Squared Circle Thoughts | NXT Takeover: War Games

So, I said on Facebook that I was done reviewing wrestling until January. At this point, I just want to review the last few albums I want to review, make my year-end list and call it a year. I was going to wait until Wrestle Kingdom 12 to do my next wrestling review. BUT, I feel like I should review this show. I feel like this show deserves a review. A rave one at that. Survivor Series (which sucked) was this past weekend, and of course, preceding it the night before, was the latest big NXT Takeover show. It’s a big one too, as it brought back a gimmick match not seen in 2 decades. This was easily the best show of the weekend. It was another excellent Takeover show put on by Triple H and the crew and it may be the best Takeover in quite a while. So screw it, why not? Let’s talk about it.

This is a special show for sure, as it marks the triumphant return of the War Games match, a match created by Dusty Rhodes and originally used in the NWA and later in WCW for their annual Fall Brawl ppv. The premise of the match would be to have 2 rings side by side (as absurd as that sounds) with a big cage surrounding them, and two or more teams of 3 to 5 competing inside.

Cool concept, though this time around it was changed up and “modernized” a bit. Normally, the cage would have a roof, which for this one, the roof was removed, which I guess would make more room for bigger spots. I was fine with it. It is what it is. The match itself this time was really damn good, as was the rest of the show! Including a show-stealer. So let me shut up and just get into the action.

So here we go…

Kassius Ohno vs Lars Sullivan

Starting off with the Takeover debut of the freak, Lars Sullivan vs the currently directionless Kassius Ohno. This was an okay opener at best, but it was way better than I was expecting out of these two. Some hard strikes via Ohno and the usual monster stuff from Lars. Decent back and forth action overall and Lars Sullivan would ultimately pick up the win with the Freak Accident (new favorite move name) as I expected. Again, decent at best. I really like Lars and I do think he is the next big thing. Hopefully he improves a little and this is just the first step forward in his evolution. Hopefully Kassius goes on to do something of note also.

Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream

Next we have the absolute fucking match of the night AND the entire weekend. Aleister Black takes on Velveteen Dream in easily the best built up match on the card. The storyline going into this one was the most entertaining and intriguing one I’ve seen in a while and the payoff was perfect. This was a fantastic match and both these guys got to showcase what they were capable of, especially Velveteen Dream; he put on the performance of his career thus far and he undoubtedly became a star. That’s not hyperbole either, the crowd fucking loved this guy and he even overshadowed Aleister in that regard. This was a great, lengthy, hard-hitting bout with some innovative maneuvers from Dream, like a crazy looking cradling DDT, or whatever it was, and a cartwheel Death Valley Driver. Black got his shit in as well with his usual lethal offence, he was awesome as always.

There were also some great non-move spots here, like both guys mocking each other’s signature poses. Aleister particularly got a huge pop when he did Dream’s flamboyant snake pose. Great stuff! Anyway, the finish comes when Black hits the Black Mass kick for the win. Really good finish. Then post-match, Black grabs a mic,  sits down in the middle of the ring and gives Velveteen his respect by finally saying his name and bringing the story full-circle. Excellent fucking stuff! These two stole the show and the entire weekend and I’m 110% sold on Velveteen Dream and he’ll be a star for sure. Best flamboyant character since Goldust, as far as i’m concerned.

Fatal 4-Way Match: Ember Moon vs Kairi Sane vs Peyton Royce vs Nikki Cross (NXT Womens Title)

Next, it’s the ladies’ time to shine, as we have the fatal-4-way match for the vacant NXT Womens title. Going into this one I had my money on either Ember Moon or Nikki Cross winning this one. I was right! This was a really good match overall. A little messy because of the number of parties involved, but good nonetheless. I won’t name all the spots or anything because it was allover the place, but Ember Moon picks up the win with a double Eclipse on Kairi Sane and Peyton Royce. New champ! No complaints from me here, I like Ember. The other 3 are good too, even Peyton is growing on me, but I feel like Ember was the best choice of the 4. Things also come full circle here as Asuka hands the belt to Ember, closing off their storied rivalry. Very well done. Good stuff overall by the ladies.

