Tag Archives: Sludge Metal

The Moth Gatherer – The Earth is the Sky

The Moth Gatherer - The Earth is the Sky

The Moth Gatherer [Sweden]
The Earth is the Sky
2015
Full Length
Agonia Records
Atmospheric Doom/Sludge Metal

The first time I heard of The Moth Gatherer was 2 years ago with their last album, A Braight Celestial Light. Not knowing better then, the Swedes were a novelty in terms of the epic soundscape that they managed to create and the fusing of post rock elements into their style of metal. 2 years later, the band returns with their brand new effort The Earth is the Sky, which led me to revisit A Braight Celestial Light resulting in new insights, and better appreciation of these Swedes.

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Kylesa – Exhausting Fire

Kylesa - Exhausting Fire

Kylesa [USA]
Exhausting Fire
2015
Full Length
Season of Mist
Progressive/Sludge Metal

Seven albums and 14 years later, I finally got about to really discovering Kylesa and their psychedelic, progressive style of sludge metal. A little late to the party, nonetheless I guess it’s better to be late than not discovering good music. This year marks the release of Kylesa‘s seventh opus, Exhausting Fire and with the rather good run of stoner and sludge metal in the past 2 years, expectations are rather high for this trio’s brand new release.

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Album Review: Usurpress – Ordained

Usurpress - Ordained

Usurpress [Sweden]
Ordained
2014
Full Length
Doomentia Records
Death/Sludge Metal

Old school Swedish death metal has become saturated to a point where I experience a certain phobia when encountering new releases, fearing that it would just be another rehashing of Entombed/Dismember/Grave etc. But with Usurpress‘ 2012 debut full length garnering much attention from the metal world, along with splits with bands such as Bombs of Hades and Bent Sea, these Swedes have certainly gotten me excited with their brand new release, the follow up to Trenches of the NetherworldOrdained.

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Album Review: Broozer – 12.04.12

Broozer - 12.04.12

Broozer [Australia]
12.04.12
2012
Full Length
Grindhead Records
Sludge Metal

I half-expected an amateur-sounding brutal death metal band when looking at the gory, gruesome artwork on Broozer‘s debut full lenth, 12.04.12. But this Australian outfit’s musical style can’t be further from this initial expectation of mine.

Instead, Broozer‘s 12.04.12 is 34 minutes of catchy, groovy sludge metal. Kicking off with Feeder, the band hits the listener without any mercy, with the crushing riffs of Bruce, backed by that heavy, low-end bass of Retch Bile, who also spits forth his vocals with hate and anger. Drummer Dario is also extremely adept, switching between playing styles with ease, fitting to the current mood of the music at any point in time. For instance, while Feeder see some of his more simplistic style of drumming, with that raw, somewhat punkish energy, heavier and doomier tracks like Sanctuary see him adding in rather nice fills.

Tracks such as Sanctuary, with the initial doom pace and that punishing, downtuned riffage of Bruce and that slight groove that is infused into the band’s onslaught even bring about some nice Church of Misery comparisons, though obviously things here are, sludgier, than what would expect of a stoner release. And it is precisely the whole range of sounds that the band has put in, and the weird-fuckery that tends to go on at times that messes with the minds of listeners, yet being able to maintain that sense of sanity and coherence, like on Bland, that brings about comparisons to masterpieces such as the earlier works of Mastodon.

12.04.12 has shown what these Aussies are capable of, and it is nothing short of pure enjoyment and entertainment. Word is that Broozer are about to start recording the follow up to this album, and this has left me rather excited to say the least.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Broozer on the internet:
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Grindhead Records

Album Review: Graves At Sea/Sourvein – Graves At Sea/Sourvein

Graves at Sea - Sourvein

Graves at Sea/Sourvein [USA]
Graves at Sea/Sourvein
2014
Split
Seventh Rule Recordings
Sludge/Doom Metal

I first heard of Graves at Sea earlier this year with their last EP, This Place is Poison and was thoroughly impressed with it, particularly the innovation showed at the cover of Black Sabbath‘s Orchid/Lord of this World that they included on the EP. Hence, encountering them again so quickly was a nice surprise, this time on their split with compatriots Sourvein on a split release, with Graves at Sea and Sourvein providing two and three tracks respectively to the split to what promises to be an epic sludge/doom metal experience.

Graves at Sea kicks off the split with the extremely groovy Betting on Black, and the listener is quickly engulfed in a fuzzy, yet suffocating soundscape provided by the tone of the guitars of Nick, who unleashes relentless riff after riff of class, not surprising considering his stints in other excellent doom bands such as Uzala and Atriarch. Bassist Jeff, with the high mix of his instrument on the record, adds a nice, heavy overtone, at the same time increasing some of that groove flavour in Graves at Sea‘s music. Nathan’s vocals are a tortured shriek, and these add some slight black metal elements on the record, emphasising the negativity that is on Graves at Sea‘s output.

