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Abdullah - Graveyard Poetry (CD) Cover Art Abdullah - Graveyard Poetry (CD)



Abdullah has truly outdone themselves this time. If you have liked these cats in the past, then you will love this album. It's got all the great hooks and melodies that are Abdullah- but this is one louder and better. If you like classic rock/doom or metal of any sort and haven't gotten into these guys then this is a good time. This release surpasses many out this year on all sorts of levels. I am hooked.

They’ve outdone themselves this time. Graveyard Poetry is filled with lots of diversity – a few swirling psychedelics, hooks that grab you and won’t let go and crunching and bluesy guitar work – it’s loud, heavy, rocking songs but the doooooom is also still in full effect. This is a flawlessly produced album, full of energy, and the tracks flow nicely into each other.

Picture heads-down, take-no-prisoners, mid-'70s thunderboogie rolling thick and fast while some shirtless, long haired grunge god lays down impassioned cautionary tales of fleeting indulgences and the rocky seas ahead like an electric preacher in the Church of the Holy Freakout, and you've pretty much nailed this smooth ride. It's freedom rock for panicky days and restless nights, and it's quite clearly the best album of it's kind since Trouble's classic '92 dope dream "Manic Frustration".

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Abdullah - Self Titled (CD) Cover Art Abdullah - Self Titled (CD)



The first band that I can associate with is Solitude Aeturnus. Doomy, good vocals and tons of soul and classic twists that are un-expected. But mainly the simplicity is genius in it's own way.

Killer songwriting, killer riffs, killer vocals, killer twists, full of emotion and passion and yes "genius" is a fair word to use for this album.. Brilliant stuff!!

Without hesitation or doubt I can say that Abdullah are one of the best bands I’ve heard in a while. …You really have to hear this thing to really appreciate what I'm saying.

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Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (IMPORT) (CD)



Acid King returns to its throne with 2015's full-length Middle Of Nowhere Center Of Everywhere. On this their fourth outing, the three-piece maintains the corrosive concoction at the heart of their identity, while simultaneously progressing. This unholy triumvirate of visionary, vocalist, and guitarist Lori S, drummer Joey Osbourne, and bassist Mark Lamb existed before terms like "stoner rock" and "doom metal" entered the musical lexicon.

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Across Tundras - Western Sky Ride (CD) Cover Art Across Tundras - Western Sky Ride (CD)



If you play that Neurosis/Isis strain of music, how are you going to set yourself apart from the likes of Tides, Mouth of the Architect, Souvenir's Young America, Angel Eyes, Disappearer, and all the other groups that have tread the same narrow path this year? If you're Denver's Across Tundras, you embrace your inner shitkicker and bury the vocals low in the mix. Acorss Tundras' sprawling compositions have more of a rock feel. It's as if they're playing something that, if sped up, could actually boogie. There's also a twangy aftertaste, a hint of alt-country. That could draw comparisons to Earth's Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, but Across Tundras isn't that ethereal and sparse. They're melancholy yet forward moving, and overall they live up to their billing of unleashing a "powerful new statement of rustic, crushing Americana."

Can't avoid the Isis comparisons but these guys do stray from the rigid mold. Songs are sprawling and the playing is really loose but stays heavy.

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Adrift - Black Heart Bleeds Black (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Adrift - Black Heart Bleeds Black (IMPORT) (CD)



Doomed in mood and guitar-led sensibility, Black Heart Bleeds Black songs follow progressive structures to vicious ends and offer little hope to those who’d take them on. More importantly, the overall impression the album gives is more individualized than was the first record, Monolito, and Adrift work within a variety of forms that maintain their pummel even as they change the direction from which that pummel comes. Tonally, it’s metal, and I hear a bit of Converge‘s bombast in the screams of “Mallet Man,” but there’s more happening in these songs than any one band comparison can really convey, the two guitars of Macon and Jorge (the latter also vocals) working into and out of tandem stretches with an ease that skillfully undercuts the difficulty of what they’re actually doing.

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Ahkmed - The Inland Sea (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Ahkmed - The Inland Sea (IMPORT) (CD)



Ahkmed from Melbourne delivers mellow and ambient psychedelic stoner music that swirls into big riffs and grooves. These guys are the bastard sons of Monster Magnet, Hawkwind and Kyuss!

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Alex Carole and the Crush - Vol. 1 (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Alex Carole and the Crush - Vol. 1 (IMPORT) (CD)



Debut album from Swedish band with their 9 tracker that delivers smart and well written powerpop style with a rough edge to it. Mixing the early CHEAP TRICK (Debut album) with ALICE COOPER (School's Out) and a little spice from HELLACOPTERS. Rough guitars and well performed choruses makes this an album that sticks to your mind immediately!

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All Them Witches - Our Mother Electricity (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art All Them Witches - Our Mother Electricity (IMPORT) (CD)



Are you already in the mood for Spring and even better, for the Summer? Than turn on Our Mother Electricity from All Them Witches: a perfect album to do away with your slumbering winter depression. The first comparisons that come to mind: Danava, Kyuss light, old psychedelic rock like Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Mother Tongue, etc. The soundscape they are projecting is part ‘desert’, part old bluesy hard rock. There is a leading role for the drums too and you can’t help but smile at the keys.

Man, I love the influence the south has had on music. Whether it be blues, jazz, country, or rock something about the soul of the south etches itself in the music and it remains there... eternally. That southern soul is vibrant in Nashville's All Them Witches and one listen through Our Mother Electricity will make you a believer. The album is also completely dynamic.

For instance the first track Heavy/Like A Witch, with its Alice in Chains dual vocalizing, is heavily blues inspired with moments of intense doom and 70's era psychedelics and the very next track The Urn finds an Americana via alt country twang and has lyrical lines that demand to be sung along. The album continues to travel through fast paced rockers, soulful grooves and slower chill tracks. The final tracks Family Song For The Leaving and Right Hand are smooth, super chilled and full of luscious melody. Family... being an acoustic plucked gem really stands out while Right Hand has more of that Alice in Chains style vocalizing and then there is the sound of fingers sliding along the guitar strings... simply hypnotizing.

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Altar of Plagues - Tides (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Altar of Plagues - Tides (IMPORT) (CD)



Ireland’s Altar of Plagues produced perhaps 2009’s best black metal debut album in the shape of the excellent White Tomb. Drawing on obvious influences like Wolves in the Throne Room, it achieved distinctive results with its rich textures and expanses of desolate blackened ambience, which were allowed to mingle with elements thrown in from leftfield (Watchers Restrained’s Khanate homage springs to mind). Tides picks up where that left off fairly seamlessly (though you won’t find anything quite as unexpected as avant-drone here), and those who wallowed in its melancholy atmosphere will find this as comfortable and unchallenging as a pair of old slippers.

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Ancestors - Invisible White (CD EP) Cover Art Ancestors - Invisible White (CD EP)



The follow up to the group’s sophomore album Of Sound Mind, Invisible White marks the debut of new member Matt Barks on Moog / modular synthesizers and charts a new course for the band’s progressive, colorful sound. The songs on the album feature a hybrid of orchestral and electronic instruments and assume an almost cinematic, film score feel augmented by guest musicians playing violin and vibraphone. Simultaneously playing to the strengths of psychedelia, prog and even rhythm and blues, the music retains Ancestors’ exploratory approach and adds a hauntingly emotional impact, pushing the band’s sound into interstellar overdrive.

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