Dopelord: Songs for Satan

Listening to Songs for Satan left me feeling like I’d just watched a good horror movie; a bit shaken and certainly thoughtful, wishing I actually could have seen this very story depicted visually. Creating a concept album was a great idea and fit for Dopelord, and they executed it incredibly well. The songs sucked you into the story, each one leaving you dying to know what would happen next. I can’t say that any other concept album I’ve listened to has had me that invested. 

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Lord Velvet: Astral Lady

Lord Velvet is an absolute force to be reckoned with. I have no clue what otherworldly stuff is going down in the Rockies or what’s in the water there (Coors Light, perhaps?), but something is afoot, and it’s awesome. It’s always incredibly refreshing and honestly a bit mindblowing to hear insanely talented musicians nowadays, especially in the age where anyone with a MacBook can be a musician. But, these guys have it. They come together not only with their individual skill sets, but with their own unique musical influences to create something epic. 

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Dead Feathers: Full Circle

Overall, I can hardly find words to express how proud I am of the progress this amazing band has made in a very short time. It’s very evident that they’ve grown and matured as a band and as individual musicians. That renewed vitality is palpable throughout the entire album. Dead Feathers was great before, and they’re even better now.

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Hippie Death Cult: Helichrysum

To be able to produce something that highlights your strongest skills as musicians while still providing plenty of musical and vocal variety, piquing interest, and making it seem effortless is astounding. I know that Hippie Death Cult worked insanely hard to accomplish this and that’s evident in every note. Job very well done. 

Helichrysum is set to be released on October 20, 2023 through Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

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The Top 11 Albums of August, 2023

All of these albums are “album of the month” worthy, in my opinion. As usual, the Top 11 Albums of August are in a virtual tie for the #1 slot. I think it’s worth the time of any fan of the Heavy Underground’s to take you to these for a spin, put them on the playlist, and ultimately buy the album. Or at least buy a T-shirt. Support your bands!!!

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Review: Moon Coven’s Sun King

It’s clear that Moon Coven has really put the work in fine-tuning their signature sound, proving themselves able to play multiple styles and do it well. If you can do that, the sky’s the limit. With this kind of talent and ambition to branch out and improve, I have a strong feeling that they’ll be (even more) successful. This is a band that absolutely refuses to stagnate.  

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Stoner/Doom/ Sludge Review: Mule Thrower-Cuts

Jeff Gallagher, AKA Mule Thrower, takes influences as varied and fragmented as Roy Clark and Electric Wizard, throws them against a wall and makes one hell of a mess. Cuts is basically an aural Jackson Pollock painting. Like Pollock, it’s a work of art worthy of study and reflection. But to get maximum effect, I think ya gotta be willing to look at your own shit in the process.

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Curse of the Bandshee

I freely admit I resisted the charms of the Bandshee at first. But the cleverness of the name kept tugging at me, along with vocal performances. After a few months, I noticed it’s an album I keep returning to weekly. Maybe a stray melody from Forgotten Daughter or a vicious riff buried deep in Curse of the Bandshee would float in my mind. In the end, I’ve gone back to this ten times more than Blood Ceremony’s The Old Ways Remain, which is a highly rated and regarded album.

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Interview: REZN & Vinnum Sabbathi’s Silent Future

The announcement of a collab album between REZN and Vinnum Sabbathi by Blues Funeral Recordings was announced a while back, and listening to the single for the very first time led me to the “pre-order vinyl now” button. This is definitely not a money-grab collab. In the case of Silent Future, THIS is a collab of epic proportions: It’s an “Avengers, assemble!” moment for me. This is MY demographic.

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Black Metal: Myseryhymns to the Rescue on Barzakh

All bands have to experiment, sometimes more than once, to find that particular space. More often than not, the results of their mad scientist-ry is still a great listen, even if the album ends up lacking some cohesion as a result. If you find that you always enjoy “the early stuff” the most, give this album a shot! My favorite tracks are The Satanic Space and Halutination of Psycho. (I love black metal song titles.)

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Auralayer Didn’t Get the Memo

…if you like to live on the edge and have no regard for mindless compliance or conformity, this might just be the ticket. But I gotta warn you, Auralayer’s Thousand Petals is probably going to duke it out for Album of the Year at Clean and Sober Stoner, maybe even the Doom Charts, against the likes of Hail the Void, Faery Ring, Snakemother and Acid King. Once you cross that line, it can be hard to go back…

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Damn This Wizard Tattoo

Look, your either gonna buy or stream this now, or you’re gonna wait 10 years or more until someone else pulls this out of the air and it gets celebrated for the classic that it is. You, gentle reader, have the opportunity to experience the greatness of Fables of the Damned and Wizard Tattoo now! Although I highly recommend buying them off Bandcamp and getting the lyrics to fully enjoy the experience.

