More (Metal) Guitar In The Monitor – April 2020

It’s another pseudo-monthly look at some of the heavy albums that have been rocking our ear holes over the last few weeks, and that we highly recommend rock yours as well.


Desiket Dogs – Fixed Blade Leash
Every now and then an album fires buckshot across your bow and in the course of listening you think, ‘I love this but I have no idea what to do with it.’ That’s actually a great problem to have because ultimately it means said album has few peers at the current moment. For one-man, New Haven, Connecticut act Desiket Dogs that is especially true within the collective music scene in which they reside. There aren’t a ton of blackened, noise-infused grindcore projects up in these parts and none others to my knowledge that are put together as perfectly by someone considered “outside” the metal scene. This is roughly fifteen minutes of the most chaotic music you’ll hear this year, but it’s not noise for noise’s sake. If a cacophony as brutal as this could ever be described as “controlled chaos”, then this is it. However, it also teeters on being an album that even most metal fans will consider too over the top in some respects, a lit fire that no one is bothering to watch as it takes out the whole neighborhood, and not just the church it was intended for.


Rise To The Sky – Let Me Drown With You
Sticking with the one-man band theme we travel to Chile for the newest release from atmospheric death-doom project Rise To The Sky. It would not be difficult to look at the history of gothic-tinged death-doom and find a home along it’s dreary pantheon for Rise To The Sky to snugly fit. Where this outfit separates themselves from the pack though is the sheer, sweeping emotion behind the music. Let Me Drown With You seethes with enough anguish to make a thousand goth kids cry mascara-soaked tears. Yet at the same time there is enough heaviness to this album to properly excite doom fans. Rise To The Sky, and in turn this album, are at their best when they are at their most morose. When the veil is lifted and we are allowed to experience raw human emotion in sonic form is when this album truly hits home, and more often than not it hits the mark precisely. Highly recommended for fans of such acts as Morgion, Swallow the Sun, and Skepticism.


Lords of the Opium Church – Lords of the Opium Church
I’m going to show my age a bit here, but I’ve been a massive stoner rock fan since first coming across the mighty Kyuss in the earliest dawning of the ’90s. I spent roughly a decade eagerly lapping up every single band whose trademarks were riffs and spliffs, and then spent roughly another decade railing against what I thought was a genre that had become egregiously watered down. Over the last few years I’ve become rather picky as to which stoner rock bands truly get me excited, so when I tell you I’m putting every ounce of my cranky weight behind Edmonton, Alberta’s Lords of the Opium Church fans of the genre should definitely pay attention. On their self-titled debut album Lords of the Opium Church have manged to harness everything I first loved about stoner rock. The riffs are heavy, yet slick and memorable. The rhythm section is a well-oiled machine. The songs have a conscious heaviness to them, yet never stray too far away from their rock n’ roll roots. And while they pay distinct homage to their 1970s forefathers, as all good stoner rock bands should, they manage to carve out a sound that is wholly unique at the same turn. Like all great stoner rock records there are tracks on this record (looking at you “Thunderhead”) that could easily find a home on mainstream rock radio – if mainstream rock radio wasn’t formally castrated about 20 years ago – yet there are tracks that doom and stoner aficionados would devour with a glass of red wine and/or bong. Listen to this record right now and crank the hell out of it. Your neighbors will thank you.

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