Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Wounded Kings - In the Chapel of the Black Hand

For a little back story, The Wounded Kings formed in 2005 and originated from Dartmoor, England.  In the Chapel of the Black Hand is their third full length album, and first album featuring female vocalist, Sharie Neyland.  I am sure many people were unsure of the sound of the band without the powerful vocals of George Birch, but with the end result, they change was far from disappointing.  Within the past few years, we have seen a rise of female vocalist in the genre of doom, occult rock, and metal in general, and these women add an element of uniqueness, mystique, and power to the genre of doom.  And this album is a perfect example of that because Sharie's vocals on top of the heavy guitar riffs just creates a dreary, depressing, and horrific blend of doom (in a excellent way!).

In the Chapel of the Black Hand is a total of 4 tracks and clocks in at 41:08; so, you know you are in for a long ride of some heavy fucking doom!  A slowly building organ sound from the church of hell slowly builds to become The Cult of Souls, and once the guitars come in, the sacrifice may now commence.  The guitar tone on this record is just so damn crunchy, thick, and ballsy, and to have it accompanied with such menacing slow, down tuned riffs adds to the heaviness displayed.  And to add, Sharie's clean vocals doused with tons of vibrato flowing over the riffs makes her sound possessed, demented, and tortured.  Which leads me to the overall production, the vocals don't overpower the music and vice versa; everything is evenly mixed.  None of the musicians are overly flashy, each instrument works around the riff and the organic nature of the song.  

One may can a 14 minute song keep you enthralled throughout the entire arrangement?  Well, The Wounded Kings add a good element of layers and textures full of organs, feedback, guitar effects, and chants to give the song dynamics.  With all of these elements involved it gives the songs the personality that they are trying to perceived through the lyrics.  As the album is about Sharie (or fictitious character) being sacrificed at the altar and the darkness that lurks around her.  The album closer, In the Chapel of the Black Hand, is a perfect example of the atmosphere of the whole entire album.  If the music doesn't drag you any closer to the dark realm, the closing lyrics of  "The body is gone, but the head needs the soul.  The heart no longer beats, but still the blood it flows" repeating over and over again shall draw you in.  And now we now see the doors to the chapel closing and the sacrifice is complete.

In conclusion, this is an excellent slab of doom and one of the top 10 contenders for heaviest records to come out this year.  The Wounded Kings are back stronger than ever, and without Sharie being on this record, I don't think  the record would sound as evil as it does.  Be doomed!

4 and half dropped A# chugs out of 5

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bands to check out if you haven't already...

Hello everyone, it has been a while since I have published anything on here, but I feel like I am going to keep this alive and do it every once in a while.  As there are plenty of blogs, this is more for keeping friends in the loop or sharing thoughts.  I recently have been digging on some new music, and if you haven't heard these....check em out!

Serpent Venom - Their debut full length Carnal Altar came out in the Fall of this year.  In the vein of Electric Wizard/Black Sabbath.  Long songs, riff-tastic, and just downright heavy.  One of my favorite records of the year.

The Wounded Kings - The English have done it again...One of the heaviest records to come out this year, and the first album with the female vocalist.  She adds an eccentric element of eerie vocal melodies on top of the crushing riffs.  4 long, songs that will take you on a trip!

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats - I wish I had a clear vision to describe this band, but the best way I can describe it is that they are heavily influenced by 60s psychedelia rock, but a lot heavier than most bands of that era.  The recording is vintage, the melodies are catchy, the guitar tone is dirty, and the vocals remind me of Big Elf (another awesome band).

The Heavy Eyes - I discovered this guys from other blog sites and the record has been getting a lot of talk.  If you are all about some vintage rock n roll, this is it.  Old school, riffy, and straight to the point.  Many bands do it, but I never get tired of it personally, and this song just rocks the house.

Alright, I will have more music to come, but this should leave you happy for the time being.  I am hope you enjoy it, and if you have any recommendations and what you would like to see on here, let me know.

And with that, I will leave you with the girl pick of the day.  Allison Brie of Mad Men and Community.  Cheers!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Could I say more Stoner Rock!

As my friend DC mentioned the stoner rock scene in UK is pretty badass too, so, I am going to represent some stoner rock from the UK and Japan.  Here are some videos that you should check out, click on the band  and it will take you to the youtube:

Church of Misery (Japan) - Most of their songs about serial killers, but the music is heavy, riffy, bluesy, and you wouldn't know that they were from Japan!

Orange Goblin (UK) - RIP.  I was fortunate enough to see these guys on a reunion tour twice this year, and they are one of the best stoner rock bands around.  Killer riffs, beer-drinking, and hell-raising rock n roll!

Eternal Elysium (Japan) - Riffs, riffs, and riffs.  The album Spiritualized D has some of the heaviest rock riffs known to man, and this album to me, just kills it.

