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Latest INTERVIEW

JOE HASSELVANDER BOLDLY GOES WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE!

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READ NOW My Quarterly Column Recycled Sacrafice

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What's Out! What's Loud?Whats Here! Whats Now?

Brant Bjork

Brant Bjork was a low desert OG and the start of a lot of things. He has yet to compromise his creative vision for anyone as his original style of music is seen as much as it is heard. Little musicians tend to possess this ability but Brant brands his own style in which throughout the years had to learn the had way to do. Its easy to rob and steal from an over-exploited music industry, and Brant knows it all too well. Hailing from Palm Desert, CA, he adjoined Josh Homme, John Garcia and Chris Cockrell in the Sons Of Kyuss. Later renamed and shortened to Kyuss, he was ahead of music's time, and MANKIND WOMAN is an example of the heavy blues explosion and trippy psych fuzz metal that contributed to many reasons why Kyuss are the wicked stepfathers of the west of Stonerrock which paved the way of indie music and labels as we basically know it. The beginning of " Mankind Woman" appeals to an older audience and then transcends back into Brant's trademarked melancholic geetar-pix. A clever choice of lyrics in the album's titled track, along with cover art that cant compare would imply Brant continues to progress since his last record, Black Power Flower and since the first, Jalamanta. Leaving Kyuss might not have been the best decision he ever made but its the wisest path created for his solo albums' fate. 

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Mankind Woman

Primordial

Exile Amongst The Ruins

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I learned in 2018 that people want you dead in this world.  People want you dead because people are already dead inside. Primoridal get this sadist imagery amongst society's drunk, widowed and impoverished society. Primordial get life in this world because they gained insight to the outer worlds, the worlds of above and the worlds of below. Deep from the bellowing lyrics of Ireland's lead Black Metal band exhumed, Exile From The Ruins is a ghastly reminder of the ghost graveyard were all straddled over top and upon. "To Hell Or Hangman" buries everyone around it in pounds of metal matter. Both intro and outro of this LP burn your eyes and ears. They've left their notorious mark across the blistering scene before christ, at least.

Zeke

Hellbender

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Its hard to separate yourself from others nowadays.  No matter who Zeke sound like or what Hellbender reminds you of,  this review is irrelevant or holds little substance to the matter that Zeke have yielded and compromised to their goals and visions for 25 years now.. They also stayed true to that checkered flag or great band shirt design like its going out of style. Punk Rock never goes out of style and may very well outlast metal but no-ones keeping as good of count as Zekes lineup does. They never limited themselves like metal did either, therefore you will find them touring beside or playing festivals with thrash metal and doom lovers/ And correspondingly, this album sounds like a thrashed up doomed out episode of one of their many punk rock nights recorded in just 4 separate takes.

Sleep

The Sciences

Somewhere amid the cloning labs of Doom Metals facilities is an underground rehearsal room where Sleep members reunited after twenty years. Reborn and unclassified until Sleep's clones debut, The Sciences emerged without further ado. The album was originally slated for 4/20 but fate and masonic symbolism laid out a different principal instead. The album appears premature from the first glance. Love at first sight only applies to two or three songs into this oversized, digital download. Nevertheless, it took tour after tour and festival after festival for Sleep to overcome the holy mountain-size chore of releasing an album that could potentially top the first with original founder Al Cisernos at the guitarists side. After watching Sleep: The Dopesmoker Story you will learn a great deal about the inside and out of Sleep's original storyboard which this album tends to stick to.  Once again the vocals are drowned outas it usually is with all of Sleeps material but The Sciences is NEXT LEVEL.

Acid King   -

Middle Of Nowhere Center Of Everywhere

Svart Records 

Acid King have came a long way. They came from the dust that they eventually will become again, but meantime this album will have no ability to collect dust if ever in your possession because it will do anything but sit still in your collection. Lori and mates have banded together to bring forth their most sought-after album of the bands career. Besides their Mans Ruin Records contribution from the beginnning, Middle Of Nowhere, Center Of Everywhere takes second to center stage and steals their spotlight. 