But it was also curiosity about Sourvein‘s sound, with their years of experience playing sludge/doom that drew me to this split release. Keeping up with the high moods created by Graves at Sea already, Sourvein presents a sound that is slightly more punkish, especially with vocalist T-Roy’s style. The influences from pioneering bands such as Black Sabbath are rather obvious in the riffing of Oj Yogi, with songs like Drifter almost sounding like an even slower version of Master of Reality, with that slight stoner groove that is in the band’s playing. Equinox even brings in some rather psychedelic elements with the sound effects that are used, and admittedly, Sourvein‘s side provides the listener with a trippier experience (a la Dopethrone or Electric Wizard) than Graves at Sea.

While doom may have started and become popular over the years in the UK, with splits and bands such as Graves at Sea and Sourvein, America carries on bearing the torch of the genres that have spawned from doom metal.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Graves at Sea on the internet:
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Sourvein on the internet:
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Seventh Rule Recordings

Album Review: A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm – La came crude

A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm - La came crude

A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm [France]
La came crude
2014
Full Length
Peccata Mundi Records
Sludge/Doom Metal

Even before listening to the band, A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm already caught my attention with it’s extremely long name, with their sophomore full length album La came crude being a single, epic 45-minute track. And before anyone begins to wonder, of course, A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm hails from France.

Almost expecting the band to play folk metal, I was pleasantly surprised when the album kicks off with a nice, doomish mood with high tension in the air, enshrouding the listener in complete darkness before giving some solace with a rather soothing atmosphere with the acoustic and melodic guitars that come in unexpectedly. The lone, woeful-sounding lead guitar at the backdrop starts giving off hints of Opeth, and even when the first riffs after that hit the listener, the heaviness still reminds one of the earlier works of the aforementioned.

But things are definitely more doomy over here as the band goes at a painfully slow pace, letting the heaviness and the discomfort really set in for the listener before speeding things up slightly. There is a whole range of emotions that one go through on La came crude, from the melancholy from the 9-minute mark that brings in some My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost moments, to the darkness of Black Sabbath, with that Children of the Grave-esuqe riffing on the 12-minute mark before going into full on grooviness of The Sword after that.

The amount of influences that the band has taken and put into La came crude is extensive. The progressive style that the band takes and combines with sludge metal and the groove of stoner metal at times remind one of Mastodon‘s works, and to a lesser extent, the brilliance of bands like The Sword. Some slight black metal elements could also be spotted in the middle of the album, with the furious trem-picking exhibited by Lundi and Gloria bringing in some Norwegian black metal references of Urgehal and Tsjuder, adding an even more unique flavour to their brand of sludge metal.

With La came crudeA Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm joins bands like Drawers and Huata in producing heavy and dark metal with their own unique twists, further enhancing the status of the French stoner/sludge scene with their crafts. While a 45-minute track may take lots of patience to sit through, La came crude is definitely one album that is rewarding as hell.

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

A Very Old Ghost Behind the Farm on the internet:
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Album Review: Graves at Sea – This Place is Poison

Graves at Sea - This Place is Poison

Graves at Sea [USA]
This Place is Poison
2014
EP
Eolian Empire
Sludge/Doom Metal

Since sludge metallers Graves at Sea returned in 2012, they have been hard at work, with two releases already lined up for this year, including their brand new EP, This Place is Poison. With my interest in always finding new sludge and stoner bands to listen to, as well as the inclusion of Black Sabbath‘s Orchid/Lord of This World (which happen to come off my personal favourite Sabbath release), Graves at Sea has certainly got me curious.

The crushing riffs of Nick right from the start of This Place is Poison, along with that gloomy outlook that Graves at Sea has quickly reminds one of the dark arts of bands such as Electric Wizard, along with that slow pace of the band’s music. At the same time, the band includes some rather groovy moments on their track a well, giving This Place is Poison a stoner/doom feel, not unlike acts such as Dopethrone and Acid King, with that slight psychedelia that is invoked on the album.

Personally though, it is the second track on This Place is Poison that I was looking forward to: a reinterpretation of Black Sabbath‘s Orchid/Lord of this World. The track was included on Cvlt Nation as one of the contributions to a tribute to Sabbath‘s Master of Reality (which is available for free streaming/download here). While I liked Primitive Man, their cover of Sweet Leaf failed to capture me, being much too different from the original and too… Droney? So it was interesting to find out how Graves at Sea was gonna do Orchid/Lord of this World, and considering by enjoyment of This Place is Poison so far, chances are high that they won’t disappoint.

