Once More 'Round the Sun is Mastodon's sixth studio album and the first after the stop-gap live opus Live at Brixton, which was a perfect capture of the aggression and immersive nature of a Mastodon show. As always with a Mastodon album, it is eclectic, intricate and yet insanely abrasive with the progressive delicate tone that they have always been noted for. Once More 'Round the Sun has in places a distinct math-core feel brewed into the thick sonic sludge of the usual prog-rock/doomy Mastodon DNA.
From the almost Gaelic introduction to "The Wrecking Ball Unchained" that leads to a pulsating Red Fang-esq riff and semi Bruce Dickenson vocals (but with a somehow more guttural edge, a growling knife point if you wish), Wild Throne seek to subvert your sense of hearing with their powerfully noise-ridden elegance.
Live at Brixton was captured at a February 2012 gig at the Brixton Academy in London, UK, where Mastodon plow through 23 tracks and 97 minutes encompassing their entire back catalogue. It seems to me as though Mastodon have never put out a poor album (to date anyway), so this effectively greatest hits live album, was sure to excel wasn't it?
Well, here we are, another new, supposedly last farewell album from Ministry. If memory serves me correctly, The Last Sucker was meant to be the final act, but since then we have had the impressive Relapse and now From Beer to Eternity (FBTE). The release of this album is understandable however as indeed, this recording could very well be the last. It is essentially melded together from tracks Al Jourgensen and Mike Scaccia produced shortly before his tragic death from a heart attack whilst on stage with his other band 'Rigor Mortis.
Now before we start let me get this off my chest, Kyuss are one of my all-time favourite bands. Like all favourite bands; however, you tend to have to extend the gaps between listening to their albums as you have usually abused their records far too much to appreciate them anymore. So hearing that Kyuss Lives were to record a new album filled me with a sense of anticipation I maybe haven't felt about music in a while, but also quite a bit of trepidation [What if they are really bad? What if their sound misses the absent members of Kyuss too much? And so on...].
In general, I am always a little wary of self-titled albums as sometimes they tend to be a little light on substance, but make no mistake, this is an aggressively catchy thrash record which in part nods to the 80's thrash "Big 4", but still tries to carve out a niche in the new breed thrash establishment of today.
Coventry’s finest Stoner Doom outfit, ‘Genera’, support the mighty Napalm Death, with their usual brand of Drop C tuned intensity. Fantastic show, new album due out soon. Produced by Billy Anderson and recorded by Greg Chandler. Got the shots using a Nikon D200, Speedlight SB-600 & Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.
Birmingham natives Alunah took the stage at the small and intimate Nottingham, Old Angel. Their brand of extremely fuzzed and desert sound is perfect for that venue. A great set and a great feel about the night. We caught it on a Nikon D200, Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.
Bill Steer from Carcass’ side project Firebird, took the stage for their blues-rock themed performance. The night was all good grooving, stoner rock with some serious 60’s undertones. The photos were taken with a Nikon D200, Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.
Widows Old Angel's blend of heavy riffs and electronica made them the best surprise band I’ve seen in a while. Stacked full of crazed energy and talent, these guys tore the stage apart. I captured it on my Nikon D200, Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.
Solace, one of my all time favourite bands, supporting Orange Goblin on their Christmas show tour. Amazing set, brutal, heavy as anything. Fun times! Even joined at the end by Ben Ward to sing. All captured with a Nikon D200, Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.
I’d watch these guys anytime I can, and I do! Orange Goblin ALWAYS put on the best shows! This, their Christmas tour, which they do annually in London, but this year they brought it around the UK with some of the best support I have seen them with in years. Relaxed and intense, this gigs was one of the best I’ve ever seen them play! Shot on a Nikon D200, Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.
The masters of the dirty riff came swaggering into the middle of the UK and owned the stage on April 24th, 2010. This was an awesome gig, which also included the singer from Year Long Disaster howling out on the new stuff. Best gig of the year in my opinion and all shot with a Nikon D200, Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.
One of the dirtiest, sleaziest bunch of scumbags you’re ever likely to even attempt to listen to. They stink, but oh my it’s the most pleasant disgusting stench you’ll ever smell! I remember standing by the Snickers Bowl waiting for Viking Skull to drag their respective butts on stage in a pokey side stage at Donnington’s Download festival one year (2004?!).
I have loved Monster Magnet for as long as I have owned my own stereo, ripping through their early offerings with glee, although of late I have been a little confused by their lackluster newer material. Nevertheless, and being that Riotgod features Monster Magnet's Bob Pantella and Jim Baglino, I was really eager to hear this album and jumped at the chance to review it.
Southern Darkness is downright bluesy, groove ridden and has more than a tinge of stoner heaviness that doesn’t drown the dirty riff action. King Giant’s offering intrigued me from the very pitch that landed in my inbox late one Sunday afternoon. Labeled as "...Ominous Southern Groove", this really heightened my interest on a number of levels and resulted in my instant request to do this review.
Candlelight Records today confirms September 28th as the North American release date for 'In the Absence of Light', the second full-length album from black metallers Abigail Williams. Recorded at Conquistador Studios in Cleveland, Ohio, the album was mixed by Peter Tagtgren (Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Celtic Frost) and features artwork by Farron Kerzner (Nachtmystium, Lightning Swords of Death).
Now, this is a band I’ve heard of in the past, but sadly not actually had any exposure to. Nevertheless, as soon as the first note of this release hit my ear drums what I heard was thoroughly unexpected and thankfully, extremely welcome. Elements of experimental metal, a nice thick slab of grinding ripping guitars, insane drumming and throat lacerating vocals are all served up by way of a stomach churning and bloodied cement mixer pouring its contents directly into your ears.
I have to admit, I chose this album because I liked the artwork. It reminded me of something either Cathedral or their ilk may have chosen to use. I hurriedly placed this in my ITunes to have a listen, and without sounding either too underwhelmed or over-enthused (I appreciate the bi-polar nature of that statement), I was at times quite in awe whilst at the same time wondering if there was more to come in some, as yet, inaudible layer, magically laid over the top.
Nebula, the masters of the fuzzed rock played the small and very intimate Old Angel in Nottingham. The show was sweaty, packed with people and crazy all the night through. And of course, all captures on a Nikon D200, Sigma 24-70mmD 1:2.8 EX DG.