Grayceon - Pearl and The End Of Days
If you don't know Grayceon by now, you haven't been on this site long enough. San-Francisco prog/sludge trio has one of the weirdest line-up's you'll hear of, featuring a guitarist who doesn't use a pick, cellist/vocalist, and a drummer. The most interesting thing about their sound is that the cello takes the roll of the bass, giving low-end, but is still provides a lot of the bands melody. Grayceon expanded further in this dynamic with a monster of an EP this year: featuring two tracks; one clocking in at 10 minutes, and the other at 17. Pearl and The End Of Days sees Grayceon stepping into more aggressive territory, but the band still retains their quirky prog, highly melodious and sludgy tendencies. Pearl starts off with an ominous intro, the blasts into some fairly thrashy goodness for a bit, before going into the typical Grayceon sludge jam. End Of Days is an epic piece, that features every signature Grayceon you know and, with a meaner tone than ever before. This EP has some really badass material, so if cello based sludge metal sounds cool to you, get this one now.
Listen to the full EP here
In Solitude Ė Sister
Like many Scandinavian metal acts, In Solitude embrace the darker things in life. Unlike a lot of Scandinavian metal acts, In Solitudeís music is actually haunting and chills the listener to the bone. Originally seen as one of many Mercyful Fate worship bands coming out of Europe, In Solitude presents a new sound on Sister. This time around, they have a more gothic rock sound, bearing similarities to Samhain, along with some post-punk sounds as well. Throughout the record, the young band crafts a bunch of sinister rock tunes with infectious hooks, eerie vocals, and killer riffs. There are still elements of their earlier sound present on the album, strongly heard on the track Horses In The Ground, but overall In Solitude does a masterful job of mastering a new style of music and still honing in past influences to create a horrifically beautiful record. If a mix of 70ís metal and gothic rock sounds awesome to you, you need to hear this record.
Kylesa Ė Ultraviolet
Savannah sludge metal veterans, Kylesa, presented their 6th(!) studio album this year with Ultraviolet. As alluded to on their previous release, Spiral Shadow, Kylesa has continued substituting the in-your-face, hardcore vibes thatís apparent on their earlier releases with more experimental, psychedelic vibes. Singing covered in reverb is now more prominent than ever, the tones are features just as much modulation as they do fuzz and distortion, and overall, most of the songs are a lot more relaxed, and arenít nearly as aggressive as their older material. Even so, Kylesa still retains heavy, trudging riffs (Unspoken, Weíre Taking This) and fast-paced face melting tunes (What Does It Take, Vultureís Landing), they just throw in elements of psychedelic rock and early noise rock to give their already signature sound a new dimension and a new appeal. If psyched-out sludge metal sounded appealing to you, definitely give Ultraviolet a spin.
We're Taking This
Leucosis Ė Leucosis
Leucosis are an atmospheric black/doom metal band out of Santa Cruz, California. Their self-released, self-titled album is full of great atmospheric black/doom metal. The six tracks are all pretty long, the shortest being 9:22. The album is full of doom jams that slowly eat their way into your brain and intense black metal passages that capture some of that lo-fi feeling but the music is still easy to make out. The music really builds on atmosphere and creates some soundscapes that border beautiful and horrific. The album is full of melancholic riffs that build and explode into epic riffs that you canít help but bob your head to. The only real problem with this album is its length. Itís 68 minutes long, and to be frank, relays a little too much on repetition to get the point across. There are some absolutely great moments like the intro to Anaesthesia, the intense black metal passage in Taiga and the guitar sweep driven doom outro of Aponea. But a lot of the tracks do sound kind of similar, so at times it can drag if you arenít 100% vibing on it. But if youíre looking for awesome atmospheric black metal with elements of doom, dig this.