Drew McIntyre (c) vs Andrade Cien Almas (NXT Title)

On to the shocker of the night. El Idolo, Andrade Cien Almas (with Zelina Vega) vs Drew McIntyre for the main strap. This in my opinion, was the second best match that wasn’t the War Games match. Really good back and forth action and some good storytelling. I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Drew, but this was probably his best match yet in NXT. Andrade has REALLY grown on me and I’ve become a big fan. To think of where he was when he first came in and how much he was flopping, his heel turn and especially being paired with Zelina Vega really got him going. Speaking of Zelina, she got involved here and delivered a sick Hurricanrana on Drew while Andrade faked out grabbing the belt to use as a weapon. Again, great storytelling.

Anyway, the shock of the night came when Drew went for a Big Boot and missed, went over the top rope and seemingly got hurt, Andrade then hits a Draping DDT on him for the win. Andrade shocks the world, Muhammad Ali on George Foreman style and wins the NXT title. Wow. I didn’t see this one coming by an inch. I honestly think it was an audible because Drew got injured, but honestly, I dig it. He’d be a good heel champion going forward, especially with Zelina, so it should be interesting. Hopefully Aleister Black gets it next. Great match, unexpected finish, satisfactory overall.

War Games: Undisputed Era vs SAnitY vs Roderick Strong & Authors of Pain

Last but definitely not least, the first War Games match in 20 years. Now, when this one was first announced, I was a little iffy on it seeing who was involved. I was expecting it to be a 5 on 5, which would make sense considering it was Survivor Series weekend. The 3 teams of 3 thing just seemed a little off and a little schmazzy. When it came down to it, however, the match delivered in spades. This was an absolute war of a match that went completely balls to the wall once each member of each team was in there. A lot of chaotic back and forth action that spread across both rings and blood was surely shed. There were trash cans, tables, chairs, kendo sticks and all kinds of other equalizers utilized and there were a lot of sick spots. Killian Dane took a nasy head bump onto the metal strip between the rings after I believe a double team by Authors of Pain. I was also iffy on there being no roof for the cage going in, but that proved to be no issue as the match turned out just as good, especially when Adam Cole hit a Superplex on Roderick Strong off the top of the cage onto all 7 other guys in the match. Crazy stuff pulled off there.

Short story short (though the match went 51 minutes), amidst all the carnage, The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) pick up the win after Cole pins Eric Young after a Shining Wizard through a chair to the head. Very brutal, very chaotic and all around good stuff.

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So there we have it. Another spectacle put on by the d-crew (developmental). 5 great performances, a star-making mid-card clinic, an absolutely brutal main event and just the right amount of wrestling all around and an easy show to get through. Can’t say I can say that for Survivor Series, which is why i’m not going to waste my time reviewing that. Anyway, I highly recommend this show more than any other show this past weekend if you haven’t watched any of it… and hey, if it got me to give it a review, even though I said I was done for now, that should tell you everything right there.

So once again, well done, NXT. Well fucking done!

Until next time.

-Scvm

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Album Thoughts | The Body & Full of Hell: Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light

Collaborations are all the rage nowadays. The last 5 years alone have given us a shit ton of crossovers between various acts of numerous genres and styles, and usually they can be hit or miss. Some of the good and best crossovers that have taken place over the last few years are Gnaw Their Tongues and the two he did with Alkerdeel and Dragged into Sunlight, the absolute face ripper that was Full of Hell & Merzbow, the creepy Doom fest that was Neurosis & Jarboe and even one in the Neofolk realm with Death in June and Boyd Rice. All of which I enjoyed. One other band in particular, who are doing collabs left and right, the current kings of collaborations, as far as i’m concerned, is The Body. The duo from Portland, Oregon who churns out some of the most miserable and nihilistic Industrial Sludge & Noise around today have done several collabs over the last 2 years alone, with acts like Thou, Krieg, Braveyoung and others. One band in particular that they have worked with quite a bit as of late, is… you guessed it, Full of Hell.

