Friday, August 21, 2015
"Storms of the Netherworld" kicks off into brutal high gear with the albums namesake track. Those of you who may remember me reviewing Tulsa Doom's last album "Barbarian Steel" and checked these guys out will be pleasantly surprised that not only has this band kept true to their melodic, blackened, death metal sound, but they also still worship the mighty warrior known as Conan The Barbarian and "Storms of the Netherworld" is chock full of epic tales about our favorite muscle bound hero. Musically this band has a talent for twisting smooth melodious riffs and stand-out lead guitar runs together, while also hammering out ridiculously heavy riffing as evidenced in the title track, "Shadows of Lemuria" and "Stormride". These are great examples of viking-death metal like compositions that are perfect to hoist a few cold beers to while headbanging and joining along in screaming the bands infectious chorus lines. Tulsa Doom are not a one trick pony though, while tapping into the Scandinavian melodeath sound they also rip and bash their instruments with thrash metal abandon and black metal fury on blazing tracks like "Skulls" with it's feverish Goatwhore-esque tempo rounded out with an Exodus influenced stomping breakdown. "Riders of Doom" sounds as if it could have been plucked out of the 1980's. With it's machine gun riffing and technical breaks, this one recalls the glory days of Demolition Hammer and early Megadeth. "Tyrantfall" greets the listener with rumbling bass and thunderous drums before immediately ripping the flesh from your face with searing riffs and chaotic tempo. The constant barrage of changes in mood throughout this track make for an unforgettable sonic rollercoaster ride of extreme metal. "Dustlands" is a great, brooding instrumental track. It's dark groove and grand lead guitar pyrotechnics provide the listener with somewhat of a mellow(at least, compared to the other barn burners on this disk) rest to lead into the assault of "The Coal Of Blue Fire", which showcases more of Tulsa Doom's hyper thrash meets black metal leanings and chanting, gang vocal choruses. "Nightwind" is a huge stand out track here for me. This tune is a bit of a departure from the bands completely brutal death metal style and has more in common with Judas Priest or Iron Maiden than say Amon Amarth or Marduk. The riffs are catchy, melodic and are dripping with classic metal goodness. Cap it off with a high scream that Tom Araya hasnt been able to belt out since 1992, and this track will have all the old school headbangers pulling their patch covered denim vests out of the closet and raising the horns to Tulsa Doom! "Subraion Xan" is another standout track here as well. This song is very "big" with a grandiose vibe that I can only describe as technical power metal meets early death metal. The riffs are very hooky while also staying dirty and raw. This would definitely be the soundtrack to a clan of warriors invading a village, burning it to the ground and raising their chalices in victory afterwards. "Final Cataclysm" closes this disk out with a huge nod to the classic melodic black metal formula and sound. Riffs buzz by at high velocity, melting together with cold, dark chords relentlessly being hammered out of the guitars while the drums blast away. If you are as bored with the current state of heavy, extreme metal as I am lately, especially from all the look-alike, sound-alike american "death metal" bands flooding the scene, look no further than this group of Austria's brutal barbarians. The riffs are plentiful, the changes in the musical passages are seemless and keep the listener interested, the bass is deep and cuts through strong, the drums are tight and pound through your skull and fans of classic Celtic Frost and Nola's own Goatwhore will absolutely devour the vocals on "Storms of the Netherworld" from Tulsa Doom. You can find these guys online at www.facebook.com/tulsadoom and you can buy physical copies of the cd along with other awesome merch at : https://tulsadoom.bandcamp.com/merch you can also send an email to : firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contact them about purchasing music and merch, so go hit them up, crush your enemies, see them driven before you and add Tulsa Doom to your music library!
