Category: metal

New Audio: Canadian Sleaze Rockers The Death Wheelers Return with a Scuzzy New Single

With the release of their full-length debut, 2018’s I Tread On Your Grave, the rising Canadian act The Death Wheelers — Max “The Axe” Tremblay, Richard “Bastard” Turcotte, Sy “Wild Rye” Tremblay and Hugo “Red Beard” Bertacchi — have developed a reputation for a sound that’s largely inspired by the aesthetics and ethos of bikesploitation movies like The Wild Angels, Werewolves on Wheels and Psychomania — and Dave Allen, The Cramps, Motörhead, The Stooges, and Grand Funk Railroad. 

Slated for a September 11, 2020 release through RidingEasy Records, the Canadian act’s forthcoming sophomore album Divine Filth continues the band’s reputation for crafting sleazy, handbanging instrumental anthems that simultaneously serve as the soundtrack for fictional bikesploitation films. Centered around power chord-driven riffs, Divine Filth reportedly finds the band riding the line between Motörhead, The Cramps and Dick Dale. 

Recorded in a breakneck 48  lives setting, Divine Filth is all killer, no-filler, no-bullshit scuzziness with a layer of crass that recalls Troma Films. This time, their sophomore album is loosely based around this fantastically dumb yet fucking awesome plot synopsis: It’s 1982. Spurcity is run-down,The crime rate is up and so is drug use. A new kind of kick has hit the streets and it ain’t pretty. DTA, a powerful and highly addictive hallucinogenic drug, is transforming its loyal citizens into undead trash. Its users experience an indescribable high, but it leaves them rotting away within days, craving human flesh. No one knows who is dealing this new potent drug, but rumour has it that the motorcycle cult, The Death Wheelers, is behind this concoction. Could this be the end of civilization as we know it? What is motivating this group of psychotic individuals?

Divine Filth’s first single “Corps Morts” will further cement the band’s reputation for sleazy headbangers, as its centered around thunderous drumming, grungy power chords-driven riffs, enormous hooks and an expansive song structure. Sonically, the track will bring The Sword to mind, as much as it does Motörhead and others but with a nasty crustiness on the surface. 


New Audio: Montreal Doom Metal Trio Shezmu Releases a Punishing New Single

Shezmu is a Montreal-based doom metal trio — founding member Oliver Bérubé Emond a.k.a. Comte Bergaby (vocals, guitar) and Marc-André Labonne (drums), along with the band’s newest member, Sol Miracula’s and Aiauasca’s Yanick Tremblay-Simard (bass) — derive their name from the ancient Egyptian god of wine, oils, blood and slaughter. Founded back in 2016, the band released three efforts as a duo, a self-titled demo cassette in 2017, which they followed up with two mini-albums 2018’s The Scent of War and Breaching The Tomb. Interestingly, that same year saw the band expand into a trio with the addition of Tremblay-Simard. 

The band has long had a deep and abiding love of history — and because the band’s name is inspired by one of the more contradictory Egyptian gods, the Montreal-based doom band’s sound can generally be described as contradictory, explorative, expansive and genre-defying: pummeling drumming, enormous power chord riffs and rumbling down-tuned bass help to create a murky and evil sound.  Slated for a July 27, 2020 release through Krucyator Productions, the band’s forthcoming full-length debut A Travers Les Lambeaux, reportedly finds the band taking a much different songwriting approach. While still drawing from ancient history, the album’s material explores themes of rage, sorrow and madness — but the album features some of Emond’s most personal and urgent lyrics to date. 

“Les Secrets des Ziggourats,” A Traver Les Lambeaux’s lattât single is a furious and forceful aural assault centered around pummeling drumming, enormous power chord-based riffage, rumbling bass and howled vocals. While the song — to my ears, at least — seems to evoke the gates of hell slowly being opened, the track is a howl of desperate and seemingly unending despair and of awe.  “‘Les Secrets des Ziggourats’ talks about mental health — more precisely schizophrenia and epilepsy — and their roles during ancient times,” the band explains in press notes. “People with such mental illness were often portrayed as they came from the gods themselves.” 

New Audio: Marseille France’s KVARK Releases a Muscular and Cinematic New Single


Tracing their origins through the formation and split up of several different bands throughout the Marseille region of France, including Sarcopt, Malthiüs, Catacomb, Ibogaïne, La Brokante, From blond, Not a Br(a)in, Arthosis and others, the Marseille-based metal act KVARK is an ongoing collaboration  between two old friends that officially started back in 2017. Since their formation, the French duo have been working on their most recently released five song EP — and with that EP’s latest single “Here Comes Trouble,” The French duo specialize in a muscular yet cinematic take on instrumental metal, reminiscent of Irata and Ministry, but with an expansive prog rock tendencies.  