I hammered away at the first two tracks only to tap into the rest with  admiration. Fan girl for life from here on out to the center of eternity. What adorns "Middle Of Nowhere" the most is its casual balance of gravitational fluidity. It becomes no surprise she's handed the Female Hand Of Doom Award by her collective comrades and collaborators of new and old bands. This album is comprised of so many promising notes and lyrics as if she penned each tune out onto pages of Doom Metal Maiden Volume. Its spacey without being too stonery and doomish without being to gloomy. Uplifting and precisely timed to inner peace. She has mastered every level a musician needs to master in the five feet she stands. Clearly she has been taking notes accordingly from the sidelines of festivals she's played along beside Metals heavy wights. Competition is on the way to headline them next and that competitors name is Acid King.

-Highway Poet

Salems Pot
Riding Easy Records

"Also, we have always been bored by seeing bands playing the same riff for an hour in their favorite t-shirt"

You could be living under a rock if you're without Salem's Pot by now. In 2014 I had discovered them and it literally makes sense to listen soulfully to them any chance now that I get. They hold fluidity and constantly grab my short attention span. The opening track, "Tranny Takes A Trip" off PROUNOUCE THIS! is infamously named after a store in London, and it easily relates to the debauchery of our wild, uninhibited days you purposely evade every subject at all costs even though lurking within us all are sex depraved former sex maniacs playing a role and living a lie to put on this front that no one is believing. Similar styles of Backyard Babies and their Swedish nieghbors, The Hellacopters are heard in these New Blues Doom blood hounds from Scandinavia with primal psychedelic pausing doom. Sci Fi movies from the 60's and 70's would have killed to have them in them. Werewolves On Wheels would have eaten any forbidden fruit just for filmscore rights.  

Its as if these overlords of the fifth dimension took an acid hit with King Crimson and Pronounce This was left to profit. This LP deserves a spin and in time Salems Pot will be yours and mine.  They'll make you live again and remember there is still individuals  we never met or heard with concepts, traits and similarities that we can relate with simply through their music, and the chemistry and components are instantly a connection and hit. Speaking of all these hits, ISalems Pot are so bitchin, you would instantly look past the front singer dressing in drag and presenting their take on the Doom Metal scene. It wont be the first time Doom was done in Drag but it could be the last time we hear from them on Riding Easy Records, so be ON IT, and in lack of better words, OWN IT!

 

-Highway Poet  

Kadavar - Abra Kadavar

Nuclear Blast Records

2013

Its on the tip of my tongue who Kadavar clearly remind me of, and by the the end of this review, if it doesnt clearly dawn on me, they have clearly done a successful job of releasing a second album with no coined strings attached. Second albums are crucial, and usually no matter how bad it sucks, will forever be the fans' favorites. As ripe and royal asses as music fans can be, second albums separate a casual listener from a lifelong fan. Lifelong fans are loyal in that allowing any new outsider fans after a bands forth or fifth album is prohibited even if that album is disliked by the lifers. German-based, Kadavar have a mighty task on their hands starting this late in the game while attempting to own up to bands, such as, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, and Pentagram. However their label reps are dead-set on introducing them under this genre. I'm sincerely impressed with ABRA KADAVAR songs like "Doomsday Machine" and "Rhythm For Endless Minds" and if it sounds like Ive already been a lifelong fan for the bands before them by saying their style should flow without labeling, then so be it.  Sleaze Rock fans fromThe Gaza Strippers and Zen Guerilla would surely applaud this album. Supersuckers and Backyard Babies fans dont buy every Black Sabbath and Hawkwind album there is, therefore why even limit space cadet, gamma ray rockers. Kadavar to Doom and Stoner fans by labeling them? Fans from Sweden to Savannah, GA are righteously entilted to brace this album without any preconceived notion . It sends, transcends, descends, and makes amends for the plethora of bad Black Sabbath-esque bands there is. Brace yourself and for just once, becasuse Kadaver sound like them.             -SMC

