Kingdom of Noise
RULED BY THE RIFF
Monday, May 1, 2023
Nebular Nine: April 2023
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Nebular Nine: March 2023
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Nebular Nine: February 2023
I spent most of February obsessing over a handful of albums. Most notably that Slomosa debut from 2020. I missed it then but I'm making up for it now as there was news of a new album on the way. I love everything about it. The riffs, the vocals, the lyrics even. Obsessed.
The Weedian Trip to Maryland comp ranks high mostly because there are a lot of tracks. But also because it's cool. So are Blue Heron but I know I didn't listen to it more than Acid King. 'Beyond Vision' is album of the year material, my friends. All praise to Lori S.!
I found Warp through reddit (and Doom Charts) and listened to 'Bound by Gravity' a ton of times. I love everything about that one too.
Miss Mellow came to me via Morphy on YouTube. Funk, psych, riffs, swagger, all around good times.
I heard a new Isaak track and immediately said "Shit, man, shit. This song rocks fuckin ass!" Then proceeded to see what I'd been missing all this time. A killer band, that's what. Eager for the new album! Happy to have found 'Sermonize'!
I can't quite remember how I found Mountains but I'm glad I did. Grunge-ier than most other bands in my rotation but there's nothing wrong with 90s-early 2000s influence. Another happy discovery.
Ok. Last but not least. Deep Purple's 'Deep Purple In Rock'. Why, why, why for the love of all that riffs had I never listened to this before. I failed myself. I heard "Child in Time" on a show or movie and was captivated by the snippet. Then became captivated by the whole album. I know Deep Purple. I own 'Machine Head' on cassette, CD, and vinyl (I think). So why did I not explore their other albums? My bad.
In the van I listened to the newest Megadeth, Brant Bjork. Melvins 'Stoner Witch'. Dozer's 'Madre de Dios'. Some others I suppose that I can't recall at the moment. But it was mostly the stuff above and some podcasts about Marxism.
Garage tunes only happened Feb 1 and it was Dozer's 'In the Tail of a Comet'.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
January 2023 Playlist
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
2022: My Favourites
Monday, January 3, 2022
2021: My Favourites
The end of 2017 was bad. 2018 was subsequently sad. 2019 was shitty. 2020 was really shitty. (There was also the pandemic.) 2021 was even shittier. (There was also the pandemic.) 2022 is shaping up to be pretty shitty. (There will also be the pandemic.) Through it all was the music. Everyone has their escape, their grounding point, their way to drown out the tinnitus. However, the music that gets me through the good times and the bad has changed quite a bit. In 2018 I attended Migration Fest which was predominantly black and death metal and never wanted to miss a second of it. By 2021 I barely listened to black or death metal at all. Or thrash. At least not anything new. Nope. It was all about the doom, the stoner, the rock, the sludge, the psych. With exceptions. Nothing too violent or aggressive. I don't have time for that. I needed chill. I needed vibe. I needed groove. I needed dark and slow. I needed stuff to take my mind away. So, here's what filled those needs the most in 2021!
Instead of a numbered list, I used three tiers for the top 25 albums. After the top tier is a big ole list of albums that I felt obligated to list because they were also pretty damn good.