Fortunately they don’t, and while the first few minutes were spent conjuring up a vibe as negative and as hostile as possible, things start to get recognisable soon enough. While Master of Reality may be the album that gave rise to/popularised the stoner genre as we know it today, Graves at Sea takes things a notch heavier and groovier, resulting in a cover that has it’s own distinctive flavour, yet still recognisable as a Sabbath track.

This Place is Poison has been an extremely impressive comeback release for Graves at Sea, and with the band’s new split with Sourvein, things are certainly looking up for the band, and for fans of the genre.

[xrr rating=5/5]

Graves at Sea on the internet:
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Eolian Empire

Album Review: Loathing – We are the Hunt

Loathing - We are the Hunt

Loathing [Poland]
We are the Hunt
2014
Full Length
Independent
Death/Sludge Metal

With the band stating that they play a style of “aggressive, technical death/sludge metal with strong doom and thrash influences”, Loathing immediately got me rather curious with their debut full length album, We are the Hunt.

The mention of anything Polish would immediately bring to one’s mind bands like Behemoth or Vader, but right from the opening riffs of I Rot Inside, guitarists Kuba and Mariachi quickly remind one of bands such as Benediction and Bolt Thrower with that lethal combination of grooviness and crushing heaviness in their playing, though the slight thrashy edge also brings about comparisons to Vader. That slight technicality that the axe-wielding duo exudes are even rather reminiscent of Behemoth and Azarath.

But as the band promised, there is more to Loathing compared to your standard Polish death metal releases (and to be honest, Behemoth kinda bores me to tears). As the album progressed, the sludge and slight stoner elements start to become clearer, and there are even moments on the album where the songs could even start sounding rather comfortable in a Mastodon or High on Fire album. This especially so with the clever usage of softer segments like on Blood Breed, giving a short respite to the listener from the high intensity listening experience so far. The high energy drumming of Don also captures the listener fully, who manages to alternate between the more blasting style of the death metal face of Loathing, and a style that is more befitting of the sludge side of the band.

Perhaps unintentionally, the band has even managed to include some black metal elements as well, most prominently in the riffs of Kuba and Mariachi, like on Red Sands.

We are the Hunt is probably one of the more exciting and interesting new releases that I have heard out of Poland in quite a long time, and with the whole host of influences that the band has included in their debut, it is only a matter of time before Loathing gets the recognition that they deserve.

Loathing on the internet:
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Album Review: Drawers – Drawers

Drawers - Drawers

Drawers [France]
Drawers
2014
Full Length
Kaotoxin Records
Stoner/Sludge Metal

First thing that went through my mind when I first chanced upon Drawers was what kind of band would call themselves that? The quirky artwork off their self-titled sophomore full length that gives off a rather humorous vibe also makes it rather hard to take the band seriously.

But this French stoner/sludge outfit quickly proves themselves Once and For All, and from the start to the end of Drawers, the band unleashes some extremely catchy and infectious material. Right from the start, one quickly draws comparisons of Drawers to bands like Mastodon, with the riffing style of guitarists Alexandre and Laurent, to the gruff vocals of Niko and that energetic drumming of Olivier, that made me fell in love with Mastodon when I first discovered them. The usual elements that make stoner metal such an attractive genre are all present, and the band definitely proves themselves to be a capable band with the seamless fusion of catchy, groovy segments and more aggressive ones, like on songs like Mourning. Certainly, the high mix of bassist Jeremie on the album also helps to create that thick sound on Drawers as well, allowing for the band to have that thick, fat tone.

Drawers may seem like a funny name, and the vibe that the band first gives off might be funny as hell. But this speaks nothing of their music writing abilities, as Drawers is certainly one hell of an enjoyable album. If one loves bands such as MastodonDrawers is an album that would definitely not go wrong.

Drawers on the internet:
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Kaotoxin Records

Heavy Metal Tribune #011 (July/August 2013)

out now banner

OUT NOW: Heavy Metal Tribune #011

This month we are honoured to have Singahell Barbarian Horde the Mighty Impiety gracing our cover. We talk to band mastermind Shyaithan to learn more about the glorious history of Impiety, along with some trivia about their brand new release, The Impious Crusade. We follow that up with Dark Tranquillity telling us about their 10th studio effort, Construct. American occult black/sludge metal band TOAD then talks to us about what goes on behind the scenes and their beliefs when writing their new record, Endless Night. Portuguese technical/progressive death metal band Colosso shows us the worldwide prevalence of extreme metal, with band mastermind Max telling us about their debut, Abrasive Peace. Canadian symphonic black/death metal band Necronomicon closes our issue with a discussion of their musical style, and about their new album, Rise of the Elder Ones.

Read it all here:

Local friends of Heavy Metal Tribune, grab your copy of #011 from Inokii and Roxy Records now! More outlets to be announced soon, so keep your eyes peeled! Foreign friends of Heavy Metal Tribune, as usual, cancontact us for a copy of issue #009 (P+H of USD2.00 applies).