Album Reviews



Album Review: THE DARKNESS – ‘Pinewood Smile’

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The Darkness

Pinewood Smile

Cooking Vinyl

There are those who dismiss The Darkness out of hand as little more than a one-hit novelty act doing a faux-operatic glam-metal piss-take. Those unfortunate souls are A) probably not much fun at parties, and B) missing the point entirely. Rock and roll, especially heavy rock, has become a dour and earnest beast in the past quarter-century or so, plodding along a loud but often joyless path, rife with negativity and self-loathing. Since day one, The Darkness have served as an antidote against this encroaching gloom, a glittery, sequined outpost shining brightly in a vast expanse of brutal grey. Misery and introspection certainly have their place, but so do joy and outrageousness and just plain fun, dammit, and that’s where The Darkness come in. Yes, their songs are over-the-top; they’re also expertly crafted nuggets of kick-ass rock and roll, stuffed to bursting with beefy riffs, intricate melodies, and cocksure swagger. And sure, some of their lyrics might be a little silly, but those great big jagged hooks they’re attached to ain’t no joke. Their newest album, Pinewood Smile, is a bawdy buzzsaw with peacock plumage, a devastating roundhouse right from a manicured fist. Outrageous and opulent yet fiery and muscular, it’s the finest album in their catalog so far and unless you’re a real fuddy-duddy, it’s likely one of the best times you’ll have listening to a record this year.

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Album Review: ‘The Wild Sounds of LORDS OF ALTAMONT’

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Lords of Altamont

The Wild Sounds of Lords of Altamont

Heavy Psych Sounds

Since their founding in late 1999, the Lords of Altamont have been preaching the gospel of high RPMs and low morals, the Good News about being bad. Well-versed in the rituals, scriptures and sacraments of the sages and prophets who preceded them, the LA-based congregation has unleashed another electrifying testimonial to the healing powers of rock and roll on their sixth album, The Wild Sounds of Lords of Altamont. It’s a cranked-up, psychedelic biker/garage joyride from Detroit to Berdoo, all virile riffs and swirly Farfisa; you can hear the leather and sunglasses, smell the exhaust fumes and truckstop incense. Vocalist/organist/head shaman Jake Cavaliere, guitarist Daniele Sindaco, bassist Rob Zimmerman, and drummer Steven Van Der Werff are a finely tuned machine, expertly spitting out blasts of santification that baptize you with a shot of whiskey and a punch in the mouth.

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Review: All Pigs Must Die – ‘Hostage Animal’

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Brooding hardcore-punk conglomerated with crushing stoner-esque displays of melody are now indefatigable qualities to what constitutes Southern Lord Records. One particular group to assist in laying down such foundations would have to be the incredibly influential, perennially pessimistic and harrowingly heavy act All Pigs Must Die. Their third studio LP, ‘Hostage Animal’ is scheduled for release on October 27 2017 and is musically their most foreboding attempt to date. The group is now a five-piece act consisting of Kevin Baker of The Hope Conspiracy on vocals, Ben Koller of Converge on Continue reading

Album Review: GUTSLIT – ‘Amputheatre’

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India is in the bringst of a metal revolution and brutal death/grind legends Gutslit are at the forefront! Fresh from their second massive international tour “Brutal Grooves Grinding Moves” with Germany’s Stillbirth, American Splattered and Colombian Carnivore Diprosopus – Gutslit absolutely pulverised the masses across 15 shows in 8 countries to launch their highly awaited sophomore release “Amputheatre”. Set to be released on Oct 15th via new label Transcending Obscurity India – Asia’s largest label for extreme music, pre-orders are live and available here. 

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Album Review: KUBLAI KHAN – ‘Nomad’ [Album Stream]

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After creating the EP ‘Youth War’ and the albums ‘Balancing Survival & Happiness’, ‘New Strength’ Kublai Khan got around the table to let us know why they are the best at what they are doing. First teasing us with the tracks ”Belligerent” & ”The Hammer” Kublai Khan and finally releasing their full album ‘Nomad’ today via RiseRecords! The official album stream is linked at the end of this article, take a deep breath and dive right in!

