Hot takes on new and recent releases as well as some that we just discovered.
Beastmaker – Eye Of The Storm
With one final EP release (the 11thin less than a year!) Trevor Church winds down the mighty Beastmaker so that his new project, the more traditional metal band Haunt can rise up. The EP series was an amazing feat that ends on a high note with our favorite of the series. Eye Of The Storm combines the best elements of Beastmaker with the new stylings of Haunt to craft a perfect epilogue to the Beastmaker era and prologue to what is to come from Haunt.
Gale – Gale
Arizona band Gale immediately hits you in the face with huge riffs on the opening track of their new self-titled release. Big, thick riffs paired with vocalist Brandon Tutty’s distorted screams make for a formidable follow up to the band’s 2014 release Vol.1. The decimated forest on the cover of the album is a perfect wrapping for this scorched earth sludge release.
Flight – A Leap Through Matter
A fresh slab of late 70s NWOBHM from Norwegian group Flight. The band takes a big leap in both production and song writing on their second release A Leap Through Matter. Flexing their guitar muscle on tracks Reviving Waves and One With The Sun show that the band is comfortable stretching out a tight riff with a solo or two to create a dynamic metal album.
Green Lung – Woodland Rites
The highly anticipated full-length debut from Green Lung lives up to the hype with eight tracks of fuzzed out occult rock. Green Lung brings a slightly more subdued, melodic sound to Woodland Rites which ups the sinister feel of each track without losing their edge. Let The Devil In pulls back just enough to let the hook really grab you before the riff takes over.
Sometimes I go into a new album wanting to like it based on the individuals involved in its creation, even if it is a genre of music I am not familiar with at the time. Volcano’s debut album is a perfect example of this experience. Early reports of this new group tossed around genres such as Afrobeat and Zamrock which were all completely new to me (full disclosure: I had to google Zamrock). Musical uncertainty aside, I was completely confident in the musicianship of the group based on a couple of its founding members, namely Zach Oakley and Gabe Messer. Oakley is one third of heavy psych blues hustlers JOY and Messer plays with the acid rock freak show Harsh Toke. These two bands get plenty of spins at STC HQ, so I knew I would be in good hands exploring this new musical territory.
Naked Prey leads off the album introducing us to all the players right away by locking into a tight groove about a minute into the track that manages to instantly transport the listener to a new musical land. Messer’s dramatic vocals weaves a story across the album’s six tracks sometimes acting as narrator and main character. Although there is plenty of funk to be found on The Island, the grooves are all based on a heavy riff and beat that should please most fans of heavy music. The album’s title track is another great example of the group dialing in a beat and moving in sync with one another making it hard for the listening to remain still. Broaden your horizons and give this album a spin, you will not be disappointed. If you dig it, I highly suggest you also check out JOY and Harsh Toke for further journeys into the musical stratosphere.