This is the second collaboration album between these two acts. Last year saw the release of the fantastic One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, which made it high up there on my 2016 year-end list. Now, upon hearing about this one, given the creative and eccentric bunch that this is, I knew it would be good, but I just couldn’t see them doing the same thing twice. So I was expecting something WAY out there, and I can’t say that they disappointed in that department. This is a noisy, twisted and unpredictable spiral of auditory madness that blends the usual Industrial Sludge sound of The Body and the viscerally ferocious Grindcore, Death Metal & Noise-infused sound of Full of Hell, while also taking influence from various other and weirder genres like Electronica, Power Electronics and Reggae… yes, Reggae. They take seemingly abstract concepts and make them a reality with almost the greatest of ease and without straying too far from their core styles and aesthetics. These two bands work so cohesively together for two bands with such vastly different styles that even if you’re not particularly a fan of collabs, giving the two done by them a shot is highly recommended.

Now, enough with the chatter and into the chaos. Starting off with Light Penetrates, opening with a wall of scratchy synths that kind of remind me of the intro to Nine Inch Nails’ Terrible Lie, then erupts right into a noisy, Sludge assault that can both entrance you and wreck your ear cells at the same time, or one of the two, depending on your taste. Just a slow, crushing, grimy and noisy track, riddled with chunky, scratchy riffs and the high pitched, throaty screeches of Chip King, that he is notorious for. Earth is a Cage opens with a sort of hypnotic, muffled beat, slightly similar to how the preceding track began, but this time things get faster and more abrasive as the riffs heighten in intensity and the nasty snarls via Full of Hell kick in. The King Laid Bare and Didn’t the Night End are more Industrial and Noise/Ambient-driven tracks that sort of remind me of a more aggressive and dissonant Corrections House; both decent tracks that further showcase Full of Hell’s appreciation and knack for Noise and Power Electronics. The track that stands out the most to me, however, is the super hypnotic Master’s Story. It starts out with this very catchy and even dancable (not that i’d dance to it) Reggae-inspired rhythmic passage with an ambient hum flowing through it as Sam DiGristine’s shrieks top it off. It then breaks into that slow, noisy Sludge sound that began the album and drags on for a bit as it switches back and forth between paces. Easily my favorite track. Farewell, Man is my other favorite that kind of has a War Black Metal feel to it at the start and spirals right back down the Noisy Sludge rabbit hole.

This is overall another fine crossover between these two bands of mad scientists of auditory terror. While I can’t exactly say that this is my favorite of the two between this and the last one, this one served it’s purpose just fine and intrigued me just as well. I love both these bands individually and one of them has already released one of my favorite albums of the year (spoiler alert!), and this definitely doesn’t compare to that. Needless to say, I enjoyed this one and The Body still hold the title for collaboration kings. I’m looking forward to see who’s path theirs will cross with next and what other tricks they have up their sleeve. This level of creativity and ambition in a band is hard to come by nowadays and both of these acts have it in spades. The word “Hipster” certainly doesn’t apply here. So give this and the other collab between these two a listen and let it destroy you, entrance you and intrigue you all at once. Two forces like this combining into an entity on it’s own is like Wu-Tang… ain’t nothing to fuck with.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Album Thoughts | Converge: The Dusk in Us

5 years is a long time between albums. When a band takes that long to release an album, it means one of two things; either they’re taking their time to concoct a masterpiece, or a bunch of things have gotten in the way of it, like drama, line-up changes, extensive touring, other projects, etc. So when a new album finally does surface, it can either be really good or REALLY disappointing. In the case of Converge, being the eccentric and multifaceted act that they are, each passing release can be hit or miss. They have their gems, but everything else can be average to good. They’re without a doubt an acquired taste and surely aren’t for everyone. An ear for the noisy and chaotic just isn’t something that everyone has. Converge however, I think have the ability to transcend that in a way, though not always striking a home run, they have released albums that garnered a wide array of popularly among all extreme music scenes and fanbases alike.

