Written by: The Administrator
The Red Beard Wall experience has been--and always will be, I suspect--a deliberately jarring one, even for those who know to expect the immeasurable enthusiasm and bombast on display. This project's modus operandi is one of gloriously violent dynamics: every track is a sonic gladiatorial extravaganza. Unhinged screams, post-hardcore cleans, bouncy percussion, 90's-style alternative aggression, and thicc-ass sludgy stoner riffs meet head-on in the arena. However, rather than unleashing their pugilistic wrath upon each other, they somehow harness their unharness-able collective power, subsequently raining blood and thunder on the audience. Frankly, it's quite the sight to behold.
On the appropriately entitled 3, I am happy to report that human wrecking ball (and nicest man alive) Aaron Wall delivers his best performance yet--which says something, if you happen to recall my praise of 2019's The Fight Needs Us All. Much like his prior work, this album succeeds because it capitalizes so well on Aaron's bright and earnest personality.
FRESH MEAT FRIDAY - March 26th, 2021, Feat. Breaths, Celestial Sanctuary, Dope Skum, and Seven Serpents
On (most!) Fridays, a wagon arrives at the Sleeping Village’s rusted palisade, stuffed to the brim with musical sustenance. Today is the day we must offload this week's new and noteworthy music, and so, in the process, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our choice picks from this veritable mass of fresh meat. This is what we’ll be listening to today at the Village HQ. We hope you join us in doing so!
It isn't bandcamp Friday, but...
...that doesn't mean it isn't a great day to support musicians!
On the docket for today, March 26th, 2021:
Breaths, Celestial Sanctuary, Dope Skum, and Seven Serpents
FRESH MEAT FRIDAY - March 19th, 2021, Feat. Clouds Taste Satanic, Seraph In Travail, Egor Lappo, and The Noctambulant
On (increasingly frequent!) Fridays, a wagon arrives at the Sleeping Village’s crumbling gates, stuffed to the brim with our sustenance. Today is the day we must offload all this week's new and noteworthy music, and so, in the process, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some of our choice picks from this veritable mass of fresh meat. This is what we’ll be listening to today at the Village HQ. We hope you join us in doing so!
On the docket for today, March 19th, 2021:
Clouds Taste Satanic, Seraph In Travail, Egor Lappo, and The Noctambulant
Editor's unsolicited opinion: Here's an aspect of the cursed reviewer life that I will always find endlessly gratifying: the prospect of witnessing a young and talented band evolve from a fresh face into a genuine presence in their respective scene. Way back in '18 we reviewed the first EP from this group, and then I was so impressed with their debut album that we featured in on our Caravan of Doom Vol. 1. Needless to say, these guys are on their way up.
Written by: Blackie Skulless
Not often does stoner rock catch my ear, but when it does it hooks itself deep within my brain. Stonus (how fitting) have come up with what’s now their third EP titled Seance, and it’s pretty enjoyable from front to back. With only three songs, they heavily reflect the style of Sundrifter, who dropped one of my favorite albums in 2018. What’s also neat is that this one was recorded completely live.
Because of this, there’s a very organic feeling that makes the repetitive nods showcased in all three tracks work decently. The middle track “Messianism” plays on that the most, being the longest one, and trailing off significantly at the end. I also found it to be the most explosive, riding on a rhythm pattern that “drops” (if you will) guitar chugs in gradual changes of pace. To contrast, you get vocals that add most of the melody, and a dash of howl.
Written by: The Administrator
On the odd occasion, when we're feeling frisky, we slumbering scribes will give a single the same consideration as an album proper--a full review, in other words. Lots of sites don't, and we certainly can't blame 'em; it takes time and energy to write and revise a review, and one typically gets more bang for one's buck when that time and energy is spent on something more substantial. But sometimes a track deserved a little time in the limelight, and so we find ourselves here today, a new track from Blessed Black grasped tight in ink-splattered hands.
If a band names a track after La Brea, they had better have the goods. One does not simply evoke mastodon-swallowing tar pits without offering up something with a comparably monolithic je ne sais quoi. As such, Blessed Black play a dangerous game with their latest single--but worry not. "La Brea" pulls through.
Written by: The Administrator
If you run in the death blues circle, (an admittedly select group,) you are undoubtedly familiar with 20 Watt Tombstone. Hell, if you like blues rock or stoner doom in general, there's a good chance you've heard the name. These guys play a down 'n' dirty amalgamation of ZZ Top-esque groovy southern blues rock with a grimy Clutchian desert-rock edge. In other words, these are hard rockin' tunes from the backwoods. There's nothing flashy in their formula: just heavy riffs, gritty vocals, and the spirit of Americana.
20 Watt Tombstone's next release is a brief-yet-tantalizing affair: a 2-track EP featuring two bangin' cover songs. Side A is a rollicking cover of the (oft-underappreciated) "Just Got Paid" by the aforementioned ZZ Top. Side B, a rendition of "Midnight Train to Memphis” by Chris Stapleton, offers a slightly more somber--although no less hefty--side of 20 Watt Tombstone. Though small in stature, this release packs a damn fine one-two punch.
