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Beelzefuzz - Self Titled (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Beelzefuzz - Self Titled (IMPORT) (CD)

High quality deluxe mini-gatefold packaging.

The trio of guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt, bassist Pug Kirby and drummer Darin McCloskey (the latter also of Pale Divine) have quickly hit on an individual approach, rooted in a deeply melodic, progressive wizard doom that’s brought to life on stage through live double-tracking of Ortt‘s vocals and a range of effects that show up on the album as well, from the dense classic-heavy fuzz of Kirby‘s bass to compression on the singing and some manner of alchemy in the guitar that turns it into a Hammond organ. All of this enriches and deepens the atmosphere live as well as on Beelzefuzz‘s self-titled debut full-length and quickly into the album, it becomes clear that Beelzefuzz are offering something different from the standard post-The Obsessed/Pentagram riff-and-chug of Maryland doom.

Certainly those elements are there, but whether it’s the gallop that begins the album with opener and highlight “Reborn” or the more stoner shuffle that drives “Sirens Song,” Beelzefuzz present their material in such a way as to create an aesthetic of their own from these familiar parts. Across an eight-track span, the band casts a richly melodic ambience that’s somewhat thicker tonally than they have been live in my experience, but recorded largely by the venerable Chris Koslowski, it still represents the quirk in their turns and the breadth of their influence well, Ortt emerging as a frontman presence even without the benefit of the widened eyes with which he often regards his audience from the stage. There are flashes of complex brilliance, as “Hypnotize” and “Lonely Creatures” can attest, and even in the shorter, more straightforward pieces like “Lotus Jam” and “Sirens Song,” Beelzefuzz don’t sound quite like anyone or anything else out there. Silly name or not, they’re something special.

In Stock
Price: $16.99
Beelzefuzz - Self Titled (Black) (IMPORT) (LP) Cover Art Beelzefuzz - Self Titled (IMPORT) (LP)

Limited edition on black vinyl! High quality deluxe gatefold packaging. Comes with a super-huge totally-awesome poster of the spectacular album cover artwork!

The trio of guitarist/vocalist Dana Ortt, bassist Pug Kirby and drummer Darin McCloskey (the latter also of Pale Divine) have quickly hit on an individual approach, rooted in a deeply melodic, progressive wizard doom that’s brought to life on stage through live double-tracking of Ortt‘s vocals and a range of effects that show up on the album as well, from the dense classic-heavy fuzz of Kirby‘s bass to compression on the singing and some manner of alchemy in the guitar that turns it into a Hammond organ. All of this enriches and deepens the atmosphere live as well as on Beelzefuzz‘s self-titled debut full-length and quickly into the album, it becomes clear that Beelzefuzz are offering something different from the standard post-The Obsessed/Pentagram riff-and-chug of Maryland doom.

Certainly those elements are there, but whether it’s the gallop that begins the album with opener and highlight “Reborn” or the more stoner shuffle that drives “Sirens Song,” Beelzefuzz present their material in such a way as to create an aesthetic of their own from these familiar parts. Across an eight-track span, the band casts a richly melodic ambience that’s somewhat thicker tonally than they have been live in my experience, but recorded largely by the venerable Chris Koslowski, it still represents the quirk in their turns and the breadth of their influence well, Ortt emerging as a frontman presence even without the benefit of the widened eyes with which he often regards his audience from the stage. There are flashes of complex brilliance, as “Hypnotize” and “Lonely Creatures” can attest, and even in the shorter, more straightforward pieces like “Lotus Jam” and “Sirens Song,” Beelzefuzz don’t sound quite like anyone or anything else out there. Silly name or not they’re something special.

Low Stock
Price: $37.99
Beelzefuzz - The Righteous Bloom (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Beelzefuzz - The Righteous Bloom (IMPORT) (CD)



'The Righeous Bloom' is the sophomore album by BEELZEFUZZ from Maryland, USA. Beelzefuzz incorporates a very unique style of heavy music similar to the classic sounds of early '70s bands such as Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath as well as contemporary acts Pentagram, Graveyard and Earthride. Still, Beelzefuzz remains decidedly independent with its own brand of melodic heavy rock.

Low Stock
Price: $23.99
Blackfinger - Self Titled (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Blackfinger - Self Titled (IMPORT) (CD)

Featuring Eric Wagner (Trouble).

