Tag Archives: Sludge Metal

Album of the Day: Inter Arma, “Sulphur English”

Richmond, VA’s Inter Arma are nothing if not chimeric, a mythical beast perpetually entangled in lashes of black metal, death metal, doom, noise, prog, and even folk (albeit in a Neil Young’s-worst-nightmare kind of way). Their latest album Sulphur English is only the five-person ensemble’s fourth full-length since the band’s 2006 inception (and their third for Relapse Records), but don’t mistake that for slacking; Inter Arma are also seasoned road warriors, and if you haven’t allowed yourself to be sonically obliterated at one of their incendiary live shows yet, it’s your own damn fault.  Continue reading

Diving into Miami’s Doom and Sludge Sound

Miami-metal-by-noopor-choksi-1244When people think of Miami, they might think of paradise: a postcard-perfect city synonymous with year-round warmth, beautiful beaches, sun-baked Art Deco buildings, and towering palm trees. And yet, deep within this blissful, balmy setting lies an unlikely—and surprisingly strong—undercurrent, one that’s rushing in the opposite direction. We’ve explored the wider Miami underground before, but here, we focus on Miami’s sludge-doom scene: a small, devoted circle of bands who inject the genre’s rugged, low-and-slow approach with Caribbean grooves and unkempt energy.  Continue reading

The Humid Heaviness of Greenville, SC’s Metal Underground

WVRM

The city of Greenville, South Carolina has had the same Republican mayor, a lawyer named Knox H. White, for 23 years. There’s a Confederate monument on the city’s main street that features an inscripted poem containing the phrase, “That the soldiers / Who wore the gray and died / With Lee, were right.” In South Carolina, a law called the Heritage Act prevents the removal of monuments from municipalities, schools, and other public institutions without a two-thirds vote from the state’s General Assembly. According to the 2010 census, Greenville’s population mirrors the demographics of South Carolina as a whole: two-thirds white, roughly one-third black.  Continue reading

Dirge: Indian Sludge-Metal Crew Evoke Aztec Gods To Vent Modern Outrage

Dirge

Since at least Iron Maiden’s 1982 classic “Run to the Hills,” metal has had an ongoing lyrical preoccupation with the indigenous peoples of the Americas and their exploitation by colonizing forces. Anthrax famously bemoaned conditions on reservations on “Indians,” and artists like the Lenape duo Nechochwen and the bands of California’s Black Twilight Circle call on their indigenous Mexican heritage for lyrical inspiration. There’s plenty of commonality between the exploitation of the Americas and the colonization of the Indian subcontinent, which the young sludge band Dirge call home. On their audacious debut album, Ah Puch, the Mumbai-based outfit manage to draw a line between the two in a profound yet subtle way. It’s heavy as hell, but it’s never heavy-handed.  Continue reading

Album of the Day: Moths, “Moths”

It seems more than fitting that San Juan, Puerto Rico’s Moths would conclude their first self-titled EP with a cover of King Crimson’s fractured and complex classic “21st Century Schizoid Man.” As veterans of a metal scene as diverse as the shifting time signatures of the monumental prog track, its members have spent their years soaking up the sounds of the myriad metal acts who’ve graced the small island over the years—from the epic doom of legendary heavyweights Dantesco, to the the death/thrash style of more recent metal stalwarts Zafakon, the former band of bassist Weslie Negrón, and the crossover/thrash of their contemporaries Fullminator, whose frontman, Robert Santos, penned Moths’ single “Lepidoptera.” Combining jazz-infused prog, ‘70s heavy metal and stoner doom, death and thrash metal, and heavy grunge, Moths’ debut is nothing short of a behemoth.  Continue reading

Album Of The Day: Castle, “Deal Thy Fate”

Castle are, without a doubt, one of the most accomplished, underrated doom bands of recent memory. Since forming in 2009, the Canadian-American trio have released four acclaimed LPs (most notably 2012’s sophomore effort Blacklands, which netted the band a Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year JUNO nomination); performed hundreds of shows alongside heavyweight acts like Pentagram, the Sword, and Conan; and staged appearances at institutional underground gatherings such as Maryland Doom Fest and Roadburn (the latter festival declared them Newcomer of the Year). Despite this lauded resume, Castle’s long-awaited crossover moment has always remained just out of reach; the threesome might be revered doomsayers, but they’ve always been a pack of underdogs first and foremost—humbled, honest, always hungry. Continue reading

Inside The Satanic Satire Of Philly Death-Metal Cult Band Zorn

Zorn

Photo by Matt Bernknopf

Four men carry a coffin through a crowd, the box hoisted on their shoulders. They work their way through the audience and set it at the front of a stage. Meanwhile, a band has started playing. The guitarist on the left is dressed like a witch, the cartoon kind with a big floppy hat and schoolmarm’s black skirt. The guitarist on the right is a dead ringer for a 1800s preacher—stiff black suit, black Stetson hat. The music—a combination of the throbbing wail of Bauhaus and the hothead smash of Discharge—swells to a crescendo, followed shortly thereafter by a snap.  Continue reading

Album of the Day: Thou, “Magus”

When the Magician card turns up in a Tarot reading, it’s often a sign that the querent needs to tap into their full potentialno more holding back. With that occult imagery in mind, it makes perfect sense why metal titans Thou would call their fifth studio album Magus: on each of the album’s 11 songs, they unleash everything they have. Continue reading