I’ve always had 3 favorite albums by Converge: When Forever Comes Crashing, Jane Doe & Axe to Fall. Those 3 albums in my opinion, really defined these guys and showcased the ferocity and versatility that they’re capable of. Those 3 albums are as gripping and creative as they are vicious and punishing. Those 3 albums really branched them out and allowed them to transcend the Metalcore label that they would have otherwise been saddled with. Now, i’ll get to those 3 albums some other time, as this review is all about the latest one in the Converge catalog… and honestly, you can make that 4 albums now that I consider my favorites! The Dusk in Us is the band’s 9th full-length outing, and i’ll tell you right out of the gate, I was floored by it. This may be the most inspired and cohesive I’ve heard them since Axe to Fall, or maybe even before that. This is an incredibly dynamic and complex batch of tracks, each of which stand out and have their own feel and vibe. From melodic and abrasive to ugly and vicious with countless elements in between, it’s very much a Converge album, but turned way up to 11 on the versatility scale. I won’t do a complete track by track analyses, but the ones that really stood out to me are in the majority.

Starting things off on the faster and more spastic side with A Single Tear and Eye of the Quarrel; though more on the melodic side and not quite as vicious and chaotic as usual, both kick the album off on a strong note with an abrasive and scattered energy. Things then slow down a bit with the Sludgy Under Duress, which became one of my favorite tracks on first listen. Great track full of thick, Punky riffs and grimy grooves. The chaos returns with I Can Tell You About Pain, the most vicious track in my opinion, which harkens back the most to the days of When Forever Comes Crashing & Jane Doe. Then comes my absolute favorite on the entire album in the title track. They’ve done slower songs before, but this one may be the best they’ve ever done, and one of their best songs period. It’s a dark and melodically brooding track that builds in an almost Doomy fashion into an epic Sludgy finale. Great fucking track! Others that stick in my memory are the Dillinger Escape Plan-esque Murk & Marrow, the chaotic and blasty Cannibals and Thousands of Miles Between Us, which does almost the same thing as the title track, but to a lesser degree, but is still really damn good. The Sludge influence continues and closes things out with Reptilian, ending this on the right note, as far as I can see.

Every one of these tracks has their own feel and structure and the variety in style really kept my attention all throughout it. This is my new favorite Converge album for a totally different reason than the other 3, it showcases what a dynamic and anomalous band they have grown into, while still keeping the cathartic ferocity that endeared me to them in the first place. Despite what Metalcore has become over the years, these guys have always managed to keep things fresh and out of the ordinary and they never followed the trends that brought their genre to the forefront of the sterile, teen-pleasing mainstream Metal desert that was the 2000s. Even today, where Hipsters run amok and at a point where even my taste has changed dramatically, I still dig these guys a great deal and after this, that definitely isn’t changing anytime soon.

So, I have to applaud this one. This is easily Converge’s best work in several years and possibly to date. The innovative mind of Jacob Bannon, the production genius of Kurt Ballou (one of the best producers out there, bar none) and the musicianship of the rest of the parties involved have crafted a damn near masterpiece of chaotic and cathartic sound. Not for everyone, but undeniably brilliant.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Album Thoughts | Omnislash: Slash ‘Em All

Ya know, sometimes all you need is a fun, entertaining album to get you through the day. Nothing fancy or too out there, just fun, catchy and intense for you to just jam out to and blow off some steam. That’s what we have here in subject of this review. Some good ‘ol fashion ass-kicking Thrash. This is the second album by Baltimore, Maryland’s Omnislash, who dish out a helping of fun, energetic, intense and head-banging old school Heavy Metal-driven Thrash similar to the likes of Death Angel, Exciter and the likes. The first thing I noticed about this is the cover art. Very throwback-ish, which I dig. As far as the music goes, everything you’d expect is present here; intense, sharp riffs, fast, abrasive drums and clean, powerful, operatic vocals that create some damn catchy choruses. It’s been quite a while now since I’ve gotten to review some good Thrash, which is crazy considering how good it was doing earlier in the year, but this is another one to add to the list for sure. This is very fun and super aggressive old school Thrash Metal at it’s finest.