Monday, July 20, 2015
"Into The Black" is the brand new full length album from Rooms Of Ruin and is their highly anticipated, sophomore follow up to their 2012 debut "All Is Ended". This new release sees the band cut back to a 3 piece, but losing absolutely none of their heaviness in sound or grittiness in performance. From the start of the opening track "Vertical Geographies" (of which there is a very cool video you can find on Youtube!) ROR greet us with exactly what we come to expect from them, slow & low, down tuned sludge metal. The guitars build a giant wall of fuzzy sound, while the thunderous bass builds a thick, muddy bottom end, giving us the audio equivalent of the deepest and dirtiest swamps in New Orleans. While not being too polished, the production here on "Into The Black" is a bit clearer and a touch cleaner than on "All Is Ended". The drum performance from Annie Terror is captured beautifully. The cymbals ring through crisp, and the snare has the perfect amount of snap. Ken Faggio's snarling vocals also stand out in the forefront of this recording, where as in my opinion the vocals sounded a bit more laid in the background on their debut showcasing the riffs more than Ken's evil, growling vocals of doom. Every track is so groovy and catchy. Tunes like "Cross Dog", "The 13th Gate" and "Eve Of The Wolves" are full of pounding aggression. These songs call to mind a more mid tempo eyehategod or what Crowbar would sound like without all their hardcore influence, just grimy, filthy doom metal at it's finest. "Coffin Hunters" is one of my top faves here and a very interesting tune musically. This one is epic and has a very grandiose aura, giving off the feeling of what Iron Maiden and Amon Amarth would sound like if they played at 1/4th the speed. The slow galloping verse and especially the tremolo picked bridge carry a very traditional metal feeling, while never losing the doom metal tone and chunk. Picture Steve Harris jamming with St. Vitus and you'll get where I'm going with this. Speaking of Wino and co. Rooms Of Ruin give us healthy doses of that signature old school stoner metal sound with tunes like "Devil Grass" and "Demiurge". A bit more uptempo, dripping with catchy bluesy licks, verses and choruses that just straight up get stuck in your head. "Demiurge" even sees Ken's vocals get a bit guttural and more in a death metal vein. "Third Sun" is also a top favorite of mine here, this track is classic unadulterated Black Sabbath worship. Dave Mayer bends and squeezes these riffs from his guitar with a flawless, Iommi-like abandon making this tune the hulking mammoth that it is. "Change That Shapes" is a trippy venture and a bit of a mellow break from the pummeling assault ROR give us throughout this album. This song features some influences you might hear in High On Fire or Neurosis' quieter moments. A bit more reflective and hypnotic, but still very heavy in attitude and the bass rumbles along nicely here. "Endworld" closes this epic opus out in classic doom fashion. Huge chorus riffs, stomping chord crunches and a killer, almost thrashy bridge (those china cymbal hits will make you want to start a circle pit!). There is no sophomore slump here for Rooms Of Ruin, they keep their original sound and build upon it while adding some newer elements and managing to sound even heavier and tighter as a 3 piece, well-oiled machine fueled on doom and burning the sludge all the way through "Into The Black". If you are a fan of the now classic New Orleans bands like eyehategod, Down and Acid Bath, if you are one of St. Vitus' children of doom, if you ever wanted to hear Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath collaborate on a Celtic Frost cover album, then you need to check out Rooms Of Ruin. Hit them up at www.facebook.com/pages/Rooms-Of-Ruin hit the "Like" button and ask how to obtain a copy of "Into The Black" for your sludgy listening pleasure. You can also find them at www.reverbnation.com/roomsofruin and https://roomsofruin.bandcamp.com or send an email to email@example.com
Monday, June 22, 2015