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Brass of Doom: Eight Foot Manchild Worships at the Shrine of the Orange Sunn

f you’re already a fan of Eight Foot Manchild, this is an EP to go nuts over. If you’re new to the band, this is the perfect time to dive straight in. This is a well-planned and executed dose of Doombrass that exceeds my expectations in every way. With Shrine of the Orange Sunn, they’re clearly evolving past the “novelty act” they could easily become. The cleaver lyrics, nods to Zappa and Crimson, and movie clips are all here.

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DOOMED: Sermon of the Edacious Revenant by the Salt Pale Collective

What makes it enjoyable is the care, craft, and effort The Salt Pale Collective has put into it. I highly recommend it if you like dark atmosphere, brutal riffs, and a story worth listening to. They also slip in some clean, haunting vocals that add rather than distract from the narrative. These guys know what they’re doing!

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The Great Gray Funk

But if you crave something out of the ordinary, with a dash of elegance in your dark and foreboding music, The Great Gray Funk might be your next favorite band. And if you have anything in your audio gear better than generic iPods or Beats, you’re in for a sonic treat!

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Acid King: Beyond Freedom

Acid King strikes me as the quintessential American band. The real America, the one that doesn’t take sides, posturing, or force one’s will upon another. There’s only the open road ahead, full of possibilities and the consequences of our choices and actions. A ragtag tribe of misfits, worshipping the sound of a lone Gibson into an overdriven tube amp, head cocked back, eyes glazed and focusing on the ether as the chord goes ever on, the pulse of drums injecting chaos into the proceedings as the bass rattles our guts.

Cracked window paint

Lead paint doesn’t taste so bad

Slow that’s the only way I know.

Indeed, and as it ever was. The once and future Acid King.

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Queens of the Stone Age: In Times New Roman

I’m old school. An album is a complete body of work created to be enjoyed and experienced as a whole. As a Zeppelin fanatic, I’m all in on the album vs single concept. Zep stood their ground and I’m a firm believer in enjoying the complete soundscape, not snapshots. In Times New Roman checked this box for me; to be more accurate, it’s more like a laser-guided missile that hit precisely where that little check box on the card is. This, friends, is an album. Top to bottom, front to back.

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The Perfect Album: Snakemother

As powerful and crushing as the music is, there’s a lightness and effortlessness to the performances that take it beyond the genre of “Doom”, while remaining unmistakably DOOM. Snakemother are like a combination of Faetooth meets Messa with a dose of Opeth, YOB and Trouble, a dash of The Bangles and a hint of Bananarama. It all comes together to form that most elusive gem: The Perfect Album.

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WTF Is Clean And Sober Stoner?

So, if I’m really honest about it, Clean and Sober Stoner is partially a good-natured jab at the rigidity of traditional recovery. But it’s also a jab at Stoner/Doom culture as well, and the obsession the scene can have with a certain flower bud. It’s not out of anger, it’s just that the two extremes are kinda funny when you step back and look at it.

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Throwing Down Live at the Local 506: Imperfect Son, EvilLeaf and Lie Heavy

I always flashback to opening bands from back in the day, usually some variance of White suburban punk band with a chip on their shoulder and a bad cocaine habit coupled with an inhuman tolerance to alcohol while wearing a ripped Blag Flag or Bad Brains t-shirt. This was certainly not that.

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The Single Life: Luurch unleashes The Pull (AKA Giraffe Nuts)

Check out my reaction video (live, with the the band). Hit ’em up on Bandcamp, maybe even throw them a buck or two for the single. Luurch is the real thing, and if the upcoming full release is anything like this, they might have a monster on their hands.

And if I had a small, independent label, I’d take a few notes…

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Vote for Evil Leaf!!!

Evil Leaf have been great friends and supporters of this blog and YouTube Channel, and I don’t know what we’d do without them! They have a GOOD chance for a spot in a lineup that would give them great exposure and help take them to the next level. They’ve been working their asses off, and […]

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Hibernaut: Ingress

Ingress by Hibernaut is one of my favorite releases so far this year. There’s a spirit, a vibe to it that reminds me of the bad ol’ days, when underground bands didn’t stand a chance against the likes of Cinderella, Ratt or whoever else media moguls declared as Metal. Back in the days when you had to know about a release you read about in a fanzine, or your friends shared with you with hushed tones and wild eyes.

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Mean Green: How Mean is the Green?

This is the kind of “fame” that Mean Green is dealing with, right now. They went from being totally obscure in their niche in Boone, to hundreds of people being aware of them, buying their album and wanting to see them. I think it’s a scary spot to be in. It’s hard to make sense of it, hard to know what to do with it.

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