Following a 5 year break after their debut release, Slabdragger have concocted a follow up that is worth the long wait. For the uninitiated, the band name gives away the style pursued by this UK based power trio; slow, heavy music that trudges at a measured pace. ‘Rise of the Dawncrusher’ comes off as a well rounded affair that makes use of the best elements of bluesy stoner metal, doom metal and sludge. The lines differentiating these styles are blurred on this record and the result is giant monolithic album that spans over an hour long, which manages to keep the listener tuned in without imparting a sense of fatigue.
Given the choice between a band that makes the same type of music on every record and a band that experiments and attempts new things, I’d choose the second band every time. Though new experiments might not always be successful, there’s something satisfying about seeing a band grow from album to album. Take Sweden’s Sideburn for example. Their 2012 release, ‘IV Monument’ was a stoner rock record filled with delicious riffs and a hard rock attitude. While the band’s newest release, ‘Evil or Divine’ continues to harbour these same ideas, it also expands on it with moments of experimentation. Sideburn show that they’ve matured as a band and as songwriters.
When Indian stoner doom purveyors Bevar Sea released their debut album back in 2012, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable records to come out of the Indian scene at that point. Filled to the brim with riffs that stuck with the listener, the band amassed fans from all over the country and around the world. The popularity of the record was made evident during their live shows, where the entire audience would hum along to the riffs and sing the lyrics in unison, making the vocalist’s job redundant. So it is natural that the follow up to such a debut be met with sky high expectations. The band’s second full length ‘Invoke the Bizarre’ sees the band shift away from hooky 70’s rock inspired riffs and deeper into traditional stoner doom territory. Regardless of the change in course, Bevar Sea manage to come up with a record that grows on the listener like a potent, yet slow hitting strain of kush.
‘Cold’ is the second EP by progressive sludge outfit OHHMS. OHHMS’s critically acclaimed EP ‘Gloom’ showcased a mix of post-metal, sludge, psych and stoner metal. Here, OHHMS experiment with the addition of a lot of new psychedelic and stoner elements. The EP consists of two tracks, spanning a total of 33 minutes.
The best part of modern stoner / doom / sludge metal is that, even though there have been shit-load of bands and albums coming through every fortnight for the last few years, the quality somehow seems to keep the seasoned fans interested, and in fact get more fans with new each album in this genre. Fuzz laden psychedelic stoner band FOGG simply takes you on a new ride, maybe more bumpy than you would have wanted with their new album ‘High Testament’ that was released June 22nd, through Tee Pee Records.