"The Sum Of All Your Fears" is an 11 song slab of metal showing Eyes Of The Dead at their heaviest and tightest so far in their over a decade long career. EOTD go straight for the gut with album opener "Recollection". Blazing riffs, melodic harmonies and catchy hooks set the pace for this thrash fueled offering. Pummeling the listeners skull with an array of riffs and a whirlwind of classic, Iron Maiden style harmonies. "May Cause Internal Bleeding" is an exercise in classic death metal, propelled by a vicious double bass drum attack and a plethora of slick, catchy riffs ala "Heartwork" era Carcass. "The Ballad of Camp Blood" is a pulsing, foot stomping rager about our favorite machete weilding serial slasher Jason Voorhees. This track is musically reminiscent of classic Pantera and vocally recalls Chris Barnes in his pre-dreadlocked hey-day. I have always loved this band, and their past releases always still get tons of spins from me, but I have to point out that "The Sum Of All Your Fears" from beginning to end has finally captured vocalist Frank Connors vicious vocal attack as consistently delivered in the bands live performances. His high, throaty screams and low guttural bellows are mixed perfectly and he absolutely delivers a stand out performance on every single track. A new, unexpected twist in this album sees EOTD using acoustic guitars as heard on the interlude "Reservations at Dorsia" and "Sometimes..." which serves as a warm up to the track "Dead Is Better" a brutal neck breaker which tells the sory of the Stephen King classic Pet Semetary. "Arachnophobia" is one of my top favorite tracks here. This track smashes and thrashes and keeps the listener on their toes with flawless timing changes and some power metal styled vocals in the chorus provided by Ryan Bair while Frank tells the tale of the classic horror flick featuring venomous spiders terrorizing a small town. Every track on this album is chock full of guitar pyrotechnics. Matt and Pat deliver the goods on their six strings with tons of chainsaw buzzing riffs, killer harmonies and searing leads that burn their way through the speakers. EOTD's drum and bass section however, is not one to be overlooked. Brian's snarling basslines and James' metronome like timing are definitely the backbone of this band as evidenced in tunes like "Gallery of Human Atrocity" and "Righteous Kill". I never thought I'd be reviewing a death metal tune about an animated series, but here I am as "Danger Zone" thumps through my speakers with it's frantic pace, twisting rythms and Frank growling about "gummy bears and scotch" lol. Fans of Archer will definitely appreciate this fun song and crank it up! "Murders and Executions" brings this album to a close and I cant help but wonder if the guys in Eyes Of The Dead have any Swedish blood flowing in their veins? They may hail from Connecticut, but this band have their finger on the pulse of what makes melodic, Scandinavian death metal so awesome, the sixth sense for melody and intracacy. This band plays like they were conceived with their instruments waiting in the womb for them and they were fed a steady musical diet of the best bands Gothenburg has to offer when they were youngsters. As they always have, Eyes of the Dead put their own original spin on their obvious influences, playing with the technical precision of classic Testament, the bludgeoning brutality of Death, the melodic fury of Amon Amarth and the epic grandiose of Iced Earth. All in all, EOTD swing for the fences and deliver a grand slam with "The Sum Of All Your Fears". This is death metal for the listener who also digs bay area thrash metal, has an affinity for horror movies and drinks their mead from a horn. This album needs to be in your collection immediately so head over to facebook.com/eotdmetal or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and drop a line asking how to get a physical copy of "The Sum of All Your Fears". Those of you who prefer MP3's for your iPod, phone or other devices can grab the tracks from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play and anywhere else you download your music, so go grab it now!
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
DWB are a southern styled, blues based, hard rock band from Portchester,NY. Their current full length album on Extra Large Records is titled "Drop The Rock" and it's a 10 song slab of pure, sludgy american rock n' roll. "Maybe" kicks the set off with vicous, biting guitar riffing going straight for the throat and showing us we are in for a grimy and raw listening experience. This is blue collared, whiskey swilling, bar fight rock. Frontman Greg Sotire's axe work calls to mind the frantic playing of vintage Stevie Ray Vaughan, mixed with the huge sound and catchy phrasing of Tony Iommi. The term "Power Trio" may be often used and sometimes over stated, but that is exactly what Dead Weight Burden are. John Scampoli's tight, funky style and Cheech Carriero's deep, thumping bass grooves melt flawlessly into each other while simultameously accenting Greg's riffs and snarling vocals. "lol I'm In Jail" could easily stand toe-to-toe with the heaviest and catchiest of songs you could find in Clutch's discography. A funky, burning ball of blues that gets your head nodding, and piledrives your skull with a doomy, heavy metal underbite. "Shake Like A Leaf" is a touch more laid back with an almost Alice In Chains feel. This track oozes with grungy guitar licks, melodic vocals