BLACK CAT BONES ‘Down To The River’ EP Review & Select Track Streams

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From across the pond, Liverpool to be exact, comes the late 2016 release from Black Cat Bones, their 5-song “Down To The River” EP (Broken Road Records LTD).  It is the follow up to the band’s preceding EP “False Promises & Wasted Time” and what the band has crafted here is nothing short of fantastically bluesy, boogie ‘n groove-infused Southern Rock. The guys, singer/harmonica player Jonnie Hodson, guitarists Alan Rimmer and Adam Kerbache, bassist/bkg. vox Jamie Hayward, and drummer/bkg. vox Ash Janes have captured the essence of 80’s hard rock ala Guns & Roses, Junkyard or Dangerous Toys. Clearly not satisfied with sitting on those influences, BCB mash that oldschool vibery with tinges of modern rock similar to what acts like Rival Sons or Monster Truck are putting out and the result is an infectious sound indeed.
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OVERKILL ‘The Grinding Wheel’ Review & Select Track Streams

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The biggest underdog of Thrash metal, but one with as much standing and respect as any of those in the supposed Big Four, is the New Jersey neck-wreckers Overkill. The earliest origins of Overkill date back to 1980 and despite regular line-up changes, revolving record labels and what have you, Overkill‘s two longest constant members, vocalist BobbyBlitzEllsworth and bassist D.D. Verni, always keep their vision alive with the band. Referred to as the “Motorhead of thrash metal” due to their uncompromising need to stay true to themselves, their music and their fans, the band continues to forge ahead with some of the best metal on the planet. The latest example of that dedication is the recently released eighteenth studio album from Overkill, “The Grinding Wheel“, which is out now from Nuclear Blast Records. Alongside Ellsworth and Verni on this latest salvo from the band once again are drummer Ron Lipnicki and guitarists Dave Linsk (lead) and Derek Tailer (rhythm) and we are here to break down this latest offering from this iconic band.


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INDOMINUS ‘Legion Within’ EP Review & Stream

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We return to Ireland for yet another round of crushing, punishing extreme metal via Indominus‘ debut EP, the 5-song “Legion Within“. Released last September, the guys Alan Duddy (vox), Simon Cochrane (lead gtr./bkg. vox), Logan McKee (rhythm gtr.), Mark Payne (bass) and Nathan Glasgow (drums) administer a savage assault of Death Metal, Thrash, and traditional, oldschool-inspired Metal here. It is highly reminiscent of the earliest pioneering bands within the U.S.’ Floridian DM scene of yesteryear, clearly influenced by the likes of Obituary, Death, Massacre and the like. Structured upon blistering dual guitar antics, bone rattling rhythms and furiously unrelenting drums, the music is savage and abrasive. There are several vocal styles attached to things too ranging from bellowing gutturals to shriek-ish highs and the occasional aggressive Hardcore type, each adding a rather distinct flavoring to things.  
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THAL (The Heathens Are Loose) / HASHISHIAN ‘Taurean’ Split EP Review, Stream & NYP Item

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What do you get when you take a primarily one-man musical project from Columbus, Ohio and mix it with a two-man musical project from Malaysia? You get six songs of pure badassery from the freshly issued “Taurean” split EP from the Buckeye State’s THAL (The Heathens Are Loose) and the weed worshiping Hashishian of course! Only THAL‘s Vince Green (John Walker) is joined by his wytCHord bandmate, Kevin Hartnell, for some help with the drums and guitars on this new material. Meanwhile, Hashishian is working within its own two man configuration for their contribution here as well so let’s jump into it, shall we? Continue reading

GRIM RAVINE ‘The Light Is From Below’ EP Review & Stream

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Just the name Grim Ravine itself inspires images of some foreboding, deep cavernous crevice within the earth where life is endangered and possibly, myriad evils abound. Those imaginings are not far off the mark either when the bleak, rock bottom sonics of the band’s imminent EP release, “The Light Is From Below“, is experienced. It will be issued this Friday, February 17th via Black Bow Records, the label run by Jon Davis of crushing heavyweights Conan. Taking their cue from such sonic monstrosities as Unearthly Trance or Bongripper, Grim Ravine have weaponized a lethal aural assault of bleak, burdensome Doom emanating with Sludge-like miseries. The four songs unleashed on the EP, “Shrine Of Misery“, “Translunary“, “Hypernova” and “Vacant Mass” carve their way into your skull with frightening misanthropy resonating in their beings. Heavy, loud, laden with groove, loud, heavy displays of what the band themselves admit to being their own knack to “worship tone and riffs”, this is vile doom merely for the same of such. Once you subject yourself to it via the Bandcamp embed below, odds are you will be utterly shuddered to your very soul itself and never able to peacefully rest again anytime afterward.