Gojira - 'Fortitude' (Roadrunner Records)
Monster Magnet - 'A Better Dystopia' (Napalm Records)
Hippie Death Cult - 'Circle of Days' (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Yawning Sons - 'Sky Island' (Ripple Music)
Dvne - 'Etemen Ænka' (Metal Blade Records)
Go Ahead and Die - 'Go Ahead and Die' (Nuclear Blast Records)
Kadabra - 'Ultra' (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Redscale - 'The Old Colossus' (Majestic Mountain Records)
Snake Mountain Revival - 'Everything in Sight' (Rebel Waves Records)
Monolord - 'Your Time to Shine' (Relapse Records)
24/7 Diva Heaven - 'Stress' (Noisolution)
High Desert Queen - 'Secrets of the Black Moon' (Ripple Music)
Dayglo Mourning - 'Dead Star' (Black Doomba Records)
King Buffalo - 'Acheron' (self-released)
Earthless - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock Records/Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Lazer Beam - 'Lazer Beam' (LCF Records)
Danko Jones - 'Power Trio' (Sonic Unyon Records)
Fear Factory - 'Aggression Continuum' (Nuclear Blast Records)
Sons of Alpha Centauri - 'Push' (Exile on Mainstream)
Archspire - 'Bleed the Future' (Season of Mist)
Olde - 'Pilgrimage' (Seeing Red Records)
King Buffalo - 'The Burden of Restlessness' (self-released)
Stӧner - 'Stoners Rule' (Heavy Psych Sounds Records)
Blackwater Holylight - 'Silence/Motion' (RidingEasy)
Elder and Kadavar - 'Eldovar: A Story of Darkness and Light' (Robotor Records)
Other Rad Albums
Appalooza - 'The Holy of Holies' (Ripple)
16 and Grime split - 'Doom Sessions Vol. 3' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Acid Mammoth - 'Caravan' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Shiva the Destructor - 'Find the Others' (Robust Fellow)
Greenleaf - 'Echoes From a Mass' (Napalm)
Bongzilla - 'Weedsconsin' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Domkraft - 'Seeds' (Magnetic Eye)
Moon Coven - 'Slumber Wood' (Ripple)
Vokonis - 'Odyssey' (The Sign Records)
Head of Jeddore - 'How to Slaughter a Lamb' (self-released)
Somnuri - ' Nefarious Wave' (Blues Funeral)
Black Sky Giant - 'Planet Terror' and 'Falling Mothership' (self)
Smiling - 'Devour' (Rebel Waves)
Black Label Society - 'Doom Crew Inc.' (eOne)
Jointhugger - 'Surrounded by Vultures' (Majestic Mountain)
Lucifer - 'Lucifer IV' (Century Media)
Mastodon - 'Hushed & Grim' (Warner)
Kowloon Walled City - 'Piecework' (Neurot/Gilead Media)
Crystal Spiders - 'Morieris' (Ripple)
Bogwife - 'A Passage Divine' (Majestic Mountain)
Holy Death Trio - 'Introducing' (Ripple)
Hooded Menace - 'The Tritonus Bell' (Season of Mist)
Trappist/Connoisseur - 'Crossfaded' (Tankcrimes)
Marc Rizzo - 'Living Shred Vol. 1' (Godsize)
Low Flying Hawks - 'FUYU' (Magnetic Eye)
Kal-El - 'Dark Majesty' (Majestic Mountain)
Comet Control - 'Inside the Sun' (Tee Pee)
Snail - 'Fractal Altar' (Argonauta)
1782 - 'From the Graveyard' (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Sunnata - 'Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth' (self)
Heavy Temple - 'Lupis Amoris' (Magnetic Eye)
Sion - 'Sion' (self)
Spirit Mother - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock/HPS)
Stӧner - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock/HPS)
Mountain Tamer - 'Live in the Mojave Desert' (Giant Rock/HPS)
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
2020: My Favourites
It goes without saying 2020 was fucked. But between all the flaming garbage I think I made big personal strides in really discovering what mattered to me. And well, here are the albums from 2020 that mattered to me. Top 20 and Next 20, in alphabetical order, because numbered rankings are pointless.
All these albums are available on Spotify and/or Bandcamp. You know how the internet works.
