ALBUM REVIEW: Pallbearer – Mind Burns Alive


Five albums into their career, the fact Pallbearer was once a Doom Metal band has faded into the haze of the atmosphere that dominates Mind Burns Alive (Nuclear Blast Records). Of all the metal sub-genres, fans of doom metal are the most forgiving when it comes to a band outgrowing the confines of the genre. Perhaps this is just Brett Campbell’s beautiful singing voice distracting you from the lyrics, which are as equally as bleak as those on the previous album. There might be a marginally more optimistic tone to “Where the Light Fades.” These depressive expressions are a thread of continuity tethering this bands’ entire body of work. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: The Watchers – Nyctophilia


California. Beaches, blue skies, and blazing sunshine. Unless you’re The Watchers, of course. In which case it’s all about darkness, shadows, and a predilection towards all things of a nocturnal nature. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: High On Fire – Cometh The Storm


Six years (where did that time go?) after their Grammy award-winning album Electric Messiah, comes High On Fire’s latest effort Cometh The Storm (MNRK heavy). Gone is the ferocious, Thrash-like assault of the last album, replacing it is their trademark sludgy, Stoner Metal, but with a broadened palette. Can this record live up to its revered predecessor? Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Mario Lalli and The Rubber Snake Charmers – Folklore From The Other Desert Cities


Mario Lalli is a legend in the Desert Rock scene whose career started in the mid-eighties with a short-lived outfit, Across the River. From there, he’d form Yawning Man and then Fatso Jetson, (the latter with brother Larry and who’d put out their first couple of releases on the legendary SST Records label). Other bands such as

would come and go over the years, not to mention a never-ending raft of guest appearances. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Sundrifter – An Earlier Time


Small Stone Recordings, which is famous for the renowned Acid King and Wo Fat listed in their roster, sure got their thing going by releasing An Earlier Time (Small Stone Records), the third studio album of none other than Sundrifter. Having been around since 2012, the Boston-based desert rock trio has left significant marks through their 2016 debut Not Coming Back, and their 2019 sophomore album Visitations. They have also shared stages with a wide range of fellow heavy psychedelic units, King Buffalo and Gozu. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: REZN – Vinnum Sabbathi – Silent Future


 

If I was to make a list of my top ten bands to emerge over the past decade REZN would certainly be on this list. Back in February, they released Solace which proved to be an excellent slab of doom-gaze. I wasn’t expecting something else from them this year, but they are dropping this collaboration, Silent Futures (Blues Funeral Recordings) with Mexico City’s Vinnum Sabbathi.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Mutoid Man – Mutants


 

Mutants (Sargent House) is album number three from Stephen Brodsky’s heavy, quirky and often colourful side-project Mutoid Man. And much like his work in Cave In, the music Brodsky creates with Mutoid Man encompasses a whole host of influences, to create a myriad of sounds.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Slaughter on First Avenue


It seems live albums are making a comeback. A slew of metal bands are releasing live albums in the coming months, perhaps in response to the ever-rising price of concerts these days. Add Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats to the list of live albums dropping this summer, though their release takes you back in time. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Black Rainbows – Superskull


 

Stoner rock is often thought of in the same dim light as Doom, but this Italian band has dropped an album that serves as an example of how the two genres differ. While stoner rock and doom both share DNA with Black Sabbath, these guys ride on their riffs with a boogie that share a similar cactus patch as Clutch. They do pay homage to Sabbath, mainly in the singer’s piercing declarations that sound like Ozzy by way of nineties grunge. Their fuzz-laden riffs focus on grooving, rather than carrying the stark undercurrent of aggression that powered Sabbath’s darker guitar sound.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Saint Karloff – Paleolithic War Crimes


 

Norwegians Saint Karloff formed in 2015 and their debut full-length All Heed the Black God followed in 2018. The latest album Paleolithic War Crimes (Majestic Mountain Records) comes as something of a bittersweet release following the sad loss of bassist and founding member Ole ‘Karloff’ Sletner in 2021 (RIP). The writing for this record had started in 2019 with Ole very much on board and to quote the band ultimately, “reflects a band in transition and exploring new paths, but at the same time it retains that proper heavy Karloff-vibe.”

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