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Mortals – Death Ritual EP by orlandooom407

I am regularly taken aback by the sheer amount / volume of brilliant music coming from NY, specifically Brooklyn. Whether it be doom sludge mavericks Hull, or electrifying black metal trios such as Mortals, or even the highly divisive Liturgy, there is obviously a vibrant and diverse environment in Brooklyn, and we in ‘The City Beautiful’ are grateful whenever they take the time to shimmy their way on down the east coast to pay us a visit. Such was the case when I was lucky enough to see Mortals here in Orlando, and was so floored to the point of being inspired to vomit up the very review your eyes are currently drinking in. Death Ritual is a thousand pound two track assault, of which those two tracks complement each other in pristine accord. Not so much in a yin and yang kind of way (they are not what I would consider opposites), more like two dual frenzied sprinters tunneling forth to the same finish line with a maniacal intent at rapid pace. There really is not let up to the constant assault in both of these tracks, while at the same time it never seems to be too busy or lose any of its momentum, a hard balance to strike, and one Mortals achieves with finesse employing a combination of riffs that are both dark in their scathing harmonies as well as some that are just catchy and fun as hell to listen to.

The title track opens as something of cataclysmic tidal wave. That wave crashes upon you without a moments reprieve, and you are ever the grateful for it. The thick sludged out bass wrapping itself homogeneously around the relentless percussion and melodic and methodical cries and riffs. Their ability to transition from something so grooved out and catchy and down tempo as the aforementioned riff and then move into a blistering and hypnotic dark sea of torrid landscapes, is something we (those musicians among us at least) could and should all learn from.  The logo for Mortals features a blade assuming the role of the letter “T” in the bands’ moniker, and it is almost as if you can feel that very blade being jammed into your third eye, in the most enjoyable of ways of course.

I won’t lie; Final hour is easily my favorite track of the two, which is evident in how many times I destroyed the replay button before purchasing it from their Bndcamp. The second track moves along at a crushing clip, with anthemic motifs chewing away at you instantly like a buzz saw. The riffs are eloquent and memorable, especially the opener that makes its distinct appearance at 0:04 and is probably my favorite singular riff in this whole EP. The 4 minute mark introduces another example of one of those riffs Mortals weaves into their writing that is just fun as all shit. The range that is covered is impressive, and the pacing (evident in the serpentine crescendo that starts to build up at 2:21 and ultimately explodes at 2:40 in this track) is phenomenal. Mortals command such impressive compositional control over their pacing throughout each moment of the song it really is hard not to be impressed with them.

Regarding their live performance, Mortals easily exceeds what you hear on the EP, an impressive feat, and a compliment to both their EP and their killer performance. There was not a moment during their live performance where I didn’t see Caryn (drums) without a sinister grin on her face, and that’s how they will forever be remembered by me, until the next time I’m fortunate enough to catch them.

Methodical, maniacal, bliss.

Mortals on Facebook!

– Kenneth Reda

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GODHUNTER: Tectonic Tucson Sludge Quintet On The Warpath In 2012 by orlandooom407

I’ve never visited Arizona, but if it’s anything like Nevada I’m sure the climate that early stoner rock groups cultivated still breathes glorious smoke throughout its deserts. GODHUNTER billowed into my inbox late last night thanks to Earsplit PR. These guys cook up some toasty sludge metal, and the vocals bare a resemblance to Hull with their organization and inherent choral qualities between the vein quavering screams. The press release below details a brief history of the band, but you can preview their LP of last year directly below:

“Like an encompassing dust storm full of fire and broken whiskey bottles and expended weed smoke, Tucson, Arizona’s GODHUNTER are preparing to suffocate the planet with their devastating hymns this year.

Through diehard D.I.Y. ethics and self-promotion, GODHUNTER have preyed upon the weak-minded scenesters and have defied pigeonholing genre classifications through a savage amalgamation of sheer heaviness, both live and through recorded proof via several EPs, split releases and compilation inclusions since their 2009 formation. All five members of the band are heavily involved in the local scene and hail from other previous and current acts across the region, yet bring their most ferocious dynamics to life in GODHUNTER; the result is a sludge-bred sub-hardcore blend of caustic riffery laced with multiple scathing vocal approaches.

GODHUNTER‘s latest output, the 2011-released Wolves, showcases the band’s most crushing material to date, and while considered by the band to be an EP, the beast clocks in with over 32-minutes of material.

Stream Wolves in its entirety now at GODHUNTER’s Bandcamp page.

With local and regional touring a constant part of the GODHUNTER mission of intent, the band have supported national acts including St. Vitus, Crowbar, The Sword, Red Fang, Early Graves, The Atlas Moth, Intronaut and Black Tusk in addition to countless indie acts. 2012 will bring much more touring to the table for the band as new live assaults are announced over the coming months. The band will also record/release several other indie releases over the coming months before investing time into a brand new full-length late in the year.

Stay tuned; the coming months will be filled with news of GODHUNTER‘s ongoing rapture…

GODHUNTER Tour Dates:

6/08/2012 Plush – Tucson, AZ w/ North

Into The Void Tour:

6/21/2012 JR’s Pub – Sierra Vista, AZ

6/22/2012 The Hut – Tucson, AZ

6/23/2012 The Rogue – Phoenix, AZ”

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BIIPIIGWAN – Nibaak EP by orlandooom407

That house is fucked Julian. Okay, I only needed one Canadian joke. Sweet merciful shit BIIPIIGWAN brandish some sincerely swollen riffage with their newest three song EP: Nibaak. Now I sure as hell don’t know what all these polysyllablic words mean, but I’ll take a fair guess that it has to do with that enormous grizzly ass mah fucka lookin’ to mess up that cabin gnome sayin dahwg?! Their arsenal barrels through speakers with tyrannical sludge soaked fury. However, don’t sell these Ottawa denizens short. They possess a fundamental dexterity that most bands that rest under the “stoner metal” umbrella do not: the ability to play at speeds different from mid tempo. Between flurries of pummeling riffage that resemble some of The Ocean Collective‘s more hastened movements: you’ll find several pounds of gritty anthemic vocal support harrowing in the distance. Galvanizing slow downs are BIIPIIGWAN’s specialty, and they superbly embody the horrifying power of the savage wilderness. The slower parts definitely remind me of bands like Hooded Eagle and Viking Funeral era Hull. Doom sludge fusion has never sounded this excellent. This release secures itself upon the throne for my favorite of February 2012 bringing my list to:

January – Alcest Les Voyages De L’âme

February – BIIPIIGWAN Nibaak EP

Favorite Track – Rodentia

Summative Sentence – A megaton hat trick of songs that exemplify masterful sludge and doom metal fusion.

Click here to check out BIIGPIIGWAN on Facebook.

– Jared Oates J-Roc