The Atomic Bitchwax - Scorpio (Tee Pee)
Bantha Rider - Binary Sunset Massacre (Bantha DIY, Piranha Music, AimDownSight)
Black Rainbows - Cosmic Ritual Supertrip (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Brant Bjork - Brant Bjork (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Dead Quiet - Truth and Ruin (Artofact)
Electric Hydra - Electric Hydra (Majestic Mountain, Tee Pee)
Gypsybyrd - Eyes of the Sun (Cosmic Stone)
Hymn - Breach Us (Fysisk Format)
Killer Be Killed - Reluctant Hero (Nuclear Blast)
Khruangbin - Mordechai (Dead Oceans, Night Time Stories)
Local H - Lifers (Antifragile)
Moths & Locusts - Exoplanets (NoiseAgonyMayhem)
Oranssi Pazuzu - Mestarin kynsi (Nuclear Blast)
Psychlona - Venus Skytrip (Ripple)
Sevendust - Blood and Stone (Rise)
Sons of Otis - Isolation (Totem Cat)
Somnus Throne - Somnus Throne (Burning World)
Turtle Skull - Monoliths (Art As Catharsis)
Yawning Man - Live at Giant Rock (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Big Scenic Nowhere - Vision Beyond Horizon (Satin) and Lavendar Blues (Satin)
Body Count - Carnivore (Century Media)
The Budos Band - Long in the Tooth (Daptone)
Deftones - Ohms (Reprise)
Elder - Omens (Armageddon Shop)
Dirt Woman - The Glass Cliff (Grimoire)
Goatriders - The Magician's Keep (self)
Huanastone - Third Stone from the Sun (Argonauta)
IAH - III (self)
Lowrider - Refractions (Blues Funeral)
Lucifer - III (Century Media)
The Pilgrim - ...From The Earth To The Sky And Back (Heavy Psych Sounds)
Pink Cigs - Pink Cigs (Harvest Studios)
The Re-Stoned - Thunders of the Deep (Qiasum Music)
Sepultura - Quadra (Nuclear Blast)
Spirit Adrift - Enlightened in Eternity (20 Buck Spin)
Thomas V. Jӓger - A Solitary Plan (RidingEasy)
Tombs - Monarchy of Shadows (Season of Mist) and Under Sullen Skies (Season of Mist)
Yatra - Blood of the Night (STB) and All is Lost (Grimoire)
Monday, March 30, 2020
2019: My Favourites
(Note the above intro was written well before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. My hermit powers are even stronger now.)
Honourable Mentions: Cult of Luna - A Dawn to Fear, Scissorfight - Doomus Abruptus Vol. 1, Speedealer - Blue Days, Black Nights, Alunah - Violet Hour, Smoulder - Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring
36. Tool - Fear Inoculum (Tool Dissectional/RCA)
11. Wizard Rifle - Wizard Rifle (Svart)
T-1. Colour Haze - We Are (Electrohash)
Saturday, May 4, 2019
We Hunt Buffalo - Head Smashed In
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Favourite 40 of 2018
27. Dead Meadow - The Nothing They Need (Xemu) - I heard Dead Meadow playing in a record store back in 2001 and bought it immediately. They still connect with my soul.
26. Vile Creature - Cast of Static and Smoke (self) - This heavy-as-fuck Canadian duo made quite the splash in 2018. The nihilism and heft of this crushing slab of catharsis should make everyone want to join their angry queer doom cult.
Because I thought I did a good job, and because I want to get this thing posted now that it's MARCH, the following blurbs are copied from an original post at Hellbound.ca. Enough procrastinating!!!
9. Soulfly - Ritual (Napalm) - I would usually leave Soulfly off a list like this altogether due to personal bias (the first tattoo I ever got was a Soulfly logo) but Ritual warrants the recognition due to the change in direction the band takes. Soulfly had been going in a more intense death-thrash direction on recent efforts but Ritual sounds more like Max Cavalera in the mid-to-late ’90s. Late Sepultura, early Soulfly. Not nu-metal though. Groovy? Sure. Tribal? Some. Intensity? You better believe it. It impressed many fans who had given up ages ago and even some that have hung in the whole time.
