Keeping things Heavy and Sludgy with their debut full-length release, today we have UK’s Wren unleashing “Auburn Rule”. Delivering six tracks of highly atmospheric Doom/Sludge, this band sounds like a combination of Neurosis and AmenRa, while maintaining their own signature style of aural terror.
The release opens with the hypnotic riffing of “In Great Yield”, this Neurosis-esque piece slowly builds up around razor sharp guitars and fuzzy distortion that create a very thick and powerful atmosphere. The vocals are your typical raspy screams, fitting very well with the underlying musical structure. Continuing the onslaught, “Scour the Grassland” keeps the intensity rolling with a piercing bass guitar line working in parallel with intricate percussions and the incisive guitars.
Every few months we get a mysterious package from Poland wrapped around very creatively with saran wrap and newspaper. Arriving from Godz ov War productions, we get a pretty good variety of Death and Black Metal underground bands, one of the standouts this month has to be Loathfinder. Unleashing four tracks and over 28 minutes on their debut EP “The Great Tired Ones”, this Polish one-man battalion focuses on mixing elements of Black/Death Metal with Doom/Sludge guitar work.
Opening with the catchy “Genetic Gloom”, a layer of thick riffing and harsh growls sets the mood for this release. While featuring heavy riffs and a dense atmosphere, the song has a certain Sludgy edge to it that keeps it interesting and different from other bands. The album’s most engaging song has to be “Feast on My Entrails”, where we have ripping melodic riffs and devilish harsh vocals. This track features solid headbanging passages thanks to its extreme catchiness.
Hailing from the UK, today we have Telepathy and their crushing release “Tempest”. Mixing elements of Post-Rock/Metal with Sludge and a few other influences, the band manages to release a triumphant album that will put them on the spotlight right next to outfits like Cult of Luna, The Ocean, and Tides from Nebula.
Setting the mood with “First Light”, the band really showcases its riffing capabilities with the tense “Smoke from Distant Fires”. In this track we have a slow progression that weaves back and forth between Post-Metal and Post-Rock soundscapes. The drumming even reaches some Black Metal-esque passages that are actually quite fitting with the music’s direction.
Delivering a pulverizing mixture of Crust/Sludge and Black Metal, today we have Italy’s Rest and their self-titled debut release. Featuring five tracks of expertly crafted incisive riffs and a throbbing bass guitar onslaught, this release is one of those short but sweet albums that leaves you begging for more.
The album opens with the Crusty onslaughts of tracks I and II. The band quickly creates a punishing atmosphere of catchy and powerful riffs that revolve around engaging drums and very fitting screams. The intensity of the bass guitar and drums allows the band to be quite heavy and very fast-paced. Things move more into Black Metal territories with the savage track “III”, which perfectly showcases the band’s versatility and unique take on the genre.
Perfectly delivering just the right amount of distortion to burst your speakers, today we have Kalloused and their debut release “Damn You Believer”. Featuring over 25 minutes of an intense mixture of Sludge, Doom and Post-Metal, this band delivers a good dosage of pummeling riffs that will make your ears ring for a few days. If you like bands like Neurosis and Amenra, this should be right around your alley.
Opening with the mysterious momentum builder “Pt. 1”, we are slowly introduced into the band’s world of ripping guitar riffs and punishing bass guitar lines as the track progresses. Settling more into their own sound, “Pt. 2” showcases a powerful band that perfectly times their vocal assaults around their imposing wall of sound. Not breaking much out of character, “Pt. 3” continues the onslaught with some cool opening drum patterns and a very chaotic vibe to start off one of their most aggressive and diverse pieces.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have Sludge/Doomsters Wolf Counsel and their sophomore release “Ironclad”. Delivering over 43 minutes of ripping tunes, the band nicely pummels the listener with tangy riffs and plenty of headbanging moments. Perfectly blending Sludgy element into a Doom core, the band crafts a unique signature style that differentiates them from the rest.
The release rips wide open with the incisive opening riffs of “Pure as the Driven Snow”. The band instantly marks their territory with piercing riffs and a very mellow and gloomy tempo. Things quickly move into the Sludge/Southern Metal territory with the catchy album title clad. Here we also get a good combination of clean and harsh vocals, making things interesting and diverse.
Hailing from the Bay Area, today we have Mountaineer and their very unique and emotional mixture of Doom/Sludge influences with dreamy Post-Rock/Shoegaze passages. Featuring members and ex-members of bands like Lament Cityscape, Lycus, and Secrets of the Sky, this outfit delivers a very solid two song EP as their debut release.
Opening with the crushing Doom riffs of “Come Fever”, you instantly get My Dying Bride-esque flashbacks. However, once the clean vocals appear, you know you are in for a completely different experience. Perfectly contrasting emotive vocals with punishing guitars, this track slowly moves into more ethereal atmospheres with Post-Rockish vibes and soaring weeping guitars.
Hailing from France, today we have the return of Southern/Stoner Black Metal outfit Glorior Belli. In “Sundwon (The Flock that Welcomes)”, the band delivers eight tracks and around 48 minutes of very crafty and completely unique music. If you are a fan of the band already, this album further refines their very unique style and you will love it, if you are just curious, be ready for a very bizarre and different musical ride.
Opening with a bang, “Lies-Strangled Skies” delivers a crushing mostly straightforward Black Metal onslaught with heavy guitars and hyper fast drums. Combining the very characteristic sound of French Black Metal with some funky melodic guitars, the band crafts a very powerful opening piece. The second track continues in the same vein, but slowly introduces some of the band’s more melodic and crafty passages near the end.
With only enough bandwidth to review music, we rarely have time to review the stuff we actually buy for ourselves. Thanks to all the Internet chatter and other connoisseur recommendations, we acquired Sinistro’s sophomore release “Semente”. Instantly blown away by the fierce combination of punishing riffs and the fragility of Patrícia Andrade’s vocals, this is a release we felt compelled to write about in order to pass on this finding to our readers.
Opening with a commanding riffing onslaught, “Partida” sets a very high bar for this release. The track delves into your traditional Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal territories but is brilliantly contrasted by the hypnotic voice of Patrícia. Creating a very unique contrast the band instantly stands out from the competition. As the album progresses, the band focuses on creating a very unique and oppressive atmosphere which relies heavily on precise tempo changes and the use of keyboards, as tracks like “Estrada” and “Corpo Presente” demonstrate.
Completely catching us by surprise, today we have a very interesting collaboration between Sweden’s Cult of Luna and USA’s Julie Christmas. If you ever wondered how Cult of Luna would sound with a layer of female vocals on top, this is the perfect time to discover such a combination. Featuring five tracks filled with the band’s traditional atmospheric oppression, this release is a force to be reckoned with.
Opening with the momentum building piece “A Greater Call”, the band wastes no time to introduce the listener to the dreamy combination of Julie’s sweet vocals and the harsh screams, both flanked by an intricate atmospheric backdrop. Leaving the listener no time to really adjust, the band pummels through “Chevron”, sparkling some pop-like influences along the way.