The sound of this new band is intriguing. It bears only a fleeting resemblance to Trouble (Wagner’s “cover band” The Skull has that market cornered), but it also avoids the Beatle-esque psychedelia that I was expecting to hear. The mellower songs are still extremely dark, and the heavy tracks manage to avoid heavy metal orthodoxy somewhat. Wagner sounds just as worn down as he did on the last couple Trouble records, but in the context of Blackfinger, he actually makes it work. This is a morose, melancholy record, and Wagner’s current style is well suited to it.

Which is not to imply that Blackfinger can’t bring the heavy. The doomy, multi-sectioned “Yellowood” proves otherwise. The groove riff (with cowbell!) on “Here Comes The Rain” would fit right in on Plastic Green Head, while closer “Till Death Do us Part” has a vague Run To The Light-era vibe. But the real standout is “All The Leaves Are Brown”, an up-tempo rocker that puts Wagner’s former band to shame, while simultaneously being its own thing. Guitarists Rico Bianchi and Doug Hakes do a fantastic job throughout, providing some bluesy solos and memorable riffs. The slow jams are still Wagner’s bread and butter though, and Blackfinger contains some great ones.

“For One More Day” might cut it a little close to Trouble‘s classic “The Misery Shows,” but acquits itself with classy, subtle guitar work that Trouble never quite had the versatility to pull off. “On Tuesday Morning” is mellow and surprisingly upbeat, with the heavier choruses providing the necessary dynamics. On “As Long As I’m With You,” Wagner delivers some of the most intimate vocal work of his career, his trademark baritone backed by delicate piano and cello, and the results are positively haunting. Ben Smith’s upright bass playing also adds some depth to the acoustic tracks. Even though I’ve been listening to Eric Wagner’s music for two decades, I feel like we barely knew the guy until now. It’s almost as if he was playing a role in his old band, being something he wasn’t, and Blackfinger is the first time he’s let his guard down (well, besides the Lid record). The other members of Blackfinger are capable of exploring these new avenues with Wagner while doing justice to his Troubled past as well.

Backorderable
Price: $21.99
Blackfinger - Self Titled (IMPORT) (LP) Cover Art Blackfinger - Self Titled (IMPORT) (LP)

Featuring Eric Wagner (Trouble).

Black vinyl. Deluxe gatefold sleeve.


The sound of this new band is intriguing. It bears only a fleeting resemblance to Trouble (Wagner’s “cover band” The Skull has that market cornered), but it also avoids the Beatle-esque psychedelia that I was expecting to hear. The mellower songs are still extremely dark, and the heavy tracks manage to avoid heavy metal orthodoxy somewhat. Wagner sounds just as worn down as he did on the last couple Trouble records, but in the context of Blackfinger, he actually makes it work. This is a morose, melancholy record, and Wagner’s current style is well suited to it.

Which is not to imply that Blackfinger can’t bring the heavy. The doomy, multi-sectioned “Yellowood” proves otherwise. The groove riff (with cowbell!) on “Here Comes The Rain” would fit right in on Plastic Green Head, while closer “Till Death Do us Part” has a vague Run To The Light-era vibe. But the real standout is “All The Leaves Are Brown”, an up-tempo rocker that puts Wagner’s former band to shame, while simultaneously being its own thing. Guitarists Rico Bianchi and Doug Hakes do a fantastic job throughout, providing some bluesy solos and memorable riffs. The slow jams are still Wagner’s bread and butter though, and Blackfinger contains some great ones.

“For One More Day” might cut it a little close to Trouble‘s classic “The Misery Shows,” but acquits itself with classy, subtle guitar work that Trouble never quite had the versatility to pull off. “On Tuesday Morning” is mellow and surprisingly upbeat, with the heavier choruses providing the necessary dynamics. On “As Long As I’m With You,” Wagner delivers some of the most intimate vocal work of his career, his trademark baritone backed by delicate piano and cello, and the results are positively haunting. Ben Smith’s upright bass playing also adds some depth to the acoustic tracks. Even though I’ve been listening to Eric Wagner’s music for two decades, I feel like we barely knew the guy until now. It’s almost as if he was playing a role in his old band, being something he wasn’t, and Blackfinger is the first time he’s let his guard down (well, besides the Lid record). The other members of Blackfinger are capable of exploring these new avenues with Wagner while doing justice to his Troubled past as well.

