Thursday, 20 October 2016

TRACK PREMIERE: Belgian stoner rockers King Hiss deal a "Killer Hand"

I don’t know about you but when you’re searching for new music, often there are key words you’re looking for, “riffs, sabbath, crushing” come to mind.  Moreover when a band is sold as sounding like this or that band, much like today’s featured band King Hiss, who were recommended for fans of Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch, Alice In Chains & Down, immediately your interests piques.

King Hiss have a mission “to write earth shaking songs with attitude and a desire to conquer the world” and since their formation in 2011 and with two solid releases under their belts which were met with overwhelming positive reviews, these Belgian stoner rockers hope to make quite stir and make their dream a reality with the release of their sophomore long-player titled “Mastosaurus”, a concept album portraying the epic adventures of a doomed antihero.

Recorded at Oceanside Studio by producer/drummer Ace Zec (Death Before Disco, Customs & Nailpin), mixed in Austin (USA) by Machine (Clutch, Crobot, Fall Out Boy, Lamb Of God) and mastered by Paul Logus (Anthrax, Clutch, Steel Panther), “Mastosaurus” is schedule for release on October 31st. Today you can judge for yourselves whether those tags are appropriate, as we stream a brilliant new track entitled “Killer Hand” which you can stream below

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


By: Nikos Mixas

Welcome to The Sludgelord’s initial installment of the 666 Pack Review!  Each and every month we handpick 6 review submissions and critique them by only using 6 words, and then we rate them on a scale from 1 to 666! 

See our rating scale below: 

1 - WTF are you doing???  Go get your money back from Guitar Center!
2 - You might be tone deaf.  Or perhaps your friends are lying to you?  Keep working at it. 
3 - There’s some potential...start listening to and watching Manowar to see how the metals is done. 
4 - Not too shabby!  Upgrade your amps from Crate to Orange now!!!
5 - I was tapping my foot and/or bobbing my head.  You’re definitely worthy enough to pack dive bars.
666! - The Sludgelord brands you with his pentagram of approval!!!  Hails!!!

Check out our first victims for the month of October.  Even if a band gets a low score, we strongly encourage you to check them out anyways because you might actually dig them!  The Sludgelord is a picky listener…

BrainscannerTrilobita” – (Sao Paulo, Brazil)    Rating: 2

 “Music is ok, vocals are awful.” 

Band info: bandcamp

Crimson Tusk (EP) – (Oxford, UK)     Rating: 3

“Boogie with Danzig all liquored up.”

Band info: facebook || bandcamp

Se7en Miles WestForever Decade” – (Plattsburgh, NY) Rating: 2

“This is not stoner nor doom…”

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Grogus - “Intuitive Readers and Metaphysical Artisans” – (Minneapolis, MN)   Rating: 5

“For fans of early Mastodon.  Sick!”

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

Black Bone Exorcism Crack the Bone, Break the Heart” – (Seattle, WA)    Rating: 666

“Well written, groovy sludge.  Nice job!”

Band info: facebook

Troll – (Portland, OR)     Rating: 5

“Haunting, long jams with doomy overtones.” 

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

TRACK PREMIERE: Seattle's A Province of Thay return darker, more intense, and harder­-hitting with "Thaymount"

Seattle's critically acclaimed A Province of Thay are back and set to release their latest release “Atonement” via Carrion Choir on October 28th 2016.  For those people new to the band, they play a unique blend of post-­metal that balances aggression with ambience, coupled with melody and pure sonic muscle. With musical backgrounds ranging from hardcore, doom metal, indie rock, and electronic music, the band has created an inimitable blend of darkness and light.

The band's debut album “The Grieving” was self­-released in 2013, comprised of 5 songs that juxtapose melodic vocals and narrative lyrics with intricate extended song structures. In fact, the album was lauded upon on these very pages, referring to it as a “truly magical and mysterious album you won't forget in a long time.”

