Mini-Reviews From Around the Bowl (6/17/21)


A whole lot of reviews in not a whole lot of words.


Love Is RedDarkness Is Waiting
Self-Release | July 9th, 2021

Seventeen years is an incredibly long time to go between releases. Anything and everything can happen in almost two decades. People change, sounds change, scenes change. Amazingly, Nashville, TN’s Love Is Red has not as their brand of melodic hardcore returns like a spinkick to the chest. Despite the huge time gap, Darkness Is Waiting picks up exactly where the band’s last album The Hardest Fight left off. All 5 songs on the EP sounds like the band is in a big rush in the best way possible. They get in, wreck everything, and get out. All the hallmarks of early-to-mid 00’s hardcore is present: Fast, catchy riffs, chunky breakdowns, and gang vocals. What once oversaturated the scene has become refreshing in 2021. Hopefully they don’t wait another 17 years to release music. — 365 Days of Horror

The Disc With No Name Digital Download – GWAR

GWARThe Disc With No Name
Pit Records | May 28, 2021

Did the world need an acoustic GWAR EP? Well, that depends. Are you human filth or are you a scumdog? GWAR has never been afraid of, well anything, and that includes changing and adjusting their style. It’s what gives them part of their charm, along with all the blood, guts, and syphilis-infected urine. Longtime fans of the band will enjoy hearing classic songs presented in a new way that stays true to the core GWAR ethos. It’s a fun bite-sized piece of music to keep us satiated until the next full-length. Oderus would be proud, or, at the very least, tolerably violent. — 365 Days of Horror

Lupus Lounge | May 14th, 2021

From the crumbling castles of innumerable artwork to BM nerds recording on phonautographs, metal has an obsession with the ancient. Does this focus stem from the power we project onto structures that outlive us? The struggle to leave behind more than an ephemeral tomb? Whatever the case, most bands are satisfied with slapping some Fischer-Price keyboards on a woodcut of a knight and calling it medieval. Dordeduh, on the other hand, seems to defy age altogether—a band of wanderers from a time not quite our own.

In the opening moments of Har, droning synths and the chiming of a toacă evoke an amorphous, primordial space; this marriage of archaic and modern instrumentation continues throughout the record, leaving listeners afloat without the guardrails of past experience. Ambience gives way to busy drumming and sparse clean guitars, death growls dissipate into choirs and Ulver-esque croons, and all the while, a dense fog hangs over the compositions, thwarting all attempts at foresight. Whether channeling fairy-tale Meshuggah (“Descânt”) or leaving the trappings of metal altogether in favor of classical Romanian instruments like the tulnic (“Calea magilor”), Dordeduh follows a schedule horologists can only comprehend in their dreams. Don’t bother bringing a watch—Har is best measured with nothing but an open mind. — Rolderathis

Troncale – Promo 2021
Independent | April 29th

In the wake of my last piece on Red Death, a helpful commenter directed my attention towards the fresh-from-the-oven demo from Chad Troncale’s new solo outfit. Now located in California, the former bassist and singer of Red Death has assembled a new lineup around him and kicked together 3 new songs. These first offerings both reassert and reinvent, finding space for the old reliable Cro-Mags chugalug fun while also squeezing in a couple of surprises. “Trapped Within The Void” starts out with some Killing Technology-sounding tritone dissonance, and “Iron Serenity” throws in some inverted chord stuff in its galloping main riff. Not exactly the latest in state-of-the-art tech thrash, but it reassures me that Troncale has at least a few good ideas kicking around to keep the spaces between mosh breaks refreshing. — A Spooky Mansion

Lunar Mantra – Psychosomatika
Ascetic Visions | January 7th, 2020

At 29 minutes, and with superb production, Scotland’s Lunar Mantra delivers a nice sandwich of ambience and black metal on their second EP, Psychosomatika. The appropriate chilly draft of second wave sounds is tempered with a nice dose of proggy rhythms and Hibernian gloom. While “Nexicthon” and “Azothic Pyres” share enough tonal characteristics that they risk canceling each other out, there are enough currents and eddies to keep things interesting. The final track “Aghora” is nine minutes of meditative, almost Sufi ambience. Beautiful, if a little forgettable. — Theophrastus Bombastus

Eremit – Bearer of Many Names
Transcending Obscurity | June 11th, 2021

Germany isn’t the first place I think of when I think of sludge or doom. However, Eremit is here to change that. Bearer of Many Names consists of three fuzz-drenched tracks spanning nearly an hour of stoned doom that manage to fuse the sonic palettes of Eyehategod and Bell Witch in a marinade of reverby, analog warmth. The dynamic harsh vocals and droning guitars soar above the churn at critical moments, but this one is a slow burn, more blunt than bong rip. There are moments of sadness, moments of steady rage, and moments of mellowness throughout. It’s worth the voyage across this record, Eremit’s second full-length. — Theophrastus Bombastus

Becerus – Homo Homini Brutus
Everlasting Spew | April 30th, 2021

Too jaded for a little taste of culture but still interested in something fun and new? Try Italy’s Becerus! I at first thought this band name read “Because,” which is appropriate, because this music sounds like a “wouldn’t it be funny” over beers that resulted in a full LP. This is the smoothest-braned, knuckle-draggingest death metal I’ve heard in a while, like if Disposal was fronted by a caveman. There are no lyrics, just chug-chugs and weedly weeees and lots of VGH VGH VGH VGH to get you through another day in hell. Saluti! — Theophrastus Bombastus

Silver Talon – Decadence and Decay
M-Theory Audio | May 28th, 2021

Maybe I’m out of the loop, but I get the impression that Sanctuary worship is still relatively unexplored in the trad metal and trad metal adjacent spaces. At the very least, it still sounds fresh to my ears, and I’m big enough of a fan of theirs to gravitate towards anyone that sounds even a little like Warrel Dane. To call Silver Talon a worship act is a bit unfair- they do a lot with the sound that Sanctuary themselves never explored- but the influence is undeniable. They play that same hard-edged version of heavy metal, but it’s touched up with a fair bit of thrash and prog. Hints of Judas Priest and old Queensryche come through as well, and it’s all spiced up with some fantastic fretwork in both the riffs and leads. This is an absolute monster of a debut. — Spear

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