Since their arrival on the metal scene, zhOra have worked hard in forging a sound that takes sludge metal into more adventurous places than most. Armed with a relentless sound that mixes a hardcore crunch with the pure technicalities of progressive metal, the smatterings of death metal and a crushing doom element, their work isn’t for those who seek instant gratification. Their fourth album, ‘Mortals’ really reinforces any ideas that the band often values weight and heaviness over any genuine accessibility, yet at the same time, it is a truly impressive release.
At the time of this two track release, it’s almost been a decade since Dead Man’s Chest released their first full length album ‘Hateline’. In that time, the London-based purveyors of noise have played hard and toured even harder, sharing stages with the legendary Sick of It All, Madball and a whole host of great hardcore bands.
To move forward, sometimes it’s important to take stock of the current situation and go back to the past. On this two track 7”, Texan doom duo Stone Machine Electric revisit the first songs they ever wrote together and in doing so go back as far as possible. Both tracks have been previously available, but this release marks their vinyl debut.
UK metallers Video Nasties offer an interesting blend of sounds on their new single ‘The Hanging Tree’. On the surface, you might hear plenty of call backs to metal’s studs ‘n’ leather days, but for the Liverpudlian band, their riffs run much deeper than that.
When it comes to extreme metal, the Scandinavians have a long and rich history. Quite often, their extremes are rooted in the black metal sphere, but sometimes a more gothic approach will rear its head with interesting results. In the hands of Iceland’s Vofa, the latter definitely applies since their debut album comprises of three very lengthy, title-less pieces that explore the heaviest end of the funeral doom subgenre. In many ways, it sounds almost exactly how its sleeve art looks.