Atonement” which will be released on October 28 2016 finds the group honing their style: They have expanded the atmospheric elements that help them stand apart from their more metal­-influenced peers, without  weakening the heavy backbone of their compositions. If anything, “Atonement” is darker, more intense, and harder­-hitting than its predecessor and today you can check out a brand new track entitled “Thaymount” below

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

ALBUM REVIEW: Zaum - "Eidolon"

By: Charlie Butler

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/10/2016
Label: I Hate Records

“What makes Zaum’s music so intoxicating is the sheer density of their sound. Layers of synths, sitars, flutes and who knows what else, build up to create a foundation of all-encompassing drone for the bands epic compositions.  Prepare to be transported to a higher realm.”


“Eidolon” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Influence of the Magi
2). The Enlightenment

The Review:

Eidolon” is a term from ancient Greek literature that refers to a spirit-image of a living or dead person. It is an appropriate title for Zaum’s new album given the ageless, haunted soundscapes contained within.

Few bands can touch the New Brunswick doom duo in terms of sheer hypnotic atmosphere. “Eidolon” sees them raise their game once more with two 20 minute behemoths, “Influence of the Magi” and “The Enlightenment” that build on their impressive previous releases. Imagine the relentless riff onslaught of Om circa “Conference of the Birds” combined with the wider sonic palette of their later work and blown up to symphonic scale. This will give you a good impression of Zaum’s mind-expanding, heavy grandeur.

What makes Zaum’s music so intoxicating is the sheer density of their sound. Layers of synths, sitars, flutes and who knows what else, build up to create a foundation of all-encompassing drone for the bands epic compositions. Chris Lewis’ drumming provides a solid backbone for these mammoth voyages into the beyond but Kyle McDonald’s bass is the key ingredient to Zaum’s success. From spacious, ghostly chords to crushing distorted riffs, he utilises an arsenal of effects to give the impression of the band being a mighty legion rather than a mere duo. There is a wide spectrum of vocals on display here too, switching from spectral chants to throaty roars and everything in between to meet the demands of these complex journeys.

Eidolon” is another transcendent release from Zaum that sees them go further down their singular path into the heavy unknown. Prepare to be transported to a higher realm.

“Eidolon” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

FFO: Om, Bong, Sleep, Earth

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Obsidian Kingdom - “A Year with No Summer”

By: Jay Hampshire

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 11/03/2016
Label: Season of Mist

“This record is well constructed and the instrumentation is very impressive. But for those looking for similar fare to their previous work, they’d best keep looking.”

“A Year with No Summer” CD//DD//LP track list

1). A Year with No Summer
2). 10th April
3). Darkness
4). The Kandinsky Group
5). The Polyarnik
6). Black Swan
7). Away/Absent

The Review:

Barcelona’s Obsidian Kingdom can’t be defined easily. Orbiting extreme metal, rather than landing directly in its dank confines, the five piece draw influence from a myriad of other acts and sub genres in order to create their sound. “A Year with No Summer” is their first album proper since 2012’s “Mantiis – An Agony In Fourteen Bites” (there was an album of remixes that followed the latter in 2013). There have been substantial line-up changes since their last full length, but has it seen them lose their way, or has it breathed new life into the kingdom?

The title track opens with some hissing snare, slowly adding layers of stabbing bass and rising feedback. It wanders at a satisfying pace, glossy, smooth clean vocals adding to the laid back lustre. Things kick up a gear, launching into an anthemic, surging chorus that Killing Joke would be proud of. Ojete Mordaza II throws in some excellent, bouncing drum grooves, and the track lurches into more ‘metal’ territory with a razor edged drive towards the end.

It becomes increasingly clear that the group have skirted off into lighter, more experimental waters than they waded in with “Mantiis…” they stretch their electronica wings much more. ‘10th April’ broods with spoken word lyrics and wavering synths before being joined by grinding waves and urgent drum samples, twisting into swooping noise. When the band mesh these styles, it’s always complementary, and never seems tacked on or gimmicky.

‘Darkness’ races urgently with decent, grunty bass and yelped vocals, opening out into grinding chords and ascending guitar, stripping back into a moody shuffle around its centre. Longest track ‘The Kandinsky Group’ starts life as a wall of shuddering, creeping noise pierced by a singly bright sine wave, before lapsing into a smooth, rhythmic groove punctuated with porno guitar work. ‘The Polyarnik’ pulses at the jugular with deep synths and burbles its way towards cinematic, towering instrumental layers.

