Saturday, June 29, 2019

Crypt Sermon :' The Ruins of Fading Light'

This band finds themselves at the place where power metal meets doom. The guitars have a more driven chug to them. Huge epic guitars are heavy and the vocals soar but have an edge to them. Some of the riffs have more melancholy than others. I like this better than most modern power metal, because it doesn't race ahead of you with a glorious gallop that is too happy to be metal. The vocals do have hook to them are carry memorable melodies, while keeping the 80s cheese influence to a minimum. The only 80s I head comes from a place like Sanctuary  or  Metal Church. Some of the melodies are almost to grandiose for their own good on "Our Reverends Grave" . The double bass keeps things moving, but there formula to this song is very similar to the previous song's. Too up beat for doom, however the influence is undeniable.

"Christ is Dead" highlights the strength of singer Brook Wilson's voice as a lower croon is the more dominant vocal carrying the song. The other vocal colors on this album range from a higher more power metal like warble , but with a sharper edge to it as well as death metal growls that only accent a phrase for a few seconds here and there.  The vocals take on a more of a asp going into "the Snake Handler". The song ends up really going crazy with the guitar solos, which fans of this genre will appreciate, I can deal with this since it is balanced out by some melodic and tasteful touches of guitar as well.  There is am ore dramatic folk infused  to "Enslave the Heathens" which is the intro "Beneath the A Torch Fire Glare" .  This is the first song that fully commits to being doom.  They continue to keep a balance of melody and heaviness on " the Ruins of Fading Light" .

i will round this up to a 9. It is very well done and I like the fact the vocals have a range of dynamics to them. Power metal for those who like darker shades of metal. Though not a dark as say King Diamond. They lyrics are more topical like Iron Maiden and the sinister stays pretty surface level. If you like classic metal, but you want a thrashing bite to it without the speed then this is worth your time. This album comes out September 13th.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

He is Legend : "White Bat"

6 albums in you pretty much know what you are going to get from these guys. Though there might be a more spastic energy to this album than what I have heard from them in the past. If Corrosion of Conformity smokes a bunch of meth, the results might be the same. The vocals are very dynamic. Typically in a throaty scream, he does let up and actually sing in places. It is a smooth yet grungy croon. This side of the band that delves into more melodic territory emerges on "When the Woods Were Young". The traces of the more emo influenced Myspace scene they formed among, can be heard on "Eye Teeth". There is still enough grit to make this not offensive. Though from some of the intervals the vocals use this era is not forgotten.

Some songs work better than others , there energy normally compensates on songs like "Talking Stalker" . When they lean more heavily into melody it pays off. "Bent" does not allow all the focus to be on the vocal melody as things stay frantic and chaotic underneath. "Resister, Resist Her" dials up the melody. There are still flourishes of guitar heroics, but it more balanced/. Melody is their strength especially when it is brooding and introspective as " Uncanny Valley" takes this  even further. They continue this winning streak with a well balanced blend of melody and the bite they like to lash out with. The guitar tones shift. The drumming is more nuanced, to make for a more dynamic performance.

There is more groove to "Skin So Soft" . The vocals are not as locked in as the previous songs, but it still works. The album closes with "Boogie Woman" its heavier than the second half of the album,. I am not sure the guitar and the vocals ar as entwined in their most interesting dance here. In fact this song begins to bor me mid way through. The first time that has happened on this album. This might have been better left as a bonus track. I will give this album a 9. It is most interesting at it's most melodic. I think fans of this band will have little issue embracing this album.   

Beastmaker : "Eye of the Storm"

Sadly this is the swan song for this band. Two of the members are in Haunt, so they are bringing this band to a close in order to focus more on that project. I think judging from the title track that opens this album that I prefer Beastmaker to Haunt. These guys are the more metal of the two band. There are less guitar solos here and a darker mood. That is not to say they have gone back to doom. It still is more up tempo and traditional metal owing more to NWOBHM. The album is no devoid of guitar solos as some crop up on the second song. It never feels likes the songs are just bookends serving as place holders for the solo.

The singer knows the limits of his voice and works well with what he has. It is phrasing and more where he does put his voice. There is a more Juda Priest like harmony to the guitars of "My Only Wish". I like the wailig of his voice here, it has the Ozzy like despondency . Once again the chugs are too driving for this to be doom. I can hear how this would still appeal to fans of doom. The vocals are catchy enough to keep me engaged. There is  a more surreal vibe going into "Celestial Glow". This is broken up by the more aggressive chug of guitars. All the songs do stay at the same mid paced tempo.

The uniform nature of the songs' pacing is really the reason I would round this down to a 9,5, I hope they reconsider bringing this project to an end and perhaps some time away from this band will make their hearts grow fonder . They are certainly closing with such a good album that I do not want to see them go as it would be cool to hear where they are going from here , as I do not see Haunt carrying the same torch,  It would have been nice to get more than a four song good by, but I will take what I can get. .

Bloody Hammers : " the Summoning"

This is not my first dance with these guys. In the first two songs I am already more impressed with what they are doing here than the last album I heard from them "A Lovely Sort of Death" At first this more stream lined sound made me think of Ghost, but then after a closer listen it was actually H.I.M who they were closer in the sonic spectrum. There are hints of a more power metal like traditional metal sound, though they keep it as dark as a tongue in cheek horror movie. All the evil is purely theatrics. They back off and let the keyboards play a larger role in the title track as the vocals take on more of a croon. It is not as heavy as the first two songs and works more off melodrama. There is more chug to the guitars on "Fire in the Dark", but the more metallic drive gives way to the goth rock side on the verse.

The vocals are belted out in such a way that makes it seem less dark. If he sang lower it might work better. He does not have a bad voice it feels like he is over singing. Despite the vocals they do manage to capture more of a goth sound on "the Beast is Coming Out".  There is more metal to "Welcome to Darkness " while staying close to their goth side. The lyrics need to be addressed. They are trying their best to be spooky, but come off more campy. There is a more ballad like turn with "Condemned the Prisoner" . It does build up in typical late 80s fashion. Lyrically it about a prayer from jail so it's a hard right turn from the demon songs.  The  H.I.M vibe is pretty strong on "Far Beyond the Grave". As a song it still works pretty well. 

