Category Archives: Metal

Top 30 Albums of 2014: 30-16

Here’s the first half of the top 30 albums of 2014! While this year didn’t impress me anywhere near as much as last year, there were still dozens of great releases, especially in the second-half of the year. I guess as well, since this year has been very quiet for the Rich Reviewz blog (for personal reasons – 2015 will be the return of regular posts), you can see all the albums I’d wish I could have spoken about. Continue reading

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My TEMPLES FESTIVAL 2014 Experience

This is the second (and final) attempt at reviewing the weekend because the original draft reached 1,250 words by the time I covered Electric Wizard – the headliner of the first night – and I know no-one loves music enough to read an essay. So here’s my run at a brief cover of the weekend, to make it less painful for you and me.  Continue reading

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Yorkshire Riffer Live Review (Eiger Studios, Leeds. 26/4/14)

‘Kin Hell Fest is the brainchild of Paul from No Fucks Given, which is on next weekend, and caters mostly to fans of crust, grind, thrash, death and all other extreme types of metal with the likes of Napalm Death, Undersmile, Massacre, Jesus Cröst and more playing across the whole weekend. Yorkshire Riffer is a sort of little brother to this main event, acting as a warm-up gig (just like the Salvation gigs are to Damnation festival). Despite this being the smaller gig, that doesn’t mean the line-up was anything less than great with the likes of doomsters Eagle Twin, Palehorse and beer-loving grinders The Afternoon Gentlemen ripping the audience apart for the night.  Continue reading

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Introducing #6…

This is basically the new discoveries I’ve been enjoying over the December 2013/January 2014 period… and most of it is metal – so there’s no hip-hop or electronica here, sorry!

OOZING WOUND

The way I found out about Oozing Wound was seeing their LP “Retrash” at my local record shop back home, I really liked the artwork on the front, it caught my eye to say the least. So remembering the band name, I went home and looked them up, disappointed that they weren’t what I was expecting (I’m still not quite sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t the result). Yet I still kept seeing that artwork pop up on the net and eventually I gave them another go early in December. My wrongs were righted.

Oozing Wound is basically a whole lot of fun wrapped up in thrash metal. Despite the video for Call Your Guy (my favourite track of theirs, that riff for the first half: urgh!), it’s like they replaced the source of good thrash – beer – with psychedelic drugs. It’s not like they get proggy either; it just sounds like three guys in a room jamming on some other plane.

If you like your thrash, then there’s no real excuse to not enjoy them in some way. It may take a few listens but it’s definitely worth it.

Listen to: Call Your Guy, Everyone I Hate Should Be Killed, Autopsy Turvy.

LUMBAR

Despite being a fan of Mike Scheidt I was a bit dubious when I heard about Lumbar: I only knew of Mike and I wasn’t sure how much of an input he had, as I knew this wasn’t “his” project. Eventually I got round to it and was blown away. Lumbar is aptly named so because Aaron Edge (far right) was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; which affected his ability to play music yet somehow it is Edge who plays all the instruments on this album: Scheidt and and Tad Doyle only providing vocals.

Reading about Edge’s troubles and inspiration for the record (a great and insightful interview with him and Scheidt here), it’s absolutely astounding to know that he fought the pain and struggles and managed to come up with an album that blows a lot of the other doom releases of 2013 out of the water. “The First and Last Days Of Unwelcome” is a seven song album that somehow manages to straddle both the old school doom vibe and the crushing heaviness of the more modern waves of sludge.

Definitely a must for doom and sludge fans. I rarely ever pay for digital albums (I rather and often pay a little more for physical) but after hearing the album twice before heading home for Christmas, I quickly purchased the digital download to listen to continually on the train, so worth it. Also, there’s a neat use of Ennio Morricone’s “The Man With The Harmonica” at the end of Day Six.

Listen to: Day One, Day Four, Day Six.

SYNSOPHONY

Synsophony are one of those noisy drone/ambient projects that can pride itself on creating some truly dark, haunting yet entrancing music. The duo, Tom Pryce and Ollie Borgstein, culminate the use of guitars, piano, cello, harmonica, vocals and electronics into depraved soundscapes, but there is beauty inbetween the darkness.

