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!
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
There weren’t many albums that came out this week, however, the two in particular I chose to review today are both devastatingly crushing. Also, on a side note, the Conan album came out on April 2nd. Please check out both of these albums because they rule.
High On Fire are easily one of the most important bands to heavy music these days. They mix elements of thrash, punk, sludge, and stoner rock into a blender with vocals similar to Lemmy and out comes one of the heaviest records you’ll hear all year. This is their sixth album, and it’s their first to be produced by legendary Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou, which means it’s got the heaviest tone this band has ever seen.
The first and only thing you really need to know about this album is that it is heavier than a woman who’s eaten nothing but cheesy potatoes for thirty years, and meaner than said woman when you call her a fatty and take her cheesy potatoes away. With that said, the album also features a few different elements that only started creeping their way into the HOF sound on 2010′s “Snakes For The Divine”, particularly on songs like “Samsara”, which is a bass-heavy instrumental track, as well as the super sludgy, title track “De Vermis Mysteriis”, also, the final track “Warhorn” which features a huge sludgy riff and one of Matt Pike’s best vocals performances ever. My personal favorite song on the album is “King Of Days” in which Pike absolutely lays down the law and shows why he’s one of the best guitarists in metal today. “De Vermis Mysteriis” also features your standard throwback Matt Pike riff-fests like “Serums Of Liao”, “Blood Knuckle”, “De Vermis Mysteriis”, and “Fertile Green” which begins with a very hypnotic tribal drum pattern courtesy of Des Kensel. All the tracks I just mentioned were thrown in to show you how divided the sounds on the album are, but the most important song is, for sure, the track “Madness Of An Architect”. This song is the first time i’ve heard a High On Fire album, where it’s evident Matt Pike toked up, and decided he wanted to crank out a riff that would make Sleep fans choke on their bong-water thanks to it’s huge, brooding, droney intro that leads up to one of Pike’s heaviest riffs ever, in fact, I want to go see them live just to see how they are able to recreate that preposterously violent riff that comes crashing in at the 1:51 mark…seriously…it’s absolutely deadly.
I have to be honest for a moment, the first few times I heard this album it just didn’t register with me for some reason, and didn’t hit quite the way the last few did upon first impact. But, like one of those paintings you have to stare at for an hour to see the hidden image in it, I finally started to get it, especially the song “Madness Of An Architect”, did I mention how heavy the riffs are on that song? If you’re a fan of High On Fire, or if you enjoy firing up a doobie and smashing your head into things, this album would be a perfect addition to your collection.
So I found out about this band by complete accident while reading a review of their album because it had a cool cover, and upon listening, I was instantly brought back to the days when I could discover bands and immediately fall wrecklessly in love with them. I’m not even going to act like I know anything about this band other than the band members’ names and what record label they are on, also, I believe they are from the UK, but I know this…upon first listen, this became one of my five favorite albums of the year…not even joking.
When I hear a band described as “crushing stoner/doom/drone”, I usually envision Electric Wizard soundalike tunes played by dudes with freshly purchased Neurosis and Isis shirts. The thing that separates this album from the usual Crowbar and Electric Wizard worship bands is that their music is played with a tone ten times heavier than those bands, and a groove unlike anything i’ve ever heard before. I know it sounds like i’m gushing about this album, and I totally am, because it totally kicks a ton of ass. The riffs on this album have a huge weight to them unlike anything i’ve ever heard before, and most bands with tone this heavy usually play at one speed, but the thing that makes this album cool is that it goes from slow and plodding, to a rumbling tank full of nuclear weapons, particularly on the song “Battle In The Swamp”, which also features a sweet southern boogie. The whole album really is full of these huge, devastating, tone-heavy riffs that bounce along perfectly with the spectacular drumming of Paul O’neil(not the yankees outfielder). Also, on the track “Headless Hunter” they show off their ability to craft a huge doom sound and, unlike the previous tracks on the album, it doesn’t bounce, it just kind of slowly simmers before erupting lava everywhere, it also features vocals that are much like a gregorian chant of destruction. Also, in the middle of the album, they feature the track “Golden Axe”, which has a riff that reminds me alot of Pelican, that moves slowly and would make the perfect soundtrack to a movie where someone is wandering alone in a post-apocalyptic landscape.
This really is one of those albums that you have to hear, to believe how incredibly good it is. There aren’t very many bands i’ve heard that remind me simultaneously of Down, Crowbar, Electric Wizard, Goatsnake, Yob, and Floor/Torche all in one band that doesn’t manage to rip any of them off blatantly. “Monnos” is a one-stop-shop for incredible doom riffs and it’s an absolute MUST HAVE if you listen to any type of heavy music. It doesn’t appear that the album will be released in the US until July 31st via Gravedancer records, but thanks to it’s release in the UK you can listen to it HERE.