‘Black Swan’s curiously 80’s intro sees Rider G Omega’s vocals sounding curiously like Phil Collins, before swelling with powerful synths and bright guitar motes. ‘Away/Absent’ closes the show in style, kicking in with uplifting guitars before sweeping away with urgent riffs, splashy cymbals and rasped vocal yelps. It moves through a patch of tasty bass grooves, echoing spoken word vocals and frantic tom rolls, before the riffs return and a dazzling, manic guitar overlay drops in.

This is a very different band than the one that conjured up “Mantiis”. They’ve eschewed most of the trappings of death/black/extreme metal (no scream vocals, punishing blast beats or jagged riffs here). Dabbling more with electronica, jazz and lighter melodies, Obsidian Kingdom place themselves in with the post crowd, alongside the likes of Mogwai, Godspeed! And their ilk. This is no bad thing – this record is well constructed, the instrumentation is very impressive. But for those looking for similar fare to their previous work, they’d best keep looking.

“A Year with No Summer” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook

FFO: Ihsahn, Enslaved, Sólstafir


By: Phil Weller

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 06/10/2016
Label: Independent

An evil and hypnotic concept album that will have your imagination racing.  ‘The Island’ is an encapsulating and fascinating release which heeds new reward upon repeat listens. It is the closest any metal act has gotten to lucid dreaming.

“The Island” CD//DD track listing:

01). The Great Storm Of 1703
02). Hy-Brasil
03).  Monolith
04). The Abyss
05). The Great Race

The Review:

Battered and buffeted by a tempestuous storm, a privateer ship begins to sink beneath imposing clouds and ravenous waves. Hired in 1703 to scout out a mysterious island which is believed to host a portal to another world, Kylver’s epic new concept album ‘The Island’, follows the ship’s sole survivor as he explores the alien landscapes of The Island, having washed up on its ominous shores, with the unnerving feeling of being followed a constant prickling in his senses.   

A picture, they say, can speak a thousand words. But here, through the musical imagery conjured from this band’s unique sound – one characterised by gigantean, whirling Hammond organ, droning bass and expressive, artisan guitar work – speaks far more than that. Though no words are spoken throughout, the cinematic experience which unfolds, as their progressively lavished doom metal twists and turns like a writhing beast, is powerfully moving.

The Great Storm of 1703’, at nearly fourteen minutes does more than just set the scene as it ducks and dives through dynamic peaks and troughs. From Opeth-meets-Mastodon inspired sections, to demented Deep Purple, surreal psychedelia and beyond, the canvases they create in your resolutely racing imagination are vast and vibrant. They work to create an incredibly immersive body of work that not only follows up their debut offering ‘The Mountain Ghost’, which helped secure the band a nomination at the Prog Magazine Awards earlier this year, it proves the band’s class and worth was not a one time only deal. And in such style too.  

Hy-Brasil’ is arguably the record’s most imposing and immediate song. It’s thick, gooey sludge tones are played out at a rapid tempo with mescaline tripping organ screams weaving in and out of guttural guitars. The drums carry the thunder of the opening act into a new setting to great effect, closer ‘The Great Race’ meanwhile an evil and hypnotic song, coming across like a perturbed Ghost (BC).

Beautiful and nuanced, their booming sound may replicate the footsteps of giants and ogres, but the intricacy of the guitar and keyboard playing helps make this an altogether more wholesome piece. This is heavy and threatening and elegant and intelligent. So much goes on across every song, with the band drawing graciously from such a feast of influences and techniques, it would take an age to work through this record’s aural treats and surprises in such a methodical way. Just be sure to know that ‘The Island is an encapsulating and fascinating release which heeds new reward upon repeat listens. It is the closest any metal act has gotten to lucid dreaming.