and huge, moody bridges that recall the days of torn denim and flannel shirts. If people still listened to FM radio and MTV still played music videos, I could easily see this being Dead Weight Burden's "single". "Tomorrow's Sunshine" is another steamrolling, riff-o-rama, melding angry Clutch licks with a spacy, open chorus that calls to mind the seminal Sabbath tune "Killing Yourself to Live". Greg's leads here and throughout the CD call to mind the great blues rock players we all love. Influences from Jimmy Page, Allen Collins and Jimi Hendrix are all present in his screaming solos, while also letting his original style shine through. "It Goes Us There" is just dirty, unfiltered blues at it's best. The swinging riffing, screaming solos and bouncy backbeat are sure to put a smile on the faces of every SRV fan within earshot. "Smoke And Ash" is one of the most interesting songs in the set for me. This is a slow, dreary mellow track and reminds me alot of some of the quieter tracks from Down's "2 : A Bustle In Your Hedgerow" album. It has the ominous vibe of "Landing on the Mountains of Megiddo" complete with female vocals here too, but also has the jazzy sway of "Lies, I dont Know What They Say". It's moody and inspired, dark and angry with shades of black and grey and dripping with Louisiana swamp scum. "Greasy Fingers" is short, fun and to the point. The kind of catchy, rockin' track that warrants multiple listens. Crank this one up in the car with the windows down and you'll want to constantly "rewind that man!". The unforgettable riffs and memorable lyrics make this one a standout track. "Not My Burden" hits hard with a ton of 70's classic southern rock swagger. This tune is the metal version of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I can easily hear Ronnie Van Zant singing this chorus "It's not my burden no more, it's not my heart out on the floor!". I guarantee Van Zant and co. would be proud to lump this tune in with their classic "Gimme Back My Bullets" release, and it would fit into the set perfectly. "Convocation of Venus" is my favorite track here, this song absolutely crushes with heaviness and funky groove. This tune is completely covered in Corrosion of Conformity worship. The plodding basslines, drumming totally in the pocket and the crazy riff changes pull on my heart strings. This is what I would call red-neck Black Sabbath at it's filthiest. "Fireflies" closes this album out in almost power ballad fashion. Clean guitars strum their way through huge verses and extremely catchy choruses. This track gives off a grunge meets southern rock vibe, think the Allman Brothers meets early Pearl Jam, especially with the intense lead guitar piece. I've been anxiously waiting for DWB to put out a full length for a while now, and they hit a homerun with "Drop The Rock". While they showcase their influences, this band is all around very original and a breath of fresh air in the local music scene. Dead Weight Burden are old school, southern fried blues with a heavy metal attitude. Metallica jamming with Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughan collaborating with Down and Clutch writing songs with 1970's era Ted Nugent. "Drop The Rock" is the perfect soundtrack to working on your Harley in the garage, cruisin' in your pickup with the volume cranked, or unwinding after a long work day with a cold 6 pack. Hit the band up at www.facebook.com/deadweightburden hit the "Like" button and ask how to get a copy of this killer CD. You can also keep up with the bands gig schedule there, go see these dudes live and grab a disk in person!
Monday, March 23, 2015
Undivided are a hardcore/metal outfit from Rockland county,NY and "The Way Things Are" is their current full length album, released in the summer of 2014. Undivided serve up a seething, angry brand of hardcore. The band flawlessly melds street tough New York grooves with upbeat, punk-fueled thrash metal. A huge part of what has always set Undivided apart from the hardcore "norm" are the call/response vocals with frontman Dante's snarling rage filled voice and bassist Max's attitude filled screams complimenting each other perfectly. Album openers "World Of Delusion" and "Forgive Me Father" are great examples of how well Dante and Max handle their respective vocal duties all while squeezing catchy, heavy riffs out of their 6 and 4 stringed instruments respectively. Speaking of 6 strings, another weapon in Undivided's arsenal that displays their originality is the absolute clinic that shredder Nick Koykas puts on. Blazing solos sear through the speakers on tracks such as "Before I Die", "You Can Trust Me" and the aforementioned "World Of Delusion". One word that comes to mind while listening to this release is "solid", the band plays with