Written by: The Administrator
Welcome, dear read/traveler, to INTO THE DUNGEON, a new (and likely infrequent, if I'm being real) column dedicated to dungeon-dwelling music of the synth-y persuasion. While admittedly less than well-steeped in the genre and its conventions, I've found myself listening to more and more dungeon synth over the past few years. There's a lot of incredible talent and innovation in the space, but said talent all too oft flies under the radar, particularly when it comes to metal-centric sites/medieval townships such as ours. 'Bout time to extend the reach of the limelight, methinks.
Anyways, preliminary chatter out of the way: the topic of today's discussion is Sword of Hailstone, the excellent debut album by Minneapolis, Minnesota's own Desolation Plains. A notable aspect of this release is the companion RPG, which features some swell point 'n' click gameplay, plus some of the coolest fuckin' bandcamp code integration we slumbering scribes have ever seen. The music itself--the real focus here--is simply top-notch: everything I crave in a synth-laden experience is inordinately well represented. If you're questing for a soundtrack to adventure, Desolation Plains delivers in spades.
Tomorrow, April 2nd, we'll be publishing an interview with Maxwell Jeffries of Underking. Stay tuned! - Ed.
Written by: The Administrator
Please understand, dear reader, that when I say that At Hell’s Gate is my favorite album o’ the year thusfar, I’m not being dramatic for the sake of it. In March, my proposed review schedule was utterly strangled by this damn thing--garroted and left in the spring mud. Rather than checking out new stuff, or catching up on older stuff, I have found myself, time and time again, hitting repeat on Underking.
As such, enjoying this album was never in question; it was an inevitability. I’ve written pretty extensively about Underking in the past few months, and have immensely enjoyed--publicly and privately--the three pre-release singles. As such, the ultimate conclusion here isn’t exactly a secret: in this scribe's humble estimation, At Hell’s Gate is a stellar album, and Underking is an underrated talent who--if there is any justice in this world--will be turning many a headbanging head in very short order.
Underking--the moniker of the very talented Maxwell Jeffries--plays a stupidly infectious blend of traditional heavy metal, thrash, alternative metal, and NWOBHM, all encased in a decidedly modern sheen. Across the varied breadth of At Hell’s Gate, Jeffries sounds like he’s paying homage to a veritable horde of influences, while simultaneously delivers a fresh-faced take on the side of metal that revels in jubilant hooks, catchy choruses, and enthusiastic groove. Underking arrives at hell’s gate with glee-inducing energy and a penchant for catchy-as-hell songwriting, and if that ain’t enough to wet yer whistle, I can offer nothing but sympathy and condolences.
If ye haven't heard, we slumbering scribes are putting out a compilation album on Oct. 2nd! Bog Wizard provide the closing track--hence the republication of this review.
Sleeping Village Caravan Of Doom (Vol. 1) is an exhibition of like-minded tracks that balance sludgy heft with an earthy stoner atmosphere. These are songs that would feel at home in the midst of a bog or mire, and we’ve brought them together, drenched in murk and algae, for your gloomy enjoyment. Pre-order here for the measly price of $1! That, dear reader, is a bargain.
Written by: Shane Thirteen
When I was in school in the mid to late 80's, Dungeons and Dragons was the Friday night pizza-fueled, soda pop-buzzin, eye-buggin fantasy fodder for me and all my friends. Friday night we would meet at Rex's house to play 'till late into the night.
When I saw the name Bog Wizard I was instantly traversed back to the campaigns of war and adventure of my youth. Now my band of merry warriors has a soundtrack: Bog Wizard! This power doom sludge trio from Michigan is thickness incarnate, so much so that the tracks laid down in From The Mire, in my opinion, should spark its own sub category in the stoner/doom/ sludge scene. This new sub-genre could be called, say: Northern Tundra Thickness Doom.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!