This band is mainly known for being one of the few Zealand thrash metal bands. All of the band members are of Māori decent so they have many songs written in the Māori language. The band started in 2010 by the brothers after watching District 9.
Anyways, their newest album Tu has made its way to my new most favorite album of 2018, though since I discovered it so late in the game, it might as well be one of my favorite albums of 2019. Better late than never as always though.
In this album, you will have a wonderful variety of riffs. Each song has its own style of riffs which as always is very important for all metal bands. I believe this band takes it to a different level by infusing their musical style with indigenous culture. Which I think sets them apart from many other bands I’ve heard.
“Some people might find it a bit grisly,” says singer and lead guitarist Lewis de Jong. “But it’s stuff that actually happened and nobody ever talks about it. We’re not saying it’s right or wrong, it’s just a part of our history.” This track refers to “nga tohu a Tūmatauenga,” the symbols of Tūmatauenga – the Māori god of war,” This is a quote from Lewis describing the music video for “Kai Tangata”.
This album is wonderfully put together from an anthropologist point of view, it brings to light, as the singer said, things that happened that people don’t talk about much. It makes it easier to interpret if you will.
Alien Weaponry have other albums that are influenced by the grim events that happened during the colonization of New Zealand which are also quite good.
I cannot recommend Tu enough. Do not sleep on this release any longer. Highly recommended to all fans of aggressive thrash metal.
Bandcamp link: https://alienweaponry.bandcamp.com/album/t-2
Tripper – Ancestral Wounds
Looking at this release I was not sure what exactly I was going to get. The cover seems to have a church on it which immediately makes me think of black metal. The band name is what you would call somebody who regularly uses psychedelic drugs. The short song lengths make me think grind, which would be the best label for this release.
Judging by the short lengths of the songs, I was expecting very typical abrasive grindcore music, with blast beats, and all the usual works. And that certainly is the case in some parts because it stays true to the roots, but there is also much more to be had with this one.
The vocals on this release are not your typical grind vocals. They are guttural in some places while almost akin to black metal in other places. The vocals are definitely a highlight of this release.
I was expecting non-stop blasting throughout the entire release, but there is actually quite a bit of groove (as well as some blasting). This can be heard in the track, “Substation” and the title track. There is also some pretty serious riffage that adds to the groove. This is music to throw down to.
Like I have said, this is not your typical grind release. I think it has quite a bit to offer with it’s blending of styles and varying grooves throughout. Ancestral Wounds has plenty of hooks that demand multiple listens, and due to it’s short length that is very easy to accomplish. In short, this does not suck.
Check out Ancestral Wounds here
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.
Tapes available through Sentient Ruin Laboratories
Here’s a link to “Matchitikos”
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
Goya – Harvester of Bongloads (Opoponax Records 2017)
Those familiar with Goya know they are a three piece doom band from Arizona. Those who are not familiar with Goya may not know what to expect out of an album titled Harvester of Bongloads. If this is the first time hearing of Goya you have arrived at the right time because this is their most complete release to date. The full length is set to drop March 3rd and if you like Stoner/Doom metal you are going to want to be all over this one.
Harvester starts out with a very ambitious 20 minute long song entitled “Omen” that consists of three separate parts. This will set the tone of the album and is great start to the journey. The first listen to this album is full of surprises. The build up in this sets up the coming of the first distorted riffs nicely. It’s best to just sit back and take it all in at this point. This makes up for an incredible first half of an album. The second half of the album is three separate tracks one of which is an instrumental. The flow is not interrupted from track to track and they all work together almost seamlessly. I think these are some of the best guitar solos on any Goya release to date. It almost feels like each one of these tracks gets more and more pissed off than the next. Germination serving a intro to Misanthropy on High. The final climax being Disease which is in my opinion the most aggressive track on the album and is a fantastic bookend to close Harvester when compared to the build up created at the beginning with Omen. This album also appears to tell a story about an individual who is just pissed off at the world, and perhaps tired of being alive. This is very much reflected in the lyrics and mournful vocals.
It seems to me that the three members of Goya were completely on the same page of this release. There is a solid foundation laid. This is doom metal so of course there is a huge focus on the riffs, but there is such a solid foundation made by the drums and the bass. Which all together makes for some incredibly heavy moments. These moments are so heavy and slow they may need an electric cart to get around a grocery store and I mean that in the best ways. The thing I have also noticed on my listens of this album is how great the bass lines are underneath the guitar solos throughout this album. they make the solos stand out even more, and should not go unnoticed. There is a certain groove and atmosphere made by this album that just sucks you in because it is so cohesive. My recommendation is to just lay back and feast on this audio. Harvester of Bongloads is without a doubt an album meant to be enjoyed from start to finish. Which proves to be a very easy and enjoyable task.
