Distances – Forage & Reproduce [US, Atmospheric Sludge / Hardcore] (2015)

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Self Released | 4-7-15

Self Released | 4-7-15

I think I was initially drawn to Distances becasue of their placement within a sea of other styles of metal. Atmospheric sludge and post metal is not a style that is heavily explored compared to other genres. In fact when it is done it usually falls into the post metal camp which is even sometimes another name for instrumental metal. There have been a few bands recently that have explored to the very primal roots of atmospheric sludge. While that name sounds like it is made up to describe a sound that doesn’t exist, I can think of nothing elese that would caputre the feeling of drowning in jet black waters.

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Amenaza – Demo MMXV [US, Doom / Hardcore] (2015)

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Self Released | 1-26-15

Self Released | 1-26-15

Hardcore has always been something that is no stranger tot his blog. Though the flirtation between metal and hardcore has been done by others in the past, its variation and sound could range from the absolute terrible to the sublime. Amenaza is from Kansas and though its body is undoubtly hardcore, old traditional doom metal runs through its veins. Amenaza’s flagship demo sets sail attempting to bring slow motion devastation to what ever shore is breached.

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Swamp Witch – The Slithering Bog [US, Sludge / Doom] (2015)

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Self Released | 2-20-15

Self Released | 2-20-15

Listen to the sounds of occult doom. Be smothered by the assurance that your body will eventually creep under slimy bog waters to serve food for horrible monsters. These are my thoughts regarding Swamp Witch, a west coast based doom act who have blown their minds on psychedelic sludge. Somewhere beyond stoner doom lies a more chilly place — a location where mausoleums lie submerged under inky black waters.

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Ekranoplan – Demo [Germany, Sludge / Crust] (2014)

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Yehonala Tapes | 11-8-14

Yehonala Tapes | 11-8-14

Whenever a release starts out with a clenched fist feeling, one knows it is going to be a good release. Ekranoplan supposedly has members of the funeral doom metal band Ahab in it but I can not find any relevant information regarding this project. All evidence of Ekranoplan is in the form of a 5 song demo which is aptly titled Demo. I do not think I need any further introduction.

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Pharaoh – Negative Everything [US, Sludge] (2014)

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A389 Recordings | 10-31-14

A389 Recordings | 10-31-14

There are two bands from the United States with the name Pharaoh and both of them are so different, they would be great together on a split or a double headlining show. One Pharaoh is a power metal band whose latest album broke through with crossover success. The other Pharaoh is a dirge ridden caravan of depression and misery. You can guess which one is going to be discussed.

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Sedna – Sedna [Italy, Sludge / Black] (2014)

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Drown Within Records | 10-20-14

Drown Within Records | 10-20-14

Sedna comes all the way from Italy on a very tiny and very new record label called Drown Within Records. I say tiny becasue there are two other bands present with much difference between the rosters. I only make mention of the record label as Sedna does not seem like a band who is finding their way rather one that has a lot of things already figured out. The band’s name, album title, and even artwork may not give any clear indication to what lies inside, yet Sedna’s music conveys a well of information in which the listener finds themselves consumed.

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Space Witch – Space Witch [UK, Sludge / Doom] (2014)

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Self Released | 7-3-14

Self Released | 7-3-14

I mean, come on. Why not? Space Witch’s debut full length begins with a shlocky sci fi clip of a maniacal overlord wishing destruction on earth. Afterwards, a slow deluge of stoner doom floods the landscape while effects dance in the air. By looking at the tracklist, Space Witch’s self titled release has two songs both coming in at 30 minutes. It does not take a genius to figure out what the next hour will be and smell like. With all of that said, this British band manages to make the best of expectations and give its listeners a wild ride through mind melting cosmic space.

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Gateway – Aeternae [Belgium, Sludge Doom] (2014)

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Self Released | 9-10-14

Self Released | 9-10-14

Oh Holy, God, listen to that tone. That is the sound of the world unraveling internally. Sludge doom is an already effective style which capitalizes on the fact listeners are seeking the heaviest style of music. Add to that a menacing album cover and some unique vocals and one is ready for a harrowing good time in the shell of a burnt out planet. That is right, heavy metal can become cosmically impossible in metaphor.

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Fórn – The Departure of Consciousness [US, Sludge Doom] (2014)

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Vendetta Records | 7-22-14

Vendetta Records | 7-22-14

We need to get this done as Fórn’s debut is nearing a month old. While many bands slip past notice, The Departure of Consciousness is so heavy, it is near impossible not to notice its presence. Sludge doom can take many directions whether it be stoner, hardcore, or just downright anguish. There are other times sludge doom’s low end can be emphasized with a record which bears weight of the world on the shoulders of transcendental misery.

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