It’s obviously incredibly late to be listing my favorite albums from a year that’s been over for almost two months now, but nonetheless, I had to get this post done for pure catharsis sake. I’ve been busy with various projects and haven’t had time to devote to the site in a while. Honestly, this list looks like crap format-wise and probably doesn’t make any sense, but I had to get it done and posted to get that weight off my shoulders and move forward with new stuff for the blog. If you see something on there that sounds interesting, look em up, and if you can’t find any info, message me on Facebook and I’ll link you to their music. Enjoy!
1 Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65
This is one of the few albums I heard last year that truly is perfect all the way through. Though the album only has five real songs, each one of those songs is one of the greatest Saint Vitus have ever written. I think part of my obsession with this album is because it only has five actual songs, so there isn’t much to take in, and also because I’ve seen all five of those songs played live twice this year and every one of them sound WAY better live than they do in the studio.
2 Napalm Death – Utilitarian
The best grind album of 2012, and possibly one of the best of their career. Every song on here is laden with hooks, but also some incredible blasts of grind fury. Napalm Death have once again claimed their crown of best grind band ever.
3 baroness – yellow and green
This record was my favorite of the year for a while until the very end, honestly. It’s completely different from every other album they’ve ever put out and both discs are a rollercoaster of badassery, without question.
4 converge – all we love we leave behind
The heaviest hardcore band on the planet got heavier and more ridiculous.
5 overkill – the electric age
This album, along with Royal Thunder, was my biggest surprise of the year. I knew Overkill would come out swinging for the fences, because that’s what thrash metal icons do, but I had no idea they’d knock the cover off the ball like they did with this record.
6 christian mistress – possession
I normally don’t dig female vocalists much, but this band is the major exception to the rule. Heavy as balls riffs, coked-up rock n’ roll fury and songs catchier than Jerry Rice in Super Bowl XXIII.
7 testament – dark roots of earth
Testament are one of my favorite thrash bands of all time and this record just goes to show that they still have it. Native Blood might be my favorite song all year.
8 pallbearer – sorrow and extinction
This is one of the greatest doom albums I’ve ever heard, without question. Riffs so heavy they’ll knock the fillings out of your teeth.
9 graveyard – lights out
People always talk about how rock n’ roll is dead, but if they’ve ever heard these Swedish monsters, it’s obvious that rock n’ roll is VERY much alive.
10 royal thunder – cvi
Incredibly bad ass bluesy, southern rock n’ roll. I hadn’t listened to them much prior to this year, so this album would have to be my biggest surprise of the year, without question.
11 deftones – koi no yokan
I haven’t heard a Deftones album since Self Titled that I wasn’t obsessed with, and Koi No Yokan was no exception. They have once again incorporated beautiful vocals and atmosphere with seven-string riffs that kill, and a powerful rhythm section. I would say this is definitely one of the best albums of their career, without question.
12 torche – harmonicraft
Any time Torche puts out a new album, they seem to unleash something new upon the world. With Harmonicraft, they somehow managed to include, ridiculously heavy, signature Torche riffs with elements of arena rock and pop punk. Fantastic driving album.
13 neurosis – honor found in decay
Neurosis have released yet another album that sounds like Neurosis, but doesn’t resemble any other album in their back catalog. It’s one of those albums that has so many elements in it, that you hear something new on each spin, and it can’t be classified under any real genre because it just sounds like Neurosis and not much else.
14 horseback – half blood
2012 was definitely the year of Relapse Records. One reason is because of bands like Horseback who completely pushed beyond genre limitations to create one of the sickest psychedelic rock albums ever. It’s got occasional black metal vocals sung over soothing, trippy, bass-driven rhythms that just melt my heart.
15 pig destroyer – book burner
I am a pretty big fan of Pig Destroyer, but upon hearing Book Burner, I became much more obsessed with them. This record has all of the elements that make them great, but they also added Adam Jarvis from Misery Index on drums, which took them to a completely new stratosphere of heavy.
16 conan – monnos
Words can’t express how disgustingly heavy this album is. It’s got the hugest, fattest tones i’ve ever heard on a doom album. These guys are the Yokozuna of British doom metal.
17 meshuggah – koloss
Meshuggah are one of my favorite bands on earth, so it wasn’t surprising how good their new record was. What did surprise me, however, is how they were able to slow it down and change their pace just enough to avoid sounding like they were ripping off the genre they unintentionally created.
18 cattle decapitation – monolith of inhumanity
I’ve always had respect for this band, but this is the first album of theirs that really blew my doors off. It’s got all of the usual brutal death/grind riffs going on, but the real star of the show is Travis Ryan’s version of clean vocals, which consists of disgusting, undead howls.
19 liberteer – better to die on your feet than live on your knees
When I first heard this album, I was completely floored. The stunning mix of HM2 death metal with grindcore and civil war type passages is absolutely crushing.
20 asphyx – deathhammer
This album is part two of Martin Van Drunen’s brutal death metal assault in 2012. It sounds like an Asphyx record, obviously, but with the fantastic production of the record, it’s helped them continue to reign as one of the heaviest bands on the planet.
21 black breath – sentenced to life
The cool thing about this band is the fact that they took a style like old school Entombed-style death metal that’s very old and familiar, and they added their own hardcore influence to make it even more intense and pummeling. This is a perfect mosh-pit album.
22 municipal waste – the fatal feast
At this point, it’s very easy to lump Municipal Waste in with the 80′s thrash bands as one of the best thrash bands of all time. Their new record continues that legacy with a ton of awesome thrash/punk anthems, as well as an appearance by John from Nuclear Assault which rules.
23 corrosion of conformity – corrosion of conformity
This is the first COC album in forever without Pepper on guitar, and in my opinion it’s one of their best. The mix of their doomy rock n’ roll era with their hardcore punk/thrash roots is just delicious.
24 incantation – vanquish in vengeance
This is another album that caught me by complete surprise. It’s an old school death metal album, but it’s also got a lot of slow, devastating doom riffs that add an extra 100 lbs to their already insanely heavy death metal.
25 pilgrim – misery wizard
In my review of this record, I stated that this band is like the football team that wins by running the ball up the middle and playing violent defense. The reason I said that is because this album is a slow, plodding, thick slab of doom that rarely changes pace and beats you to death every step of the way.
26 grave – endless procession of souls
I’m obviously a sucker for old school death metal and Grave are one of my favorite bands of the genre. This new record is just another gory chapter in their fantastic discography.
