Devil To Pay – A Bend Through Space and Time

Decent, not amazing. The tribute to lemmy song was pretty great lyrically (at least in an amusing way), but nothing else about the album even ventured above “it’s alright”. I honestly think the cover is the best part about that. How do you hate giant alien tits, in any context?


6.25/10

https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/a-bend-through-space-and-time

Fatmate – Peneden Health Sessions

It’s sort of hard to explain, but this just feels too. basic. Like the riffs sound like they come out of a children’s album, the lyrics are uninspiring, and the atmosphere of the album is ridiculously amateur in a bad way. I’m trying to take this with a grain of salt, because even the band said this isn’t an album so much as a random recording session that the produced. It’s supposed to be more of a “snapshot as to where the band is now”. Well where they are now is in need of someone who has compositional skills. They know how to play their instruments, and they know how to produce an album well. Now they have to write songs that are a bit more complex than coming from The Children’s Guide to Stoner Doom Metal.


4.5/10

https://fatmate.bandcamp.com/album/penenden-heath-sessions

Refract – Refract

Interesting album to say the least. It’s this weird combination of doom metal and stoner metal, without really sounding like stoner doom at all. The band identifies as progressive metal and heavy metal, which is not even close to the case, further adding confusion. It’s hard to review this because the album is so short and the content is so little. It all sounds like one big song, but with not much differentiating content to drive that. The female vocals are kinda nice I guess, but overall it’s rather forgettable, other than it being a genre-bender. Also tip to the band, don’t charge 10$ for a 33 minute debut album when you have no apparent record label.


5.25/10

https://refractband.bandcamp.com/album/refract

Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

A LIST OF GENRE COMBINATIONS I’VE NEVER HEARD, AND DON’T WANT TO

  1. Gamelan Slam Death Metal (no, it would suck and you know it)
  2. New Age Groove Metal
  3. Blackened Twee Pop
  4. Post-Disco (another one that sounds interesting, but deep down you know it would be awful)
  5. Post-Vaporwave
  6. Post-Trap
  7. Post-Any genre invented after Twitter became popular
  8. Funeral Melodic Metalcore
  9. Literal Meme Rap (No, I’ve never listened to Childish Gambino and don’t plan to for this very reason)
  10. Crunk Jazz
  11. Conscious Black Metal
  12. Swans albums made into nightcore (I lied, I’ve actually heard this, it’s just as bad as you think it is)
  13. Chopped and Skrewed / Vaporwave made up of segments of Alex Jone’s radio show
  14. Ambient Grindcore
  15. Ironic Neofolk
  16. Chiptune Drone
  17. Symphonic Miami Bass with Devin Townsend-like Prog Metal elements
  18. Caverncore Detroit Techno
  19. Caverncore Detroit House
  20. Caverncore plus the sounds of Detroit’s decades of financial suffering
  21. Meme-Djent (so basically modern djent in general)
  22. Waaam

Lost Ritual is much less of an ambitious combination, being a combo of heavy Stoner Metal and Groove Metal. What you get is disappointingly everything you would expect; monotonous, repetitive, and very mediocre heavy stoner riffs, that go nowhere, and don’t even try to. I’ll give the album that it’s heavy, but lots of things are heavy. I’m an American, as a people we’re pretty heavy, but that doesn’t mean we should all just fatten up on garbage, nutrition-less foods all the time. This album is basically just junk food that fills the gap of silence. It’s just satisfying enough to not be annoying, but is useless for anything beyond pointless (because let’s face it, metal fans don’t exactly exercise beyond walking around the house a few times a day) carbo-loading. I filler album if I’ve ever heard one.


4.25/10

Cough – Still They Pray

You know it dawned on me while listening to this that it’s actually been around 5 months since I’ve reviewed a proper stoner doom album. Sure I reviewed Church of Misery’s new record in March, but that was much more stoner than doom. You really have to go back to Conan’s record Revengeance that I reviewed in mid February to find a proper heavy as fuck stoner doom album. And even then I didn’t like it at all. Even in general I’ve had a massive lack of doom metal reviews compared to last year, where I reviewed almost 50 I’m pretty sure. This year has been around 15 past the halfway mark. It’s just funny because doom metal (stoner doom in particular) was really the first metal genre that got me into the whole scene. Literally this whole episode of my life was started because one morning before school I decided to listen to Dopethrone. Last year I even commented while trashing some no name band from Russia’s stoner doom album that I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate a stoner doom album until now. A year later I barely listen to doom metal at all. Funny how things change.

I really do think if I had reviewed this last year I would probably be giving it a damn high score. I’m talking maybe high 8 range. This is in part due to the fact that the first half of Still They Pray is Cough’s shameful Electric Wizard worship. I mean worship that’s so hard they’re sucking that wizard’s cock like his cum is bong juice. I guess they can claim that it’s more atmospheric and less riff-centric than E-Wiz, but you’re splitting hairs at that point. Even right down to the exact guitar tone and vocal mannerisms, this is some shameful riff-off shit. Now that sounds like I’m shit talking them, and I am, but only for being uncreative. Musically, if you need to rip-off a band, Electric Wizard is a pretty damn good band to rip off in my opinion (as if that wasn’t obvious by this site’s name). And again, due to this, a year ago I would’ve praised the fuck out of this. But I have some more miles on me now. I’ve seen a fair amount of shit, and that shit’s told me there’s better shit than this shit right here. My pants no longer get soaked by anything ridiculously heavy, I am a more refined man, who would rather listen to poorly played guitars screech randomly while some Norwegian guy yells about how much he wants to kill black people and Christians, than a few British dudes playing extremely heavy blues rock and singing about weed. Artistic merit and whatnot.

