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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, December 15, 2013

Sunday Sludge: Haast's Eagled


Though few and far between, I love opportunities (or duties, more appropriately) when I can pull away from a computer for a crisp breath and a skyward glance. My escape from forty weekly hours of glazed repetition is generally reserved for a morning stomp with the next Kylesa or a cleansing of the wicked via DVR catch-up with my wife. Now and then, these Sundays extend a crusty hand that yanks me toward gigantic, primitive buzz. I can't say it puts me in touch with the Earth or throws back my head with an outstretched tongue, but it certainly doesn't feel like these sounds result from digital files, compressed and re-configured through fabricated forums.

Bands bringing the medieval run the risk of tucking cheese into their pockets on their way to summer camp. But straight off the Judas Cradle by way of South Wales comes Haast's Eagled, an experimental, atmospheric sludge-doom act that limits comparisons and expands consciousness. The whole of their four-song self-titled debut EP stones and impales as much as it soothes and swirls. Stoner sensibilities wisp between pummeling sludge pendulums as death's snow taps at fresh graves, with gravity licking the heels of every note.

Setting off Viking is a somber softness, whispering a drone that breaks under electric doom riffs, stretching out to meet a bowel-dug vocal. The break into devastating stoner feedback is countered by classic-rock, Chris Cornell-esque lungs, creating an overall dynamic that's so seldom this successful. The slow stoner groove outlasts all other elements, encompassing listeners through powerful progressions and slow-motion sternum thumps. A trail of gold-flaked licks brightens a sooty sky as this introduction rolls like matted red carpet.

More reflective and somehow more primitive is the cavernous and somber pick of The Eye of God, a a reprieve only lasting until the stoner-doom again emerges and Norse, riff-laden passages unfold to absolutely crush. With a vocal that echoes Ronnie Van Zant on Simple Man, the midpoint is sullen until otherworldly black pit embers set off a slow spiral of flurried madness. So the deep South's influence has made one hell of a trip, seemingly reaching back to a time when only candles broke the darkness.

An intermission by comparison, Tracking the Footsteps of Goliath slowly drones, peeking through shaky samples and ominous cymbals. Oh, but that sludge dominates and smears the landscape, flattening and churning as if to introduce Cruithne Tide, the twelve-minute crusher that closes this all-too-short EP. The track as a whole is cool and melodic, but the loose echoes convey a sad, hollow cave trickle. As fire begins to rain and fiefdom villages collapse, the first track is bookended and the cycle appears complete. Drums join hands with warbled guitar whispers for a cold stroll through the ruins, slowly and deliberately lifting pace without a hint of rattle. Atmospheres, peeling layers, realignment, solos, hesher nods, drone cameos, and sludge cruises... I'd rather this never ended.

So is it lament or nostalgia? I know, it goes much deeper than that. But when I can't pinpoint exactly how I'm being taken to a time and place where I've never been, it's difficult to explain myself. Haast's Eagled weave a tapestry of sound that's as complete and comforting as any I've heard this year. Birth, school, work, death. This release mortars the cracks of life's cruel structure, providing a true sludge-doom escape that lays a breadcrumb trail while you lose yourself. Good thing, too. I'd love to talk about these guys again.

For fans of: Horn of the Rhino, Conan, Earth
Pair with: 8-Bit Pale Ale, Tallgrass Brewing Co.

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