“The Island is available here
Band info: bandcamp || official

Monday, 17 October 2016

“Because 11 is one louder”: Nate Garrett (Spirit Adrift) chooses his Top 5 Doom Records

Spirit Adrift is in essence a solo project created by Nate Garrett, a song writer and multi instrumentalist who earned his spurs playing, recording and touring with as many bands as possible.  Following his own sonic path Garrett was guided by the masters in the art of heavy riffs, with bands like Black Sabbath, Neurosis and Eyehategod serving his guide in his quest to forge the perfect riff, during his most formative years.  Garrett would later share artistic and personal relationships with fellow Arkansans such as Deadbird, Rwake, Seahag and Pallbearer, with this experience from the southern heavy music scene leaving a lasting impression upon him.  In 2011, Garrett would move to Arizona, joining Take Over And Destroy and later Gatecreeper, who are currently creating quick a buzz within the underground metal scene. 

On the 21st of August 2016 Nate Garrett’s Spirit Adrift would return with the release of their debut full length “Chained To Oblivion” via Prosthetic Records. The project in itself is a platform to realise his lifetime dedication to music and is the culmination of every bit of his musical experience.  Musically and lyrically, “Chained to Oblivion” is undoubtedly heavy but uniquely uplifting at the same time.  As the label bio comments “Spirit Adrift is a necessary healing process, and an artist’s attempt at contributing his own drop to the limitless well of music, a well that has kept him alive.”

Today at The Sludgelord, it a our pleasure to have Nate Garrett shares his thoughts on some of his favourite doom records, as we turn the dial up to 11, “Because 11 is one louder”

1. Black Sabbath – “Sabotage” (1975)

Sure, “Master of Reality” probably fits the doom bill more, but “Sabotage” has been my favorite album since the first time I heard it. Though this is a more experimental, maybe even progressive effort, the doom is still strong. Songs like “Hole in the Sky”, “Megalomania”, and “The Writ” are among the heaviest songs Sabbath ever did. I feel like they pushed the boundaries of what heavy music can be with this album, and it features Ozzy's all-time greatest vocals. The lyrics are introspective, surreal, and psychedelic. The songs evolve and grow as if they are living entities. I try to write music that sounds evil and beautiful at the same time, and “Sabotage” taught me how to do this. This album has had a bigger impact on me than any other piece of music.

2. Saint Vitus – “Die Healing” (1995)

This is my favorite Saint Vitus album, largely due to the vocals. Original vocalist Scott Reagers returns with a vengeance on this album. He nails the soaring traditional doom vocals, but what makes his singing special is when his voice disintegrates into psychotic howls and moans. It's one of the most unique vocals performances ever captured, and it's anchored by a band at their heaviest and most menacing. During the “Chained to Oblivion” sessions, I recorded a cover that hasn't been released yet, and the vocals were definitely inspired the unhinged delivery of Scott Reagers on”Die Healing”.

3. Warning – “Watching From A Distance” (2006)

I was thrilled to hear that Warning will be performing this entire album at Roadburn. This album is crushing sonically, and more importantly, emotionally too. Patrick Walker's lyrics and earnest delivery are heartbreaking. One of my primary goals with Spirit Adrift is to move people on a deep emotional level, and this is the album that introduced me to the painfully raw, confessional approach that is required to make that connection with the listener.


4. Rwake – “Voices of Omens” (2007)


I'm not sure if this qualifies as doom. I'm really not sure what it is at all. Rwake is one of the most fascinating bands that has ever existed. The riffs and song structures are nothing short of genius. This band is on a level that few achieve, and their power is undefinable, indescribable. When I first moved from Oklahoma to Arkansas, I drove to Little Rock by myself to see Rwake play for the first time, right around the time “Voices of Omens” was released. My life has never been the same, and I still can't quite figure out what's going on with this band. It's terrifying.


5. Pallbearer – “Sorrow and Extinction” (2012)

The time I spent in Arkansas was crucial to the formation of Spirit Adrift. The creativity and passion I witnessed there will be with me forever. I was friends with the Pallbearer guys before I had any idea of what they were capable of. This album blew my mind when I first heard it, and still does to this day. It has helped me through hard times in my life, and inspires me endlessly.

Spirit Adrifts latest album “Chained to Oblivion” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook