A friendly reminder that Beastmaker fucking rule and are about to drop a true monster of an album Inside The Skull on Rise Above this May 19th. It is heavier, gnarlier and all around more blissfully doomed the fuck out. Loving the promo. Man, “Of God’s Creation” and “Psychic Visions”…wait til you hear those new bad boys. Massive, vintage Sabotage Sabbath meets darker heavy modern doom and hard rock sounding monuments to heavy glory…it’s all there. It is gonna flatten a lot of the stuff released so far this year, IMO. The tones and general sense of presence of each track is simply large and in charge, baby.
The band are about to kick off a highly drooled over tour with mighty Zakk Sabbath as well (and my boys in Geezer are on a NY show, I believe). Beastmaker assure me that ,“We are ready to rise from the crypt for the blood feast!”
Check the dates out below. Highly worth your time, and I do mean highly. \m/Add to My Radar
Swedish doom band Below return with new Metal Blade release Upon A Pale Horse, an album that will land on you like ton of bricks yet carry you to heights of feeling usually reserved for metal classics at the same time. A more traditional heavy metal influence courses through the veins of this doom outfit than, say, death-doom or the currently all the rage alternative melodic metal/doom of Pallbearer (for example), but it is certainly as powerful in a different way.
In many ways it is terrific to hear a band who carry on and bolster the durability of classic time-honored metal forms, while finding endemic roads of their own amidst well tread riff lands. Below are one of the best bands Metal Blade has in their stable for fans of true metal, certainly no flavor of the week signing like some labels toss out these days to appeal to trends. This is just a cool and real group for die hard metal followers.
Zeb from Below took time out to fill me in on the new album, uh, BELOW.Add to My Radar
Desert doom contingent Godhunter have released a track from pending political and personal purge Codex Narco, a lengthy and smoldering track called “Like Glass Under Black Fingernails”. The vocals vary from disgusted snarl to melodic passages that call to mind Only Living Witness, Twitching Tongues or Section 8 in a call and response style over thundering rhythm tracks and other layers that combine to create a vortex of painful visions and maximize the feelings at play.
Find out the background on the song’s deeper meanings and listen to it HERE.
Codex Narco will see digital release through Battleground Records and cassette release through Baby Tooth Records on May 19th; preorders are now posted HERE.Add to My Radar
Well, this is as bad ass as free fudge. EVOKEN have announced the re-issue their much sought-after debut album Embrace the Emptiness (1998) as a limited vinyl edition via Season of Mist. The album is available as a limited pressing of 666 hand-numbered copies on 180 gram black double vinyl. Pre-orders are available at the Season of Mist E-Shop.
The record remains a rewarding solace for doom seekers that displays near gothic moments amidst melodic yet crushing riffs and sepulchral yearnings. It is well regarded as a must hear record for serious fans of the genre to spend a little time with at some point. Certainly one of the more creative and impactful American doom releases.Add to My Radar
Doom tyrants With The Dead have given fans a Decibel Flexi Series slab of rare riff meat. The song is an over bearing punisher called “Vessel of Solitude.” The tune is an in between basher for fans who are impatient as we await the band’s sophomore release, expected this year. Check out the track here.Add to My Radar
One of my all time favorites and quite likely yours at this point, SubRosa have a new video out for “Killing Rapture”. The clip is interesting, reminding me of the poetic natural side and camera work of Zhang Yimou’s HERO in the gorgeous and simple opening shot and evolving to a strong juxtaposition of seeming rural rootedness against modern dissociation of self. The rapture in the title in the wee morning hours after Good Friday has just ended and as we may be on the brink of worse bombings in the world, the baby’s face in one moment of the clip…it all has me wondering what the future holds and why pundits are so eager to chase the war ratings and drum up support for unreasonable horrors.
Anyhow, this is an intense and interpretive, well made clip set to the band’s particular and stirring sound. Eternal respect to this group.Add to My Radar
Valborg, once described by the quite choosy yet very metal authority Tom G. Warrior himself as “abundantly original and unique“ and “a mixture of Bohren und der Club of Gore, early Black Sabbath and Hellhammer”, have returned with their latest curious offering.
Produced by Markus Siegenhort (Lantlôs), Endstrand is a 13 song end-time vision hosting apparitions of empty beaches, bunkers in the dunes, novel biological phenomenon, washed up artifacts, noise distorted signals and omnipresent whirring, all of which float above the backdrop of VALBORG’s utterly barbaric death crunch.
Sounds cool to us. We liked their last one Romantik. Between this and the news that Neurosis is supporting Fires Within Fires with Converge and Amenra along for the ride, it is a good week for fans of experimental heavy music as we prepare for Saturn to turn retrograde tomorrow.
Endstrand will be out this Friday, April 7th! Check it out first at Decibel HERE. They certainly have a lot of bellowing and militaristic, thumping and near industrialized low end.Add to My Radar
Sweden’s Below are a strong doom band who, like Pilgrim and October Tide off the top of my head, could deserve a bit wider following. The group’s last record Across The Dark River had some really good moments. I especially dug the song “The Whitechapel Murderer” , which almost called to mind if Tony Martin had sung on the doomiest moments of Heaven & Hell’s The Devil You Know instead of RJD. Now the band is back with another sort of out of focus charcoal grave rubbing looking album cover to go with their dark sonic vision.
