One of the things I love most about bands that craft actual albums is the detail they put into it. Not just the music but also the subject matter and how it relates to certain topics and imagery. A few weeks back a band was brought to my attention and I’ve really been digging what they are cooking up. Allow me to introduce you to High Command. This band is more than just your regular metal band, they take it to another level. Taking their metal cues from the likes of Dio, Mercyful Fate, with a bit of Obituarty, a tinge of Bathory and a dash of Discharge, High Command have crafted a sound that feels fresh with a throwback sense. It’s something I like to call, “Epic Metal.” I know, just what we need, another sub-genre but, it fits. The bands latest and upcoming second album, Eclipse Of The Dual Moons, the band have upped their storytelling game and expanded upon where their first album left off. The band place themselves as omniscient narrators of the world they have created making for a very intriguing and visceral listening experience. It’s refreshing to hear a band like High Command take such time and pride to craft something on a deeper level than the atypical topics. I look forward to hearing where the band continues to go with this and evolve. Cheers to High Command on a well chosen path!
PRE-ORDER: High Command- Eclipse Of The Dual Moons:
The sound of the 90’s is instantly recognizable. There’s an essence about it that seeps in and takes over. The “grungy” sound that mixes, rock, metal, punk and many others is one of my favorite sounds. When you take that sound and mix it with the right players and style, you get something quite good. For example, the band of the week, The Primals, have nailed that sound. This three piece comprised of John Henry (vocals/guitar), Andrew Black (drums) and Chad Fjerstad (bass) have taken the 90’s grunge sound, added a little more punk vibe to it. Their sound is catchy without being mainstream. The bands debut album, All Love Is True Love, which came out in late 2018, was produced by John Reis (Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes). The Primals really knocked it out of the park with their first full length. The ten songs on it are full of piss and vinegar. It’s raw and infectious and just what the rock world needs. It’s bands like The Primals that show that rock music is alive and well.
It’s been four years since Baptists have released a new album. Now in 2018, they have put out one of the best heavy albums of the year. The sheer intensity that is emitted from the 13 songs on Beacon Of Faith is astonishing. Chock full of gritty riffs and pummeling rhythms, Baptists have indeed developed their signature sound and left a permanent mark in hardcore/metal music.
The album doesn’t stray far from the bands metallic hardcore roots. What it does have though is more space and vibes as the songs go on. There is a real sense of warmth to this album even with the aggressive and uncompromising nature of the material. Songs like “Worse Than Hate,” “Beacon Of Faith,” “Gift Taker,” “Vicarious Trauma,” and “Bevel Down” showcase the grit and prowess that Baptists do oh so well. Then there are songs like “Indigo Child” and “Eulogy Template” that take what they do and expand it to almost epic proportions.
Beacon of Faith is an album that will cement Baptists as a force to be reckoned with. This album has the feel of a steel toed boot to the throat that won’t let go.
Often time as bands go through lineup changes, it takes a while for the band to get back in the swing of things. The new members have a different way of playing and bring a different energy that takes the music on a detour. Then over time as they grow more comfortable, the band comes back to where they should be. Darkest Hour is one of these bands. On their upcoming 9th album, the gents in Darkest Hour have returned to their roots and are about to deliver their most ferocious album in years. You can tell by listening to the first few songs released that these guys mean business. By working with producer Kurt Ballou of Converge and bringing in former guitarist Kris Norris, Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora takes you back to the days of The Mark Of The Judas, Hidden Hands Of The Sadist Nation era. Darkest Hour are unleashing the heavy!
Heavy music has some of the most dedicated hard working people in the bands. The music is not necessarily accepted by the mainstream, but the fans of the genre are die hards. Mixing their love of Black Flag and Black Sabbath, Obliterations have an unrelenting sound of fury and destruction. They recently signed to Southern Lord Records and recorded their upcoming full length at Studio 606 (Dave Grohl’s studio). The band is made up of current/former members of Black Mountain, Saviors, Night Horse and Pink Mountaintops. Singer/Screamer Sam James Velde has a raspy yet take charge vocal style. Stephen McBean’s guitar playing is heavy and crunchy with a very clean style of playing. Austin Barber and Flo Schanze are an extremely tight rhythm section that can explode and play blisteringly fast or in the laid back pocket. Obliterations have released two EP’s so far. Both are in your face with their driving force. Their sound harkens back to the days of real hardcore punk and heavy rock. Obliterations is part of the solution to the junk that is mainstream!