27 grand magus – the hunt
This album caught me by complete surprise with how catchy it is. It’s got a lot of heavy, bone-crushing riffs, as well as some epic Norse-themed lyrics, and it’s impossible to not headbang to.
28 the sword – apocryphon
I’ve always been a big fan of this band, and this record is another flawless part of their discography. It’s got all the foot-stomping classic rock/doom influence, as well as the cool sci-fi element that makes them continue to be interesting.
29 enslaved – riitir
Enslaved are a band that has been able to continually change and progress over the years, and with this record, they brought that progression to it’s highest peak yet. The vocals on this album are much cleaner than on previous records, which actually gives it a bit of beauty at times.
30 inverloch – dusk subsides
This band was formed in the ashes of dISEMBOWELMENT, and they picked up right where they left off. Slow, plodding funeral-esque passages lead to huge, monstrous doom riffs and back to a crawl again. It’s a shame this album wasn’t a full length, because it is truly intense.
31 paradise lost – tragic idol
Though they are a legendary British doom band, Paradise Lost have taken on a much stranger tone with their newer albums, but I love it. The biggest thing for me was the hooks all throughout this album, it’ll stay with you for MANY days after you hear it.
32 down – down iv part 1 purple ep
With this first of four EP’s, the boys from Nola seem to have gotten in touch with their Saint Vitus influence and I couldn’t be happier. I just hope the next three EP’s sound this awesome.
33 dying fetus – reign supreme
2012 was an amazing year for brutal death metal, particularly when a band like Dying Fetus comes out with a back-to-basics death metal album full of the slams and monstrous blast beats their fans know and love them for.
34 norska – norska
Though this album is a reissue, it was one of the finest doom albums I’ve heard all year thanks to their incredibly creative riffs. These guys definitely offer up a fresh take on a genre that is sometimes lacking in the freshness department.
35 unsane – wreck
Some people call Unsane noise rock, but it’s more than that. It’s a heavy, groovy, bruiser of an album. Chris Spencer’s voice is also incredibly grating and it never gets old to me.
36 prong – carved in stone
Tommy Victor perfected the art of “groove metal”, and when you hear this album, you’ll understand why. The man can also still write a hook like nobody’s business.
37 bison bc – lovelessness
Though these guys are a mix of stoner metal and Mastodon, they have managed to progress more and more with each album, culminating in one of the best albums of their career. This is another album that’s great for drinkin heavily and drivin fast.
38 ihsahn – eremita
The former Emperor main man has always managed to stay ahead of the curve as far as prog metal goes. “Eagle And The Snake” is one of my favorite songs of the year.
39 Nile – At The Gates Of Sethu
Another burly, technical, semi-eerie slab of Egyptian death metal from the only band in America that knows how to do it.
40 The Faceless – Autotheism
Definitely a change of pace for these guys from their previous albums due to a new vocalist, but still just as proggy and brutal as ever, with a touch of Opeth for good measure.
41 Grand Supreme Blood Court – Bow Down Before The Blood Court
One of the loudest albums I’ve heard all year. Seriously, it’s impossible to turn it up very loud without blowing out your ear drums. It’s brutal, old school death metal featuring current and former members of Asphyx.
42 Kreator – Phantom Antichrist
This album features a legendary German thrash band doing what legendary German thrash bands do…playing fast, infectious thrash metal.
43 Katatonia – Dead End Kings
This album is absolutely gorgeous at times. It seems that this album is quite a bit more melodic than previous records, and they also don’t sound like Chevelle anymore, thankfully.
44 Murder Construct – Results
Absolutely bloody grind/death metal from members of Pig Destroyer, Intronaut and more. Fast and violent win the race.
45 A Life Once Lost – Ecstatic Trance
This is their first new album in a while, but stylistically, they are just as nuts as ever. The manner in which they layer a crap-ton of awesome solos and leads over a huge, monstrous groove is just amazing to me.
46 haarp – Husks
These guys are one of the best bands going in New Orleans these days, so it’s not a surprise that this album is awesome. What did surprise me, however, was the fact that it only has three songs…three very long, brutal, depressing songs.
47 Bereft – Liechenhaus
This band features current and past members of bands like Intronaut, The Faceless and Abysmal Dawn, so I didn’t know what to expect from them style-wise. The end result is a ten-ton mountain of soul-crushing doom.
48 Nachtmystium – The Silencing Machine
The boys from Chicago broke away from the Meddle theme of their last two albums and went back to making hateful black metal. The results are exactly what you’d expect, only a little better due to better production, as well as a still-lingering Floyd influence.
49 High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis
Matt Pike is a complete monster, plain and simple. When you combine his amazing songwriting abilities with Kurt Ballou’s incredible production, good things are bound to happen.
50 Burning Love – Rotten Thing To Say
I listened to this album because their singer is Chris Colohan from Cursed. I fell in love with it because of their hardcore-punk mentality with some rock n’ roll thrown in for good measure.
51 Cannibal Corpse – Torture
If you have ever heard Cannibal Corpse, then you know what this album sounds like. Brutal lyrics and an uncompromisingly punishing form of death metal have been their calling card for 20 years.
52 Car Bomb – w-^-w-^^-w-^-w
This album reminds me of a mixture of Dillinger and Meshuggah, but at times fastier and groovier and a little more insane.
53 Castle – Blacklands
This album has a bit of a thrash metal influence, but it’s tuned way down and has a cool doom-rock vibe to it.
54 Bell Witch – Longing
Very emotionally-draining, super intense funeral doom. It’s made by just two guys, but you sure can’t tell due to the intense, soul-eviscerating riffs.
55 Horrendous – The Chills
Many bands try to sound like Entombed, few manage to pull it off the way these guys do. I’m a big fan of old school death metal, and apparently these guys are too, because this record could have come out in 1991, easily.
56 Angel Witch – As Above, So Below
I’m so glad that these guys got a real record label, because the production on this album is amazing. Music-wise, it’s exactly the kind of old school, epic metal you’d expect from one of the O.G. NWOBHM bands.
57 Candlemass – Psalms For The Dead
Epicus. Doomicus. Metallicus. This is supposedly their last album, and it’s got all of their typical bells & whistles to leave fans with a good taste in their mouths.
58 Pelican – Ataraxia Taraxis
Though this isn’t really the Pelican I’ve grown to love, I think I can appreciate what they were going for with this Ep. It’s way more rock n’ roll than their previous albums to say the least.
59 Dawnbringer – Into The Lair Of The Sun God
The only genre I could really give this album would be “heavy metal”. It’s throwback, epic metal with classic rock vocals, basically.