I think some of this would just have to grow on me. The vocals I am still on the fence with. I will give this album an 8. If you are a fan of late 90s goth H.I.M, then this should be up your alley as long as you are not rigid with how sincere lyrics must be. Like cheesy horror movies there has to be some suspension of disbelief. I beleive these guys more than Ghost, and there guitar have more punch, I would also say they are darker than Ghost. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Torche : "Admission"

The first ditty is almost more of an intro. There is burlier sound. Especially when it come to the vocals . It sounds more like Mastodon.The vocal delivery is sung , but more metallic than I remember on the "Meanderthal" album which was the last one I really paid a ton of attention to. "Slide" has more of a rock groove. The vocals also remind me a little of Prong or Helmet at times. There is a more 90s metal sound to this album so far. The minute and a half of " What Was' feels like it is not long enough to become an actual song. It's more of a idea. "Times Missing ' is a fully formed song that is more down trodden with a droning throb of a riff that is more Hum like. There is a glassy eye shoe gaze like ambiance that spreads over the song.

There is more of a Smashing Pumpkins like shimmer to the title track.By the end of the song the more shoegazing elements start to swallow it.  The lumber to "Reminder' doesn't feel like they really want to get into the thick of this song and let it rip. This causes some redundancy.  The woozy shoe gaze guitar once again slowly  threatens to over take the song. When they do crank things up it is like a sluggish version of Mastodon. Though in the case of "On the Wire" it is like if Helmet had been huffing ether. They keep with this sluggish pace for another song. The pace picks up for the last song, though it's not the most memorable.

I like the fact this album is not as peppy and more along the lines of the Foo Fighters as what I have heard from these guys previously. Despite being old pros it sometimes felt like they were capturing a cool sound  rather than writing  a cool song. It worked more often than it did not so I will give this album an 8 , as there are many strong moments. Fans of this band have already hung with them through odd shifts in sonics so this won't be that much of  a stretch. 

Lavina "Sallowed"

I can already tell you what I like about this band from New Hampshire. They remind me of when emo was about more than hair cuts. Before emo became a commodity on Myspace. They are sonically intense . Closer to post-rock and shoe gaze than pop punk. They remind me  of Mineral . Yet I would not say they are ripping Mineral off. They are paying homage to that time period without question. The late 90s. This was an era where music felt more exciting and new when it came to the new depth this brand of punk spawned music ventured into. Here the results are more texture and fragile introspective melodies. The vocals feel like they are going to break along with his heart at any minute.

It is not just the sounds they have capture to bring back the genre's glory days , but the songs flow with such ease I can listen to this album on repeat.  The guitars take on a more indie rock jangle with "Embers" The vocals are crooned more on this one. The guitar touch on a denser intensity to create a heavier sound by the song's climax. The vocals have more of a breathy hover as the atmosphere over takes the song " Last Leaves". This album benefits from great production that allows them to experiment . The drum sounds are very crisp. Every thing sits in the mix just where it needs to be. "Fall Risk" finds synths joining in as the music swells up with epic dynamics. The vocal also rising to the occasion in their plea.

The pace picks up a little as the mood lightens on "Window". It falls in line with the established sounds on his album, The title track closes the album. The lyrics are sung with perhaps an even greater level of feeling. This song is more atmospheric in it's pulse than the others, though slowly comes together. I will give this album a 9.5 as it really excels on every level and takes me back to a welcome place.

Drei Affen : "Seguimos Ciegxs"

I can always tell what styles of music are gaining more ground when I begin to hear it imported from other countries. Sometimes this works better than others. With this kind of crusty hardcore, it is open to more possibilities than say black metal, which require a chilly pulse.The mood on this band from Spain's new EP is dark and explosive. The second song is less dynamic until midway through it breaks into more strummed guitar tone. Spanish also proves to be an awkward language for their vocal style as it takes on a very monochromatic bark. While the 3rd song ends with a cool riff, the rule around here is cool riffs alone does not a good song make. Also I think due to the vocals the songs have begun to all sound the same at this point.

Unrelenting can be a good quality for music to have. I understand the aggressive nature and being in your face. That does not excuse painting your songs with only one color. At the onset of this album we got glimpses into a wider range of dynamics so it is disappointing they choose not to expand their sound. Its not until the second to last song that  you heard other sounds introduced to give it a darker mood. This is lost however when they throw themselves back into a blazing fast feral riff. Keeping with a punk work ethic when it comes to song writing the songs are all in the 3 minute range.

The last song does offer a touch more of dynamics but at this point it is almost too late as I have become bored with the album and it fades into the buzz of background noise. They are decent musicians with potential. I blame most of this album's problem is the annoying squawk of the vocals. They touch on cool parts , but never really write a cool song. I will give this album a 6 for the traces of interesting things found in this opaque storm.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Cherubs : "Immaculada High"

These guys have been around since 91. They come out of the same scene that spawned Sonic Youth, though they are from Texas.They explode with fuzz and feed back on the first two songs, the second being more punk of the two. I think I prefer the more textured and grunge like sound on the second song. They can get too noisy which they prove on "Tigers In the Sky" . I it all out the whole time with no dynamics or melody. They back off again on "IMCG' this gives the vocals more room to sing rather than rant against the squeals of the over driven guitar. The bass drives this one and the guitar lays back for more atmosphere. The direction they take the guitar in wavers on the more sonically intense side of shoe gaze.

They mess with the formula finding more angular drive on "Old Lady Shoe". The album begins to take a turn that is more of a pulse than the noisy battering they hammer you with at first.By the time we get to  "Cry Real Wolves" I begin to get bored , All the songs while different to some degree begin to sound the same. I think dynamics are a problem along with the fact that any time noise is the form of sonic currency on the table you can pretty much rule out hook There is a more grunge tinged strut on "Full Regalia". Most of the lyrics have been obscured until now . I hear something about politicians , after that point it is a pounding blur.

The last song pretty much sounds like all the others with a variation in the pounding. The bulk of band who use noise as part of the stock and trade of their sound often compromise song writing for this. The only two exceptions I can think of are Sonic Youth and Swans. Teah you can try to argue bands like Nine Inch Nails, but that is a small percent on the outskirts of their songs. So this album has moments the more grunge one being the best side of equation. I will give this album a 7. It is being released on Relapse Records.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Bleached : " Don't You Think You've Had Enough"

How many bands play just rock n roll these days . There is a California pop vibe mixed with hints of Ramones like punk that is dialed back to the Cars meets Joan Jett,  "Hard to Kill " changing gears and goes into a more disco like groove. The song is very well written so this shift still works.  Musically you might think a song like "Daydream" is going to be too happy for me, but I think the angry heart break of the lyrics makes up for it. "I get What I Need " is the first hint of filler as it doesn't draw me in like the others. There is more of a 80s sense of melody and more texture on "Somebody Dial  911". The guitar tone shifts to give them more of a Cure like sound

"Kiss You Goodbye" returns more to a dancey groove. They continue to flip flop between the two sounds which thanks to her voice are not that disconnected , she really only backs off on her phrasing in the less rock sections. "Rebound City" has more of a punk energy to it. The moodier "Silly Girl" is a more interesting song , with the vocals less yelled like a cheer leader and sung with more nuance. The chords going into "Valley To LA" have more of a twang to them. This song really grows on me by the second listen. They have have a  knack for hooks that gets displayed here. This has the album most intricate guitar parts as well.