Employing the use of CGI graphics, the recently released video is a mind-bending and appropriately lysergic visual that would likely inspire you to want to take hallucinogens and vibe out. 

New Audio: Permanent Records and RidingEasy Records Releases a Power Chord Fueled Boogie Woogie off “Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip”

Brown Acid, Permanent Records’ and RidingEasy Records‘ collaboration on their ongoing series of proto-metal and pre-stoner rock compilations from the 60s and 70s have become a regularly occurring biannual feature throughout this site’s almost decade history. Each individual edition of the series is based around RidingEasy Records’ founder Daniel Hall’s and Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi’s extensive, painstaking research and curation — with Hall and Barresi spending a great deal of time tracking down songs’ creators, most often bands that haven’t written, played or recorded together in 30+ years or more, and then encouraging them to take part in the compilation process. As Permanent Records’ Barresi has explained in press notes for previous editions of the compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been hits given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.”

Having the original artists participate as much as possible in the compilation can give the artists and their songs, a real second chance at the attention and success that they missed so long ago. Plus, these songs can help fill in the gaps within the larger picture of what was going on in and around regional and national underground music scenes during the 60s and 70s. Continuing the critical and commercial success of its first nine editions of the, RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records will be releasing Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip on April 20, 2020. (4/20 y’all!) And much like its predecessors, the tenth edition finds the duo of Barresi and Hall digging even deeper into the well of material sadly reduced to obscurity for a variety

Continuing upon the critical and commercial success of its first eight editions of the Brown Acid compilation, RidingEasy Records and Permanent will be releasing Brown Acid: The Ninth Trip on Halloween. And much like the preceding eight editions, the ninth edition finds Barressi and Hall digging even deeper into the well of obscure material written, recorded and released during the 60s and 70s. Interestingly, Brown Acid: The Tenth Trip’s latest single “Mr. Sun” is by a band that was previously featured on Brown Acid: The Third Edition — the Central Texas-based band First State Bank. Led by guitarist/vocalist Randy Nunnally, First State Bank only released three singles during 1970-1976, the first one being “Before You Leave.” “Mr. Sun” is the power chord-driven boogie woogie B-side to “Coming Home to You.” Sonically, the track sounds like a synthesis of Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad and T. Rex –on acid.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Warish Returns with a Furious, Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Over the past couple of years, I’ve managed to spill quite a bit of virtual ink covering the Southern California-based punk trio Warish. Formed back in 2018, the act which features  founding duo Riley Hawk (guitar, vocals) and Bruce McDonnell (drums) can trace their origins back to Hawk’s and McDonnell’s mutual desire to try their hand at something a bit more distinct than what they had previously done: “We wanted to do simpler riffs and a fun live show,” the band’s Riley Hawk explains in press notes. “A little more punk, a little bit grunge . . . a little evil-ish.” And as you may recall, with the release of their first two EPs, the band quickly established a reputation for crafting mosh pit friendly rippers with an aggressively sleazy Troma Films-inspired vibe.  In fact, sonically, the band’s sound draws from early Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, Incesticide-era Nirvana, Static Age-era Misfits and others,

Warish released their full-length debut Down In Flames last year, which featured one of my favorite singles of the year, the menacing, mosh pit friendly ripper “Healter Skelter.” And since the album’s release, the band has been busy touring to support the album — including a tour with Acid King during the last half of last year. Interestingly, the JOVM mainstays start off 2020 with a North American tour with Black Lips that includes a February 24, 2020 stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg — and with their latest single “Bleed  Me Free,” which continues a run of furious early Nirvana-styled mosh pit rippers. 

Over the past month or so I’ve written a bit about the emerging Brooklyn-based metal act Fliege. And as you may recall, the act which was founded back in 2016 began as an inside joke shared between its founding duo of Coleman Bentley and Peter Rittweger: a metal band based solo upon David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of The Fly. Although they initially wrote and recorded their self-titled debut demo for a laugh, the effort received praise from Decibel, who called the six song set infectious, and went on to say “Every once in a while, a band comes along, transgresses all genre boundaries and cuts a demo that stands as a genuine demonstration of a singular sound.”