This album isn’t streaming on Goya’s bandcamp yet but keep a eye on it and their facebook. March 3rd is right around the corner.
Keep up with us here we have something else cool involving Goya coming up soon.
Goya – Doomed Planet
Goya are a band that I have been quietly admiring from afar for a while now. I have been a big fan of the incredible Arizona heavy music scene that they are a part of, and Goya bring their own sound to that scene. They are hot off of two EP’s from earlier this year, The Enemy and another one featuring Nirvana covers. This new EP Doomed Planet goes back to the forlorn doom metal sound. It could be closely compared to my favorite Goya release Satan’s Fire.
Doomed Planet is four songs two long, loud, slow, and heavy songs. An ambient instrumental track and a cover of Marilyn Manson’s “Dogma”. The first track is the title track of the EP “Doomed Planet” which seems to be a very fitting title for current events. It’s a track with a sweet droning riff full of fuzz. It clocks in at nine minutes long and it’s a riff worthy of being heard for nine minutes. The vocals add a nice compliment to the punch of the riff as well.
The second track is one of pummeling heaviness. The riffs pack a punch that’s almost akin to doom metal act Conan. “Hoof and Bone” is Goya at their best in my opinion. The song was meant to be used for a film but didn’t quite make the cut. I think that’s a shame because such an epic song would fit well in a film, especially a scene calling for music that speaks and sounds of desolation. At the very least the song is still being released for all of our enjoyment, and I definitely enjoy this one.
The Manson cover shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Goya have just released two Nirvana covers for the anniversary of Nevermind earlier this year. Goya kept with the 90’s theme and covered “Dogma” from Portrait of an American Family. When listening to this I can tell they had fun recording this one, and it’s a really good cover. Doomed Planet is a well done EP by Goya that fans of slow Sabbath styled doom metal should check out.
Listen to Doomed Planet here
Limited CD’s will be available through Opoponax Records
Take Over And Destroy – Self titled (Prosthetic Records 2016)
I guess first thing to say about this album is if you think all heavy music should fit perfectly into a little box, then stop right here and use your time for something better. Take Over And Destroy draw influences from all over the spectrum. I have heard them referred to as sludge and “black n roll”. The point is with this new self-titled full length, it’s hard to pin down one easy way to describe it. I for one find this to be a good thing. It is always great to see bands pushing boundaries, as well as themselves musically. For those familiar with Take Over And Destroy this is undeniably them.
The album starts out with “By Knife” which is also the first single released for this album. It was a good choice for first song as well as single. For a band with such diverse sound this is a track that has a bit of it all. It has the heavy riffs and vocals as well as some softer diabolical crooning vocals by vocalist Andrew Leemont. There is also an excellent guitar solo shared by both guitarist on this album Alex Bank Rollins and Nate Garrett. The next song we want to talk about is “Let Me Grieve” which also happens to be my personal favorite. It just has the catchiest opening guitar licks I have heard in a long time. The vocal performance in this is fantastic. This album is without a doubt the best vocal performance on any TOAD album in my opinion. The harsh vocals are excellent as well as the cleaner ones. I find there to be a perfect balance between the two. The one thing I can guarantee on this album is you have not heard an album like this, this year, or most likely ever. Take Over And Destroy isn’t without its hooks songs like “Separate from the Shadows”, “Job Coffins”, and “Bring me the Rope” will demand repeat listens as well as work their way inside of your brain. The song “Out of Frame” is also quite interesting with keyboard parts that sound like they were taken straight out of John Carpenters Christine. The last two tracks have incredible instrumental sections. The track “Love Among The Ruins” has some riff worship with nods to doom metal. Then of course one thing that can always be expected out of TOAD is a good album closer. The final track “Night Work Begins” continues this trend.
This is heavy music with hooks, riffs, guitar harmonies, and catchy choruses. The bands intentions were to release an album that was a collection of singles and I think they achieved it. Fans of this release are bound to have differing favorite songs that may change like the weather. Take Over And Destroy are one of a kind and I hope they continue to stay that way.
Give it a listen here