60 Gaza – No Absolutes In Human Suffering
It seems these guys get angrier and nastier with every album. At this point, they remind me of a hardcore band who tried to make technical death metal.
61 Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
I assumed that signing to a huge label would ruin these guys, but it actually made their unique brand of groovy, technical metal even heavier and more preposterous.
62 D.I.S. – Becoming Wrath
The letters in their name means destroyed in seconds, which is kind of a fitting band name for this incredibly mean-spirited mix of black metal, death metal and hardcore.
63 Cryptopsy – Cryptopsy
They finally got back to making violent, dizzying technical death metal, and it paid massive dividends.
64 Hooded Menace – Effigies Of Evil
A very cool mixture of death and doom metal, with a dash of horror samples to make it even more terrifying.
65 Swans – The Seer
This album was almost too much for me to take in due to it’s length. It’s not really metal by the standard definition, but it’s the kind of sprawling, gorgeous album that is very rewarding when you let it sink in.
66 Anaal Nathrakh – Vanitas
Loud and abrasive would be the operative words to describe this album. It’s blackened death metal with a sprinkle of weirdness.
67 Evoken – Atra Mors
Slow, plodding, depressing funeral doom. The perfect album to listen to while walking through the woods at night.
68 Dysrhythmia – Test Of Submission
Brain-rattlingly technical instrumental metal. Colin Marston knows how to make instrumental metal not boring.
69 Ancestors – In Dreams And Time
Very dreamy, sludgy post-metal. Great music to sleep to.
70 Daylight Dies – A Frail Becoming
A nice mixture of doom and death metal. It could be said that this is what Opeth should sound like these days.
71 Spawn Of Possession – Incurso
Insane, technical death metal. They seriously cram like 5,000 riffs into each song. Incredibly brutal.
72 Fight Amp – Birth Control
This album is also very hard to classify. I would say they are like Torche, but with maybe a bit more of a Jesus Lizard influence.
73 Evocation – Illusions Of Grandeur
More old school death metal that uses the crap out of the HM-2 pedal. Incredibly heavy and awesome.
74 Dragged Into Sunlight – Widowmaker
A nice, depressing, terrifying mixture of death and doom, but it’s more like the soundtrack to a serial murder, honestly.
75 Agalloch – Faustian Echoes
One twenty minute song of melodic, gorgeous, Agallochian black metal.
76 Gypsyhawk – Revelry And Resilience
Upbeat, throwback rock n’ roll just the way I like it. They have an amazing Rick Derringer cover on here as well.
77 Samothrace – Reverence To Stone
This album has just two songs, but both of them are thick, depressing and heavy as hell doom.
78 Kowloon Walled City – Container Ships
Very sludgy metal that’s hard to define, but they remind me of bands like Torche that have a rock n’ roll influence mixed in with doom.
79 Mutilation Rites – Empyrean
Very dense black metal, but also got elements of crust and thrash to keep it interesting.
80 Aborted – Global Flatline
Brutal Swedish goregrind/death metal with some…creative song titles. This record also has some cool guest vocalists like Trevor Strnad of Black Dahlia.
81 Old Man Gloom – NO
This album wasn’t as awesome as I initially thought it’d be, but when it hits the heavier songs, it definitely brings enough thunder to make up for the slower parts.
82 Chrome Waves – Chrome Waves
Can’t decide if this album is black metal or not, but it’s definitely fast, chaotic and intense. Stavros from Atlas Moth does an insane job on the vocals, the most unique part of the album.
83 Ram – Death
Traditional heavy metal in the vein of Judas Priest or Dio-era Sabbath.
84 Dethklok – Dethalbum III
Their last album was incredibly boring, so I was shocked to hear how brutal this album turned out to be. Then again, anything with Gene Hoglan is going to be at least a little awesome.
85 Mares Of Thrace – The Pilgrimage
Very eerie stoner/doom similar to The Melvins, but with a lot of shred and a lot of very intense passages.
86 Wizard Rifle – Speak Loud Say Nothing
Spastic mix of garage rock and sludge metal. Reminds me of a more spastic version of Pissed Jeans
87 Enabler – All Hail The Void
An insanely fun mix of black metal, punk and hardcore.
88 Zombiefication – Reaper’s Consecration
Incredibly vicious old school death metal. They’re clearly fans of Entombed and Autopsy.
89 Sons Of Tonatiuh – Parade Of Sorrow
A raw mixture of sludge/doom and punk from Georgia, but they sound like a band you’d hear opening for Eyehategod or Crowbar in New Orleans.
90 Hour Of Penance – Sedition
Insane technical death metal, but unlike some bands who just wank it Necrophagist-style…they are more hellbent on speed than anything.
91 Unconscious Disturbance – Mind’s Corner
Creative progressive rock with a jazzy touch, as well as Human-era Chuck Schuldineresque vocals.
92 Antigama – Stop The Chaos
Straight up face-smashing, creative grind.
93 Acephalix – Deathless Master
Brutal old school death metal done the right way.
94 Aura Noir – Out To Die
Awesome mix of old school thrash and black metal. Very similar to Venom or Celtic Frost.
95 Tiamat – The Scarred People
An absolute classic from the old school progressive death metal band turned into semi-gothic doom metal stalwarts.
96 National Sunday Law – Festival Of The Horned God
Ridiculously crushing atmospheric doom. Nice, beautiful acoustic passages one minute, insanely heavy doom riffs crashing down the next.
97 Vaginal Bear Trap – Just The Tip
Incredibly catchy goregrind/death metal. Also, best band name ever.
98 Martyrdod – Paranoia
Blistering blackened crust punk/thrash.
99 Grave Disgrace – Grave Disgrace
Very obscure Russian sludge/stoner doom that I stumbled on randomly, but fell in love with.
100 Abigail Williams – Becoming
Surprisingly good, epic black metal. Definitely their best album.
I’ve been quite busy lately, thus it’s been hard to find the time for reviews. I know it’s a little late to be posting about my other favorite albums from September, but there’s some great stuff here that’s worthy of your time. The cool thing is…as great as September was, October is going to be better!
Down consists of four of the greatest musicians to call the south home. Aside from their legendary members, they are also famous for making fans wait at least five years between new material. This EP is the first of four, and it’s the first with Pat Bruders of Crowbar on bass. As far as the actual songs go, there are only six on the album, but each one of them is thickly coated in their signature sludge. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that a lot of these songs remind me of material from Nola. Specifically the tracks “Levitation” and “Witchtripper” remind me a lot of Down’s early material. The neat thing about this album is a heavy infusion of the doom that these guys grew up on. You can tell they listened to a lot of Saint Vitus before recording this record, and it shows big time in the form of tracks like “This Work Is Timeless” and “Misfortune Teller”. Overall, I think this album is a great return to form for the boys. If you’re a fan of Down or sludgy, pounding riffs with booty-shaking groove, this record is definitely worth your time.