8. Windhand - Eternal Return (Relapse) - Virginia’s Windhand teased ever so tantalizingly with their half of a split with Satan’s Satyrs. That appetizer was the perfect setup for the satisfying main course. Eternal Return satiates all doom desires. The warm tones penetrate your body while the flowing riffs liquify your bones into a vaporous syrup. Dorthia Cottrell continues her reign among the most affecting doom vocalists of this, or any age in the genre’s evolution. Windhand’s earthly and bewitching doom is a blessing of mood music. The beauty of it is there’s a whole range of moods Eternal Return can amplify or soothe. A potent elixir for all your ills.
6. Astrakhan - Without New Growth Process is Bloodshed (self) - RIP Astrakhan. With this release it was made known that Astrakhan was to be no more. The SADness of February’s cold days took a new twist as Sans Astrakhan Disorder. The cure actually comes in the form of listening to the album. WNGPIB is masterful. There’s no term for their progressive, post-, hard-charging, doomy, sludge-into-stoner metal. That indescribability adds to its charm. Serpentine riffs and dynamic intensity take the listener through a lifetime of emotional shifts. Harmonies and vocals stretch your soul like puddy, solos send your mind exploding across galaxies, and the whole package… sadly wasn’t released on vinyl. I’m pretty excited for the guitarists’ new project Brugada though.
5. Fu Manchu - Clone of the Universe (New Damage/At the Dojo) - All that really needs to be said about Clone of the Universe is that there is an 18 minute song on it that features Alex Lifeson of Rush. He doesn’t play for the whole 18 minutes mind you but it’s still way cool. It’s also pretty cool that a band known for short-ish punchy tunes pulled off such a monster track and even embedded it with a new essential Fu Manchu moment. Light the throttle!!! Scott Hill and company do have surprises up their sleeve! Rest assured though the runtime friendly anthems of California-baked coolness that make up the rest of album leave their mark too. Fu Manchu doing Fu Manchu, with an adventurous twist.
4. Sleep - The Sciences (Third Man) - I’ve been a Sleep fan since I first discovered them in 2000. Jerusalem was unlike anything I had heard before. I finally got a chance to see them play back in August. They didn’t play all of Jerusalem/Dopesmoker but they did play some of it. They also played a bunch of songs from The Sciences, their first full-length since Dopesmoker was originally released in 2003. “Sonic Titan” is a holdover from those days given a boost from studio production. The songs range in length from the 3 minute intro/title track to the 14:23 of “Antarcticans Thawed” and every second is unmistakably Sleep. “Giza Butler” might be the second best song they’ve ever written. There’s a riff in there that is my spirit animal. Throw me off a bridge. I don’t care as long as that’s what I hear on the way down.
3. Brant Bjork - Mankind Woman (Heavy Psych Sounds) - This past year or so I have REALLY gotten into Brant Bjork. I loved Black Power Flower and Tao of the Devil but I never really dug into the past. I did this year. Partly due to Mankind Woman. I needed more. And more. As much as I could get. (HPS is actually reissuing most of his back catalogue so….) I can’t even get enough of this album though. Shades of funk and blues. Groove. Psych. Stoner vibes. An overwhelming sense of chill. These are some of my favourite things…about the album. And the lyrics. Songs about life. Diamond hard nuggets of wisdom. “Nation of Indica” is my favourite song of the year for just such reasons. Stay chill, my friends.
2. High on Fire - Electric Messiah (eOne) - My guess is that after dragging his strings around in Sleep and their new material he needed to balance that by making a new High on Fire album as intense as humanly possible. There is a fire burning under Electric Messiah that’s heating those riffs to a rapid boil. Add in the white hot electricity of this trio and you’ll be seeing God. Everything feels 110%. They’ve been at this a long while, and not without challenges, but they bludgeon with such conviction here you’d think their faces were young and fresh. So muscular, so intense, so brilliantly executed. I don’t care how people feel about High on Fire production (I hear nothing wrong here). It’s about the songs. I LOVE THESE SONGS.
