Posts Tagged ‘Sludge’

Sludgy Arizona band Horse Head have already disbanded by the time you hear their final release ‘Terminal’, and it feels like I’m getting to know them too late. Their follow up to the well received ‘Missionary’ will appeal to fans of EyeHateGod and Rwake, but Horse Head aren’t mere clones. In fact, they could’ve been something incredibly special.

Opener ‘Inferno’ builds with rumbling bass and a cold, clean guitar riff then strong doom guitar crashes behind a nihilistic shriek. While lacking much of the squalling feedback of EHG, Horse Head definitely capture a more sun scorched take on sludgey nihilism. It is dry, suffocating heat with almost brutal takes on Kyuss riffs, rather than your murky swampy eastern sludge. ‘Throne of Lies’ is a stomping, Godfleshian nightmare where southern fried riffs take on a ritualistic, nightmarish edge. They remind me of fellow Arizonians Godhunter, especially in the deathly, sludgecore crush of closer ‘Price We Paid’

Horse Head have left quite the epitaph in ‘Terminal’. Sludgey, fire scorched riffs burn brilliantly under throat shredding screams and a dangerous sense of groove. It seems quite the shame that they have gone, but we have this to remember them by.

https://www.facebook.com/horseheadphx/

https://horseheadphx.bandcamp.com/

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A one man swampy black metal project from the dark recesses of Floridian marshland, Worm’s debut record ‘Evocation of the Black Marsh’ is due out at the end of the month on Iron Bonehead, and is a particularly nasty slab of raw, sludgey black metal with more subtlety and nuance than you might expect…

‘Altar of Black Sludge’ couldn’t really be better named, as a morbid crawling riff oozes from underneath occult atmospheres of dread before the ‘Winged Beast of the Phantom Crypt’ envelopes a harsh riff in a suffocating miasma and unholy screams vomit forth from dark places. All the best parts of early Bathory combining with the latter swaying doom of Celtic Frost make ‘Gravemouth’ a modern, mutating classic. Sure, black metal plays the major influencing role here but there’s an undeniably sludge and doom undercurrent here too. The title track sounds like Xasthur covering EyeHateGod, which is inevitably awe inspiring.

Monstrous, fetid crushers like ‘Evil in the Mire’ and ‘Swamp Ghoul’ raise foul spectres of southern sludge and when layered with a malevolent black metal spirit allows ‘Evocation of the Black Marsh’ to become as good an embodiment of a title as any album you’ve heard in ages. Poisonous, asphyxiating bands like Worm aren’t ten a penny, and therefore you need to find this.

http://www.ironbonehead.de/

https://www.facebook.com/IronBoneheadProductions/

Brazilian atmospheric doom/sludge from one of my favourite record labels?! SOLD! Transcending Obscurity are bringing us this slab of massive riffs ‘Terraforming’, which is a pleasure to find as your immediate thoughts on South American metal is howling, raging Satanic black/death/thrash. Isn’t nice when your perceptions are shattered? ‘Terraforming’ is out on the 15th November.

The groaning strength of ‘Matriarch’ begins this record with a swaying riff and a lurching, atonal melody that floats below cavernous roars. Think of the mournful power of Swallow the Sun, and couple that with a rusty Louisiana groove and scowling guttural roars and you’ll be about there. The atmospheric ‘Unearthly Glow’ is an early highlight, and I like how Jupiterian mix a sense of the vast beauty of death/doom with the ugliness of sludge. The title track is dark and creepy ambience, benefitting greatly from an appearance from Maurice de Jong of Gnaw Their Tongues.

‘Terraforming’ is a titanic record, built upon massive riffs that appear from the darkness like cliffs of granite. A record that has a deep sense of uneasiness about it, whether in the vocals from hell or the odd melodies seeping out of the guitars. Jupiterian are vast, primal and unbearably heavy at points. Shimmering black metal moments in ‘Us and Them’ are a mere example of the atmospheric, limitless possibilities hidden with ‘Terraforming’. Mark your calendar for this one.

https://www.facebook.com/jupiteriandoom/

https://jupiterian.bandcamp.com/

https://tometal.com/

From the home of rock and roll Memphis, Tennessee, comes Namazu, whose debut album ‘Works Cited’ is a blistering combination of hardcore and heavy metal, in the style of Black Tusk or Red Fang. Typhoon Killer Records is dropping the record at the end of September, and it definitely seems to be worth your hard earned cash.