When word spread that Steve Harris, bassist of the legendary Iron Maiden, was putting out a solo album, Maiden fans rejoiced. The thing about this album is, though it’s got Steve Harris’s name on it, it’s far from metal. When the album’s opening track “This Is My God” hits, you wonder if you’re listening to the right album. As the album progresses though, you really begin to hear the influence of bands like Rush, Boston, UFO, and Thin Lizzy come roaring through. The best example of the classic rock influence I mentioned is on tracks like “Karma Killer”, “The Chosen Ones”, and “Eyes Of The Young”. Realistically, this album is much more enjoyable if you ignore what you think it’s supposed to sound like. It’s not metal, and it was never meant to be at all. What it is, however, is classic rock done with a very modern feel, and one of the greatest bassists in the universe. Granted, the production could be better, and the vocals are a bit lackluster, but for a first solo project, you have to give the man credit. If you listen to this album with an open mind, and only ask for incredible bass lines and catchy rock n’ roll, you’ll get your money’s worth and then some.
Car Bomb are a band I was first introduced to back in 2006, when they first signed to Relapse. After the release of their Relapse debut Centralia, the band seemed to fall off of the planet. I stopped hearing anything about them until a few months ago, when it was announced they were self-releasing their second album w^w^^w^w. I have no idea what w^w^^w^w means, but when you hear the insane pace of their music, it makes quite a bit of sense, really. When listening to this album, the following bands came to mind: Sikth, Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Meshuggah and Gojira. That should give you a good idea of what they sound like, because genre-wise it would sound stupid to call them “chaotic, technical, spazzy, progressive, math metal”. This album actually caught me by surprise when I first heard it. I was most surprised by the Meshuggah-esque bounce, mixed with the frenetic pace and technicality of Dillinger. Though Car Bomb don’t really fit in one particular genre, this album is technical and incredibly fun to headbang along to, and exactly what the extreme metal scene needs. One fun fact about the album is that it features a guest appearance from Joe Duplantier of Gojira which is quite fitting, also, the album art spins everytime I look at it through my periphery, which rules.
When I got the promo of this album, one thing caught my eye ABSOLUTELY immediately, it was this statement “thrash-infused doom”. The minute I read that they attempt to convey both thrash metal and doom metal, I knew these guys were worth checking out. After giving their Prosthetic debut Blacklands a few listens, I was hooked. I wouldn’t say that they channel doom or thrash directly, as much as they combine the two with an old school rock n’ roll sound. As far as the doom portion of their sound goes, you can hear that influence primarily in the lyrics and guitar tone; their thrashier side takes over in their riffs at time, particularly with the rhythms and solos. Think if The Devils Blood decided to emulate early Metallica, but did so through Electric Wizard’s amps and that gets you in the ballpark of how epic this band really is. I’m genuinely shocked at how good this album is, and I definitely think it’s top albums of the year material for sure.
When Gallows released their debut Orchestra Of Wolves in 2006, they were easily the most talked about band in the punk/hardcore scene for their refreshing blend of hardcore, punk, and genuine rock n’ roll. This self titled debut for Bridge Nine is their first without vocalist Frank Carter, but it still contains all of the filth and fury that built the hype machine around them six years ago. In an age where punk music has become watered down, Gallows prove that its spirit is definitely not dead, thanks to their incredibly angry, politically driven lyrics, as well the ridiculously solid groove that kicks you in the teeth from the minute it starts, and refuses to let up until blood is everywhere. Thanks to its driving punk riffs, seething hardcore aesthetic, and bruising production, this is the perfect album to jam on a long road trip, but good luck keeping the speedometer under 150.
Even though it’s been over 2 weeks since this show happened and this review is born too late, it was such an amazing bill that I had to get my review out later rather than never, please enjoy!
As anyone from a small town where nothing cool happens can tell you, to experience awesome shows, sometimes you have to travel three or four hours. Therefore, you have to pick and choose your shows very cautiously, ensuring you get plenty of bang for your buck. When it was announced that Yob and Norska were going on tour, and then announced that their September 14th show in Little Rock, Arkansas would be with Rwake, I was seriously considering making the trip. When it was announced that the upcoming Saint Vitus/Weedeater tour was being combined with the Rwake, Yob, Norska show in Little Rock, I knew I had no choice but to be there for this monumentous occurrence.
The show took place at The Revolution Music Room, which is conventiently located in downtown Little Rock surrounded by cool restaurants and bars, but it is also a cool restaurant/bar itself. The food in the restaurant portion of the venue was incredible and I managed to finish eating just as Norksa was starting. Norska are a unique doom/sludge band from Oregon currently on tour with Yob, in fact, their bassist Aaron Rieseberg is also in Yob. They played a 25 minute set featuring two songs from their new album that was just reissued by Brutal Panda Records, and though their set was short, it was very awesome. Their sound had a very bass-heavy tone, and you could tell that this venue was perfect for crushing doom, in fact, whether you were in the bathroom, the restaurant, upstairs, or downstairs, Norska sounded absolutely crushing.
After Norska completed their abbreviated set, the next band up was hometown heroes Rwake. Like Norska, Rwake played a very abbreviated set, but fortunately it included my two favorite songs “The Cat And The Snake”, and “Crooked Rivers”. They also played “Was Only A Dream”, the 13 minute monster finale from 2011′s Rest. Rwake are one of the first doom bands I ever fell in love with, so it was great to see them in their hometown. Other than their awesome songs, the thing I enjoyed most about Rwake’s set, is just how much people obviously enjoyed them, you can tell they don’t take having a local band this awesome for granted. After Rwake, Weedeater was up next, so it was time to get weird. Weedeater are a southern sludge band from North Carolina and they look the part, so needless to say, they fit in quite well at a Little Rock metal show. Fronted by Dixie Dave, the bassist of Buzz*Oven, Weedeater play a very bass-driven style of sludge/doom and it translates perfectly in the live setting. As far as their setlist goes, they mixed it up pretty well between 2011′s Jason…The Dragon and their breakthrough album God Luck And Good Speed. After getting beaten to death by Rwake, Weedeater didn’t make it much easier on the neck, particularly when they played the monstrous “Wizard Fight”.
