suicideyear – Japan
As you can tell by now, I’ve become a fan of hip-hop. And if you have any clue as to what kind of music I like, you’d know that I’m very much into groovy stoner metal and really atmospheric, ethereal forms of metal as well. So the idea that there’s a style of hip-hop production that’s heavy on groove and atmospheric goodness, while retaining hip-hop trademarks I love like soul samples, sporadic hi-hats and booming 808 bass drums would naturally excite me. And that’s what I’ve discovered thanks to Louisiana producer, suicideyear. I’m totally aware that cloud rap stylings have been around for quite some time, but this was my first exposure to the style and I’m really digging the material. Almost all the lead melodies on these tracks sound like they could belong club bangers, especially with the heavy use of trap-rap style hi-hats and bombastic 808s, but the keyboard sounds suicideyear uses are really calm and soothing, so it gives the songs a really chilled-out vibe. When I hear these songs I can’t help but kick my feet up, relax and bob my head. Maybe do a little cookin’. If you’re into cloud rap, definitely check this out.
Windhand – Soma
If you’re in need of tasty stoner, riffs, look no futher. Windhand’s major label debut, Soma, is chockfull of tasty, monstrous fuzzed out riffs, a la Electric wizard, that will hit harder than a semi. Another thing I’d like to note about Windhand is that listening to them was the first time I legit couldn’t tell the vocalist was a woman. Even listening to the record now, I can’t tell the person delivering these psychedelic vocal melodies was a woman until the 4th track, Evergreen, because it’s an acoustic jam. That’s right, there’s an acoustic jam on this record and it’s layered with beautiful, soaring vocals over a sorrowful chord progression that never changes, but never really gets old. All the other songs on this album are heavily distorted and hit you in the face with mouth watering riffs that sound like they were manifested from of an occult ritual. The only problem with the album is the last track, Boleskine, is 30 minutes long, and it really doesn’t need to be. The last riff last like 15 minutes, which is a bit excessive. But other than that, this album is awesome. Monster riffs, psychedelic vocals, and even more monster riffs. If you like Electric Wizard, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have already heard this.
Witherscape – The Inheritance
If you were bummed about Opeth turning into dadrock, then fear no longer: there’s a new band that can take Opeth’s place as Sweden’s resident progressive death metal band. The new title goes to Dan Swanö’s newest project, Witherscape. If you didn’t know, Dan has worked with Mikael Akerfeldt, both in death metal band, Bloodbath. This is the first Dan Swanö project I’ve heard, and I have to say I really like what he did on the record. The Inheritance features two musicians: Swanö on vocals, keyboards, and drums and Swedish musician, Ragnar Widerberg on guitar and bass. The alum is full of sounds, with lots of acoustic guitar passages, awesome progged out moments, and crushing death metal riffs, and atmospheric passages. Dan Swanö also showcases his vocal ability with one of the meanest death growls I’ve heard and some awesome clean vocals. Everything on the album sounds great. If you’re looking for awesome progressive death metal that sounds like a mix of good Opeth and old 70’s progressive rock, this is what you need.
Dead For A Day
Young Hunter – Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain
Young Hunter returns to 2013 with an impressive EP. Embers at the Foot of Dark. Mountain sees the stoner/desert rock treading even darker territory than before across the 3 tracks on this EP. The opening tracks starts with a ominous drone before some vocals and wicked harmonized guitars come in. Then the whole band comes in and the enter desert jam that as groovy as it is ghostly. The second track starts off with a really western guitar lick that dances. The band comes in with some wicked sound organ and guitar lines that just add to the desert feeling. The song keeps a pulsating rhythm throughout, giving you the feeling that you’re on a getaway train. The final song on the EP is a bit looser than the first, centered around a drum jam that was a blast to hear when I saw these guys last year. It still has an overall dark vibe, but it also has some vibrant clean guitar licks and an overall uplifting vibe. Young Hunter proves on this EP that they’re the desert rock band to watch out for. Grab this EP at their bandcamp for name your price.
Download the EP for free here
That concludes the first portion of the thread. Tomorrow I'll start on the records I thought were great.