HELL has come to your little town

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HELL – HELL (Sentient Ruin Laboratories 2017)

I’m not sure if this is a start of a new trilogy or something entirely different, but what I do know is HELL is back with a brand new full length. It’s an absolute monstrous slab of metal.

Much like Dante, listening to this album will take you through the many levels of HELL. The start of this album is very noisy and very sludgy. Opening track “Helmzmen” has some heaviness very akin to Primitive Man. For those of you who are not familiar with heavy act Primitive Man, first and foremost go make yourself familiar, and second of all, they have the weight of jumping into quicksand while wearing concrete shoes. “Helmzmen” captures that sound and feeling exactly. It is a track that lets you understand what slow heavy doom sounds and feels like. It’s a very enjoyable album from the get go, but it isn’t until the middle of the album that it really hits my sweet spot. The triple attack of “Machitikos,” “Wandering soul,” and “Inscriptus.” These songs are home to the best riffs on the album (in my opinion of course), and dare I say they are even kind of catchy? They also hold some of the more black metal moments that HELL does so well. This album holds all kinds of dreadful sounds. The longest track on the album “Victus” showcases a little bit of all of them. This track even has a string section that makes the track extra special.  The new music by HELL is emotional ride that is a very demanding listen that doom lovers will be thankful they spent the time with. It is very aggressive and very solemn. For the best listening experience we recommend you lower your head and just let it take you.

A lot of these songs are available for streaming, but we recommend that you take this album in as a whole from start to finish if at all possible.

-REH-

 

Tapes available through Sentient Ruin Laboratories 

Here’s a link to “Matchitikos” 

HELL has come to your little town

Of Flesh and Worship

glacial tomb

Glacial Tomb – Cognitive Erosion 

I heard about this band quite awhile ago and anxiously awaited to hear it for a few reasons. One of those reasons being that this band features current/ex members of Khemmis, Abigail Williams, and Cult of the Lost Cause. The other reason being that the band is based out of Denver, Colorado which holds a heavy music scene that has been killing it lately all across the board with the various sub-genres of metal. Glacial Tomb  fit nicely into the Denver scene because they manage to pull from several sounds and mold them together seamlessly. The music holds influence from black metal, doom metal, sludge metal, and there is even a hint of grind in there. If I had to compare them to another band I would have to go with Inter Arma just on how well they pull from many sounds and make them work together.

I think the riffs hit with the force of a hammer on anvil. This is definitely the case in the track “Of  Flesh and Worship.” The vocals howl like a wounded animal. The music definitely reflects the panic I would have if I woke up within a Glacial Tomb. My personal favorite track on Cognitive Erosion, is the closing track “Burial Shroud.” This track features abusive riffs, punishing drums, and a doom section. Glacial Tomb  is another band that can go on the list of promising bands from Denver, Colorado.

I urge you to give them a listen here

-REH

Of Flesh and Worship

Storms Invoking Darkness

ozark shaman                                                       Ozark Shaman- Illusionary Plains

I have been waiting for Ozark Shaman to record and release their full length for almost a year. I came across their song “Cursed with Consciousness” on youtube and just loved the sound of the band. The funny thing is that song only appears as a bonus track on Illusionary Plains, but either way I’m glad its on there and I’m glad this album is finally here.

Ozark Shaman are a blackened thrash metal band from Little Rock, Arkansas. Illusionary Plains starts out with the chugging riffs of “Twisted Seasons” which is a great start right out of the gates. It features raspy raw vocals as well as some surprising cleans that really make the track multi-textured. The next bit is “Strings of Fate” which offers a more melodic start with an almost Iron Maiden sounding intro. The melodies continue into the next track “Realigning with the Soul’s Sacred Path.”  The listener is then taken back to the thrashier riffs from the beginning of the album with “Dichotomy” and “Call Of the Light”. The song “Mountain’s View” is probably my favorite track on the album and definitely my favorite lyrically. The lyrics to this release are something that should not be overlooked as well. I particularly  like the section:

“For so long I have reached
for that which I cannot grasp
for dear life
As I get closer to the top
I feel myself slip and fall”

This track has open spaces between the vocal parts that just groove and reflect the nature theme of the song, it really resonates with me. The albums last three songs are a bit epic in feel just because of the atmosphere they create. They are dark but also triumphant sounding in places. These include “Mountain’s Views”, “Wanderer of the Skies”, and the long epic closer “Orchestrators of Life.” The second to last one once again brings back some carefully placed clean vocals as well as some impressive lead guitar work which is present elsewhere in the album as well. The closer though is perfect because who doesn’t like the last song to be the longest song on the album? This track is similar to “Mountain’s View” in the sense that the band moves really well without the vocals with excellent melodic parts and lead guitar work. The song then closes out with some really tight groove between the band and the sound of chimes just absolutely amazing. If you stick around there is a bonus track which is like I said above the first song I ever heard by this band and is very good in it’s own right as well. It is after all what got me here to this album in the first place.

Ozark Shaman have created something incredible with Illusionary Plains. It is an album that features top notch riffs, melodies, and atmosphere. The lead guitar and lyrical work should also be mentioned because they are very well done and work perfectly for the vibe of the album. The black metal parts are paired excellently with the thrash metal parts. This band is a reminder of why the metal scene in Arkansas should not be overlooked.

I recommend this band to fans of Skeletonwitch, Goatwhore, and Wolvhammer.

-REH

Band Info: https://www.facebook.com/OzarkShaman/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf&qsefr=1

Storms Invoking Darkness