Immediately infectious, Namazu come across as a hybrid of Mastodon and Clutch, with a soulful heavy metal riffing style encased in rough guitar tone. Songs like ‘Gunwhale’ drive onwards, like a melodic river under a sun scorched sky, and the chunky ‘Bright Boys’ kicks like old Torche. It is immensely satisfying when you read that a band sounds a bit like a lot of your favourite bands, and then not only does it turn out to be true but that they are more than just your average copycats. Namazu take bits and pieces from all their influences and carve their own sound from them. Tracks like spiralling, Kylesa-esque ‘The Sportswriter’, or the progressive leanings of ‘Waterwalkers’ are a little off kilter, and it just makes them all the better.

Namazu are a welcome addition to that subgenre of sludgey hardcore that is full of infectious melodies. They’re here to kick your head in and make you sing along at the same time. I can imagine their live shows are awesome, as ‘Works Cited’ possesses a thrilling energy about it.

https://www.facebook.com/NAMAZU666/

https://namazu666.bandcamp.com/releases

Contra - Deny Everything

A formerly instrumental stoner sludge outfit, Contra (classic video game reference has sold me already) have dropped their debut record ‘Deny Everything’ on Robustfellow Productions/Shifty Records, and despite the relatively uninspired album cover is a badass record full of heavy blues and cathartic sludge roars that will delight even the most jaded of metal fans.

Squalls of feedback lead into a groovy slab of stoner metal, where ‘Human Buzzsaw’ takes the wheel for a trip down some sickeningly catchy groovy roads. The slamming ‘Altered Beast’ feels like Clutch jamming some old Kyuss riffs, while ‘The Gorgon’ hits hard before the spacious ‘Humanoid Therapy’ adds a little bit of slow, desert rock doom in there. Contra don’t stick to a simple template, they throw in little bits of everything within the stoner/sludge/doom sphere and come out with something that rocks hard and seeps into your mind.

The rumbling intro to ‘One Hundred Hand Slap’ could be my favourite moment here; stinking of NOLA blues and soul. ‘Deny Everything’ may not be the most original slab of hard rocking stoner sludge, but when you have riffs like these who cares?! Contra are a new guilty pleasure I keep coming back to, and ‘Deny Everything’ is built for jamming.

https://contracleveland.bandcamp.com/album/deny-everything

https://www.facebook.com/ContraCle/

 

Warcrab - Scars of Aeons

When death metal meets sludge, you’re probably going to be in for the heaviest of musical endeavours, and when you find Warcrab you’re in for a real treat. Their second full length, ‘Scars of Aeons’ is out very soon on Transcending Obscurity, and it could be one of the most devastating releases this year. Prepare to be flattened…

‘Conquest’ is one of the ugliest monoliths of extremity you’ll experience. Chilling murmurs begin to fade behind a dense, Crowbar-esque riff and an insistent drum line. Massive, deathly groove flows like a river, overwhelming you in a torrent of crushing riffs. That almost typical British death metal groove rolls out in full force, but the injection of Deep South sludge sensibilities looms large over the melodies that lurk within. The bulldozing start of ‘Destroyer of Worlds’ is a thing of mighty, brutal beauty.

The mournful ‘In the Shadow of Grief’ is bleak, rolling thunder upon a barren world, while the monolithic crush of the title track provides the final soundtrack to a burning, collaping planet. ‘Scars of Aeons’ finds Warcrab creating a sound that is beyond mere sludgy nihilism and deathly brutality, but a defining place beyond. Nasty, yet undeniably catchy in parts, Warcrab are heaviness incarnate and ‘Scars of Aeons’ is fucking great.

https://warcrabuk.bandcamp.com/album/scars-of-aeons-death-sludge-monstrosity

https://www.facebook.com/WarCrab666/

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Nightmarish death/doom titans Drug Honkey have been twisting the Godfleshian blueprint into darker and heavier forms for many years now, and their newest release, ‘Cloak of Skies’, is yet another progression into psychosis causing metal. Hallucinating carnage and despair is very much a byproduct, and Transcending Obscurity will be lucky to avoid the blame for a host of suicides or mental collapses based on this record!

If you want to hear the visceral rending of the earth, then that opening note of ‘Pool of Failure’ will do it. Apocalyptic, crushing monstrosities of death and doom collapsing stone and earth around you, while maddening growls rumble from the dark. ‘Sickening Wasteoid’ hums with static desolation, while the ugly stomp of ‘Outlet of Hatred’ is reassuringly heavy. Like a terrible psychedelic trip where instead of seeing happiness and joy, you’re confronted by the sheer horror of this world in the haunting ‘(Its Not) The Way’, while the mental weight of ‘Cloak of Skies’ is almost unbearable.

Harrowing, unrepentant and cataclysmic, Drug Honkey are like the back street junkie version of Godflesh. While JK Broadrick imbued his music with industrial heaviness there were often glimmers of hope. ‘Cloak of Skies’ is smothered by despair, drowning in sludge and crumbling under its own existence. Terrifyingly essential.

https://drughonkey.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/drughonkey

http://tometal.com/