Left Hip
Album

Uniform Choice - Screaming For Change

In 1984, I was entering grade six in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At some point, somewhere towards halfway through the school year, I believe, a new kid named Keith showed up and he was clearly cut from a different cloth than the bulk of the other kids at my school, who were largely moneyed preppy/jock types. I felt totally alienated at the school and gravitated towards new kids from different backgrounds – two neighbours who were both children of NSCAD art school students/graduates, the son of ...
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Black Breath - Heavy Breathing

Aptly suited for Southern Lord Records though equally under sung as a genre on said label, Pacific North West-based Black Breath weave hardcore and thrash together with brutal shredding and a whole lot of ferocity. Made up of members of Shook Ones, Go It Alone, Blue Monday & Get The Most, Black Breath’s Heavy Breathing is no doubt going to appease the masses with ease, their opening track ‘Black sin (Spit On Cross)’ as harsh and rapid as it is energetic and abrasive. A modus operan...
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Oren Ambarchi - Triste

Southern Lord tends to be know for things of the heavier variety... Jesus that's an understatement – Southern Lord is home to sludgemasters like Earth, the grim, brutal fiends of black metal, and others of their gloomy doomsday lurch that so many of us are crazy for lately. Coming from Southern Lord, then, this first CD release of the previously vinyl-only Triste by Australian guitarist and composer Oren Ambarchi is a bit of a surprise. In Ambarchi's grip electric guitars are stretched to th...
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Tangorodrim - Justus Ex Fide Vivit

You’ve got to look long and hard to find groups worthy of merit within the turbulent boundaries of Israel. Before this month the only band that sprang to mind was Dark Soho (a Psytrance group from Haifa) and even then an identifiably Israeli group they aren’t. Likewise with Tangorodrim, an Israeli black metal group, the second band to appear on my “Great Israeli music” list (that’s two, then) and an outfit that certainly packs an iconoclastic punch, especially when cons...
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Eagle Twin - The Unkindness of Crows

Epic drone/doom/sludge/drug hazed/creepy album from Salt Lake City. Eagle Twin is the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist Gentry Densley, formerly of Iceburg, and drummer Tyler Smith. An Unkindness of Crows is the bands debut, a Southern Lord release. With a sound somewhere between Khanate, sunn O))) and, as their bio points out, the gravel-mouthed vocals of Howlin’ Wolf and Tom Waits. The riffs are as thick and heavy as riffs thick, and as slow as cold molasses; at times they’re so slow...
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The Accüsed - The Curse Of Martha Splatterhead

I can’t exactly say I’ve been a fan of The Accüsed since the mid-eighties, because I find of lost track of them there for almost twenty years, as did probably a lot of people. I probably originally got into them through Thrasher Magazine alongside bands like this was back in the days of crossover bands like DRI, Corrosion of Conformity, Cryptic Slaughter, Crumbsuckers, Dehumanizers, etc. It wasn’t until I was living in Vancouver around 2004 that I started hearing about Accüsed gigs ha...
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SunnO))) - Monoliths and Dimensions

Sunn O))), alongside, say, Destroyer and Dirty Projectors, is one of the few current bands whose every upcoming album is a huge big question mark in the minds of fans, critics, and basically anyone with any interest in the band. That would probably, and perhaps most particularly, include the bands themselves. Hearkening back to the fabled upping-the-ante with-each-record war between The Beatles and Brian Wilson, these bands have a tendency to get better, bolder, more audacious with each new o...
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Lurker Of Chalice - Lurker Of Chalice

Better known for his part in the gloriously heretical Leviathan, Wrest also creates dark music under a lesser known moniker; that of Lurker of Chalice. With Lurker of Chalice’s new re-release (eponymously titled), Wrest progresses from the black metal genre to musical styles perhaps not as abrasive but just as dark in their own way. With a martial drum beat beginning, the first track, ‘I’ conjures the tried and tested bleakness that artist...
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Oren Ambarchi - In The Pendulum’s Embrace

One reviewer of this album said it best; “newcomers [to Ambarchi’s music] will be scouting the back catalogue.” In The Pendulum’s Embrace is such a good introduction to the sonic capabilities of Australian guitarist/sound artist Oren Ambarchi. He really shows his teeth here but without embracing the same thematic values present in his other sound works. Pendulum is supposed to be the darker half of his last Touch release Grapes From The Estate (2004) but I have a hard time d...
Album