Borracho  -

Riffography 

Ripple Music

Earning respect  in life is a never-ending battle because the moment you put down your guard there are a fort of people out to revoke it. Just when you think a car, home and career are enough to stabilize enough respect with your family life in your community, if you don't have a band like, Borracho on your chore-list, you can forget it. Album names that need a college degree to understand are another subject matter, but what I can address is whether this album has earned any respect from me. With grit in his teeth, Borracho belch out a trucker-esque trench rock. They battle to find their own identity amongst  the cookie cutter Clutch-mode that may or may not be limiting them.  In the end DC's dirty dopers gain respect from their community                                                       -HP

Leather Nun america- Kult Occult

PsycheDOOMelic Records

2011

Let it rip! Here is a band with an album in front of us that from the looks of it has several odds stacked against it from appearance. Not only is the band name, well, already another spoken for band's name, but the album title lacks proper grammar along with orginality. Will there be any authenticity upon unraveling this 2011 release on PsycheDOOMelic Records? You bet your shaved, virgin, leather, straddled, spanked, doomed ass there is! This album is what modern day Doom Metal is meant to mold into with withering, vocal fades, trickling tripped-out Doom solo leads, lyrics with an edge of sorrow  so deep it was mustered up with the strength of pure iron muscle chords to power the entire album through what might appear as a heartbreaking, economical Depression of Murderkults, snakes and Leadcatchers. Pure-bred American Doomage in the making right before our eyes of the cover of  Leather Nun America book. Vocals are somewhat tricked -out and trampled the hell out of by hooves of apocalyptic horsemen, but harrowing enough to scare a corrupt, Catholic school girl straight in her penny loafers.. These fellas certainly weren't bottle-feeding yesterday, and the hard knocks they learned along the way on previous albums, such as, Absence Of Light and All Your Kin reflects in their album producing arena on  a multi-faceted, notch & level, but without the fancy pitch and various pedals and knobs, where will it leave this band standing live on stage without the glitz and glamour of a recording studio? In my personal findings it takes a lot of balls to stand on stage with a rare, negative no-bullshit recorded Doom bloodtype metal, and man up to the positive honesty of a hollowed, muffled live metal mix where timing and stage persona are essential and Leather Nun America (Maryland members and non) can do this with fortitude yet could use some shots of tequila and mesacaline to expand their creative minds and heat up the seats under their Satanic bible studies with or without an audience present. Looks dont get you anywhere with this album but their hands, feet and metal  get you far and high.

-HIGHWAY POET

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Sonic Wolves- Before The End Comes
Taxi Driver Records

There's only one song that the bullhorn vocal effect sounds

good on, the secret hidden song at the end; the last and ONLY song reserved for cryptic, vocal effects. Y'know, that secret song that makes you a fan for life because you secretly found it when you did out the possible 500 copies that exist, and it makes you feel different because it sounds different than anything you heard off the album. Then and only then do the secret effects win your heart. Its no real secret after listening to Sonic Wolves that the bullhorn is used through the entire full-length, and "Before The End Comes" is hobnobbed around like a dedicated devil-worshiper beginning, middle til end. Italy's music scene has been blindsided by Satanic metal band conspiracies, such as, Beasts Of Satan's story in the late nineties which is fitting for their neighbors next door to the Vatican, but the gods only know why Sonic Wolves chose a bad decision like this. Its not the first bad decision made by the musicians, but lets only pray to the pope, its the last album naming decision they make astride an album with vocal effects that never end.

Highway POPE

H.P.

