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8 hours ago, RelentlessOblivion said:

Eyehategod - Dopesick

Sludge really is perfect when the heat is this oppressive

And this why it originated in NOLA. That place invented oppressive heat. I've walked out on EHG 9 times in 5 years. Dopesick is a decent album, but damn I can't stand them live.

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Russian Circles - Gnosis (2022)

Number three on my top nine releases of 2022

Instrumental music has a short shelf life for me usually.  I find it really does grate on me a lot of the time especially when it is done during an album that is predominantly showcased by lyrical tracks.  I am not talking about 00:58 duration interludes, intros or outros here though.  I am referring to lengthy tracks of usually repetitive and unimaginative passages that just do not seem to fit.  Bizarrely, when done well enough, I have no problems with whole albums of instrumental only tracks.  Russian Circles of course have been pioneers of this style over many releases, yet somehow I had missed them altogether until 2019's Blood Year found its way into my world.

I bought Gnosis on vinyl based on the track Conduit as the only teaser I had heard, having enjoyed the amazing video that accompanies the track.  Whist I accept that for some, this is just an instrumental album and in fact I do agree that any instrumental album can only go so far, at the same time Gnosis goes more than far enough for me.  It strikes me that it manages to speak to me a lot better than many lyrics do in all honesty because Gnosis for me is a very big, very loud and very interesting safety blanket. When my anxiety is off the chart, the warm and welcoming structures of this album have more than proven their value in this thirty-nine-minute window of precious time sat alone trying to rationalise my racing brain.  There is a soothing balm to the fuzzy edges of those guitars and those dissonant chimes that ride over the waves of huge riffs are like the stardust in the rings of Saturn itself.

Mental health assistance aside, Gnosis is a success because it is not only so easy to connect with emotionally but also because it is so intelligently put together.  This sounds like a band in control of their influences and who are able to sustain a tight level of playing with what ever style they throw up.  Whether it is indie vibes, sludgey onslaughts or near death metal-paced riffing, Russian Circles have it all under control and have a knowledge of pace that is fundamental to the triumph of the record.  A psychedelic haziness hugs the edges of most tracks with a grasp that allows the progressive and post-metal structures to really build and thrive.

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On 12/27/2022 at 10:39 PM, GoatmasterGeneral said:


Highway Pirates - Album by Bullet | Spotify

Never heard of 'em. Sounds like early 80's Accept meets AC/DC meets Quiet Riot. (and 100 other heavy metal bands no one remembers anymore from 1982) Was expecting the vox to be a bit more shrill, but they really weren't bad at all. That's generally what it comes down to for me with this retro style of heavy metal. I don't know about criminally underrated, more like unknown or overlooked, but either way I definitely did not hate this at all. Probably one of the better modern day AC/DC clones I've ever heard. Not sure if this record would stand up to repeat listens though. (for me anyway)

I find it hilarious to learn that they're Swedish, I totally would have guessed Indiana or someplace like that. Must be the vintage American car on the cover made me think that. Should have known, the fat dude kinda looks a little like Messiah. Very first thing that struck me about the album cover though is the dude sititng on the hood of the car (bass player) basically looks just like me 40 years ago. Minus the white kicks, I never adopted that part of the uniform.

Anyway, thanks for the early 80's nostalgia blast Jimmy T-Bone!


Bullet - Heading for the Top (Official Video)


Bullet - Stay Wild (Official Video)


That's awesome, my friend!  I appreciate the post!  Yes, these guys have been one of my top 6 or 7 bands ever since I discovered them around 2016.  The vocals are that mix between Udo and Brian Johnson for sure haha.  Bullet currently has 6 albums and an EP to their credit.  "Highway Pirates" is my favorite release, followed by "Heading for the Top" and "Bite the Bullet".  But I legitimately enjoy every single release.  I wish they were bigger, but they'll always have my support.  Really psyched to hear that you enjoyed the listen!  Did you happen to check out their song "Roadking"?  It's the second track on their 2008 release, "Bite the Bullet".  Probably my favorite song from them, next to "Hammer Down" from their 2014 release "Storm of Blades".  Anyway, I seem to be rambling, but I can't help it!  I love this band haha.  But yes, you are most welcome for the modern blast from the past, my friend!  Hopefully, I can make a few more good recommendations before my time on earth comes to an end! 