Thanks for hangin' in there.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Coffin Torture - Dismal Planet
Thorfinn handles guitar, bass, and vocals with Blind Samson handling drums, keyboards, and samples. You'll have to listen hard for those keys and samples but that's okay because this begs to be cranked to maximum volume. Secure any loose items first unless you want them on the floor. The level of low end distortion emanating from the speakers registers on the Richter Scale. It's a planet-sized record bleeding filth and darkness enough that “dismal” could be the most appropriate descriptor needed.
Coffin Torture work through a variety of tempos but by and large they operate on two levels; doom and sludge. Slow and not as slow. The faster parts are really driven by the percussion as the fuzz truly permeates the auditory spectrum and flows into one overwhelming wave of distortion. Layers stack upon one another until it creates a sound so thick and sustaining that silence is just not an option. The notes though are not hidden by the blanket of sustained noise affecting every nerve in your body. They just resonate. The notes hit like hammers and leave a lasting impression of residual amplifier strain.
The nuance here is subtle but effective. A ringing phone here, some psychedelic flavouring there, etc. In a way the straightforward nature of their low-slung sludge-conjuring doom doesn't have much to say but when the music holds you down and delivers this much pain the most poignant things to say don't even come out as words. In much the same way the lyrics come as perhaps less important than the way they are expressed. I'm sure Thorfinn would disagree, and I'm not trying to discount lyrics in any way but you can't help but feed off the rawness of the vocals.
It's pretty obvious what you're getting with Dismal Planet. Mountain-crumbling doom fused to sick sludge riffs heavy enough to affect your gas mileage. Coffin Torture bury the listener neck deep in fuzz then deliver a righteous beating that only dents the wall of distortion. Duos like this have a way of getting in, kicking ass, and getting out before the supernova explodes. Explode away.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Kingdom of Noise Picks the Best of 2017: Top 20
Hey! Yeah, I meant to get around to posting this weeks ago but life gets in the way. Life is continuing to do that so I'm just going to post my Top 20 of 2017 without blurbs and stuff. Just the band, album, label and a link. That should be enough, eh?
20. Monolord - Rust (Riding Easy)
19. Archspire - Relentless Mutation (Season of Mist)
18. Cannibal Corpse - Red Before Black (Metal Blade)
17. Necrolytic Goat Converter - Isolated Evolution (self-released)
16. Mutoid Man - War Moans (Sargent House)
15. Woe - Hope Attrition (Vendetta)
14. River Black - River Black (Season of Mist)
13. Pallbearer - Heartless (Profound Lore)
12. Ufomammut - 8 (Neurot)
11. Queens of the Stone Age - Villians (Matador)
Villains on Spotify
10. Spirit Adrift - Curse of Conception (20 Buck Spin)
9. Space Witch - Arcanum (HeviSike)
8. Royal Thunder - Wick (Spinefarm)
Wick on Spotify
7. Hell - Hell (Lower Your Head)
6. Wiegedood - De Doden Hebben Het Goed II (Consouling Sounds)
5. The Atomic Bitchwax - Force Field (Tee Pee)
4. Elder - Reflections of a Floating World (Stickman)
3. Couch Slut - Contempt (Gilead Media)
2. Olde - Temple (STB/Medusa Crush)
1. Alunah - Solennial (Svart)
Until next time!
Friday, January 5, 2018
Kingdom of Noise Picks the Best of 2017: 30-21
Without further ado, our (my) picks for 2017's best releases #30-21!
30. Cavernlight - As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream of Our Ache (Gilead Media): You want misery? You got misery. This is the most miserable, depressing release I heard all year. Mind you, depressing music doesn't actually make me depressed so we're all good! But seriously, this kind of doom will break a person.
29. Young Hunter - Dayhiker (Fear and the Void): This one took some time to grow on me but when it did it spread like a fungus. Not necessarily a psychedelic fungus but visions of captivation by its subtle groove, smooth guitar work, and vocal interplay definitely danced in my head. Emotional. Soft yet heavy. Highly addictive.
