have pretty high and adventurous standards when it comes to what passes as worthwhile music. Seeing off-the-wall bands like Granule and Birushanah recently in Japan feeds the creativity. Our music is meant to represent raw power at its core. All music is an inspiration. In fact, anything at all is - you can draw that power from anything and anywhere and then put it back out for the people.

Since the release of your well received debut “Advorsus” in September 2016 can you summarise what you guys have been up to over the last 18 months or so. Any highlights you’d like to mention and any forthcoming announcements you’d like to share with our readers?  

Joe: A lot has happened since that. UK tours with Under, Dvne and then Vinnum Sabbathi from Mexico. “Siege of Limerick” in Ireland last year was our first show abroad, then earlier this year we did Japan with Conan and Granule, then Iceland for the 4/20 weekend…

Japan was just as dope as you’d expect. Probably more actually. The fans were receptive to us and Conan, especially cos it wasn’t a kind of music they were necessarily used to. We had a team of people linked to “The Doom Doc” following us round and they’re working on a short film. I’ve seen clips and it’s gonna be a nice piece exploring touring, as well as Japan’s metal scene and cannabis culture there. It’ll be out later this year.

And we’ve got a video diary we filmed ourselves in Iceland coming out very soon. We were there for a 4/20 event with the Icelandic premiere of “The Doom Doc”. A lot happened that weekend, including one of the members of Morpholith getting arrested haha. So that video diary will be out at the start of June along with the release of “The Doom Doc” on DVD, finally.

Soon we’re playing in an actual cinema down in Bristol soon for another screening of “The Doom Doc”. That’s with 11paranoias, Under, A Horse Called War and Shrykull - five bands all featured in the film. That will be sick, visuals and the lot

Then we have our first release in over a year and a half coming out in August on Doom Stew Records. They’re based in San Francisco and run by the drummer from Brume.

Does anything spring to mind when you think about the completion of your upcoming record and how is the mood in the camp at present?

Joe: We’re enjoying everything that’s happening right now, soaking it all in. But we’re very pleased to finally have some new music to put out, and on vinyl this time. Feels like a very long time since “Advorsus” came out and we don’t really play those songs much anymore. We’ve gone to town with this new release - it’s a concept EP and it’s pretty special. I mean, check the artwork for a start.

It’s all based on the Dope Rider strip from High Times in the 70s. We got in touch with Paul Kirchner - the creator and artist - and he was very into the idea so he let us use any of the art. The lyrics in one of the tracks are from one specific Dope Rider story, and that whole story is printed in full on the lyric sheet insert. It’s gonna be a very nice thing to hold in your hands, especially for fans of beautiful and surreal art.

What stands out as your overarching memory from the recording sessions?

Joe: We recorded it with Sam from Slabdragger down at “The Cro’s Nest” in Croydon. It was a funny few days for a few different reasons which I won’t go into, but looking back on the positives Sam has a really nice place where we stayed and the weather was hot so it was a good, sweaty time.

One thing that sticks out was having to dash to see this guitar tech guy after Sam was hearing some weird notes on George’s bass during recording. This guy has a little shop and has worked with bands like Judas Priest. After getting it reset the bass was sounding perfect. We did a couple of experiments with South American instrumentation as well, some of which made it onto the final mix.

We ended up taking the tracks to Chris from “Skyhammer Studio” and he did a mix that left the two tracks sounding nice and big. It’s been a very long process up until the release but that’s what can happen, ya know.

With you new record in the bag, how is your schedule shaping up over the next 12 months?

Joe: This August we hit up Eastern Europe on tour, including Rockstadt in Romania and Brutal Assault in Czech Republic. We’re playing with Converge twice so I’m gonna ask Kurt Ballou if he wants to record our next release. Also gonna get a photo with Danzig.

We have a split EP planned with some friends of ours on a notorious Sheffield label. We’re recording a cover we’ve been working on and some deep, dubby cuts.