The guys have two tracks (and so two releases) so far: 2010’s “Karmic Existence” and 2014’s “Rabbit Hole”. The former is a 23-minute monster that teases you in for about 6 minutes before releasing seismic noise and feedback on you; getting louder and louder and more abrasive until it collapses into a sweet ambient state for the rest of the time. Rabbit Hole, a shorter experience at just under 13-minutes, feels similiar to the style of Pharmakon, but doesn’t fall into as clear a rhythmic structure and again increases in volume and intensity, giving you brief ‘break’s here and there.

These two releases are pretty promising from these two and it’ll be interesting to see what they would do with an album format. If you love your drone dark and noisy, give these guys a go.

Listen to: Rabbit Hole, Karmic Existence.

EAGLE TWIN

What do you get when you mix Tom Waits-esque vocals and lyrics with doomy Melvins? THIS. Already being a fan of Ascend (his project with Greg Anderson), I’d been meaning to give Gentry Densley’s Eagle Twin a listen for a long time and only got around to it before Christmas… Needless to say, I loved what I was hearing with the slow off-kilter guitar/drums along with rough and almost crooning vocals.

Eagle Twin is the only band on here who isn’t relatively new, having been in action since 1997, yet only has two albums and two splits to their name. Despite this, the duo have a strong reputation in the underground doom scene and it’s easy to see (or hear) why with both their recordings and live performances. They have managed to carve a signature sound of their own that no-one has dared to imitate.

Basically, if you like your doom to be a little bit more experimental, Eagle Twin is the band to go to.

Listen to: Snake Hymn, And It Came To Pass That Birds Fell To Earth As Black Snakes, Ballad of Job Cain Part II.

SO STRESSED

It seems like so far that I’m just too cynical for my own good: again, seeing the band name and their an album title “Attracted To Open Mouths”, I assumed they would be an average powerviolence band – granted I love powerviolence, but there’s an abundance of it right now. What I heard instead was a different thing, I began nodding my head and blanking everything else out, it grabbed my full attention.

I won’t repeat myself all over again, you can check my review of their debut here. I was just massively impressed and have been listening to the thing regularly over the past few weeks.

Listen to:  Little TVSecret BreastsAnimals Seeking Political Asylum.

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Catch-Up Reviews #3: Fuck Buttons, Stone Titan, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Suuns…

Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus

Fuck Buttons have a strong underground following in the electronic scene and their strong drone orientation can split listeners into two very different conclusions; either instant love or overbearing difficulty to understand. For this listener, it was definitely the former when being introduced to Surf Solar from their second album “Tarot Sport” – an album which feels like a spiritual journey throughout; every track dissolves and morphs into each other fluidly. So how does their third release stand?  Continue reading

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Submission Round Ups #1

This will be a new segment where I review submissions sent in via mini-reviews. If you send stuff for me to review it, I will review it, and so this is the best way I can keep on top of the growing number of submissions. If you like/hate the idea, let me know! Continue reading

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Carnage At Christmas Live Review (The Parrot, Carmarthen. 13/12/12)

First off, there’s a confession to make: local gigs never really whip up any interest in me; at least not in comparison to the excitement of seeing international bands touring the UK. However, this event organised by Before The End Promotions reimbursed any faith I had lost in the local scene and rock/metal gigs in the Carmarthenshire area over the past few years. Continue reading

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Deftones – “KOI NO YOKAN” Review

The review is up on Eyesore Merch’s blog, so click here to head on over and have a read. Leave your comments, let us know what you thought of the album and/or the review!

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My “Damnation Festival 2012″ Experience

Sorry to disappoint, but you won’t find the review of Damnation 2012 here… but you will find it over on Eyesore Merch‘s far nicer blog by simply clicking HERE. Have a look, comment your thoughts/highlights and share it!

Anyway, it was my first Damnation Festival and was a great experience, I can definitely see myself going again.

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Gojira – “L’Enfant Sauvage” Review

Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
Genre: Progressive Metal/Death Metal

Label: Roadrunner Records

Gojira, if you’ve been hiding under a rock from metal music, is a roaming behemoth in the metal movement at this moment in time after releasing some of the most innovative and crushing albums in death/technical metal over the past few years. Continue reading

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