Earth - Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method

Dylan Carlson's Earth is a religion to some. Hex: or Printing In The Infernal Method is the first release in nine years from this ever-changing Seattle band. Dylan has quite a personal history and story besides the music, but that has been already well documented numerous times. Coming back from a half-buried grave appears to wear well on the man who along with his drummer / girlfriend Adrienne Davies and a small list of guests have created what I initially fou...
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Wolves In The Throne Room - Two Hunters

Out of all musical genres of late one has spared itself from becoming stagnant amid its seemingly easy ability for it to do so. Gone are the days of Nu- or Rap Metal saturating the heavier scene and in its place a revolution of doom/black metal, a new wave, if you will, emerging from its crypt. Evolving at a fascinating rate and making all music addicts, not just metal heads, stand up and take note. With godheads of the scene like Stephen O’Malley already crossing genres with ...
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Boris - Smile

From the beginning, Japanese rockers ‘Boris’ have been adamant that neither their music nor their band should be pigeon-holed into one specific genre, and since their debut in 1992 they have consistently escaped a linear musical definition through albums that sway from noise to classic stoner rock quite at random. It’s no surprise then that Atsuo, Wata & Takeshi, who make up the group, have managed to generate a cult following of loyal fans all over the world as well as ha...
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Wolves In The Throne Room - The Black Cascade

A busy year for Wolves in the Throne Room kicked off with an eardrum crunching two track vinyl ‘Malevolent Grain’ that heralded their third foray into eco-spiritual inspired black metal cacophonously well. And so to the album proper and the Washington based group (soon to be Cascadia if they had their way) once more score a powerful and stunningly crafted hit. The Black Cascade, much like its predecessor Two Hunters incorporates a lo-fi progressive sound into what would otherwis...
Album

Striborg - Nefaria - A Tragic Journey Towards The Light

Another slab of the coldest, grimmest, foggiest black metal in existence. Striborg is one man band Sin Nanna from Tasmania and on this and other releases he plumbs the murkiest depths of hate, despair and bitterness.When he was picked up by Southern Lord in 2006, after some 12 years of obscurity, some naysayers claimed he was no longer "cult" or "underground" but Nefaria sounds to me like it's emerging from the deepest depths of somewhere truly dark and unpleasant. With songs titles l...
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Glorior Belli - Manifesting The Raging Beast

Southern Lord, the messiah of all things doom, death & sludge prove once again why they are the flagship to which bands must flock, with a deliciously warped new outing from Glorior Belli; a French Black Metal outfit that deserve your attention from the Dark Ages aesthetic their website heralds alone. ‘From the Darkness Springs Light’ jumps into action from a slow, creeping start providing a wicked guitar sound followed by classic black metal crooning from o...
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Weedeater - God Luck and Good Speed

Mastered by Steve Albini, the producer behind works by Neurosis and Nirvana to name but a few, Weedeater’s long awaited new album ‘God Luck and Good Speed’, emerges like a crusty drunk biker would from an underpass, and boy are we glad to see him. The album kicks off with the eponymous track; a prolonged feedback opener encouraging the burst of stoner fused doom to be just that ever gristlier, with pounding drums and boastful heady bass, accompanied by the scree...
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Om - Pilgrimage

Om…they have a new album out…that should really be all I need say to encourage you to go out and buy this excellent creation, but in case you want more info on the group that rose like a phoenix from the ashes of stoner outfit, Sleep, then how about the fact that they share a limited edition 10” collaboration with none other than current 93? Still not enough? Ok, then try out Pilgrimage’s opening track of the same name. A song that brims with beat and rh...
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Orthodox - Amanecer en Puerta Oscura

Spain's Orthodox are revered by the drone/doom/metal community but their newest album, Amacer en Puerta Oscura could as easily pass itself off as free-improv or experimental music. Yeah there are epic heavier-than-thou sludgefest moments that remind you that you're listening to a Southern Lord slab of utter darkness, but there's also experimental moments of clarinet, cymbal wash and double-bass that bear no resemblance to anything most people will have ever considered metal or doom. ...
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Earth - The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull