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Cannibal Corpse- RED AFTER BLACK

 Metal Blade

Red Before Black moves at the speed of thrash lighting. If you are fluent in only one metal genre, you are about to be schooled by the longest running, death metal gore act to date with more albums under their belts than bullets. They've been with Metal Blade since they were babies.  This album is literally jarred with whipliash, guts and maniac metal morsels to heap on piles onto your pandemic plates.. Buffalo, NY metal scene is more proud of their Cannabills than their Bills. Somewhere halfway through CC's career they up, and jetted to Tampa, and depending on who you ask, wasn't' their wittiest career decision they made. Some argue if it was that or departing with original frontman Chris Barnes. I argue whether  The Bleeding was their wittiest move and album to date. This hangs with the best of them coming in as the bands 14th album, and is 30 years in the making of a beast.

HP POETCRAFT

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Zakk Sabbath- Live In Detroit

Southern Lord Records

Only Zakk Wlyde can infringe upon every copyright of Black Sabbath's under the sun, form a band and then,  put this record out with future plans to re-record Black Sabbath's second album Paranoid.  From his years and experience on the road with BLS,  he must have caught wind to all the fans they truly had. Instead of remaining humble  as an ex Ozzy guitar player, instead of staying true to his own guitar sword, he chose the path of a tribute band and formed Zakk Sabbath. Im not a fan. At the same rate, I'm not throwing double hater tomatoes at his effort. I have seen them live and granted the man plays the songs behind his head.  Zakk Wlyde represents everything unoriginal to me. I'm sure hes quite aware of how he even went above and beyond at exploiting the Sabbath community, and I'm not here to be made a Zabbath mockumentary.  Count me out on this one.

Frayle

 

The White Witch

Full EP 

Like a breeze of fresh catastrophic, apocalypse air, Frayle woke me up this morning giving this 100% female a hard dick. Lyrics aren't missing a dullness or dip, and stay right in guitar riff clip. A mystery lingers around this band almost with instant intrigue but the final moment you hear them cover Portisheads "Wondering Star" for whom it is reserved, the mystery is solved. The Light Bringer of metal-land has landed. If you get a moment to seize them, appease them, or send a grievance to them, I suggest you include the arch angel, Samuel. Little else is known of this latest 2018 release, but I can indefinitely determine their influences range from Deftones to Dido and Doom Metal to Trance Rock. Ritualism and sexual abuse is running rapid these days, and its those that exercise their demons in the light and for all to see that aren't afraid to stares in the eyes of the beast

-Highway Poet   

 

Blackfinger - Self Titled

Church Within Records

2013

 

Master and Doom Pastor, Eric Wagner (ex-Trouble) has had the last sermon of a Doom revelation that has long been foretold about for years now. Blackfinger was FINALLY released on radio December 16, 2013 in front of a congregation of elite, devouted listeners via intraweb, and will be packaged in January 2014 by Church Within Records, and digitally comprised online by Dark Star Records.  If two labels doesn't signify this hefty, oversize load needs yellow flags to turn the years corner, than what else does? I was priviledged to interview Wagner in front of a giant mixing board back in his hometown, Genoa, IL in Febuary 2011 when he played All The Leaves Are Brown for me and two of my all female, camera-crew.  It literally blew all three  brunettes head yellow, and I can't tell much difference from listening to it in its purest form in person then, than the staggering amount of sonic engineering heard on the MP3 format now. Solar-flare size vocal vortex pulls are certainly unnecessary for a man of Eric Wagner's voice status, but the impending amount of Doom you can't help to override on this debut  album from artwork to the inner core of a digitally remastered and remastered demo I first heard.  Yellowood stikes me as song name that could have very well took center stage for the entire album name. I Am Jon rings in the new year with an echo that could very well be heard ringing down the halls and walls of Valhallia. It is evident that Wagner's audience that stood on standby last month to hear its debut were not just dopey stoners and slacking droners, but the grandfathers, veterans and countrymen of Doom Metal themselves. Chances are it was overproduced as Eric admitted to tiring and becoming sick of it himself. but this doesnt drown out not water down the substane of this album , wahtsoever.                                                                -SMC

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