Category Archives: Sludge metal

Open Tomb – Dead Weight

Open Tomb - Dead Weight
New Zealand Funeral Doom / Sludge trio Open Tomb follow up their warmly received split with Meth Drinker and ‘Servants of Slow’ cassette with a new LP entitled Dead Weight. Featuring three new tracks of absolute misery and forbidding torture lasting under forty minutes, they seem to be sticking to the formula that served them so well on their aforementioned releases. This release is another raw open wound, vulnerable and angry, very angry. This is also the first venture by label Dry Cough Records into vinyl territory on their own, so this will have particular importance to the label. And, as this is a new chapter in the labels somewhat short history, Dead Weight sounds like someone’s last dying moments caught on vinyl for all to hear. Raw, slow and disconsolate to the point of insanity. This particular sub-genre is often overlooked and disregarded altogether by fans and critics who are too comfortable with their own more favoured genres. Opening and stand out track ‘Blood and Flies’ features all of the above and is an uncomfortable listen. The overdub of a female inconsolable weeping and buzzing of flies, paints a dark and disturbing picture. Not a record to have on while the in-laws are visiting, but very good and also an important and very significant release from an impressive label that is still very much in it’s infancy. A tough listen but repeated visits to this will prove fruitful. Time and patience are once again required in abundance for this one. The vomit inducing artwork (a bit too strong to show on here) is not for the faint hearted either.

Open Tomb are:
Dane (Drums, Backing Vocals), Tonamu (Bass), Sean (Guitar, Vocals)

Dry Cough Records


Wolvhammer / Krieg – Split 7″

Wolvhammer / Krieg - Split 7"

This July will see much admired Broken Limbs Recordings release a mouth watering split featuring two of America’s finest bands in Wolvhammer and Krieg. Side A features Wolvhammer with their track ‘Slaves to the Grime’. This Minneapolis/Chicago blackened sludge quintet are due to release their third LP entitled ‘Clawing into Black Sun’ through Canadian label Profound Lore Records in the same calendar month as this offering. Therefore hardcore fans will undoubtedly be salivating with agitation at the prospect of two physical releases in such a short space of time. The track is six minutes of pummeling guitars that is carved only by the frenetic vocals of Adam Clemens. The guitars (in parts) are somewhat reminiscent of Danish, Funeral/Doom metal trio Black Wreath on their 2009 Magnum Opus ‘A Pyre of Lost Dreams’. A very strong offering altogether. Side B features New Jersey Black metallers Krieg’s ‘Eternal Victim’.  Once again the quality of the guitar playing is something that is of most prominence here. Having been around since 1995, these guys effortlessly convey a unique ambience that many bands strive, unsuccessfully for their whole career. There are indeed similarities in the sound of both acts, this is most likely due to the fact the bands have crossed paths in the past, Wolvhammer guitarist Jeff Wilson has previously played guitar with Krieg. There will only be 500 copies of the split 7″ available through the label so fans will need to act fast if they would like to own a physical copy.

Wolvhammer are:
Adam Clemens (Vocals), Jeff Wilson (Guitar), Brenden Seven (Guitar), Joe Noel (Bass), Heath Rave (Drums).


Krieg are:
Neill Jameson (Vocals), D. Weston-Ball (Guest Vocals), A. Poole (Guitar), D. Zdanavage (Guitar, Bass), J. Dost (Drums).


Broken Limbs Recordings

Walk Through Fire – Hope Is Misery

Walk Through Fire - Hope Is Misery

Following 2011’s mirthless and deeply shaded masterpiece ‘Furthest From Heaven’, Gothenburg’s Walk Through Fire make a welcome return with album number two for parent label Aesthetic Death. ‘Hope is Misery’ is another wretched chapter of cataclysmic doom in their career and is their longest album to date (almost eighty minutes in length). Having formed in 2008, they have had more than their fair share of personnel changes, but this line-up sounds tight and in sync with each other. Kicking things off with a slow building, pummelling instrumental ‘Sustained on Grief’, it soon becomes crystal clear at what direction the album will be taking, or should that be tar thick?! The title track is an intimidating deluge of feedback and stabbed drumming from Juliusz Chmielewski, who is also a member of on hold Symphonic Black Metal group Fall ov Serafim. ‘Next to Nothing’ is the sole let up in an otherwise relentless barrage of devastating doom. Every beat hits the listener like a pile driver, hammering home the group’s unique sound impeccably. ‘Another Dream Turned Nightmare’ is a staggering twenty one minute epic, that bleeds despair and anguish. If you liked their debut album, you are going to love ‘Hope is Misery’, it is much like Furthest From Heaven, yet on a much grander scale. The music is unquestionably bigger, darker (if that was possible) and heavier than it’s predecessor. In conclusion, this album needs to be in your collection, album of the year so far.

