Review: CODE ORANGE – ‘Forever’ [Song Stream]

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Critically acclaimed hardcore band Code Orange are set to release their 3rd LP, ‘Forever’ next week on January 13th, 2017. ‘Forever’ will be the band’s first release on major label Roadrunner Records. Their previous 2 records were released on Deathwish. It will be the follow up to their highly praised album ‘I Am King’ which was released in 2014. In my opinion, ‘I Am King’ was one of the best hardcore records in the last 10 years, so topping the record is going to be considered a huge challenge by many. The band formed in 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA. The lineup has changed a few times but has been consistent since 2012, the current members of the band are Eric Balderose on guitar and vocals, Reba Meyers also on guitar and vocals, Jami Morgan on the drums and vocals, and Joe Goldman on the bass. They changed their name from Code Orange Kids to Code Orange in 2014. You can pre-order the new album here. Continue reading

Review of Arcade Messiah’s “III”: The Status Quo Defied

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Artwork by Michael Kerbow (michaelkerbow.com)

Arcade Messiah is a solo project spearheaded by cult Hasting band, Kingbathmat frontman John Bassett who currently resides in Sligo, Ireland. Born in Walthamstow, London, Bassett was raised by his ex-convent nun mother and meter reading father, who fed and looked after him as long as they could. By sixteen, he quit school and left home with little more than the clothes on his back. This left his employment opportunities limited to dull and mundane tasks; guitar and songwriting being his primary source of solstice. His love of music developed at a young age after picking up an acoustic guitar in the family home. Once able to figure out and play along with a number of songs, he found a guitar teacher in Tottenham to assist with chording. What John discovered was that he was playing a right handed guitar left handed, even though he was, in fact, right handed. Playing backwards was simply more comfortable. With this straightened out and a proper, left handed guitar was purchased, chords became natural and progressed directly into songwriting that has evolved into a life long passion.

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Review: No Gods No Masters ‘Fear In a Handful of Dust’ [Stream]

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No Gods No Masters was formed in 2013 in the Netherlands. By the sound of the band you may think that they are from the swamps of Louisiana, as most sludge bands hail from. However, these guys aren’t lacking anything when it comes to sound. The band has brought sludge to the Netherlands. They aren’t your ordinary sludge band, they know what they do and they do it well. The band released a self-titled EP in January of 2013 and it received rave reviews. That EP was released via Torn Flesh Records. Recently, No Gods No Masters have finished recording their debut album ‘Fear In a Handful of Dust’. At the moment the band does not have a label but is negotiating with labels and plan to release on a label in the upcoming months. The album was recorded by Michiel Toenink (Total Infection, Devious) and Olaf Skoreng been mixed and mastered by JB Van Der Wal (Herder, Korpse, Ditch) at the Hewwetover studio. The album released March 4th, 2016. Don’t let the above picture of these gentlemen fool you in their nicest attire, their music is pure gritty, dirty sludge that we all know and love. Continue reading

Review: Pale Horsemen – Bless The Destroyer [Stream]

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For years New Orleans, Louisiana has really been the home for most sludge bands. We now have another destination for all things sludge. Chicago quartet Pale Horsemen have been giving birth to some amazing sludge albums since their formation in 2012. Since then they now have released 3 amazing albums. They debuted their first self-titled release in 2013 and took little time with a follow up releasing ‘Mourn the Black Lotus’ in 2014. November 30th marked the date of their latest release ‘Bless the Destroyer’. The band celebrated the release at their CD Release Party a couple days early in the Windy City with yet another northern sludge band The Mound Builders. Continue reading

Review: Stonecutters “Blood Moon” [Video]

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It’s not often I get to write about some fellow Kentuckians. Not only do these guys hail from the Bluegrass state but they are putting us on the map for their brilliant musicianship. Stonecutters have successfully released 3 albums including their last kick ass release titled “Creatio Ex Nihil” that was unleashed in 2013. I was fortunate enough to see them back in 2006 with Eye Hate God and Nachtmystium in support of their debut album. Time has done nothing but make this band better and better. The brand new album “Blood Moon” is some of their best work to date and was recorded with David Barrick in Glasgow, Kentucky. Continue reading

Review: Bastard Lord EP plus [Video]

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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.

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Review: Hateure – Body & Soil

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Hateure band pic

Doom and sludge music usually has ties to the South. Something about our lifestyle and relaxed slow paced lives always churned out some of the slowest sludge around. There is a new destination in sludge. Pateros, Philippines is the home of sludge masters Hateure. The band actually started out as a progressive style metal band in 2007. They Released two albums in that vein of music (Makabagong Anyo ng Galit, 2010 and A Lustrous Danseur, 2013). It wasn’t long after that the band started to morph and change their sound. Eventually evolving into a doom/sludge/post metal band. They have released their new EP on July 13th, 2015 called “Body and Soil” and are in the process of finishing a full length album to release by the end of the year or early 2016. The EP currently out is 3 tracks, but it is more than enough music to let you know the direction this band is headed. Let me go ahead and tell you now that these guys aren’t playing around, they have found their true sound with sludge/doom and they will soon be climbing to the top of every metalheads favorite bands. The EP was mixed and mastered by guitarist Ronnel Vivo. The first track of the EP is an instrumental. I may be a little impatient but I couldn’t wait for the vocals to chime in even though the instrumental song and title track “Body & Soil” really is true to the sludge sound we all know. Track 2 “Reptilian Blues” is where we really get to business. The song spanning almost 12 glorious minutes is like music from a demented song bird to my ears. (That is a compliment by the way). The guitar work starts the song and these deep chords bellow out so low I can feel the vibrations in my chest. Suddenly we hear the might roar of singer Earl Palma and it was well worth the wait. He holds his own when it comes to comparing him to other sludge vocal legends. The guitar work is a perfect example of sludge, but it also has these groove based tones in it as well giving the track a feel that is truly the Hateure sound. One thing that is surprising is the sound they are able to get with just the one guitarist. The bassist Genesis Trinidad helps set pace in tandem with the solid rhythmic drum beats by Ronaldo Vivo Jr. The band as a whole is a group of musicians that have an amazing chemistry together. The EP is a great teaser for what we can expect in a full length. Anyone that even remotely likes Sludge or doom needs to give these guys a listen because you will become a fan instantly.

Artwork by Ronaldo S. Vivo Jr.

Body & Soil Tracklisting:

1 – Body & Soil
2 – Reptilian Blues
3 – Koleoptera

You can hear and buy the EP on Bandcamp.

Follow the band on Facebook.

Here is a video of them from Sinfest performing the first 2 tracks from the new EP Body & Soil.