Oak's Mary - Car Wash (IMPORT) (CD)
Italy's gaining ground in the world of honest, no bullshit rock. This time with Oak's Mary. The band, who apparently named themselves after a church that was built on orders from a glimmering vision of the Virgin Mary, comes off as a cross between the robot rock of latter day Queens of the Stone Age, the foot-on-the-monitor glory of The Hellacopters, and the desert grooves of you-know-who, with an appreciation of mid-80's pop.
Oak's Mary - Mathilda (IMPORT) (CD)
Italy's gaining ground in the world of honest, no bullshit rock. This time with Oak's Mary. The band, who apparently named themselves after a church that was built on orders from a glimmering vision of the Virgin Mary, comes off as a cross between the robot rock of latter day Queens of the Stone Age, the foot-on-the-monitor glory of The Hellacopters, and the desert grooves of you-know-who, with an appreciation of mid-80's pop. For fans of Brant Bjork, The Heads, Earthlings?, Queens of the Stone Age, and Man or Astroman.
Oaks - Bravo! (CD EP)
Recorded by Toshi Kasai (Big Business).
In the tradition of sludge-slingers Karp and Big Business, OAKS have come to provide the soundtrack to your next bongload.
Oaks are next in a line of bands that extends back to old school smart asses Killdozer, the hick noise metal of Mule, Pac Rim big shots Mudhoney and the terrifyingly awesome Karp. Misfit rock music that is loud as all hell, features yelled, unfriendly vocals and offers zero timeline as far as what the band is up to goes. Bravo! has moments of the Melvins' "Houdini" and Kyuss' "Blues for the Red Sun" in it (check Deerhead) but this is not slow moving stoner metal by any stretch, or even psychedelic, "Bravo!" rages past like a thunderstorm.
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Oath, The - Self Titled (IMPORT) (CD)
To master the dark and wring compelling creativity from its densest shadows requires vision, belief and, perhaps most importantly, a dash of synchronicity. These are all qualities that ooze from every pore of the debut album by The Oath. A band forged around the fizzing, feral chemistry between Swedish guitarist Linnea Olsson and German vocalist Johanna Sadonis, The Oath represent the wild magic that erupts when two blazing souls collide and fate is sent veering off course by sheer strength of the human will. This is heavy metal at its most mercurial and intuitive.
Veering from the strident grooves and shimmering menace of opener All Must Die to the breakneck, Luciferian clatter of Black Rainbow and on to the spine-tingling grandeur and grime of epic closer Psalm 7, The Oath is anything but just another addition to the modern pseudo-occult rock canon. Instead, it is an extraordinary glimpse into its creators’ overpowering charisma and chemistry and a thrillingly, hyper-nourishing dose of authentic, 21st century heavy metal sorcery. With input from In Solitude’s Henke Palm - who contributes some “improvised Voivod-style solos”, according to Linnea – and logo designed courtesy of Watain’s Erik Danielson, this is an album that exudes ageless style and irresistible substance: a potent antidote to the flimsy fripperies of the modern age.
Oblivious - Goons and Masters (IMPORT) (CD)
Oblivious combines heaviness along with incredible groove to melodic stoner rock with a touch of classic '70s rock 'n' roll. Influences can be heard from such greats as FIVE HORSE JOHNSON, DOZER, KYUSS and CLUTCH, as well as older heroes like BLACK SABBATH, PENTAGRAM and LED ZEPPELIN.
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Obrero - Mortui Vivos Docent (IMPORT) (CD)
While Graveyard draw more on southern rock (and Led Zeppelin), Noctum's main influence seems to be Black Sabbath; Obrero are more widely encompassing, drawing on both British proto-doom and southern rock. Although Obrero logically never reaches the slowness of acts like early Cathedral, Winter or Mournful Congregation, most of the tracks on the album do contain crushingly heavy passages, many of which are also characterized by a fat southern groove. Even more uptempo tracks are played slowly enough to come across as quite heavy, but still fast enough to not lose their groove and energy.