"Real Life" is punk in the sense that Gang of Four. Driven by the skip of a staccato riff. "Awkward Phase" has a more somber tension in it's teenage homage. It is a return to their more polished and hooky frame work of song writing. The stripped down jangle of "Shitty Ballet", is not as compelling even when it builds up into punk with more bluster.  This album is a success for them. I was marginal on this band until now, they won me over so I will give it a 9. This album comes out July 12th on Dead Oceans.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Witch Ritual : " Death Beyond"

This German bands sound is not the most original. I name a half dozen doom band's with female singers that not far removed sonically. Bands like Witch Mountain, Devils Blood, King Woman, Lucifer, Psychedelic Witchcraft, Royal Thunder, Christian Mistress and Windhand are variations of this some more rock n roll than others. This band is somewhat darker than those and more intentional in it's metallic attack. This also makes them less blues based band rock orientated. So the more mournful doom sound is dialed in without being a Black Sabbath cover band that happens to have a female singers like some of their peers. Songs like "Behind Me' have more heft to them.

They are more like Solitude Aternus in the ways their lumber has a soaring epic nature. more somber moments help to separate the riffing from the masses of Sabbath worshipers. "Ruins" has a similar creeping linger to the guitars as the previous song, until the power chords crunch in. Lacri their vocals belts the songs out with conviction. She is not ripping off any one, but is not unlike many female doom singer. If you told me they are influenced by Dio more than Ozzy I would buy that theory. Though what they are doing is not as blatantly metal as the Dio years with Sabbath. It's more like the Tony Martin years. "Beyond Death" is more metallic. It also falls more neatly into the the box of what you might commonly expect from doom. Low rumbling chords that ring like a church bell.

 The last song is acoustic which I do not feel really contributes much to their established tone. Not oppose to hearing them in a more stripped down fashion, but I think it would work better serving a wider dynamic scop in one of their songs rather than standing alone. This is a pretty solid album, I will give it an 8.  if you want doom that is still melodic with a retro vibe  then check this out.

Tennis System : "Love Sick"


Shoe gaze works off a nostalgia half the time and drugs the other. For the new bands trying to pick up the torch , it is easy to hide behind effects, but song writing is another story These guys twist the formula to make this an exception to the rule. . "Alone" has the wobbling drunken guitar sound My Bloody Valentine made famous. The drums are going a more punk pace. The vocals are following the drums , but are not as aggressive or angry as punk. These components begin to create formula that moves these songs. The vocals to "Esoteric" are not as repetitive and lyrically it is more interesting. "Deserve" has a little darker tone. The mood is more somber despite the uptempo pulse. There is a really Cure like bass line in one section. They never get tense enough to be post punk, but fans of that genre will find enough similar elements to embrace this. The drive of "Third Time" reminds me more of a band like Hum. The vocals are in a higher reedy tenor.

"Rotting Out " is another display of their catchy song writing skills. The bass is more dominant here. The guitar comes out from behind the effects to play a more straight forward role ion the sonic of the song without taking away from their established sound. It reminds me of some of the indie rock bands that were on the periphery of the early emo scene, which along with post-rock bands are what kept the torch for shoe gaze going. While the vocals follow the kind of phrasing and melodies commonly found in shoe gaze, the delivery if different so it help them stand out from the pack.  Yes the songs to begin to take on a certain formula, but there is enough nuance to keep it engaging.

The compass not only the spectrum of shoe gaze guitar sounds from over fuzzed to dreamy, but some more that fall on the rock side of indie rock, rather than just a midrange jangle. I would not say this album is ever heavy. Nor does it need to be. The instrumentals are not as compelling and feels like it is a song waiting to happen. The first half of "Cone Undone" has more of a lethargy draped over , but picks up with a melodic tension. The vocals to the title track take on the more breathy tone that is expected from shoe gaze though the song builds into one of the more aggressive moments at the chorus. I will round this up to a 9.5 as the only moments I am unsure of just need to grow on me.

Hollywood Vampires : " Rise"

First impressions of this band being here is what happens on A.A golf events in LA when rock stars and movie stars have too much time on their hands. Despite the fact I am an Alice Cooper fan and know Jo Perry is good guitar player I was till skeptical so was surprised with how the album opened with a rock song that is more serious than I thought I could take this band. Though it is darker and slinkier "Who Laughing Now" suffers from lyrics that seem silly to me. "Boogieman Surprise" surprise feels more like an odd Alice Cooper song from the early 80s. Then things get country on " Welcome to Bushwhackers". It is kinda silly.  They cover the Johnny Thunder song 'You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" Joe Perry sings this one. Obviously when you are the guitarist for a band as big as Areosmith you are going to be a pro.

Sonically so far "Git From Around Me' is the most intresting song thus dark as it is darker and heavier. Johnny Depp then takes on Bowie's "Heroes". This is the least vocally demqanding of his songs, so it fits Depp's voice until he has to reach for the notes as the song build and just exclaims them louder than hitting the notes with any kind of power. "New Threat' sound like filler from one of Cooper's cock rock albums. "Mr Spider' sounds like classic Alice Cooper that these guys are just guesting on. "We Gotta Rise" is a drunken pirate song  that is pretty dumb. "People Who Died" is not much better . At best it ssounds like Alice Coopers new wave years mixed with punk.

There is a more Pink Floyd like tone behind the spoken word of "Congratulations" if almost feel more like an outro than a song. I  will give this one an 8. It is obviously not Alice Cooper's best  work. If you don't know better you might even be really impressed. I think there are some strong moments on Cooper's behalf. .

