DARKEST HOUR Confirms New Bassist

This morning Darkest Hour released some news that was a long time coming. As most of you who follow the band already know, long time bassist Paul Burnette recently left the group to play in his new project Iron Reagan. For the past few months Darkest Hour has had Aaron Deal (formally of Salome) slappin’ the bass for them in a live setting.

Well it’s now official, Aaron Deal is the new bassist for Darkest Hour. The band released the following statement via Metalsucks -

“It’s with a heavy heart that we announce the official departure of long time friend and bassist Paul Burnette. Paul’s presence on the stage, in the jam room, and everywhere in between will be missed. He has helped us to both conquer the world and develop the sound of the band. For that we’ll be eternally grateful.

“Although Paul will continue thrashing to live in the new powerhouse Iron Reagan, his musical footprint will remain with us forever. We love you, dude!

“As many of you who have seen us live know, Aaron Deal (ex-Salome mastermind) has been doing an amazing job filling in these past few tours. He’s rocked Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America with us and it’s safe to say, he’s a true bro. We couldn’t ask for a more badass addition to the dudes. Of all this craziness Aaron states: “As a long-time friend of all the dudes, I think playing with Darkest Hour is a natural fit. I’ve definitely had a blast playing all over the world with them and I can’t wait to take this party to the next level!”

“Come see us live all over Europe during the festival season. Here are the dates. This next beer’s for Paul!”

Man, hopefully this new blood in the band will revitalize their writing process. I’ve been a big D-hour fan for years, but the last few albums have been kinda lacking. Anyway, I am excited to hear what they put out next.

 

– Josh Huddleston

Follow me on Twitter – @keepitwolfson

Aaron Deal is In DARKEST HOUR Now? Wha?

So… Did anyone else know that Darkest Hour was having a bassist issue? I sure as hell didn’t, not until Profound Lore Tweeted earlier today that Darkest Hour’s new bassist is Aaron Deal of Salome fame. I honestly had no idea any of this was going on, but I am not really surprised with the recent outbreak of bass-playing WTFs. Some are leaving, some are holding their girlfriends hostage and some are popping out of nowhere. I’m sure Aaron will do well with Darkest Hour, although the styles of Salome and Darkest Hour are quite the opposites. Interesting it is. I had to post this tonight just so I could get the readers opinions and insights. Peace out. Tune in tomorrow for Black Metal Sunday.

~R. Gnarly//Dig It or Die.

Morning Jams: FROM THE TOMB TO SLUDGE AND DOOM

Ahoy, all of you filthy sonsabitches. How are we feeling this morning? Good I hope. Today I am going to skip over the recap of yesterday’s posts and get right to the meat of this morning’s jams. This morning I have put together a stunning playlist filled with sludge/doom and nothing but. A lot of amazing bands in this and I hope you’re ready to feel the filth. Sit back, relax and enjoy the dirty, dirty music.

~R. Gnarly//Dig It or Die.

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Todays Jam: Salome

Todays jam is Salome’s “Master Failure.” If are unaware of the sheer awesomeness that is Salome, they were a extraordinary, dooming band that was fronted by Kat Katz (of Agoraphobic Nosebleed). They split up not too long ago, but their music will forever live on. Their last record, Terminal was easily a cornerstone of sludgy doom. Sit back and let the filth wash over you.

Review: Dopethrone – “Demonsmoke”

By: Ross Gnarly

After numerous listens over the last few months and countless conversations with vocalist Vincent Houde, I can easily start this review by saying that this band is absolutely amazing. I found them on MySpace quite a while back and tracked them down to gain this album, Demonsmoke. I am very glad I did because it is a terrific doom record and Vincent is a great guy all around. I, personally think Dopethrone deserve their place next to the big names in doom metal. I will now begin my track by track review of Dopethrone’s Demonsmoke.

Starting with the title track, “Demonsmoke,” It is quite evident that this band is heavily influenced by Electric Wizard. Not only by name, but by musical style as well. Deep, devastating riffs chug along slowly with fantastic lead guitar lines running along with them. Slow, steady drumming keeps a killer tempo throughout the track. Soaring over all of that is Vincent’s haunting, hissing vocals. He enunciates very well if you pay attention. Dopethrone are not a band that keeps the vocals louder than the other instruments. Everything is laid out very even and layered. This main riff is extremely catchy and fantastic all around. This is perfect music to jam while throwing back a few beers. Ending the track with a nice bong rip also adds a nice flare to it. Love it. [Continue Reading]

Exclusive: Kat Katz (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Ex-Salome) Interview


As most of you are aware, Kat Katz recently announced the split-up of Salome, the thundering doom project that consisted of Kat, Aaron Deal and Rob Moore. I was a big fan of Salome and I remain a huge fan of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, so I got in touch with Kat to do a quick Q&A.

Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Kat Katz and I sing for Agoraphobic Nosebleed. Up until recently, I fronted Salome.

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New Dopethrone Tunes To Make Your Day Blue & Doomy

I’ve been into Dopethrone for quite some time now. I found them on MySpace a while back and I loved their cryptic, haunting, bluesy doom metal. I’ve been a friend with vocalist Vincent Houde on Facebook for a while as well and he recently sent me links to a few new Dopethrone tracks. I’ve listen to these tracks quite a few times and I’m digging it. If you like your doom to have tinges of sludge and blues rock that can somewhat be compared to bands like Thou and Salome, you should check out Dopethrone.

Here are the first two tracks off of Dopethrone’s forthcoming Dark Foil, “Dark Foil” and “Tap Runner.”

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Exclusive: Interview with Aaron Deal (Salome)

There are a lot of drone and doom bands out there these days. Some are good and some are… not so good. The thing is, few can hold a candle to Virginia’s Salome. Their music is punishing and amazing. I have become a huge fan after the band’s latest full length, “Terminal,” came through my headphones. I sent a e-mail to drummer, Aaron Deal and asked him a few questions about the beginnings of Salome, his musical taste and what he does when he is not killing a drum kit. Read on to see his answers.

Salome on Metal Archives
Salome on MySpace

How did Salome come to be?
SALOME started in 2006, Rob and I had been friends for years and played together in other bands.  We had been talking about wanting to do something “slow and heavy” for awhile, we met Kat and she was interested in the same thing so we started playing together.

How do you feel about Salome’s latest album, “Terminal?”
I feel pretty good about it.  I think it turned out well and it seems like people are getting into it.  It’s really cool to think about people who may not be familiar with this kind of music checking it out because of NPR or the NY Times or something.  I wonder how they feel about it, I’m curious to know what other people think when they hear it.  Regardless of their opinions, it’s a cool feeling to know that people are interested in your music.

Are there any tour plans following the album?
Not at the moment, unfortunately.  We have to play real-life for a little bit.How would you describe the feeling of playing live?Sweaty and bloody.  A great distraction from driving, loading/unloading gear, and waiting around.  Seriously, it’s awesome.  It’s one of the few times that you can really forget about everything else and completely focus all energy on one thing.  It’s a great physical and emotional release.

Kat plays with Agoraphobic Nosebleed also, which is a whole different kind of music. Do you think this has an influence on Salome’s sound?
I don’t think so.  I think her lyrics for Salome are more personal for her, as opposed to Agoraphobic Nosebleed where she is kind of stepping outside herself and essentially playing character roles.  The two bands are completely separate entities.

b wu photography
It has been said that the band doesn’t listen to metal exclusively, what are some types of music your into?
I don’t know how anyone could listen to metal exclusively, does anyone actually do that?  Or any other genre.  Don’t get me wrong, I think metal is great and obviously I love it but I need variety.  I like a lot of “classic rock” music, jazz, punk, classical, hip hop, … I guess it would be easier to list what i don’t really like.  I never got into ska, most top 40 pop music (although some of it is really good), modern country, and i don’t understand why anyone would listen to house/techno dance type music outside of a danceclub.  But that’s just me, different strokes and all that.  I’ve been listening to the bands Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine a lot this year, I’ve been a fan of this stuff for years but for some reason I can’t get enough of it right now.  Maybe I’m trying to refresh teenage memories or something, ha ha.  Stereolab and Miles Davis have definitely gotten weird looks/comments from other people when it’s playing in the van and they expected blasting death metal or whatever.

What serves as influence to the music of Salome? Musical or otherwise.
I think anything can be a potential source of inspiration.  I like to try to pay attention to my surroundings and the situations I find myself in and draw from that.  I know that Kat’s spirituality is a source of inspiration for her.  Some of the direct influences or sources of inspiration that might not be obvious on Terminal include documentaries about Vikings and the history of religion, Slayer, horror movies, and The Cure.  Or maybe they are obvious, I don’t know.  I get excited about weird noises like air conditioning units in truck stop bathrooms and stuff like that too.