Then we do a UK tour with a dope powerviolence band from Japan, announcing that officially soon. Then a handful of dates with Boss Keloid. We’re on about going back to Japan, maybe Ireland again. We might be just about ready to record an album at some point next year...

We also have one more track left over from that last studio session so we’ll be putting it out on a split with a certain Mexican band - you can probably guess who if you think hard enough.

Finally, do you have any last words?

Joe: Big up THE SLUDGELORD and the Sheffield sludge crew.

The End

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Monday 25 June 2018

REVIEW & EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: Khemmis, “Desolation” & Phil Pendergast on Hendrix, Fahey & Sonny Boy

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 22/06/2018
Label: Nuclear Blast |
20 Buck Spin

Six tracks, all uniformly of a high standard and with a production that suits the record perfectly. This is a fine modern American doom album and will feature on many year end lists. This is doom for the doomed!

“Desolation” CD//DD//LP

1). Bloodletting
2). Isolation
3). Flesh to Nothing
4). The Seer
5). Maw of Time
6). From Ruin

The Review

Colorado's Khemmis return with this, their third full length and follow up to the very well received “Hunted” from 2016. This is doom metal, for sure- proper doom; with real singing, melodies, dark sounds and tempo changes in the vein of Sabbath.

It is not a million miles away from Sabbath or Dawn of Winter but perhaps closer to Apostle of Solitude  in that it is modern in sound and scope but with a firm grip on the genre's past. It is also distinctly American in approach- no way would you mistake this for Witchsorrow or Serpent Venom. With “Bloodletting”s slow slog to open, the listener is in no doubt that this is traditional doom. “Isolation” may be a few steps quicker, but these Denver cowboys know how to ride a groove: not too quick and they are able to make these songs swing a little rather than just plod. There is dark fare on offer here- “Flesh To Nothing”, for instance is as black as the title suggests.

The rumbling of “The Seer” is impressive and the band plays wonderfully through the changes. My personal favourite, “Maw of Time” (for obvious reasons) is a monolithic slab of sorrow and dark doom with death growls. The nine and a half minute closer “From Ruin” finishes the album off before it outstays its welcome.

Six tracks, all uniformly of a high standard and with a production that suits the record perfectly. This is a fine modern American doom album and will feature on many year end lists. This is doom for the doomed!

Desolation” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Thursday 21 June 2018

REVIEW: Aseethe & Snow Burial, "Split"

By: Andre Almaraz

Album Type: Split Cassette
Date Released: 29/06/2018
Label: Hand of Death Records

With a sound that is as brutal and evocative as it is soothing and chaotic, this is a perfect pairing of two songs by two different bands joined together on one split.

“Split” CS//DD track listing:

1). Aseethe, “Wrong”
2). Snow Burial, “Sever The Bloodline”

The Review:

Coming soon on cassette tape and digital release by Hand Of Death Records is this split recording by two of the most impressive metal trios the midwestern United States has to offer; Iowa City’s Aseethe and Chicago’s Snow Burial.  The cassette will contain one song by each band on each side and is due to be released on 6/29/2018.

Aseethe’s contribution is a song titled “Wrong.”  Howling amplifier feedback fades in and then breaks into a classic four chord death march complete with guttural vocals right from the strum of the very first chord.  The primitive brutality is given a modern spin by the backbeat shuffle of the drummer which takes an otherwise straightforward part into the realm of something that feels slightly askew, as the band is known for doing.  The second riff builds chaos and suspense with a sinister blend of chords, chugs, and noise.  After a short rest, the backbeat death march returns but this time it’s with a howling vocal style which is a bit higher in pitch. This gives the part a more tortured and tormented feel than it had the first time around.  A pummeling third riff brings the track to another rest before a snare roll chimes in to lead the charge into the ending movement of the song;  a frenzied mesh of growls, howls, noise, and thunder.  On the subject of the split, the band states on their Facebook page that their song “is a bit different for us.”  If this is a new direction the band is currently experimenting with, I would highly encourage them to continue on this path because this is the most crushing Aseethe I’ve ever heard.