Tomb Mold : "Planetary Clairvoyance"

It is always weird to me when the drummer in a death metal band is the growler. When you have thundering double bass it seems like a great deal of multitasking. These guys are going for a dirty old school sound. It is pretty impressive when he is growling over the faster sections, though it is highly unlikely he does that in the studio, he still has to deliver live. Like most extreme metal bands they get a pass on the first song because you are just caught up in how heavy it is. After that the question needs to be raised , but can these guys write a song. Another fair question at this point is also what are these guys doing that I have not heard before?  The latter part is not really explored into the melodic break down at the four and a half minute mark,

There is more of a full frontal blasting assault to "Planetary clairvoyance", Even then these guys get credit for breaking it up and not going the most direct route. This is where the originality lies, not in the low Cannibal Corpse like vocals. There is a similar bull dozing hammering effect with "Infinite Ressurection" the emphasis begins to become speed. The songs start racing past me and all sounding the same so I had to go back and give it a more focused listen. They keep this opaque aggression in place , though still manage to find some groove on "Accelerative Phenomenae". They don't let this breath for long and the formula seems to expand and contract when it comes to how up close and personal the full speed ahead gets.

"Cerulean Salvation" has a few riff with some hook to it , but the wall of double bass and tremolo picked walls of density coming at you obscure any dynamics. "Heat Death" pretty much seems like a continuation of the previous song. I would not say this album runs out of steam, but it all comes a blur that bores me by the last song. The captured good sounds and have their moments so I will give this album a 6. If heavy is what you want out of your death metal, then this is worth your time. It comes out on 20 Buck Spin.

Friday, June 14, 2019

This Gift is a Curse : " A Throne of Ash"

I like this. Judging from how the physical album were sold out in one day maybe not a fervently as their fan base. Sure they had a swathe of atmosphere opening the album, along with some sonic moments on songs like "Gate Dweller", but they remind me of Pantera's more unbridled moments.A shade darker unless we are talking about "the Great Southern Trend kill".  Yes they are pissed. This Swedish band might be many things, but I do not hear any sludge at all. Blackened hard core is the most apt sub-genre to stack them into. "Thresholds" is a pretty convincing case for that. There is also some thrashy touches, which when mixed with the hardcore in the perfect storm of double bass creates the Pantera sound I am talking about. I am sure the Pantera comparison, which might be something some of the metal hipsters in these guys might not be able to un-hear, is not something the band really set out to do.

They are pretty preoccupied with speed and pour it on more often than not , I am just trying to key in on the cool guitar riffs buried under the explosion of sound. Things do not slow down until "Monuments For Dead Gods". Then they of course build back up with a river of double bass flowing beneath them, thus ending the Pantera comparison for a minute. The vocals have a throatier resonance to their bark, versus the more screamed approach of the album so far. The more screamed part the lyrics cut through a little better. After the ambiance leading into "Wolvking' we are back at a full throttle in your face kind of thing. This finds the songs beginning to bleed together. At that pace it is hard to make out any thing. I know I complain about bands getting too fast. I love black metal so I am not opposed to it. The problem is too many bands use it as any easy way out. This theory is proven on "I am Katharsis". By blasting right past you, there is no need to hone the finer points of song writing.

There is more grinding noise to " I am Your Black Halo". It sounds like a car accident and feels like a train wreck. "Wormwood Star" is a little darker and moodier. It does end in a crusty pounding. I wil;l give this album a 7.5, think I have not pulled any punches about what did not work for me. What worked was the sonic heaviness and the cool guitar parts. The rule aroun here is coll riffs alone does not a good song make. So that factored into the acore as well.

Concrete Dream ; "s/t"

I am open to nu-metal finding new life. What that looks like is still in question. I think band's like New Years Day do an admirable job carrying that torch. Thinking back to the 90s, it was the hip hop connection that had to be tread upon carefully, for every band that did it right...Rage Against the Machine, Stuck Mojo, Hed Pe...there were a dozen that did it wrong. I think the trick is not coming across like you are bunch of Juggaloos. This New Jersey band falls some where on the spectrum and after the first song I am not sure where that is. The second song is more pounding. The rap elements are more prominent here. I am fine with that , as I have heard them done well on the "Punk Goes Pop" compilations. Here they are beginning to get a little Limp Bizkit. To avoid this I am hoping they get darker as the album progress. They are walking a fine line so far and if it tips on the Limp Bizkit side I am not going to be into it. What they have going for them is the guitars are heavier.

More electronic elements would also be welcomes as a band like 3Teeth certainly puts them to good use. But we are in more of a Linkin Park zip code going into "Reasons". The sung vocals are not bad, but not really that original either. The Myspace metal quality of it's mall hard-core begins to gnaw on me. "Catch 22" proves they can get the hi hop part right. It's only marginally darker , but enough to work for me. The groove to "Relationshit" works really well with what the vocals are doing . "Buckout Road" doesn't maintain their winning streak as well, though it is still a decent song. "Hero" finds them driving dangerously close back into Limp Bizkit's  and works more of genre tropes I heard 20 years ago. "Lip Kit" is closer to Linkin Park , but I can live with this better than the previous song.

I am ready for something differently sonically from these guys . Instead I get  more aggressive version what I have heard. Though as far as the rap rock goes it might be better than half the songs on here. "See You Later" is more on the pop side, which is actually what I think this album needed more of, maybe not just like. I will round this down to an 8 for the more Limp Bizkit momentum but I don't hear them playing the Gathering either.



Yarrow : "a Mild Circus"

First heard these guys on  Cvlt Nation's Tribute album to Black Sabbath's "Vol 4". These guys are not really doom here. They are an angular grunge with a thick dose of punk . Like a darker more chaotic version of Mudhoney is one way to think of it. I can also hear traces of Fugazi. "Tambourine" keeps the spot light on their angular nature. There is still a darker tone. It is more grunge than not  with the punk side still leaning in the Fugazi direction. ;Thee song writing is cumbersome with dissonance, but it still works they are just not hitting you with the conventional groove and melodies you expect from indie rock.

 They give the vocals more breathing room on "Shyless". This also opens the door for the drums to establish more of a groove. That is not to say they are not going to explode back out of it.One thing about this band I like is they have no regard for using any type of formula.  The songs are very compactly written. The title track is more aggressive like the Melvins though leaning less towards metal. If you ever wondered what it might have sounded like if Nirvana had jammed with Fugazi, that question is answered on the album's last song "Sorrow". It is marginally more moody while having the uptempo momentum propelling the bulk of these songs

. I think the fact it takes a D/C post hardcore and marries it to grunge angst, is what sells me on this albums as it reminds me a of a slew of bands I used to listen to in high school in the 90s. I guess doom gaze is the most ironic hash tag to use these days as there is nothing doom about this album. If that is what you are looking for look else where. I will however give this a 9 as the sounds captured here fit like puzzle pieces to create a familiar yet unique sound.

