Dismal Hollow: King Giant

12 Jacket (Gatefold - One Pocket) [GDOB2-30CH-001]Rating: 90%

In 2012, Heavy Metal rockers King Giant released “Dismal Hollow.” Although, not a local band, King Giant does hail from Virginia. Using styles of Heavy Metal, Blues and Southern Rock, this album really packs a punch. It’s smooth and clean, even with the dropped D tuning which gives the music a very deep sound. The overall sound is a great sounding album that blends several genres to create a style of Doom/Sludge Metal that stands alone. The vocals are a whiskey soaked style that just adds to the mood of the music.

The song structures a really good, focusing on traditional song structures of riffs, combined with intro, verse, chorus, and bridges. Lots of guitar action taking place as well. The riffs all sound good as do the leads. There are some very rich rhythm sections and awesome tempos. Lyrics deal with more of Appalachia themes. The musicianship is excellent!

Track listing:

Appomattox 6:46

Tale of Mathias 4:14

A Steward’s Prayer 5:43

Pistols and Penance 7:14

6 O’Clock Swill 6:24

The Fog 6:28

Road to Eleusis 4:24

O’ Drifter 6:17

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In the Name of Suffering: Eyehategod

Rating: 85%

7209In 1990, and released in 1992, “In the Name of Suffering” by Eyehategod is the most primitive, doomy, muddy, and gritty sounding album that I’ve heard of in a long time. Many people skip over this important album for some reason. To me, this is one of Eyehategod’s most important albums in their catalog.

The musicianship is very tight. You have the tortured style screaming vocals done by Mike Williams. The ultra feedback, down-tuned, heavy, and distorted riff masters Jimmy Bower & Mark Schultz on guitar. Their sound alone is what makes this album sound gritty and muddy. Then you have bassist Steve Dale and drummer Joe LaCaze.

Musically, again the sound is very raw. The song tempos are drawn out which is why it gets the label Doom Metal. The timing and tempos set by the band are aggressive. Nothing like this was released up until Eyehategod did it. If you like Sludge Metal mixed with Doom Metal and you prefer the sound to be as raw as raw can get, then this is a good album to try. The guitar sound alone is very course and grainy. I do like the Hardcore Punk influences that you can hear, here and there.

Track listing:

1. “Depress” 4:58
2. “Man Is Too Ignorant to Exist” 2:37
3. “Shinobi” 5:15
4. “Pigs” 2:59
5. “Run It into the Ground” 3:10
6. “Godsong” 2:44
7. “Children of God” 3:10
8. “Left to Starve” 3:09
9. “Hostility Dose” 2:43
10. “Hit a Girl” 4:18

Paegan Terrorism Tactics: Acid Bath

Rating: 90%

220px-PaeganTerrorismTacticsIn 1996, Acid Bath released their second and last full length album “Paegan Terrorism Tactics.” To me this is a forgotten or very little known gem with regards to the Sludge Metal genre. It featured vocalist Dax Riggs, guitarists Mike Sanchez & Sammy “Pierre” Duet, bassist Audie Pitre, and drummer Jimmy Kyle.

I remember when I first heard these guys, which was this album here. I amazed at how good the vocals sound and how clear the distorted guitars were. It wasn’t as sludgy sounding as Sludge Metal should be. The heavy and mid tempo style basically had a Doom Metal structure, but there was a southern metal influence to it.

Musically, this is a dark album from the contents of the vocals to the overall song structure themselves. There is a creepy sense of humor to some of the song structures, “Graveflower” is one of those examples with the introduction and verse. There are some nice guitar riffs, followed by drumming. The sound and production is really clean. You can tell that these guys really put in the effort as there isn’t much filler within this album. It’s a shame that there isn’t more material out there on the band as these guys were part of the rise of Sludge Metal.

Track listing:

1. “Paegan Love Song” 5:40
2. “Bleed Me an Ocean” 6:15
3. “Graveflower” 6:07
4. “Diäb Soulé” 4:34
5. “Locust Spawning” 4:40
6. “Old Skin” 1:11
7. “New Death Sensation” 6:44
8. “Venus Blue” 4:42
9. “13 Fingers” 4:10
10. “New Corpse” 3:22
11. “Dead Girl” (ends at 7:23; hidden track “The Beautiful Downgrade” begins at 22:29) 24:08

The Art Of Self Defense: High On Fire

Rating: 90%

Artofselfdefense.jpgHigh On Fire, wow! What can I say? I love this band. They are one of my favorite Sludge/Stoner Metal bands. I love the sound that is produced by these three guys and the sound has gotten even better since their release of this album in 2000.

Musically, it’s bold. It’s got a great sound that is deep and aggressive. The bass and guitars have this harmonizing sound. Mix that with progressive drumming with whiskey drenched vocals and you have one badass Heavy Metal band.

The musicianship is tight. Matt Pike, throws out some great riffs. In fact, he throws out riff after riff with his drop D tuning, with the toned down sound and aggressive style. His leads and solos are far out. I just love the heaviness of his guitar. It’s got spunk and it even has a bit of atmosphere and psychedelic influences. His sound is almost like Black Sabbath’s “Volume 4” on steroids. His vocal approach is influenced by none other than Lemmy of Motorhead. George Rice thunders out the bass lines. His style is clearly a leading element of the deep rich sound. He does perform plenty of scales that  link the guitar and drums together. Behind the drum kit, is Des Kensel. His tempos, beats, and progressive style on the drums is what makes the music so good. You have to respect High On Fire for blending the instrumentation and creating such great melodies.

Track listing:

“Baghdad” – 5:15
“10,000 Years” – 7:53
“Blood from Zion” – 4:55
“Last” – 6:36
“Fireface” – 8:35
“Master of Fists” – 10:03