When Weedeater was done, I assumed that Yob would be playing next, but when I wandered back into the venue, I was surprised to see it was Saint Vitus playing instead. Saint Vitus are an absolute staple to the doom metal scene, and metal in general, so getting to see them up close, and for the second time this year, was absolutely awesome. The first time I saw them this year was at Maryland Death Fest, and though they played a very similar setlist, it didn’t really matter what they played, because they killed it. Dave Chandler’s guitar tone sounds absolutely incredible, new drummer Henry Vazquez murders it behind the kit, and most importantly, Wino is one of the greatest frontmen you’ll ever see live. The set included quite a few from their classic album Born Too Late, as well as select cuts from V and Hallow’s Victim, however, the real meat and potatoes of the set came from 2012′s Lillie: F-65. In fact, they played every non-instrumental song from Lillie, however, considering that it’s one of the best albums to come out this year, that’s hardly a bad thing. After hearing the newer songs mixed into the setlist with their classics, I believe that their newer material is some of the strongest they’ve ever written.
The final band of the evening was Yob, the mighty doom band from Portland, Oregon. You might think it would be difficult playing after a band like Saint Vitus, however, the crowd stayed put for the most part, and everyone was ready to get pummeled. One interesting thing about Yob is that most of their songs are incredibly long, therefore their live sets feature very short setlists. Despite the length of the setlist, guitarist Mike Scheidt, as well as bassist Aaron Rieseberg know how to bring the thunder for sure. Their set opened with “Prepare The Ground” from Atma and it’s one of my personal favorites of theirs and sounds incredible live. The only thing about Yob is that, though they deliver a massive slab of awesome doom; after a while, their set becomes more and more challenging, due to the incredible length of the songs, but they are played with incredible passion and volume, which make for a lethal duo, and are a main reason why they are asked to tour with bands like Tool.
Overall, I’m very fortunate to have seen the combination of Rwake, Yob and Saint Vitus on the same bill for the second time this year-the first being at Maryland Death Fest-and when you add Weedeater and Norska to that bill, it made for one hell of a night. As far as the best band of the evening goes, that honor goes to Saint Vitus for me personally, they are definitely one of the best live bands going and it’s great to see them finally getting the recognition they deserve, especially in a small town that was eternally greatful to have them.
After going on one of the greatest trips of my life to Maryland Deathfest back in May, I haven’t been able to go out and do very much, but on the evening of Saturday July 7th, Sheeple and Mailbomber made their return to Tsunami alongside Sucellus from Shreveport and Black Tar Prophet from Nashville and I had no choice but to come out for a night of fun, metal, and bands featuring only two members.
The show got started with local punk/crust/grind warriors Sheeple who call their style of music “warcore”. These guys have all been playing music in the scene in various bands for a very long time and with this project, their goal is simply to play as fast as possible and make people angry. Vocalist Jon Breedlove is as intense a frontman as you’ll find, and it’s clear the lyrics he writes, and the things he says on-stage are straight from the heart which is rad, and when you combine that with the grinding, buzzing riffs of guitarist Stephen Emerel and the d-beat drumming of Jerry Wood, these guys bring the thunder in a major way. They are always a fun band to see and it’s nice to see a band in Monroe mix both their punk influence as well as their metal influences to make a cake full of anger, beer, and cigarette ashes.
Once Sheeple finished, the next band of the evening was Mailbomber. If you read my interview with Mailbomber, you know they are pretty laid back dudes who listen to heavy music, and try and make the meanest music possible. One cool thing about Mailbomber’s set was that they played alot of new songs and some of them were just as intense, if not moreso than their older material. As with every other Mailbomber show, vocalist/guitarist David Fluke churned out grating, loud, super heavy riffs over the blasting drums of Daniel Cumpton, one thing that really sets them apart though, is David’s colorful personality and it made for some pretty awesome between-song banter as well as his occasional forray into the crowd. If you haven’t seen these guys, it is imperative that you do so because they, along with bands like Sheeple, are one of the most important bands to the Monroe metal scene right now due to their incredible potential and their highly toxic jams.
After the first two-piece of the evening, Mailbomber finished, the next band to play was Sucellus from Shreveport. Sucellus is a two-piece instrumental/experimental doom band and this was their very first show. Coming into the show I didn’t know much about this band at all other than the fact that they would be doom, but I found out that evening that their drummer is Kathleen Carpenter, the former drummer of another fantastic Shreveport doom band, Massivus. Musically speaking, they brought a massive bumout with the combination of one guitarist playing crushing, droney riffs over the pummeling drums with a healthy sprinkling of samples in the mix as well. You can tell that both members of Sucellus have been playing doom for quite a while and they came across with a professional attitude despite playing their first show to a smaller crowd, and they were also incredibly loud. I really look forward to seeing these guys more after they get a few more shows under their belts and I have a feeling they will be doing big things soon enough.
Once Sucellus set the mood right with a two-piece instrumental drone/doom attack, the atmosphere in the room was ripe for yet another two-piece drone/doom band, Black Tar Prophet. Black Tar Prophet were formed in Nashville, Tn by drummer Greg Swinehart and guitarist/bassist/noise-maker extrodinaire Mark Owen. I knew what to expect from these guys going into the show, but was still floored at just how loud they were. The set started with Mark on bass playing a cool fuzzed out New Orleans style riff and eventually progressed into chaos. The guitar rig that Mark used was pretty impressive to me because he had at least 3 guitar amps on stage and 1 of them was a large Sunn0))) amp and the other had a SunnO))) head which meant it was noisey as hell. Musically, the style was very droney and obviously they are majorly influenced by bands like Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, Sleep, E.H.G. etc, but on top of that influence, there was a sense of despair in Owen’s guitar riffs that set off a pretty vicious vibe for me and the super loud amps they used made it even more brutal. I’d say they were one of the loudest bands i’ve seen since Jucifer played here last year which is saying alot.
All in all, I had a great night at Tsunami as usual thanks to their endless promotion of underground music. The next show i’m going to be covering there will be The Vidrines and The Flying Humanoids on Friday the 13th. Come check it out!
In my quest to get caught up on my reviews, i’ve decided to review my favorite releases from the month of May. I didn’t realize this until now, but there weren’t alot of big releases in the month of May at all, however, the albums that were released that i’m spotlighting today are all incredible and worth your time. Check them out, also, don’t forget to check out my Facebook page.
