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July 15, 2014
BAGUALSun-scorched riff-driven stoner metal from Chile.
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June 26, 2014
INSTANT BONERMelodic galactic grooviness and hot riffing from Thessaloniki, Greece. facebook- bandcamp
June 24, 2014
IL MALPERTUGIOGenuine, sun-drenched desert rock from Italy.
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June 19, 2014
RAUM KINGDOMEar-gouging, chest-crushing post-metal sludge from Ireland.
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June 17, 2014
MANIACS ON WHEELSFuzz-fueled, heavy duty biker rock from Philadelphia, PA.
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June 12, 2014
PHANTDeafening experimental psychedelic fuzz from Sweden.
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June 10, 2014
DAMN THE GODSHuge stoner riffs, southern-style swagger from Iowa City, Iowa.
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May 27, 2014
A heavy barrage of beer-swilling riffage from Mobile, Alabama. facebook- bandcamp
May 14, 2014
DEMON HEADEvil-glazed progressive doom rock from Copenhagen, Denmark.
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May 8, 2014
FIST FIGHT IN THE PARKING LOTDoomy rock spiked with ballsy female vocals from Pittsburgh, PA.
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May 6, 2014
NOCTURNAL TRIPFemale vocal-led, grunge-laced stoner rock from Northern Ireland.
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April 30, 2014
RUBY THE HATCHETNew 2-song EP from Phily psychedelic stoner mavens.
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April 24, 2014
FANGEHarsh, noisey throat-torturing sludge from the depths of Rennes, France.
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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
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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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Opium Lord - "The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue: The Healer"

I didn't feel like getting raped today. I woke up and figured the likelihood of being penetrated was relatively low. I even figured a handful o' pills would be better left alone and maybe I'd try to turn things around for myself. I'll ditch the paranoia, wrap my knees before stumbling to the door, and crack open a warm case o' seldom-seen sunshine. Y'know, just as a step in the right direction. Maybe I should've shown a little backbone and given Birmingham's Opium Lord the slip. But one taste had me hooked.

Today we're enjoying the band's infancy, though you wouldn't know it by listening to their too short, two-track EP The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue: The Healer. Nine-and-a-half ticks hardly seem sufficient in captivating a listener, but there's more brutal disenchantment to behold here than on any 70-minute LP. Being the first in a series of three, Prologue: The Healer hardly leaves anything in the tank. Crushing, ominous, blackened sludge-doom is one way to describe it. Another approach is to gush at what this band is promising: two subsequent slabs of violent chop-and-toss scorn in coming months. But let's remain focused on what's in front of us.

With the name Opium Lord and track titles Heroin Swirls and Street Labs, one can wonder if the band is taking aim at junkies and their desperate, pathetic crawls or if they're... um... taking drugs themselves. As loose and erratic as these tracks can grow, there's an undeterred tightness that reappears just before the wheels come off. All at once jarring and incredibly sobering, Prologue: The Healer is gonna require Penicillin and a tub of Vitamin E.

Oh, those Heroin Swirls... gritty with fuzz and hollowed-out with a barrage of tin drums, this behemoth leaves a metallic aftertaste without the benefit of a chaser. The doomy sludge effectively pauses for old-school film reel clicks, grainy and quite somber. That middle passage is reserved for collecting pools of blood as you stand still, but screeches and spirals are bound to rip at your insides and leave your fingernails gnarled. But hey, now your skittish tics and leers have found their logical scapegoat. The choking vocal plays both victim and offender, but the scrape for understanding seems universal. The track's final minute is impudent punishment; a series of sustained brushes with concrete walls offering less give than Satan himself. I hope your mom packed your helmet.

Faster than its predecessor, Street Labs is a screeching stampede of varying speeds from every angle. Guitars string themselves from rafters as vocals bite the curb and try to stay breathing. Licks are buzzsaws here, spraying rooster tails of filth and dust. The tinny-pluck distance accompanying the crunchy chops is spooky, but you're too drained to do anything other than wave it closer. There's more sludge here than on Heroin Swirls, and the band's incessant buzz leaves your head numb and your tongue bleeding. And when it's all over, there's no track 3. You'll hit repeat and discover more questions than answers.

Put down the spoon and loosen your tourniquet. This EP is today's fix. At the very least, plug in your headphones and doom out as you wait in line for your methadone. These two sludgy bricks are gonna resonate for months, the perfect 12-step soundtrack! Y'know what? Your sponsor can get fucked; Opium Lord deliver the drift and won't turn up in a drug screen. The violent black pit you've entered is likely the best heaviness you'll hear for some time. Embrace it, turn it up, and try to avoid stealing your mom's car again. Just get through today, because chapter 2 is on the way. Good God, this is good shit.

1 comment:

  1. "I hope your mom packed your helmet."
    Awesome! Man this is heavy!


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