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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, September 1, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Black Seal - "Pyre"


I'm a total sucker for nostalgia. Being bombarded day after day by what's new and what's improved generally makes me wanna spit. I miss landline phones, I miss borrowing friends' cassettes to make copies for myself, and I tend to get emotional when Fast Times at Ridgemont High is diced and dubbed to air on one of 350 television channels I don't need. So a sound that can send me back with a single fucking riff is one that I'll give strong consideration.

That's not to say I dig it when bands cut their heroes and paste their best impressions. With an endlessly expanding catalog of human experience, simulacrum is difficult to dodge. Is it at all possible to sound entirely like yourself? Florida's Black Seal make their case on the five-track Pyre by stirring a cauldron of 1970 Birmingham meets 1977 London and tossing in dashes of 1980's bong rips. That all probably sounds self-contradictory, but lacing the bouillabaisse with psychedelic glaze and just a tad of sneer is about as close as you'll get to fresh these days.

You'll find N.I.B. heaviness here, sure. The slow, acid-dripped doom riffs of Scorched! immediately craft a smoky atmosphere and you start to envision your drop-out friend "packin' that shit." He might not like it when we're thrust forward in time, if only briefly, on fuzzy hair-trigger thrash. As a whole, the opener is a dense amalgam of homages strewn with dark vibes, man. Wavy Gravy warned you about that brown acid, didn't he?

The midpoint of On This Day You Lose Faith glows and warms with wholly enveloping fog and viscosity, so we can't fully escape Sabbathian nods. Led on the bass of Thomas Beals, this winter sidewalk is lined more with regret than thin ice. Spitting embers into a revved-up Hetfield shuffle, this track essentially finds the band hitting every cylinder between spirals and plods. Punk's straightforward clarity shines through Astaroth Crowley's matter-of-fact vocal, echoing Rollins and Graffin but ultimately making us question whether Black Seal fit as a Sunday Sludge feature. The way this track marches and announces its own presence, however, renders categorization completely irrelevant.

If you absolutely MUST find sludge qualification, look no further than 80 seconds of The Descent (Intermezzo)Über-heavy with the added bonus of stoner repetition, this dragging reprieve would have My Bloody Valentine written all over it if it sounded more like a dream and less like a fucking nightmare. It's far too brief, but it channels well the malevolence of Conestoga Breaks Down. Smoke and fuzz hitch to the slow sludge rhythms that truly justify why we're here on this Sunday morning in the first place. The closer is choppy and flooring, a slow-motion blast of buzz and stoner sludge roll-out. We need more than five tracks when you've got us feelin' this good.

As we've learned, psychedelia saturates Pyre. Black Seal look back, look down, and look like a band that's primed to take a huge step forward. Chanted, candle-lit vocals become pained howls, Robb Erwin's tin-barrel thumps marry tambourine suspicions, and the album's twitchy thickness lends itself to marriages of Deep Purple and punk's DIY ethic. You'll pass through cobwebs, but they'll struggle to stick. At times slow-swung, at others completely chest-pressed, Pyre is that fleeting meld of tradition and progress. A band pushing the genre while honoring heroes. Pluck and nod, Black Seal... you've got our mark.


For fans of: Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Wipers

Pair with: Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout, Tallgrass Brewing Co.



1 comment:

  1. excellent touches of thrash, i dig brother. nice touch with the beer, if only i could grab one here in western pa. please, enjoy another for me on this holiday weekend.

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