Brothers of the Sonic Cloth: 2016 European Tour


The bellowing trio of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth (Tad Doyle, Peggy Doyle and Dave French) embark on their first European tour beginning next week, in support of their astoundingly heavy debut self-titled full-length, which saw release last year through Neurot Recordings. This tour will see the band start with a date in London and rumble through France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany, before wrapping it up with a set at this year’s Roadburn, the spiritual home of all things low-end and high-powered.

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Frank’s Guide to Power Metal, Part I: European


Have you ever wondered what kind of Power Metal is right for you?

No? Oh…well…pretend you have.

Like many other metal genres, not all Power Metal is the same. There are many different bands that vary in sound, style and cheesiness. No worries; I am here to help you (as much as one average fan can).

I have narrowed it down to five sub-genres of Power Metal.

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Pensevor: Klothod

Pensevor - Klothod album cover Date Released: 05/06/2016
Label: Hibernacula Records
Album Type: Full Length
Album info: Bandcamp

My doom claws come out within the first minute of this album! And the mesmerising doom nod is close behind. This is a monolithic, psychedelic, slab of despairing doom, with as a I mentioned a psychedelic feel. Its hypno-monotonic drum beat accompanied with the vocal stylings of Mark Jennings make this four piece from Farnborough in leafy Hampshire a beast of a band!

This is the debut long player from Pensevor, being released on Hibernacula Records. The band have been around since 2011, releasing a self-titled EP in 2013, available on Bandcamp. You can listen to it below.

Klothod is a juggernaut of a sound that has relentless barrage of a non stop tsunami wave. It’s not necessarily that heavy, or big, but just keeps rolling and rolling and rolling, And with song titles such as “Sewerpuss” and “Dungeoness” (Dungeness is a small parcel of land in the UK known for its bleak coastal landscape and power station) I like the way their wordsmith thinks.

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Palace of Worms: The Ladder

Palace of Worms - The Ladder album cover Date Released: 04/08/2016
Label: Broken Limbs
Album Type: Full Length
Band/Album info: Bandcamp

As this opens it caught me off guard – I had to check I’d hit play on the right album, as I hear something akin to Eastern European folk tunes, but then, ah yes, the growl comes in along with the electric guitar and we open up in to slow grumbling death rock not far off from the old Peaceville three.

Palace of Worms have long been a standard US black metal band, or one man band, and this album sees him move in a different direction. It is much slower and gloomier than before, hence my Peaceville three comparisons. It’s not as dramatic as say My Dying Bride, but includes the odd pseudo operatic style vocals at times. But more in the camp of Paradise Lost. It certainly has a more theatrical Christian death style sound to it with depth. And less BM howls.

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Dead Register: Fiber

Dead Register - Fiber album cover Date Released: 05/06/2016
Label: AVR Records
Album Type: Full Length
Album info: Bandcamp

Dead Register’s sound is a crushing grunge sound, with the moodiness of the more insular shoe gazers, and say, the power of Soundgarden. It really harks back to those hedonistic summer days of the 90s when this sound was King.

Atlanta’s three piece Dead Register are due to release their debut album, Fiber, on their own AVR label on May 6th 2016, and they have been causing a bit of a stir in their own neck of the woods. So this album does deserve some attention.

Album opener “Alone” sets out the atmosphere well with a slow guitar intro followed by crash of drums and full band accompaniment. With a track title like “Alone,” we know straight away the sentiments of the band and this albums story. Continue reading

Vodun: Possession

Vodun - Possession album cover Date Released: 03/25/2016
Label: Riff Rock Records
Album Type: Full Length
Band/Album info: Website

Vodun (or Voodoo) is a West African religion that centers around the vodun spirits and other elements of divine essence that govern the Earth, a hierarchy that range in power from major deities governing the forces of nature and human society to the spirits of individual streams, trees, and rocks, as well as dozens of ethnic vodun, defenders of a certain clan, tribe, or nation.

Vodun (the Band) are a weird, spiritual trio hailing from London, England. The band consists of Ogoun on drums, Marassa playing guitar and Oya, the high priestess of unearthly chants and more handling vocals. Possession is the bands second release, the first being the 2013 EP Eat Up The Sun. The track “Mawu” is the only song to appear on both releases.

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Serpentskirt: Spirit Race

Serpentskirt - Spirit Race album cover Date Released: 02/02/2016
Label: Independent
Album Type: EP
Album info: Bandcamp

After dropping a handful of demos, Candace Miller (baritone guitar/vocals) and Devlin Goldberg (drums/vocals), the two-piece better known as Serpentskirt, have released their debut EP, Spirit Race.

Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Serpentskirt juggle elements of the occult with doom undertones and cover them nicely in a blanket of witch rock.

“Little Poison” kicks things off with a gentle, yet gritty riff. One of the first thing you’ll notice are the beautiful vocals. I’m not sure who is singing lead, Candace or Devlin, but it really doesn’t matter. “With Wolves” keeps things going with a similar vibe, and a slightly heavier mid song guitar riff picks up the pace a bit.

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Primitive Man / Northless: Split

Short review of the Primitive Man / Northless split was originally written for About Heavy Metal.

Primitive Man / Northless - Split album coverDate Released: 03/04/2016
Label: Halo of Flies
Album Type: Split
Album info: Bandcamp

Primitive Man are a doom trio from Denver, Colorado, that formed in 2012, and basically have been touring and recording nonstop ever since.

Northless, a sludge/doom foursome hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have released no less than ten recordings since 2007.

The two bands come together for what can only be described as an enormously loud and devastating recording.

On this split, Primitive Man offer up one magnificent song, the bleak and unrelenting “Empty Husk,” which clocks in at just over 15 grueling minutes. The other three songs belong to Northless, with the stand out track being the closer, “Wasted Breath.”

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Power Metal: The Magic And Might

Keeper_of_the_Seven_Keys_Part_1To people that know me, either in real life or through social media, it’s no secret how much I love Power Metal. I listen to and talk about it plenty. Hell…I even capitalize the first letter in each word. I love many different genres of metal but Power Metal will always be my favorite genre. Why, you ask? Come sit at the hall and I shall tell you the tale.

It all started with my introduction to heavy metal… Manowar. Although they are considered traditional heavy metal they, along with Dio and others, laid the groundwork for what is Power Metal. The glory, majesty and unity of the self-proclaimed “kings of metal” attracted me to that style. I’ll get into that a bit later. My real awakening to Power Metal was Helloween’s ‘Keeper Of The Seven Keys Pts. I and II’. It brought melody, silliness and fun. It’s what I needed at that time in my life.

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