Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Black Wasteland - (2016) Incantations of Decay

There is so much going on with Black Wasteland's new album "Incantations of Decay", that I don't even know where to begin... So, I guess I'll start at the beginning. Having released one full length, 2013's "Where Light Can Not Intrude" and an EP: "Dehydration" in 2014. The band hasn't run out of tricks in their seemingly endless dirty riffbag.

I really enjoy albums that don't follow or stick to a certain genre, but take what the group wants to convey musically and go into other sonic realms with it. Black Wasteland are particularly good at doing this. Maybe it has something to do with the vocalist. One minute sounding like John D. Cronise from stoner band "The Sword", and the next sounding like someone needing an exorcism. These days... and the older I get, the growlish vocals are something that I tend to avoid. However, when you combine them with the clean vocals, for some reason it works here. Giving the tracks variety, shape and shadow. The dark and the light, if you will. Adding to the intensity of the music.

I haven't looked up the band's influences for this review, but I'm pretty certain they would cite old school NWOBHM as a big one. Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the like. Along with the heavier bands of the spectrum like Venom, Witchfinder General and Celtic Frost. They take that old school vibe and combine it with modern day stoner rock, doom, sludge and a bit of psyche. Really pulling you in and making a very memorable heavy metal record. Taking the listener back in time, and also keeping them grounded in the present. Every fan of metal can, and will find something to stick their teeth into here.

"Incantations of Decay" is available through Barbarian Wrath Records, via Witches Brew online shop.

-Adam Walsh

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Black Titan - (2016) The Bag Is in the River

Black Titan are a four piece band from Mobile, Alabama. They play a groovin' blend of metal, doom, stoner rock and sludge. Coming across like the bastard sons of Melvins and Down, while creating peaks and valleys in the sound big enough to make it a worthwhile listen.

After releasing a memorable EP in 2004, the band is back this year with their first full length entitled "The Bag is in the River". The album goes from murky and pissed off, to an almost punkish sneer (World Eater), then back to heavy with a bunch of surprises along the way. Showing these guys can write a song above and beyond the typical formula. This is one of those albums in an over-saturated genre that really stuck out to me as being something special. I look forward to the next installment from this band. Released digitally via Bandcamp. -AD)))AM

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Grasshole - (2015) The Unification Proclamation

Grasshole, a two-piece band out of Melbourne, Australia are about to release their second EP. Entitled "The Unification Proclamation". Featuring a dusting of grungy riff's and off kilter time signatures is sure to appeal to many music addicts.

It seems to me there's a certain trend in music lately where, either out of not being able to find the right musicians who are on the same page as everyone else, or maybe just pure laziness, bands are getting smaller and smaller. The two-piece thing seems to be more prevalent in rock & roll now, more than ever. So what makes Grasshole so special, you ask? Well sure they are a two-piece, but they are a father and son duo, which to me is super cool and unique. After hearing the new ep it makes perfect sense. You get that old-school vibe permeating in the background mixed with the new school sound in the foreground. They really don't sound like any other band, but have that familiarity like they've been around forever. During the seven tracks on the ep, there's enough twists and turns to keep the listener interested. The only thing I would say is that it never really lets go, and gets in your face.  Maybe that's the metal in me showing through, I'm not sure. The closest track on the album that gets there for me is the closing track "Earwig".

I was lucky enough to get a physical copy of the new ep, and was quite surprised to see that it was an actual pressed "silver" cd, not some cheap cd-r. I also noted the spectacular album art done by Melbourne Tattoo Legend Annita Maslov. A nice little package, and well worth your hard earned coin. Available here on their Bandcamp page. All in all, a cool little ep that shows a father and sons love for music. And that can't be a bad thing.  -AW

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