This album is Cattle Decap’s seventh studio album, and their fifth released by Metal Blade Records. Usually deathgrind bands get horribly stale after two or three albums and they never make it near as long as Cattle Decap has. After listening to this album, I can tell you that not only are these guys not stale, they are actually at the peak of their career and this is the best album they’ve ever released. The album contains plenty of songs full of your standard grind with brutal death metal vocals, particularly tracks like “Forced Gender Reassignment”, and “Gristle Licker”, but the area where this album really earns it’s keep are Travis Ryan’s newfound “melodic” vocals. To understand what I mean by melodic, I mean disturbing and completely horrifying. You really have to hear these songs for yourself to get what I mean, the ones that stand out the most are “A Living, Breathing Piece Of Defecating Meat”, and “Your Disposal”, and “Dead Set On Suicide”, when you couple the “melodic” parts with the creative, non-generic riffing, you have an album that, in my opinion, is a serious contender for metal album of the year. How Travis Ryan and the boys managed to release such a devastating album this late in their career is both refreshing, and a little baffling.
Horseback are a band from North Carolina, led by a genius named Jenks Miller, they are signed to Relapse Records so naturally you’d think they would be a death metal band of some sort, however, they are the farthest thing from metal you can get. When you listen to Horseback’s first new album for Relapse, you can’t help but notice that this is one of the more unique albums you’ll hear all year. The record has seven tracks, 3 of them, “Mithras”, “Ahriman”, and “Arjuna”, have an upbeat 70′s psychedelic rock vibe to them, however, the vocals are more growled in a black metal type tone, kind of like The Moody Blues fronted by Varg Vikernes. The other 4 songs on the album are more just instrumental weirdness, particularly on the track “Inheritance (The Changeling)” which features a wide array of droning noises and various instruments and sounds. The last 3 songs on the album are all part of a trilogy called “Hallucigenia”, they are all instrumental and when listened to together could work as the soundtrack to a nature documentary about a lizard being born, and then being eaten by it’s mother hours after being hatched. To say this album is weird is an understatement, but thanks to a few hints of black metal with some noise and old school psychadelic rock vibes thrown in for flavor, this album just gets better with each listen.
When the third album by Tenacious D, the acoustic rock band formed by Jack Black and Kyle Gass, it starts with the lyrics “When the pick of destiny was released, it was a bomb and all the critics said that The D was done”. Though I personally LOVE “The Pick Of Destiny”, pretty much everyone that reviewed it hated it, therefore with their third album, The D set out to rebuild their reputation as the greatest rock n roll band in the world. Though there are a few songs on this album that are specifically meant to show that The D aren’t dead, there are also plenty of songs on this album that continue their legacy of goofy, snarky, vulgar rock n’ roll anthems. Some of the themes covered on the album are easy women/food (Low Hangin Fruit), the environment/living in a Death Star in space (Deth Starr), the life of a roadie (Roadie), and the death of rock n’ roll (Rock Is Dead). Though every song and skit on this album are pretty epic/humorous, there are two songs on this album that stick out the most to me, particularly the incredibly epic “The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage” which tells a humorous tale about the band, the other is “39″ which is easily the most humorous thing Jack Black has done in years. Simply put, if you like The D but aren’t sure if this album is good, just know that “the fiery heart of a champion cannot be quelched”.
Mutilation Rites are a fairly new band to the us black metal scene, releasing their first demo around 2010. I listened to this album based on all the hype surrounding these guys after quite a few demo’s released last year, but one thing I can say for sure is that, though their style is frequently imitated, these guys aren’t just a johnny-come-lately black metal band, you can feel a genuine sense of anger in these songs. The minute this album starts it’s full of vile, crusty, euro black metal and it very rarely stops to breathe, and when it does, even those breaths are vile and full of toxic fumes. As someone who likes to write about music, i’ve always found black metal a little more difficult to write about than most genre’s because it all, for the most part, sounds the same and this album is no different. I will say, however, that you can tell a difference between european black metal and american black metal, and most of the time it is found in the production value which is pretty raw and crusty, but solid enough to bring out every nuance of every instrument. This album is incredibly angry, not very catchy, and you can tell these guys listen to plenty of Black Flag and Cro-Mags along with their Darkthrone and Bathory records. I would say that this is one of the more enjoyable black metal albums i’ve heard all year and certainly worth giving a listen to.
First of all, i’m going to just let you know one thing about this album in advance, it is most certainly one of the best albums to be released in 2012. Royal Thunder are another band from Savannah, Ga, a town which has singlehandedly given birth to some of the biggest names in the hard rock/metal scene currently. This is their first full length album for Relapse and it, alongside Christian Mistress, and Horseback, is going to be marketed to heavy metal fans, but it’s much much much more than just a metal record. The foundation of this album is laid firmly on classic sounding hard rock, but it also features a heavy dose of the blues, psychedelia, and the kind of grooves that make you wanna fire up a doobie, crank up your camaro, and cruise 90-to-nothing through the desert. The album has a few songs which are slower and more psychedelic in nature like “Blue” and “Drown”, but the songs where you really get your money’s worth are tracks like the foot-stomping banger “Whispering World”. The other songs on this album that will make you want to drink some whiskey and make bad decisions are the bluesy “Shake And Shift”, and the slow-building “South Of Somewhere”. This album is, in my opinion, the quintessential rock n roll album of 2012 and should be getting heavy play on rock radio across the country, but they’ll have to settle for being on pretty much every best of 2012 list you can find at the end of the year instead.
Listen, man, chances are if you’re reading this review, you already know that this album rules, or you at least know what Saint Vitus sounds like and know that they’re awesome, therefore, instead of wasting your time trying to convince you to check this album out, i’m going to celebrate how awesome it is. Finally Saint Vitus have returned with their long awaited eighth studio album, which is kind of funny because they’ve been around for over 30 years, even more amazing is the fact that this is their first album with Wino on vocals in 22 years. The album only features 7 songs, and one of the tracks (Vertigo) is an acoustic interlude while another (Withdrawal), is just a feedback-laden guitar solo of sorts, however, the five actual songs on this album are serious slabs of traditional doom aided by the powerful drumming of new recruit Henry Vazquez, as well as Wino’s epic vocals and Dave Chandler’s revolutionary guitar playing. When you break this album down track by track, you’ll realize when you come across songs like “Let Them Fall” and “Blessed Night” that these are some of the best songs this band has ever recorded. In fact, when you listen to the riff that kicks in at the 4:20 mark of “The Bleeding Ground”, you realize that not only are Saint Vitus back with an incredibly solid return album, but they are actually still one of the best doom bands going today and this album further cements that legacy. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album super loud under the influence and headbang like it’s 1986.
