[Click on band name for samples and more info]
Garden of Worm - Idle Stones (Svart)
The Finnish Prog/Doom trio returns with their second full-length release. Four songs, forty-plus minutes, including a 20 minute opus that takes up the entirety of Side B. Massive doom riffs mixed with a progressive sensibility, weird time changes and super smooth vocals. Definitely an interesting release and a nice change of pace from all of the doom/death stuff coming out. Stick with it on the long tracks; there's a lot to like buried in there.
Iron Kobra - Might & Magic (Dying Victims)
The second album from this German quartet is a fantastic throwback to heavy metal's glory days. There are some Priest riffs in there, some Manowar imagery and some German thrash moments for good measure. The vocals took me a minute to get used to, but I adjusted. This is one of those classic "strap on your denim vest and check out your wispy mustache in the mirror before you go tailgate for the Accept concert" albums.
Leather Nun - Buddha Knievel (Nine)
I don't know how this San Diego trio has flown under my radar all this time, with this being their 5th album since 2006. This is definitely one of the year's best Doom Metal records so far. Absolutely crushing tone and riffage. Also, the songs are relatively short by doom standards, so you get a lot more variety and hooks. These dudes worship at the altar of Iommi, for sure. Time to check out the back catalog and headbang for days.
The Midnight Ghost Train - Cold Was the Ground (Napalm)
I saw these dudes live at Ironfest last year and I was blown away by their stage energy. I was a little apprehensive about that carrying over to an album, but the Topeka trio alleviated all doubts about 30 seconds into their 3rd album with one of the most monstrous riffs ever laid down on tape. This is Stoner Metal the way it was meant to be played; loud, dirty and groovy. The barked vocals don't mesh completely with the rest of the sound, but it's a damn fine record.
Morbid Evils - In Hate with the Burning World (Svart)
Here's another Doom offering from Finland this week, this time in the sludge/doom/death vein. On their debut record, the quartet unleashes a filthy barrage of riffs and crushing atmosphere. the production is much colder than your typical doom release, so it sounds fresh and different. It's pretty abrasive throughout, but solid nonetheless.