The new record Upon A Pale Horse will be out via Metal Blade mid May and you can hear first song “1,000 broken bones” (which sounds more like a Cannibal Corpse song name than doom metal, haha) right HERE. All metal genre jokes aside, we really dig this act. Check them out pronto!
Below comments: “With ‘Upon a Pale Horse‘ we feel that we have found our sound. We have grown as songwriters and this album contains our fastest and slowest, shortest and longest, heaviest and most melodic songs to date. Making this album more diverse yet still staying true to the core of heavy riffs and melodies that is Below. We recorded ‘Upon a Pale Horse‘ in Deep Blue Studios, the studio where we recorded our first EP, so in some sense it felt like we were returning to our roots.”Add to My Radar
The Godhunter project remains an interesting and evolving band , both opaque in what they will do next and yet politically in your face at the same time. Turns out that “next” is finally another release. Codex Narco is the newest record, which features contributions from members of CHRCH, Demon Lung, Mountaineer, Thorne, Methra, and others and more inward looking song topics, rumor has it.
I’m loving the cover art. It makes me think of SST Records if they’d designed pagan children’s books or something instead of St Vitus and Black Flag records.
In line with GODHUNTER’s commitment to speaking out about social issues, the proceeds of Codex Narco’s sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood, the statement reflected in the pink color scheme of the artwork by Bailey Illustration and layout by Cool Ghoul Ltd. (Ethan McCarthy of Primitive Man). Codex Narco was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and features a cover of Tegan & Sara’s “Walking With A Ghost,” for which a video is being created to support suicide prevention.
See the trailer for Codex Narco at THIS LOCATION.
More news on this one as we get it in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, check the track listing below.
Insect Ark is one of my favorite experimental outfits. I think founder Dana Schechter is pretty much a musical genius and we were thrilled to run this interview with her about the original release of the album back in 2015.The project started as a the one-woman solo project of bassist/multi-instrumentalist Dana Schechter (M. Gira’s Angels of Light/Bee and Flower). In January 2015, Portland-based drummer Ashley Spungin (Taurus) joined on drums and electronics and they have been gigging here and there ever since.
Portal/Well is finally available as of a few days ago, with a two color silkscreen on archival grey paper. The vinyl LP is being released by Sleeping Giant Glossolalia Records, artwork updated by Nicole Boitos Hayworth.
Says the band of the new artwork:
Nicole Boitos built the original egg diorama out of a real goose egg for the CD version, (which also featured photos by Simple Box Construction), so it was natural to ask her to illustrate the variation for the LP. The results came out beautifully.Add to My Radar
French doom trio Mars Red Sky are preparing to hit the shores of the UK next month in support of their latest album Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul).
Apex III will be released in North America on May 20 via Listenable Records.
Check out Mars Red Sky tour dates and stream their tracks “Mindreader” and “Shot In Province” here.Add to My Radar
We are lucky to live in a time where you can’t step out of your puke infested snake basket without tripping over a grimy sounding band. From Haxen to Misery Kills to Sourvein, the darkness of raw metal and hardcore music is more pervasive than ever. Eyehategod still pretty much take the crown for intense, blues and junk punk/sludge that will eat you alive or set you free. “Medicine Noose” from their last self-titled record is case in point. From the second the tune opens with a classic sounding EHG feedback ring, you know you’re about to get buried in hell and brimstone.
The veteran band are hitting the road for a Spring run to make some freshly bloomed flowers die. Hopefully no dates will be cancelled, but this band is rock n roll as fuck to the day and so there are no certainties in life. Is there a band more befitting our current American shit show? I think not.
Dates below.Add to My Radar
Swedish melo-death-doomers October Tide have released their newest song “Nursed By The Cold”.
“Nursed By The Cold” comes from the band’s upcoming album Winged Waltz which will come out April 22 via Agonia Records.
October Tide will also be co-headlining a European tour with Demonical.
Check out “Nursed By The Cold” and October Tide tour dates here.Add to My Radar
Body Count are not our latest band spotlight because you don't know who they are. Hell, they are infamous! How many rock bands still scare crusty old white people in 2017? Powerflo and Prophets Of Rage are helping bring actually good rap metal back, but Body Count hit the biggest grand slam of late with Bloodlust. The thrash act have been around since "Cop Killer" was the most controversial song in the world, but recently soared back to prominence in the metal scene with topical songs capturing current headlines. "Civil War", "No Lives Matter" and the new album's strongest cut "Black Hoodie" - paired with cameos from Dave Mustaine, Max Cavalera and Randy Blythe plus charismatic spoken intros from Ice-T - have secured the band respect well beyond a novelty status they never deserved. Bloodlust has been out a few months now and remains in heavy rotation for many of us.