Backorderable
Price: $33.99
Centurions Ghost - Blessed & Cursed in Equal Measure (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Centurions Ghost - Blessed & Cursed in Equal Measure (IMPORT) (CD)



Centurions Ghost play some elements of traditional doom in a twisted form like Iron Monkey, yet at the same time they have some mid-tempo sludge riffery like Crowbar. This time around the band has taken it one step further by adding a slight progressive edge to their songs given them new depth and a bleaker sound. If there is a heavier band from the UK at the moment, I would love to hear them. With older bands like Electric Wizard officially stuck in neutral, it is great to know there are albums like this that can still floor you.

In Stock
Price: $15.99
Deep Blue - Sun Worshipper (IMPORT) (10 inch) Cover Art Deep Blue - Sun Worshipper (IMPORT) (10 inch)



Holy Mountain Doom and somic riffs.

Backorderable
Price: $21.99
Deep Blue, The - Antartic Abyss (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Deep Blue, The - Antartic Abyss (IMPORT) (CD)



OK, these guys sound a lot like Sleep. A LOT. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that they sound a lot like Om, the post-Sleep power duo of Al Cisneros and Chris Hakius, 'cuz The Deep Blue do a similiar drone-chord pound over Tibetan chanting thing. Of course, The Deep Blue are a guitar, bass and drums trio, so the sound is more downtuned and crunchy and sludgy, but if there was ever a need to hear what Om would sound like as a full band, then The Deep Blue are here to serve.

That said, this is an excellent slab o' hypnotic trance sludge. Specializing in progressive, psychedelic-tinged doom and sludge, The Deep Blue fit right in with the melodic progressive sludge of Tekhton and the druggy tectonic dirge of Spancer. Split into two tracks, each roughly 13 minutes long, mighty hypno doom mantras of syrupy riffage and trippy chanting about ancient Lovecraftian ocean tyrants rising from beneath ice floes. Being a huge fan of both droning hypnotic riffage and ancient Lovecraftian beasts awakening from the ocean floor, I don't give a shit how indebted to Sleep/Om these guys are, this disc rules me.

In Stock
Price: $15.99
Lord of the Grave - Green Vapour (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Lord of the Grave - Green Vapour (IMPORT) (CD)



Lord of the Grave is a two-piece (guitar/drums) band from Switzerland. The band plays a filthy style of sludgified doom riffs and monster grooves built from a solid blues foundation. Green Vapour is their second album and first with Sam Wart on drums. It's hard to imagine a more demented title to an opening track than "Raping Zombies", but if that's how Lord of the Grave choose to introduce themselves on this album, then sonically speaking, they are not wrong to do so. Thick, almost pungent, sub-Electric Wizard tones rumble in from a fog of feedback. The track shambles and stomps like a putrefying corpse leading to the verse which takes a wonderful turn. The guitar matches the vocal line in the best blues tradition. Halfway through the tempo picks up and Rob Grave (guitar/vocals) does a blues solo which sounds great in those low tones. The song ends in a wall of feedback and leads directly into the title track.

A ringing, eerie melody downshifts into a fuzzy doom anthem. Drummer Sam Wart has his standout moment on this track, driving the song forward and lending some infectious momentum to the track that is soon matched by bandmate Rob Grave. "Horsepuncher" is not only my favorite scene from Conan, it's also a hyper-aggressive, slow building, shit kicker of a track that would make the titular character of the aforementioned movie drink mead, thump his chest, and throw the horns. The final two tracks are essentially a single composition split into two tracks. "Mountain Rites" is yet another fuzzed out doom-o-rama, more of what the listener has come to expect at this point, but "00/15" shows the band in a slightly different light, those big riffs are still there, but Rob Grave sings and builds a wall of guitar noise that is reminiscent of the expansive soundscapes of Hawkwind, and remember they had a lot more than two guys in that band.

The song isn't a complete departure but it does offer a slightly different look from a consistent band on a very consistent album. Overall, Green Vapour is a solid album that maintains a consistent feel from opening feedback to closing fade out. There aren't any truly weak moments to speak of but there are a ton of standout moments and the album should really be listened to in one sitting to get the right effect, but each track stands on its own. If what you're looking for is some good aggressive doom with riffs along the lines of Electric Wizard and a fuzz tone more akin to bands like Goya and Tombstones then look no further.

In Stock
Price: $15.99
Lord of the Grave - Raunacht (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Lord of the Grave - Raunacht (IMPORT) (CD)



Ranuacht is like a boat ride in a stormy sea, where the water has been replaced with a vast number of very heavy riffs that surround the listener like huge sonic waves.

In Stock
Price: $15.99
   
 
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