The band recently expanded into a trio with the addition of Chris Palermo (synths). Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the band’s soon-to-be released, highly-anticipated full-length debut The Invisible Seam is slated for release next week. Interestingly, the newly constituted trio’s full-length debut finds the band moving on to more serious cinema as an influence: Ingmar Bergman’s existential masterpiece, The Seventh Seal. “Our demo tackled The Fly, but we soon realized we had to expand from that universe in order to have anything new to say,” the band’s Coleman Bentley explains in press notes. “So for this one, we chose Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, the story of a Swedish knight returning home from the Crusades to find his homeland ravaged by the plague. He challenges Death to a game of chess, staving off his advances long enough to make it home one last time — questioning mortality, the meaning of life, and the existence of God, while trekking across a dying countryside.  Within the framework of that film, we tackle the nihilism of modern life and the paradox of depression – not wanting to live but not actively wanting to die.”

Musically, the material on The Invisible Seam reportedly features a much more refined sound than its immediate predecessor: the addition of Chris Palermo finds the band adding synths to their sonic palette; but along with that, the album features Bentley’s vocals taking up a more central role while ensuring that it’s also heavier, more heartfelt and more grander, in order to fit the epic concept behind it. Along with this decided refinement of their sound, the newly constituted trio’s full-length effort finds them drawing influences from the likes of Immortal, Nine Inch Nails, Judas Priest, Cloud Rat, John Carpenter and a lengthy list of others.

So far, I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released singles: album title track “The Invisible Seam,” a certifiable Headbanger’s Ball-inspired headbanger, centered around towering 80s metal riffage, thunderous, industrial metal-like drumming, Bentley’s howled vocals and a shimmering and brooding bridge — and “Four Suns” another Headbanger’s Ball-era ripper with atmospheric synths and a decided feel of unease and dread. “Love Plague,” The Invisible Seam‘s latest single features shimmering and atmospheric synth arpeggios, some crunchy 80s power chord-based riffage, pummeling drumming and Bentley’s howled vocals, and while nodding at Moving Pictures-era Rush, Ministry, Slayer and John Carpenter, the album’s latest single may arguably be the bleakest they’ve released to date, as it offers an intensely ambivalent view of love.




New Video: JOVM Mainstays Blackwater Holylight Releases a Gorgeous and Feverish Visual for Doom-laden “Jizz Witch”

Led by founding member Allison “Sunny” Faris (vocals, bass), the acclaimed Portland, OR-based heavy psych act Blackwater Holylight can trace its origins to when Faris’ previous band split up. And at the time, Faris started the band as a way to experiment with what her own version of heavy should and could be both sonically and emotionally — while celebrating vulnerability in all of its forms. Secondly, Faris, who was frequently the only woman in many of her bands, desperately wanted to see how it was to work exclusively with women. 

Blackwater Holylight released their critically applauded self-titled, full-length debut last year, and as a result of extensive touring to support it, the band has managed to hone their sound and identity — with their sound evolving to the point that their live show has become about the slow build.  Interestingly enough, as a heavy band, the Portland-based JOVM mainstays sonically and structurally manage to do something unlike any of their peers in the scene: their material generally isn’t anchored to riffs, but rather riffs come and go in rippling and undulating waves that surface through meditative and entrancing songs, while focusing on building tension and intrigue. 

The band released their sophomore album Veils of Winter last October through RidingEasy Records, and the album finds the band with a different lineup — Faris (bass, vocals), Laura Hopkins (guitar/vocals) and Sarah McKenna (synths) along with the band’s newest members Mikayla Mayhew (guitar) Eliese Dorsay (drums). And perhaps s a result of their new lineup, their sound and writing process has changed dramatically. “The process of this album was vastly different from our first record,” Faris says in press notes. “One, because we recorded it over the course of a few weeks, whereas the first record was over the course of about a year. And two, this album was a true collaboration between the five of us. Each of us had extremely equal parts in writing and producing, we all bounced ideas off each together, and we all had a say in what was going on during every part of the process.”

“One of our favorite things about this album is that because it was so collaborative, we didn’t compartmentalize ourselves into one vibe.” Faris continues. “It’s heavy, psychedelic, pop, shoegaze, doom, grunge, melodic and more. The whole process was extremely organic and natural for us, we were just being ourselves.”

Now, as you may recall over the course of last year, I wrote about two of the album’s previously released singles — the one part doom metal, one part shoegazer “Motorcycle” and the nuanced, yet more straightforward shoegazer-like “Death Realms.” The album’s latest single “Jizz Witch” is an ominous track that further cements the band’s reputation for crafting a doom metal take on shoegaze — or better yet a shoegazer take on doom metal. In any case much like its predecessors, it’s a slow-burning and nuanced dirge that you can simultaneously light incense to and sway and headbang. 

Directed by Phoenix Wolfe, the recently released video is a gorgeously shot yet surreal and symbolic fever dream that features powerful women.