Lines In Wax

THIRTEEN YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Gumpy

The Body – No One Deserves Happiness (2016)

The Body – No One Deserves Happiness (2016)

(words by Le Manifico Doomfindaaaah Jenerales) Before anything else, can you just take a second to appreciate how amazing that artwork and album title is…. The Body are a two piece sludge band from somewhere in America. Well I say sludge, but they don’t sound anything like Eyehategod et al, but they are slow, heavy and unpleasant, so it’s close enough. The album opens up pleasantly (if not miserably) enough with “Wanderings” which has just a simple drum beat and some nice female vocals telling you repeatedly to “go it alone” for about 2 minutes until some of the best high pitched harsh vocals join in. The second song keeps the same sort of feeling, adding layers of distorted heavy slow guitar but with the female vocals being used solely for the chorus this time. Just as you think you have the measure of the album though, “For You” pummels you into submission with a barrage of noise, drums and screams. “The Fall and the Guilt” strips back everything to pretty much just piano and lovely vocals, but with a creepy, constant crackly hum underpinning it. The last track, “The Myth Arc” manages to do this same sort of thing but better, with the vocals almost being drowned out in a sea of horrible noise.  All in all the whole thing is just wonderful. Well, horrible. But you get the idea.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc (2016)

Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc (2016)

(Words by Gumpy, Doomfinder General) Agoraphobic Nosebleed return faster than ever, this time managing to squeeze 27 songs into only 3 minutes…. Wait a second, there’s only 3 songs and one of them is 12 minutes long? It’s a sludge album? What the hell is going on? Shit talking aside there is a very good reason for this drastic change in direction; instead of just making another album, Agoraphobic Nosebleed decided to make 4 because… why not? Each one is being written by a different member of the band, and the first of these – Arc – is Katherine Katz’s one. However how does it hold up? Agoraphobic Nosebleed may have dabbled with slow in the past but they are predominantly a fast-as-absolute-fuck band. It’s amazing, of course it’s amazing. Agoraphobic Nosebleed could make a power metal album and it would still kick the shit out of every other power metal album (that’s not a challenge by the way). Kat’s vocals, which if I’m being honest I thought were a bit off on Agorapocalypse, are perfect here. The slower pace gives them a bit more room to breathe and they sound better for it. There are massive riffs flying about everywhere, and the programmed drums sound meaty and must have some sludge drummers worried about their jobs. It might not be Agoraphobic Nosebleed as we know it, but when the music is this good who cares? (I still want more weird ultra fast grind, though.)

Gnaw Their Tongues – Abyss Of Longing Throats (2015)

Gnaw Their Tongues – Abyss Of Longing Throats (2015)

I’d never heard of Gnaw Their Tongues until I saw them live at Roadburn and I was almost instantly blown away by them (I say them – it’s just one guy making so much horrible music from his basement). A mix of black metal and noise would probably be the best way to describe this but then again so would two people screaming at you when the sound of the world ending at million miles per hour plays in the background. so when I got home pretty much the first thing I had to do was find the newest album by them. Abyss Of Longing Throats is a more darker and restrained beast than I was expecting, with opener “Lick The Poison From The Cave Walls” going at not much more than a crawl. The music is mostly various horrible noises in the background with intermittent black metal style vocals. You have to wait until track 3 to get any blast beats, giving the music almost an illusion of being straight black metal but with an industrial hint. The rest of the album doesn’t really deviate from that formula as such, going from slow horrible noise to, well, faster horrible noise, all the while having vocals screamed at you. But it’s amazing nothing else in the world really sounds like it so go give it a listen.

Cult of Occult – Five Degrees Of Insanity (2015)

Cult of Occult – Five Degrees Of Insanity (2015)

It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot these days but fuck, Cult Of Occult are heavy. From the crushing guitar to the viscous vocals and the pounding drums it’s almost too much at times but it never stops being amazing albeit in a thoroughly unpleasant way. Five Degrees Of Insanity (as can you see from the album cover) is about a man slowly losing his mind – which is a pretty good description of the music. The album starts off with a slow feedback build up for about a minute – lulling you into a false sense of security – then kicks in and you are almost instantly drowning in a river of pain, anguish and misery that pretty music doesn’t let up for 70 minutes. “Misanthropic” offers a brief respite from the constant misery with an almost black metal-like intro and a slow, psych-outro, but still has a solid 10 minutes of good old horrible sludgy misery. If you are in any into sludge or generally unpleasant music this is well worth a listen.