After a brief intro in Banners Rise, things blast off with Empires Fade, opening with a sweet, sharp continuous riff and quickly delving into the melodic, operatic madness that’s to assault you for the next 48 minutes. It’s an absolute ripper of a track and a good opener to set the tone. Then comes the more mid-paced and groovy Desolation, which has sort of a Power Metal feel to it, opening with a passage of sweet, melodic riffs and opens fire with it’s axe-shredding Thrashy goodness. The searing vocals really enhance the intensity and abrasiveness of the sound, which doesn’t always exactly work, but is pulled off wonderfully here. Then comes the (sorta) title track Metalliation Revengeance (Slash ‘Em All!), which gives me some early Iced Earth vibes. Things speed up again with Nuke the Moon; another energetic banger with an insanely catchy continuous riff that flows throughout. Blood Feud is another catchy stand-out. Then the epic Russian Roulette caps things off with a 6-minute anthemic closing.

I know what i’m saying doesn’t sound like all that much detail, but I’m trying not to be repetitive. This really is just a fun, riffed up ride of classic, throwback style Heavy/Thrash Metal that’s only meant to repeatedly kick you in the face in the most fun and exhilarating way possible. The musicianship is fantastic, the production is clean as a whistle and the product as a whole is great. No Proggy fanciness is needed. As clean and sweet as this is, it’s still as hard hitting and head-crushing as any newer Thrash album I’ve heard in recent years. So for me, it’s a plus.

So, overall, I enjoyed this one for sure. I recommend it to Thrashers who aren’t stuck in the past and willing to give some new shit a listen to give this a try. It’s a style you’ll either love or hate, but it’s worth a try nonetheless. Special thanks to Robbie Whiplash (drummer) for the message and bringing your music to my attention. I appreciate it and was more than happy to give it a listen! Good stuff indeed.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Album Thoughts | Forgotten Tomb: We Owe You Nothing

Forgotten Tomb is a band that I’ve been on and off with for the last couple of years. I love their earlier works, like Songs to Leave, Springtime Depression and Love’s Burial Ground, where they churned out some really good Depressive Blackened Doom, but after that, they went down a more melodic route with Under Saturn Retrograde and ...And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil. Those albums aren’t necessarily bad, I did enjoy them, they’re just not all the way up my alley when it comes to that style. Then came their last effort, Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love, where things really took a downward turn. It was just way too melodic and sterile for my taste (same thing happened with Shining). I was on the fence about this one when I heard about it, but out of curiosity I gave the title track a listen, and I honestly really dug it. So I opted to give it a listen. While it still isn’t the Forgotten Tomb that I ultimately prefer, it’s honestly a huge step up overall from the previous album. It isn’t perfect but I enjoyed it for what it was.

The band has been known in recent years for their heavy Punk attitude, and that shines through on this one, as you can tell from the title, but in a nastier fashion. For this album, things take a Sludgier turn as the riffs become muddier and grimier than usual, and even Herr Morbid’s vocals exhibit a much different tone that he’s known for, as he take on a more Mike Williams-esque style of disgusted, snarly yells. Tracks like the title track and Second Chances really showcase that. The Sludgy, filthy tone of the less melodic moments on this album make their sound much more enjoyable than previously in the band’s current form. Then there are the more abrasive tracks like Saboteur, which is a more groove-oriented track that reminds me a lot of Corrections House, and Abandon Everything, which is a fast, Punky track, which I shouldn’t really be surprised by, as these guys have belted out some really good GG Allin covers a few years back. Things slow down again with Longing for Decay and go back to the grimy Sludge sound that started this off. It’s probably the nastiest and muddiest their instrumentals have ever sounded. Things close with the instrumental Black Overture, which seems to be a pattern as of late with these guys, ending their albums instrumentally.

