Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – Heavy New Year

While the New Year’s celebrations are waning, we’re all hitting the gyms, avoiding the unnecessary evils in forms of resolutions, over here in bandcamp I have found myself resolutioning with heavier than normal listening. Don’t get me wrong, I still like a bit of mellowness, but more than in recent memory the harsher, more damaging sounds are really hitting home. Here are a few recent albums I have found to be seriously addictive and been jamming a lot lately.

Dryland – Dryland
First up we have my proclaimed album of the week at the end of week #1 of 2017. Not significantly popular as of yet, Dryland bring the heavy, doomy Pacific Northwest progressive sludge rock to the table on their debut full length. Most played album through 2017 so far. It’s a rager.
The massive riffs chop by way of blunt force crushing in all directions with progressive tendencies and hardcore roots. The vocals scream with infectious vigor and the bass cleans up the remains with a sweeping groove. Album of the week 1-6-17.Favorite track: Mirrormaker.

Lizzard Wizzard – Total War Power Bastard
Lizzard Wizzard has been around a while as evidenced by the support on bandcamp of their earlier efforts. The Aussies bring a powerful blend of psychedelic doom metal with elements of stoner and an overall twisted ride of heavy riffs. I wouldn’t have fell so hard for this perhaps last year at this time, but like I said the heavy shit is appealing more to me at the moment. This is heavy, but also maintains a hook that keeps you on you on your toes. It lives up to the album name if I must mention.
Holy crap! What a wild ride. Heavy, trippy riffs, sludgy vocals with bluesy swagger and doomy atmosphere. This is outside my normal go to style but the slow-baked intense doom meets stoned out space rock really makes an impression.

Sons of Serro – Eps
These guys popped up on my feed and I couldn’t help but take advantage of the price tag on a series of 4 EPs just put up on bandcamp. When bands do this I can’t help but assume they are new to Bandcamp and putting up their discography online to view. Nothing wrong with that. It was confirmed by Steve Janiak of Ripple Music’s ‘Devil to Pay’ that these guys are old timers and they had played together 10-12 years ago. He had great things to say about them. Here’s to hoping they’re actively creating new stuff for us to listen. In the meantime go check out the aggressive desert rock with big beefy vocals.
Woah, this came out of nowhere. It's heavy, it's got groove laced hooks, burly vocals spewing angsty tones like a Danzig meets Fu Manchu lovechild. I'm a sucker for this type of undiscovered talent. Western psychedelia meets hardcore desert sludge rock. Killer!

Owain – Owain
This one is heavy as all hell. Super distorted doomy grooves, chaotic vocals and depressing lyrics set the stage for a pummeling assault to the senses. Why do I like this? Because its fucking anniliating to the reality of everyday life. Stoner sludge that fans of High on Fire should eat up. Like Dryland above, there is a progressive element in the songwriting structure that I’m a sucker for and balances out the gruffness in the vocals with an added touch of psychedelic blues. The riffs churn at doom pace and the fuzz is amplified to maximum distortion.

Shadow Giant – Honkytonk on the Moon
This one is perhaps the least heavy on this series, yet is still heavy as all fuck. I mean that album title and artwork scream hard and evil. Shadow Giant is more in line with the stoner/psych crowd with a heavy emphasis on doom. I literally just discovered this one as I was writing up this feature via the recommendation of Steve Howe at Outlaws of the Sun who you should follow for great reviews and recommendations in the heavy underground. So hot off the press my paypal just alerted me via email of my recent purchase. I can foresee this one will soon grow into the hearts of the usual suspect in the heavy doom/stoner/psych scene. The vocals are a lot more accessible than the others on this list. Very groovy and Southern sludgy blues oriented. I’m digging it, only one listen in still trying to figure out what this is comparable to. At the moment all I can say is Shadow Giant have released a stunning debut album and should appeal to fans in all sectors of the heavy underground, especially the heavy blues, stoner, doom crowd. Corrosion of Conformity meets Sleep? Something wicked like that.

That’s it for round #2 of Bandcamp Bonanza here in the new year (2017). Let us know what you think. Send in your tunes to the blog for a chance to be heard by our other writers, let us know what’s been rocking your world. Send me bandcamp codes and I can promote your shit via bandcamp. Hell, just keep on making ripples and we’ll help turn them into waves.

 -The Huntsman

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