28. Extremity - Extremely Fucking Dead (20 Buck Spin): How could a band consisting of Shelby Lermo, Aesop Dekker, Marissa Martinez-Hoadley and Erika Osterhout NOT kick ass? I'll have you know it kicks plenty of ass. Death metal ass. In "The Year of Death Metal" it's the fresh blood (er, new bands) that did the most damage to my ears. Brutality reigns!
I can't get the bloody embed to work. Click here for Extremely Fucking Dead on Bandcamp.
27. Bison - You Are Not the Ocean You Are the Patient (Pelagic): I see the Van City sludge stalwarts were able to drop the b.c. from their name. That's nice. It doesn't mean their riffs contain any fewer middle fingers though. New bass player, new label, same heaviness. I remember my bangovers from seeing them live and this one gives me the same feeling without even moving.
26. Woodhawk - Beyond the Sun (self-released): Woodhawk riffs are sweet riffs. Songs about Star Wars earn bonus points. A guest appearance by Kevin Keegan ices the cake. But all you really need are the riffs. Woodhawk put the whole package together with great songwriting, extreme catchiness and vocals you can sing along with. Hard rockin' and easy ridin'!
25. Void Ritual - Heretical Wisdom (Tridroid): If you're craving the icy pain of Scandinavian black metal but prefer it searing your flesh in the New Mexico sun, look no further than Void Ritual's debut full-length. Daniel Jackson threads powerful and gripping darkness right into your bones all while scorching a path of destruction through a vortex of determination. Dude just flat out rules.
24. Unearthly Trance - Stalking the Ghost (Relapse): 2010's V got me through many a cold Canadian Winter's night. I feared that may have been the last we heard of Unearthly Trance. I was extremely pleased when UT resurfaced to spread filthy doom across more frigid midnights. Scowl as you must and bang with all you've got; that ghost isn't going to stalk itself.
23. Necrot - Blood Offerings (Tankcrimes): FUCKING DEATH METAL!!! I can't dig all these death metal bands making things all weird and shit. I want death metal to kick me in the mouth over and over again with skull-cracking riffs that I can actually headbang to. Necrot give me all the old school death feelings I crave from the downtuned, guttural vocalized, bone-breaking end of the metal spectrum.
22. Electric Wizard - Wizard Bloody Wizard (Spinefarm): Electric Wizard could put out an album of cow patties hitting the ground turned into riffs and I'd fucking buy it. But that takes nothing away from their newest effort. The British doom institution delves into Uncle Acid territory on this one but maintain their classic EW identity in the smokey haze that proves eternally addictive.
21. Cavalera Conspiracy - Psychosis (Napalm): Max Cavalera is basically metal royalty to me so it was a given that anything he put out this year was going to show up on this list. CC's latest doesn't disappoint with its varied attack. The Cavalera Bros. tear shit up like only they can and manage to sound less like Soulfly than on previous albums. I spent more money on this album (deluxe box) than any other this year and it was totally worth it.
Top 20 when I get around to it. ~Matt
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Olde - Temple
Let’s get this out of the way first: I love Olde. I’ve been boosting this band from the beginning. Heavy-ass, sludgy doom from my neck of the woods? Yes, please! In case you don’t know by now, Olde was put together by guitarist Greg Dawson (Cunter). He recruited strangers from the same city to form the band back in 2014. (Or at least that’s when debut album, I was released.) Bassist Cory McCallum (Five Knuckle Chuckle), vocalist Doug McLarty (ex-Jaww, Catharsis, Holy Order), guitarist Chris “Hippy” Hughes (Moneen) and a fellow I’d been listening to for ages, drummer Ryan Aubin of Sons of Otis round out the quintet. With each release, including 2016 EP Shallow Graves, Olde just keep getting better and newest opus, Temple is proof of that.