[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Bison Machine - Hoarfrost (Kozmik Artifactz)
The Hamtramck, MI quartet doles out some good old fashioned American stoner metal on their debut album. There are some pretty obvious Mastodon influences within the six tracks and while I’m not a huge fan of Mastodon, it’s not enough to derail the album. While the band’s technical prowess is on display throughout, it’s not super progressive, relying more on the almighty riff to get through to the listener. The vocals are really smooth and blend in perfectly with the riffage. Overall, this is a really solid debut and I assume these guys are fantastic in a live setting.
Fin'amor - Forbidding Mourning (N/A)
I’m always skeptical of anything coming out of Brooklyn, but this 6-piece delivers an absolutely punishing, relentless brand of Melodic Doom/Death on their debut album. Harkening back to the original Peaceville sound and adding a heavy dose of the current Soviet scene, these dudes conjure up a devastating melancholy nearly unrivaled these days by American bands. The piano is used quite tastefully to lull the listener into an unnerving calm before the wall of doom guitars kicks back in to destroy everything in its path. Can’t recommend this one highly enough.
Khemmis - Absolution (20 Buck Spin)
Another fantastic debut album this week, this one courtesy of the venerable Denver quartet. Combining traditional Doom with a bit of sludge and adding a fantastic fuzzy tone, these dudes have managed to conjure up something that sounds original and actually stands out in a saturated Doom/Sludge market. The vocal performance is my favorite on an album since last year’s Ancient VVisdom release and the music ranks right up there with the vocals. These dudes simply know how to write a riff and arrange a Doom song.
Possessor - Stay Dead EP (Medusa Crush)
The London trio returns to grace us with a short 4-song EP hot on the heels of last year’s fantastic debut release. They add a heaping dose of Thrash to the Doom/Stoner sound and it works quite well in my opinion. The Thrash element really does a nice job of separating these guys from the tried-and-true occult Doom scene and while the vocal suffer a bit on the production end, the riffs are enough to sell this album for me. The sound is so massive and heavy that it’s hard to imagine a power trio pulling it off. Looking forward to another full-length from these dudes soon.