Label: Sentient Ruin Laboratories
Country of Origin: Oakland,CA, USA
Style: Crust/Sludge/Doom/Death Metal
After the listener presses play a wall of sound engulfs them in something akin to total darkness, cloying mud one can only imagine belonging at the deepest nether regions of the underworld tugging the unsuspecting under suffocating with its insistence as thunderous rhythms suggest a chorus of mirth from those witnessing the event.
Greg Wilkinson (of Graves at Sea, Carrion and Laudanum fame) is the only person (though I must mention drums are courtesy of Chad Gailey) to blame for this cacophonous slab of wickedness and also the one to praise as this is quite a treat blending all manner of nefarious metal in a single cohesive bundle designed to cause harm and incite riotous behavior. Sludge movements collide with Crust sensibilities overshadowed by a blackened death element that envelopes the whole shebang in darkness and evil.
An amazing debut that crushes displaying oodles of promise for the future of Leather Glove utilizing a style that destroys boundaries with no regard for genre rules whatsoever.
Highly recommended but not for those that sleep in a room whose walls are adorned by Quiet Riot, Kiss or Journey posters.
Of Ash and Dying Light (split)
Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records
Country of Origin: Saskatchewan; Canada
Style: Doom/Avant Garde/Gothic/Death/Symphonic Black Metal
Altars of Grief have an unmistakable Novembers Doom vibe, that of beauty and sweeping melodies, add to that epic themes and mid-tempo groove laden death and black interludes reminiscent of My Dying Bride with a dual vocal arrangement (clean traditional and unholy shrieks) and you have an act that demands attention.
Overall an excellent showing from two acts that boldly state that Canada is no place to overlook in relation to metal with a grandeur edge. Pick this up and keep an eye on both very promising acts.
Country of Origin: Melbourne; Australia
Style: Doom/Stoner Rock/Heavy Metal
The vocals come from all corners (everyone is cited but the drummer) often suggesting a punk influence, while in other instances a more guttural approach which only cements the fact that Stone Grave aren’t your typical doom act. They boast a uniqueness, an appeal, that if there’s any justice should be well received by doom and stoner rock fans alike.
Injecting just enough of their own style while keeping traditional elements alive Stone Grave have forged an album that will perk up fans of the old, traditional, doom school and also those that demand their audio to veer away from the path of the ‘same old’.
Plucked from the Vault of Cult
Label: Desecration/ Necropolis Records
Country of Origin: Sweden
Style: Blackened Thrash/Death Metal
(remastered for bandcamp in 2015)
This was more than merely thrash, far and miles away from what I was getting accustomed to; the likes of Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. This was dripping in evil, oozing with lyrical themes centered around Satan, Satanic rites and all manner of activities one certainly wouldn’t find mentioned in a Dr. Seuss tome. However, Triumphant Devastation also boasts blistering riffs (many reeking of NWOBHM influence) and drums rhythms that entice, no, entrance you to move, damn it move!
In my opinion this is undoubtedly an album that will raise a few eyebrow and cause limbs to move, seemingly, of their own accord.
Damn impressive even after twenty years!