much precision, all the riff changes and tempo shifts are extremely tight as evidenced in tracks like "It's Never Enough", "No Reason To Suffer" and the gritty, pavement pounding anthem "Every Inch Of Hatred" with it's riffs absolutely dripping with NYC underground, subway grunginess. "Blame Yourself" is a quick 1:35 shot of old school punk with it's infectious riffs and classic verse-chorus-verse formula which makes you want to chug a 40 oz. and jump in the circle pit! "Role Model" is absolute classic Carnivore worship colliding head on with Madball groove and thuggish style. The bass driven riffs and Dante's vocals recall early Peter Steele while the bridge sounds like something Freddy and the boys would have come up with on the "Demonstrating My Style" album, this song as well as "Every Inch Of Hatred" perfectly showcase Joe Dooling's sense of swing behind the drumkit. Lots of drummers can groove, but Joe is consistently "in the pocket" and he is really the backbone of this bands style. "Fiending On Friday" is a slow, churning tune, here Undivided deliver sludgy riffing in the vein of Crowbar while Dante and Max weave a tale about addiction. Album closer "Don't Even Think About It" recalls early Biohazard. Fast and thrashy verse and chorus meets a classic, moshpit friendly hardcore breakdown rife with inner city attitude and as heavy as a manhole cover. All in all "The Way Things Are" is Undivided showing us how it's done old school style. There's no pig squealing vocals, no ridiculous 1 note breakdowns and no plastic scene boy imagery. This band is and always has been the real deal, they are what true hardcore is meant to be, pushing the limits, mixing it up and showing tons of originality. If you are sick and tired of the nonsense that kids who work at hot topic are telling you is "hardcore" then you need to add "The Way Things Are" by Undivided to your music library. Hit the band up at www.facebook.com/undividedny hit the "like" button and ask how to get a physical CD, or if you'd rather have the MP3's you can download the album off iTunes as well.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Winter Nights are a 4 piece, melodic death band from NYC who have recently released their debut full length album "An Endless Apocalypse". After the symphonic, string arrangement intro "Uprise and Fall" sets the dark, grim mood for this disk, the album's title track blasts into hyper-gear with frenzied tremolo picking and furious
blasting on the drums. This track showcases a plethora of riffs and tempo changes accompanied by deep, growling vocals. The groovy break at the midway point, with it's melodic lead guitar lines, show Winter Nights to have more in common with the contemporary Scandinavian sound than with any of their New York peers musically. "In Nuclear Winter" has a more of a viking metal vibe throughout, with it's evil double-timed riffing and the bass-line break with it's spoken verse. This sounds like the lost track Amon Amarth forgot to put on their debut album "Once Sent From The Golden Hall". "A Dark Awakening" is another mead chugging, viking metal anthem. Neck-snapping rythms and pounding drums pulsate throughout this track. I hate to use the overused word EPIC here, but the break that begins at 3:10 is exactly that, a perfect tribute to the gods looking down on us from valhalla. The almost 7 minute "Winter Nights" creeps in with it's mellow intro, but quickly brings the heaviness with it's catchy verse and chorus riffs. There is an old school Swedish metal vibe to this song, think early In Flames meets modern Hypocrisy, very catchy and very brutal while still keeping tons of melody with frontman Jeremy's snarling vocals painting a hellish landscape. "The Doomsday Code" is another neck snapping riff fest, if I had hair, I'd surely be windmilling my locks along to this track. I get a bit more of a thrash and power metal vibe from this track, the tight guitar attack calls to mind early Iced Earth and stands toe to toe with some of Jon Schaefer's best riff work. "The Pledge" is one of the most powerful tracks on this release. Unrelenting guitar lines are delivered with blazing speed and the drums gallop along with a sense of urgency. Complicated tempo changes give way to progressive passages and the band shifts their timing seamlessly from riff to riff. If Chuck Schuldiner ever jammed with Amon Amarth, the audio result would be something eerily close to "The Pleasures Of War". This track is pure, classic death metal combined with a modern day, Swedish attitude and some mid 80's thrash thrown in to boot. The guitar solo in this track is especially face-melting and it's almost impossible not to bang your head to the riff behind it. "Deceptive Dreams" closes the album out and in my opinion this is the