Electric Wizard – Come My Fanatics (1997)

Electric Wizard – Come My Fanatics (1997)

Electric Wizard are… well you should all know who Electric Wizard are. In a just world every person alive should know who Electric Wizard are. If not, go and listen to the song at the bottom of the post, I’ll wait… Come My Fanatics is Electric Wizard’s (Electric Wizard Electric Wizard Electric Wizard Electric Wizard) second album but it’s the one where they really find their sound. More heaviness, more fuzz, more drugs, more horror movie samples and buckets of misanthropic psychedelia; the whole thing is just wonderful. There are so many good points about this album that it’s hard to name them all. From the main riff on “Return Trip” (which I think is in with a shout of being the heaviest thing ever) to the amazing bassy psych of “Solarian 13”, and everything in between. Words don’t do it justice, so just go and listen to it instead.

Windhand – Soma (2013)

Windhand – Soma (2013)

Windhand are a doom band from the USA that play the kind of heavy fuzzy as fuck doom with washed out vocals that everyone loves. Whilst some people will read that as Windhand being some sort of second rate Electric Wizard, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Opener “Orchard” sums up the overall feel of the album with massive fuzzy riff following massive fuzzy riff while vocalist Dorthia Cottrell’s haunting voice helps lull you into an almost trance-like state (which also makes the album being named after the perfect drug from Brave New World far more apt). There is a nice acoustic break about halfway through (which you would think is jarring but it actually fits really well and I’d like to hear more of it in the future) before it’s back to the fuzz which ends with my personal favourite song, “Cassock”. The massive (in both sound and length) “Boleskine” follows, and even at 30 minutes it seems to end too soon. Sometimes you really do just want to listen to the same riff over and over again for about 10 minutes because it’s so good. Eventually, it fades and all that is left is the sound of wind and you’re left wondering where the last 75 minutes went.

Coven – Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls (1969)

Coven – Witchcraft Destroys Minds And Reaps Souls (1969)

(Words by Richard Lewis, Doomfinder General) Coven are one of those bands that time forgot. They are pretty much entirely responsible for creating the occult rock genre (along with Black Widow) and had they been around today they would probably be huge, but since their debut came out in 1969 there was a lot of negativity around their lyrical themes. Instead, they were dropped from their record label and had their debut album taken out of circulation. The main question with albums like this is are they actually worth listening to or are you just trying to be more elitist than the people around you? Luckily enough, the music more than holds up to the band’s reputation. Powered by Jinx Dawson’s excellent vocals, Coven cover all the topics that occult rock is still using today – namely witches, satan, demons, satan and witches. The opener “Black Sabbath” creeps and crawls along with a sermon-like quality, “Wicked Woman” gallops along with psych-y guitar flourishes and “Pact With Lucifer” shows just how impressive a vocalist Coven have but every song on the album stands out for different reasons. However, one thing which I think dates the album is the last track. “Satanic Mass” is a 13 minute recording of an actual satanic mass and while I can appreciate that 46 years ago people might have found it scary it just sounds cheesy listening to it today and there is no need for it to be 13 minutes long. But still, since it’s just a recording and at the end of the album I don’t feel it detracts from the overall quality of the album. Just skip it and enjoy one of the finest rock albums around.

Lazarus Blackstar – Revelations (2005)

Lazarus Blackstar – Revelations (2005)

(Words by Richard Lewis, our new in-house Doomfinder General) Lazarus Blackstar are a sludge band from England, formed in 2004 out of the ashes of the not-so-slow Khang. Now, being from the UK, you don’t get the feeling that at any point the music is going to fall to shit and band members are going to die like you get from American sludge bands but Lazarus Blackstar even that out with consistent misery and slowness, which can only be a good thing. The album kicks off with “Revelation I: Day Of Reckoning”, which sets the tone for everything that is to follow; a quiet drum bit and sample gives way to one of the best bass sounds you’ll ever hear (the bass duties are performed by the guitarist for crust punk legends Doom, surprisingly enough). The guitars are sludgy as fuck and then the vocals kick in… such wonderful vocals. Paul Catten probably pulls off tortured screams better than anyone else around and he’s at his best here. The next 40 or so minutes are just a barrage of sludgy, dirgy goodness which never even comes close to wearing out its welcome. It’s even got a Saint Vitus cover at the end. What more could you ask for?