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April 21, 2014
TOKERidiculous riffing, slow and nasty doom grooves from Wilmington, NC.
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April 17, 2014
ORYXDunes of droning hypnotic sludge from the deserts of Las Cruces, NM.
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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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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Witchden - "Consulting The Bones"


Growing up, I knew a boy named Abel who'd lived more in eight years than I've now lived in my thirty-two. He was the only Hispanic child in a second-grade class of ignorant white assholes, and when he finally got a chance to speak, he had quite a bit to tell. He'd been teased (not relentlessly, but too much) about a scar on his lip that many would assume resulted from a cleft palate. He never talked about it, but his younger brother later told us the scar resulted from Abel's infancy when he had somehow kissed a barbed-wire fence. Add to this the electric current running through the spikes and you begin to feel like a fucking shithead for ever making this kid's life more difficult with taunts.

It's a crude and unfair analogy, but Minneapolis, Minnesota's Witchden have done to listeners what that fence did to Abel. Employing a sound teeming with electric "sludge-'n-roll," this quintet brings us in with the allure of a fluorescent bug light and beats us with the restraint of a Los Angeles cop. On Consulting The Bones, Witchden roll that beautiful riff footage and swing a pendulum that's far-catchier than many of their contemporaries. By the end of these 9 tracks, you won't know if you're being led to a gallows or privy to a barfight. What's important, though, is that Witchden make sure you don't really care either way.

By the time the seared, crusted groove of Time to Burn hits its guitar stride, Witchden's rhythm section drags the song back to its death. The track remains low and steady, employing a tormented vocal from Jason Micah, but the death-rattle pacing and choppy fire at the closing establish a sort of duality. Slowing with screech and doom-cadence, Captive Man and Ossuary round out the album's opening triptych. The glum gloom and sticky sludge are wholly bleak, while a stomp-a-billy bar jam is the soundtrack to your finger-lickin' push through dense brush and broken vows. Go on... immerse yourself in the muddy stink of discontent.

The rock-rooted All Just A Lie takes metal in a new direction. The rattle and flicker sit atop an awesome low-end drag. Your head gets wrapped with creamed spinach and attacked by locusts, but the southern-fried influence of Words Of Man is eases with a subdued vocal. Melding Weedeater with Alabama Thunderpussy, licks manage to surpass riffs and benefit from a reprieve of the doom/sludge clubbing. And the narrative there is worth following.

The disc's back-end is stoner-heavy, though there's no taking away from the girth. If Hell Awaits is nearly a challenge, swaying back and forth and buzzing with a fright that, incredibly, requires no alarm. The repetition of System Link rises and falls, breaking into a buzz-crawl that pisses on flagpoles and snags on promise. The rainy pluck at the end is all at once the album's bleakest and brightest moment. The caustic Kill At Will follows with a cymbal lead-in, caustic and choppy with corrosive violence. The mid-point slap chop creeps slower and slower, heavy-handed and relentless with a return to ubër-doom promise.

Employing sharp sustain and cool-riffing hillbilly influence, Witchden add scorn and spite to rolling grooves, spitting a winning formula that slings shit and shakes floors. Sure, this is sludge... but the sludge swirls, spins, and throws punches bearing chains and bruises that are gonna be around longer than the bar-whore you booted this morning. Blending filth and flow is no easy task, so the stumble is sometimes the intent. When something this dangerous turns to face you, perhaps you shouldn't run or hide. It may be the best thing you hear today.




1 comment:

  1. Damn... if the review doesn't knock you on your ass the music sure as hell will. How can a band go wrong with a name like Witchden?!

    ReplyDelete

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