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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
Torpedo riffs, hazy grooves and cosmic stoner sleaze from Portland.
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March 13, 2014
Toxic, heavy southern groove metal attitude from Brazil.
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March 11, 2014
Somber, shoegazing post-metal sludge from Columbus, Ohio.
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March 10, 2014
Cosmic, gravity-defying stoner fuzziness from Sydney, Australia
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March 6, 2014
Fuzz-filled, snail-paced riff-praising doom from Denver, CO.
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March 5, 2014
Polish doom band with female vocals is a fuzz worshippers dream
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March 4, 2014
Sleazy, fat and dirty stoner metal riffs from down under.
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March 2, 2014
Newly formed 70's inspired stoner doom band from Brazil.
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Feb. 27, 2014
Expansive psychedelics and dusty grooves from Austria.
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Feb. 25, 2014
Fuzzed-out heavy desert grooves from Catania, Italy.
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Feb. 24, 2014
Get stuck in some sludgey stoner groove from South Carolina. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 20, 2014
Heavy lightning in a bottle stoner boogie groove from Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 19, 2014
Stirring progressive ambient doom from Bath, UK
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Feb. 17, 2014
Intense instrumental sludgefuzz from these Guernsey blokes. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 15, 2014
Swirling hypnotic heavy psychedelic rock from St. Petersburg, Russia. facebook- bandcamp
Feb. 10, 2014
Sultry and somber jazz-laden ambient doom from Genoa, Italy.
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Feb. 8, 2014
Late 60's early 70's influenced heavy psychedelic rock from London.
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Feb. 5, 2014
Death/Doom/Thrash from the mean streets of Adelaide, Australia.
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Feb. 4, 2014
Doomy apocalyptic instrumental Sludge from Istanbul, Turkey.
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Feb. 2, 2014
Spell-binding all-female occult doom from Ljubljana,Slovenia.
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Feb. 1, 2014
Heavy heartfelt psychedelic jams from Heidelberg, Germany.
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Jan. 30, 2014
Riff Heavy Stoner Doom with Southern grit from Athens, Greece
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Jan. 27, 2014
Chest collapsing progressive heaviness from Ventura, CA
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Jan. 25, 2014
Genre-defying atmospheric mood music from Tampere, Finland. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 23, 2014
Freaked-out psychedelic space rock from Gothenburg, Sweden. facebook- bandcamp
Jan. 22, 2014
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
Smoke obsessed Stoner Doom from Slovenia. Free demo.
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sunday Sludge: Sonance - "Like Ghosts"

You'd have a hard time finding a lighthearted American this weekend. Media saturation spills across the pond, so the melancholy is likely hovering over the rest of the world by now. I'm not sure if what we'll hear for today's Sunday Sludge is an antidote to the poison or perhaps a mere extension of the symptom, but there's no denying it's an appropriate and paralleled complement to the mood we've recently had thrust upon us.

I won't contend that a trip with Bristol's Sonance is boiled down to a handful of benzos, but the pharmaceutical effects the band imposes are staggering nonetheless. On Like Ghosts, Sonance broaden the already impossibly expansive metal continuum, utilizing ambient drone to tranquilize listeners between stunning swells and collapses. There's no mold to break, there's simply a tapestry of brilliantly woeful uncertainty, ambient with waves and punitive with walls.

Like Ghosts is like ghosts, but not in a sense of paranormal bumps and whispers. The forty-two minutes on these two tracks breathe and haunt more like an undying memory, surging and waning beyond your wishes. These ghosts are seemingly within you, not around you. You can compartmentalize the chills, but the lucidity is never sealed off. And when you've been lulled to comfort and feel a cool sigh can be enjoyed, you're jarred by descending sludge terror.

That terror is no more immediately evident than on Side A, interrupting a brief hovering swarm. Icy guitar grows poetic, mirroring Slint's tinny Spiderland jabs. Rhythms twist as much as they hammer, with jagged swirls invading every teetering emotion. Tom's vocals cling to Chino's thumbings like drying blood, while Will's tortuous accompaniment sets a landscape of agony that provides no repose. Drone drips as fears are examined with an ambient caution, but the slugs of doom greet that pensive lament. It's devastating and beautiful.

The mood takes center stage on Like Ghosts, but musicianship deserves its moment in the sun. Ben's screwdriven assault on frets is more Alex's violent droog than Thurston's sonic experiment, while the film-score precision on Side B tiptoes with early-hour cold. This is where your bones feel it, Sir. The cackles and windchimes are a sort of harbinger, but for what? Will the fog lift and let the day emerge? Perhaps. But paranoia and bleak gusts follow every sideways glance toward empty fields. Long, incredibly ambiguous, and heady as fuck. Fourteen minutes in, though, doom shakes us from our gorgeous trance and resonates with drift until chiding buoyance clubs us senseless. Sludge atmospheres funnel toward chaos, pushed abruptly and appropriately. Should we expect an end? Sometimes it just happens.

Does isolation hit us as we believe it does? The eyeless, faceless malevolence in waiting is as frightening in thought as it is in presence, so perhaps the isolation shields in any sense. With numbing resonation, these Brits pull at every fear until bones are bare. You're exposed, your fears no longer matter, and the dead air is all you need. Like Ghosts is an album that burrows and lingers long after you've put your head to the pillow. You may find yourself wishing you had the company of lost spirits. These ghosts are much harder to shake.

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