While I do like the new shift in sound, the one main gripe I have with it is how most of the songs end. The title track for example, while really good, it could have ended in a much simpler way than the melodic tangent it goes off on towards the end. That seems to be the case for most of the tracks. They tend to go on and on unnecessarily and end in a very drawn out way. As a result of that, the tracks tend to sort of overstay their welcome. I get that it’s melodic Black Metal, but there are simpler ways to go about it. Aside from that, I did enjoy this for the most part and it’s definitely a step up from the last one. I still much prefer their earlier, more raw and nastier works, but this has it’s own qualities and it’s good for what it is in it’s own right. The Blackened Sludge sound mixed with the pissy Punk attitude is enough to keep me invested, even if the melodic side of things isn’t quite my bag. I know this is a different band from years ago, but they’re still good enough to keep me around, and that’s talent.

So, if you’re into Sludge, Blackened Doom and the likes and don’t mind a hint of melody thrown in, give this a listen, if melodic stuff totally isn’t your thing, even if it’s mixed with something better, then steer clear. It’s one of those “take it or leave it” cases. I personally dug this one, even with my small issue with it. So even if you can’t stand Melodic Death, Black or anything, you can surely do much worse than this.

Until next time.

-Scvm

Album Thoughts | Bell Witch: Mirror Reaper

It’s been a hell of a year for Doom. The best of the best of the genre have given us some of the most top-tier releases of 2017, and it’s not even over yet (Nortt, Evoken & Deinonychus, your turns!). I think it’s safe to say that this has been the year of Doom Metal, at least as far as I see it. The hits just kept on coming and they all hit right on the nose. The latest of the bunch, the album in question for this review, is just the latest contribution to this miserable, sorrowful year of slow, crushing riffs and pure auditory misery. Seattle, Washington’s Bell Witch, who have been on many people’s radar and creating buzz dating back to their 2012 debut, Longing, are quite possibly one of the top purveyors of depressing but powerful Funeral Doom Metal this side of Mournful Congregation and Funeralium. They are able to take you on a searingly atmospheric journey through a world of pain and anguish in the form of leisurely, monotone riffs, crawling but pounding drums and dueling tortured growls and emotional croons.

The dynamic that this (now) duo creates, while present on their last 2 efforts, reaches it’s peak of excellence on this album, which serves as a tribute to now late drummer, Adrian Guerra, who sadly passed away last year. Depending on the format you listen to this on, it’s either one continuous, 1 hour and 23-minute long track (jeez) or 2 long intertwining tracks. I listened to it in the 2 track format, so i’ll just review them separately. Starting with As Above, which starts off slow and builds and builds and builds and builds it’s way through long, droning notes and melodies with occasional snare sprinkled in, and eventually leads into a crushing attack of thicker, chunkier riffs and slow, ruthless and pounding drums as the dueling growls and cleans kick in and make you feel the misery and pain of loss that this duo has endured. This is genuine emotion radiated through a headphone or speaker, flowing between heavy and soft at just the right times, this track forces your attention, despite it’s 48-minute length.

Then we have So Below; the track that truly sets the dynamic of this album in stone and finishes the job in tearing you apart with it’s tried and true emotion. It’s a mostly slow track that drags you through the misty plane of sorrow and anguish and slowly but surely winds things down until the last glimpse of pain is drained out. The staggering melodies and hazy ambiance eases you through the track by keeping you entranced and calm as you let it flow by. By the end, when the last tune was played and the song faded out, I was left amazed and certain that I did not waste almost 90 minutes of my life with this. This was another masterpiece of Doom and gloom and it’s well worth staying for the long haul.