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Over the last 24 hours or so leading up to New Year's, I decided to listen to some of the albums I've been seeing on  lists even, several not what I'd typically listen to see what the fuss was and maybe discover some new surprises....

Zeal and Ardor-I am certainly aware of Z & A and listened to their first album and wrote them off as an interesting hybrid, sort of slick genre splicing modern metal that you see on the big platforms like Rolling Stone, Spin, Treble, etc. But the new one is on so many lists, I said to myself, OK let's give this thing a listen. Zeal and Ardor  combines the blues, gospel thing they do with short stabs at black metal theatrics and 90's alt/Nu Metal, sometimes reminding me of White Zombie and a lot of studio trickiery. I actually find them entertaining for a track or two but don't sustain my interest. Made through about 2/3 of the album. 

Ripped to Shreds/Jubian-I have spent some time with this album, but decided to revisit last night-solid OSDM IMO. 

Viagra Boys/Cave World-I dig these guys. Off the hook post punk Swedish band with an American born vocalist. Their album, Welfare Jazz was one of my non metal faves from 2021-a raucous, humorous look at scumbags, dregs, lowlifes and ne-er-do-wells but is more than just a joke band. The new one seems to take a satirical look at fringe internet/social media conspiracy theories like vaccines turning people into monkeys. It's a fun, swinging rock album with a fresh take on post punk IMO.     

Bill Callahan/Ytilaer-Callahan came to my attention, in 2019 with his album, Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest that was on a bunch of end of year lists. He's a 56 year old singer songwriter that spent years as a recluse recording low fi alternative folk albums. But, he's newly domesticated and is recording a kind of neo folk and rock with a minimalist style- singer songwriter, gravely poets voice. Really like this guy. 

White Ward/False Light-Avant Ukrainian post metal darlings

Sergeant Thunderhoof-The Sculptured Veil-UK psyche stoner I've seen on a few lists. Not crazy about the vocals that remind me too much of the smoothed out style of bands like Khemis and Pallbearer. 

Ghost/Imperium-wanted to see what the fuss was here. I remember listening to their first album and didn't really get what the buzz or the hate for that matter was all about except they play a kind of retro hard rock with Satanic lyrics. I don't hate the new one at all. It's catchy, bubble gum retro hard rock. That said, I didn't make it through the entire album once I got to their syruppy ballads. 

Watain/The Agony and Ecstasy of Watain-sounds like Watain

Pixies/Doggerel-low key Pixies---fine but not really grabbing me

Rosalia-Motomami-Spanish pop singer with a mix of genres. She engages in some Flamenco and has a nice range, beautiful voice and I like some some Spanish music even though I don't really own much if any of it.

Elvis Costello-The Boy Named If-not grabbing me, but enjoyable enough.

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1 hour ago, markm said:

I remember listening to their first album and didn't really get what the buzz or the hate for that matter was all about except they play a kind of retro hard rock with Satanic lyrics.

Just want to be clear here, because over the last few years I've watched Ghost's history get re-written in real time, but the hate for Ghost has far less to do with their music, and started almost entirely from their explosion into the more mainstream side of the world. In general, the same people who trash them now were falling all over themselves to praise the band when Opus Eponymous debuted as a quirky, underground release that no one could get their hands on. I'm not saying their music hasn't become even more poppy and easier to digest over the years, but this is the same band that closed out MDF in 2011. They were absolutely underground darlings for a time, and anyone who says otherwise is either lying or wasn't there when it happened

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