Thursday, June 13, 2019


The Fam over Cvlt Nation has released another tribute session. I like these because they always give me a chance to check bands I have not heard before. The first of these being Potion. First impressions being rough because the more I like the band the more critical ear I listen with. I like the guitar sound it's dense and still trippy. Not trying to cop from Tony Iommi. It's a tricky balance when trying to cover Sabbath. Yoiu want to give it your own spin, but these guys invented heavy metal so the stakes are high. The thing about Sabbath, is that they are very similar to how I feel about the Smiths. While I love the band, I have even greater love for Morrissey, if he is singing with them or not. Sure the solo albums might not live up to the classics of their bands , but it's hard to capture their sound without the distinctive vocals. I do not need an Ozzy impersonation. I do need you to hit the notes. I think hitting notes might not be the what this singer normally goes for as they have a more throaty tone, but they do go for it .

Yarrow does a much better job of hitting the notes. Though the change the tone of the song , by making it slower. It still works. They do throw in a bit of the song "Black Sabbath" . Which is more of their thing, Drug Cult handles changes in more of a Tori Amos fashion. "f/x" was always a fast forward classic, Bongripper just makes it a longer one. There is more off a deathly sludge to Oryx's attack upon "Supernaut". The vocals are a little grating , but the guitars are cool.   Mindkult gives a more sludgey southern rock feel to "Snowblind". The vocals are sung and certainly work on the verses. It is when it gets to the bridge that you hear this guy has not much in the way of power or range. Hearing covers like this also shine light on what and under rated singer Ozzy was. Of course only Ozzy is to blame for letting the emphasis be  put on his maniacal acts rather than his pipes.

CHRCH offers up a very dense take on "Cornucopia". The vocals sit way back in the mix until they go into a harsher scream. In places their version is slower and heavier. The snarl of the vocals sets the tone for the rest of the song. Sea Witch offers a more fuzzed out take on "Laguna Sunrise"  another song that is more of an interlude for me, (16) does a really good job with "St. Vitus Dance". They make an effort to sing even if it is from behind a veil of effects. Yidhra also dopes a pretty comparable job with " Under the Sun". I will give this one a 9. It is certainly one of the better albums like this Cvlt Nation has tackled.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Baroness : " Gold & Grey"

The first album after their Grammy nominated "Purple Album" and their first with new lead guitarist Gina Gleason,...who has played in both all female Metallica and King Diamond tribute bands, along with sitting in with Smashing Pumpkins. The stakes are high if they want to keep their momentum as a high profile hard rock band. Even with all of the interludes this still proves to be a double album. The album opens with an uptempo song with a great deal of drive, but otherwise pretty straight forward. "I'm Already Gone" has a more interesting groove. The bellowed baritone vocals still feel a little like a one trick pony here. The atmospherics find it heading in better direction."Seasons" is more progressive and aggressive than the first two songs. At first it seemed to just try to dazzle with it's dynamic range, but it grew on me.

Then things take a jarring turn to an acoustic folk infused song. It doesn't feel like a power ballad , but it gazes in that direction,until it cranks up midway into it. The bass playing on this album is impressive. They also uses a wider array of guitar tones. "Throw Me an Anchor" starts off as more of a Mastodon like ditty, then transitions into a big classic rock like chorus...think Thin Lizzy here. The verses don't do much for me on this one. "I'd Do Anything" is very emo...and yes I mean Dashboard Confessional. "Emmett Radiating Light" is another slow song, though more somber than the emo moments. The guitar to "Cold Blooded Angels" reminds me of "Blackbird" by the Beatles. The song gradually builds and has what is likely the album's best vocal performance and showcases harmonies with Gleason lending her voice. They get heavier with "Broken Halo", by heavier not really metal, but more rock and not leaning towards a ballad. For what they typically do these days it is pretty par for the course.

The more throaty croon of the chorus to "Borderlines" does more for me than the angular mathematics .There is a more psychedelic tone to "Pale Sun" that closes the album. It has texture and groove which are two things important to me as a listener. I will give this album a 9. It was pretty ambitious , but they pulled it off. Very pristine production wise.If you are a fan and ok with hearing their more introspective side then you should like this.

LACRIMAS PROFUNDERE : " Bleed the Stars"

This German band has been around for some time. Falling from the goth meta; mold of the 90s they have been more My Dying Bride than Type O Negative. This trend doesn't wane on the opener, Less doom than My Dying Bride as they are more prone to upbeat numbers. This then gives them a 69 Eyes or HIM. When they make the most of melody the band darkly shines. I do not remember harsh vocals playing as reoccurring role as they do on this album.  The idea of what is heavy has change in metal since their inception so they have somewhat changed with the times in this regard. Their experience has certainly made them polished song writers. Some times melody plays against them and makes things a little sappy, but it is still better than most bands these days.

The vocals have improved a great deal from what I remember of them. His voice is not always enough to keep me engaged as the album faded into the back ground on "Father of  Fate" even though he was flexing a more subdued side of his range. The music is perhaps too upbeat for this. When I check back into the song , I realize it is pretty decent. The vocals beings at times the only gothic trapping trappings. Musically that tend to fall more on the hard rock side of metal. In the 90s this would have been the heavier side of middle of the road metal, not so much now. There is marginally more stomp going into "Like Screams in Empty Halls". While it is catchy and soaring the chorus shed some of the darker mood.  This leaves it to the bridge to darken things again.

No matter how soaring or melodic they get this band still has more balls than some one like Ghost. The HIM like melodrama returns to the overt enunciation of " the Reaper". The melody top the chorus once again has a decent , but shines to bright for what they should be doing. While there is still that HIM like touch to the melodies, there is also more drive to "After All Those Infinities". I like the bass groove and vocals to "As Sip of Multiverse. This also highlights the fact these songs all of sci-fi inflected lyrics. More often than not metaphors for some kind of over wrought emotional pleas. The album closes with 'A Sleeping Throne" which doesn't do a great deal for  me. The drumming is well done , but metal bands have to have good drummers.  I will give this album an 8. It is not as dark as I would like it to be, but it is well done for what it is and these guys have clearly grown as songwriters over the years.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Best Albums of 2019 ...So far

It is that time of the year. We are half way into 2019 so here is a look at the albums that have been released so far.By best , I have already done a best of metal list, so this represents genres that are not metal. So it spans from pop to indie rock.Their placement is based off of score of review and how much did I actually listen to something, as all the cool critics can claim an album is important , but if it doesn't make you want to listen to it all the time then how good can it be. How many of these will stand up over the next six months to come. Experience with these shows at least half, which is typically the bulk of the top five. Did not include samples of the music those can be found on the links to the reviews I posted alongside the entries.   So if you want to read more about them or hear them use those urls to go to the full review.

