Review: ATALA – ‘The Bearer Of Light’ [Official Video]

 

After honing their chops in other touring bands, the members of Atala came together in 2013 when frontman Kyle Stratton, who owns two tattoo shops in their hometown, met up with drummer Jeff Tedtaotao, the brother of one of his shop’s tattoo artists. After joining up with their first bassist, the band quickly linked up with producer Scott Reeder (Kyuss, The Obsessed), and released their self-titled first full-length in 2014. In 2016, the band followed up with the release of their well-received sophomore album, ‘Shaman’s Path of the Serpent’, this time with current producer Billy Anderson (Sleep, Melvins, Mastodon) at the helm. After the departure of their previous bassist, current bassist and fellow tattoo artist Dave Horn joined the ranks. Though the band hails from the barren desert of Twentynine Palms they aren’t anything like the standard desert rock bands you may be familiar with, Atala are breaking the mold and solidifying a new sound associated with the desert. Now signed to Salt of the Earth Records, Atala seeks to reach new heights and expand their horizons, and they did just that with the 2018 release of ‘Labyrinth of Ashmedai.’ Their most conceptualized offering yet. Atala have truly found their path, and their groove, with ‘Labyrinth of Ashmedai,’ and I believe they also reached a new pinnacle in songwriting. We conducted an interview with the band as well which you can read here. The Twentynine Palms doom crew is now back with another album that is bound to please our ears. Atala will release their new full-length ‘The Bearer Of Light’ via Salt Of The Earth Records on May 21st.

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Review: HIGH N’ HEAVY – ‘Warrior Queen’ [Album Stream]

High n’ Heavy are a four piece instrument of destruction out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Formed in late 2014 with The Stooges, Black Sabbath, and Motörhead in mind; their sound has evolved to perfectly embody all of their influences. Mostly playing shows in their native New England, High n’ Heavy has been picking up a handful of new fans every time they perform. The following is multiplying not only because of their talented musicianship but also because of their high energy live sets that create fandom simply by word of mouth. Their first 3 albums have shown the band to be at home playing everything from the most brutal of doom to the dirtiest of rock n’ roll. The electric circus that is High n’ Heavy consists of  Kris Fortin on vocals, John Steele on guitar and keys, Mike Dudley on bass, and drummer Nick Perrone. The New Bedford band have now released their 4th album ‘Warrior Queen’ (via Electric Valley Records): An album full of psychedelia, mysticism and killer airfare! ‘Warrior Queen was recorded & engineered by Trevor Vaughan, recorded at The Colosseum and produced by Trevor Vaughan and High n’ Heavy.

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State Of The Art: Kansas’ YOUNGBLOOD SUPERCULT [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Kansas.*

Hailing from Topeka, Kansas, Youngblood Supercult brings the type of stoner rock that’s well-worthy of being more than just a local gem. Combining genuine seventies classic rock styles with more modern influences, their sound delivers the fuzz-laden doom of Black Sabbath along with the vocal soulfulness of Bad Company, wrapped up with the modern-day grit and grunge of Queens of the Stone Age. At times delving deeply psychedelic, the music never fails to immerse the listener into its ultra laidback, hazily smoke-filled atmosphere. The band’s newest album, ‘The Great American Death Rattle’ (2017) opens with the killer opening title track that features Led Zeppelin “No Quarter”-style bass effects and jaw-dropping guitar soloing. Check it out below. Continue reading

Review: CANDLEMASS – ‘The Door to Doom’ [Track Stream]

Candlemass are one of the most important names in Doom Metal. Along with Saint Vitus, Trouble, and The Obsessed they all helped create a form of music that was heavily influenced by the forefathers of Doom and Gloom: Black Sabbath! From their 1986 debut classic ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ to the 2018 ep ‘The House of Doom’ Candlemass have been one of the hardest working and most consistent bands in the Metal scene. However, with the upcoming release of ‘The Door to Doom’ (available February 22nd via Napalm Records) the band have managed to top past glories and have (arguably) released the best album of their long career! Continue reading

Epicenter Festival Spotlight: HIGH ON FIRE [Official Videos]

*This is part of the Epicenter Festival Spotlight segment where we help you get to know some of the non-headlining bands performing at the festival. This week we introduce you to High On Fire!*

If you are familiar with High On Fire you will be in agreement that it’s hard to believe they are billed earlier in the day on the inaugural Epicenter Festival lineup. The mastermind behind the band is of course Matt Pike known famously as one of the best doom guitarists ever from his work with his other band Sleep. He formed High On Fire in 1998. Pike is a talented musician that has a huge discography between his bands. With Sleep he has released 5 albums and one EP, and with High On Fire he has released 8 studio albums and 1 live album. He was also a part of the bands Asbestosdeath (which was was an early incarnation of Sleep) and Kalas who combined have released 2 EPs and 2 albums. The one area where High On Fire differs is that Matt Pike in addition to playing guitar also is the vocalist as well. His vocal style is gritty, raw, aggressive and it’s impossible to not thoroughly enjoy. The bands most recent album is ‘Electric Messiah’ which released in October via Eone Music and the album has been on nearly everyone’s best albums of the year list. In addition to that successful album High On Fire has also been nominated for a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. With the nomination they are joining some legendary past nominees like Metallica, Motörhead, Faith No More and TOOL, this is the first time the band has been nominated in their twenty-year career. In regards to their nomination the band had this to say: “We are so honored to be appreciated by our peers,” says vocalist and guitarist Matt Pike. “We love and live our art.” “It doesn’t matter whether we win or not,” says drummer Des Kensel. “It’s just an honor to be recognized for our hard work and sacrifice after devoting our whole lives to music.” Finally, bassist Jeff Matz adds, “This is pretty mind-blowing. We’re beyond thrilled about the nomination. We all put a lot of sweat and sleepless nights into writing and recording this album. It’s amazing that our efforts are being recognized in this way.” On February 10th High On Fire won that Best Metal Performance Grammy for  their album ‘Electric Messiah’ beating out other metal powerhouses Between The Buried And Me, Trivium, Deafheaven and Underoath. With that much talent in one category it certainly shows you the talent that High On Fire will bring to the Epicenter stage. Continue reading

