Bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals. Those are the building blocks of California experimental death metal band Squalus. Their debut album, The Great Fish, walks the line between death and doom metal, with a lot of atmospheric tendencies, some sludge, and synthwave, I guess, into a somehow cohesive whole. Bass-driven metal acts are not a new thing by any means, but there are many pitfalls on the way to make them interesting and appealing, into which many of the contenders inadvertently get trapped. Two of the most obvious ones are the frequency range and the timbral diversity. Squalus hopefully … Read more
Cetacean is a band from Los Angeles, California, that came to being in 2015 under the direction of David Sais, with members from well-established bands, such as Black Sheep Wall and Horse the Band, and other musicians. The result is a progressive blackened doom sextet and a 35-minute EP called Breach | Submerge, which was released on January 29th on CD, and will see a vinyl release on March 27th. The designation of EP for a piece longer than half an hour is quite unusual, but understandable given the lengthy nature of doom music, where slow and atmospheric riffs … Read more
The presence of jazz in metal music seems to be an increasingly popular trend. Most noticeably, it’s the addition of the saxophone that’s often just enough to make us think that the band has successfully merged the two genres into one, but most of the times it’s just a clin d’œil to it, and the music itself doesn’t bear any of the subjacent characteristics of jazz.
The first ones to incorporate jazz, in a form or another, into metal were Atheist, Meshuggah, and Cynic, back in the early ’90’s. Since then, it gained in popularity and it’s … Read more
Netherlands’ The Fifth Alliance is a doom/sludge band active since 2013, from what I can tell, because it’s the year of the release of their debut album, “Unrevealed Secrets of Ruin”. But today I’ll be reviewing their upcoming album, Death Poems, which will come out October 31st through Grains of Sand Records. The album also has touches of post and black metal to it.
It’s rather uncommon to hear a band in that genre that is led by a female singer. Here, Silvia delivers monotonous yet emotional screams that wouldn’t be out of place on a post-hardcore album. And … Read more
From their name and song titles, you might have dismissed Slugdge as yet another band who tries to be funny. But although you would be partially right, there’s much more to them than that.
With a style of humour reminiscent of Vampire Squid, relying on puns and plays on words, like “Lettuce Prey”, which is found on their previous album “Gastronomicon”. The mollusc-worshipping blackened progressive death/sludge band is now at their third full-length album in as many years, and have truly refined their overall sound. The riffs are tighter and even more enthralling than before: I just feel the … Read more
Auric is as sludgy as can be. With tinges of black and doom metal, this makes for a very oppressing record. It’s heavy, it’s ugly, and it’s scary.
The album starts off in your face, and it ends in your face, and there are very few moments of rest in-between (the first half of Stagnate being the most prominent one). I really like the atmospheres that are being brought in the music, just making you feel unwell. The last song, Rib Cage Prison, imports elements of post-metal too, giving to the song a different feel than the rest of … Read more
Here’s the monthly recommendations post you’ve awaited for so long! Ah, who am I kidding? I’m the only one reading this blog! Anyways, what are the unmissable releases of July 2015, according to the three-legged raven?
First off is Ethan McKenna‘s sophomore, In Transition. It’s what I’d call an acoustic prog album. Ethan makes use of advanced techniques on his acoustic, like percussive playing, loads of harmonics, and some slap and tapping too, for good measure. Even though its main focus is on the acoustic guitar, it’s well-accompanied by the usual bass and drums, and sometimes even by … Read more
Honestly, this combination of instruments could make something so awesome, that it’s criminal to have let the opportunity pass them by, and instead do some pretty uninspired sludge. Don’t get me wrong, the bass riffs are amazing and the songs … Read more
I have to say I really like the inclusion of a harmonica in the first of the two songs on Vol. 1, I think it’s a rather underused instrument, particularly in metal, and with the exception of Blood & Banjos, I really don’t have any name in mind who used one, even in other genres! The production and sound is clear, … Read more
Snailking are, truly to their name, the kings of slow, sludgy, heavy, moody, drony doom music. Their sophomore album Storm only confirms that claim, and for those who can appreciate that kind of music, it’s a good one!
The slowly crawling riffs, the desperate cries, and the confined sound of the drums make for a particularly deranging experience, one that would be better appreciated in a live setting with the loud and constant drone inside your guts, and the pounding bass drum that makes your whole chest resonate. However, it is a problem that every band in … Read more