Some may find an album like this monotonous to sit through, which I totally understand; not everyone has the patience for it, but this is the style of Doom that I love and to me, it was worth it. This is dark and dismal Funeral Doom at it’s finest. It’s a heart-wrenchingly sad and hauntingly depressive journey of grief and loss that comes from a very real place. This is an organic and raw piece of crushing art and definitely one to top the year off. I highly implore true fans of Doom who have patience to give this a listen. It’s a must hear for you, as far as I see it. The music is indeed as good as the cover art, which isn’t always the case, but this 2-track epic has it all. So pick it up, press play and let it ravage you. This is a great album and great tribute to Adrian Guerra. May he rest easy.

Capture

Until next time.

-Scvm

Album Thoughts | Acid Witch: Evil Sound Screamers

Halloween 2017 has come and gone. As predicted, it was a pretty bittersweet day for me. Being that i’m older now and less prone to fun, I didn’t take part in any interesting “activities” that the kiddies and young adults do during this time. I did however, do something that made my whole day. I got shitfaced, went over to the ol’ Bandcamp and gave this absolute banger a listen! Released on Halloween (duh), this is the long-awaited 3rd album by Detroit bearers of spooky, Stoner-Sludgey Death Doom, Acid Witch, and after 7 years, things have only gotten grimier, nastier and freakier than ever. Evil Sound Screamers continues the groovy, psychedelic Doomy sound that was present on their previous releases and like a nice, delicious gourmet birthday meal (which I didn’t have), add in hints and pinches of all other kinds of ingredients like the new direction in vocal style, with higher pitched screams and howls, as opposed to the usual bellowing growls, and some ghostly keyboards mixed in as well and blended together very well.

The sound is as catchy and groovy as it is crushing and bassey; from the start of Mr. Beistal, I was instantly hooked and nothing can make me click pause. The psychedelic vibe the keyboards give off as the thick, chunky riffs lay into you is the main selling point that kept me invested and held my attention all throughout the 36-minute running-time, as drunk off my ass as I was. I Hate Halloween continues the Sludgy Death Doom feel with riffs that remind me of the early works of Eyehategod and Electric Wizard, while still maintaining it’s own identity. You also have your more aggressive tracks like Nain Rouge (The Red Dwarf), where the riffs get slightly more intense and some sick tremolos are added in. Shagrat’s swampy, witchy vocals work wondrously in enhancing the nastiness and Sludginess of this track, dare I say the best out of them all. Then there’s Mutilation Mansion; things get a bit slower again, but the intensity remains as the guitars and drums trample you with muddy, crushing might. Easily my favorite track!

Standout tracks aside, the entire batch is a hypnotic and head-jamming experience of a listen and was a super fun way to end my Halloween. This is a band that I wasn’t always a fan of and took me a while to get into, but once I did, I was way into them and i’m glad I am now. This is easily their best release yet and their most complex and creative one to date. Necrophagia are my usual go-to Extreme Metal jams for Halloween, especially after the masterpiece that was WhiteWorm Cathedral (which i’ll review on here in the future), but after this performance, Acid Witch joins that list as well. This is definitely one to check out if you’re a Doom head, especially Stoner or Death Doom, or if you’re just looking for something unique and out there altogether; you’ve surely come to the right place with this one.

This is a sort of unexpected but very much welcome new contribution to the continuing outpour of Doomed goodness for this year. It’s a pretty different brand that combines two styles that don’t often mix. Stoner Doom and Death Metal are obviously very distinct genres but these guys find a way to create something out of the two and paint wondrous pictures with them, telling tales of ghouls, goblins, killers and mischief, perfect for any Halloween festivities… like your costume parties where there’s always that one person who wears corpse paint and gets mistaken for The Crow. OR if you just wanna drink and lounge like my boring ass did. So sit back, relax, cuddle up with your thick Goth gf (no dude actually says that, by the way) and enjoy this absolute banger of an album! Listen to it every other day too, every day is Halloween for us freaks.

Until next time.

-Scvm