Review: Kings Destroy – ‘Fantasma Nera’ [Single Streaming]

It’s old and it’s new, it’s funky but familiar, Kings Destroys’ pseudo stoner melodic rock harkens a fresh taste of experimental riffage with slow-mo head bobbing. New York City dwellers they are and a hotbed of artistic exploration they inhabit since their 2010 formation. Gracing the shelves March 8th, “Fantasma Nera” is the bands upcoming fourth LP through Svart Records, a Finnish based label that is home to Acid King. Continue reading

An Interview With ALL HAIL THE YETI Vocalist Connor Garritty!

A product of Los Angeles, California All Hail The Yeti formed in 2006. The band has released two full length albums, their self titled debut in 2012 followed by ‘Screams from a Black Wilderness’ in 2016 which was produced by Matt Hyde (Slipknot, Machine Head). The band creates a southern-sludgy stoner rock that electrifies listeners. The band is influences by iconic NOLA legends like Acid Bath and Eye Hate God and also a touch of the sunset strip with Motley CrueAll Hail The Yeti is now preparing to release their third studio album ‘Highway Croses’. The album was recorded, mixed and produced by three-time Grammy winning producer Warren Riker who is well recognized for his work with metal artists such as Down, Cathedral, Korn and Crowbar, as well as mainstream names such as The Fugees, Mary j. Blige, Santana and more. ‘Highway Crosses’ releases on November 16th via Minus Head Records. Continue reading

Review: SUNDECAY – ‘Gale’ [Track Stream]

 

Sundecay is a progressive doom band based in Toronto, Canada. While rooted in the classic sounds of proto-doomsters like Pentagram, St. Vitus and of course Black Sabbath there are hints of proto-metal influencers like Dust and High Tide. The band is preparing to self-release their 4 track EP ‘Gale’ on November 30th. The Canadian quartet is made up of Mark Chandler and Brian Scott on guitar. Brian also is the artist behind the cover art for ‘Gale’.  Derek Hoffman on bass, engineer and mixer, Julian Vardy on drums and Rich Pauptit on providing the vocals. The band has a DIY approach that keeps everything in house and thus keeps their vision for ‘Gale’ streamlined, and I believe that has a great deal to do with the success of this EP. Sundecay’s heaviest moments often shift away from genre conventions, much like Pallbearer, Monolord, and many “post-metal” offerings in recent years. Though the band is in the realm of proto-doom and doom they aren’t really bound by any genre and often straddle the lines on various other genres.  Continue reading

OHHMS ‘Exist’ Release Show [Review + Photo Gallery]


Not only was tonight the climax of prog-rockers Ohhms’ headline UK tour with Boss Keloid, it doubled up as a half-dayer release party for their eagerly awaited sophomore record ‘Exist’. Released just two days prior on Holy Roar Records,I admit that the temptation to listen to the full stream premiering on Metal Hammer in the run up to the show wasn’t an easy one to ignore, but my decision was final. I for one wanted to keep the thrill real, unlike the instant gratification junkies who whore over new releases with no real connection made or lasting dedication to the artists cause. Nothing beats the experience of hearing brand new music live for the first time and witnessing the passion first-hand. Ohhms deservedly took their place as headliners and showed why they are one of the scenes biggest risers.

Taking place at the Boston Music Room, little brother to The Dome in Tufnell Park, London. The night featured a mixed bill showcasing brand new talent from Old Blood and Mountain Caller with label mates Body Hound for the first half, and London doomsters Torpor and Boss Keloid as direct support for the second.     Continue reading

Review: UNHOLD – ‘Here Is The Blood’ [Album Stream]

Unhold has been an active band for over 25 years beginning in 1992, fusing together a unique mix of sludge, doom, and post metal and in the process cementing themselves as a staple in the scene. Unhold is like a heavy metal experimental astronaut constantly in search of things out of this world and blazing new paths. After many years as a quartet, in 2012 Unhold united three rough edged and enticing voices, guitars, keys / synth, bass and drums following their mission to merge beauty and beast into one hybrid creature – fierce, intimidating, beautiful and compelling. The band is comprised of Reto Wittwer on bass, Miriam Wolf adding piano as well as vocals, Philipp Thöni shredding on guitar and providing clean vocals, Daniel Fischer behind the drums and Thomas Tschuor on guitar and belts out the harsh vocals. Unhold are routinely playing stages all over the world and have played alongside bands such as Shrinebuilder, A Storm of Light, Zeal & Ardor, Zatokrev, Minsk, Crowbar, and Torche. As you can see those bands they have played alongside vary by genre drastically. Unhold has a unique enough sound that they can almost fit any bill alongside any band regardless of their genre or sub-genre in the rock or metal world. The bands latest release is ‘Here Is The Blood’ which released November 9, 2018 via Czar Of Bullets. The album was mixed and mastered by Andrew Schneider in New York whilst in daily contact with the band. It was recorded by Christoph Noth at Studio La Fonderie in  Fribourg, Switzerland. The results are for all to hear. Andrew Schneider and his experience and sonic mastery shines throughout their songs, as it has with other bands he has mixed such as Unsane, Cave InKen ModeBig Business, and Shrinebuilder. ‘Here Is The Blood’ is the follow up to 2015’s ‘Towering’ and the band yet again expands on their journey in exploration of sound.

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