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Album Review: KADAVAR – ‘Rough Times’

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Kadavar

Rough Times

Nuclear Blast Records

Forget the fuzzed-out riffs and the monster choruses, forget the facial hair and silk-and-velvet trappings; the single most ‘70’s thing about Kadavar might be their work ethic. The German stoner-psych trio has been in perpetual motion since their 2010 debut, locked in an album-tour-album-tour cycle that harkens back to the days of their musical forefathers, when bands plied and honed their craft through countless live shows and more than a year between records was simply unheard of. The end result of this ideology couldn’t be more evident. The band has become an incendiary live act, and each of their albums has built on the strengths of its predecessor. To say that trend continues here is a massive understatement; 2015’s Berlin was one of that year’s best albums, but with Rough Times, Kadavar may end up with the 2017 title all to themselves.

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Album Review: STONEBIRDS – ‘Time’

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If one were to accurately describe the after-effects of the act of combining the iridescent romanticism of psychedelia and the intense brooding nature of doom-rock then they’d gain an awful lot of credibility upon mentioning Stonebirds, a project which was formed in 2008 and has since proved itself to be a noteworthy Continue reading

Album Review – WARFARING STRANGERS: ACID NIGHTMARES

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Fifty years ago, the much-vaunted but short-lived Summer of Love burned out nearly as fast as it began, and the Sixties began its death march toward Cielo Drive and Altamont Speedway. Choked out by lethal doses of greed and drugs, groovy-baby, flower-in-your-hair psychedelia quickly gave way to bad trips and endless bummers, speed freaks and acid burnouts. The sounds of an era roiled by perpetual tumult and social upheaval transformed and mutated as well, into something harder-edged, more sinister; less It’s A Beautiful Day and Scott McKenzie, more Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. And while Alice Cooper has claimed responsibility for his group “driving a stake through the heart of the Love Generation,” the bands represented on the Numero Group’s new compilation Acid Nightmares show that his namesake act were but one link in a worldwide network of accomplices, and that sonically speaking, the Hippie movement died a death of a thousand cuts.

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Album Review: WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM – ‘Thrice Woven’ [Album Stream]

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I’m going to be perfectly blunt: American black metal bands aren’t supposed to be this damn good. While black metal is a dark, brooding, and relentless musical style that has cultivated a reverential following in Europe, it’s also a genre that truly lacks a thriving North American music scene that is comparative to bay area thrash metal or Floridian death metal, and great American black metal bands are few and far between.

Thankfully, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM is one of those rare and exceptional black metal bands from the good ole US of A who have attained a level of excellency rivaling that of their European counterparts. After over a decade since releasing their punishing yet atmospheric debut ‘Diadem Of 12 Stars’ in 2006, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM have unveiled their newest record ‘Thrice Woven’: an album that is a masterpiece of thematic musicianship that intellectually moves the listener into a spellbinding trance from start to finish. Sure, it’s not necessarily news to say that WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM have crafted a truly excellent album (again), but even at just five tracks in length, it still needs to be said that vocalist/guitarist Nathan Weaver, vocalist/guitarist Kody Keyworth, and drummer Aaron Weaver have created an album of the highest quality.

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Review : EVIL INVADERS – “Feed Me Violence” [Official Video Streams]

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Three long decades ago when the denims were tight, leather jackets worn, ragged and hair unkempt in the golden era of 1980s, Steve “Zetro” Souza of EXODUS shouted in the song “Deranged” off the album “Pleasures Of The Flesh”  in his raspy voice, “It doesn’t make me calmer, it only makes me mean“. Little did he know that those words would still carry the feeling and aggression portrayed in it, which is still relevant in today’s thrash metal and it is an innate characteristic of this highly erratic and fast sub-genre in the entire spectrum of metal. I quoted the above lyric because that is exactly what these four angry hot blooded young men from Belgium offer you in their latest sophomore release, “Feed Me Violence“, titled very aptly. Watch out for this fast paced, gritty and nerve wrecking thrash metal record from young guns EVIL INVADERS as the release date nears soon, coming out like a hot bomb via Napalm Records on September 29.

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