What are some of the lyrical themes on “Terminal”?
Kat is really into yoga and spirituality, so that is a big part of her lyrics.  I think a lot of them work on several levels though.  I’m sure that the songs mean different things to her and I.  Which I think is cool, I’d rather let people read and apply their own meanings to things then spell it all out.

What do you do when you are not playing music?
The same stuff as everybody else, I suppose.  Eat, sleep, work, hang out with our friends and pets.  Listening to music and going to see other bands play.

American Aftermath Best of 2010 (Reprise)


As a lot of you know, I posted my “Best of” list on December 1st. Well, that was stupid. I came to realize, that by posting my list that early, I was missing out on a lot of killer albums. So, I decided that since I have listened to more amazing albums, I would reprise my “Best of” list. Here goes…

  1. Nails, Unsilent Death
  2. Masakari, The Prophet Feeds
  3. Coffinworm, When All Became None
  4. Cloudkicker, Beacons
  5. East of The Wall, Ressentiment
  6. Holy Grail, Crisis In Utopia
  7. Trap Them, Filth Rations EP
  8. Black Breath, Heavy Breathing
  9. Kvlertak, Kvelertak
  10. Black September, The Forbidden Gates Beyond

Honorable Mentions

  1. Mose Giganticus, Gift Horse
  2. Salome, Terminal
  3. As They Sleep, Dynasty
  4. Fuck The Facts, Unnamed EP
  5. Periphery, Periphery

 

Bitch about it or love it. Have your own list? Let me know. Drop a comment.

 

Best Albums of 2010 [American Aftermath]


I started this blog on September 1st of this year. Since then, I have reviewed 44 new albums and I have listened to roughly 100-110. I have heard some of the best music in many years come out in 2010. There were a few albums that I listened to that didn’t tweak my nips and a few that I just couldn’t get around to checking out. I do regret not having listened to these albums before posting my “Best of” list, but I set this deadline the day I started the blog.

First off, I’d like to point out that Captain Overboard–Radio Earth! released their debut album in October. It was an independent release, but it is definitely worth a listen. Check it out.

Now, like I said, there was a nauseating amount of albums that came out this year and no way for me to listen to all of them. Some of the main albums I regret either not getting to hear or not getting to hear in entirety are:

  • Dawnbringer – Nucleus
  • Withered – Dualitas
  • Melechesh – The Epigenesis
  • The Funeral Pyre – Vultures At Dawn
  • East of The Wall – Ressentiment
  • Agalloch – Marrow of The Spirit

Before narrowing my list down to 25, I was up in the 40s and 50s. As I said, there was so much good shit out this year, I really didn’t want to cut anything out.  But I had to, so I did. Some of the ones that almost made the list are:

  • The Rotted – Anarchogram EP
  • Gwar – Bloody Pit of Horror
  • Cephalic Carnage – Misled by Certainty
  • Landmine Marathon – Sovereign Descent
  • Murder Construct – Murder Construct EP

And now, for what you have all been waiting for, Ross Gnarly’s “Best of 2010″ list is here. I have been working on this list since mid-October and it has been really hard to cut out albums to finish this list, but I did what I had to do.  Here it is (25-11)

25. Black Tusk – Taste The Sin
24. Kataklysm – Heaven’s Venom
23. Salome – Terminal
22. Cradle of Filth – Darkly, Darkly, Venus Aversa
21. Defeatist – Sixth Extinction
20. Fleshwrought – Dementia/Dyslexia
19. Fuck The Facts – Unnamed EP
18. Phobia – Unrelenting EP
17. Kill The Client – Set For Extinction
16. Infernaeon – Genesis to Nemesis
15. As They Sleep – Dynasty
14. Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned
13. Autopsy – The Tomb Within EP
12. Mose Giganticus – Gift Horse
11. As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise


10. Svart Crown – Witnessing The Fall
–Amazingly well done black/death that is sure to put poison in your veins. Read the review here.


9. Early Graves – Goner
–Punishing metalcore at it’s greatest. Mahk Daniels will be missed. His voice was one of the strongest, most passionate I’ve heard. Read the review here.