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.
If ye haven't heard, we slumbering scribes put out a compilation album on Oct. 2nd! Green Hog Band contributed a killer track to the affair--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. Purchase here for the measly price of...name your own price! That, dear reader, is a bargain.
Written by: Volt Thrower
Hailing from Brooklyn, with a bluesy sludge sound straight out of NOLA, all topped off with gurgling Russian vocals, Green Hog Band smash any preconceived notion of a stoner doom band. The typical tropes do still apply: see the motorcycle samples, as any good hog-affiliated music makers would utilize, fuzzy riffs, and lyrics about swamp monsters. But the way this 3-piece manage to package it up into a unique beast on this EP is what keeps me coming back for more.
The opening one-two punch of "Eclipse" and "Machine" is so damn good they could’ve made up their own 7” EP. Green Hog Band displays an absolutely suffocating low end throughout, contrasted nicely by bluesy leads seemingly trying to escape from the murky swamp. A spine chilling cattle shriek about 3 and a half minutes into the opener sets the unsettling scene well. The music alone is memorable, but the Russian lyrics sound and feel absolutely poetic. The vocal inflections capping off each line are a story themselves, without even translating. Following along with the English lyric sheet is a completely unique listening experience. We are treated to a haunting tale of a swamp beast in "Eclipse" --beautifully written, but it just wouldn’t have the same rhythmic flow if it were sung in English. Same goes for "Machine," an eloquent takedown of the system grinding us down (if you’re reading in English,) or simply a kickass desert bike riding song if you’re just jamming along with the vibes.
Written by: Shane Thirteen
Gravehuffer! If you haven't heard of this mid-west juggernaut, you will in the near future. They hail from Joplin Missouri, and if you have ever been to Joplin in this century you will know that it is famous for a few things. The first: almost being wiped off the map by a giant widow maker tornado in 2011. The second thing its is known for, far and wide, are the "Spook Lights," an active and annual documented haunting of a nearby farmer's meadow in the area.
What does this have to do with Gravehuffer, you may ask? Imagine, if you will, growing up in a place known for killer tornadoes and dead things literally walking the Earth outside your fucking city. Just milling about. Ya know, like the dead do. So lets examine the name for a moment. Gravehuffer. To huff or to breathe in the rotting putridness of a grave or corpse. To take in to your sinus cavity the rancid smell of rotting flesh. The stank of the dead, as it were.
But what else makes Gravehuffer sound as they do? Undoubtedly some good ol' mid-west oppression from the religious class and a healthy dose of knowing what is on the wrong side of the tracks. Why do I bring all this up? Why is all this prudent to explain Gravehuffer? You have to understand the mid-west mindset to fully understand what these geniuses are doing. What comes together in the middle of the country to influence heavy music fans and musicians? Everything. Everything American, culture-wise, flows to the center. We get it all. Gravehuffer is a regional band for me. I have seen them live a few times. They are solid dudes. Scene leaders undoubtedly. Gravehuffer is the perfect example of culture conglomeration. There are many hybrid bands out there these days, but Gravehuffer is one of those units that brings together everything from punk, thrash, death, and doom to deliver an entirely different vibe and sound to metal. That being said...if you are a fan of heavy you will love what Gravehuffer is bringing to the light of the world: pure Heavy Metal.
Black Doomba Records is releasing NecroEclosion January 15th, 2021, and you better sit down when you listen to it for the first time. Strap in: you are about to go on a trip you won't regret. There a few surprises on this album. I have it looping on my speakers for a while now, and every time I listen to it I find something new. Horns (not Dio horns, but as in brass horns!) Horns in metal? I have never heard it successfully pulled off until Gravehuffer did it on this album. Completely surprised.
Speaking of surprises: spoiler Alert! Gravehuffer has enlisted some heavy hitters as guest players on this album. Voivod's Dan “Chewy” Mongrain and Curran Murphy of Annihilator and Nevermore. If you are fans of any of those bands it is worth your time and effort to own a piece of their history, and history it will make. I fully expect NecroEclosion to launch Gravehuffer to the next level. They have elevated their game. The work done on this album is everything I need out of fast and heavy metal. In my old age I gravitate more towards the stoner doom. But having seen these guys live I knew what was coming. They have delivered something unique. It has covered every heavy metal base for me, including making fun of dance music, which is one of my favorite hobbies. To sum it up: it's all here, kids. Humor, fantasy, thrash, speed, death, hardcore, punk rock, sample babble.
Gravehuffer has something for every fan of heavy and aggressive music. Track them down. Find them on all social media platforms. Smash the like button. On Jan. 15th, share NecroEclosion with your friends.
Gravehuffer - NecroEclosion will be released Jan. 15th, 2021 from Black Doomba Records.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!