Now for Snow Burial’s contribution; a song they call “Sever The Bloodline.”  Huge guitar chords introduce the track before the other instruments kick in with a thunderous blast of brute force.  Once the vocals join the attack, you know instantly that this piece of music is seriously pissed off.  The mood teeters back and forth between sludge and post metal throughout the entire track and the inclusion of a laser sharp prog inspired middle section adds yet another precise dimension to the already devastating mixture.  The pristine subtlety of the drums makes the song shine brightly during this portion and lets you know that Snow Burial is purposefully on track to turn some heads in a big way.  Once the impressive middle movement morphs into the closing segment of the track, brutality and complexity coalesce in perfect horrifying harmony for a grand finale that assaults all the senses at once and without mercy.  The flawless interplay of the bass and drums combined with the guitar and vocals floating over the top throughout the entire song can be called nothing less than mastery of their craft as the differing levels of aggression build and break like ocean waves crashing against jagged rocks.

Each band here is extremely aggressive in their interpretation yet uniquely different in their delivery. Both outfits offer something that is sonically massive and each one produces an atmosphere that is recognizable to me as originating from the broad shoulders and clenched fists of the Midwestern United States. As a resident myself, I am proud to share a time zone with bands of this caliber.  With a sound that is as brutal and evocative as it is soothing and chaotic, this is a perfect pairing of two songs by two different bands joined together on one split. 

“Split” is available here

Band info: Aseethe || Snow Burial

VIDEO PREMIERE: Swedish rockers Iron Lamb unleash "Into the Night"

Swedish rockers Iron Lamb are set to release their third album, “Blue Haze”, on October 26th, 2018 via The Sign Records. Marking a new chapter for the band, where dire soundscapes meet a grim sense of humour and raising the bar for production, this album shows off Iron Lamb's multilayered songwriting and craftsmanship. Today Iron Lamb is excited to unleash “Into The Light” on the world which you can check out below.

Band info: facebook

Wednesday 20 June 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Wayfarer, "World's Blood"

By: Ernesto Aguilar

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 25/05/2018
Label: Profound Lore Records

On “World’s Blood” Wayfarer rises to be more transcendent than many of its contemporaries in the execution of its new album and overall there is so much to appreciate on this Colorado act's return.  "World's Blood" is a dazzling listen

“World’s Blood” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. Animal Crown
2. On Horseback They Carried Thunder
3. The Crows Ahead Cry War
4. The Dreaming Plain
5. A Nation Of Immigrants

The Review:

The beauty and bestial of black metal is that it is today an expansive metal subgenre. At its best, there is something truly gauzy, conceptually original and aurally memorable records. However, there is plenty on the scene that is at times too derivative (first wave throwback movements, anyone?), audacious and over-the-top in a way that can mask musical deficiencies. Goat and pentagram iconography, and too much flourish – literal and figurative – on song titles and imagery, can only carry any band so far. In its most cringeworthy moments, there are more than a few unintentional parodies of black metal.

Fortunately enough, Wayfarer rises to be more transcendent than many of its contemporaries in the execution of its new album, "World's Blood."

The Denver band has been reliable thus far in its output, producing an LP every two years or so. 2014's "Children of the Iron Age" was well received by fans and critics. There might have been a touch too much self-importance early on. Folk and atmospheric metal together can be a bit tiring at turns. And the overlong tracks and intricate storytelling may have felt out of place at first. As you settle in with the band, though, you get a strong sense that Wayfarer is devoted to creating an experience. There are many bands that arguably try to do the same. Wayfarer's iconoclastic approach deserves a deeper look, though.

