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 →
*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 →
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 →
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 Crue. All 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 →
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 →
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 →
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 In, Ken Mode, Big 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.
*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Wisconsin.*
Hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, HighGallows brings bluesy stoner rock with a guitar tone filthier than month-old bong water. Consisting of Shawn (vocals), Tim (guitar), Louie (guitar), Josh (bass), and Jon (drums), the underground quintet just finished up their stint on the BlackMagicFlowerPower tour with BlackPussy and released their debut album, ‘Hymns in the House of Son’ earlier this year. The album takes the listener on a sonic trip through the murky swamps of the psyche while channeling a similar doom and smoke-filled haze of BlackSabbath and ElectricWizard. It’s mostly a slow to mid-tempo, riff-heavy ride with vocals reminiscent of a more soulful, grittier Buzz Osbourne (Melvins). Continue reading →
Doom Metal band Spirit Division have returned after two years with a new album : ‘Forgotten Planet.’ With this new release, Spirit Division have shown their growth as musicians as they incorporate psychedelic and progressive elements that were unseen on the bands past releases. Continue reading →
The Skull; which features members of iconic doom metal bands Trouble, Witch Mountain and Cathedral have returned with what could quite possibly be my favorite album of the year! Forming in 2012 ‘The Endless Road Turns Dark’ is the band 2nd studio album. Their debut studio album ‘ For Those Which Are Asleep’ was released in 2014. Both albums have been released via Tee Pee Records. ‘The Endless Road Turns Dark’ released on September 7th, 2018. Continue reading →