ALBUM REVIEW: Yakuza – Sutra


This experimental Chicago band has been toying with the dark sonic corners for over twenty years. It’s been eleven of those years since we have had a new album from Yakuza, and it is good to dive back into their land of twisted shadows. The focus has shifted to a more deliberate brand of heavy, that places them not far from the sonic zip code of older Mastodon. The differences are fewer guitar pyrotechnics and a much darker trajectory than the Atlanta progsters. Bruce Lamont’s baritone moan carries a hint of anger as the opening track is framed with dissonance.

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Huntsmen to Livestream Concert Tonight from Chicago

Huntsmen just released their Doom/Americana masterpiece Mandala of Fear, via Prosthetic Records. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic the band will livestream a concert tonight, Live at Treehouse Studios. Sponsored by Metal Monkey Brewing, the band will be joined by Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House, Bloodiest, Led Zeppelin 2). It premieres at 9 PM, EST/8 PM CST. Don’t miss it!Continue reading

Bruce Lamont To Kick Off Tour With Kevin Hufnagel

Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Corrections House, Bloodiest) will embark on a run of North American live dates this fall alongside Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Gorguts, Sabbath Assembly). The tour runs from September 29th in Brooklyn through October 16th in Chicago. See all confirmed dates below. Continue reading

Howling Sycamore- Howling Sycamore

In contemporary terms when we think of Progressive Metal, often the first thought (and arguably nowadays the most prevalent style) is of the overtly technical, calculated and near mechanical sounding; that or the likes of Opeth with their marriage of extremity and growled vocals with progressive rock’s expansive structures and complex arrangements. Beforehand, years ago, progressive metal was arguably spearheaded by a vastly different type of beast; the likes of Queensryche with their thoughtful yet anthemic nature and armed with towering, often falsetto vocalists. Howling Sycamore certainly remembers this time well, as their self-titled début (Prosthetic) shows a love and influence from such time period as much as it marries with more modern stylings; creating a sound which in today’s progressive metal climate, actually stands out effectively.Continue reading

IX LIVES IX LIVES Full Lineup Announced For Mike IX Williams Benefit

Eyehategod's Mike IX Williams, by Emma Parsons Photography

Eyehategod’s Mike IX Williams, by Emma Parsons Photography

As we previously reported, members of the metal community will be gathering in New Orleans for a special weekend of shows in February to raise money for Mike IX Williams. Continue reading

On The Road… with Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont

Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont, by Hillarie Jason

Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont, by Hillarie Jason

Two of the leading lights of underground metal, Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont have teamed up for a tour where they two continue to mine the fertile ground they have laid together in their band Corrections House, their solo material in several guises, and their work in crucial bands such as Neurosis and Yakuza respectively. Performing both separately and together, these collaborators meld their minds and muses together to make some truly challenging and rewarding songs. On this night they played selections from their own albums, a Corrections House song and a cover (‘Cortez the Killer’ by Neil Young. Joined by openers Jim Healy and Keith Bennett (Panzerbastard), the night of music was anything but mellow, despite the acoustic guitars. Hillarie Jason captured the action at The Middle East Nite Club for Ghost Cult.

Keith Bennett

Keith Bennett, by Hillarie Jason

Jim Healy, by Hillarie Jason

Jim Healy, by Hillarie Jason


Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont, by Hillarie Jason

Scott Kelly and Bruce Lamont, by Hillarie Jason


Bruce Lamont, by Hillarie Jason

Bruce Lamont, by Hillarie Jason


Scott Kelly, by Hillarie Jason

Scott Kelly, by Hillarie Jason

Scott Kelly, by Hillarie Jason

Scott Kelly, by Hillarie Jason

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Corrections House – Know How To Carry A Whip


Know How To Carry A Whip is Corrections House‘s second album following on from 2013’s unique Last City Zero (both Neurot). Colder, Harder, Bleaker than before, Know How To Carry A Whip takes that what they did before and refines it.

A potent mix of clashing styles hung together with a framework of pounding industrial beats and loops, punctuated with mechanical clanking courtesy of Sanford Parker, leave the listener on the back foot as the rhythm travels down the off-beaten track. This mechanical cacophony brings to mind the factory sounds of the industrial English midlands which famously inspired Black Sabbath and continued with bands like Godflesh of which this shares a sense of aesthetics.

Layers are hammered together disjointedly with crushing and oppressive riffs courtesy of Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), which feels like you could imagine Dälek covering Neurosis’ Through Silver In Blood (Relapse) would sound like, whilst also having a similar feel to DHG in the way the styles are shoved together.

Added to this potent mix, Mikey IX Williams (Eyehategod) puts in one of his finest performances to date with his distinctive lyrics and poetry that’s both persuasive and abrasive, a dystopian flow of decadent imagery and sharp-witted wordplay as evidenced on song titles such as ‘Crossing My One Good Finger’ and ‘I Was Never Any Good At Meth’ delivered with fervour of a manic street preacher who’s doing it for his own amusement rather than to save anyone in particular.

This is most notable on the tracks ‘Superglued Tooth’ and ‘Hopeless Moronic’ which contains some Mikey’s more memorable lines, delivered with cold calculated fury and working in tandem with Scott Kelly‘s intoned incantations and reverberating roars: layer upon oppressive layer of jarring discordance and a cold machine-like calculation make this album a step up from their first album.

‘When Push Comes to Shank’ shows more than a smidgen of influence from Joy Division, but with even more despair: love won’t tear you apart it’ll leave you in an alley missing a kidney. The album finishes on the lengthy ‘Burn The Witness’ a bleak meditation on the industrial world grinding to a halt and tearing itself apart with a fury and efficiency, machines drown in a black sludge of despair.

Know How To Carry A Whip sounds like a soundtrack to the end of the world as we know it, and it sounds more relevant with each and every listen.




On The Road… Corrections House


If you didn’t catch Corrections House on their brief run of US dates, before Mike IX Williams fell ill, and they canceled the remainder of the tour, that’s a real pity. Catching the band in Boston on a dead Sunday night the band played a superb set, oblivious to whether the room had been packed or not. Each member of the collective was laser focused and on point. If Mike IX was feeling ill, his performance showed not an iota of weakness. Just anguished brilliance and passion that he delivers every time he steps on stage. It was interesting to see the band spread out on a decent stage for once, rather than smushed together uncomfortable as I had seen them in the past. Bruce Lamont and Scott Kelly made the most of some extra foot space, thrashing around at times, convulsing in time to riffs and movements. As per usual, Sanford Parker may take his spot at the back of the stage, but his sonic work speaks volumes and is the glue that holds the group together. In addition to jamming cuts off of Last City Zero (Neurot), they played their touching, twisted cover of ‘Cortez The Killer’ by Neil Young. The band promises to spread more discontent with their sophomore release in 2015, as well as more touring, so don’t sleep next time!


Scott Kelly photo by Echoes in The Well



Bruce Lamont photo by Echoes in The Well



Sanford Parker photo by Echoes in The Well


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