On "World's Blood," Wayfarer provides a sound informed by a mélange of styles. Black metal, doom and hints of sludge are central to the album. What makes it most fascinating, though, is identifying the disparate inspirations. "Animal Crown" begins the recording with a flash of spaghetti Western romp. There's immediacy to the noisier guitars and rhythm section as the first track builds, with a pained vocal wafting just above it all. The liner notes remark of how the band sought to represent aptly the Western frontier that is part of its experience. Inescapable to that tale is a picture of loss. Rarely has it been so stunningly felt.

The band excels when its orchestration reaches an almost polyrhythmic instance on songs like "On Horseback They Carried Thunder." What feels at first like chaos rewards you as the song crests into a beautiful hybrid of black metal, where pensive pacing strains just below the surface. Where it once drew out tracks possibly a bit too much, Wayfarer's selection and overall production this time offer a new focus. This attention to little things as well as major arcs makes for a more sophisticated album than ever before. With "The Crows Ahead Cry War," thundering drums threaten from a distance. The balance between measured and frenzied is a gorgeous tension you feel again and again on "World's Blood."

That flume of shot-a-man-in-Reno dirty Americana vibe peeks its head out at the start of "The Dreaming Plain," before laying waste into a mad sound space. "A Nation of Immigrants" flits past this inspiration too, in a divergent manner. In all, "World's Blood" is a dazzling listen. One of their best? That's up to longtime fans to judge, but undoubtedly there is so much to appreciate in the Colorado act's return.

“World’s Blood” is available here

Band info: facebook|| bandcamp

Tuesday 19 June 2018

SLUDGECAMP: A deep dive into the newest black/death metal releases on Bandcamp w/c 15/06/2018

By: Daniel Jackson


Welcome to the inaugural edition of THE SLUDGELORD’s “Sludgecamp”.  I’ve been doing my own weekly deep dives into the newest black and death metal releases on bandcamp for some time through the joy of the site’s “Discover” feature, so I thought “why not share what I’ve found with the rest of you”?

I’ll be covering new releases first, followed by classic albums that have been recently added to the site, and finally some notable pre-orders for albums coming out down the road. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Released the week of 15/6/2018:

Dryad, “The Silurian Age”

My favorite discovery of the week goes to Iowa’s Dryad. The band have crafted an absolutely brilliant style for themselves with a combination of raw, primitive black metal, hardcore punk, and moody keyboards. As of right now, it’s my favorite release of the year, with the only negative being that I’m selfishly disappointed that it isn’t a full length’s worth of material.

Forlorn Citadel, “Songs of Mourning”

The bandcamp page for this release indicates that this is a remastered demo release from May, but is seeing a new official release through Dark East Productions. With that out of the way, this is absolutely essential if you’re a fan of Summoning. People have understandably heaped praise upon Caladan Brood’s ‘Echoes Of Battle’ from 2013 for its brilliant recreation of that classic Summoning sound, but Forlorn Citadel is every bit as good at Caladan Brood, and maybe even a tad better. They absolutely NAIL that buzzing, reverb-drenched guitar tone, and the vocals are excellent as well.

Tired Lord,Demo”

Tired Lord is apparently a one-and-done project out of San Francisco, and it’s a shame they’re only ever putting out this one demo. This is black metal with a strong emphasis on groove, which is all the more impressive when you consider that the drums here are programmed. If you’re a fan of Cobalt or Black Anvil, to cite a couple of loose comparisons, you’d do well to give this a shot. Tired Lord, for their ultra brief existence, were undoubtedly a riff factory. (Note: I’m cheating a little bit here as this was actually released June 8th, but From Corners Unknown Records uploaded it during the week of the 15th.)

Ashen Chalice, Kroz život sa razbijenim očima”

Croatia’s Ashen Chalice are a bit of a mystery. No social media presence to speak of and the band seem intent on drowning their music in reverb and fuzzy distortion. The focus here is all on mood and atmosphere, as opposed to traditional songwriting and memorability. Typically that wouldn’t be my thing here, but the ambient world this album creates is so engrossing that I can’t help but recommend it. This is the sort of musical alchemy that gets me to throw my standard tastes out the window for the sake of getting lost in new sonic worlds.