10-Conny Ochs-"Doom Folk"

 Genre- folk His songwriting is pretty remarkable. It's like if you took 60s pop songs and made them darker. In some ways it's like stripped stoner rock in others it's like the AOR out of California in 70s but on different drugs.

9- Health - "Slaves of Fear"

 Genre- Electronic

 This album is the first without guitarist Jupiter Keys and their is a noted change in their over all sound. It starts of in a harsher more experimental direction and waits til "Feel Nothing " to get focused on the kind of songs that originally won me over. It's equal parts pop and industrial.

8-Frontlime Assembly -"Wake Up the Coma"

 The project's 20th album finds them pumping out what you would want from them. Aggressive dystopian dance music with slithering grooves. The first departure from their tried and true formula is on their cover of Falco's " Rock Me Amadeus" with Jimmy Urine from Mindless Self Indulgence on vocals.

 Genre- Industrial

7- Gold- "Why Aren't You Laughing?" <- -="" 4th="" a="""" adding="" album="" and="" are="" aren="" atmosphere="" br="" can="" depth="" feeling.="" few="" first="" for="" from="" genre="" gold-why-arent-you-laughing.html="" gold="" hear="" https:="" indie="" introspective.="" laughing="" little="" making="" moments="" more="" most="" of="" right="" rock="" s="" t="" the="" them="" they="" vocals="" what="" while="" why="" works="" you="">

If you told me this was from the 4AD archives I would believe you.There is a similar sonic intensity to "the Garlands" where the more some fey vocals were cast against a more aggressive backdrop.

6- New Years Day - "Unbreakable"

Genre- hard rock

I have typically liked what this band does. Ash Costello's vocals seem to get better with every album. Slick arena sounding production helps the overall sound, but it is the hook in their choruses that really sells it.

5- Low Dose - s/t />

 Genre - Grunge

 The guys from Fight Amp have formed a new band with singer , guitarist Itarya Rosenberg, that owes more to 90s alternative than pumped up noise rock. Not that some of the more pounding angular bit are not there, along with punk influences, but they have more in common with L7 thanks to Rosenberg.

4 Rammstein- "s/t" 

 After 10 years these guys are back. No line up changes. Their sound is still intact, They have not changed with the times, but still feel fresh. Perhaps the only thing that different is some of the synth sounds. They are worked in a way that is very true to the band.

3-Miley Cyrus - "She is Coming"

 Genre- Pop

 Drugs made thing darker for Miley and her music was rewarded by this. I can leave this album on and just let it play . It's hard to mine there could be a pop album that is better than this one

2-Brutus- "Nest" 

 Genre- Indie Rock

 It is impressive that as a trio they are kicking up this amount of noise and their singer Stefanie is also playing the drums. She has a pretty good voice that at times makes me imagine that this is how Bjork might sound if she decided to play punk. I guess this is post-punk, but not in the sense that they want to be Siouxsie and the Banshees.It's more like dashes of post-rock atmosphere are thrown against taunt punk temper tantrums

1-Morrissey- "California Son"

" Genre - rock

 The strength of the vocal performances on this album gives it an edge. Obviously if you are a regular reader you know I am a huge Morrissey fan, that does not mean I am going to just give him a free pass, in fact the bar is raised higher and he pretty much comes back in full force and nails better than he has since perhaps "Ringleader of the Tormentors.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Cave In : "Final Transmission"

I really only paid attention to their first album "Until Your Heart Stops" , but did give "Jupiter" a few spins. They began to sound more like Failure at that point. So It makes sense that where there final album is at. Steven Brodsky certainly became a better singer over time. Perhaps not as emo as their sound in years past, I can appreciate the angular groove to "Shake My Blood". Obviously the death of Caleb Scofield influenced this album. His bass tracks are on six songs and guitar tracks on two. "Nightcrawler" has more drive. The vocals remind me of when Geddy Lee got older and could no longer sing in his elf like tenor, so he began to explore his lower register. The more punk drums don't do much for me. The dense ambiance obscuring "Lunar Day" casts a shoe gaze haze over things that make it more of an interlude than a song. 

So far the best song might be "Winter Window" as it has drive, groove and melody. Everything I need from a song. "Laterna" is darker and more grungy with some of the riffs sounding like they could have come from a Soundgarden album. That same density lurks under the guitars of the following song as . The way it breaks down for the vocals to hold it together sounds very 90s to me as well. "Led To the Wolves" is one of the songs credited to Caleb. It has more drive and the verse is often just the drums and vocals. The builds are explosive , though obtuse as they are so blown out and over driven.

Fans of Cave In should like this bitter sweet farewell note. If they have been around since the first album the change has been gradual enough for them to stomach it. I will give this album an 8.5. I guess if I had not already heard Failure then this might seem like the most original thing ever, which is less weird than the fact my mind only thinks of the first album, when it comes to these guys. Long time fans should find this a suitable good bye.

Motionless In White : "Disguise"

A couple years ago I went to a "State of the Goth Scene" panel at Dragon -Con, and it was brought up rather than being pretentious and elitist gate keepers of the goth we need to accept the kids and their new music as being the future of goth and if nothing elese educate them on good music. This band was a name that came up as what kids listen to these days.So I am reviewing this album for the sake of being opened. But if we are going to put the future of goth in a band's hand I think the bare minimum that needs to be asked of them is ...are you dark? . The first song is more nu-metal. It is aggressive and the chorus sounds like it could have been lifted from a Chevelle song. I think the second song is darker. It owes the most to Korn. I can live with this. Is is the darkest music? No , but dark enough to work. "Code" is more mainstream rock feel, with a very formulaic chorus. "Thoughts and Prayers" reminds me of Mudvayne.