Today is 4/20, and as you know, it’s a pretty big deal for stoners everywhere, so I decided to do a mixtape of my 20 favorite stoner metal/rock songs. Even though i’m making this list rather late in the day, this blog is a celebration of my love of music, so I figure it’s better late than never. I’m a huge fan of stoner rock and stoner doom and thought that this list was very appropriate, and very awesome. The thing to remember about this list is that not all of these are considered stoner rock or metal, but they are still awesome songs. Below, you’ll find a hyperlink to each song on youtube so you can rock out. What are your favorite stoner songs/bands/albums? Leave a comment.
16. Neurosis – Burn
2011 was an incredible year for metal, without question. The best part is, 2012 is also shaping up to be a monumental year for metal. 2011 was a year full of releses from fantastic new bands like Atriarch, Disma, and Vallenfyre, but 2012 will be the year that some of the genre’s best put out new albums. This list i’m making is completely ridiculous because it’s based solely on predictions by both myself and record labels and even other magazines.
*UPDATE*: I have included links to my reviews for all of the albums on this list, so check them out if you are wanting a better idea of what some of these records sound like. Also, for more information on awesome upcoming releases, check out my Facebook page.
The first part of this list are all the albums coming out in the next few months with already confirmed street dates, that i will definitely be listening to.
The legendary goregrinders are back with a new record and i have a feeling it’s going to be a monster. Will have guest appearances from members of Black Dahlia Murder, Misery Index, Rotten Sound, and Benighted
This band has gotten more and more boring over the years as they’ve become bigger and bigger, but i have a feeling this album will be pretty decent at least. They benefit from dropping it at a time with no other big records dropping. No offense to Aborted, of course.
Super progressive grind album from Matt Widener of Cretin. First song i heard had a swedish death metal type tone and seems like it’ll be a solid album.
I don’t like technical death metal near as much as i did when i was younger, but if i did i’d be stoked to hear a new Psycroptic album. I’ll definitely give it a listenthough.
This is a band i haven’t listened to alot, but Martin Va Drunen is a legend in the death/doom community and with a limited amount of albums distracting from it, it has potential to gain alot of attention.
This will be their eigth album, and first with the Animosity era lineup in a really long time. I have a feeling this album is going to either be incredibly mediocre, or it’s going to absolutely rule, there’s not much grey area when a band goes from crossover to southern metal and attempts to go back to it’s crossover lineup and recreate magic.
I will guarantee you that i’ll be purchasing this album and listening to it non-stop upon it’s release. It seems that every single Napalm album gets better than the one before it, and judging by how good “Time Waits For No Slave” was, this album is going to be a monster.
This album is basically a re-recording of all of Autopsy’s random demo’s they’ve recorded over the years. There could be some terrible songs on there, but more than likely it’s going to sound alot like Macabre Eternal and it’ll completely kill.
Already pre-ordered this album. Old school metal aesthetic played with a classic rock tone. This album is recommended for anyone who likes Heart, Motorhead, or awesome hard rock/heavy metal.
Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65 (north american release date delayed)
I have no idea what this album title is in reference to, and I really don’t care. So glad they are finally scheduled to release this album, they played a new song when i saw them in New Orleans and it was fantastic. Wino’s voice sounds awesome on record these days so this album will be one of the best of the year, I truly believe.
Testament – The Dark Roots Of Earth 4/27/2012
One of the greatest thrash metal bands of all time. This is the followup to their last album which blew the doors off of their back catalogue and this album will do the same. Also some guy named Gene Hoglan did drums on this album, not sure if he’s any good, but I think this record will rule.
The second part of my most anticipated list are bands who’ve either been advertised to put out a new album, or who i’ve heard rumored to be putting something out this year. A few of these are just rumors, some are being recorded as we speak, but if even a few of them actually put out records like they’re supposed to, 2012 will be another epic year for metal.
Admittedly, I sort of hate the guitar tone Slayer has taken on over the last 20 years, but i’d be lying if i said i’m not excited to hear them put out new music, specifically more stuff that sounds like “Psycopathy Red”.
I have a feeling that if they release a new record this year, it’s going to sound completely different from anything they’ve done before, which may or may not be a good thing. I can definitely say that it’s going to be worth listening to for sure.
Unlike the first 2 bands in this list, there is not a single doubt in my mind that if their new album is released this year…it will char the skin off of all who get in it’s way. So ready to hear new material from PxDx.
If Axe To Fall is any indication on where these guys are headed, they are going to release another unquestionable album of the year candidate.
High On Fire
Snakes For The Divine was a landmark release by Matt Pike and co, but I think that if they can build on the formula they started with that album, that the new one that’s being recorded right now will be just as deadly, if not moreso.
Supposedly they are going to do part 3 in the Black Meddle series, but i could really care less, i’m ready to hear anything Blake Judd is ready to unleash.
I have a feeling there will definitely be a new Voivod album next year, and they have their original bassist back, plus a fantastic guitarist named Dan Mongrain, therefore I think their new album will run circles around their last 2 decades worth of material.
It seems that, with every new album these guys release, they reinvent themselves completely. Considering how awesome ObZen was, that fact alone means that whatever they put out this year will be purchased by me immediately upon it’s release.
This band also features Danny Walker from Exhumed/Murder Construct, but instead of playing death metal, they are more similar to bands like Isis, but they aren’t just another Cult of Neurisis band by any means and i’m sure guitarist/vocalist Sacha Dunable has more than a couple tricks up his sleeve that’ll make this album their best yet.
Neurosis is recoring an album right this very second with Steve Albini. No reason in wasting anymore words on this one. Very stoked.
Supposedly they are going to put out a new record 1 ep at a time until they’ve done 5. To me, it sounds like a waste of time not putting all of those songs on one disc, but they are good enough musicians, that i think it’ll be worth the wait.
I heard they were supposed to put out a new album in 2011, but nothing ever came of it. I’m really hoping they release the follow up to Watershed this year so that they can finally prove they are still an awesome death metal band and not a bunch of folk rock wannabes like people claimed Mikael Akerfeldt was trying to turn them into.
Other albums supposed to be coming out in 2012 i’m looking forward to:
Kyuss Lives! (not really metal, but still amazing)
Today starts my end of the year lists that i’ll be unleashing every day from now until January 1st. I’ve decided to start off with a list of the 20 best bands i saw live this year. Like any self respecting music geek, I go to shows, ALOT of shows in fact, however, this year i didnt see as many shows as i wanted to, but i saw some pretty amazing stuff nonetheless. So, without further ado, this is a list (in no particular order) of the 20 bands I saw in 2011 who helped make my year just a little better.
