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April 14, 2014
MAMMOTH STORMPlodding, tar-lathered metal-fed groove doom from Sweden.
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April 8, 2014
LADY FLINT Explosive stoner blues rock duo from Marselle, France.
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April 7, 2014
KING DEAD Doomy psyche-tinged spaghetti western sludge from PA.
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April 2, 2014
GROGGYBlues-obsessed fuzzy garage rock duo from Omsk, Russia.
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March 31, 2014
THE SILENT LOWMelodic, hard-hitting, attitude-driven stoner rock from Denmark.
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March 25, 2014
GRAILPsychedelic punk with a southern demonic desert groove out of Texas.
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March 24, 2014
LORD OF GIANTSincere, lumbering, 70's influenced heavy rock from Germany.
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March 19, 2014
WOVOKA Intense yet melodic, brutal gut-twisting post-metal sludge from LA.
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March 16, 2014
HEAVY VOODOO
Torpedo riffs, hazy grooves and cosmic stoner sleaze from Portland.
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March 13, 2014
SPIRITUAL VOID
Toxic, heavy southern groove metal attitude from Brazil.
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March 11, 2014
SOUTHERN STATE
Somber, shoegazing post-metal sludge from Columbus, Ohio.
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March 10, 2014
HYPERGIANT
Cosmic, gravity-defying stoner fuzziness from Sydney, Australia
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March 6, 2014
KHEMMIS
Fuzz-filled, snail-paced riff-praising doom from Denver, CO.
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March 5, 2014
BITCHCRAFT
Polish doom band with female vocals is a fuzz worshippers dream
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March 4, 2014
DRUG MOTHER
Sleazy, fat and dirty stoner metal riffs from down under.
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March 2, 2014
SPIRAL GURU
Newly formed 70's inspired stoner doom band from Brazil.
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Feb. 27, 2014
TIMESTONE
Expansive psychedelics and dusty grooves from Austria.
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Feb. 25, 2014
RHINO
Fuzzed-out heavy desert grooves from Catania, Italy.
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Feb. 24, 2014
SOLAIRE
Get stuck in some sludgey stoner groove from South Carolina. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 20, 2014
HADDOCK
Heavy lightning in a bottle stoner boogie groove from Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 19, 2014
VALFADER
Stirring progressive ambient doom from Bath, UK
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Feb. 17, 2014
BRUNT
Intense instrumental sludgefuzz from these Guernsey blokes. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 15, 2014
MATUSHKA
Swirling hypnotic heavy psychedelic rock from St. Petersburg, Russia. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 10, 2014
MOPE
Sultry and somber jazz-laden ambient doom from Genoa, Italy.
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Feb. 8, 2014
LANDSKAP
Late 60's early 70's influenced heavy psychedelic rock from London.
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Feb. 5, 2014
TOMBSEALER
Death/Doom/Thrash from the mean streets of Adelaide, Australia.
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Feb. 4, 2014
SLUG SALT LAVA
Doomy apocalyptic instrumental Sludge from Istanbul, Turkey.
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Feb. 2, 2014
MIST
Spell-binding all-female occult doom from Ljubljana,Slovenia.
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Feb. 1, 2014
GRIT
Heavy heartfelt psychedelic jams from Heidelberg, Germany.
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Jan. 30, 2014
9OZ OF NOTHING
Riff Heavy Stoner Doom with Southern grit from Athens, Greece
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Jan. 27, 2014
BRILLIANT MACHINE
Chest collapsing progressive heaviness from Ventura, CA
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Jan. 25, 2014
OUTWAILED
Genre-defying atmospheric mood music from Tampere, Finland. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 23, 2014
YURI GAGARIN
Freaked-out psychedelic space rock from Gothenburg, Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 22, 2014
BLACK SNAKE
Swamp-infested grooves and fuzzy desert riffs from Portland,Oregon.
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Jan. 21, 2014
BORDEL INFERNO Gritty heavy rock, solid riffs from Rio de Janiero.
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Jan. 20, 2014
OVERLORD Melodic groove-oriented Heavy Rock from Oxford.
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Jan. 19, 2014
A DAY AS WOLVES Garage-rock inspired bluesy fuzz and roll from Alberta, Canada. Eh! facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 18,2014
NAKED BROWN Hard-hitting Polish heavy rock in the vein of Clutch and Motorhead.
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Jan. 17, 2014
OMEGA SUN
Smoke obsessed Stoner Doom from Slovenia. Free demo.
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Album Review - King Giant: Southern Darkness

"this album was made with gibson, gretsch and prs guitars, marshall and ampeg amps, harley davidson motorcycles, heineken, stella artois, quatro via, maker's mark, buffalo trace, red bull, twinnings earl grey tea, tatuaje cigars, copenhagen long cut, east west grill, the good but expensive food bar at whole foods...and a penchant for story tellin', a fascination with the macabre, and a healthy dose of general discontent."