Black Sabbath (UK) - It would be wrong not to have the innovators of the genre to be listed on here.  Some of you heard the radio hits, but you should really look into the deep cuts.  Iommi knows how to write riffs, check this one out, this was in the early 1970s!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stoner Rock continues.....

More stoner rock goodness that you should get on board for!  So far, it has all been from Sweden and the USA, but it is true..that for the most part, the best stuff comes from these two countries.  The links are below, you just have to light them up with your mouse.  Enjoy!

Truckfighters (Sweden)

Kyuss (USA)

Fu Manchu (USA)

Lowrider (Sweden)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stoner Rock Kind of Week

For those that don't know much about Stoner Rock, it was a term coined in the early 90s, and I mean, the music is self explanatory, hahaha.  However, if you want more of a description, most bands take the Black Sabbath approach with their riffs incorporating fuzzy guitar tones, the singing is throaty/singing for the most part, heavy, thick bass lines, and grooving drums.  You could also say that Stoner Rock is influenced by 60s and 70s rock with a more modern sound to it; hence, giving it a genre name.  Also, some have gone by the tag, Desert Rock because bands coined "Stoner Rock" originated in the desert of California (i.e. Kyuss as a prime example).  Well, being on a Kyuss kick, and want to get the rest of the world into some, sweet delicious riffs, here are some of my favorites:

Halfway to Gone (USA)

Sasquatch (USA)

Roachpowder (Sweden)

Dozer (Sweden)

More to come throughout the week, but this should quench your thirst!  And thank you Chad for showing me stoner rock over 8 years ago!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Road Trip

Well, I made it back safe and it was a hell of a ride.  So, basically what I did was drove all the way down to Texas, and then back to Michigan.  I made a few stops along the way, I got to see my Aunt and Uncle in Driftwood, TX, and then I got to see some old friends in Chicago, IL.  If there is one thing I can say about traveling by yourself, it gives you a lot of time to think.  Whether it is the past, present, or future, it was constantly on my mind.  And the last two years, they have not been what I like to consider great years.  Sure, some of awesome things did happen throughout these years, but overall, the bad outweighed the good in my opinion.  Well, now it has started having a toll on my well-being, and I am in the "who am I?" phase in my life.  I hate this stupid garbage, but it happens to all of us at some point.  Well, the conclusion that I came to while traveling was I need to move, I need to change my direction, and I need to do something different for a little while.  Change is good, and I have been ready for a long time, but I have just let myself stay stagnant for too long.  Now, it isn't going to be overnight, but it is going to sooner than later.

However, before I make this next step, I have decided that I must create a project that defines what the last two years have been like, and close that chapter of my life properly.  I must be ambitious, work-hard, and make something out of it; so, I have documentation of this time period.  So, I plan on calling the project, The Great Escape, and it is going to have elements of post-rock/doom/stoner/the cure/depeche mode.  Well, I really don't know how it is going to turn out yet, but this is the vision that I have.  Encouragement is welcome, and I know I need to do this.  I am going to push hard to make it happen.  For those that read this, thank you and hope you enjoyed it.

Your pal,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Top 10 albums to Bring on a Road Trip

Well, this week, I took upon myself to drive down south alone in a two day trek.  First day, I drove for 13 hours, and the second, I drove for about 9 hours.  And I never remember before on a road trip having to piss as much as I had, but it could have been the coffee, the energy drinks, and the powerade, however, every two hours, come on!  Anyway, back to the story, it is essential that you have plenty of music, which I probably brought over 50 CDs with me just in case.  The ones that definitely made this trip a satisfying trip were (not in any particular order):

1.  Kyuss - Welcome to Sky Valley
2.  Down - NOLA
3.  Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
4.  Orchid - Capricorn
5.  In Solitude - The World, The Flesh, The Devil
6.  Ghost - Opus Eponymous
7.  Graveyard - Hisengen Blues
8.  King Diamond - Abigail (at night)
9.  Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
10.  YOB - The Great Cessation (any YOB really)

I know it is mostly metal, but trust me, it makes great driving music!  Ps.  Never listen to Decapitated during rush hour in Dallas traffic.  That was chaos.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Band of the Day

Iron Monkey.  Iron Monkey is a sludge band from England that came to a halt when their vocalist died.  They have 2 albums, Iron Monkey and Our Problem.  Highly recommended is Our Problem.  Whether you are sober, angry, or just in the mood that requires slow, heavy riffs, pummeling/caveman like drums, and vomiting-induced screaming, this album is for you.  Disclaimer: Do not listen to this band while drunk on whiskey, it will lead to fights, holes in walls, broken glass, the whole nine.  However, if you do want that, then, well, this band will do it for you as well.  Check out the link below!

Iron Monkey - Bad Year