"Legacy" is more melodic. It is also not far removed from your average radio rock,.There is big arena rock production to this album. It is moody, but not as dark as say AFI, who did this better on "Sing the Sorrow". "Undead Ahead 2" opens with gothic trapping of their sound effects and strings.Then it collapses into glue sniffing metal along the lines of Slipknot with emo clean vocals trading off. The Slipknot comparisons could continue on "Holding On to Smoke" . Some keyboards and more dominant melodic vocals that return more to the Chevelle style of singing are what separates it from Slipknot, the problem is while moody I would say it is all that dark, though better than some of the previous songs.I am beginning to get bored with this album and it is taking everything in me to keep listening.

They return to the moody Chevelle emo power ballad style for "Another Life' . This would have been next level shit in 1999. There is some nostalgia to it that I like.  It is derivative but also the best song so far.  There are more electronic elements to "Broadcasting From Beyond the Grave" it falls some where between Rob Zombie and Combichrist. so this is another glimpse into what they could be rather than what they are.  "Brand New Numb" steps in more of a Marilyn Manson direction if we are talking about his more upbeat rock n roll side.This is an improvement for these guys. To be called "Catharsis" it's just middle of the road radio rock. I will round this down to a 7.5, as it gets betters toward the end , but is pretty generic. It sounds like these guys are just taking stabs in the dark at what disgruntled teenagers might be into, and that is the darkest thing about it so far from the future of goth... I hope.

Film Review : "Rocket Man"

I first saw the trailer for the Elton John biopic before"Bohemian Rhapsody" . Upon seeing it my first question was how are these two movies going to differ considering their stories are so similar? The answer was stylistically.This difference also highlights what the movies strength was... it's visual appeal. Made as more of   musical that told the story with a slant from the beginning with John waltzing into group therapy at a rehab center in full stage costume. At the end of the movie it was revealed he was actually just wearing a track suit. They keep returning to this therapy session through out the movie. Starting with John as a child singing "the Bitch is Back", some songs are thrown in haphazard regardless of where they feel in his career. So accuracy is not what this movie is going for , but to capture the feel.

Taron Egerton is the movies strength and it's weakness. He looks like a young John, thanks to the outstanding wardrobe department on this film, which I would expect should win an award for costumes. He adapted John's early insecure mannerisms, drugged out paranoia and stage charisma. Where is falters is capturing John's voice. It sounds like when it come time for the high notes he gets scared if they are not in chest voice. His falsetto is very weak. John's was strong and sometimes on the shrill side. The other issue I had with the movie was the dancing. It made the movie at times look like a Paula Abdul video and never fit the tone of the 70s. When Egerton or the child actors interacted with the dancing it seemed very forced.

What worked with the movie is that is was visually stunning. Despite the fact that the director was also the producer of the Queen film the two movies did not feel similar. The emotional tone of this movie was more intimate. Perhaps Freddie was more detached. The drugs and drinking made it clear that while Mercury partied hard and had consequences, he was not an alcoholic as he could stop as needed, where John was more of a hurricane in that regard. I think Elton John fans who go in knowing things might not be air tight in regards to history, should find this movie entertaining and moving .

All You Know is Hell : "Gape"

The one man band thing is an odd animal. One that I have grown weary of. Though Joesph Merlini does have a band, he is a creative control freak as he also plays all the bass and drum parts in the studio. Whatever works. I am reluctant to call the New York trio sludge on the opening song as it sounds like Skinny Puppy jamming with Current 93. The second song finds more crunch. There are some harsher screamed vocals in places, but I think one of this album's strong suits is the range of vocal colors offered here. It keeps them from sounding like another Neurosis clone. Though the second song is heavier, I think I like the first one better as it doesn't just pound out the same pulse. So drone is not off the table here.

"Grool" begins to tell me what this album might have gone if they had been in the  studio as a band. I think the input and jamming the songs out more could have kept it from being dynamically flat and made the arrangements more interesting rather than just adding layers to the theme. Sonically this finds many of the same places that Wreck & Reference does. There is more of a groove to the drums of  "Blonde" , but they stay to the same throb rather than developing it into a song that tells more of a story. There is a more aggressive pounding to "Zoe" . The vocals are more punk yelled here. The vocals do drop into a lower grunt and the pounding switches up slightly. I think this lines up more with the hardcore influenced sludge bands like say Fister. "Wet" is a darker creepy atmospheric piece with whispered vocals. I say piece rather than song as it feel more like performance art than music.

The album end with a more violent pounding. The vocals are some where between shouted and spoken, exclaimed. It works off the one riff, so we are back to the one trick pony thing. They do attack the concept of sludge from many angles. I not sure which really hit the hard and fast definition, though the end of the last song builds up steam to be pretty convincing. The vocals reach there burliest growls.  I will give this album a 6.5. I think they captured some interesting sounds and I like the way the varied vocal styles sit on them, but from a song writing perspective it feels more like ideas than songs. .

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Report to the Dance floor :Miley Cyrus' " She is Coming"

Miley's 2019 album is going to be comprised of 3 ep s being released at various time this year. The first one just dropped. It is a return to her more dance oriented groove heavy pop. When it comes to pop it doesn't doesn't get more well constructed than this. Sure there was a great deal of fuss about Miley covering Nine Inch Nails for the "Black Mirror" show , but this slays that. The first single to be released from this was "Mother's Daughter". This is darker and more seedy than more bubble gum styling of Katy Perry and more drug hazed than Taylor Swift.   "Unholy" finds her glorifying getting drunk and high as high hell, while she doubts the motives of some of the people around her this lifestyle brings with it. So lyrically it is more mature. Her voice is subtle . It is easy to under estimate her as a singer. There is a slight twang here and there, but she even raps on this album.

The drug stories continue on "D.R.E.A.M", which stands for drugs rule everyone around me. They beat is like an 808, very booming. Lyrically clever. There is a morose under tone, like what it feels like the next day after you are depleted from rolling on molly. Ghost Face Killah shows us to rap on this one, it is good for what it is but she really did not need to add anything to this song. It doesn't detract from it. RuPaul introduced "Cattitude" which is hip hop in the same way Fergie or even Nicki Minaj. She is not the most skilled , but it more like Peaches. She does what this songs need well. Not the strongest song on the album but it fun. RuPaul takes verse to make this the gayest song on the album. So expect this pumping in the gay bars this summer.

