Alright my Metalhead friends, I have a special treat for this week’s StateoftheArt: Idaho series. Not only do I have a killer band that you are sure to dig, but also am including a review of of their new, self-titled debut! I have never done this before but the opportunity presented itself and I sure as hell was going to take advantage of it! New band AND new music?!? Good stuff. Let’s get to it. This week, from Boise, ID, comes TraitorsGate.
Buffalo, New York is home to some iconic things. Wings, the neighboring city to Niagara Falls and the loveable losers the Buffalo Bills. Well soon enough the great Northern city will be put on the map yet again. The unbelievably kick ass doomsters Bastard Lord have released their debut EP via Twin Earth Records. The band has their own signature branded doom sound. The incredible riffs created by Mike Hermann are something of legendary status. On songs like “Wormwood” the guitar riffs teleport you toward the doom filled psychedelic vocals by singer and bassist David Braymiller. The song even lets the feedback shine through adding that raw edge to their music. The vocals aren’t all up front and in your face but slightly retreated from the instruments and it works beautifully. The bands overall sound is something fresh and fierce in the world of sludge and doom. They have taken inspiration from modern metal added their own twist and vibe and it has birthed what we now know as Bastard Lord. The first track on the album “Cimmerian” has an eerie riff that slowly trickles into full blown doom. The song is a 13 minute tour of what the band is all about. We only get 4 tracks on this EP, but it is a perfect example of what to expect with a full length. The three peice has really carved out a sound that is unmatched currently, especially in the North East. They are like a Frankenstein of Crowbar and Pallbearer with other little tid bits of kick ass thrown in here and there. If you are a fan of sludge, doom or anything psychedelic we fully recommend this album. I refer to Bastard Lord’s riffs as a sweet sweet nectar that is overwhelmingly addictive. We look very forward to catching these guys live and in the flesh.
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!