Written by: The Administrator
Back in the olden days of this here blog, we briefly reviewed, in conjunction, a couple of serpent-themed bands. One of ‘em—the appropriately monikered Serpent Worship—impressed me with serpentine riffage, undulating psychedelic backdrop, and a generally pythonian tone.
Snake-like sonic qualities aside, however, my favorite aspect of this one-man outfit was the remarkable ability to compose simple yet engaging tracks without the aid of vocals. Indeed, to lift my own words: “perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Serpent Worship is the sheer intrigue layered into the composition; it genuinely wasn’t until the third listen that I realized there are no vocals.” On his latest 2-track outing, Blood & Venom, our serpent worshiping friend taps once more into this reservoir, but arguably delivers an even more enjoyable treatise on the effectiveness of no-nonsense fuzz.
Written by: The Administrator
In my inflated opinion--and I'm almost certain the Village's overworked cook would agree--stoner doom represents equivalent of comfort food on the metal culinary spectrum. There's something so essential and heartwarming about the basic blend of roux-thick riffs, omnipresent fuzz, and a plodding forward march that indicates a certain willingness to take one's time.
Fulanno, an Argentinian doom trio, are a perfect exemplar of the type of band I turn to when searching for said aural comfort food. Notably, their latest, Nadie Está a Salvo Del Mal, is their best effort yet--indeed, any album that lands at #15 on the month's illustrious Doom Charts is, generally speaking, worth yer while. With that said, this album is hampered by some minor wrinkles, but should Fulanno iron 'em out in the future, I think it's safe to say we'll have a top-tier outfit on our hands.
Written by: Capt. Graves
It has been a night or two [or...many more - Ed.] since I have stepped foot into the Village. The last I heard, Tumulus had played in this here land, and annihilated everything except the bath tub where our humble moderator resides. The land is scorched, bloody, and full of broken spirit. Laying waste upon lands is not only glorifying, but it sends a message that I will gladly share. Existential dread is my forte, and North Star The Wanderer has delivered unto us Universal Trajectory, which seemingly brings me much hope for the end of ends.
The dudes over at North Star The Wanderer have brought an album that is probably my favorite work thusfar from Charlie (the mastermind). I have seen this man evolve as a musician, and I can speak volumes about his ability as a guitar player. I've watched Chris (drummer) become a fruitful musician, and an amazing producer. Justin (bass), he plays a funny bass, but he sure slaps that thing well! We have had the pleasure to share the stage with this power trio, and they are remarkable musicians.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
On Hallow’s Eve, the newly formed label Wise Blood Records, based out of Indianapolis, dropped one of the hottest albums in the occult rock circle. Vexing Hex summons phantoms from the rural graves of Illinois, and their first full-length record Haunt is as strong as it is captivating. Though the cover may lead you to expect something extreme, this is actually a full-plunge into the calmer world that bands like Ghost have been dishing out.
With that in mind, you can expect everything to be injected with spooky instrumentation and clear vocal articulation. The classic horror film auras surround the keyboard and electric organ passages, which are built around rather mean riffs. To top it off, your vocals get a layer of howls and moans to back up what already feels very concise, getting a bit operatic at times. What helps Vexing Hex’s approach stand out is the suspense factor that doesn’t lead into anything overly intense. Instead, drops of doom metal influence come in.
Written by: Izzy
So normally, I like to give a little background in the intro paragraph of my reviews about the band I’m reviewing--some of their history, or how I came to discover the album. But in the case of May Our Chambers Be Full, Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou's recent cooperative album, neither artist is one I’m particularly familiar with, despite their long and storied careers.
Thou are a band by which I’ve briefly listened to a couple albums and previous splits; they’re a very traditional sounding sludge metal band and I was never crazy about them. Not a bad band, but certainly not one that ever amazed me. Emma Ruth Rundle, on the other hand, I knew nothing about previously. After some quick googling I found that she’s made a handful of solo albums to decent acclaim, her style towing the line between singer-songwriter, dream pop, folk, and shoegaze, but has also been a member in post-rock and atmo-sludge bands. She also notably helps run the record label Sargent House, a rather eclectic group of diverse and beloved artists, most notably featuring Chelsea Wolfe and Kristin Hayter (A.K.A. Lingua Ignota.)
(TW: This review features topics related to depression, death, and suicide, take care of yourself and don’t read this if you aren’t in a healthy mental state where this type of content could bother you, your life is precious and there are people who care about you. <3)
Written by: Izzy
When people think of depressing music, often they think of albums like A Crow Looked At Me, Carrie & Lowell, Skeleton Tree, Deathconsciousness, or maybe Sunbather. Albums built on an atmosphere of helplessness, ones that allow everything to slowly sink into your pores, the malaise of existence, the yearning for more, the needless tragedy of death, the feeling that nothing will ever get better. Rarely do people think of an album as aggressively depressing, one that beats itself against your skull over and over again, screaming into your ears the throes and deepest depths of human emotion where not even sadness can lie, where all that’s left is rage. In a word: Black Sheep Wall’s I’m Going To Kill Myself.
Written by: Continuous Thunder
When it comes to doom and sludge metal, I’m beginning to notice that a lot of the bands I tend to enjoy have very few members; often no more than three. I mean, think about it, bands like Sleep, Conan, BlackLab, and Bell Witch all have only two or three members. There are very few exceptions to this rule, and with their latest release, Norwegian duo Hymn stands to reinforce it even further.
Yes, while their logo and album artwork might lead you to believe that they are a black metal band, Hymn is, indeed, a sludge metal band. Breach Us is their second full-length album and their first with Norwegian underground label Fysisk Format. It’s a relatively tight album for the genre with only four tracks clocking in at 38 minutes. But it becomes quickly apparent that this is a case of quality over quantity. And since there are only a few tracks, I think it’s best to break this album down by going over them one-by-one.
Huge thanks to the illustrious Chris Latta for penning this guest review! If yer unfamiliar, Chris writes at Ghost Cult Magazine and makes music via epic doom outfit Lavaborne and acoustic project Christopher Steve.
Written by Chris Latta
I feel like Alice In Chains may be one of the more understated influences in the realm of doom, sludge, and stoner metal. The Seattle legends may have been grouped with the grunge movement, but their emphasis on crushing riffs and debilitating misery gave them more in common with the likes of Saint Vitus or Type O Negative than their contemporaries in Nirvana or Pearl Jam. With this in mind, it only makes sense for Magnetic Eye Records to release another one of their signature tribute albums covering what could be considered the band’s most impactful release.
What makes Dirt (Redux) particularly interesting compared to other tributes of this nature is how much liberty the bands have taken with their chosen songs. There are plenty of bands whose covers adhere to the originals as closely as possible, but a good majority of songs on here either exaggerate previously unexplored aspects or even sound like songs that the bands could’ve written themselves. This does make for a less cohesive listen and the overall effect is less viscerally personal than the original, but those are to be expected with any song-by-song recreation.
Written by: The Administrator
The brand of doom exemplified by Russia's own Grave Disgrace is monolithic, plain and simple. The original prototype. The standard by which all are judged. In other words...this stuff is pretty blatantly cast from the Black Sabbath mold. It's dark and menacing in the sense of being produced in a time where a mere mention of the occult is enough to send tingles down the spine. It's gothic and ominous in a delightfully indulgent fashion--like unto watching a Vincent Price film during a thunderstorm, the rich atmosphere is oh-so comforting. This is traditional doom in it's purest sense, and while a lot of Sabbath or Candlemass knockoffs inevitably exist out there, I seldom encounter a band that nails the proto stuff so accurately and adequately.
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!