On the Turntable – Crypt Rot ‘Embryonic Devils’

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About five months ago, I went to the Soundcloud page for Southern Lord Records to hear an early-release track from Crypt Rot.  I proceeded to listen to “Chapters of Torment” just about every day for the next couple weeks.  Shortly after, I learned they were playing at The Power of the Riff this past December in LA.  I was already scheduled to shoot the fest so I was excited to see these newcomers live.

As I said in my corresponding Power of the Riff piece, their set was the best way to open a festival, hands down.  To be honest, I was super bummed that more people didn’t get to see them.  Being the first band on the first day of a bill is tough, and doing so while being relatively new is even more tough.  Those of you that missed them really missed something special, but you can do yourselves a favor and catch their tour this coming summer.

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Crypt Rot at The Power of the Riff 2016

We’re finally coming up on the release of their debut album Embryonic Devils, and I was afforded the chance to hear it in full.  I have to say, from the opening track with the almost campy haunted house sound effects (squeaking door) to the closing track “Internal Organ Feast,” I was completely engrossed, and ended up listening to it three times on my way home without batting an eye.  In addition, the members of the band have names such as “Father Flesh” and “The Executioner,” so you should have a good idea of what you are getting into.  

The opening track, “Chapters of Torment,” which after five months I am very familiar with, rolls right into what has become my favorite track on the album.  I plan on catching these guys when they hit NYC in May and I have to say that if “Scaphist Waste” doesn’t inspire a pretty fierce pit, then in my opinion no song can.  It’s raw, fast, and just damn good, with Father Flesh’s vocals tearing through the song and super heavy riffs breaking things up and getting the head banging.

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Even when CR slow things down a little with “Pit of Morbidity” it doesn’t feel out of place.  If anything, I think it gives the band even more dynamic and proof of talent.  The addition of the vocals by Rotten Mistress is what takes this song from great to incredible.  She has the perfect voice to compliment the male vocals – both haunting and achingly beautiful.

There really isn’t a moment in this album when I think to myself, man, I’m kind of getting bored, or I wish this song had this or the album had that.  For a debut album, this is a solid starting point and I look forward to seeing where this crew from Ohio goes next.

Grab your copy through Southern Lord here

-Skc Photo-

On the Turntable – Power Trip ‘Nightmare Logic’

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Power Trip is a band I wasn’t familiar with prior to hearing their second album Nightmare Logic, which will be released February 24th through Southern Lord.  I was instantly welcomed into the album with a wall of delicious distortion followed by what felt like stumbling into a wormhole that took me straight to an excitement and energy right out of none other than Metallica’s first studio record Kill ‘Em All.

The songs are short, exciting blasts of energy and aggression. This is a common format in this type of album, but often such short songs feel unpolished, rough or too meandering, like unfinished ideas. Power Trip’s great skill is their editing of their own work, which results in a gorgeous mix of classic metal, thrash and punk. As an added bonus, there are so many glorious guitar screams, the kind that I long for but can usually only find in fantasy metal!

Each band member is incredibly talented, and together they have created a much-needed throwback sound with a modern twist – it doesn’t seem like they are just cloning a sound that works. I am most impressed with the energy sustained throughout the album, it is consistent and combative and even more so it sounds like the makings of an incredible live show.

In my opinion, lyrics are something that many metal fans are too forgiving of, by implicitly not expecting much more than vague threats of violence and male chest pounding/dragon slaying/etc – but Nightmare Logic is not only refreshing in its sound, but also lyrically. The band provides us with anthem after anthem inspiring us to fight back against oppression. This genre is not normally my thing, but I cannot tell you how jazzed I am to have an album that serves as a great collection of songs with a purpose that couldn’t be more relevant!

Recommended Songs: The entire album from beginning to end

Grab your copy of Nightmare Logic on Southern Lord here.

Photo by Skc Photo

-Pygopagus-

Sunn O))) Announce Northeast US Tour Dates

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We on the east coast of the U.S. (SGM headquarters) haven’t been fortunate enough to catch Sunn O))) on tour since this past spring, but come March 2017 they’ll be sending sonic waves of drone throughout the northeast and up into Canada. Labelmates Big Brave will be joining them once again, with their trademark blend of soulful grunge.

Sunn O))) is offering a special through their Bandcamp page as a token of appreciation for all their fans. You can swing by and get «青木ヶ原 // 樹海» (aka “Aokigahara // Jukai”), a track from the flexi 7″ that was released along with select vinyl copies of Kannon. They’re also offering 35% off with code SOLSTICE2016, so now is a good time to grab any albums you might be missing from your digital collection!

Check out the tour dates below!

3/12/2017 930 Club – Washington, DC w/ Big | Brave
3/13/2017 The Rex – Pittsburgh, PA w/ Big | Brave
3/14/2017 Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Toronto, ON w/ Big | Brave
3/15/2017 La Sat – Montreal, QC w/ Big | Brave
3/16/2017 The Coolidge – Boston, MA w/ Big | Brave
3/17/2017 Knockdown Center – Brooklyn, NY w/ Big | Brave
3/18/2017 Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA w/ Big | Brave
3/21/2017 Barbican – London, UK @ Convergence Festival w/ Hildur Guðnadóttir
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-Thalia Gore-

Boris ‘Pink’ Tour

It has been ten years since the American release of the iconic album Pink by Boris.  It was originally released on Southern Lord Records after its initial introduction in Japan.  In celebration of the tenth anniversary Boris has released a special edition through Sargent House, including a slew of unreleased tracks.

The Japanese trio embarked on a U.S. tour in support of their recent release joined by none other than Washington’s favorite drone metalists, Earth.  We had the good fortune of catching these two at Warsaw on your standard hot and sweaty New York summer night.

Earth kicked the night off, with Dylan Carlson quietly strolling on stage joined by Adrienne Davies on drums and Brett Netson on guitar.  Netson is new to the Earth family and has previously been seen in Built to Spill.  The two-guitar setup gave the night’s set a bit more of a folk tone then their famous drone sounds, but it was a nice change of pace.

The crowd hung on Carlson’s solemn yet heavy guitar riffs as Netson gave a complementary overlay on his side of the stage.  Davies, who is one of my favorite drummers to see live, swayed and lunged with the rhythm as if her whole body was an extension of her drumsticks.  It seemed like the members of Earth were slowly getting the crowd primed before they unleashed a throwback, “High Command,” to knock everyone off their feet.

The crowd had a little break to shake off the heady drone vibes before Boris took the stage.  Atsuo, Takeshi, and Wata emerged from the fog and it felt like all hell broke loose.  Contrary to what many might have expected, Boris took the liberty of rearranging the tracks from Pink, starting with “Blackout.”  An energized Atsuo called out to the crowd from behind his kit before he stood up and pointed a lone drumstick into the frenzied, moshing mass.

As expected of Boris, their set was loud, capable of inspiring sleeping tectonic plates to wake up, making me curse myself for forgetting my earplugs and wondering how many days my ears would be ringing.  The set was definitely a little more drone heavy at the beginning, but then they switched gears and brought out the punk vibes with “Electric” a little bit later in the set.

At this point the pit was in full swing, my shirt was ripped off by a grabby crowd surfer, and everyone was a sweaty mess except for Wata, whose ability to look stunning from start to finish without a single bead of glistening sweat was a wonder in and of itself.  Suffice to say their show was a blast, and further proof that this band will never get boring.  Top it all off with a gong pounding, stage diving Atsuo and you have one hell of a well-rounded set.  Just don’t forget your earplugs if you catch them.

-Skc Photo-

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