May 032020



We’ve now entered the second full month of a government-ordered shutdown here in Washington State, with only minimal re-openings permitted before June, and maybe not even then. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country communities are being encouraged to become human petri dishes by venturing out to movie theaters, gyms, restaurants, beaches, etc. Good luck to them. I’ll be interested to see what grows within their cells, or doesn’t.

Meanwhile I’ll try to suppress my own depression and anxiety over the prospect of another month within these walls, and continue to sift through the great mass of new metal in an effort to make my life, and perhaps yours, a little more harrowing and wretched. To that end, below you will find six individual tracks and one album to stream. I also have a collection of other complete releases I would like to recommend. Maybe tomorrow…. Continue reading »

Mar 242016



Here we are, nearing the end of 2016’s first quarter, and an unheralded album by a Virginia band I previously knew nothing about turns out to be one of my favorite releases of the new year. The band is Helgamite, the album is Hypnagogia, and it’s brilliant.

Sometimes a short genre description tells you all you need to know about a band, but not here. Helgamite call their music “Dark psychedelic Appalachian stoner doom”, and I guess that’s fair enough as far as it goes, but it really doesn’t go nearly far enough.

That phrase might make you think you’re in for not much more than a dose of primitive fuzzy riffs shrouded in Sabbathian gloom and a scattering of trippy guitar solos — you know, the kind of thing that’s been done to death but never seems to die. And… you would be dead wrong.
Continue reading »