These guys are absolutely legendary and i got to see them on their final world tour. Thanks to a setlist spanning their entire discograhy and all the fire, lasers, video effects, and rock n’ roll mayhem of one of their shows from the 80′s, this was an incredible show.
These guys opened up for Judas Priest and they were, by far, the greatest opening band i’ve ever seen. Their setlist included all of my favorite songs, and their current lineup brings the thunder as good as can be expected, particularly because of the original members it boasts.
Dave Grohl is an absolute monster! His stage presence is absolutely unbelievable and he makes you feel like he is playing just for you. They also had an awesome stage set up and played an almost 3 hour set that included hit after poppy hit.
These guys opened for Foo Fighters, proving what i said earlier about Dave Grohl being an absolute monster. Lemmy still looks and sounds and plays as good as he did in the 70′s and 80′s and their setlist is a good mix of the old classics with their faster, heavier, newer songs. Nothing can top the moment they first launch into “Ace Of Spades”
This was their first tour in a couple of years and you could tell that their time with The Melvins has done them some good. These guys were full of thunder and nothing rules more than hearing them play “Hands Up” live.
This band is one of the loudest i’ve ever seen live. They played mostly stuff from the last 2 albums but it was so loud and heavy that it didn’t matter what they played, they could have made a set of Huey Lewis & The News covers sound brutal as hell.
Of the 3 bands i saw that night (they played with Big Business and Torche), i was surprised to find that these guys were my favorite of the evening. They play through amps that were made by Ben Verellen himself and the tone was absolutely crushing. Their album is such an awesome mix of Mastodon-esque riffs and some awesome shoegaze parts to make one of the funnest rock n’ roll albums of the year and they translated perfectly live
Saw these guys on the Metalalliance tour along with the next 3 bands on this list and Helemt were by far, the highlight for me. They played all of “Meantime” plus select songs from “Betty” and their latest album “Seeing Eye Dog”. Even though “Meantime” is my favorite Helmet album, my favorite Helmet song is “Tic” and they played it by request, which is the sweetest (and heaviest) thing ever!
It’s been a few years since i’ve seen these guys and I was terribly bummed that the last 2 times they played near me i had to miss for various reasons, so i was very glad to get to see them again, and in New Orleans of all places! They have Kirk Windstein from Down, Pat Bruders, who’s now in down, and Tommy Buckley from Soilent Green in their lineup currently which means seeing Crowbar live is like getting crushed by an asteroid. Also, their new songs translate amazing to their live show.
It’s been a very long time since Saint Vitus has toured, so i was very fortunate to get to see them live. Dave Chandler’s tone sounded absolutely amazing, and Wino’s voice sounded perfect. They played a set full of some absolutely crushing tunes, and they even played a new song which i can’t wait to hear on an album soon.
This was my second time seeing Kylesa, and this time was way better, mostly because they had the projector with the Spiral Shadow album cover spinning around which created an incredible atmosphere. Not much can be said about a Kylesa live show except for the fact that it is something I will never forget. The double drum assault sounds killer and works perfect together, and Phillip and Laura’s vocals sound perfect, and the guitars are super heavy. They are one of the best current metal bands i’ve ever seen live.
I actually saw these guys live twice this year. The first time was at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fl as part of their mardi gras celebration. The second time i saw them was in Shreveport, La with ZZ Top, and i have to say, they killed both times. There aren’t many original members except for Gary Rossington, however, most of the people that make up this current incarnation are all apart of the family somehow and weren’t just brought in to collect a paycheck, these guys absolutely kill it and they also played my favorite Skynyrd song “Gimme Back My Bullets” which rules.
Seeing these guys on the same bill as Lynyrd Skynyrd was a classic rock/southern rock nerd’s dream show. They came out with their signature beards and flashy stage show and they played every major hit they’ve ever written, and the best part is that they didn’t play an encore, which is another reason why I love these guys.
I still can’t decide whether Steely Dan or just being able to hang out on the beach in Alabama was the highlight of this weekend, but regardless, ‘The Dan killed it. These guys are one of the more underrated bands in classic rock history, but even 40 years into their career, Donald Fagen ‘s voice sounds as upbeat as ever, and Walter Becker can still shred. But the best part is that their touring lineup is full of the best jazz and classically trained musicians they could find and they certainly bring new life to songs that are already full of it.
I saw these guys at the Bealse Street Music Festival along with the next 2 bands on this list and i must say, this was by far, the most uplifting show i’ve ever seen. I don’t really listen to them much, but the combination of their beautiful music, bright lights, balloons, lasers, and many more ridiculously awesome things, coupled with a wonderful stage presence makes them a band that i must see again and am now a big time fan of.
These guys played right before the Flaming Lips and they were using the same huge screen for their set and had some amazing videos playing during their set which worked very well with their awesomely poppy music. Also, they kept updating the crowd on the score of the Memphis Grizzlies game that was going on just a few blocks away during their set, which i, as a sports fan, found to be super awesome.
Sublime With Rome
This band is the original bassist and drummer of Sublime with Rome Ramirez on guitar and vocals and they are absolutely fantastic. They played all of the Sublime songs i wanted to hear, and quite a few from their new album which turned out to be one of my favorite records of 2011.
Karma To Burn
These guys are desert rock legends and I actually saw them in Monroe which was kind of random. They are an instrumental band, but their drummer and bassist are so phenomenal that no vocals are necessary to keep these songs entertaining; their songs are full of bone-breaking riffs and dizzying tempo changes and they were definitely the best intrumental band I’ve seen all year…and the only.
Without question, this was the loudest band i’ve ever seen…not just in 2011, but EVER. Their guitarist Amber Valentine had, what seemed to me, 15 amps hooked up and every one of them was turned up to full volume. My ears were literally ringing for 3 days after this show, no lie. Their songs don’t really translate live the way they do on their records, but they were very enjoyable, and loud, and enjoyably loud, and it’s great to see a band from Relapse Records come to Monroe.
I’m not sure what made the one and only time i saw Thou weirder…the fact that it was inside a theater inside the Lsu art museum, or the fact that they only played 4 songs with a total set of about 25 minutes. Regardless of their set length, however, is the fact that they absolutely killed. They played loud and slow and let loose an almost unrelenting pummeling on the hipsters that were crowded around and it was glorious.