Dylan Carlson. Slim Moore. Greg Babior. These boys should be given medals, for in the mid nineties the trio formed one the most respected metal acts thus far. A doom, drone behemoth that can even boast to being the influence, nay the reason, Sunn0))) formed (taking their name from the Sunn amplifiers Earth used no less). Back to reawaken the old spirits of the world, Earth provide their new release, The Bees Made Honey in the Lions...
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Burning Witch - Crippled Lucifer

Before Sunn0))), Teeth of the Lions Rule The Devine and Goatsnake, there was Burning Witch (well technically there was Thorr’s Hammer before even BW but that’s another story), a sludge doom outfit from Seattle that shared talents that would go on to form the aforementioned legends, incorporating sludgy slow bass lines and drums that basically would act as a precursor to Sunn0)))’s sonic drone evolution. This combined with the harridan voice of Edgy 59 i...
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Wino - Punctuated Equilibruim

Incredible solo album from guitarist Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich of The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan and The Hidden Hand. The thick, rich guitar tones alone are mind-boggling – couple them with killer riffs and already you’ve got the beginnings of a classic album. Wino seals the deal with epic solos, solid vocals and songwriting and an awesome power trio including Jean Paul Gaster of The Cluth and The Bakerton Group on drums and Jon Blank of Rezin on bass. Althoug...
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Lair Of The Minotaur - War Metal Battle Master

If you can’t guess from the band’s name, Lair of the Minotaur, that these lads (the lads being Steven Rathbone on Guitar and vocals, D.J Barraca on Bass and Chris Wozniak on Drums) are a metal group then elementary really isn’t your bag. However, suggesting the notion that the group not only named themselves after the legendary Greek aberration, but also theme their songs around Greek mythology would get you top marks in any Metal based quiz show. Despite all this LOTM ...
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Ascend - Ample Fire Within

While O’Malley may get all the credit, there is another in Sunn0)))’s ranks that has been busy creating side projects here there and everywhere. His name? Greg Anderson. And aside from being a part of the aforementioned metal royalty, he is probably best known for being the brains behind Goatsnake as well as Engine Kid. His latest collaborative effort sees him joining forces with Gentry Densley of Iceburn, naming their musical union Ascend and the release ‘Ampl...
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Gore - Hart Gore/Mean Man’s Dream

Simply put, a re-issuing of the first two Gore albums made within 6 months of each other in 1986-87. With some added bonuses of live tracks. As far as I can see there were only 3 albums released, so I don’t really understand why they just didn’t throw that one in as well, but I guess I never will understand the point of these things. The Dutch band Gore, gained some notoriety being associated with Henry Rollins for a while, but tension within the band and their intensity burned th...
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Orcustus - Orcustus

What do you get when you mix Taipan from black metal band Amok with three other members from black metal bands including Aura Noir, Gorgoroth and 122 Stab Wounds…well black metal evidently. Orcustus take their name from the underground zine ‘Orcustus which Bård ‘Faust’ and since making their demo available free online have a found a home with the dark masters at Southern Lord for their eponymous release. ‘Coil’ begins the ceremonies in a fashion that pretty much sets the precede...
Album

Black Cobra - Chronomega

Striking a familiar yet rewarding chord for sludgecore fans everywhere, Black Cobra is the output between long-time collaborators Jason & Rafael of Cavity and -16- respectively. Chronomega kick starts with the track ‘Negative Reversal’ a high octane, forceful yet ultimately ephemeral track, marking its territory firmly for the rest to follow suit. And follow well they do, with ‘Machine’ holding no quarter either, as sandpaper vocals roar over spasmodic and belligeren...
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Noothgrush - Live For Nothing

Officially on hiatus since 2001, San Jose’s Sludge outfit Nootgrush were, for those in the know, a force to be reckoned with in the now overtly popular subgenre, constructing brutally heavy tracks that only went to prove how depressing it was when they bowed out of the circuit, unsung heroes of the scene. Ten years later and Southern Lord are the heralds of Nootgrush’s return, with some reunion shows scheduled for Autumn 2011 as well as the release of ‘Live for Nothing’ a one hour twen...