Tag Archives: Stoner Metal

Hidden Gems: Brain Candle, “Ocean of Storms”

In our series Hidden Gems, writers share their favorite Bandcamp discoveries.

The Philadelphia band Brain Candle bill their doomy, dismal strain of sludge metal on their Bandcamp page as  “ultrasonic aural ecstasy.” Considering how they’re working from a framework that’s traditionally functioned as a vehicle for the exact opposite—a slow drip of sonic suffering—one could argue that such a distinction is self-conflicting, misleading, even; bowel-shaking, drop-tuned breakdowns aren’t exactly sunshine and rainbows. Or perhaps we’ve been under-estimating misery’s malleability the whole time. Released in 2017, Brain Candle’s Ocean of Storms LP is a wondrous anomaly, a readily-accessible, impeccably-produced, riff-filled respite from sludge and doom’s languishing, low-and-slow universe. 

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Get to Know Monolord, the Swedish Trio Making Downer Doom with Melodic Flair

Monolord

If you haven’t yet heard Monolord, the towering doom trio that’s torn its way through the international heavy-music festival circuit over the last several years, here’s the brief run-down: Sleep on the low end and Sabbath on the high end. A thickly packed, glacially advancing rhythm section courtesy of bassist Mika Häkki and drummer Esben Willems powers the band through several 10-minute lurchers on their new album No Comfort, of which the trudging title track is a particular high point. Frontman Thomas Jäger’s high register, meanwhile, channels Ozzy right off the bat on epic opener “Bastard Son”: “In the electric eye / Through storms he ride / The earth we walk upon / Is his alone.”

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Necio Records Spotlights South American Heavy Psychedelia

Necio Records

The founder of Peru’s Necio Records, Arturo Quispe Velarde, had an inauspicious start in music. His father promised him a drum kit for his 15th birthday if he could keep his grades up—but he couldn’t. Luckily, his sister was a better student, and less interested in music; their parents bought her a guitar, and since she didn’t use it much, Velarde started to teach himself to play. “At age 17 I had a tribute band to Metallica,” he recalls—soon, he was listening to every heavy band he could, from noise and experimental bands, to psych rock.

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