True to the genre of early doom metal, a certain dark psychedelia is ubiquitous on Mortui Vivos Docent, and the fuzzy guitars and blues-tinged grooves help further establish the same kind of dark quasi-psychedelic feel that is also found on Pentagram's early releases. Apart from the Sabbath, Pentagram and other early doom influences, there are several passages on the album that make me think of Trouble's Manic Frustration - especially the raw vocals. Mortui Vivos Docent is a very strong release with an authentic fuzzy sound and lots of doom, gloom and groove. Fans of original doom metal should definitely check it out, and it may also appeal to fans of southern rock, sludge metal and heavy psychedelic rock, and due to the modern touch that Obrero have given their music, fans of more recent doom metal and perhaps even alternative metal might also like it.
Obsessed, The - Lunar Womb (Re-issue) (CD)
Presented now with its first proper release in America, Lunar Womb has been fully remastered to sound as weighty as its legacy demands. Featuring new artwork, a slew of original photographs, complete lyrics, and liner notes by famed rock writer Joe Carducci (author, Rock & The Pop Narcotic).
There's a reason Dave Grohl invited Wino on board his all-star PROBOT project alongside metal icons Lemmy, King Diamond and Max Cavalera. It's the same reason Wino was recruited to play guitar beside Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Rob Halford on a piledriving update of BLACK SABBATH's "The Wizard." And when MASTODON took Wino's current band, THE HIDDEN HAND, on tour in 2005, you can be sure the rationale was no different. It's because, in the words of FUGAZI's Ian McKaye, "Wino's a legend." And the legend began with THE OBSESSED.
The setting was a pre-enlightened D.C. rock underground, where biker metalheads and scrappy punks collided over both hair lengths and music. THE OBSESSED entered this scene with SABBATH-centric riffs and snarling intensity, and on this band, the bikers and punks agreed. Fiery performances and a clutch of demos built them an ecstatic following, but led to an unexpected hiatus when Wino departed for a crucial stint fronting THE OBSESSED's L.A. counterparts, SAINT VITUS. Finally, when demand for a full-blown OBSESSED reformation would bear no further delays, Wino gathered a new rhythm section and set Europe ablaze with a series of tours to promote the release of their self-titled debut on German label Hellhound. With the lineup of Wino, drummer Greg Rogers and future KYUSS bassist Scott Reeder in place, THE OBSESSED were thrown burning hot into the studio to record their milestone album, Lunar Womb.
Many consider Lunar Womb the pinnacle of THE OBSESSED's career, a pure document of their raw, emotional power. Recorded just as their uncompromising rise approached its zenith, the album was a pivotal point in OBSESSED history, earning the band a major label deal with Columbia Records.
Obsessed, The - Sacred (CD)
Doom godfathers The Obsessed return with Sacred, their first studio album in over 20 years. Led by legendary frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich (Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, etc.), The Obsessed originally formed in 1976 and released three seminal stoner / doom albums in the early 90's, including The Church Within which has been hailed as one of the important records in the genre's history. Now, after reforming in 2016, the band has returned with renewed energy and purpose, sounding heavier and more relevant than ever before. On Sacred, The Obsessed double down on enormous, heaving riffs and pummeling low-end across 12 tracks of eternal doom. Rounded out by Wino's lyrical honesty and iconic throaty vocals, Sacred is an album that further pushes The Obsessed into the annals of heavy metal history and that was well worth the two-plus decade wait.
Occultation - Three & Seven (IMPORT) (CD)
“Three & Seven” is a psychedelic vortex of audial terror. A true sonic nightmare where references from ancient horror soundtrack, ‘70s prog, classic ‘80s dark rock, classic cult metal (Mercyful Fate, Death SS), and post punk (Mighty Sphincter) bleed together to create one of the most surreal, intriguing, and intimidating releases of the year. While also at the same time, serving as the fist in the face to the female-fronted occult-doom/rock movement.
Ocean Chief - Sten (IMPORT) (CD)
Since 2001 Ocean Chief has been one of the mightiest bands in the Swedish stoner/ doom scene. This commonly overlooked 5-piece produces lengthy monumental songs with a touch of proper Norse Mythology. Sten is the band's fourth full-length. Four tracks filled with crushing riffs, wrathful vocals, all in a dark, ghastly atmosphere. This thing will drag you through a murky swamp of slow, utterly heavy and epic stoner/ doom. Think Sleep, YOB, Conan & Kongh with more (straightforward) rawness and occasional psychedelic touches. In a nutshell Sten is a delicious piece of slow sonic violence for hardened doom fans. A psyched-out, colossal offering of uncompromising heaviness from start to finish.