Sunday Stoner Sludge Sermon Green Bastard and Jagged Mouth

Green Bastard - Pyre album coverMaybe its the effect of the cleaning products I have used in the bathroom and kitchen this Sunday morning I can imagine New England stoner-doom trio Green Bastard will cause a stir when they release their debut LP, Pyre on November 16th 2016 on Midnight Werewolf records as a cassette and download as it creates the expectation of an epic listen.

Three tortuous tracks are on offer by the three tortuous members with their slow-baked slackened sludge. There’s something ‘post rock’ about this in their detached, disharmonic guitar sound but it’s barrelling juggernaut behemoth sound will in grain itself in to the subconscious of the unconscious sludge fans I am sure!

I am a little disappointed with the vocals here as they are a little weak in my opinion, it sounds like he can’t keep the note he is aiming for at times and there is a distinct lack of bass sound! The constant fuzz maelstrom is omnipresent but not deep enough for my taste. It can appear a little two-dimensional, and I want to escape in to a four or five-dimensional ocean of sound.

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Best of 2016 Ken’s Favorites

Kim & Ken holding hands Goodbye, good riddance and FUCK YOU, 2016.

While I begin writing this, I am overcome with a rush of emotions. To say that is was a rough year for my family would be an understatement.

As some of you already know, my wife of 20 years and my best friend and soul mate of almost 30 had a heart attack and nearly died during a scheduled open heart surgery to replace a defective valve. She would end up having two more open heart surgeries (three total over three days), and then flat line several times in the days that followed, two of those times while myself and our two teenage children were in the room.

In the weeks that followed, days seemed to never end. Time pretty much stood still. She spent 21 days in the CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) in a drug induced coma, while 16 different drips, two cardiac machines and a heart pump helped keep her alive and her heart beating as close to a normal sinus rhythm as possible, until it was strong enough to beat on its own.

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Wasted Theory Defenders of the Riff

Wasted Theory - Defenders of the Riff After two years of touring and doing shows across the country, southern/stoner metal quartet Wasted Theory are back once again, which means it took them two years to put in the finishing touches on their recent studio jams, releasing their sophomore album Defenders of the Riff, a follow-up to their successful debut album, Death and Taxes. With their second album, Wasted Theory have started where they left off with their debut and now they have brought it back to life, shape it up, a bit different sound wise, however they have kept the soundscape of the band’s music. But what’s the difference between these two records?

By skipping the first two EPs from the band, Cinco Dechado De Cancion and Godspeed that was just a collection of a bunch of cool jams and not pointing to the true face of Wasted Theory’s music, you get to Death and Taxes. This was released in 2014 and was a powerful debut from Wasted Theory’s camp and was a [bit] modern sounded southern/stoner metal, whose potent hard rock side was bold and immense, yet the production kept the sound close to the retro type of sound of its genre. But when it comes to Defenders of the Riff everything seems are in the opposite way. The album’s production is more modern than the debut album, which made the music sharper and less vintage sounding and these are riffs and melodies, delivered from ages of heavy rock music, just like the album cover the colorings of which and characters recall the old school dark fantasy / sci-fi comic books.

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Kurokuma: Advorsus & Shit and Shine: Teardrops ~ Two Sides of the Same Melting Coin

Kuromuka - Advorsus album coverNoise and discordant sounds that attract us folk that are not always content with sweet sounds of Shalamar have developed over the last few decades incorporating electronica and glitch music. And here we have two purveyors illustrating the different sides of the same coin. Where Kurokuma approach their craft slowly building notes and riffs to develop their sound, Shit and Shine sound to me like they want to explode their sound in a free jazz kinda way!

Kurokuma’s Advorsus opens with “Lust,” a precisely played and executed track on a stonkingly good vibe that can easily get me out of my chair stomping around the room. With elements of drone, sludge as well as playful psychedelia and tribal percussion. And “Dark Triad” opens with more tribal drumming akin to the surprise Sepultura gave us in the mid 90s!

But don’t get too comfortable with this ethnic thrift shop sound as it will suddenly rip forth with electric amplified fuzz and alternating harsh screams and bowel loosening death growls. Before final track “Kali” treats us to some raging psyche guitar shredding played over the pounding drums and harsh/growl vocals before simple power riffs take centre stage.

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FAM: Human Cargo & Negative Thought Process: Methylene Butterfly

FAM - Human Cargo album coverThis summer has seen a crop of terrific d-beat and grindcore releases. And in the true tradition of the wedding season here we have something old and something new, with FAM who have been going a handful of years, and of course due to the speed they play its like cat years, and they are long in the tooth in grindcore years, alongside Negative Thought Process who are just starting out with this their debut.

FAM are a brutal Polish grind band who do remind me of those early albums by Napalm Death and Carcass. Its that deep end rumble of the grindcrusher that is so excellently evidenced here. And Human Cargo is their new album, released on Deformeathing Productions on September 3rd, 2016. The album cover is so 1990s, a gas mask with soldier’s tin helmet and the main nose area is made of a human in fetal position. It reminds me of those busy Napalm Death covers like Enslavement, or Mentally Murdered.

And musically? Well, tracks are one to three minutes long, blasting forth their layered 3D texture assault, with super fast drumming and that churning bass and guitar I could be forgiven for thinking its Shane Embury powerhouse. “Bukowski,” not only a great writer but is also a belter of a one minute track, followed by “epic” three whole minutes of “Belt” which even toys with the idea of guitar leads. But not for long. Surprise finisher is a cover of My Dying Bride’s “All Swept Away.”

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TEOREMA S/T

Teorema_album_cover Finally seeing a proper CD release on Via Nocturna after a low key original release in 2015, Mexican duo Teorema set out on a rather varied stall in their band biog of post rock, doom, noisy ambience and somewhere they say folk.

Largely instrumental to start, where the post rock feels comes to the fore, but by track three “Damned Country,” we have guttural death grunting style vocals, in which sounds a far more traditional deathly grindcore tune, whilst “Saint Place” has some echoey easy going guitar strumming – is this the folk they speak of?

For a band that states ‘incorporates elements of sludge metal, drone, doom, ambient, folk and noise rock’ I am finding this rather dull and not as varied as I hoped.

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FEIGN Atlas

Feign - Atlas album cover Feign, a one band outfit from the USA sounds words away from Useless, from where I have just come from. A cleaner, punchier sound drawing from black, blackened gaze, death and thrash at times to create a piece bordering on cosmic technology.

It reminds me of Nocturnus in the way it’s crisp sound cuts the air, and the guitar sound really draws from even early Metallica in my humble opinion! Where some bands like Twilight Fauna take you to deep forests or Scandinavians take you to windswept mountain tops, and Useless take you to the darkest depths of your psyche, Feign seem to help me explore other inner worlds with their inner gaze.

Maybe it’s this clean sound that gives me a sci-fi feel, and hence my cosmic thoughts.

This follows on from their well-received demo Into the Void, which was also put out by Into the Night Records a few years ago, and this now sees them release their debut full length. As the album develops we are peppered with moments of bliss, such as “Haven on the Sky” and “Stargazer,” which act as either respite, or introductions in to the following tranche of heavy duty power.

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