I.O.’s Pick of the Week:
Bloody Hammers: Under Satan’s Sun (Napalm Records)
Did you ever think/when the earth rolls by/that someday you/are going to die? And so begins the dark and sweetly horrific “In the Town That Dreaded Sundown.” Straight away I could feel Marc Bolan’s influence from beyond the grave as well as the hand of BauHaus a la “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” The songs are catchy in a gloomy, foreboding way. There is doom and glam and darkness. Clothed in black, it moves like a fashionable disease among the glittering throng. This will definitely become a staple in my playlist once it releases on June 10, 2014. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Bloody Hammers in your reply.
Provoke, Destroy: Rosewell (Indianola Records)
These dudes live up to their name with a provocative and destructive blend of thrash beats, metalcore vocals, and power metal everything else and the sub genre is (drum roll) post-hardcore (?!). I heard three songs from their independently released EP and I was blown away. There is much ado about a new release (Vulture) on their Facebook but the existing EP is quite promising. They will be on tour with Pyro, Ohio in June. If I can swing it, I’m definitely hitting up the House of Rock to see these guys. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Provoke, Destroy in your reply.
A Breach of Silence: Dead or Alive (Eclipse Records)
The band was thrown into the spotlight when they won the prestigious Q Music Award in 2012. Since then, they’ve toured with bands such as Born of Osiris, The Amity Affliction, and Upon A Burning Body, and quite consistently play headlining shows to hordes of rabid fans. “Dead Or Alive combines the best of old school power metal and metalcore giving this album something of a creative edge, like a breath of fresh air” states guitarist Mat Cosgrove. This is the absolute truth. I very much enjoyed every song on this album. Elements of death metal are also evident giving the album a deep, hefty sound. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Breach of Silence in your reply.
Ransom Call: Creatures on the Loose (Demo)
Creepy vocals riding over fun punk rock riffs with a dose of horror samples, these guys may be the Slovenian answer to Murderdolls, Sister, and Wednesday 13. The themes are horror-laden yet campy in a sleazy, Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of way with titles such as “Cemetery Queen” and “Exorist.” If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Ransom Call in your reply.
VERBUM VERUS : Melkiresha (Daemon Worship Productions)
Verbum Verus was born in the Netherlands as a union of souls in celebration of their darkest beliefs. Three individuals channeling their devotion into sinister psalms to the Lord. The great work which was made over several years now finally sees its completion in “Melkiresha”! Six songs of praise – six rituals – six hymns to the Lord to be unleashed upon the world! If you haven’t guessed, this is black metal, for which I haven’t developed an ear. However, followers of the now defunct Sauron (Netherlands) will want to check this out. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Verbum Verus in your reply.
The Great Sabatini: Entire Dog Years (Solar Flare Records)
Influenced by Unsane, the Melvins, The Jesus Lizard, and Today Is the Day, The Great Sabatini has a lo-fi approach that isn’t overwhelmed by the hi-fi recording. Dirty and distorted, with a number of short and brutal tracks sprinkled among the four-minute offerings, I found myself enjoying the pounding “Periwinkle War Hammer”, “Munera” with it’s episode of grindcore screaming that shifts into a thudding guitar riff, and the trippy, Beatle-esque “Akela.” If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include The Great Sabatini in your reply.
Web site: http://www.thegreatsabatini.com
Wrong: Pessimistic Outcomes (Xtreem Music)
Melancholic Black Metal is an appropriate self-label. What you get is atmospheric openings, black metal middles, and doom keyboards throughout to make an interesting mix. If you enjoy long, ritualistic songs in dark, candlelit cellars that evoke (or invoke) those dark energies that try to hide in the nooks and crannies of our hearts and minds, you should give this a listen.
Dust Bolt: Awake the Riot (Napalm Records)
Prepare your ears to be pillaged by straight up thrash out of Germany. Aggressive and precise, this is their sophomore release with Napalm. Violent Demolition, their first Napalm release, was preceded by a self-released Ep Chaos Possession. The new album will be released on June 10th here in the U. S. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Dustbolt in your reply.
HOTH: Oathbreaker (Epicurus Records)
HOTH’s sophomore release is a concept album that follows the story of an individual from conception and witnesses his choices as they lead him down darker paths. The acoustic guitar work (!) is lovely with Spanish influences that remind me of Segovia and blends seamlessly into the brutal blackened metal passages whose hissed/growled vocals tell the tale. There are wicked surprises on this release so if you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include HOTH in your reply.
Run with the Hunted: The Sieve and the Sand (Panic Records)
This Arizona hardcore band is worth a look. I especially enjoyed “Over the Footbridge”, “Red Queen,” and the title track, “The Sieve and the Sand.” There was a departure from their usual fare on track 6, “St. David.” If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Run with the Hunted in your reply.
Aposento: Aposento (Xtreem Music)
This is definitely death metal en Español: heavy on the blast beats, growled vocals so low they almost fell out of my hearing range, and tremolo picking that made my fingers ache just listening to it. These dudes have been around since the nineties and have waited until now to release their first LP. If you’re a fan of Massacre, Master, or Deicide, this will be worth a try. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Aposento in your reply.
The Swan King: Last So Long (War Crime Recordings)
The Swan King captures the sound I expect when I hear post-hardcore. The hardcore is still there, but it’s cleaner and more melodic without sacrificing the general unkemptness of the genre. The album released today (June 3, 2014) and this trio are on a tour that covers eight cities in the Northeast. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include The Swan King in your reply.
Lycus: Tempest (20 Buck Spin)
Talk about depressing, but what could make a funeral doomalbum better? On offer is over 40 minutes of dirge and sturm und drang in slow motion across three tracks titled “Coma Burn,” “Engravings,” and “Tempest.” The album claimed the #18 spot in Decibel Magazine’s top 40 albums of the year. They will tour the U.S. through the latter part of June and first part of July of this year. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Lycus in your reply.
Inner Temple: Inner Temple EP (Contorted Records)
For those of you who remember the golden days of grunge, Inner Temple out of Benton, Pennsylvania bring it to the twenty-tweens. Off-key vocals, distorted guitars, and bare-boned percussion recall the torture of coming of age in the nineties. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Inner Temple in your reply.
Serpentine Path: Emanations (Relapse Records)
If you like death/doom metal, then this is your poison. A draught of “anguish filled, slow-motion chaos,” it goes down thick and heavy with a full, sludgy finish that will torment your palate. If you take a listen, tell me your thoughts in the comments. Be sure to include Serpentine Path in your reply.
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I.O. Kirkwood is a Metal Descent contributor. You can check out her personal blog at http://iokirkwood.com.