Tarot – Reflections (2016)

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Author: Dave

Band: Tarot

Album: Reflections

Genre: Psych Rock/Heavy metal

Label: Heavy Chains Records

 

 

 

After a series of demos and EP releases scattered out over the last several years, the Australian heavy metal band Tarot have released their first full-length album this year. Their sound is a polished and enchanting, and is a compelling musical statement borrowing equally from heavy metal giants like Iron Maiden as well as from classic rock greats like Uriah Heep. The end result is an album that is at once melodic, punchy, engaging, and captivating. More critical heavy metal listeners might balk at the clean production, but as clean as it is, it’s far from sterile, and the deceptively simple approach to their compositions does more than make up for that.  Continue reading

Yuma Sun – Watch Us Burn (2016)

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Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: Yuma Sun

Album: Watch Us Burn

Label: Membran

Genre: Occult Rock/Post-Punk/Country

Is occult country-rock a thing? Should it even be a thing at all? Well, Yuma Sun, the Bergen based quintet is as close to occult country-rock as it is possible to come. Gothic country or death country is already a thing, but those tags do not do accurately reflect on what Yuma Sun tries to embody with their music. The underlying theme of Yuma Sun and especially on Watch Us Burn and their previous two albums is the occult side of US southern evangelical Christianity and by combining elements of 60’s and 70’s occult rock together with a dark and mysterious country sound they manage to nail the sound of impending doom.   Continue reading

Stabbed – Submerged (2016)

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Author: Gay For Gary Oldman

Artist: Stabbed

Album: Submerge EP (2016)

 

Label: …none?

 

Genre: Alt-Rock/Djent/Groove Metal

 

Back in 2004 as a high schooler, I attended some of my first local shows. At the time the local scene of South Australia was mostly torn between a few up and coming groove-metalcore bands who would go on to open for every international act for the next decade, and the old vanguard of a select few bands still clinging and adapting the last gasps of nu-metal. With bands like Mudvayne, Slipknot and  Mushroomhead as the template, they began pushing out into slightly more experimental music using odd time signatures, ambience and synths. Whilst it was fun in a live setting, it wasn’t something you’d bother picking up the CD for. I haven’t done any research on the popularity of Stabbed, but with 500 views as their top viewing Youtube hit, I’m gonna go ahead and say they’re pretty indie, and their EP should be judged as such.  Continue reading

A Pregnant Light – All Saints Day (2015)

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Author: Arvind

Band: A Pregnant Light

Album: All Saints Day

Label: Colloquial Sound Recordings

Damian Master, the troubled mastermind behind A Pregnant Light, once told me that “pure black metal must have riffs” (http://kwur.com/five-songs-to-listen-to-curated-by-damian-master-of-a-pregnant-light/). It’s an epithet shared by many, a simple idea in principle that nonetheless provides a stark guideline for how to gauge and interact with this genre of music. It’s rather fitting, then, that A Pregnant Light, Master’s long-running project, straddles the line between blown-out atmospheric black metal, charging post-punk, and straightforward heartache. Continue reading

Flight – Flight (2015)

Author: Dave

Band: Flight

Album: Flight

Label: Bad Omen Records

Flight are a new heavy metal band from Norway whose purpose seems to be to hearken back to the classic metal era of the early nineteen eighties. And insofar as that is their purpose, they certainly have succeeded at it – in spades. The lineup is simple: a drum kit, a bass, and a couple of guitarists who trade off riffing and playing solos. No keyboards, no synth effects, no harmonies. Just basic, old school heavy metal. But inasmuch as that has been the recipe for a good number of metal acts, you need more than that to make a compelling album.  Continue reading

Satan’s Satyrs – Don’t Deliver Us (2015)

Author: Goldensundown

Band: Satan’s Satyrs

Album: Don’t Deliver Us

Label: Bad Omen Records

Satan’s Satyrs were a band that came to my attention while reading through an issue of Iron Fist (#8) early last year and was instantly taken in by the fuzzed out combination of 60’s/70’s garage rock, early punk and trad doom thrown in with the pulp-y aesthetics of 60’s biker films and occultism of the debut, Wild Beyond Belief! The sophomore effort, Die Screaming, expanded the sound more and drew in interesting inclusions of carnival-esque sounds, surf rock and an overall less raw sounding but good experience and their third album, Don’t Deliver Us, furthers the ambitious sound expansions of the previous release. Continue reading

Kauan – Sorni Nai (2015)

Author: Crono

Artist: Kauan

Album: Sorni Nai

Label: Blood Music

 

For those that don’t know, Kauan is a long-running Russian band, whose music has normally tended towards the beautiful, leaning on ambient, folk, post-rock, and heart-wrenching Finnish vocals. However, every once in a while Kauan will flex a little bit doom and black metal muscle, cutting through their usual melancholy beauty with something that is crushing. But let’s be honest here: Kauan makes pretty music, and you must enjoy pretty music to get into Kauan, not matter how many times they toss in some heavy vocals. Continue reading

Tusmørke & Spectral Haze – Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler (2015)

Author: Jan Jakobsen

Band: Tusmørke & Spectral Haze

Album: Tusmørke Vs Spectral Haze – Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler

Label: Duplicate Records

With an album titled as weird as Elektriske Skrekkøgler og Forhistoriske Fremtidsfabler, roughly translated to “Electric Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Future Fables”, you know you are in for a treat. This split consists of two of Norway’s best progressive and spacey rock outfits of the 2010’s. Tusmørke is 70’s progressive rock made in 2015 in every sense; they got the Jethro Tull flutes, the Yes esque-vocals and the general weirdness of King Crimson. They have already released two critically acclaimed full-lengths and their live shows are notoriously experimental, performing mainly unreleased material. The other half of this split is space rockers Spectral Haze. Their music is a cosmic journey through space and time, heavy Sleep influence mixed in with a drugged out atmosphere. Relax, eat some mushrooms and travel throughout outer space together with Spectral Haze. Continue reading