Ash of Cedars is a new band in a sense, based out of the Natural State; Arkansas. The members of this band are by no means new to the scene. They have a self-titled release that will only come in two mediums. Cassette tape and digital download. The sound they create in this debut release is an ambiance of sounds. The only way to describe it is “gadarene”. If you are wondering it means to engage in a headlong or potentially disastrous rush to do something. As each track plays through it gives you this overwhelming need to break things. At times like in the track “Anti Life Venom” the vocals move to the background and the music takes the center stage, and then they change positions letting the gut wrenching screams of CT aka Chris Terry whom you may know as the voice of Rwake. Surprisingly the next song “I’m Not Done” slows things down to almost a stand still. It’s the song that would be playing at a crusty gothic black metal prom. The instruments combine and make this singular orchestrated piece that you could really refer to as a black metal ballad. The band is comprised of veterans of metal professionals. Guitarist Dustin Weedle was in the Little Rock based band Snakedriver. Jeremy “Skullcrusher” Partin was the bassist for the amazing must hear death metal outfit Vore that celebrated their 20 year anniversary last year. Drummer Tino LoSicco is non-Arkansas native hailing from Memphis, TN and comes from the band Epoch of Unlight where his drumming is very well showcased. Of course then you have CT and Jeff Morgan of Rwake.
The album has 5 tracks in total, 3 on side A and 2 on side B if you happen to pick up the cassette. “Mother Satan Bright” is the eerie B side track that really has this racing rhythmic tone that tranquilizes you. The 5 tracks are raw, unfiltered just as they should be. The little hints of feedback and drone noise just add to everything that you will come to know by Ash of Cedars. The album is being released by Handshake Inc, who is amazing and has a great love for underground music. The digital release of the album is available July 4th, and the cassette will ship around July 15th if you chose to go the route. Make sure to pick a copy up and support hard working musicians. Order here!
Once you put this album on play you will automatically assume it is one of the great Florida death metal pioneers, however this is the new Jungle Rot album “Order Shall Prevail”. Since 1994 the band has slowly been climbing to the top of the food chain in the death metal world. This album solidifies their place at the top. The bands 9th studio album brings to you the teeth grinding, hard hitting violence that the fans have grown to expect. From the moment you hit play the brutality begins, the guitars and machine gun like drums welcome you to the album in the opening track “Doomsday”. Speeding through the song as singer Dave Matrise’s vocals are the cure all to any metal head’s needs. The album also features Brazilian icon Max Cavalera (Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, Ex-Seplutura) on the track “Fight Where You Stand”. Everything comes together in a perfect storm like assault and Max’s vocals fit into the song like a glove. The tone of the album is set, and the brutality continues. The song entitled “Trench Tactics” brings with it these old school shrieking guitar parts that make it one of our favorites. The song changes pace several times, slowing down and then the fierce drum beat leading it back into a faster pace. From start to finish this record is exactly what Jungle Rot fans expect from them, and will help them earn a slew of new fans as they tour the U.S. Catch them on the Rockstar Mayhem tour and feel their wrath in the flesh.
01 – “Doomsday”
02 – “Paralyzed Prey”
03 – “Blood Revenge”
04 – “Fight Where You Stand” (Featuring Max Cavalera of Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy)
05 – “Order Shall Prevail”
06 – “The Dread Pestilence”
07 – “I Cast The First Stone”
08 – “E.F.K.”
09 – “Trench Tactics”
10 – “Nuclear Superiority”
Stockholm, Sweden has always been home to an amazing array of bands over the years and standing out in the crowd there has become increasingly hard. Sideburn is one of those standouts, and has been since Morgan Zocek helped form the band in 1997. The style they play brings you back to that old school classic rock sound with some blues and a pinch of doom. The new album “Evil or Divine” does not disappoint. Released May 22, 2015 it has become a favorite of ours and often does not leave the playlist or cd player. The opening track “Masters and Slaves” starts out the album with some amazing retro guitar work and eases you into the vocal style of singer and guitarist Dimitri Keiski. . Guitar solos by founding member Morgan Zocek seem like they are never going to end. The guitars are just the beginning of the unblemished musical perfection that they bring to this album. The next track is where Dimitri really brings out his full potential and range in “Sea of Sins” hits both highs and lows and takes the listener on this musical journey. The crashing of the cymbals and beat of the drums by Fredrik Haake clears a path for everything else to chime in. Musically Sideburn has an amazing progressive style with various hints of other genres, and when you add the vocals it just brings in that retro feel that fits perfectly like an old pair of pants. With a song title like “The Day the Sun Died” you know that it will summon the darkness and doom that lives inside a black heart. Things are slowed down and everything hangs on each note. The deep tone of the bass riffs by Martin Karlsson bellow out and help steer the song in the right direction. The chorus comes through like a flawless symphony of sounds, and lurks around from the ear to the tip of your tongue and has you singing along. The album is the soundtrack to the journey it takes you through while listening. The sound Sideburn has is not watered down, and needs to be consumed by all.
Photo taken by Jonte Strömberg
Edited by Morgan Zocek
Art, food, wine, the Eiffel Tower and maybe a few other things are what commonly come to mind when thinking of Paris, France. Abrahma is one of the great products of France and should be added to that list as well. The impeccable music they create will not escape you. Flawless and well orchestrated throughout, it’s like a maze made perfectly for the ear. From the city of love is where they reside, however the darkness truly comes out with their retro doom sounding music. They have released one of the best through and through albums I have heard this year in “Reflections In the Bowels of a Bird”. Released in May the album starts with “Fountains of Vengeance” and has that fuzzy wah wah sound that in a way sets the tone for the entire album. The intensity changes several times really keeping you on your toes. By the time the second song comes on you are really ready for anything. “An Offspring To The Wolves” has that amazing doom sound. This is the first single on the album in which they have also released a video as well. Not only is this album amazing in sound but the album art is also vibrant and is likely to stand out on any record store shelf. The vocal style changes somewhat throughout the album, not drastically but just enough to make every song sound refreshing. At times vocalist Seb Bismuth sounds like an early era Brandon Boyd from Incubus. Track 3 “Omens Pt. 1” starts a 3 part series of songs on the album. Some of the guitar work really casts out a Sabbath like sound. The music seems just perfectly melded together and then the vocals are the final touch to it. It’s so well orchestrated that each chord seems perfectly timed. The song winds down to such a somber drawn out ending that leads greatly into the next song. “Weary Statues” starts out with some drone like sounds and then gets into the drum beat at which point it’s off to the races. This song sets a fast pace and is my favorite track on the album. It has a mean chug along guitar and vocal sound that lead into this surprising melodic portion of the song and then right back to up tempo. I won’t give the rest of the album away but it is the type of album that will stand the test of time. It is 52 minutes of 70’s inspired bluesy doom rock that will keep you listening til the last second.