[Click on band name for samples and more info]
HellLight - Journey Through Endless Storms (Solitude Productions)
The always reliable Solitude Productions hits another homerun with the 5th album from the Brazilian Funeral Doom/Death Metal quartet. Slow and haunting throughout, the record conjures up an absolutely devastating melancholy. Every track begins and ends with rain, which always works for some reason.
Limb - Terminal (New Heavy Sounds)
No frills Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal on the 2nd album from the London quartet. Fantastic riffs and very solid production that really highlights the guitar/bass/ drum interplay. They’re kind of like a British version of Valley of the Sun with a little more aggression in the vocals. Solid combination. Bonus points for the boss album cover, too.
Sardonis - III (Consouling Sounds)
Not only do these Belgians play instrumental Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal, but they do it with only drums and one guitar. That sounds like a recipe for boredom, but they pull out so many tasty riffs that they more than exceed expectations. As a bass player, I should be offended, but they get a pass. Prepare yourself for 38 minutes of constant headbanging.
Speedtrap - Straight Shooter (Svart)
I’m not generally a fan of Speed Metal, so it takes something pretty strong to get my attention. This Finnish quintet managed to do just that with their second release. Furious riffage, face-melting leads, pounding drums and soaring vocals…Heavy Fucking Metal the way it was meant to be (without all of the goofball bullshit that submarines most bands in this genre).