Sanguinary Trance, “Wine, Song and Sacrifice”

I had a hard time finding much info on Austria’s Sanguinary Trance. The band seem to have a thing for Dionysian mysteries, as it relates to wine and ritual. This is a case where the aesthetic elements in the album cover and in the song titles set the table nicely for the music, which could be called black metal with a sense of drama, without crossing over into Cradle of Filth style shlock.

Newly available through Bandcamp:

Imperial Crystalline Entombment, Apocalyptic End in White”

A nostalgic pick here, as Imperial Crystalline Entombment originally released this album back in 2004. The album’s a total blastfest, and acts as something of an American counterpart to Cadaver Inc’s black metal and grindcore hybrid from the prior year. For their part, the music mixes in some Immortal (naturally) and a bit of death metal into the mix as well, which makes sense for a project brought to us by members of Aurora Borealis.


Kosmogyr, “Eviternally: The Remixes” (Out 13/7/2018)

A unique idea here, as Kosmogyr have commissioned various artists to remix their excellent debut EP. The idea of a remix album isn’t unique on its own, but when the original album is this kind of muscular melodic black metal, that can change things quite a bit. I’m woefully underqualified to evaluate this sort of project, but the idea warrants attention and investigation.

Hellish, “The Spectre Of Lonely Souls” (Out 31/8/2018)

Unspeakable Axe is always coming up with the goods, counting Scorched, Voidspawn, Act of Impalement and more as some of the great previous and upcoming releases through their label. Add Hellish to that list too, as their particular brand of blackened thrash features riffs that are smarter and catchier than you’re likely to find from your average 1st wave diehards, as evidenced by the album’s advance track “The Walker of Shadows”.

Gravecoven, “Coughing Blood” (Out 11/7/2018)

Some strong sounding black metal infused doom coming to us care of Transylvanian Tapes in just a few weeks. This has the downtuned filth you love in your doom, coupled with the chilling atmosphere you want in your black metal and Gravecoven pull the combo off nicely. 

6 NEW BANDS: THE SLUDGELORD's 666 Pack Review (June 2018)

By: Nikos Mixas
Art by: Joshua M. Wilkinson

It’s the June edition of THE SLUDGELORD’s 666 Pack Review!  This month some of you might be going on vacation or getting sloshed while watching the World Cup but the smart ones are digging in deep at the jam pad/rehearsal studio/garage honing your chops.  We can tell because THE SLUDGELORD’s review submission inbox is constantly full and believe it or not, we really appreciate it.  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 summer slacker themed rating scale below: 

1 – You’re just like Panama in The World Cup.  You’re inexperienced and just happy to be here.       
2 – Maybe the band should take a collective vacation to figure things out?     
3 – You guys are average, kind of like Russia in The World Cup.  You have potential to be great, but you’re not quite there yet...        
4 – I’d kick back on a beach with an adult beverage in hand and listen to this.      
5 – You’re the musical equivalent of team Brazil.  A perennial beast.  Goooooooooooooooaaaaaaallll!!!
666THE SLUDGELORD awards you The World Cup Trophy for the month of June.  Now go do something vile with it. 

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). Empty Friend, “Saltwater” (London, United Kingdom)    Rating: 2

Did 90’s alternative rock return? Wow…

2). Modok, “Evil/Sea Beast” (Joensuu, Finland)   Rating: 4

Modok eats, breaths and shits doom.

3). Fatima, “Moaner” (Paris, France)   Rating: 5

If Nirvana played doom/shoegaze, it’s this.

4). Magik Black, “Magik Black” (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)   Rating: 666!

Dumb name but shaddup and listen!

5). Flood Peak, “Plagued by Sufferers” (Portland, U.S.A.)   Rating: 5

Reminds me a bit of Celeste.  Oui!

6). Ingrina, “Etter Lys” (France)   Rating: 666!

Vive la Ingrina! Vive la France!