So says the inner sleeve of the new King Giant long play "Southern Darkness". Fellas...you had me at Gibson. Despite the absolute kick assedness of the above quote, the music immediately backs up those words as opening track "Solace" bears down with an utterly heavy riff, pounding drums and vocals that sound like they've been marinated in whiskey for weeks. Folks, this is Southern fried metal at its finest and frankly, it's been awhile since I've heard something this good...better yet, this pure.

When listening to "Southern Darkness", it's easy to draw comparisons to other mid-Atlantic stoner/doom staples like Sixty Watt Shaman and of course Clutch. As a matter of fact, on "Burning Regrets", the album's second track, the combination of the sludgy guitar and Hammerly's rasp, draw such a striking resemblence to "Transnational Speedway League" era Clutch, that I half expected to hear Neil Fallon moan "they call me El Jefe". Don't get me wrong people, this is no knock on King Giant by any stretch...quite the contrary, it's a compliment.

The music stands out throughout the album. Realizing that there are some true guitar talents in the world of sludge rock (Scott "Wino" Weinrich and Tim Sult just to name a couple), when listening to many bands of this ilk, it isn't uncommon for the guitar to get completely buried in the muck. Not so with King Giant, as Todd Ingram lays down some downright sick guitar solos on this record, setting these guys apart from a lot of their peers. Furthermore, is that a banjo I hear on "13 to 1"? How many metal bands manage to pull that off? And while the leads are certainly noteworthy, they merely compliment the overall experience. Piling up all of the dirty, frozen snow banks that were plowed onto the sides of the roads in Northern Virginia (where these guys call home) this Winter, couldn't match the heaviness that results when you combine Kowalski's riffage with Walters' and Brooks' rhythm section.

But enough about the actual music, this review wouldn't be complete without mentioning King Giant's lyrics and more importantly, Hammerly's delivery. On "Mississippi River" when he sings "I gave her a lesson someone needed to give her...now they're draggin' for her bones in the Mississippi River", you have to hope that aforementioned quote is true when they mention "story tellin'". These guys can be downright scary. Of course there's lighter fare as well, such as on the open highway, motorcycle anthem "Desert Run" when Hammerly opines "a couple hundred miles, my first stop of the day...fill the tank, grab a beer, I'm on my way". Ahh...makes me turn the volume knob to the right, hit the gas pedal and wish to God my Honda Civic was a Harley!

After doing a little research, I learned that King Giant lost their original vocalist, Bob Dotolo, back in 2007 (RIP brother). Having learned that, I'm all the more impressed at what I hear on "Southern Darkness". No disrespect to the band's former vocalist, but Hammerly's hoarse wail is so perfect for this music, I can't imagine another voice fronting this band. When he sings "I'm still chasing you away...3 shots of whiskey every day" on "Lady Whiskey", you not only feel his pain, you believe that he's broken hearted, hurt and downright pissed off about it.

King Giant fall into a category of bands that span the globe, but honestly, this album could only be made in the American South. It's like listening to Down...or better yet, one of the true outlaw country artists like Waylon Jennings fronting Down...but with an even badder attitude. As a matter of fact, if Johnny Cash rose from the grave and started a metal band, this is what it might sound like. Folks, this is some serious shit. King Giant isn't music that's meant to be fun. No, this is music that's meant to exorcise demons.

Recommended...with a shot of whiskey.

Track Listing:

01. Solace
02. Burning Regrets
03. 13 to 1
04. Potter's Field
05. Mississippi River
06. Lady Whiskey
07. Machine Gun Mantra
08. Hollow
09. Shindig
10. Desert Run
Bonus Track - Needle and the Spoon

Band Members:

Floyd Walters III - Bass
Todd "T.I." Ingram - Lead Guitar
Dave Hammerly - Vocals
Brooks - Drums
David Kowalski - Rhythm Guitar

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6 comments:

  1. TI rocks! He is one sick guitar player and an all around great guy as well.

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  2. Many thanks to the legendary Big Al Sevilla for killer banjo work on 13 to 1.

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  3. King Giant rocks out! They perform everytime like it is their last! Very entertaining! T.I. Rocks the house on lead. The whole sound is very modern solid rock.

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  4. Listening to this album right now. Killer.

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  5. I just wanted to say that I downloaded this album, and I'm loving it so far. In fact, I love pretty much everything you put on this damn blog.

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  6. Well, that is an awesome comment. Look for a new release from King Giant in January 2012.

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