8. Kvelertak – Kvelertak
–Super catchy black n’ roll. Upon first hearing this, I didn’t know what to think about it. And now? All I can say is it is one of a kind. Fucking killer. Check it out. Read the review here.


7. Black Breath – Heavy Breathing
–Brutal neo-thrash that will stomp your ass with military boots. For fans of Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust. Love it. Read the review here.


6. Trap Them – Filth Rations EP
–Punishing. That’s it. Fucking punishing. Do it.


5. Cloudkicker – Beacons
–Some of the most amazing progressive instrumental metal I’ve ever heard. Ben Sharp is a master of crafts. This is like the Star Wars of progessive, one-man metal. It’s that epic. Read the review here.


4. Holy Grail – Crisis In Utopia
–Holy Grail are the epitome of neo-traditional heavy/speed metal. Amazing melody and some of the best vocals of all time. Great. Gnarly. Read the review here.


3. Dawn of Ashes – Genocide Chapters
–Evil-as-fuck. Death incarnate. Scary, brutal, melodic, scary. All these words make up just a hint of what Dawn of Ashes have to offer. Read the review here.


2. Coffinworm – When All Became None
–The best example of black/doom. Coffinworm were the the number one album on this list until recently. This album is an evil mass that shall reign in hell. Read the review here.

 

1. Nails – Unsilent Death


What can I say about Nails? Their musical style is one that should be, not looked up, but praised. They have every aspect of the crust/grind/death/hardcore spectrum in tact and it all gets worked into a raging beast that made it’s way to number one. Here is the review of “Unsilent Death”:

“Conform” contains some of the fastest, most brutal fucking grind I’ve heard in a good while. It soars by with lightning speed and tears ear drums and anything else in it’s path to shreds. The song leads right into the next, “Scum Will Rise” which responds with a more melodic approach to grinding. Fucking amazing track. With songs so short, it is hard for some to describe grindcore albums in more than a paragraph or two. I however wish to tell you the impact this album will have on you. Imagine taking your brains from your skull and putting them into a blender on frappe. You then freeze the remains into a large ice block, carry it into the backyard and smash it with a mallet. Yes. It is frozen-brain-shattering. Yes it is. “Your God” goes  back to the formula of “Conform” as being an insanely fast and heavy track. It does however manage to maintain melody throughout the entire 33 seconds. A nice drum roll introduces us to the groove-grinding of “Suffering Soul.” The chorus of this song rings out like an anthem for the depraved. The vocals are pure and simple. A gut-wrenching yell with tremendous emotion. Nice grooving guitar riff towards the end of the song in which the song as a whole hits the slow-down-button. Nice old school death metal riffing on the title track, “Unsilent Death.” This shows that this band has a very wide range influences that make this band rather hard to categorize. This whole song takes me back to the mid 1990s in death metal. Fucking “A.” A lot of feed back for what I would assume you would consider a breakdown. The song then returns to that fantastic groove. “Traitor” touches back on some previous songs (“Conform” and “Your God”) but with odd, varying timing. Grind one second and a chord-hanging doom riff. Very odd, but I love it. “I Will Not Follow” is as punishing as the rest of the album. Fast and furious yet filled with melody. Nice chugging guitar riffing. Nice doom-death riffing around the 1:00 mark. This band has an amazing sound that will definitely keep them going for many years to come. “No Servant” is another melo-grind face-smasher with a great guitar soloing. Oddly timed, but that’s the best kind. These guys are killing it. “Scapegoat” has some of the best guitar shredding on the album. It still has that old school death metal feel, especially around the 0:40 mark and leading all the way into “Depths” which marks the last track on the album. This is also the longest song on the album, maxing out at almost four minutes! The song doom/drones along at the beginning before bursting into another extraordinary death-groove shred-marathon. Another odd solo pops up at 1:36. This entire band is extremely tight while keeping the music superbly crusty and filthy. The song breaks down around the 2:05 mark and dooms it for a while. Nice pinch harmonics coming through very clear. This bands wide range of sound keeps me guessing what is around every turn. I never know what I am going to hear next: grindcore, death metal, doom, polka. Who knows?

What’s New

Well, today has been a good day. I did two new reviews, There are some new Random Song Reviews up (including a local-ish act, Dirt Cheap Drugs), New Hall of Gnar and Album of The Week are up. So, yeah it was a good day. Check back later, as I may have even more new shit up. Keep it gnar.