track where Winter Nights throw all their cards on the table. There's a bit of everything, clean intro, screaming leads, catchy guitar lines, anthemic riffs, frantic black metal and more tempo changes than you can shake an empty mead horn at. If ever there was a heavy metal soundtrack to a viking clan raiding, pillaging and burning a town down to the ground, this song and as a whole this album would be it. If you like your death metal melodic, then "An Endless Apocalypse" needs to be a part of your music collection. This band may hail from the streets of NYC, but after listening to this album I'm convinced Winter Nights sailed here from Scandinavia in a giant ship to claim New York as their raiding territory! You can find Winter Nights online at www.facebook.com/winternightsofficial and hit them up for a physical copy of "An Endless Apocalypse". You can also find them on Twitter, Youtube, Bandcamp and Reverbnation as well.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Hailing from Bilbao, Spain. Horn Of The Rhino are hardly newcomers to the scene, with it's latest release "Summoning Deliverance" being their 5th full length album. This trio has been honing their sludgy sound and shaking the foundations of the earth with their brand of doom for the better part of the last 7 years, and long time listeners will be quite pleased with their latest slab of down-tuned, filthy swamp metal. One look at the apocalyptic artwork adorning the cover of "Summoning Deliverance" gives the listener the ultimate indication he's in for one hell of a heavy ride before "Exvenhstench", the albums searing opening tracks starts pummeling us with it's fast. High On Fire styled buzzsaw riffs. Horn Of The Rhino waste no time going straight for the jugular with this lead-in track, galloping Motorhead-ish slams give way to sludgy breaks and an epic, thrash fueled bridge. This is surely the faster side of Horn Of The Rhino, a neck breaking, freight train of a song made even heavier with great demoniacal vocals throughout. "Onward Through Domination" slows things down, showcasing Horn Of The Rhino's even darker side with it's plodding riffs slowly lurching forward under frontman Javier Galvez' amazing vocal crooning that can only be compared to classic Chris Cornell and must be heard to be believed. One thing this band has always been able to accomplish is showing you can be heavier than a mountain playing low and slow and a 3 piece is more than capable of shaking the walls with the power of it's riffs. "High Priest" is a mid paced, foot stomping anthem chock full of great stoner metal guitar pieces and manic vocals that toe the line between death, and the unholiest of black metal. "Their Tombs" is an over 8 minute epic, with lots of tempo shifting, verses and bridges build up slow and climax into fast thrashy parts, seemlessly moving from the sledgehammer to the chainsaw. "Deliverance Prayer" gives us more of Javier's bluesy, smoky singing over some of the dirtiest riffs this side of the swamps of Louisiana. If Soundgarden jammed with Eyehategod, I would assume the resulting jam session would sound something like this...but this would still be even heavier. The verse riffs in "Grim Foreigeners" sound like a fully loaded gatling gun emptying round after round into whatever gets in it's way. It's catchy chorus riffs let you up for air just long enough to relentlessy pound you again and bring us to an ending full of almost hardcore breakdowns and evolve into a melodic, atmospheric ending. "Builder Of Carrion Effigies" gives us more up tempo structures, with it's hyper punk feel, combined with more High On Fire attitude. With this track being the 2nd of the 2 longest tracks here clocking in at just passed 8 minutes, Horn Of The Rhino serve us up a disk that is a little less long in the tooth and certain tracks such as "Builder Of Carrion Effigies" show the guys play faster than they have on any release prior. That being said, album closer "An Excess Of Faith" sends us out with hot, tar covered, Sabbath worshipping riffage. Eerie vocals, dissonant chords, thundering drums and droning bass leave us feeling as if we have just experienced the audio version of the hell depicted on the cover of "Summoning Deliverance". There is an awesome bonus cut offered on this disk, but I wont give it away, so you will have to buy the CD and enjoy the surprise. Horn Of The Rhino have served up yet another mammoth of an album, and just when you though it couldnt get any heavier, they prove us all wrong. This is a pure riff-fest, an album that would bring a smile to doom and sludge forefathers like Tony Iommi and Kirk Windstein. You can find HOTR on facebook and at www.hornoftherhino.bandcamp.com hit them up online and grab yourself a copy of "Summoning Deliverance".