Walk Through Fire are:
Ufuk Demir (Guitars & Vocals), Andreas Olsson (Bass & Vocals), Fredrik Flegar (Guitars), Juliusz Chmielewski (Drums).

Official Site
Artwork by Cihat Aral

Generation of Vipers – Howl and Filth

Generation of Vipers - Howl and Filth

Generation of Vipers are a three-piece originating from Knoxville, Tennessee.  The trio have been producing their own incomparable mixture of sludge, noise and doom since 2004.  The third full-length and follow up their 2007 album Dead Circle is currently available through Golden Antenna Records.  Featuring six tracks spread over just under forty minutes this is assuredly their finest work to date.  The album was recorded and mixed by Kurt Ballou, who has worked with acts such as Converge and Today is the Day.  Opening track ‘Ritual’ is evocative of Isis on their 2006 record, In The Absence Of Truth, before rupturing into sublime riffage and the frenzied vocal attack of Josh “Asa” Holt.  ‘All Of This Is Mine’ is a haunting break between the onslaught of face-melting sludge and features eerie and despondent keys.  ‘Eternal’ has one of the most memorably noxious riffs of the past year, and boy have there been a few of those!  The guitar sound created by Holt also features some wailing meandering hooks, much like those made famous by Bakersfield’s Korn.  Penultimate track ‘Slow Burn’ is exactly that, on first listen it does not stand out however, repeated listens are necessary here to reap the benefits.  Vocally, Holt is as good as any in the genre and his vocals are delivered with incensed and calculated furore.  Closing track ‘The Misery Coil’ is yet more impeccably channeled fury that boils perfectly before fading out in a mist of glorious, caterwauling feedback.  This is a fine offering from an extremely good band.  Check out and stream the record in its entirety here while you still can.

Generation of Vipers is:

B.J. Graves (Percussion), Josh “Asa” Holt (Guitar, Piano and Vocals), Travis Kammeyer (Bass Guitar).

Golden Antenna Records.

Cult of Luna – Bristol Fleece 13/08/2013


Housed by the Wool Hall in south central Bristol, The Fleece has become one of the most well established venues in the region.  The old concert posters that overlook tonight’s punters serves as a constant reminder of the many great acts who have already tread their boards.  Tonight see’s Swedish septet Cult of Luna return after a five year absence from British soil.  Home-town band Sonance kick proceedings off with a short set that is well received by the crowd.  Second on the bill are North Somerset alternative/ambient band Blueneck.  Their lamenting sounds win over the locals and once they have finished their short set, we are left wanting more.  And so to tonight’s headliners.  Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have seen COL live before will know that, when on top of their game, they produce one of the most frenetic and intense experiences in live music, across any genre.  Tonight is certainly no different, with monstrous driven sounds straight from the off.  As well as blitzing through tracks from their latest record Vertikal, the group also unleash a domineering version of ‘Finland’ from their 2006 masterpiece Somewhere Along The Highway.  Having two drummers playing in tandem with such gusto is a true joy to watch in such an intimate setting as this.  The crowd dutifully nod along in approval.  An eerie and meandering ‘Passing Through’ drops the hard gained momentum, before ‘Dark City, Dead Man’ ensures that the pace was dropped momentarily.  Having borne witness to one of the year’s best gigs to date, there are many satisfied punters exiting the venue.  Why wouldn’t they be? Cult Of Luna are the best in the business.

Baroness – Live at Maida Vale – BBC

Baroness - Live at Maida Vale - BBC

Next month sees Savannah Georgia’s finest exports Baroness release a very limited edition 12″ vinyl pressing.  Originally recorded for BBC Radio One Rock show in the intimate setting of studio 4 in Maida Vale studios London.  This release features four tracks from their 2012 masterpiece Yellow & Green and this is simply essential listening for fans of the quartet and captures the band on top form.  First track ‘Take My Bones Away’ has an immediately memorable riff, that snakes through the track and sounds immense.  ‘March To The Sea’ flows perfectly and the vocals of singer John Baizley sound big and bold beside the fuzzed guitars and ‘Flea’-esque baseline of Nick Jost.  ‘The Line Between’ builds so sweetly with thunderous drumming from Sebastian Thomson, it is impossible not to nod your head in approval.  The B-side of the vinyl features a striking silkscreen of Baizley’s swan image which also features on the cover, yet another enviable talent possessed by the frontman.  Given the fact that Baroness had to cut short their last visit to the UK this will give listeners an idea of how the band sound live, grab this before it’s gone for good.

Baroness are:
John Baizley (Guitar, Vocals), Peter Adams (Guitar, Vocals), Sebastian Thomson (Drums), Nick Jost (Bass, Keyboard).

Official site.