Reviews

Electric Wizard – Black Mass

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Electric Wizard – Black Mass

Been cranking up the brand new Electric Wizard the past few weeks, and I just cant seem to get enough of it. These British doom merchants have been out there blasting the dark space riffs  for the past fifteen years, but Black Mass is their most grooviest album to date.

 

Cancer Bats – Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones

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Cancer Bats – Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones

This is blunt force trauma on wax. From the get go of the first track “Sleep This Way”, this album doesn’t let up for a second. It sways and grooves with the best of em’. Describing Cancer bats sound is pretty tough, as it”s all over the place, and this album is no different. It sways like a more rugged Vulgar Display Of Power, old Refused, to Time Heals Nothing-era Crowbar. My favorite track “Raised Right” is tacked on at the very end, where the band sound like their channelling Philip Anselmo’s down home Louisiana swamp tones on this one.

 

Alcest – Ecailles De June

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Alcest – Ecailles De June

The almighty shoegaze scene is back with a vengeance. Only this time it’s armed to the teeth with loud guitars, and the noise aint coming from Britain. Alcest is a two piece band from France. The members being Neige (Bass, vocals, drums, guitars), and Winster (drums). Together, they incorporate a heavy, black wall of beautiful melancholy noise. Think of it as Burzum, and Gallhammer showing up for tea at My Boody Valentine’s house, and Curve end up crashing the party. You sorta get the idea right?

 

Johnny Crash – Neighborhood Threat

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Johnny Crash – Neighborhood Threat

Johnny Crash were the real deal, dirty rock rats. This band came out of the late 80′s Sunset Strip hard rock scene. Crash’s time was short lived. They put out one record in 1990, toured a bit with Bonham, and Motley Crue, then vanished into thin air. Too bad though, as with a lil’ luck, they could have dethroned the hard rock kings AC/DC.

 

Lightning Swords Of Death – The Extra Dimensional Wounds

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Lightning Swords Of Death – The Extra Dimensional Wounds

I was eating a bowl of organic low fat yogurt with fresh blueberries, when I popped in this CD. My ears were not prepared for the blasphemous sounds coming out of the speakers. This is mid-80′s Bathory on a whole other level folks. Raw, and dirty, just the way your humble narrator likes his black metal. These fine lads also get an extra point for creating one of the most unreadable band logos in metal.

 

The Abominable Iron Sloth – The Id Will Overcome

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The Abominable Iron Sloth – The Id Will Overcome

Man this one hit me like a ton of bricks. This sludgy mass of stoner metal is done with pure, raw conviction. There are so many different styles I hear on The Id Will Overcome. From Sabbath, to Electric Wizard,  to Acid Rain, all of ‘em are put in a blender and spit out in this venomous form.

I love the production on this album. The sound is raw, loud, and rugged, but doesn’t end up meshing into a senseless wall of noise. I haven’t heard vocals this demented since Kirk Fisher’s (Buzzoven fame). This leads to the only minor complaint I have in bands of this ilk. The vocals can tend to be a bit over bearing by the time one gets to the end of the record. The guitar and bass sound on this though, is like a step out of the European stoner rock time machine circa 1998. The only thing that’s missing is the cowbell.

 

Exodus – Exhibit B: The Human Condition

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Exodus – Exhibit B: The Human Condition

Exodus continue marching the  thrash metal path as the true leaders, proven with their new album Exhibit B: The Human Condition. Gary Holt and the boys have done it again by delivering another batch of solid, pure thrash songs to run in a circle with. Exodus since 2004 are on a role, as every album from Tempo Of The Damned on down has been a solid effort.

The songs are not contained in short bursts. Instead the grooves that are locked in are allowed to breath, and flow. Case in point being “Beyond The Pale”, it takes a back seat for a bit, and then goes straight into headbanging thrashdom. Same goes with my new fave Exodus track “The Sun Is My Destroyer”, this song is now the standard upon which other bands will have to match. Another track, “March of The Sycophants” could have easily been off Fabulous Disaster, as it rides the mid-tempo thrash groove that only Exodus can truly pull off. If you’re looking for songs that charter new territory, you’re in the wrong place. Exhibit B is just pure Bay Area thrash circa 1986.

 

Sick Of It all – Based On A True Story

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Sick Of It all – Based On A True Story

I went to see Biohazard back in 1993, and some band from New York called Sick Of It All was headlining. After Biohazard finished their set, I was gonna leave, but was insisted by my friend to stay and check out the headliners. Man, seeing Sick Of It All live was nothing I had experienced, or witnessed in my life at that time. I was enraptured by the bands intimidating presence on stage, but the real deal was their rabid fan base on the floor. The pit was like a freakin’ war zone. The band, and their fans left an impression on me that has not diminished since that fateful night.

 

Black Breath – Heavy Breathing

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Black Breath – Heavy Breathing

Blame it on Southern Lord Records for unleashing the hell that is Black Breath. These Seattle trouble makers spit out a sound so enraptured in late 80′s thrash and early 90′s Swedish death, it makes me want to pull out my Entombed Left Hand Path Tour 1990 longsleeve out of the closet and get thrashin’!

 

Body Count – Cop Killer

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Body Count – Cop Killer

There comes a record once in a lifetime that defies all expectations. In my lifetime, it’s the Cop Killer album by Body Count. I bought this record at the tender age of 18 and I’ve never been the same person since. Back then for me, this was like St. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Wall, or Physical Graffiti from the ghetto.