Review: Conjurer – Mire

Conjurer Mire 1440x1440

Label: Holy Roar Records

There’s been quite a lot of hype around Conjurer recently, and it’s easy to hear why. The new album from the UK band, Mire, is a fearsome mix of forward-thinking, progressive song-writing and supremely heavy music. Sitting somewhere between early Opeth, early Mastodon, and Gojira, Mire is as devastatingly heavy as it is heart-achingly beautiful as it is emotionally cathartic. It’s a hell of a gut-punch of a record, made all the more impressive by the fact that this is only their debut album.

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Album of the Day: Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology


Label: Willowtip Records

‘Slug-themed death metal’ may sound like a joke, but anyone who has encountered Slugdge will know that it’s a joke that is both funny, and conveyed by surprisingly good death metal. Latest album, Esoteric Malacology, is the fourth album from the band, and is as amusing and impressive as ever. There’s something about song titles like ‘Salt Thrower’ and ‘Transilvanian Fungus’ that can’t help but raise a smile; whilst their sludgey death metal also has a surprisingly progressive edge. This is probably the best death metal album released thus far in 2018; and one of the most enjoyable I’ve come across this year from any genre.

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Album of the Day: Coltsblood – Ascending into Shimmering Darkness


Label: Candlelight Records / Black Bow Records (vinyl)

There’s been a small storm around Coltsblood recently, following the band’s decision to pull out of a festival that featured other musicians with links to Nazism. Coltsblood didn’t name the musicians in question, simply stating that they didn’t want to be associated with such things, but have still seen some blow-back as a result. So, firstly: maximum respect to Coltsblood for standing up for what they believe in, knowing full well that it would see them get negative attention. And secondly, now is as good a time as any to be reminded of how great Ascending into Shimmering Darkness, their second album, is.

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Review: Nest – Metempsychosis


Label: Sludgelord Records

To be sucked in by a record upon first listen is an increasingly rare experience; as more and more records are released, and more sonic avenues explored, it can be harder for bands to record music that has that instant “wow!” factor, that feels novel and convincing from the first moment. Yet that’s what Nest have achieved with Metempsychosis. The duo have crafted an album of unremittingly bleak, soul-crushingly heavy blackened sludge that it’s hard not to be captivated by it from the moment you press play, letting the album run riot on your soul for its duration; but  such is the strength of its corruption that the taint will linger long after the album has finished. Even in a world that has recently seen strong albums from bands like Primitive Man and Cult of Occult, this is pretty special.

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Review: Coffin Torture – Dismal Planet


Label: Sludgelord Records

 It’s great to see The Sludgelord branch out from writing about music in to releasing it via their newly formed label, Sludgelord Records. What’s even better is that they’ve picked such a great record to start off the label, with Dismal Planet from doom/sludge bruisers Coffin Torture. Dirty, loud, and oh-so heavy, Dismal Planet is the essence of what sludge should be. This is an album that, by the time it has finished, will leave the listener feeling somehow soiled, with the music seeping out of the speakers like an infection, contaminating all it touches with the most gruesome, glorious results.

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Album of the Day: Fister & CHRCH – split


Label: Crown and Throne LTD

A split between two of the most solid, no-bullshit bands in underground doom, containing two tracks and running to almost forty minutes, this is a record for losing yourself within. It offers two different takes on long-form doom, mixing introspection and spaciousness with crushing weight and claustrophobia. As emotionally heavy as it is musically (i.e., very), this split is bloody great, and should not be overlooked.

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Old Thunder – You Will Be Hated


Label: Self-released

Drawing inspiration from early Christian martyrs, You Will Be Hated from Kentucky one-man band Old Thunder is a crushingly heavy combination of crusty sludge and doom. The project’s debut album follows a series of EPs and splits – including with Twilight Fauna – and is clearly a labour of love, using its historical inspirations to produce something that feels deeply personal. And yet it’s also a record with an accessible edge, with the riffs being so strong and infectious that it’s very easy to immerse yourself within the album, ensuring that, even if the lyrical themes don’t connect with you, the music certainly will.

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