The Swae Lee & Mike Will Made it  collaboration is a little odd. It does have a gray drug hang over to , which runs through the whole album, but is shown in a different shade here.  I think Miley's vocals are strong on this song , there just needs to be more of her and less of the other girl. "The Most" is sort of a ballad, though there is movement to it and it happens to be more moody and introspective, though also more melodic and one of the album's strongest vocal performances. I can leave this album on and just let it play so I will round it up to a 10 , it's hard to mine there could be a pop album that is better than this one if the other eps measure up to this.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Lonely Robot : "Under Stars"

We have crossed paths with  solo project of John Mitchell  before in various over views of modern progressive rock. The first song of this sci fi prog album is rather soaring like Porcupine Once was , but the vocals reminded me of solo Peter Gabriel. The second song is much more poppy and less rock.I like the opener better, but one way to look at this is at least they are not bogged down by being prog that they are afraid to progress beyond complexities and write a pop song or two."Under the Skies" begins to set the tone towards more ballad like song, think Marillion here for more of a reference point . Much like that British prog power house, the pop sense is trumping the rock drive.  "Authorship of our Lives " has more punch to it's chorus.

"the Signal" is a  slow burn that never catches fire. As far a modern prog rockers go I would say the guitar playing is under rated as their solos balance chops with taste. The builds in some places are thankfully more Porcupine Tree than Dream Theater, as it never gets Journey in the scope .  To the point that their restraint makes me think of Mute Math at times. The first riff that strikes me as heavy comes into play at this song. Which is good as I was needing these guys to get some balls. The is a more experimental tone going into " When Gravity Falls". The guitars are a good deal heavier than what we have heard previously. The vocals keep coasting along as they have. Thus the bass takes over on the verses when it breaks down.  What they did on the chorus is fine, but dynamically I think something with more grit might have raised the stakes.

I want songs to be bookends for a guitar solo, but the solo in the other wise ballad called "How Bright is the Sun" pulls it all together and expands the dynamics.  The rest of the song is better than decent it is just very subtle and takes a bit to grow on me.  "Inside the Machine" is an instrumental that if it did not showcase their stellar guitar skills might not work for me , but it does . The album ends with a song about themselves ? It is more of a ballad. Despite all the ballads, what they do here is very well done. It sounds great and the guitars are awesome I will round this up to a 9, unsure how much I will feel compelled to listen to this one a daily basis.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Top 10 Metal Albums of far

It is that time of the year. We are half way into 2019 so here is a look at the best metal albums that have been released so far. This also gives us a snap shot of what direction metal is heading in. It lines up with my prediction as it being heavier on the death / doom side of the equation. .While only 3 of the albums on this list could fall into that sub-genre, it is a sample polling of the hundreds of albums I have already sorted through this year. Considering three of these albums I received this month. That means this has not been the greatest year for metal. Honorable mention would be two albums that are not on this as they skirt the bounds of metal. They are the new 3Teeth and Cellar Darling. Did not include samples of the music those can be found on the links to the reviews I posted alongside the entries.   

10-Death Angel - "Humanicide"

There are  glimpses of the band I used to love, but they are good at what they do and have enough that is different still about them to tell it is Death Angel. They are not apologetic about being metal, so thrash fans who want song writing should check this album out.

9-Darkthrone _ " Old Star"

 Genre - black metal

 This time around they are returning to black metal though it's roots , so the opener carries more more of a Venom sound. The guitar tone is really mean on this album and the celticy frost on the cake. I think fans of the band will find it easy to embrace if they have not been pretending they like the first few albums on vinyl.

8-Nailed to Obscurity- "Black Frost "

Genre- "Death Doom"

This gloomy and doomy Mid paced progressive death metal ban has a load of catchy riffs and doesn't try to dazzle you with guitar solos every where or drums that are too busy.

7-Swallow the Sun -"When a Shadow is Forced Into the Light" <- a="""" album="" are="" band="" br="" committed="" direction.="" direction="" doesn="" fan="" find="" finnish="" forced="" goth="" heading="" helsinki="" hen="" https:="" if="" implied="" in="" into="" is="" lean="" light="" melodic="" more="" of="" really="" shadow="" sit="" some="" sound="" swallow-sun-when-shadow-is-forced-into.html="" swedish="" t="" than="" that="" the="" then="" they="" this="" though="" to="" touches="" well="" who="" will="" with="" you.="" you="">

Genre- Progressive Doom

They sound more Swedish than Finnish, though some of the goth touches that are more implied than really committed to, lean in in more of a Helsinki direction. If you are a fan of the band who doesn't find the more melodic direction the band is heading in then you will find this album will sit well with you. If you haven't really given them much of a chance like I am guilty of then this is a good enough place to start.

6- Sigils - You Built The Altar, You Lit The Leaves "

 Genre - Doom Gaze

 While very Jesu. These guys hit every mark. They took their influences and added enough of their own spin so it doesn't feel like a tribute band, They have also not just captured a sound that many bands try to , but they care enough to write songs with it.`

5-Pulchra Morte - "Divina Autem et Aniles"

 Genre - death metal

 These guys a pretty much just a death metal. Though not the kind of death metal that blasts you in the face. Comprised of former members of  the bands Withered , Harkonin, and Ex Mortis, they have a more technical winding to their riffs than anything doom. The vocals are a low death growl that is fairly articulated.

4-Dead To A Dying World - Elegy

 genre - Sludge

 Sonically it is occupying a similar space as the last Amen Ra album. The use of clean vocals is well done and not a good cop/ bad cop trade off. The use of strings also adds texture. I can hear where people might be quick to call it post-rock. This album also features guest performances by two former Swans members, Jarboe and Thor Harris.

3-Crowhurst- III 

Genre -Post Black Metal

 Nachymystium might be a good reference point for the direction of this new darker sonic space the band is embarking upon. The guitars are really doing some interesting things which requires the drummer using the restraint to give them the space to do so. I can see where at this point in time if you showed up for a black metal album you might be disappointed or confused

2- Gaahl's Wyrd-" GastiR - Ghosts Invited" 

 Genre - black metal

l Gaahl is true as fuck and been very vocal in his support of church burning , thinking their should be more of them. He is an iconoclast.  He might be true as fuck , but that does not mean he is settling with mediocrity or sounding like every one else. I am surprised how progressive this album is . This is balanced out with darkness. . They are not just hitting you with blast beasts , but dissonance , creepiness and haunting melodies.

1- Abrahma "In Time For the Last Rays of Light"

 Genre - doom

There was a time when it seemed like the French were beginning to dominate black metal. Now they are gaining ground when it comes to doom. These guys are very close to the sonic zip code of  Hangman's Chair. The vocals are emotive against a dreary back drop. The difference is there is more of a blues influence creeping around the corner