HORSENECK ‘Heavy Trip’ Review, Official Video & Album Stream

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I have been a longtime fan of the Post-Rock/Hardcore band Will Haven from the moment I first heard them years ago so it was a no brainer for me to check out Horseneck recently when I saw they had connections to WHVN. Those connections are in the form of present and/or past members of not only Will Haven but Chelsea Wolfe as well but to be honest, that is where any and all comparisons to either band should be stopped. In fact, comparisons should not even be actually made because Horseneck is one of the more uniquely stand-alone bands I have heard in awhile. The sound they have is unlike most anything else happening in the heavy rock, alternative, or what have you scenes..their music is as diversified as it gets. And what it gets here is fantastically rocking and energetically intense and I really don’t know what labels or genre quantifications to throw at you to properly relate what the hell is going on here with the “Heavy Trip” debut. Guitarist/vocalist Anthony Paganelli, bassist Lennon Hudson, guitarist/vocalist Lance Jackman and drummer Jess Gowrie meld elements of Post-Rock, Aggro-Noise Rock, Hardcore and, believe it or not, Classic Rock. Hell, they even have synths, organs and horn sections at times and man, oh man does it make for some amazingly fascinating music on this album. This album, “Heavy Trip” being exactly what this is with the ten tracks of dense heaviness recorded by Lance Jackman (Will Haven) at The Dock, mixed by Scott Evans (Kowloon Walled City) at Antisleep Studios and mastered by Carl Saff (Big Business, Helms Alee, Russian Circles) at Saff Mastering. It will be issued on February 17th on CD, cassette, and digital formats.
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BANTHA RIDER Self-Titled EP Review, Stream & NYP Item

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From far away Warsaw, Poland we receive the newly released Bantha Rider self-titled 4-song EP which instantly piques my interest with its ‘instrumental Stoner/Sludge’ tag. That tag more than ably describes what we are getting here but there’s some elements of Doom too and it is all delivered with a kind of sluggish groove that just cannot be ignored. The power at the heart of this power trio, guitarist Chris, bassist Bart and drummer Art definitely meld an opiate-like haziness into their sound. Like any true opiate, the music rolls along at alternating speeds, tempos and paces which successfully you right along its path..one moment slow and sedate, the next a rush of energized riffs and nicely powered rhythms. Another notable aspect of the music is the seemingly somewhat Lo-Fi overall sound that its rendered within, which adds a most validated sludgened component to everything that you hear.
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VERMILION WHISKEY ‘Spirit Of Tradition’ Review & Select Song Streams; Album Teaser Video

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Remember that ol’ battle cry “The South will rise again!”? If there was ever a specific time frame that it was alluding to I think it was probably now, the first few months of 2017. And of course I mean musically in the fact that next week, on February 17th to be exact, Vermilion Whiskey will unleash their latest studio offering, the 6-song “Spirit Of Tradition” EP.  The Tony Reed (Mos Generator) mastered effort follows the recent release of White Light Cemetery and precedes upcoming ones from Electric Age and Forming The Void..all Southern bands from Louisiana to be exact. And make no mistake, this current music from Vermilion Whiskey is pure, undiluted Southern hard rock tempered with a bit of metallic sludge for taste. With slowly unfurling, molasses-thick riffs, swampy backwoodsy rhythms, and axe-hewn drums, the musical side of this content ripples with borne-from-below-the Mason/Dixon Line vibes with every note.

The five musicians behind Vermilion Whiskey, vocalist Thaddeus Riordan, guitarists Ross Brown and Carl Stevens, bassist Jeremy Foret and drummer Buck Andrus blend a potent mash of grunge-y Stoner Rock. Powered by guitar riffs as heavy as anything by the likes of Down or C.O.C., songs like “Road King“*, the blistering blues ‘n doom of “Come Find Me” and the metal-laden ripper “Loaded Up” scream Southern by the grace of God..or Satan, somebody, heh. The solos alone in “Road King” will absolutely scorch your ears but it’s when this unit takes a header into the heavier side of things that the smoke really begins to pour. “The Past Is Dead“* is a dense, heavy-handed slab of savage doom greatness, the slower riffs churning out as Thad’s vocals wail with whiskey-drenched severity, raspy and rowdy as can be.

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Unsigned Band Review: CURSED SUN ‘The Amygdala’ EP Review & Official Video

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Directly from Belfast, Ireland has come “The Amygdala 5-song EP from one of the country’s longest running extreme metal bands, Cursed Sun. After at least one full-length effort and numerous EPs, these lads are well established veterans within the the Northern Ireland music scene and for damn good reason. The music contained on this latest salvo is intense, multifaceted metal that incorporates primarily Thrash, Death Metal, Hardcore and Metalcore along with some hard Rock into the mix, and all with an endless supply of grooves. The guys themselves, vocalist Jones, guitarists Jonny and Ciaran, drummer Chris and bassist Monty, run like a well-maintained engine of pummeling savagery. It’s easy to hear what bands have probably both inspired and influenced them to play metal themselves, the primary comparison is to Pantera pure and simple. You can hear that nod to the legendary band in the savage introduction to this release, the opening cut “Breeding To Bleeding“. It’s a mid-tempo, chunky and heavily beefed-up hard hitter that chugs along with some killer guitar-fueled grooves, solid drumming, and great gravelly vocals that are full of angst and aggression. What’s really interesting is the band’s ability to merge somewhat tranquil, more melodic elements into things such as the emotion-evoking title song “The Amygdala” and its alternating harsher and cleanly sung vocals. They fluidly interchange nicely as the song’s music is equally diversified and able to provide varying types of energy, like a rollercoaster ride basically.

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THE BUCKLE ‘Labbrador’ Review & Album Stream

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Argonauta Records will issue the new full-length offering from Italy’s The Buckle, titled “Labbrador“, tomorrow, February 13th and I dare say that it’s definitely an interesting release. What the two guys at the heart of The Buckle, Andrea and Maxim, have crafted on this album is nothing short of fantastically unique sounding Stoner Rock but it does not just stop there. With ample amounts of Psychedelia, Alternative and modern Rock elements to spare, the duo delivers an infectious descent into trippy realms otherworldly music. There’s even tints of Punk and Post-Rock on the highly energized but oddly-hued sonics that permeate the body of work presented here.

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