But man, thank god albums come in two halves, right? Yeah, the first half is just copying the kings of their genre in a pretty correct but overdone way (I mean fuck, not even the band literally named Dopethrone copies this hard). But the second half is where the album really starts. Let it Bleed is the top track on this album, featuring a MUCH more subdued, almost heart aching, mostly instrumental doom experience that doesn’t let up at all until the end of the album. The final four tracks are like almost an album by themselves, a weed induced journey through your mind and soul. It’s the first time I’ve ever felt sad listening to a stoner doom album. They have this reflective quality in them that’s almost meditative in a way. I mean fuck me, those strained vocals on The Wounding Hours get to me man. Those don’t sound like far out stoned vocals, those sound like cries for help. And the organ to end the track just… fuck man. Since when does music for cheech and chong make me soft in the dong? I will say that the closer, the title track Still They Pray is a bit weak. Yes, it’s nice to have that cooldown with the clean vocals and acoustic guitar, but I really wanted that held organ chord to end the whole thing. Would’ve bee much more powerful, and brought the album time down slightly (which would be good, this shit’s 68 minutes long).

When Cough isn’t being a copycat, they make some great shit. I get it, this produced by one of the dudes from Electric Wizard, so they’re going to leave their mark somewhere. But it would’ve been nice if I hadn’t had to wait through around 35 minutes of ok music to get to the good part. But when the good part hits, it’s hits it harder than a junkie going through a breakup, delivering a uniquely somber, psychedelic, and satisfying experience that I had only wished I could have experienced a bit longer.


7.25/10

Wo Fat – Midnight Cometh

You know what the worst part about reviewing is? Contrary to what most people think, it’s not listening to bad albums. Bad albums are actually part of the fun of reviewing. I mean sure, it’s a painful listen, but you get a story out of it, and more importantly, you got a lot of shit to write about. I’d say it’s actually easier to write a review of an album you hate than an album you love, at least for me. Some of my best reviews in my opinion are just me taking a giant Cleveland Steamer on an album in some interesting ways. Great albums are fun to review to, but it’s hard to actually get fun with the review itself. The fun is in finding great albums, but the review seems more like a formality, and there’s always this notion that you have to write something grand and amazing for some of the top albums of the year. Plus it’s just more fun shit talking something that praising something, I’ll admit that right here.

No, the worst part about reviewing is having to listen to boring albums. Soulless albums, lifeless albums, albums that you have nothing to say about but still have to crank a few hundred words anyway. You can get creative with how you do that, but it’s always a struggle, and you can’t even take solace in knowing you destroyed something with your words. I mean yeah, theoretically you can just not review them, but then you’re basically missing an entire section of your (or at least, my) rating scale. Plus if they’re popular enough, sometimes you literally just can’t ignore them. Wo Fat’s Midnight Cometh falls somewhere in-between, an album that I could probably ignore, but I already spent the 50 minutes listening to it, and it has enough of a following that I might as well touch upon it anyway.

As implied by my previous statements, yeah this shit’s boring as fuck. Literally any stoner band with enough of a budget could make this. I’ll give it at least some credit, some of the riffs are ok, and the occasional tribal/beat poetry-like drumming is kinda cool. But that’s all the points this album’s gonna get from me. I can’t slam it because nothing here is exactly bad, but fuck this was annoying to get through. Literally 50 minutes of nauseating sameness. I mean sameness isn’t always bad. I’ve been on a bit of a deathgrind binge (well, starting to be at least) and I’ve learned that there’s a difference between good sameness and bad sameness.

Sameness that’s easy to swallow and nice to listen to is ok. I can listen to 40 minutes of deathgrind and just accept it for what it is. Fun riffs, cool atmosphere, nothing that’s going to massively challenge me other than just being br00)))))ooooo0tal. It’s nice to listen to even if there isn’t much diversity. Midnight however is the bad kind of sameness. It’s loud, obnoxious, trying to not be same while still be awfully uneventful, basically just a chore to listen to. Essentially, one kind of sameness is easy to swallow, and the other is trying to blend different kinds of flavors together and still tasting exactly the same. They’re both bland, but at least one kind doesn’t try to shit on your digestive system. Or in this case, ears.


4.25/10

Spiritual Beggars – Sunrise to Sundown

I don’t even know what to think anymore. Some of the songs here are godly, some are completely forgettable. What Doesn’t Kill You, No Man’s Land, I Turn to Stone, and Southern Star are awesome stoner metal epics that utilize diverse instrumentation and progressive song writing to create memorable ballads full of color and beauty. The other tracks might as well not be there. Like none of them are bad, but I just don’t give a single shit about them, sort of like how a rhinoceros doesn’t give a single shit about the wage gap. They’re mostly just generic stoner metal tracks that you would find on any record that has 70s nostalgia as their goal. I liked this but I feel like the band’s age is starting to show, and they’re running out of ideas. Time kinda sucks like that.


6.5/10