[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Castle - Under Siege (Prosthetic)
The San Francisco trio returns with their third full-length album. Under Siege is chock full of classic heavy metal with doom tendencies. The band's NWOBHM influences shine through here, but this is very much a 21st century metal record, full of killer riffs and outstanding leads. The underlying labyrinth theme provides a creepy vibe throughout. If you dig the occult metal revival of recent vintage, especially the female-fronted variety, you don't want to skip Under Siege.
Comet Control - Comet Control (Tee Pee)
Comet Control is a Canadian quintet formed by a couple of dudes from Quest for Fire. On their self-titled debut, they hit a homerun with their blend of dark, psychedelic stoner rock. The fuzzy riffage creates a perfect backdrop for the stoned-out, mellow vocals. Fans of Fu Manchu's trippier outer space stuff will find plenty to dig here. It takes a pretty solid album to stand out in the psych/stoner scene these days and Comet Control has managed to do so.
Landskap - I (Iron Bonehead)
The debut album from this London 5-piece contains only 4 tracks, but clocks in at 33 minutes. The combination of heavy-ass doom and trippy, light instrumentals is presented in manner similar to that of Welcome to Sky Valley, in that the songs kind of flow into and out of each other rather than stand out as separate tracks. These guys stretch their riffs to ridiculous lengths, but they manage to keep everything interesting with cool leads, killer bass lines and spaced-out vocals on top of the heavy, doom-laden riffs. If you dug the recent release from The Wounded Kings, you’ll dig this.
Mortalicum - Tears From the Grave (Metal on Metal)
The Swedish power trio is back with their 3rd album, following up 2012’s The Endtime Prophecy. Mortalicum has a knack for playing classic doom with a hard rock/stoner rock feel. The riffs, especially the bass lines, are very Sabbathian in nature and the choruses have some catchy hooks. It’s nice to hear some modern doom with clean vocals rather than the tired High on Fire-esque shouts that have become the norm. Mortalicum isn’t afraid to crank up the BPMs when necessary, which adds a touch of Trouble and recent Grand Magus to the overall Candlemass aura. Tears from the Grave stands out as this week’s top release.